Joyce Meyer - Faith vs Fear - Part 2
Hey everybody, welcome to "Enjoying Everyday Life". I'm Ginger Stache and we are so glad that you're here with us today. Have you ever thought about how faith and fear are complete opposites? Well, we know God wants us to live a faith-filled life, but what about those times when we just feel full of fear? Here's Joyce with her teaching on faith versus fear.
You know, everything has to have an opposing force. We wouldn't really know what faith is if there was no fear and we wouldn't have to make a choice. And God doesn't want a bunch of little robots. He didn't make everything good and then make us to the point where we couldn't do anything but choose good. He wants us to choose. "I set before you life and death, good and evil. Choose life that you and your descendants may live". The choices you make affect your bloodline. There's good and there's evil. We wouldn't even know good if there was no evil in the world. We wouldn't even know what it was. We wouldn't know what light was if there was no darkness. We wouldn't know what love is if there was no hatred. We wouldn't know joy without depression. We wouldn't know kindness without harshness. We wouldn't know what quiet is without noise, and on, and on, and on. But choice equals responsibility.
And sometimes, we like to take responsibility for the good things that happen in our life, but then, when something goes wrong, "It's not my fault". It's always somebody else's fault. You know, this is a scary scripture to me, Romans 14:23, "Whatever is not of faith is sin". Now, he's talking about them eating meat that had been offered to idols. But there's a principal here that we don't wanna miss. He says, "Even though it's not wrong for you to eat it, if you eat it and you think it's wrong, it's wrong for you". So, he says, "Whatever is not of faith is sin". So, anything we do, that we don't really have the faith to do, but we do it anyway, it's not just an, "Oops". It's sin. You know, dread is a type of fear.
How many things do you dread? "I dread doing dishes". How many times a week do you say, "I dread this"? "I dread going to the grocery store". Some of you drove a long way to get here, and you're already dreading the drive home. Come on, some of you didn't get a good parkin' place, and you gotta walk a long way, and you're dreading the walk back. And you've been complaining the whole time that you didn't get the right parkin' place. You ought to get down on your face and thank God you could even get in the building, that there's even something like this for you to have. Amen? Yeah, you need the book on, "The power of thank you".
Let me tell you something. If you think I'm rough on you, I'm just as rough on myself. Dread and regret, they're both useless because they're not in the now. We regret things we did in the past we can't do anything about, and we dread things in the future that we're gonna have to do anyway. So, why dread 'em? The devil loves it when you dread things. You can have fun no matter what you do. Took me a long time to learn that. Dave's the kind of guy, he always has fun, always. Sometimes, when I don't think it's funny, he wants to have fun. And when we were young and had little kids, he'd go to the grocery store. We had one car, so he'd go to the grocery store, and we'd take all the kids, and it was like a nightmare. And we only had a certain amount of money. I think it was $70 for two weeks' worth of groceries.
And so, I had to clip every coupon I could find and take a calculator with me and calculate everything I was buying. And you know how we are. We get all the stuff that looks good. Don't ever go to the grocery store hungry. It is a bad mistake... To go to the grocery store hungry. And if you pay attention to the way they've got the store laid out, all the stuff that you really have to have is in the last rows. The milk, the eggs, the cheese, all that kinda stuff, it's in the very last row you go into and so you've already spent too much money by the time you get there, so they're hoping you'll overspend. Or you're one of those people like I used to be. You pick the things out of your cart that you can't afford to pay for and instead of taking 'em back and putting 'em where you should put 'em, you put 'em in with the cleanser, or the dish soap, or something like that. Amen?
You say, "What kinda crazy person leaves a head of lettuce in with the dish washing soap"? Me, I did that. But if Dave was gonna go to the store, Dave was gonna have fun. And he's six foot four, and so, he can see things that I can't see. Like he could get in one aisle, and he could see me, but I couldn't see him. And so, he would pick something soft, that wouldn't hurt me like, you know, a roll of toilet paper or something, and he'd throw it over the aisle that would hit me. And then, he'd chase the kids around with the cart, and I would get madder, and madder, and mad, I mean, to the point, where I thought I was gonna explode. And I got my calculator, I got my coupons, and I'm like, "I am trying to get these groceries, and get 'em paid for, get 'em in the car, get 'em home, and put 'em away"! He said, "I'm just trying to have a little fun".
Now, obviously, you know, anybody can go overboard with being like that. But it's true. There's so many things that we dread that we could make fun. Come on. C'mon, I got a backache, don't make me work hard. It hurts right there. Right there. Whatever's not of faith is sin. Ok, now I love Joshua 1:1-9. Not gonna read every verse, but it says, "After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua, who was Moses' aide", and I love the fact that Joshua spent years doing nothing but serving Moses, then he was the one who got to take Moses' place. You say, "Well, I'm just a servant". Well, Jesus said, "The greatest of all is the servant of all". Amen?
So, he took Moses' place. And in verse three, well, verse two says, "'Moses, my servant is dead'", which is interesting because they'd already been mourning him for 30 days, so they knew he was dead. Why did he tell them he was dead when they knew good and well that he was dead? Because he was really making a statement: he's dead, the 30 days of mourning are over, now it's time to get up and get back to the business of living. Moses is dead. It's time to get back to work. "'Now, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan into the land that I am about to give to them'". And then it says, and I like this translation best. I'm gonna quote it out of the one I like. "'Every place on which the sole of your foot shall tread, that have I already given you'".
Do you know what that means? That means that out in front of me, God has already provided for this wonderful life for me to have, and for you too. A wonderful life for you to have. And even if you messed up plan a, because God is God, he can make plan b better. You say, "Oh, I've already messed up my life". Eh-eh, nope. God is God. He can do what he wants to. But he says, "Every place on which the sole of your foot shall tread that have already given unto you". God has already given it but we gotta go take it. Are you with me? God has already given it but you gotta go take it. I'll tell you what, the devil don't like this sermon tonight. Verse five: "No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you: I will never leave you nor forsake you".
Now, there's a great message there. He did not say, "You get out there, Joshua, and I want you to be just like Moses". He said, "No, as I was with Moses, so I will be with you". You don't have to be like somebody else to be great. You just have to believe that God is with you, and that whatever he wants you to do, you'll be able to do. Thank God, I don't have to be like anybody else! I'm free to be me, and you're free to be you! I love that. "As I was with Moses, so I will be with you". Now, in verse six, verse seven, and verse nine, he says the same thing three times. "Be strong and courageous". Verse seven, verse eight: "Be strong and courageous. Be careful to obey all of the law that my servant Moses will give you: turn, not from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go".
The key to having a great life is very simple: obey God. You know, there's nothing hard about Christianity. It's very simple. You wanna have a life that is so smashingly great it will leave you with your mouth hanging open in awe? Obey God. Do what he tells you to, whether you like it or not, whether you feel like it or not, whether you agree with it or not. Adopt a new attitude: "I'm not gonna live by how I feel, I'm gonna live by your word. And it doesn't matter if I like it. It doesn't matter if it makes any sense to me. With your help, God, I'm gonna do what you tell me to do". And I can tell you, anybody that will do that, your life will turn around, and there's nothing bad that's happened to you that God won't work out for your good. Am I pushing anybody over the edge? I mean, like, are you getting it?
You know, are you, "I'm ready to stop living by how I feel. I'm gonna live by the word". And now, you know, it's easy to say "Yes" in here but wait till the next time you wanna do something, and you know down deep inside, God's telling you not to do it. Everybody's goin' to the movie that you know you shouldn't go see, but you don't want them to think you're just a Jesus freak. You don't wanna think, you don't want them to think, why do you care what people think? At least if they're thinking about you, they're leaving somebody else alone. Yeah, you might spend the night home alone. But, oh, you gonna feel so good in the morning because you obeyed God.
And I want to tell you something. Obedience is learned in the little things of life. The little things of life. And you hear me tell all my stories that you laugh at, and you think are funny. But to be honest, that's where I learned. You don't have to go off to Bible college somewhere, if you can't afford to go, or it's not the right thing for you. If it is, go. But if it's not, you can go to the school of the Holy Ghost, anywhere you live. And all you need to do is say, to the Lord, tonight, "I want to enroll in the school of the Holy Spirit. I wanna enroll in your school. I'm happy to start in kindergarten, if that's where I belong, but I wanna enroll in your school, and I wanna learn how to be a real Christian". Amen?
You know, God told them to go in and possess the land. And God wants you to possess the promises. But you know what the word possess means, if you look it up? It means to dispossess the current occupants. Now, in the Bible, it says that there was a shorter route, that God could have taken them to the Promised Land, but he took them the long, harder route because they were not ready for war. Boy, now, there's a lesson in what I'm getting ready to say. So, they wandered around, out there, in the wilderness. They needed, "The power of thank you," because all they did was murmur and complain. They wandered around, out there, for 40 years, trying to make an 11-day trip. And if you read, if you look at it, every town that they possessed, they had to fight and run off the current occupants.
Jericho, the first town they took, they possessed it, but they had to first dispossess the other people who occupied it. They had to do war. David was anointed to be king 20 years before he wore the crown. What'd he do in the meantime? He had to fight Goliath. You're gonna have to learn how to defeat the devil. And you know how you do that? By feeling fear but doing what you're afraid of. And you know, I don't mean you have to go climb mount Everest. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm not a good swimmer, so I'm not gonna get in the deep end of the pool. That's not the kinda stuff I'm talking about. I'm talking about, you have a destiny. You have a destiny. But the devil will try to get you to back off.
I waited so long to get a speaking engagement. Oh, God, I wanted somebody to ask me to come and preach so bad, I couldn't hardly stand it. And finally, somebody did. And I got two, not one, but two engagements right in a row. I was gonna go to Colorado, and then, from there, I was goin' to Florida. And in Colorado, I was preaching with this real famous, well-known preacher. And I was overjoyed 'cause I knew he would bring in a big crowd. Well, he canceled. And we had a snowstorm. And there was just me. And a few, a few, a few, a pitiful little few people. Well, I was so discouraged. And, I mean, the devil told me, "Who do you think you're fooling? You ain't called to do nothing. You made this all up. This is just stupid".
So, I went to Jacksonville, Florida, and there was gonna be about 900 people in this conference. Now, I only got invited because a friend, of a friend, of a friend, of a friend, a speaker canceled at the last minute, and they were desperate, so they got me. And I wasn't one of the main speakers, I just had a workshop. And all the speakers sat on the front row. And there was reverend so-and-so, and bishop so-and-so, and prophetess so-and-so, and Joyce, from Fenton. And I already felt like about that big. And they asked all the workshop speakers to get up and give about three minutes worth of what they were gonna talk about the next day, in their workshop.
And I was so afraid that when I got up to speak, I opened my mouth, and when I tried to say something, just a little squeak came out, like, "Ah-uh", you know, when you're afraid, you get dry, feel like you gotta go to the bathroom, and sweat, and everything's just a mess. And the devil's screaming in my ear, "If you had any sense, you'd get your stuff and get out of here, and get back to Fenton, and you'd never stick your head out of there again. Who do you think you are? Look at that prophetess, and prophet, and reverend, and Joyce".
Well, you know what? I have a doctorate now, but I don't want anybody to call me doctor because I'm pleased to just be Joyce. Amen? Cause just plain old Joyce, from Fenton, can be just as anointed as prophetess so-and-so. Amen? And right there, I had a decision to make that was a destiny-altering decision. Was I gonna open my mouth and try again, or was I gonna run off that platform and go home and never stick my head out the door again? Well, obviously, I opened my mouth again, and here I am. Amen. You gotta learn to do it afraid.
I tell a story in my book, and I'll tell it to you, and then I'm gonna have to close. There was a woman, true story, she had just basically missed her life because of fear. Fear had stolen everything from her. She wouldn't go out at night. She was afraid of the dark. She wouldn't drive. She was afraid to drive in traffic. She didn't like to be around a lot of people, so she lived a lonely life. I mean, everything was fear, fear, fear, fear, fear. And she was a Christian. And, you know, the Bible says plainly, "God hath not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and love, and a sound, and a well-disciplined mind". Distraction, I rebuke you.
And so, a Christian friend of hers came over and she was feeling sorry for herself. "I'm just so afraid, fear just steals everything from me". And the woman looked at her, and when I read this, it changed my life too. She said, "Well, why don't you just do it afraid"? "Well", see, what makes you think if you feel afraid, that you still can't do something? You know what courage is? Going forward in the face of fear. I mean, I had a guy at a conference last week, and he was there last time I had a conference in that town. And he asked me the exact same question, he asked me a few years ago.
So, that guy is stuck. And he said to me, "I just don't know, I feel that God wants to use me, but I just don't know what God wants me to do. Can you tell me how I can know what God wants me to do"? I said, "Yes, I can tell you. Step out and try something. And if it doesn't work, you made a mistake. So, you step back, you say, 'well, that's not it'. Then the next opportunity comes along, you try that". It's kinda like getting ready for a party.
See, I'm having a party now because I'm doing what God's called me to do. I'm having so much fun, I'm having so much fun up here, tonight. I would rather be doing this than anything. I would rather do this than anything in the world. But I tried other stuff. I tried street witnessing, hated that. I tried nursery work. The kids hated that. I even cleaned my pastor's house. I hated that. I tried being his secretary, got fired. But then, when I taught, ah, that fit. Amen. See, we're so afraid of making a mistake. Don't be so afraid, well, let me just say it like this. You'll never be right if you're constantly afraid of being wrong.