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Watch 2022 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - Strife - Part 2

Joyce Meyer - Strife - Part 2

Joyce Meyer - Strife - Part 2
TOPICS: Strife, Relationship
Joyce Meyer - Strife - Part 2

As I said, the angry undercurrent is the most dangerous. I actually attended a church at one time, that I watched be destroyed because of strife. Marriages are destroyed because of strife. Businesses are destroyed because of strife. Churches are destroyed because of strife. And don't think that the devil won't try to get in. He would love for you to find something wrong with your pastor. And then under the scenes, talk about him, talk about him, talk about him, talk about him, talk about him, until you get about half the church believing somethin' that's not even true. And then when you get a report from a doctor that you got cancer, you wanna go and ask the pastor to agree with you for a miracle.

The prayer of agreement can only be prayed by people that agree. It's not just you fight with somebody all the time, and now you need a miracle, and so you go and get them to agree with you about this one thing. Strife destroys all kinds of things. This church that I was going to, it was back in the eighties, and you—a lot of you may not even remember this, or even know about it, but there was a movement called the shepherding movement. And there's always some silly thing goin' on, but they got the idea that the pastor was to shepherd the flock. But it got to the point where you couldn't even sell your house, if the pastor didn't think that you should. And so, of course, that became a problem. And there was all kinds of gossip behind the scenes. And one by one, people started leaving. And I was teaching a home Bible study. And the pastor looked at Dave one day and he said, "Brother, you should be teaching that Bible study, not your wife".

And so, we tried it, and it didn't work. I couldn't keep my mouth shut, and Dave couldn't open his. And it just didn't work. It just amazes me when people try to tell you things that you should do. God told us what to do. We didn't need somebody else to tell us what to do. But, the thing I look back, and that church had so many people in it, that are actually key leaders in the body of Christ today. And if they would've done what they should've done, it could've been a powerful, I mean, unbelievably powerful church. And we watched it die, just because of strife. Now, here's one that is very concerning. Strife actually offends the Holy Spirit. How many of you would rather not offend the Holy Spirit? Well, I certainly wouldn't.

In Ephesians 4:29-31, it's a little bit lengthy in the Amplified, but I want you to pay attention to each word, they'll have it up on the screen. "Let no foul or polluting language, nor evil word nor unwholesome are worthless talk [ever] come out of your mouth, but only such [speech] as is good and beneficial to the spiritual progress of others, as is fitting to the need and the occasion, that it may be a blessing and give grace (God's favor) to those who hear it". So, we don't need to criticize people. We need to pray for people. "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God [do not offend or vex or sadden him], by whom you were sealed (marked, and branded as God's own)".

See in the spirit we have a Mark on us, we're branded, we belong to God. And the devil can see that. And unless you give him an open door, there's no way he can get into your life. And one of the greatest open doors that we give the enemy, is through unforgiveness and strife. We actually need to be afraid of strife, because it's a killer. "For the day of redemption (of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin). Let all bitterness and indignation and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper) resentment (anger, animosity) quarreling (brawling, clamor, contention) and slander (evil-speaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you, with all malice (spite, ill will, or baseness of any kind)".

Well, I think that covers just about everything. What do you think? That's got it. You could take these three verses, Ephesians 4:29-31. Matter of fact, I'll just challenge you, just study 'em all week. Because the Bible says in Mark 4, "The measure [of thought and study] that you put [into the truth that you hear] is the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that will come back to you again". Now, I'm glad you're here, and I'm glad you're hearing this. But if you would do that, if you would take those three scriptures and study them all week, man, you'd really have somethin' by the time the week was over. But we're a little lazy. We'd rather somebody else spoon feed it to us.

In Psalm 133 says, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. It is like the precious ointment poured on the head, that ran down on the beard, even the beard of Aaron [the first high priest], that came down upon the collar and the skirts of his garments [consecrating the whole body]". That's talking about the anointing. When they anointed priests and prophets, they poured oil. I mean, they didn't do this thing, they didn't dab it on their forehead, they poured it all over 'em. So, if I would just read this the way I see it, where there's unity, there's anointing. "It's like the dew of [lofty] Mount Hermon and the dew that comes on the hills of Zion: for there", there where? There where there's unity and agreement. "There the Lord has commanded the blessing".

Come on, you wanna have a blessed life? Get the unforgiveness out of your life. Where there's unity. I really want you to get this. Where there's unity, there's anointing, and there's blessing. But where there's strife, and bickering, and arguing, and all this behind-the-scenes gossip, and criticism, there is no anointing and there is no blessing. Amen? You're hurtin' yourself if you allow strife in your home. Our family works together. And when a family works together, it's not always that easy. Amen. And I mean, we've got two sons that are both type-a strong cholerics. And just every now and then... But you know what? Everybody in our family understands this message, because it's been a core principle of our ministry.

They understand integrity, they understand excellence, and they understand keeping the strife out of their life. And nobody in our family stays mad at anybody else in the family for very long. They may get mad. They may have an argument. But somebody'll call and apologize. Because we all understand that we cannot do what we're doing, and have strife behind the scenes. And we tell people when they come to work for us, we give 'em teachings that we've done on these subjects, and we tell 'em these are very important to us. And if you were to cause strife, we will correct you once. But if you keep it up, we will let you go. Because no matter how smart somebody is, or no matter how gifted they are, they can kill what I have put 40 years into. And I'm not gonna, I'm not gonna put up with it. I'm not gonna let 'em do it. Amen. He commands the blessing. It's not just a maybe, hope so.

If you will do your part to live in peace, God will command the blessing on you. Wow! Unity requires humility. And boy, that's a hard one. I mean, of all the Christian virtues to come by, humility is the most difficult. Pride is behind every sin. In Genesis 13, there's a wonderful account of something that happened between Abraham and lot. And the humility that Abraham showed was just astounding. So, beginning in chapter 13 verse one it says, "So Abram went up out of Egypt, he and his wife and all that he had, and lot went with him, into the south [country of Judah, the Negeb]. Now, Abraham was extremely rich in livestock and silver and in gold. And he journeyed on from the south [the country of Judah, the Negeb] as far as Bethel, so, the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and AI, now, where he built an altar at first: and there Abram called on the name of the Lord. But lot, who went with Abram, also had flocks and herds and tents".

So, Abraham had all this stuff, and lot also had stuff. But I want you to keep in mind, that lot would've had nothing if it wouldn't have been for Abraham. Sometimes people come along and they bless our lives, and they change our lives, and we quickly forget all about 'em. And lot forgot where he came from, and he got a little full of himself. "Now the land was not able to nourish and support both of them, so they could not continue to dwell together, because they had too many possessions for them to live together". And verse seven says, "And there was strife between the herdsmen of Abram's cattle and the herdsmen of lot's cattle". It wasn't even between Abraham and lot, it was between people that worked for them. But Abraham knew enough to know that if he let that continue, that it would destroy them both. "So Abraham said to lot", he took the lead, and he said, "Let there be no strife, I beg of you, between you and me, or between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are relatives", now, I want you to watch this, "The whole land is before you, separate yourself, I beg of you, from me. And if you take the left hand, I'll go to the right: and if you choose the right, then I'll go to the left".

So, he took a humble position and he told him, "You pick the land that you want first, and I'll take what's left". And it should've been the other way around. "I'm gonna take this part 'cause it's the best part, and you can have what's left". But just in order to keep strife out, he so realized the importance of keeping strife out, that he humbled himself enough to say, "You take whatever you want, and I'll take the leftovers". "And lot looked and saw that everywhere the Jordan valley was well-watered. Before the Lord destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah". Bottom line is, is he picked the best part for himself. We'll just let it go at that. And then it goes on and says a few other things. And then God said to Abraham, he went up on a mountain and God, verse 16, he says, "And I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth, so that if a man could count the dust of the earth, then could your descendants also be counted".

Now, he said, "Arise, walk through the land, the length of it, the breath of it, for I will give it to you". And then he went up on a hill and he said, "Everything you can see I'll give it to you". So, he took the humble position, and he let lot pick what the best part was. But see, Abraham was smart enough to know, now, listen to what I'm gonna say, he was smart enough to know that if he did the thing that God would have him do, that God would always take care of him. Come on. So, now God said, "Ok, you can have anything you see, as far as you can see, as far as you can walk it off, all of it, I'll give all of it to you". There is no telling what God would do for you, if you'd really make a commitment today, to just never, never go to bed angry again. You know, the Bible does say that. "Don't let the sun go down on your anger, don't give the devil any such foothold in your life".

Now, that works better for me if I get mad early in the morning, I've got all day to work it out. It's a little tough if you get mad at 7:00 or 8:00 at night, you don't have very long to get over it. But, see, I don't think we take these things serious enough. I mean, these are not just cute little Bible stories, this is your life. And if we're gonna do this, let's do it right. And let's let God bless us and let the world see it. And let 'em be jealous and envious of what our God is doing for us, amen? But do you know how many people would do that? "Well, you little snot, I'm not giving you the best choice. You had nothing until I gave you what you got". Galatians 5:15, "But if you bite and devour one another [in partisan strife], be careful that you [and your whole fellowship] are not consumed by one another".

There's the proof. If you don't stop it, it'll just keep going, just keep going, until it kills you. Our staff pastor, Mike, just stand up so they can see you 'cause everybody's always curious. This is Mike shepherd. I've known Mike and his wife Pennie for over 40 years. And he became our staff pastor, how many years ago? 16 years ago. And one of his jobs is conflict resolution. When we know that there's conflict somewhere, there goes Mike. And he works with the people to work it out. And if it won't get worked out, somebody goes. We're serious about this. Our ministry is very blessed by God, and I intend to keep it that way, if there's anything I can do... To keep it that way. I don't know how much time we got left? Maybe a long time, but things are gettin' pretty bad in the world, so it could be a short time. And I wanna do as much damage to the kingdom of darkness as I can, in the time that I've got left. And it, man, I'll tell you if I can just get people to understand just this.

How much more powerful the body of Christ would be, if we would just love each other. I mean, not just this, "I love you with the love of the Lord". I don't even know what that is. I don't even like that, "Go hug somebody and tell them you love 'em with the love of the Lord". "I love you with the love of the Lord. I might have you for lunch when I go out with my friends, but I love you with the love of the Lord. But where are you when I need somebody to help me move or somebody to watch my kids"? "Well, then I'm busy". You know, the busier you are, and the more of a hurry you're in, the less you're gonna be able to love people. We gotta slow down. Don't even go to church with the thought in mind of, "I'm gonna go get my blessing". Go with a whole different attitude. And the attitude you go, should be this, "I wanna bless somebody". And I'll tell you in blessing somebody, you will be blessed.

One girl told me, and I thought this was interesting. She'd been coming to my meetings for years, and years, and years. And she said, "Joyce, I have to tell you this, and I'm kind of ashamed to tell you, but it's true so I'll tell you". She said, "I wasn't really getting that much out of your meetings anymore, and I thought you were losing your anointing". See, when we're not gettin' something, it's always the other preacher's fault, you know. So, she said, "I've been praying for you for a while, for God to show you what you're doing wrong or, you know, what's going on". She said, "But I was praying for you the other day," and she said, "God told me, 'there's nothing wrong with Joyce, and she's not lost her anointing'. He said, 'the reason why you're not gettin' anything out of her teaching is because you are so full of the word, that there's no place to put anymore. And what you need to do is start giving some of it out to other people. Stop worrying about what you're gonna get, and worry more about what you're gonna give'".

Maybe some of you don't get that much out of going to church anymore, because you're going for the wrong reason. You're going to get, get, get, get, and you should be going to serve and bless. The five-fold ministry is not supposed to do everything forever, we're supposed to train up the body of Christ, that they might go out and do the work of the ministry, amen? And I wanna tell you something. If you're afraid of witnessing, let me tell you something, you can witness and never open your mouth. You don't have to go preach to people. You don't have to tell 'em nothing.

If you just live the life in front of them, I mean, really live like a Christian should live, and you walk in love with them. Especially the ones that are mean to you. Jesus said what good is it, "If you just love people that love you"? Anybody can do that. But he said, I'm telling you, "Love your enemies, love those that abuse you and misuse you". And wow, he had some great ideas, didn't he? Help me, Jesus. Well, how does pride manifest? I'm sure you wanna know this, so. First of all, it can't face being wrong. A prideful person always has to be right. It has and gives many opinions. It's not grateful but feels entitled. Won't ask for help. Thinks it knows everything, and believes it's always right. Always has advice for everybody. Talks about itself a lot. Is a name dropper.

I can't stand that. Get together within 10 minutes somebody's told you about 15 great, famous people they know. It's like... Dave's gonna be playing golf with somebody in two or three weeks. If I told you their name, you'd go... But if I told you he was gonna play with Joe Schmo, you wouldn't say anything. And see, the thing is, is Joe's just as important as this other guy. And we need to realize that we all have a part in this. And really one of us is not any more important than the other, we're all valuable. You know, people may not remember what you said to them, but they'll always remember how you made them feel.
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