Joyce Meyer - Be Stable
Thank you for joining me today on "Enjoying Everyday Life". You know, one of the things that can cause us not to enjoy life, is if we let our emotions control us, and we're just one way one day and another way the next day. Years ago, I used to call myself a yo-yo Christian. I would feel like I was up one day and down the next, and up one day and down the next. And I would watch my husband, and he was so stable. You know, if we had a problem, he didn't go to pieces. He just stayed the same. And the Bible really encourages us to be stable. And actually, that is equivalent to spiritual maturity. And if we want God to use us we have to learn to be stable, and not let our emotions control us.
You know, I tell people all the time, you're going to have emotions. You're gonna have different feelings at different times. And some of them are good, and some of them are not. And the thing about 'em is, you never know exactly which one you're gonna have when you wake up in the morning. You can go to bed feeling great and wake up the next morning feeling like you wanna chew somebody's head off. And so, we have to learn how to live what I call, living beyond your feelings. I actually wrote a book with that title, long time ago. I wrote one called "Managing your emotions". And that was so helpful to me to learn that I couldn't just pray those things away, that I had to learn how to not let them control me. That's why we have self-control, so we can control ourselves.
Now, God requires those who serve him to be careful, to be stable, to be dependable, reliable, not easily shaken, and in control of their emotions. Why? Because he has to be able to trust us. 1 Chronicles 12:33 in the Amplified, shows us a situation where people were in a war, they were in a battle. And it says, "Of Zebulun, 50.000 experienced troops, fitted out with all kinds of weapons and instruments of war that could order and set the battle in array, men not of double purpose but stable and trustworthy".
So, when God looks for people to serve him, he needs people that are stable and trustworthy. And you know, not all of us are just born stable. Some people are more emotionally driven than others. And if you are, you are. It can be part of your personality. But you have to learn to not make important decisions based on those emotions, and not let them control you. I like to say, "Let emotions subside and then decide". For example, you can go out shopping and don't have anything particular in mind that you wanna buy. Or let's just say you do. Let's say you have one specific thing that you're going to the mall to get. Maybe you, that's where your eye doctor is, and you're going there to pick up some glasses that you bought. You don't intend to buy anything else, but you start to see things in the windows. Wow, there's a big sale here, 70% off. Well, you know, it's hard not to go in and look. So, you go in and look.
And then you start seeing all these things that you want. They're not things you need. They're not even things you can afford. But emotions get all stirred up. And it's amazing what will happen if you'll just walk away, take about a five minute walk and then see how you feel about it. So often, if we'll just walk away from something, those emotions that went... Will come back down and we'll be able to make an informed, wise decision rather than an emotional decision. I wonder how many people I'm talking to today, that are deep in debt, and now you're pressured by all that debt because you've bought things emotionally. Or I wonder how many people I might be talking to who even married somebody emotionally? They were good looking, you got excited. You married them real fast. You didn't really know them. You didn't really know their character.
Maybe you even went against the word, and you married somebody that you were not equally yoked with, you're a believer, they're not a believer. Well, God can help you work these things out, and you can still end up with a good marriage. But we don't wanna do things emotionally. I always like to say that, "Desperate people do desperate things". And if you're a single young lady or a young man, and you're really wanting to get married, don't just be desperate and grab the first person that comes along. Because you want to marry somebody that you know you can spend your life with, and not just end up being another statistic. Proverbs 25:28 says, "Like a city whose walls are broken down is a person who lacks self-control". Wow, in other words, without stability everything is a mess.
Now, as I said, some people need this more than others. Some people are not as emotionally driven. My husband would be one of those people that's not as emotionally driven. I'm not so much anymore, but there was a time in my life when I was. Especially I think when you have wounded emotion from past hurts, you do more things emotionally than you will later on, when you have some maturity through studying God's word. The word "Emotions" has an interesting definition. It means: to excite, to stir up, and I like this, to move out.
Well, you say, "What sense does that make"? Well, it makes a lot of sense when you think about it. Your emotions rise up and they want you to follow them, and go in the direction that they're trying to get you to go in. But that's just what we can't do, we have to follow God. To excite, to stir up, to move out. You know there are positive and negative emotions. Anger is one of the strongest negative emotions. Excitement is one of the positive ones. But, you know, decisions should not be made on emotions. How many people start something? It's exciting, it's new, somebody talked it up, and oh, you're all excited about it, and you started. Well, what about when it's not exciting anymore? Are you gonna go ahead and finish what you started? Or you gonna do what so many people do, and just throw it away and go try to find something else that's more exciting?
You know, I've been teaching God's word for 45 years, and I can tell you after 45 years of being in ministry, it is a lot of hard work. And I remember, it's been a good number of years ago, somebody said to me, "How do you feel about all the traveling you have to do in your ministry"? Because we travel a lot, spend a lot of time in hotel rooms that don't always turn out to be as nice as the pictures that you see. And maybe the bed's not quite comfortable like your bed at home. And so, they just asked me, "How do you, how do you feel about all the traveling you have to do"? And, you know, I thought for a minute, and I even surprised myself with my answer. I said, "You know what? I haven't asked myself in a long time".
You know, when you get yourself in trouble, and you can't finish what you started, it's because you start asking yourself how you feel, and you let your feelings vote. If you know that God has called you to do something, or if you have committed to do something, today we have so many people who don't keep their word, they don't keep their commitments. And part of it is because the excitement goes away, and so they don't want to finish it anymore. The Bible says, "Swear to your own hurt, and change not". In other words, if you give your word about something, you need to do it, even if it hurts you to do it. Because that's what an emotionally stable, mature Christian does. Decisions should not be made on emotions. Finish what you start, you won't do that if you base it on excitement. We're gonna always have emotions. But spiritual maturity demands that we control them, and that we don't let them control us. Manage your emotions, live beyond your feelings.
Now, you know, Peter was a man that was easily shaken. He would jump out in emotions and do things. And Peter turned out to be a great apostle. So, the good news is, is we can all change. The Holy Spirit will help us change. Matthew 16:13-19, "When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, 'who do people say the Son of Man is'? They replied, 'well, some say you're John the Baptist: others say Elijah: some say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets'. Well, 'what about you'? He asked, 'who do you say that I am'? And Simon Peter answered". Peter was always the one who had an answer. He was one of the first ones to speak up. "'You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God'. Jesus replied, 'blessed are you, Simon bar-Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my father who is in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock'".
The rock he was talking about, was not Peter himself, but the faith that Peter had in the Son of God. "'and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it'". You know, that was a moment, that had to be a very powerful moment. "'who do people say that I am'"? Well, some say this, some say this. Well, "'who do you say that I am'? 'thou art the Christ, the son of the living God'". And Jesus said, "Upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it". You know, I love those special moments that we have with God, when God does something, or says something that is so wonderful. And then he goes on to say, "'and I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven'", which represents authority and power.
Who doesn't want authority and power? I know I do. I don't want the devil walking all over me and taking advantage of me, I wanna have power against him. I wanna know how to use it. "'I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven'". Well, the Amplified Bible says a little different way, and I like it. It says, "'whatever you bind on earth must be what is already bound in heaven: and whatever you loose on earth must be what is already loosed in heaven'". In other words, "I'm gonna give you power and authority to bring heaven down to earth". In other words, through the power of God, we can behave the way heaven would behave in a situation.
When we're like a rock, we have that power. Peter had received a great revelation from God. But two verses later, and I don't know how long two verses took, but probably not too long. Two verses later, in Matthew 16:21-25, it says, "From this time on, Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life". Wow! So, Jesus is explaining to his disciples this terrible thing that he's gonna go through, because it was what God's will was for him. He was gonna go to Jerusalem. He was gonna suffer. He was gonna be crucified. He was gonna die. And it wasn't all gonna be easy. "And Peter took him aside", now, this always amazes me, "And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him".
Who in their right mind would rebuke Jesus? Well, Peter just did it out of emotions. "Oh, no, Lord, this must never happen to you". He loved Jesus, and he didn't wanna see him be hurt. And they had not had an easy time in Jerusalem, and he didn't want to see him go back to Jerusalem. And Jesus immediately turned to Peter and said, "Get behind me, Satan". Well, now he really wasn't calling Peter Satan. But he knew it was Satan trying to work through Peter, to actually get him not to go do what God wanted him to do. And I can tell you, there are people who love you. I mean, they really love you, but they can still be used by the enemy, to try to get you not to do what God wants you to do. That's why you have to be strong enough to follow your heart, and not follow what everybody else tells you to do.
Now, I'm not telling you to never take advice. That's not what I'm saying. But, if you are sure in your heart that God has spoken something to you, you have to follow your heart. When God first called me into ministry 45 years ago, it was a rare thing for women to teach and preach. And I cannot tell you how many people, family and friends, people who cared about me, really tried to discourage me from doing what I felt like God had called me to do. Well, I didn't know hardly anything about what God was asking me to do, but I loved the Lord, and I was willing to just take steps of faith, and let him lead me and guide me. Well, I must've been right 'cause 45 years later, I'm still here. But if I would've listened to them, I don't know what I'd be doing now. It wouldn't be this. You always have to keep in mind that even people who love you, can be used by the enemy to try to derail you from what you believe God has called you to do. Why? God spoke to you, he didn't speak to them. So, they don't have the same faith that you do about the thing that you feel that God wants you to do.
"Jesus turned to Peter said, 'get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me: you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns'. Then Jesus said to his disciples, 'whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves'", well, that's not a very popular message today, "'take up their cross and follow me'". Well, part of this denying yourself and taking up your cross is doing the hard things. You know, being a real, I mean, a real full on Christian, is not for sissies. And you can't be successful at it by going to church for 45 minutes on a Sunday morning. You have to study the word, and have a relationship with God, and spend time with him, and learn how to hear his voice, and learn how to follow him no matter what. Follow Jesus no matter what. Follow the word. Follow your heart.
Don't follow the crowd. A lot of times we're tempted to follow the crowd, but if they're not going in the direction that is right for you, you don't need to follow them. "'Deny yourself take up your cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life must lose it, and whoever loses their life for me will find it'". He's talking about your real life. If you want to have a real life that can be amazingly wonderful, then self-will has to go bye bye. In other words, it doesn't really matter what I want, it's what God wants. You know Jesus, when he was in the garden Gethsemane during his agony, where he prayed so hard that he sweated great drops of blood, three times he went back to God with the same prayer. "Father, if you're willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, your will be done and not mine". Not once, not twice, but three times.
So, I think it's pretty safe to say that Jesus really did not want to go through all the suffering, which I understand that. I mean, you know, Jesus is holy. And he is God. And for him to take on the sin of all mankind, I can't even imagine how awful that must have been. That was harder than the beatings. It was harder than the crucifixion. That was hard. "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me"? There was even a little bit of time where he felt forsaken, although he went beyond what he felt. We have to go by what we know, not by what we feel. You know, I spend time every morning with God, and I don't, every morning I don't feel like he's there. I spend time in prayer, and I don't always feel like real spiritual about it.
Sometimes I may feel like, "I wonder if God's hearing me"? But you know what? A few years ago, I decided to give up all that feeling stuff, and just start living by what I know. So, whether I feel like God is there or not, I know that he is, because his word tells me that he is and that he'll never leave me nor forsake me. Learn to go by what you know, not by what you feel. "'Whoever wants to save their life must be willing to lose it, and whoever is willing to lose it will save it'". Well, Peter vacillated and Satan was able to work through him. Jesus tells his disciples that they will need to become stable and be willing to sacrifice. Decisions should not be made based on how we feel.
Now, some of you, because I believe whatever God puts on my heart to teach, that there's a reason for it. And I believe that this is what God has me preaching today. And he has you listening. That some of you, maybe not all of you, but some of you are at a point of decision in your life. And God wants you to take this as a loving warning to not be led by your emotions, but to set aside how you feel, and dig in deeper and ask God for wisdom. Wisdom does now, what it will be satisfied with later. Emotions do now, what feels good now, and doesn't worry about later. Don't make commitments emotionally. Think through what that commitment is going to require.
You know, it's easy for me when somebody calls and says, "Will you do me a favor and come speak at my church". It's easy on the phone to say, "Yeah, I can do that". But, you know, then I get around to the time to do it, and maybe I've got all kinds of other things surrounding that, and it really puts a lot of pressure on me. And I've learned to really think about what all it's gonna take for me to do that. You need to think things through realistically. Build your house on the rock, the Bible says. Build yourself, build your life on the Word of God. Matthew 7:24, "'Therefore, everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock'".
In other words, if you live according to the word instead of according to how you feel, or even what you think, or what you want. You know, our soul is our mind, our will, and our emotions. And that part of us, if it's not turned over to God, and if we don't give him leadership of those areas of our life, then we can get ourselves in real trouble. You know, just because I think something doesn't make it true. I have to see if it lines up with the Word of God. So, he said, if you build your house on a rock, which the rock is his faith in Jesus Christ and the word that he preaches. "'the rain came down, the streams rose up, the wind blew and beat against that house: yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation built on the rock'".
I love that. When your foundation is built on the rock of faith in Jesus Christ, when hard times come, they're not gonna be fun. They're not gonna feel good. I'm not saying they won't be challenging, but you'll still be standing when the storm is over. We have lots of different trees out behind our house, and we've got a couple of trees out there that look like they've been there a hundred years, I don't know. One huge, huge oak tree, and I can tell you, when we have storms, some of the smaller trees will blow over and almost touch the ground, sometimes they've had limbs break off. We've even had trees blown over. But I'll tell you, that big oak tree, the leaves blow, but that tree never moves. Why? Because it has deep roots. And we need to be deeply rooted in the will of God, and the Word of God, and the love of God.
We need to hear the word and be prepared to do the word no matter how we feel. There's so many times in our life when we get ourselves in such deep trouble, because we go by our feelings rather than going by what the Word of God tells us to do. Now, you know, you're gonna have feelings. We all have feelings. And I love those days when "Oh, I'm excited, and I wanna do everything that God wants me to do. And I wanna be sweet to people and nice to people. And I feel patient, and loving, and giving". But, you know, what? All my days aren't like that. But I still have to be that way, if I wanna be the Christian that God wants me to be.
So, on those days, you just need to dig in deeper and ask God to give you more grace, to help you represent him well. We are ambassadors of Christ, we represent him. He makes his appeal to the world through us. And if there's anything that the world needs to see today, it's stability. It's people who say what they believe, and they show that faith in times of trouble. And one of the things that we need, is healing for our soul. And as I said, part of your soul is your emotions. And God offers us emotional healing. He's interested in you going to heaven when you die, but that's not the only thing he's interested in. He wants to use you while you're here. And you need to be stable, in order for God to do that.