Joyce Meyer - The Changing Seasons of Our Life - Part 2
Everything is beautiful in its time. But out of season, it can just be an absolute mess. There's a right time and a wrong time for every matter under the sun. And when we mature enough to be able to discern the seasons, it's a very good thing in our life. Sometimes you won't change unless you come to a crisis point in your life and that crisis forces you to change. But hopefully, we'll get smart enough to recognize the signs and make the changes while we can still make them because we choose to and not make them because we're forced to and have no choice. Amen? How many of you don't get enough sleep? You know what the answer is to that? Go to bed. I mean, to be honest, a lot of our problems would not be that hard to solve, "Well, I know I should go to bed, but..." "I know I should drink more water, but..." "I know I should start saving some money for when I retire, but..." "I know I should mind my own business, but..." "I probably shouldn't say this, but..."
Come on, we need to get the, "Buts," out of our life... And start just doing what we know that we should do. Let's just make a decision, here today, that we're gonna get a lot better at letting things go, so God can usher in the new thing that he has for us. It doesn't really make any sense to try to keep hanging on to something that God's done with because once God's finished with it, you're never going to enjoy it, amen? God's even shown me about giving things away. That once he asks me to give something away, if I keep it after that, there's no longer any anointing on it for me to enjoy it. I may keep it and look at it, but I won't enjoy it because it doesn't belong to me anymore, God's already said, "Give it". Rushing through one season to get to the next one causes problems, too. Maybe you're in a waiting season and you're tired of waiting, so you're gonna do something about it. Or maybe you are at a job that you don't like, and you're just tired of waiting on God, so you just decide you're gonna quit anyway.
You know, a lot of times we just get tired of waiting and we just go make decisions that are foolish. You need to stay put until God releases you, and when God releases you, then you need to go. I had a job, one time, in ministry and I wasn't being treated properly and I wanted so bad to get out of there and go do my own thing. But I knew in the depths of my heart, God did not want me to go yet because he had not released me. Well, by the time God told me to go, I'd gotten to the point where I liked it and then I didn't wanna go. So, you don't always get to do what you want to. Now, here's an example about rushing through seasons. One year, in Missouri, we had a very warm winter. Well, during the winter, we thought it was great. "This was cool, man, it's not even cold this winter. It's almost like not even having winter". And we thought it was all great until we discovered in the spring that it never got cold enough to kill the bugs.
So, we had bugs, bugs, bugs, and more bugs that spring. And we had an epidemic of ladybugs. And we had lady, you know, like how Pharaoh had frogs in his driveway, frogs in his ovens, frogs in his bed, well, we had ladybugs everywhere. I'm not exaggerating to say we had hundreds of ladybugs in our house. And you know, sinus and allergy sufferers didn't like it because it never got cold enough to kill off the stuff that bugged 'em in the spring. So, it may seem like fun to be able to skip through one season and get to the other one. But a lot of people, for example, they wanna skip through the season where God deals with us, and chastises us, and changes things in us. And they wanna go straight from being born again to, you know, some great big thing in their life, but they, you know, you can have charisma that will get you somewhere but not enough character to keep you there once you get there.
Come on, you want me say it again? You know, when I was teaching 20 people in my living room floor, I could preach then just like I do now. And I used to watch people on television, preachers on television, and I remember thinking, "Well, I don't know why God's got me stuck in my living room. I can preach better than that". Well, that was why I was stuck in my living room. It wasn't that I couldn't preach but I had an attitude. Come on, I'm talking to you. You know, you may sit out there and think, "Well, I applied for a job on the worship team and they didn't hire me and I can sing better than anybody up there". Well, until you lose that attitude, you'll keep sitting right where you're sitting because God is much more concerned about our attitude and our character than he is, what we can do to impress people.
So, a lot of times if you know that you're real gifted and you don't understand why God's not using you, maybe you better do a character check. Ask yourself, "How do I treat people"? "How am I when it comes to criticizing and judging other people"? You know, those are the things that are important to God. Man looks on the outside, but God looks at the heart. Amen? God sees our heart. And that's why, sometimes, God will use somebody that you can't figure out why in the world he would be using them because the package doesn't look too impressive, but God knows they've got a heart of gold. We need to pay more attention to our inner life than our outer life. Listen, if we spend as much time getting spiritually ready to go out as we do changing our clothes five times and putting on a pound of makeup. You know, it takes me about 45 minutes in the morning to get it looking from the way it was when I got it out of bed to now.
Well, thankfully, I did learn, a long time ago, I spend usually a couple hours with God before I ever get around to trying to dress this thing up, but there were years in my life when I didn't do that. And you know, I might have put makeup on it made it look good, but it was ugly to God because of the way I acted. Hello? No matter how pretty somebody thinks you are at work, God looks at our attitude, our character, how we treat people, how we talk to people, how we talk about people. And you will have seasons in your life where God just turns you every which way, but loose. Seasons of chastisement, seasons of nothing going your way just to see how you'll act. Plowing up the fallow ground, there's plowing seasons in our life. Just imagine if you were a field full of dirt that had never been plowed and all of a sudden, a farmer brought in a plow and started going through that field and plowing it up.
If you could feel, it wouldn't feel very good. And the fallow ground in our life, the hard, rocky soil in our life has to also be plowed up. How many of you want God to use you? Okay. Well, here's the thing. There's a lot of stuff God has to do to you before he can do very much through you. Amen? Oh, my Lord, if I could even begin to explain to you what all I had to go through to be standing where I'm standing today. Oh, my gosh. I had such a bad attitude from the way I'd been treated. I felt sorry for myself. I had a chip on my shoulder. The world owed me. I was rebellious especially, toward any kind of male authority. Whew. And God just kept at it, and kept at it, and kept at it, and kept at it, and kept at it. And you know what? I didn't understand why God wasn't turning me loose on the world. And I look back now and I am so glad.
So glad that God made me wait. I am so glad that he didn't let me get into a position where I would have made a complete fool out of myself and brought shame to his name. Don't be in such a hurry to get where you're going. Take the time to let God do what he needs to do in you, and when the time is right, he will be able to do something through you but your spiritual maturity is much more important than standing on a platform somewhere sharing your gift. Amen? The plowing season. Once you've put your hand to the plow, the Bible says, "Don't look back". Luke 9:62, "Jesus said to him, 'no one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom'". When you're working hard, don't think about how hard it is. Think about the harvest. Amen? When you're going through things are hard, don't just, "Oh, this is so hard. I don't know if I can take this. I'm going to quit, God. I'm gonna give up. It just doesn't stop. If I don't get a breakthrough today, God, I just can't go on. Lord, if Joyce doesn't call me out and give me a word, I don't think I can stay saved".
Well, I've gotta word for everybody in the building today, "Grow up". And I say that to myself, too. I never say anything to you though that God hasn't said to me, you can be sure of that. Amen? The Bible says that we're to plow in hope. You know what hope is? Hope is an expectation that something good is about to happen at any minute. I love that. We should live with that kind of expectation. And when things are hard in our life, we need to go through it with hope, not a bad attitude. We need to say, "This is gonna work out for good. This is happening for a reason. I need this. I may not feel like I need it but God's gonna work it out for my good. This is gonna help me grow up. This is gonna help me mature. I'm getting experience that I can use later on in life". Amen?
You know, there's nothing that trumps experience. You know one of the reasons why you believe what I say is because you know that I've been through what I'm talking to you about. I didn't just go buy a dollar sermon book and make all these messages up. I've lived this stuff. And when I tell you that God will work everything out for your good if you trust him, I know, from experience, that God will work everything out for good if you trust him to do it. When I tell you that if you won't quit and you won't give up your time of harvest will come, I can promise you that your time of harvest will come. And while you're plowing, you can plow in hope. 1 Corinthians 9:10, "Does he not certainly speak for our sake? It was written for our sake, because the plowman should plow in hope and the threshers should thresh in hope of sharing in the crop".
I love that. Fallow ground has to be plowed up. And when it's being plowed up, it's not that much fun. It's difficult. Learning how to obey God is difficult. But once you learn how to promptly and quickly, obey God, life gets sweet, sweet. You know, the answer to every problem is, find out what God's saying and do it. Hosea 10:12, "Sow for yourselves righteousness: reap steadfast love: break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you". That means get prepared for blessings. Maybe right now, your fallow ground is you're angry at somebody and you just won't let it go. I wonder how many people there are in here today that need to forgive somebody. Okay, let me tell you something. The biggest problem that we have as believers, is unforgiveness, staying offended, being mad at people. I mean, it is the number one problem in the church.
If we would all learn how to forgive quickly as Christ forgives us, come on. What would happen in the world, if Christians actually started to love each other? Wow, imagine that. Then our bumper sticker might mean something to somebody. But as long as all we've got is a buncha stuff hanging all over us that says, "I'm a Christian, I'm a Christian," all we do is get watched. So, if you're gonna put a bumper sticker on your car, you better not break the speed limit and cuss at people. Come on, you may not like everything I say, but you won't be confused. Come on, let's camp here for a minute. It's time to forgive. It's time to let it go. It's time to get over it and get on with your life. "Well, you don't know what they did to me". No, I don't know what's been done to you, but I do know what was done to me, and I know what's been done to a lot of other people, and I also know what we've done to Jesus. There's no reason for anybody, you cannot find an excuse good enough, to hang on to anger.
Come on, you can't find an excuse. "Well, you just don't know". But you see, it's not that what happened to you is not important. But here's the thing. When you forgive, you're not doing your enemy a favor, you're helping yourself. I wrote a book on forgiveness and I called it, "Do yourself a favor and forgive". We're helping ourselves when we obey God. Everything that God tells us to do, you say, "But, I just can't get over it". Okay, maybe you can't get over the feelings right away, but I'll tell you what will happen, if you'll start to do what God tells you to do. You start praying for the people that you're mad at and see how long you can hate 'em. Come on, you start praying for 'em everyday. You pray for them to be blessed. You pray for God to bless 'em. And if an opportunity comes along, and there's something they need and you can meet that need, you go meet that need. Even if it gives your flesh the creepy-crawlies, you go and do it, 'cause that's exactly how you break the power of Satan off of your life when you start acting like Jesus. Amen?
Come on, if you're the pastor of a local church, and somebody that you've nurtured up in the Lord, and been like a son to you in the Lord, he takes half your congregation and moves down the street, buy him a new sound system. Come on, love never fails. Hatred, resentment, bitterness always fail, but love never fails. God has given us a weapon like no other weapon, and it's the warfare of love. And not only that, it's just flat-out fun. It's just fun to make the devil mad and have him have to sit around and watch you love somebody that's mistreated you. Oo-hoo.
What season are you in now or is God dealing with you about being less selfish? No answers, okay. How 'bout being more disciplined? Hmm... How 'bout getting out of debt? Mmm... Well, then you gotta quit flipping plastic everywhere you go. It's so much fun to say, "Put it on my account," but the bill comes. Amen? How about has God been dealing with anybody about it's time to get healthy, time to start taking care of yourself? How many of you God's dealing with you to stop eating junk all the time? So, don't fight the seasons of your life. And remember that, don't ever think that you can always do what you've always done because things are gonna have to change. And when they do, don't fight it. It just makes you miserable if you fight it.