Joyce Meyer - Seven Ways to Resist the Devil - Part 1
First of all, in Matthew 16, Jesus said, "'who do people say that I am'? And they said, 'well, some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, others Jeremiah, or one of the other prophets'. He said to them, 'but who do you say that I am'"? And Peter, of course, spoke up right away, because Peter was real aggressive, had a bold personality. Got him in trouble a few times, but at least he wasn't passive, doing nothing. "And Peter said, 'you are the Christ, the son of the living God'. And Jesus answered him and said, 'flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my father who is in heaven. And I say, you are Peter'", a piece of the rock, "'and on this rock'", and the rock really was not Peter. The rock he's talking about is Peter's faith, that he provided. "'And I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it'".
I don't know how much of the Bible you've read, but if you want to, you can skip over to the end, and you find out that we win. Amen? And so, we really, although we wanna do our part to try to see things turned around in America, and we wanna be able to see as many people brought into the kingdom as possible... I want you to listen. We don't have to worry about everything that's goin' on around us. You don't have to live in fear. And you don't have to worry. Number one, it won't do you any good, it doesn't change anything. And the Bible says, "We are more than conquerors". What does that mean? I mean, I could understand what a conqueror is, but what does it mean to be more than a conqueror? Well, this is kind of my own idea. But I think it means that we've had enough experience with God, and we believe his word. We know that we already have the victory before we ever even get the problem.
Now, I want you to think about that. Because you are gonna have problems in life. We had several problems today: I'll tell you about it a little bit later. There's very few days that go by, I mean, you think the devil leaves us alone because we run around the earth doing this? No, that would be too easy. And so, you just make your mind up. There's gonna be trials and tribulations in your life. And all the storms are not in the forecast. You don't always know when they're coming. And just make your mind up, that no matter what you have to go through... Everybody say, go through. See, a lot of times people wanna tell you what they're goin' through. And finally, I said, "Well, praise God, you're going through, you're not stuck in the middle somewhere". I've gone through a lot of things, but my testimony is, "I'm still here".
And that's a good testimony, when we can go through a lot of difficult things and say, "I'm still standing. I still believe in God. I love Jesus. I'm not gonna be a quitter. I'm gonna be here waiting for Christ when he comes back to get me". So, we don't have to be afraid of trouble. Nobody likes it. But I'm encouraging you not to live in fear. And you can do what you want to about reading the news, and listening to all the junk. But I wouldn't waste too much time on it because most of it's not true anyway. And I mean, basically, they say, "If it's not bad news, it's no news at all". So, all it is, is bad news. And I prefer to stick with the good news. We need to be awake to what's going on in the world, and the foolishness and the silliness of some of the things that are going on. But it's not gonna help if we just sit around and gossip about it and get on social media and crab and complain. We have to pray, and we have to vote in every election, whether you feel like it or not. If you don't vote, you have no right to complain. Amen? But we don't have to be afraid.
So, I just want you to remember that. You don't have to be afraid. Then Jesus went on and he said to Peter, the air blew my pages over. "Peter, I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven". Keys, lock and unlock things, don't they? "I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven: and whatever you bind (declare to be improper and unlawful) on earth must be what is already bound in heaven". Now, this is the Amplified translation, and I like this much better than whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven. You know, we don't boss heaven around, but as God's children, we have been given authority to work with God, to bring heaven down to earth. So, he said you can bind, and you can loose, according to what's goin' on in heaven.
Now, I went to church for many, many, many years before, I think, before I ever even realized the devil was real. I mean, I, of course, heard about him a little bit in church, but I never really knew that he was a real enemy, just a real true enemy. And so often, we blame problems on somebody else or something else, and really, the devil is behind it all. Behind every bit of it. When Peter took Jesus aside and rebuked him, which is, I can't imagine being that dumb, but I guess we are. Jesus was trying to tell them that it was time for him to go to Jerusalem, and how he was gonna die. And he's being very serious, and Peter pulls him aside and said, "Oh, no, Lord, this must never happen to you". And immediately Jesus said, "Get thee behind me, Satan! You're an offense, a stumbling block, and you're in my way". And he didn't think about it, he didn't waste any time.
Now, he wasn't calling Peter the devil, but he knew it was the devil working through Peter, see. And something you have to understand is, even people who really, really love you, many times will unknowingly let the devil work through them to try to discourage you, or to keep you from doing what you believe God is asking you to do. When God spoke to me about teaching his word, you know, people always wanna know, "How do you know if something's God"? Well, you know that in my case, I just, I knew. You know, I didn't hear an out loud voice. But when God calls you to do something, he gives you a true passion for it. And you just, you really can't help yourself. You just, you have to do it, you just can't stand it. And of course, that's been a long time ago. But I mean, so many people who loved me tried to discourage me. And tried to tell me I couldn't do it because I was a woman. And I didn't hear from God because I was a woman. And women don't do this.
And so, I told God, one day, "I can't do this, I'm a woman". And he reminded me that he knew my sex before he called me. You have to understand that some of the things that Paul said, were cultural at the time. And so, I just want you to keep that in mind, that you...I'm not saying never listen to anybody, but there may be some of you here tonight, that you're at a real place of decision in your life. And it's good to get advice if you get it from the right people. The Bible says don't take advice from the ungodly. But more than anybody else, you need to listen to God. And whatever anybody prophesies to you, or preaches to you, or advises you, you need to take that to God, and say, "Is this right? Is this really what you want me to do"? Sometimes we depend on other people way too much. Amen?
So, I told Dave in the next three lessons, I've got 21 points. And he laughed. He laughed so loud. He said, "Yeah, well it'll be about a two-point message". 'Cause I've always got all these points and I never get through 'em all. Point number one in how to defeat the devil, I believe is to remain peaceful in the storm. I don't know if we really know how important that is. And first of all, let me say we're humans, and it's natural when problems come, especially if it's something you're not expecting, it's natural for our first impulse to get upset. I do it, you do it, Dave rarely does it, but Dave's on a different plain than the rest of us. He's like somewhere else. The only thing he ever gets upset about is the government and golf.
You know, even personality has a lot to do with this. Dave is just a real, more easygoing, laid-back guy. And I'm more like...You know, "I'm gonna fix it". And so, when you feel yourself starting to get upset, how many of you can feel yourself when you're starting to get upset? Ok, you can't just stand there, or sit there, and do nothing. You need to realize it's the devil and you need to resist it. And I talk to myself when I start to feel like that. I will talk to myself, and I call it "Talking myself off the ledge". And I wanna encourage you to do this. So, I will say things to myself like, "Now, Joyce, you've had all kinds of problems in the past, and look, you're still here. God has taken care of every single one of them". So, God is faithful. And remember past victories. It is so powerful when you have a new challenge in front of you, to remember past victories. That's one of the reasons why I keep a journal.
So, if I'm having one of those times, when I'm going through a really hard time, I can look back at some of the past victories that I've had. I guess it's been about 37 years ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer. And I had to have a mastectomy on one side. And, you know, any time that you hear the word "Cancer," it's very frightening. And even when you're pronounced healed, it's still kind of challenging to not be concerned that someday it may come back. But here I am today, 37 mammograms later... And never had a bad one. Now, one time they thought they saw something, and so they had me get a pet scan, which scans your whole body. And they said something very interesting to me. The guy that read it, he said, "Well, it looks like that you had some cancerous lesions on your spine at one time, but they healed themselves". And I thought, "Well, I don't think they healed themselves," but we know who God is. Amen?
Now, we had a woman that worked for us for 37 years, and she's just one of the most, you couldn't find anybody any sweeter or more positive than she was. And she just recently passed with cancer. So, everybody's praying for her to be healed and praying for her to be made well. Well, it didn't work out that way, but God will always work good out of things if we will let him. And when it's our time to go, we're gonna go. And being afraid of it is not gonna make it any better. And any of us who believe in heaven, no wonder Paul said, "To live is Christ, to die is gain". And so, let's just don't worry about everything. Enjoy every day that you have and make the devil mad. Nobody knows what's gonna happen tomorrow. But we might as well enjoy today because it's really all we know that we have. Amen?
So, all over the Bible... The Bible tells us that if we remain peaceful in the storms of life, that peace is one of the keys, just one, there's many, but it's one of the keys that will just confuse the devil. I mean, if he does his very best to bring something against you that should really upset you and frighten you, and you remain peaceful and keep loving God, then what else can he do? He does not know anything else to do. And I don't know about you, but I personally love to confuse the devil. In Romans 16:20, the Bible says, "The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet". The God of peace. Peace is what defeats the devil.
In Ephesians chapter 6, it's a chapter in the Bible that talks about the armor that God has given us that will protect us in times of battle. And I love what it says. It says, "Put on righteousness, put on and tighten the belt of truth, put on your shoes of peace". Well, those two words "Put on," any time I see 'em in my Bible, I draw a circle around 'em because it reminds me that, that's gonna require some action on my part. You see, God gives us a lot of things, but we don't do our part and we have to do our part. God is not going to do everything for any one of us. He has a part, and we have a part. And if we don't do our part, then God won't do his part. And very often when you have a problem and you ask God what you should do, or you ask him to deal with the problem, God will show you something to do. Or some door that you have inadvertently opened. And we all do it, at different times. And we gotta make that right before God can solve the problems.
A lot of times when you're sick, and I've had this happen over and over, I will pray, not only for God to heal me, but is there something I'm doing that's causing this. And many times, it's something so simple. I was having some back problems and I got a cortisone shot. I did this, I did that, I did something else. And found out that it was really, I found this out, just God showing me that my... What's that muscle? No, not my thigh. Back here. Hamstring. My thighs are over here, babe. That my hamstring muscle on the side where my back hurt was extremely tight. And so, I got on the internet, found some stretches for that, and I've been doing them on a regular basis, and it's really helped me.
Dave, one time, was having what he calls "The yips". I don't know what that is, but he called it "The yips". And it really was, he would just get nervous and shaky inside. And as he prayed about it, God showed him that he was drinking too much caffeine. Well, you know, there's a lot of times, when we run off to the doctor and get a pill for this and a pill for that and a pill for something else. And the problem never stops because we never stop doing the thing that's really causing the problem. Pennie, mike shepherd's wife, who's sitting down here in the front for years, she had debilitating migraine headaches. I mean, she took medicine for 'em. She did everything, I mean, you had 'em, pretty much what? Almost all the time. Yeah. She had a headache pretty much every day of some kind. And then these migraines would just disable her.
Well, it turns out God showed her that it was sweet and low, she would put so many... How many packages of sweet and low would you put in a cup... Two. Oh, come on. I wanna tell 'em. How many? I tell everything on myself. Five. Five in a big cup of coffee. She drank iced tea. She drank coffee. Five. I don't know how anybody can stand that. So, you understand what I'm saying? You can't just get mad because the devil's attacking you. You have to be open to the fact that maybe you're doing something, not purposely, but maybe you're doing something that's causing your problem that you're gonna have to stop doing. Like, for example, drinking water.
Do you know that one of the things that steals your energy? And a lot of people don't even know this. If you're even mildly dehydrated, it'll make you tired. And I can tell you, the largest majority of people do not drink enough water. Now, I'm not here to give a health lesson, but I do wanna make a point that everything is not some kind of a deep spiritual secret. A lot of times it's just something practical that we need to start doing or something that we need to stop doing. So, "Put on your shoes of peace". That means walk in peace. Stay in peace.
Mark 4:35 through chapter 5, verse 1, I love these verses. I had listened to, back then, it was a cassette tape, a teaching cassette tape, the first one I ever listened to, and it happened to be on these scriptures. And it's a story about when Jesus got in the boat with the disciples, and he said... Everybody say, "He said". Now, you see, when he says something, he means it. And when he says something, it will happen. He said, "Let us go over to the other side". All right. So, they had a direction. "We're going to the other side". Well, in the middle they had a storm of hurricane proportions. Do any of you ever have God speak something to you, "Something wonderful's gonna happen. This is gonna happen. That's gonna happen. I'm gonna use you for this. I'm gonna do this. I'm going to do that".
And then, your circumstances look like the exact opposite of what's happening. Anybody have that experience? A few of you? Well, good. And so, they got afraid in this storm. And Jesus was asleep. He just was having a nice nap. He wasn't the least bit afraid. Well, they woke him up. And so, he got up and stopped the storm. He rebuked the storm. But he also, lovingly, rebuked them. And he said, "Why do you have such little faith"? I think, well, I read this the other day, but I think I agree with it. That unbelief is the greatest sin we commit. God just wants us to believe him. He just wants us to trust what he says in his word. And to believe that if he said something, he'll do it, no matter how long it takes or what it looks like in-between, he'll do it.
Everything has a beginning, a middle, and an end. And the beginning can be exciting. The end is always exciting, but the middle's not so much fun. And so, they we're in the middle of a storm, in the middle of the lake. But guess what chapter 5, verse 1 says, and "They arrived on the other side". That's such a great example. He said, "Let us go over to the other side". Before they got to the other side, they had a storm of hurricane proportions. Do not be surprised when you have a dream or a vision from God to do something and the devil comes against you. Why should it surprise you? You think just because you wanna do something for God or you wanna get your life straightened out, that he's gonna roll out a red carpet and help you do it? He is not.
Some of the things that happen to us when we go out to do these conferences are so ridiculous that we've just gotten to the point where we just laugh about it. It's just like, it's so ridiculous. I used to get mad and upset and, you know, it's just like, worrying and being upset is like sitting in a rocking chair, rocking all day. It keeps you busy, but it gets you nowhere. Amen? So, just today, let's see what happened today. Alright, we got here, beautiful city, found a lovely restaurant, nice outside, we sat outside. But I didn't like anything I got to eat. I ended up getting two different entrees. One of them was way too salty for me, so somebody was gonna take it home and eat it later. And so, I ordered something else. Didn't like it either.
Well, I really like to get a good meal before I start all this, but, oh, well, I didn't. Then, Ginger, who usually is that these conferences to help me, she had a death in the family, so she couldn't come this weekend. And then, Matt, who usually comes and does a lot of the stuff on stage, up here, and keeps a lot of the details together, so I don't get confused about what I'm doing. His plane got canceled and so he couldn't get here till tomorrow afternoon. So, we said, "Well, just go back home and enjoy yourself. You can't do us any good".
So, we have to reroute and make other plans. We rented two vehicles, two SUVs, and one of them, the transmission went out on. So now, I mean, this is, you know, we haven't even started the conference yet. I mean, we haven't even got dressed yet. And so, it's like we actually keep a record all year long. And at the end of the year, we sit and just like, just read, "Well, remember when we had to sit out in the hall for 45 minutes waiting for 'em to come up and unlock the door because the keys in the hotel rooms never work". I don't know what they do to 'em after you leave, but they make sure you can't get back in.
Now, there's a little something here, in Mark, that I think is important. I don't have time to preach on it. But verse 35 says, "That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, 'let us go over to the other side". Then, the next thing he said is something that I never preached on. I can't say nobody ever has, cuz I'm sure somebody has. But I just, for some reason, never saw this: "Leaving the crowd behind". And see, sometimes, now listen to me, if you wanna make it to the other side, you gotta leave the crowd behind. I will tell you, if you are gonna be a victorious person, a victorious Christian, there are times when you are gonna have to be willing to be lonely.