Joyce Meyer - What Do You Think of Yourself? - Part 1
What do you think of yourself? You know, we all have a relationship with our self. Did you know that? And if you don't have a good relationship with yourself, you're not gonna have a good relationship with other people. It's really very simple. When you break it down, you can't give somebody what you don't have. And so, I tried and tried for years to love people because I was hearing in church, "We need to love each other. We need to love each other". And I just really was having a hard time doin' it. And then God revealed to me that I could never love other people until I learned to love myself.
And so, if you're blaming yourself for anything that's from this moment backward, I want you to forget it and let it go. Because that's what God does with our sins. You're not helping yourself. You're not changing anything by being mad at yourself because of mistakes you've made in the past. If you ask God to, he will use your mistakes some way, some how in your life, he will work them out for your good. And I believe that with all of my heart. But we have to believe. See, I can do something really stupid back over here and if I just believe, "Well, that's always gonna affect me". Then it's always going to affect me. And that's what I did believe for a long time. I felt like because I'd been sexually abused by my father, that I would always have a second-rate life. I planned on it. I didn't even have any thought of havin' a great life. I just get by. Until I started studying the word. Don't you thank God for the word? Amen.
And I found out that the apostle Paul said that, one thing that was more important to him than anything else. And you know, that in itself is a mouthful, "The one thing that's more important to me than anything else, my determined purpose is to let go of what lies behind". And, you know, Paul had made a lot of mistakes. He'd been persecuting Christians, roundin' them up to be jailed and beaten. And then God appeared to him on the Damascus road, purely an act of grace. Paul didn't deserve it, just like we don't deserve it. And boy, Paul could understand grace because he'd been given grace. And I'm sure the devil brought his past up to him, just like the devil tries to bring our past up to us. You ever have those mornings where when you wake up the first, before you're fully awake, the first thing you find yourself thinkin' is about all the dumb stuff you did the day before?
You know, our guilt is our way of trying to pay for our sin. But you see, Jesus has already done that, and he doesn't need your help and he doesn't need my help. He either did a complete job or he didn't. And he wants us to believe that he did. And I admit, it is hard when you have really done something bad to just repent and let it go and go on. But that's what God tells us to do, because he needs every single one of us fully operational in the kingdom, because there is so much to be done. And I'm not sayin' that you need to be in full-time ministry, but at your place of work, over your backyard fence, in your neighborhood, at school, wherever you're at, the world needs to see Jesus and they're only gonna see him through us. Really, what God is asking us to do is not that hard.
Just get out there wherever you're at and live the life that you say you believe. It's not difficult. Nobody's askin' you to go preach a sermon to somebody on the corner. Just live the life. Love people. Encourage people. Be kind to people. Help people. Forgive people. Display the Fruit of the Spirit. Don't go to church on Sunday and act like the devil the rest of the week. Amen? So, we're gonna do things wrong. We're going to make mistakes. And the Bible says in Hebrews that Jesus understands that. I'm so glad. Maybe nobody else in the world understands me because we've all got our own little brand of weirdness. But Jesus understands us.
Hebrews 4:15 and 16 says, "We have a high priest who understands our weaknesses and our infirmities because he's been tempted in every point, just like we have, yet he never sinned. Therefore". The "Therefore" is there because of what I just said. "Therefore, let us come boldly to the throne of grace that we might present our petitions" and get our needs met in plenty of time to have the help that we need. I love those scriptures. And so, whatever you came draggin' with you today, come on. I know it's early, but you can give me a little help. Whatever you came draggin' with ya, just at least, I mean, I came all the way here, so at least just do me a favor and drop it. How many of you believe? I mean, do you believe that God is big enough to take your mistakes and use 'em? He definitely is.
Numbers 13:1-3, "The Lord told Moses to send out men to explore and scout out the land of Canaan", or what they had called the Promised Land. God had told 'em that he was gonna give them this land that flowed with milk and honey and every good thing that you could imagine. And it says, "From each tribe of their fathers you will send one man, every one to leader or head among them". So, he said, "From every tribe, pick out a leader and send them into this land that I promised you to see if what I've told you is true or not". Now, that's not the exact wording here, but that's in essence what they were doin'. "So Moses by the command of the Lord sent scouts from the Wilderness of Paran, all of them men who were heads of the Israelites". He keeps making the point that they were leaders.
And, you know, people follow leadership if it's good leadership. So, if the leaders came back and said, "This is a good land. The fruit is there that God promised. Let's go in". They would have followed those leaders. And you see, somethin' you, maybe you've never heard this, I don't know, but, "Possess the land," what does it mean to possess the land? It doesn't mean that you just walk in and take the land. If you study that word in the original language, to possess the land meant that you first had to dispossess the people that were on your land. So, you have many things that God has promised you and told you in his word or yours, but you may have to run a few devils off. You may have to let God expose some lies.
I wonder how many lies people in here believe today. I don't know of any lies that I still believe, but I bet there's still some there. And so, you have to first deal with the enemies that are occupying what belongs to you. Come on. Blood bought. You know, we're joint heirs with Christ. What he deserved and inherited from God we get. But here's somethin' I just learned recently, and boy, do I like this. The Bible says that we are adopted by God, adopted. And that we're joint heirs with Christ. And under Roman law, if a father wanted to disinherit a natural born son, he could. But if he had an adopted son, he could not for any reason disinherit him.
There's so many cool things in the Bible. I've been studying the word for 45 years and I mean just in the last two or three weeks, I've found out three or four things that I didn't know. And I'm just like... We're adopted and so, nobody can take that inheritance away from us. It's ours. And it's not ours because of what we do. It's ours because of what Jesus has done for us. Amen? But! But you gotta believe that. And you gotta be bold enough, even when you've made mistakes, to claim it and say, "It's mine, devil, and you are not gonna take it away from me because my sins are forgiven and completely washed away"! So, God had made them promises. But just like us, they kinda believed it, but weren't sure they believed it.
So, God said, "We're gonna pick a leader from each tribe and send them in to spy out the land to see whether what I told you is right or not". And then in verses 23-33, in numbers 13, it says, "And they came to the Valley of Eshcol, and cut down from there a branch", a branch, "With one cluster of grapes". You know how you go to the store and you buy a little bunch of grapes. They had some grapes in my hotel room, and they were like, you know, a little cluster of 'em was about like that. There were about three clusters in there and I pulled one of them out, coulda hold it in the palm of my hand. And this one cluster of grapes, they had to put on a pole and two men had to carry it. That's how fruitful the land was that God had been promising them. And I think a lot of us are carryin' around a little cluster.
Come on. When we need to get a couple of people to help us carry off the cluster that God wants to give us. There is so much more that God wants to do for us and through us than what we can even imagine. But you have to believe it. That, "Be it unto you, even as you believe". And after 45 years, I'm still learning that. I'm still comin' into more and more faith, or my faith is getting stronger because the more you see God do, the easier it is to believe that he will do other things for you. That's why the word says that we should "Remember all the things that God has done for us in the past". So, they went in, and they spied out the land. And, I mean, here they have this one cluster of grapes. This must be a good place. But there were enemies there. See, that's the part we don't like. We'd be happy to go in and get the grapes, but don't want to deal with the enemies.
In verse 25, it says, "And they returned from scouting out the land after forty days". They stayed there 40 days. "They came to Moses and Aaron and to all the Israelite congregation in the Wilderness of Paran at Kadesh, and brought them word, and showed them the land's fruit. And they told Moses, 'we came to the land of which you sent us: and surely'", yes, yes, yes, "'it does flow with milk and honey. Here's its fruit'". It is a good land. "'But...'" It's the "But" that gets us in trouble. Amen? But. So, everything's great. "Yes, it's just like you told us". "'but the people that dwell there are strong, and the cities are fortified and they're very large: and we saw the sons of Anak'". Which were giants.
You know, there's always giants in the land. There's always something that looks like it's bigger than we are. And it may be bigger than we are, but it's not bigger than our God. Amen? "Greater is he that is in me than he that is in the world". "'and [they are big and courageous]. And Amalek dwells in the land of the south (the Negeb): the Hittite, the Jebusite, and the Amorite dwell in the hill country: and the Canaanite dwell by the sea and along by the side of the [river]'. And Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, 'let us go up at once and possess it'".
You know, sometimes we think a thing to death. God puts somethin' in your heart to do and that faith is there, but then reasoning kicks in. Come on. We started talkin' last night about how dangerous reasoning is. I mean, I tell ya, I know for sure there is no natural reason in the world why God would have called me to do what I'm doin'. I've never had a speaking, I've never had a class in public speaking. I've never had anybody show me how to put together a sermon. I never had anybody to show me how to write a book. And I think all the education you can get is great: if it's good education and right education. But I didn't have that opportunity. But when God anoints you to do something...Come on. We don't talk enough today about the anointing. That makes all the difference in the world, if you're anointed to do something.
Somebody can stand right next to me that's not anointed to do this and they can speak word for word what I'm sayin' and it wouldn't get into your heart at all. So, it's really not the person that makes the difference. It's the anointing that makes the difference. And God can anoint whoever he wants to. He used a donkey to speak to a prophet. Amen? And so, yes, there were giants in the land and there's probably some giants occupying some of the things that belong to you. But Caleb said, "Let us go up at once. Let's don't wait. Let's don't think about this. Let's don't theorize. Let's don't talk about the giants. Let's just go get it". You get a little courage: the devil will be afraid of you instead of you being afraid of him. And then he said, "'we are well able to conquer it'. But... his fellow scouts". Another "But".
You know, sometimes even when you find the faith to believe you can do somethin', some of your very best well-meaning friends will try to talk you out of it. You gotta be a little bit careful about tellin' your dreams to too many people. You know why? God spoke to you: he didn't speak to them. And you can believe it because God spoke it to you, no matter how crazy it sounds. I mean, I felt like God told me, "You're gonna go all over the world and preach the gospel". Well, that was just like plain stupid, but I believed it. But then when I told other people, you know what they told me? "Oh, you got the wrong personality for that".
Somebody told me, "You said you thought you were gonna go all over the world and preach the gospel"? I said, "Yeah, I do. I'm so excited, yeah". But see, when God gives you somethin' to do, he gives you the gift of faith with it. I saw your big, beautiful bus out there, Natalie. And I thought, "If I had to travel around the world on a bus", but see, God gives you the grace to do what you need to do, and he gives me the grace to do what I need to do.
So, we need to stop bragging on ourselves, because apart from him, we can do nothing. Amen? But when God calls you to do somethin', he gives you the gift of faith to go with it. But when you go share it with other people that God hasn't spoken to and they don't have that gift of faith, and so they can only look at it in the natural and God, the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 1, that "God purposely chooses and uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise so no man can take the glory unto himself". God uses people that you're sure he could never use just to show you that it's him and not them. Amen? So, you see, Caleb said, "We can do it". He was full of faith. And they said, "Yeah, but"! "But his fellow scouts said, 'we are not able to go up against the people [of Canaan], because they're stronger than we are'".
Well, they were looking at themselves instead of God. When you set out to do somethin', you better keep your eyes on God. Because, I can tell you, you're not capable of doing it. And I love verse 32, "So they brought the Israelites an evil report". And really what they brought was a negative report, but negativity to God is evil because it keeps you from doing what he's called you to do. "So they brought an evil report of the land which they had scouted out, saying, 'the land through which we went to spy it out is a land that devours its inhabitants. And all the people that we saw are men of great stature'". They were giants.
But now, listen to verse 33, "'there we saw the NePhilim [or the giants], the sons of Anak, who came from the giants'", and right here, this next verse, this next line was their problem. "'And we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so, we were in their sight'". Whatever you think of yourself is the image you're gonna portray. And then that's what other people are gonna think too. I'm gonna say it again. Whatever you think of yourself is the image that you're gonna portray, even if you don't realize you're doing it. Because whatever you believe is what's gonna come out of your mouth and through your actions and your attitude.
Now, you need to have confidence not in yourself, but confidence in God that whatever he says you can have, you can have, and whatever he says you can do, you can do, and don't let anybody talk you out of it. Your self-image is like a picture that you carry of yourself inside your heart. You know, most of you, if you have children, and I said, "Do you have a picture of your children"? You'd whip out your phone. We used to carry pictures in our wallet. Now, we'll whip out the phone. "Oh, you gotta", oh, you're thrilled to show me your pictures. Mike's wife, Pennie, one of their daughters, designs jackets. And I just said today, "Does Leah ever send you any pictures of what she designs"? "Oh, yes! She does dresses, too. You wanna see the dresses"?
Well see, we carry a picture of our self also, inside of our heart. What is your picture of you? To be honest, it may be somethin' you've never even thought about. But I'm asking you to think about it today, because if the picture that you have of you is not beautiful in Christ. Remember, I said "In Christ". I'm not asking you to look at yourself in the natural, I'm asking you to look at yourself in Christ. There are so many wonderful things that God has promised us, the Promised Land. And see, those of us who have made it to the Promised Land, and it's not an easy trip, let me tell you. But if you're one of the ones that stuck it out and maybe you've been around 40 or 50 years and you finally can say, "I'm living in the Promised Land," you can look back and tell everybody, "It's true! You can defeat the giants".
And see, we don't realize that part about havin' to dispossess the current occupants in order to be able to go in and occupy the land. We think God's just gonna, 'cause he promises us somethin', it's just gonna fall on us. But I say all the time, we are partners with God. He doesn't do it all. He does his part, and he gives us the grace to do our part. But if we're spiritually lazy, yes, I said spiritually lazy. And spiritually lazy people don't want to study the word for themselves, they want somebody else to spoon feed it to them all the time. "Well, I'll just listen to Joyce every morning, that'll be good enough". No, it won't. Yes, it'll help you. But you know the way it would help you the most? Would be if you take some notes while Joyce is speakin' and then spend maybe at least 30 minutes, even if you just took the scriptures that I shared and got the Bible out and looked 'em up yourself and read 'em, it would help you.