Joyce Meyer - How Are You Using the Resources God Has Given You - Part 3
Well, thank you for joining me today on, "Enjoying Everyday Life". You know, the last two days we've been talking about the importance of not wasting the resources that God gives us. We're gonna finish up that teaching today. But I just want to reiterate to you how important I think this is. When Jesus fed the 5,000, he said, "Gather up the fragments that nothing be wasted". And they gathered up 12 baskets full when, actually, he started with couple fish and a little bit of bread. And so, the result was they ended up with more left over than what they even started with, because Jesus multiplied what they had. And he'll do that in our lives too. He'll multiply what we have if we're willing to do the right thing with what he gives us.
And so, we all have resources. We talked about time, we talked about money, and we started talking about energy. And I'm gonna pick up kind of where I left off yesterday. Because there's so many people in the world that are tired, they're worn out, and part of it is because they have wasted a lot of their energy on the front end of their life and now they don't have the energy that they need. Sometimes, the more you move, the more energy you have. And today, literally, things are so easy for us that we don't have to put out much effort. I mean, when I was a kid growing up, nobody went to a gym to exercise. People worked hard enough to get the exercise that they needed. But that's not necessarily the case today. You have to almost sometimes, on purpose, make sure that you get some movement in your body.
You know, if you don't move, things will start to get stiff. I like one saying that I heard, "The more you move, the more you can move. The less you move, the less you can move". And no matter what your age is, you are going to get older. I don't want to say old, but older. And you wanna have energy left in the latter years of your life, so you don't just feel bad all the time. And I made mistakes. Thank God, he's helped me to recover from some of the mistakes that I made in overworking and not exercising and not doing the right things. But I don't want you to make the mistakes that I made.
So, we all have a certain amount of energy. Some have more than others. But we need to manage that energy, well. And like, for example, something that you might not think of, do you know that to get really mad takes a lot of energy? You stay mad for several hours and it just will wear you out. Worry is another thing that will just make you so tired. Wrong thinking: being judgmental, being critical, being negative, never being thankful for what you have. All those things, they're not things that God approves of, and they do take energy. They wear you out. And the happier you are the better you're gonna feel. And we're not gonna be happy if we don't follow the precepts of God. If we're doing things that he doesn't approve of, it's gonna steal our energy and we're not gonna feel the way that we would like to feel.
And I think a lot of people say, "Why do I feel bad? Why do I feel bad"? And they don't even think about things like worry, or jealousy, or greed, or not getting enough exercise. And so, we can pray for healing all we want to, but although God's desire is to heal us, he also wants us to do what we need to do to have good health. I frequently say now, "I don't have the time or the energy to be upset". There's so many things that we get upset about that just are not worth being upset about. I look back at my life now and some of the things that I used to get so mad at Dave, over. And I think now, just how ridiculous it was because it really didn't amount to that much.
Now, in John 14:27, Jesus said, "My peace I leave with you: I give to you". He bequeathed it to us. It was like part of his inheritance. He said, "My [own] special peace I give you. Not as the world gives do I give you. But my peace I give you". And then the Amplified Bible says, "So [stop allowing yourselves to be upset and disturbed: stop allowing yourselves to be fearful and intimidated". Well, that pretty much says it. Jesus said, "I've given you peace". To be honest, you don't even have to pray for peace. You have peace on the inside of you. It's a gift from God. But we do have to make the decision to live in a way that, that peace can be released. And so, he says, "Stop being fearful, stop being upset, stop being worried and intimidated".
All those negative emotions steal your energy. I just have a feeling that there are people watching today, you never thought of it like that. How many negative emotions do you allow in your life? How much of the time are you angry? How much of the time do you spend worrying? Do you get decent sleep at night? Even things like not drinking enough water can make you feel bad.
There's a story. A true story about David and his brothers and Goliath that I want to use as an example in this area. And it's in 1 Samuel 17:23-30. And actually, there was a giant named Goliath that was taunting the armies of Israel and threatening them. But not one of the soldiers in the army had the nerve to fight him. He frightened all of them. And David was a shepherd boy, he was young, and he wasn't in the army. But his father sent him to the battle lines to take some food to his brothers and to see how the battle was going. And when David got there, it really bothered him that everybody was afraid of this Goliath, instead of realizing how great their God was and that God would take care of them if they would step out in faith. And it says, "Now the Israelites had been saying, 'do you see how this man keeps coming out? He comes out to defy Israel. The king will give great wealth to the man who kills him. He will also give him his daughter in marriage and will exempt his family from taxes in Israel'".
So, those were some pretty big blessings that were being offered, if anybody would just have the nerve and really the confidence in God to step out. You know, on our own, there's a lot of things we can't do. But with God on our side, there's nothing that we can't do if God wants us to do it. And so, when David came to the battle line, it says, "He asked the men standing near, 'what is gonna be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel'"?
See, David thought it was an absolute disgrace that all the soldiers were standing around letting this giant taunt them. David had his faith in God, and he believed that God would give the man who stepped out the courage and the victory. "'who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God'"? You can hear David's faith right there. But Eliab, who was one of David's brothers, and I might just add that his brothers were jealous of him because he had been anointed to be king instead of one of them. And Eliab was David's oldest brother, and he would have surely thought that he should have had that anointing, not David, the youngest brother who was just a shepherd. "And when Eliab heard David speaking with the men, he burned with anger and he said to him, 'why have you come down here? And with whom did you leave those few sheep in the wilderness'"?
You know, he was trying to belittle David, "With whom did you leave those few sheep? And who do you think that you are"? And I just want to encourage you to realize that Satan will try to belittle you. He'll try to make you feel small. He'll try to make you feel incapable and unable. But God is on your side. And there are many things that I cannot do by myself, but I honestly believe that with God, putting my faith in him, I can do whatever he asks me to do. I can't just do whatever I want to do, but I can do whatever he asks me to do. And I love to be with confident people who believe that they can do something even if it's something they've never done before, and they'll step out boldly and at least give it a try. "Why have you come down here? And with whom have you left those few sheep in the wilderness"?
Now, this was an opportunity for David to get his feelings hurt, to get offended, to get angry, to get emotionally upset. And his brother went on to say, "'i know how conceited you are and how wicked your heart is: you only came down here to watch the battle'. And David said, 'now what have I done'"? Which leads me to believe that he was accustomed to this kind of treatment. It wasn't anything new for him. "'now, what have I done'? And David said, 'can't I even speak'? And then he turned away from the Eliab to someone else". I love that. He turned away from the offense. He turned away from all the stupid things that his brother was saying that could have upset him because he wasn't gonna waste his energy on negative emotions trying to argue with somebody that was behaving foolishly.
Please get that. How many times do you let the devil use somebody to draw you into a foolish argument that you're not gonna win? Because if people already have their mind made up about you, you're not gonna change it. You don't even really need to try to defend yourself. You just need to trust God. And what we should do is just turn away and turn toward something more positive. "He turned away to someone else and he brought up the same matter, and the men answered him as before". Well, it turns out that David did kill Goliath, and I won't go on to tell you more of that story, but I just wanted to use that example of how Eliab was being used by the devil to try to belittle David to get him upset. And he could have wasted his energies with those negative emotions and maybe not been able to win the battle. And he actually did win the battle, but in a very unique way. He killed this giant with a slingshot.
And so, surely, we understand that God had to be directing that or it would have never worked. And, you know, I was the least likely person to succeed when God called me to do what I'm doing. But I'm telling you, no matter how little you feel like you have in the natural, if you'll be obedient to God, you will be amazed at what God can use you for and what he can allow you to do. I want you to be encouraged today that you are stronger than you think you are. And don't get your head full of that thinking, "I can't do this. I can't do that. I'm not this, I'm not that". Believe what God says about you, not what the enemy says about you often through other people. Don't waste your energy on useless projects or things that bear no real fruit. For example, trying to change a stubborn person's mind.
You know, if somebody's got their mind made up about a certain thing, they're not likely to change it because they don't even really wanna listen to you. Or how about the uselessness of trying to change a person? You know, nobody's gonna change if they don't really want to change. You have to want to know the truth in order to be willing to listen to the truth and change. Only God can change a human being. Are you wearing yourself out, trying to change your spouse or trying to change one of your kids or trying to change a friend or another relative? It's not gonna work. You'd be better off spending that time praying. And God can do in just a moment of time, what you couldn't get done in a lifetime. A physical trainer once told me that if I exercised too fast, I was wasting my time exercising, that I needed to slow down.
But I like to do things fast and get it over with. We just need to listen to God and do things the way he wants us to do them. So, sometimes, we can be doing the right thing but doing it the wrong way. Just like, maybe, somebody in your life does need to change, but you're not gonna change them. However, you can pray that God will do what needs to be done. Do you feel like you're forever spinning your wheels and never getting anywhere? Well, you may be letting some of these negative emotions steal all your energy. Be sure you use your energy that God has given you. And energy is a wonderful resource. It's so wonderful to feel good to have energy, to do things and to have a clear mind and to not be stiff and sore all over. Take care of yourself. Your health is one of the resources that God has given you.
Now, the last thing that we're gonna talk about in this three-part teaching is the talents, abilities, and giftings that God has given you. What are you doing with the gifts that God's given you? You know, we can all do something, but we can't all do the same thing. We're not all called to do the same thing. And sometimes, we have a little bit of a difficult time deciding what it is we're called to do.
And I think one of the most frequently asked question is: "How do I know what God's called me to do"? Well, I tell people, just start trying to do a few things and pretty soon you'll find out what fits and what doesn't. I love the Lord so much and when I became a serious Christian, one who really wanted to obey God and wanted to walk in his will, I wanted to serve God, but I didn't know exactly what I was called to do. And so, I just laid my hand on whatever was in front of me to do. And, you know, it really didn't take me very long to find out what God wanted me to do because I tried things that just didn't work. They didn't fit, they weren't comfortable for me. And I like to use the example of, maybe, going out to buy an outfit for a party you're going to, and you try something on that doesn't fit or you're not comfortable.
Well, you don't take that: you try on something else. You keep trying things until you find the right thing. And that's what we need to do. I want to assure you today that you are talented, you do have gifts and you do have abilities. And don't ever let anybody make you feel stupid or that you can't do anything worthwhile. Did you hear me? Don't let other people make you feel like you're useless, or stupid, or that you don't have talents or abilities. Do not compare yourself with other people because you're not supposed to be doing what they're doing. You're supposed to be doing the part that God is giving you. And all parts are important and to God they're all counted equally.
Now, Matthew 25 verse 14-28, and I may adlib this a little bit, but he said, "It's gonna be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them". Well, that's like Jesus. He left, he went to heaven, sent the Holy Spirit, but he also "Gave gifts to men," the Bible says. He gave us abilities and all together we have the ability to spread the gospel around the whole earth. And Jesus gave the Holy Spirit to teach us, to lead us, to guide us, to direct us. So, we have what we need to do the job. "To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two, and to another one, each according to his ability".
That's why we should not look at what somebody else has and be jealous of them, but just believe that whatever God has given us, he's given us for the job he's given us to do. And he's given it to us according to the ability that we have. Be happy to be who you are. Don't be upset today because you don't look like somebody else, or you can't do what somebody else can do. "The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five more". He didn't waste his. He put it to work right away. He invested it and it increased. "The man who had two bags of gold," went right away and he "Gained two more. But the man who had one", and this shows why he only got one, "Went and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money," because he was afraid. Because he was afraid.
So, out of fear, he did nothing. Rather than be wrong, he did nothing. Can I tell you something? You're never gonna find out if you can be right if you're not willing to be wrong. We all make mistakes. I think we fail our way to success, you might say. "After a long time the master returned". And you know what? Jesus is coming back. And the Bible says that we are all gonna stand before God and we're gonna give an account of our life and what we did. Now, you're not gonna be judged on your salvation. If you're a true believer in Jesus Christ, you're saved because you believe in him, not because of your works. But the Bible teaches us that there will be rewards for our works that were pure and done with pure motives. And I don't know about you, but I want all the rewards I can get.
I like to say, "Payday is Coming". I don't know, maybe you've been working in the nursery at church, and nobody ever thanks you, or nobody ever even seems to know that you exist, but God see you and God knows what you're doing. And if you do it unto the Lord, your reward will come from the Lord. Everybody who works in God's kingdom and does it for the right motive is going to receive a reward. So, "After a long time the master returned," and he required an accounting of what they had done with what he had given them. And then he goes through and to the man who gained five more, he said, "Well done, thy good and faithful servant enter into the joy of the Lord".
Same thing with the man who got two. But the man who had one and he buried it. He called him a "Wicked, lazy servant," and he hid it out of fear. So, since the man was not using what God had given him, he took it away from him and gave it to the man who had five bags. Well, he actually had ten bags by now. And so, it's very simple to see, you either use it or you lose it. Are you using the gifts and the abilities and the talents that you have, not just to make money for yourself, but are you using some of them in the service of God to help expand his kingdom or to just be a blessing to somebody else? Acts 10:38 says, "See how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with Holy Ghost and power, who went about doing good".
You know, I believe all of us can just get up every day and go about doing good. I want my life to do some good for somebody else. I don't wanna just try to make myself happy. I wanna make other people happy. And when you make other people happy, it makes you happy because it's a way of giving. You're giving joy and then God gives joy back to you. And so, I wanna say again, what are you doing to make somebody else's life better? I think it's a question we need to ask ourselves. Do something for somebody else every day: encourage them, say something to them that's gonna put a smile on their face, help meet a need that they have, be a blessing, appreciate them, say, "Thank you".
Fear causes many people to waste their talents. You know, laziness is another cause of much waste. People are just lazy. They don't wanna do anything that requires any effort out of them. And, you know, things are pretty easy for us in the world today. We don't have to walk up steps, we can take an escalator, or we can take an elevator. When I first started studying the Bible, boy, it was hard work. You had to have all these resource materials. Now, all you have to do is just put a message in a computer and up pops all the answers that you want. But you know what? I'm glad I had those years of having to work at really studying because that's when I really got the word way down deep on the inside of me and learn many of the things that I'm teaching you, now. A lack of discipline is another reason why people don't really make use of their gifts and talents.
Is they... just don't, they don't discipline themselves to put their efforts and energies into the things they should be putting them into. You know, I have a lot of goals and a lot of things that I would love to do. But you know what? I'm not gonna meet all those goals and I'm not gonna get to do them all because although there's things that I would like to do that I can't do anymore, I am giving myself to what God wants me to do, right now. And that's important. You have to decide what you're gonna do with your time.
And I think it's John Maxwell that said, "You should give 80% of your time to your top three priorities". So, let's just say, I'm a decent preacher, so, I should give my time to communicating with people, the Word of God. I'm not a good singer, so what good would it do me to keep trying to sing? That would just be time wasted. So, maybe, you're spending your time trying to be good at what somebody else can do, and you're not using your time trying to improve in what you can do. Know your gifts, know your calling, know your destiny, have goals, and put 80% of your time into your top three priorities. God loves you, and he wants to use you.
In Romans 14:12 says, "So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God". When I stand before God, I don't wanna be able to say, "Gosh, Lord, I'm sorry I wasted so much of my time, and I wasted my talents, and I wasted my energy, and I wasted my money". I wanna be able to say, "I took what you gave me, and I invested it, and I did the very best that I could with it". And I want to hear him say, "Well done. Now, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord". And I believe that you want that, too. Thank you for being with me today. I really appreciate it. And I pray for you that you will have a great rest of the day. God bless you.