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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - If I Could Go Back and Do It Again - Part 1

Joyce Meyer - If I Could Go Back and Do It Again - Part 1

Joyce Meyer - If I Could Go Back and Do It Again - Part 1
Joyce Meyer - If I Could Go Back and Do It Again - Part 1

As you know, I love to teach the word. I'm so honored that God has allowed me to teach his word. And, you know, I'm gonna read you scripture and then I'm just gonna show you a little example. I believe that many of you, God has called you to do something and you kinda know it, but you get so wrapped up in all the stuff that you're doing, doing, doing, doing that, you just forget about it. And I think some of you had a dream. You've lost your dream. It was taking too long. You gave up on it, whatever. You had a vision. And you don't all have a vision to do something like what I'm doing, but I don't care if it's a dream to clean your closet out, you need to be going somewhere. You need to be making some kind of progress in your life and having something that you look forward to. We're not meant to just stagnate and do the same thing: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and gripe, and murmur, and complain. We need to have vision and purpose for our lives. Amen?

And so, Genesis 15:1-6 says, "After these things, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, 'fear not, Abram, I am your shield, your abundant compensation, and your reward shall be exceedingly great'. And Abram said, 'Lord, what can you give me since I'm going on [from the world] childless and he who shall be the owner and the heir of my house is this [steward] Eliezer of Damascus'"? He had no heir, and he was gonna have to leave everything he had to a servant who worked for him. "And Abram continued, 'look, you've given me no child: and [a servant] born in my house is my heir'. And behold the word of the Lord came to him, saying..." let me stop here and say, yes, God does speak to you. I don't know why people, I don't know if you talk to God, it's prayer but if he talks to you, you're crazy. And I mean all through the Bible, from beginning to the end, God spoke to his people. And we are no different. God shows us things and he tells us things. "And the word of the Lord came to him, saying, 'this man shall not be your heir, but he who shall come from your own body shall be your heir'".

Now, I want to tell you that it didn't happen right away. Matter of fact, it didn't happen for a looong time. And, you know, when we wait, and we wait, and we wait, and we wait. How many of you are waiting? Alright. Well, part of the reason why God brought you here is for me to remind you not to give up. Amen? And I love this part and I think this is what God's done with you this weekend. "He brought him outside [his tent into the starlight]". So, I've got my tent here. And this tent represents your life, your house, your neighborhood, your job. And some of you have been in it so long you've forgotten the vision and the dream that God gave you.

"And Abram believed God". That's all God wants you to do is just trust him, just believe him. No matter how impossible it seems just keep saying, "God, I believe you". "And he brought him outside and he said, 'look at the stars'". Come on, where are my stars? "And he brought him outside of his tent", and I love that. It's like he'd been in there so long, he'd lost his vision, and God brought him out and said, "Get your mind off all that stuff. And remember what I said to you". And I think that's what God is saying to many of you tonight. You've had your nose stuck in just the ordinary for so long that it's time to remember the extraordinary thing. Come on. That God wants to do in your life. Amen? Alright. Come on, make more noise than that for Jesus.

Okay. Well, I've been in ministry 45 years. The first 5 years, all I did was teach a couple of home Bible studies, and I was faithful to 25 people who sat in my living room floor for 5 years. And I probably studied harder then, even than I do now because I didn't know anything. It's kind of hard to teach other people if you don't know anything. So, I studied really, really, really, hard. And those first 5 years were testing ground for me, and God was testing my faithfulness. I didn't make any money for it. I eventually quit my job so I could study just to do that. And I had this dream of doing what I'm doing today. But it certainly didn't seem then like it was gonna happen when I looked at those same 25 people every week.

And I just want to tell you, if you want to see God do extraordinary things in your life, you're gonna have to be patient. Because one thing God is not, is in a hurry. Most of you've figured that out by now, right? And God will test you. And sometimes, it'll look like there's no way that what he spoke to you is gonna come to pass. And those are times when, against all odds, you need to say, "God, I trust you. I don't understand this. It hurts. It doesn't feel good, doesn't make any sense. But I trust you". Now, I didn't know how to do that, back when I was going through this. And so, all my suffering, you get the benefit from because now I can tell you the right way to do it. Even though I didn't know the right way to do it, I had to learn it the hard way. I didn't have anybody to tell me.

People ask me sometimes, "Who mentored you"? And nobody. The Holy Spirit. I didn't have a me to preach to people every day on TBN and Daystar and all these places around the world. Matter of fact, when I started doing this, there wasn't very many women who did, and especially not anything on any kind of a large scale. But now, thank God, women are finding out that they've got quite a bit going on if they'll just let God use 'em. Amen? Alright. And I wanna tell you something, and I want you to please believe this. Now, some of you may be called to a pulpit ministry, but that is by far not the most important thing that you could be called to do. More people are gonna be won one-on-one than are ever gonna be won from a place like this. And what is so important to me is that I can get you to understand how important you are.

Quit gawking at people like me and saying, "I wish I had a ministry like Joyce". You know what? You probably don't. Because I wanna tell ya, this is a very little, tiny part of what I have to do to stand here and do this. And so, if God makes you do it, do it. But if not, be happy to minister to your neighbor. Amen? And you've all got a pulpit. Every single one of you have got a pulpit. It may be your backyard fence. It may be your desk at work. It may be while you're checking out at the grocery counter. And you don't always have to preach to people. Matter of fact, sometimes it's better to live it instead of talking and not living it. Amen? Everybody thinks witnessing is getting somebody in a corner and preaching the gospel to 'em. But you witness more with your life than you ever will, probably, with your mouth. Amen? So, I am now, 79 years old. And I really can't wait until we have our 50th women's conference. So, needless to say, in that many years, I've learned a little bit. Most of it the hard way.

So, tonight, I want to talk to you аbout: if I could go back and do it all over again, what would I change? First of all, you can't do that. The best, the main thing that you can do from your mistakes is learn from them. And then part of the privilege I have is I've been able to use the mistakes that I've made then to help other people, hopefully not make them, but most people go ahead and make them anyway because we're kind of dumb and we just gotta figure it out for ourselves. Amen? But, man, I've been through some stuff. So first of all, the first thing I would not do if I could do it over again is, I wouldn't marry the first guy that I married, which was not Dave.

I left home when I was 18. My father had been sexually abusing me for as long as I could remember. I was probably somewhere around 12 to 15 years. It's all I ever remember, so, I don't know if I was three or four or five or six, but I know I was very, very little. And my mother knew it, she let fear rule her life. That's why I hate fear so much. And her fear kept her from doing anything to protect me. And it just destroyed her life. Ruined her life. So, I left home. As soon as I graduated from high school, I left home. And I was 18 in June and graduated that same time. So, I was 18 years old when I left home, and I thought that I had got away from my problem. I didn't realize that I took it with me in my soul.

See, you can look perfectly fine on the outside and be an absolute total mess on the inside. And that's really what most of us are. We smile at each other in church and say, "Praise the Lord and thank you, Jesus. Glory to God". "And, how are you"? "I'm fine, thank you, Jesus". And we're not fine. And one of the things we need to do is get honest with each other. Have some honest, sincere talks with people you can trust and say, "I need help. I need help from God. Things are not right". We need to stop blaming everybody else for the messes in our life and take responsibility. But I'll get to that in a few minutes.

Now, I married the first guy that asked me because I was desperate. I thought nobody would ever want me because I'd been sexually abused. And so, this guy was handsome, he was good looking, and I thought it was a bargain. I knew, now, listen to me, I knew I was making a mistake. It was just a little gnawing. But I was afraid, and I was desperate. So, I did it anyway. And I just wanna tell you, don't do that. Don't be so desperate that you do something dumb. It's gonna end up causing you problems for years and years and years. Abraham was waiting for God to give him a son, and God told him it would be a son from his own body. Now, he wasn't gonna have the baby, but from his own body. And they got tired of waiting, so they got a fleshly plan on how they're gonna get God's will. We never do that, do we? Bright idea, "Ah, I know what God wants me to do". And so, Sarah said, "Take my handmaiden as a secondary wife".

Now, you gotta be dumb if you give your husband another wife. But just to be fair, culturally, that was not that far outside of normal then. And, I frankly can't imagine how that worked, but anyway. They, you know, it's like, "You can have him tonight, I'll get him tomorrow night". I don't, you know. That wouldn't work too good, I don't think. So, he got her pregnant and they had Ishmael. Now, here's what I wanna tell ya. Thirteen years later, I think it was, they had Isaac. I don't know how many years. I may be wrong about that. But a long time later. And if you get messed up with Ishmael, it's gonna take a lot longer to get Isaac. Because when you have Ishmael, then you've got to take care of Ishmael. Now, you gotta, you know, get in the spirit with me here a little bit. What I'm saying is if you go off and do your own thing, then it's gonna take longer to get the thing that God had in mind for you. And so, you may get tired of waiting, but if you get tired of waiting and go off and do your own thing, you're just gonna make yourself wait longer. And the enemy will always dangle Ishmael in your face while you're waiting for Isaac.

I remember, I was in California, and I wanted to do, I wanted to preach like I get to now, so bad, I couldn't hardly stand it. And everything I did was little, little, little, little, little. And I didn't have any little dreams. I'm not a person that likes little. I like everything big, you know. If you're gonna do it, do it. If you're gonna wear it, let it sparkle, make it shine. And I like a big bathroom. I like, you know, I want space. And I was in California, I'd gotten a speaking engagement, which I was so thrilled to have. And I was laying across my bed one day and praying about a situation that had come up because a man had came to Dave and I, and he was, I guess you'd call him an agent, and he said, you know, "You're really good at what you're doing. And if you'll... I'd like to take you on as a client and be your agent. And I can get you speaking engagements. I can get you here, and I can get you there. And I can do this and that and something else".

Well, that was my Ishmael. And you don't know how bad I wanted to say, "Yes!" but as I laid across that bed that afternoon, I knew down deep in here, that God said, "I'll do what needs to be done. I'll get you invited to places. I'll open the doors for you. Don't do this". And I'm so glad I didn't because I might have missed what God has for my life. And I just want you to be so careful because the Bible says in the last days there's gonna be great deception. Great deception coming on the earth. And that means that you can't listen to how you feel, and you can't listen to your own carnal mind. You've gotta really go to the word and listen for that still small voice of God. And many times, it doesn't come in words. It's just, you just know, it just, I just wish God would shout sometimes, but he whispers. And you gotta pay attention to those whispers.

And I don't know why he doesn't just come and sit on my bed and say, "Joyce, do this. Joyce, do that". I don't know why he makes it so hard sometimes, but he wants us to press into him. And he wants us to take the time for some things like this. Not just because what I'm gonna say, but just the fellowship you're gonna have with other people, the worship, just getting away, getting outside your tent, and getting your vision fresh again. And some of you, if you did come by yourself, man, two days in a hotel room by yourself could be the greatest thing that ever happened to you. Amen? Listen for that still small voice. And don't do dumb things, 'cause isn't that, we learn everything when we're just being stupid, and we think we're so smart. We think we, you know, are doing just the right thing and we're just doing the dumbest stuff. And then, you know, God comes along and gets us out of it. And then on top of that, uses it, works it out for good in our lives.

So, I married this guy, and we were married 5 years. And probably, in those 5 years we, maybe, lived together 6 months. And he had more problems than me, if that was possible. And he was a con man, smooth talker, good looking, lazy, didn't wanna work. He was a used car salesman. And they just, not that there's anything wrong with that, I'm not trying to be rude to anybody. But he just liked to hang out on the car lot and pretend to be a big shot and never made much money. And what he did, I never saw any of it. And I mean, I woke up one night and he was trying to get my wedding ring off my finger so he could sell it, you know? And I cannot even tell you how many times the guy just disappeared. In those 5 years, he would leave to go somewhere, and he wouldn't come back for 4 months or 5 months.

And then he, I mean, he abandoned me in California, one time, and 18 years old, he took me to Albuquerque, New Mexico and back then they would pay people to drive cars to other places if somebody wanted to buy a certain car in another state. They'd pay somebody if the car was here to drive it there. Well, that was what he did to make money. And so, he talked me into some stupid stuff. He talked me into stealing some money from the company that I work for and writing some payroll checks that weren't mine and cashing them. And he sold my car and we took off, you know, for this great life. And by the way, God made me go pay that money back to them eventually. And that was quite interesting. You know, I go in 15 years later, "I'm a Christian and I stole some money from you one time. God told me to come give it back to you". And I'm not telling, you know, you don't have to do what I did, but you know, when God does tell you to do something, you better do it.

And that's part of the problem we have today is people are doing what they please instead of doing what God tells them to do. And that was hard for me to do. I didn't want to do that. I thought, "What if I go to jail"? You know, sometimes you gotta take a chance when God tells you to do something, you can't be worried about what's gonna happen to you. The only thing you gotta be concerned with is doing what God tells you to. "I'm just gonna do what God tells me to and the results are up to him". And so, I mean, it was just a mess. And so, I got pregnant, and I had a miscarriage. And then I got pregnant with my son, David, who's sitting up here, on the front row. And while I was pregnant with him, my husband left me and told everybody the baby wasn't his.

And it was, probably, the darkest time in my life. One of the darkest times of my life. I didn't really have that many friends. I couldn't go home to my parents. I worked. I lived in a third-floor attic apartment. It was really hot that summer. And of course, no air conditioning. Probably I had a fan, I hope, I don't remember. And I lost 35 pounds while I was pregnant because of just the stress and, you know, the fear. And when I finally got to the point where I couldn't work anymore, my hairdresser took me in, and I lived with her and her mother till I had the baby. And then he came to the hospital when the baby was born, and he happened to look a lot like him. So, he couldn't say the baby wasn't his. And we left the hospital and didn't have anywhere to go.

So, I was homeless. I mean, I wasn't on the street, but I didn't have anywhere to go. So, he called a relative, he called his brother's ex-wife, who was a Christian. And she took us in. And while we were living with her, he left me again. And so, finally, I said, "I gotta get a divorce. I gotta get out of this situation". But here's, I told you that whole story to read you one scripture and tell you this. You may be in the darkest place in your life, right now. You may be going through things that make my story sound like a party. Believe me, no matter how bad you're hurting, there's always somebody that's hurting worse than you are. Somebody going through something harder than what you're going through. And there's a beautiful scripture in Isaiah 45:3. It says, "'and I'", it's God talking, "'and I will give you the treasures of darkness'". There's treasures for you in these dark places.
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