Joyce Meyer - Get Off Your But - Part 1
- How to know Jesus
Well, it's time to get off your but. That's the title of my message. You kinda looked at me like, "You want me to get up or what"? Time to get off your B-U-T excuses. "Well, I'd love to do that but..." "I know I shouldn't do that but..." "I would get involved but... I've just got too many kids". You know, I started Joyce Meyer Ministries when I had three teenagers and carryin' around a baby on my hip. So, don't tell me that you can't do anything for God if you got kids. Amen? I didn't go on TV until I was 52. So, please, don't tell me you're too old.
"It's too old for me to get started doing anything, now. I've waited too long". No, I don't care if you're 102, you can still do something for God however many days you got left. Amen? And also, this is about gettin' off your B-U-T-T. And gettin' busy and doin' something for God. The Bible says in Matthew 9:37, "Then he said to his disciples, 'the harvest is indeed plentiful'". How many of you think that's the truth today, that there's a lot of people out there...? Now, there' s a lot of people in trouble. There's a lot of people searching and they're trying all kinds of stuff. And every day that goes by, they're finding out that it doesn't work. And I'm just praying that people will get desperate enough that they'll cry out to God.
I believe "'the harvest is plentiful...'" but the next line says, "'but the laborers are few. So, pray to the Lord of the harvest that he will force out...'" I love that. "'that he will force out and thrust laborers into the harvest'". Sometimes, we've gotta be forced, don't we? We kinda get in our patterns or, like we said Thursday night, we get inside of our tents, and we need to get pushed out to get involved in a little something. You know, we all have a tendency to like to say, "Well, I just don't wanna get involved. I'd just rather not get involved. When you get involved, people take advantage of you". Well, where would we be if Jesus woulda said, "You know, I just don't want to get involved. I'd just rather not get involved"?
I was struck lately by scriptures that we all know are there. But, you know, sometimes, you can read things over, and over, and over, and you just get the real impact of 'em, all of a sudden. And in Matthew's account of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, it's very plain that three separate times, not once, not twice, but three times, he said to his father, "Father, if possible, take this cup from me. Nevertheless, your will be done and not mine". So, what was he really saying? "I don't want to do this". See, I don't know if we ever really think about it, but Jesus didn't really wanna go to the cross. He didn't wanna go through all that suffering. It wasn't something that he was like, "Oh, goody, I get to get crucified and become sin for everybody else and take the punishment they all deserve". He didn't wanna do it, but he said, "Nevertheless, your will be done and not mine".
So, I like to say it like this: he wanted to do what God wanted him to do, more than he wanted to do what he wanted to do. Come on, that deserves more than one little Patty cake from the back. And that's really, I guess that's really the main thing I'm talking about this weekend. Even as far as loving people that are hard to love, or people that have mistreated you, I mean, nobody really wants to do that. Who wants to do that? We don't. Our natural impulse is to cut 'em out of our life, don't talk to 'em, don't give 'em the chance to hurt us again. But just like Dave stuck with me and helped me, many people, you're the only Jesus that they're ever gonna see. And we have to not just talk about our religion, we've gotta live it out in front of people and there is a price to pay for that. It's not always going to be comfortable.
Christine, when she was preaching, said that the doctor who talked to her about rehabbing her knee said that, "Anybody could recover from an injury like that, but most people don't", now listen, "Because they don't wanna go through the pain of recovery". Boy, that's a statement, let's apply it spiritually. You know, most of us probably have been hurt, somewhere back here, somewhere. Either by parents, or siblings, or friends, or teachers, or some marrying the wrong person, or somebody, we've been hurt. The devil makes sure he gets his shot at all of us. And a lot of people just stay sick their whole life. They just never recover because they don't wanna go through the pain of recovery. I'm gonna tell you, it's not easy to get over what I went through. I had a hard time learning how to be submissive to a man. Whew!
When you've been abused by men, I mean, to be honest, I didn't respect men in general just because there'd been more than one man that had abused me. There'd been three or four. And it was a hard thing for me to do. I remember Dave asking me one time, "Why do you act like I'm your enemy"? It's kind of an interesting statement. And I guess, in a way, I kinda felt like he was, although I didn't really realize that's the way I felt. I just didn't have a good opinion of men. And, you know, God has changed me so much, it's almost unbelievable what he's done in me. But I wanna tell you what, it hurt, and it was hard, and I wanted to quit and give up a million times. But I'll tell you what's harder. Staying in bondage is much harder than what you go through to get free. I always say the pain of recovery is at least taking you somewhere. Amen?
But the pain of staying in bondage, you're never moving. You're just staying in the same place all the time, day after day, after day, after day, after day. And whatever's happened to you, you can use it in other people's lives and help them recover from the things that they've gone through. Somebody talked to me at lunch and said, it was kind of amazing, we had very, very similar experiences, not just with dads, but moms and other siblings, and the whole false sense of responsibility thing. As she said, "You've helped me so much with the things that you said this morning, because I've just been really going through a rough time lately with resentment toward my mother and needing to take care of my parents and not wanting to". And she said, "When you said that you went to the nursing home every other week for years, but you never, one time, wanted to go". She said, "It just set me free".
And I don't know where we got the idea that we have to want to do what's right in order to do it. But somehow, we've gotten that idea that "If it doesn't feel good, then it must not be God". And that's not true. I remember asking God many, many, many years ago why it hurts so bad to get well. And God showed me that I had gone through many different doorways of pain to get into the deep bondage that I was in. You know, it was like, my father abused me, and I made it through that, but I was wounded. My mother abandoned me, but I made it through that, and I was wounded. A boss I had tried to put his hands on me and that disappointed me, and another doorway of pain. My brother committed suicide and that was another type of pain. And then, I married the wrong guy, out of desperation, and he cheated on me, and that was another type of pain.
And so, I'm back here hiding behind all this stuff that's happened. I got this phony personality now, and all this pain on the inside. And I didn't understand that I had to confront each one of those things and go back through that door, only walking toward freedom. See, the only way you can get well is to confront the things that made you sick. You can't run from 'em. You can't hide from 'em. You can't lie about 'em. You can't wish 'em away. You can't talk 'em away. You gotta confront 'em and say, "You had me for a while, but you're not gonna have me forever. My God is bigger than you are". Amen? "All things are possible with God". And that's not just a cool scripture, that is really, really, really true. "Father, if possible, take this cup from me. Nevertheless, your will be done and not mine".
And you know, we're living in very desperate times. And I'm like, Christine, I don't know when Jesus is coming back. That's my theology on end times. I know he's coming back, but I don't know exactly when. And I don't know if it's post-trib, or pre-trib, or mid-trib or whatever it is, but I know that wherever it is in the tribulation, I'm gonna make it through it. I just as soon skip the whole thing like most of you would. But you know, even if I have to go through the whole thing, I am totally convinced that "We are more than conquerors". And what that means, what that really means is we have the victory before the battle ever begins. So, you've already got the victory over this battle you're fighting, all you gotta do is walk it out.
Do you hear me? You've already got the victory. It's already recorded in history. All you gotta do is take the hand of Jesus and just walk it out, one day at a time, one day at a time. You are undefeatable. It's already recorded in the book. You already win. It's all over but the shouting and you can start shouting early if you want to. Amen? I look at all of you and I see so much possibility. I see so many beautiful women that God wants to use right where you're at in your own little part of the world. And it makes me sad that sometimes you sit out there and just look at the handful of us that are on the platform and think that's all that it's about. Man, you can reach people that we could never reach. Because, to be honest, most of the people that need help aren't coming to a place like this to get it and they're not turning on a Christian TV show. But they might just live next door to you, or you might meet 'em on the beach, or out walking your dog, or they might work with you.
And you know what? As a church, we say we want revival, but are we really ready for revival? 'cause you know what? The people that come in aren't gonna look like you, they're not gonna smell like you, they're not gonna act like you, they're not gonna be dressed like you, they're not gonna talk like you, and you're probably not gonna like 'em. Come on. I remember a story about Christine and I shopping one day. And I've told this a few times, so maybe you've heard it, but, it's just so the way we are when we're religious. We went into this store and this girl found out we weren't from town. Well, what are we doing in town? "Well, we're here doing a Christian conference". And right away, she says, "Oh, I'm spiritual, too". Well, I knew that was trouble. Because you know what "I'm spiritual, too" means. That usually means: "I believe in every religion, and everybody can do whatever they want to, and we're all okay, and we're all going to heaven".
And after she talked for a little bit, she started cussing, using four-letter words and bad words. And then, all of a sudden, she said, "Oh, I guess I shouldn't cuss in front of you". But she said, "You know what? I think God cusses, too". Well, I got my little religious back up. I'm gonna protect God's reputation. I leaned into that counter, and I said, "God does not cuss"! And Christine snuck right in around me and she said, "But he really loves people that do". And it was so perfect, because, at heart, she's an evangelist, and, at heart, I'm a Bible teacher. She wants you to catch, she wants to catch you. I want you to grow up.
And see, here, we hadn't even caught this fish yet, and I was already trying to clean it. And you gotta use wisdom when you're trying to fish for Jesus, because sometimes you're ready to say something to somebody and they're not ready to hear it, yet. And that's why you gotta be led by the spirit. I remember a woman that came to me for counseling, and she had just gotten saved. And she was living with her boyfriend, and she was just talking to me about it like it was just normal business, you know? And I couldn't hardly wait for her to shut up so I could tell her that, you know, "She had to get out of that relationship". And the Lord told me to shut my mouth. "You don't tell her that she can't be in that relationship". "But God, it's wrong". He said, "She's not ready for that, yet". She wasn't ready to hear that, yet. She needed to get a little more rooted in Jesus, first. She needed to learn to love him just a little bit more before she could bring the ultimatum down for the man and say, "Make a commitment or get out. One of the two". Amen?
But I was ready to clean her up, right now! And I just don't know that you know how important you are to the Kingdom of God. We all know the Lord's prayer, "Your kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven". What are we praying, really, other than what Jesus prayed in the garden? "I care more about your kingdom than I do about how I feel or what I want". And so, I wanna talk to you just a little bit this afternoon about not being selfish, and I'm talking to myself, too. Not being selfish and self-centered and thinking all this relationship with God is about is just praying and gettin' what you want. Man, it's quiet. Ooh. Now, that's alright, you just, you can think it over. You know? Paul prayed for the believers that they would become bodies wholly filled with God, just bodies wholly filled with God.
Well, that means if I'm gonna be wholly filled with God, a lot of me has gotta move out. 'Cause we're just pretty full of ourselves, to be honest, now, aren't we? How many of you want what you want? You know, we're goin' out to eat after this meeting and I picked the place 'cause I wanted to eat where I wanted to eat. I guess, I have to listen to my sermon. I didn't ask anybody else where they wanted to go because I was afraid, they might pick someplace I didn't like. And, you know, sometimes, I just get so sick of myself. Do you ever just get sick of yourself? It's just what, you know, me, me, me, me, me, me, me. The Bible says, "Unless the grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, dies... It abides alone. But if it dies, it will bear much fruit".
Now, you know, I'm bearing a lot of good fruit, right now, but I'll be honest with you, there's just not a whole lot of me left. It's taken God 45 years, but he's about beat all of me, out of me. And I don't mean that like, God's mean and he's beating me up. But I just mean when you tell God, "I want all of you and none of me". I prayed that prayer. "I wanna be a body, just a body, wholly filled with you". Oh, that is such a dangerous prayer to pray. Sometimes, we just love sounding spiritual, don't we? "I surrender all" it sounds so good during the worship. "I surrender all", and then, God can ask you for an extra ten bucks and all of a sudden, your flesh bucks up and you've got plans for that $10 and, we have got to get over our darling, little selves and say, "God, I wanna be a laborer in your kingdom".
And you might say, "Well, what do I have to offer"? Well, we're goin' to talk about that. You know, the only reason why I'm telling you this today, is because it's good for you. Do you know that God is gonna get done what he wants to get done, with or without me or you? Because if I won't do what he wants me to, and if you won't do what he wants you to, he will find somebody. And so, when God offers us something to do in the kingdom, it's a privilege. It's not a have to. Your salvation is not based on your works. But I believe our happiness is. I don't think you can be selfish and happy. I think the only way you can really be happy is if you forget about yourself and start serving and helping other people. I mean that. There's jobs open in the kingdom, and I wanna know if there's anybody here today that would like to put in an application. We're taking applicants and, more than likely, every one of them is gonna be approved. You might say, "Well, I don't know, if you really read my application, you might not want me". "Oh, yeah, we gotta place for you, somewhere".
God's got a place for you. And yeah, we start out small. Don't ever despise the day of small beginnings. That's where you get your training in those small times. I got a lot of my training being faithful. Faithfuuul, for five years, teaching 25 people in my living room floor every Tuesday night. Then, for five more years, not five days, not five minutes, not five weeks. For five more years, I worked for somebody else and was faithful in their ministry. And oh, I wanted so bad to do my own thing. I'm just not the kinda person that loves to be told what to do. I'd rather do the tellin'. But we all think we're so ready and we have got so much to learn. And that's why we don't need to rush God. His timing really is perfect. And instead of saying, "God, hurry up"! We need to say, "God, take your time". 'Cause if I can't do this right, I don't wanna do it. Amen?
I don't know, but I feel, my heart's kinda warm. I just feel like God's really trying to say something here, today. You know how many immature baby Christians there are? Some that have been in church 20, 25, 30 years. Can I tell you a big secret? Well, I don't wanna make anybody mad, so if you're a pastor, don't take this the wrong way, but, you don't really learn that much just sitting in church. You, yes, you learn, but you really learn when you start putting it to practice. It's kinda like somebody graduates from college and they think they know everything. I'd much rather have somebody with experience than somebody with a degree. When you hear from me, you don't get degrees, you get my life. You get, I've lived it. I've gone through it. I did the faithful thing, and it was hard.