Joyce Meyer - Authentically, Uniquely You - Part 1
- How to know Jesus
Thank you for joining us today on, "Enjoying Everyday Life". I pray that the Word of God will bless you today and change your life. I'm gonna be teaching on "Authentically and uniquely you". I'm gonna start with some opening comments. Being your authentic and unique self in a world that is usually trying to make you what they want you to be, is a challenge that we will deal with at varying times throughout our lives. We're all unique. And that's a good thing. That's not a bad thing. It's a good thing. There is no one exactly like you in the world. No one. And that makes you not only unique, but special. I want you to get that. One of a kind things are usually very valuable and they're sought after.
With that in mind, why do we try so hard to be someone else? Why do we try to be like other people? It's usually because we are not fully accepting ourselves. And we fear that other people won't either. It's amazing how the way we feel about ourselves, we usually project onto other people, thinking that they'll feel the same way about us that we do. God gives each of us, unique talents, abilities, and traits. But he doesn't give anyone everything. I think that's a very important point. None of us have everything, but we all have something. By doing this, he's requiring us to depend on one another. If you have a gift that I need, but I don't have that gift, then I need to depend on you to come alongside me and share that gift. He wants us to work together and appreciate the gifts that are in one another, rather than being jealous of them and trying to copy them.
One of the best things that you can do is to accept yourself. And believe that God created you in your mother's womb with his own hand very carefully. And that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Let me say again, you are very special. You're unique. You're special. And you are very valuable. And I feel in my heart that some of you really, really need to hear that. So, I'm gonna say it again. You are unique. You're very special. And you're very valuable. Maybe no one has ever told you that. Maybe there have even been people in your life, that have made you feel the exact opposite. I know, I've wondered what was wrong with me, because I didn't feel like I was like everyone else. And so, I thought I was weird. But God taught me that I was actually unique.
I wanna talk to you today, about learning to love who you are. And to be at peace with yourself. Some of the disciples asked Jesus. It's recorded in Matthew 22. "'which of all the commandments is the most important'? And Jesus said, 'the first and most important commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul, with all your mind and all your strength. And a second is like it, you shall love your neighbor as you love yourself'". Now, think about that. How do you love yourself? You see, you may think that it would be wrong to love yourself. I'm not saying to be "In love" with yourself. I'm not saying to have yourself on your mind all the time and think that everybody should always be doing what you want them to do. But I'm saying to love yourself. To love God's creation. And really, I believe that if we don't love ourselves in a balanced and a godly way, then we're not receiving the love that God is giving us.
Romans 5:5 tells us that, "The love of God is shed abroad, or poured into our heart by the Holy Spirit". So, one of the first things that you should sense and feel, when you receive Christ as your Savior, is the love of God. You know, that may sound very simple. It's easy for us to tell other people, "Jesus loves you". But are you receiving his love for you? Are you for you, or are you against you? No one is gonna love everything we do. As a matter of fact, I don't love everything that I do. But we should love the person that God created us to be. We can learn to love ourselves because he loves us. And because it's God's will for us to do so. And until you come to terms of peace with yourself, now, listen to what I'm gonna say, "You are never going to enjoy your life. Until you come to terms of peace with yourself, you are never going to enjoy your life".
1 Peter 3:10 and 11 says, "That in order to love life and have [enjoyable days] good days, that we have to keep our tongue from evil". That's interesting. So, how we talk is very important. And I might just throw out a question, right here, now: how do you talk about yourself? I hear people say, "I'm so stupid. I can never do anything right". I used to say things like that. But I've had to learn to talk about myself the way God talks about me. Because when you say bad things about yourself, you're actually opening a door for the enemy, for the devil to come and just wreak havoc in your life. And 1 Peter 3:11 says, "Let him turn away from wickedness", now, this is if you wanna enjoy life, see good days. The Amplified Bible says, "If you wanna see good days [whether apparent or not]".
So, that's obviously saying that you can enjoy your life, even if you have trials and tribulations going on. "Turn away from wickedness and shun it, and let him do right. Let him search for peace". Keep the word "Search" in mind. If you happen to be taking notes, you might write down "Search". "(harmony: undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts) and seek it eagerly". "Seek" is another word to write down. In other words, this peace is not just gonna fall on us from heaven. It's been given to us as a gift. Because Jesus said, "I leave you my peace". And peace is one of the Fruit of the Spirit, so it is in us. But yet, we have to pursue it and seek it. You know why? Because Satan is always, always, always trying to take it away from us. Don't merely desire peaceful relationships with God, with yourself and with others.
Three relationships where we need to have peace. Peace with God. Peace with yourself. And peace with others. And I, personally, think they have to come in that order. First, you need to have peace with God. And if you have peace with God, then you can have peace with yourself. And if you have peace with yourself, then you can have peace with other people. I always say, and you've probably heard me say, if you watch the program very often, that we cannot give away what we don't have. So, if I don't have peace with myself, how can I be at peace with you? You must pursue and go after them. I love that. Pursue, seek, chase after, eagerly desire. We won't have peace unless we seek it and seek it diligently. It's not that it's not there, but we need to really want it. And I found in my life, that in order for me to have peace, I had to make some changes in my life.
One of the things I had to do was learn what the enemy was using to steal my peace. I'll just give you one example. If I don't leave enough time to get out of the house in the morning, if I'm coming to the office or have an appointment somewhere, without hurrying, then I'll always end up losing my peace. You need to save time for things that will happen, that you didn't plan on happening. Because almost all the time, something does. You can't find something you're lookin' for. You get a phone call that you have to take, and that put you a little bit behind. And so, if you really wanna have peace, you're probably going to have to change some things in your life. I discovered that if I wanted to have peace with other people, I had to be adaptable, and adjustable, pliable, and moldable. I couldn't always have my way. I had to be willing to let them have their way.
Revelation 12:10 says, "Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: 'now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, the one who accuses them before God day and night, has been hurled down'". Well, Satan definitely is an accuser. I mean, you wake up in the morning, and he doesn't whisper in your ear all the good things that you did yesterday. The first thing he tries to do in the morning, is to remind you of some mistake you made yesterday, so you can start the day already feeling bad about what you did the day before. He only has authority where we give him authority. God has given us authority and power over the enemy. And the best way to walk free, is to know the Word of God. And be able to recognize when Satan is lying to you. And speak the truth, and believe that instead of his lies.
We will sin and make mistakes. But through repentance, which basically means you're sorry for your sin. But you're also, you're not just sorry, but you're willing to turn, and go in the right direction. We can be sorry all the time. But unless we're willing to change, and go in God's direction, nothing's ever gonna change for us. We will sin and make mistakes. But through repentance, we can be totally and completely forgiven, and free from guilt. You don't have to spend your life feeling guilty and condemned because you make mistakes. We are imperfect. You're no surprise to God. He knew that you would make mistakes when he invited you into relationship with him. And we overcome the accuser, "By the blood of the lamb, and the word of our testimony". What does that mean, "The word of our testimony"? It means by testifying to the Word of God.
So, when you start to feel guilty but you're feeling guilty about something that you already repented of, and ask God to forgive you for. You can recognize that, that is the enemy lying to you. And you can say things like: "I am a child of God". "God loves me, and I am forgiven". "There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ, and I am in Christ". The word is called the sword of the spirit. It's one of the most effective weapons that we have, to use against the enemy. And we are to wield that two-edged sword. If a soldier went into battle and he had a sword on his side, but he never took it out of the sheath and used it, he would probably get killed. And the Bible says, "Let those who have my word, speak my word faithfully".
I speak the Word of God out loud, out of my mouth, everyday. Sometimes a lot. Sometimes not as much. But the Word of God is very powerful. I have to remind myself that God loves me, that I'm forgiven. And boy, the enemy hates to hear you talk like that. Because he wants you to say everything about what's wrong with you. Ephesians 6:17 is a chapter in the Bible, well, chapter 6, that talks about our armor. The armor that God has given us to protect ourselves against the enemy. And it says, "Put on the full armor of God". Well, it doesn't do any good to have it if we don't put it on. And one of the first pieces of armor is the belt of truth. And it says, "Tighten the belt of truth".
So, when you're in a battle, when the enemy is coming against you, you not only have the belt of truth, but you need to tighten it, and make sure the enemy doesn't take it away from you. That means, you know the truth of what the Word of God says. And that's what you're gonna believe, that's what you're gonna speak. And the second thing it talks about is putting on the breastplate of righteousness. That means knowing who you are in Christ. Yes, we do things that are wrong, but God forgives us. And 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, "He that knew no sin became sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ". I always like to say, the devil wants to give us wrongness. Which I know it's not really a proper word. But God wants to give us rightness.
Now, we all have things wrong with us. But you know, if you're a child of God and you've been studying the word, there's a very good chance that you have more right with you, than you have wrong with you. And boy, the devil never wants you to realize that you're changing. And that even though you still have a long way to go, you can enjoy where you're at, on the way to where you're going. You can enjoy yourself and you can enjoy your life. Remember that you have been washed clean in the blood of Jesus Christ. You've been washed, you've been forgiven. And the Bible says that God not only forgives our sins, but he forgets them. Moves them "As far as the east is from the west" and "Remembers them no more".
Wow! Let me encourage you today, to stop taking a continual inventory of everything that's wrong with you, and all your faults. In Hebrews 12 it says we are to, "Look away [from all that distracts] unto Jesus, who is the author and the finisher of our faith". Well, do you know when you constantly look at everything that's wrong with you, it really takes your attention off of Jesus and on to all your faults? And I do believe that godly examination can be good. I think it's good sometimes to spend some time in the presence of God. And just maybe ponder with the Holy Spirit, "Is there anybody that I need to forgive that I haven't forgiven"? "Do I have any sin in my life that I haven't confessed, that I need to take care of with God"? "Am I being generous, am I being a blessing to other people"?
And I find even that, I have to do on purpose. I ask God almost every morning, "What can I do for somebody else today"? And then I even think about the people I'm gonna be around, and I think about what I might be able to do for them. Do I have anything that I could give them, that would be a blessing to them? 2 Corinthians 13:5 says, "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith". See, that's so good to remember, that the Bible says, "That whatever is not of faith is sin". So, a lot of times we just need to think, "Am I walking in faith? Am I really believing God"? "Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you, unless, of course, you fail your test"?
We need to live from faith to faith, to faith. Not from faith to doubt, to unbelief, and back to faith. Let's learn how to walk in faith in everything that we do. Examine yourself to see if you're in faith. "Joy and peace are found in believing," the Bible says, in Romans 15. If you've lost your joy, you might wanna stop and ask yourself what am I believing? You may be believing something about yourself that's a total lie. You may be believing something about someone else that God doesn't want you to believe. Use your faith to live free from condemnation. You know, many, many years ago when God was teaching me these things, I was using my faith to try to get all these things that I thought I wanted in my life. And God put in my heart, he said, "Now, I've taught you about faith and how to use your faith. Now, I'm gonna teach you what to use it for". And he put on my heart, "Use your faith to live free from condemnation".
I don't think we realize how much it hurts our relationship with God, if we're always feeling bad about ourselves, and bad about something that we've done. God knows that you were not gonna be perfect, and that's why he's provided Jesus Christ. Stop comparing yourself with other people. We all have a tendency to do that. But it's not a good thing to do. Our individuality is one of the greatest gifts that God gives us. I used to think there was something wrong with me, because I wasn't like every other woman that I knew. But I've now found out that God has gifted me, for just what he's called me to do. He's given me the personality, for just what he's called me to do.
And I don't have to be like somebody else. I don't think we're ever free, until we learn that we don't have to impress other people. We're not free as long as we're trying to be somebody else. God is never going to help you be somebody else. One of the things we say is, you might as well be yourself, because everybody else is already taken. We should celebrate our uniqueness, not despise it. God will never help you be anyone but yourself. Areas where we tend to compare ourselves. Let's think about it. How we look. "Do you look better than me"? "Oh, I don't look as good as you do".
Body size and shape. I don't know exactly what eve looked like in the Garden of Eden. But I don't think she was like this super, skinny, stick-like person. We always find somebody that we think looks better than we do. We compare our abilities to other people. You know, I can't sing, and I can't play a musical instrument, but I am a very good communicator. I can't do everything, but I can do something. And you can't do everything, but you can do something. And you need to stop worrying about what you can't do, and get really, really, good at what you can do. We compare who we know. "I wish I knew the important people that you know".
I know people that know all kinds of famous and well-known people, and you know what? I don't compare myself with them. That's not even anything that interests me all that much. I wanna know the people that God wants me to know. And I don't wanna look at one person as being better than somebody else. I wanna be like Jesus and love everybody the same. We compare what we own. But here's an interesting fact, just because someone has something, does not mean that they own it. If they're making payments on it, and they're in debt, then it still belongs to the bank, or the loan company. How long we pray? How much of the Bible have we read? What are our spiritual gifts and talents?
Don't compare yourself with other people. Just be the unique, wonderful, valuable person that you are. Do you know how much peace it can add to your life, if you stop comparing yourself with other people? And you need to understand righteousness. You know, we talked a lot about knowing who you are in Christ. And it's amazing, as much as I talk about that, how often I find that people really don't understand it. If you get into a one-on-one conversation with them, they really don't understand what it means. Well, to be in Christ means that you believe and understand by faith, that when he died, you were with him on that cross. When he died, you died. When he was raised, you were raised.
Paul said, "It is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me: and the life I now live, I live by faith". He actually says, "By the faith of the Son of God". You're in Christ, and he's in you. You've had a divine exchange. He took your sin, and gave you his righteousness. He took everything that was wrong with you, and gave you brand-new, wonderful things that you can enjoy. Romans 3:20-24 says, "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God's sight by the works of the law: rather, through the law we become conscious of sin". Boy, if you go back to the Old Testament, and you read not only the Ten Commandments, but all the laws they were required to follow.
Oh, my goodness, I am so grateful that I'm in the new covenant with God. And the law was perfect, it was faultless. But the problem was, is nobody could keep it perfectly. And it says that if you're guilty in one point of the law, then you're guilty of the whole thing. So, God didn't give it to people expecting them to keep it. He gave it to people to show them that they needed a Savior, that they needed help. So, the law is good. But all it does is make you aware of your sin, so you can repent and ask God to help you, not so you can feel guilty and condemned. "Righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. And there is no difference between Jew and gentile".
The Jews were the chosen people of God. And they had a tendency to think that they were better than other people. And when God started to include the gentiles, in relationship with him, many of them had a real hard time with it. And Paul tried to teach them, "There's no more male nor female, Jew nor Greek, but we're all one in Christ". The Bible says, "All have sinned and come short of the glory of God". But the good news is, it says, "Therefore all are justified by grace and made right with God through faith". I want you to remember how special you are to God. You are to be authentic, and uniquely yourself. And not ever try to be somebody else, or feel bad about who you are.