Joyce Meyer - How Should You Treat Your Enemies - Part 2
- How to know Jesus
Satan gains more ground in the life of the believer through unforgiveness than any other single thing. If we could just get a whole church to get along, there's no telling what would happen because the anointing would be so strong. See, we kill the anointing with strife. And I know we don't preach much about the anointing today, but we need that more than we need anything else. The anointing is God's presence and power on our lives. And you don't have to be a preacher to need the anointing. I think you need the anointing to raise kids. You need the anointing to go to work and work in a place where there's a bunch of unbelievers. I mean, who doesn't need the anointing to live in the world today? Amen?
Now, you know, the Bible says, "If your brother wrongs you, go to him and tell him his fault between you and him". And something that is important for us to remember, and I think we've gotten a little off base with this, you know, loving people doesn't mean that you don't confront sin. Let's say, for example, you've got a friend that gossips all the time and you've gotta either have to talk to 'em or you're gonna have to stop hanging out with 'em. Don't become a garbage dump for anybody. Don't think that won't affect you, because when somebody tells you something bad about somebody, even if you don't wanna believe it, it'll cause you to look at that person differently and wonder.
And so, the Bible says, "Speak the truth in love". And nowhere does it say that we should not judge sin. We can't judge people because we don't know their heart, but we are obligated to judge sin. And that's something that we have stopped doing. "Well, I just wanna love them and give 'em grace". Especially since the last few years, there have been a lot of heavy teaching on grace, which man i... Grace of God is amazing. But giving people grace doesn't mean that you don't confront them when they're doing something wrong. I mean, people have gone nuts. I mean, a guy told me he had this friend that was living with his girlfriend, and he was in the process of getting a divorce. So, he's still married.
So, he's in adultery and he's living with the girl. And he says to this friend, "Why don't we fast and pray once a day for the Fruit of the Spirit"? What good do you think that's gonna do you? Fast and pray once a day for the Fruit of the Spirit while you're living in sin? I mean, a situation like that, you need to tell them, "Hey, man, I love you, but, you know, what you're doing is wrong". "Well, bless God, I just wanna love 'em". Well, if we really want to love people, you know why we don't say anything to people? We don't want them getting mad at us. But if we really love people, we'd rather they get mad at us than watch them go to hell.
Come on. Listen, if you're gonna follow my teaching this year, you better get ready, 'cause we don't have any time to just keep telling everybody how sweet they are. Amen? I mean, I'm always gonna build people up and give 'em confidence and tell them who they are in Christ. I'm not here to beat on people, but I tell you, when we need some of the old-time preachin'. We need some preaching on holiness and the fear of the Lord. What have we done with those things? I mean, how often do you hear things like that? I mean, we don't like to preach against sin, you know. I believe that preachers are gonna be called to account. We have a responsibility. And so, you know, I'd rather you get mad at me than stand before God and him tell me, "You didn't do what I sent you to do". Amen?
Oh, I wanna see people grow up and mature. To be honest, that's always been the call of my life. It's always been from day one. I mean, I love to see people get saved, but I'm not an evangelist. I'm a teacher and I gotta get after it. I gotta go for it. You know, I got hit in the face recently with, I mean, Jesus did not want to go to the cross. Three times in the Garden of Gethsemane. Three, not one. He said, "Father, if there's any way you can remove this cup from me, remove it. But if not, I'll drink it. Your will be done". Whew. Boy, I tell ya, if every person that saved would really, really be willing to do God's will, no matter what it cost them, no matter what they had to sacrifice, I tell you what, the whole world would already be saved, and we'd be in heaven.
I'll tell you what, David, in the Old Testament, he had a different deal than we do. I mean, let me read to you what he prayed for his enemies. I'm like, "God, what happened between Malachi and Matthew"? Well, Jesus happened. That's what happened. I mean, in the Old Testament too, people didn't get by with what we get by with today. I mean, you do some of the stuff people do today, you'd fall over dead, get leprosy, or you know. You know, Miriam and Aaron were talking about Moses and she got leprosy. "Here have a little leprosy". And what did Moses do? He didn't get mad at her. He fell on his face and started praying for God to heal her. She was treating him wrong and he prays for God, "Don't hold it against her, God".
So, we see a few righteous men and women in the old covenant. But listen to this, Psalm 58, David's praying for his enemies, "Break their teeth, o God, in their mouths", oh, we're just getting started. "Break out the fangs of the young lion, o Lord. Let them melt away as water which runs on apace: when he aims his arrows, let them be as if they were headless or split apart". Now, listen to this. "Let them be as a snail dissolving into slime as it passes on or let 'em be like a festering sore which wastes away, like [the child to which] a woman gives untimely birth". I mean, one place in the Bible it says, "Yank the child out of their womb and throw it against a rock".
And David was a man after God's own heart. And then you get over here to the New Testament and God says, "Love 'em. Forgive 'em". Sometimes I think, "David, you had a pretty good deal". I mean, David would vent. He'd tell God just how he felt about it. Romans 5:8: "But God shows and clearly proves his love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us". Romans 12:20 and 21: "If your enemy's hungry, feed him: if he's thirsty, give him a drink: and by so doing you'll heap burning coals upon his head". "Yeah"! That's not what that means. The burning coals is love. It's in the footnotes at the bottom of the Amplified Bible. It's love. When you pour that kind of fiery love out on him, it'll bring him to repentance. I saw that with my father. He knew he didn't deserve what we were doing for him. And it finally broke him.
And then I love this, this was like one of my life scriptures, Romans 12:21: "Do not let yourself be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good". Oh, that's it right there. Because, you know really, it's not people that hurt you anyway, it's the devil. We blame the wrong source. Amen? "Well you... Well you... Well you"! Yes, they did. They were vessels for the enemy to use, but it's still the devil that's behind all the wickedness in the world. And if we're gonna do warfare, it's gotta be with principalities and powers and wickedness in high places. Come on. Ephesians 6 teaches us about warfare, that we're soldiers in the army of God.
"The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they're mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds: casting down imaginations", that's in Corinthians but, over in Ephesians 6, it tells you what to do when your enemies are after you. "Put on the breastplate of righteousness," know who you are in Christ, "I'm a child of God. I'm not gonna bow down to that. Tighten the belt of truth". It doesn't just say, "Put". It says, "Tighten the belt of truth". So, when you're being attacked, you gotta really tighten into that word and say, "I'm gonna walk by the word no matter how hard it is". Amen?
Put on your shoes of peace and stay in peace. Oh, that makes the devil mad when he can't rattle you. As far as I'm concerned, love is the highest form of spiritual warfare that anybody can do. I pray that God will bug you. I mean, that he, "God, please just don't leave them alone until they follow through and do what they're hearin' today". James said to be a hearer and not a doer, you're deceiving your own self by "Reasoning contrary to the truth". And you cannot find, and I can't find, any reason not to obey God in this because Jesus did it for us. "Oh, but it hurts so bad". But it hurts so good.
There's some things that hurt good. It's like, man, when you do something hard, but down deep you know you're obeying God, you lay your head down on your pillow that night, man, you're gonna feel good. You're gonna feel good inside. It feels good to obey God. Amen? Come on. When somebody hurts you, I mean, there's times when it's not right, but, somebody hurts you, one of the best things you can do is do something kind for them. It drives the devil nuts. Do you know how the devil hates what I'm doing here today? After what he did to me when I was a child? Do you know how he hates this? And how happy that makes me. Please pray for me. If people didn't pray for me, I don't think I'd stay alive. I mean, the devil don't want you to hear this kind of stuff. He does not.
Man, he don't want you to forgive your enemies because he gets a stronghold in your life as long as you keep hating people. But how wonderful it is to feel clean inside, to know that you're doing what God wants you to do. Let me say it again. You don't have to feel like doing the right thing in order to do it. Amen? Okay, let's have a couple of examples here. Luke 23:34, "And Jesus prayed, 'father, forgive them, for they know not what they do'". Paul persecuted Christians, 1 Timothy 1:13 and 14: "Although I formerly blasphemed and persecuted and was shamefully and outrageously and aggressively insulting [to him], nevertheless, I obtained mercy because I had acted out of ignorance in unbelief". Paul said, "I got mercy because I really didn't understand what I was doing".
See, I mean, even the people that crucified Jesus, they actually thought they were doing the right thing. I mean, a lot of the Roman soldiers, they were just being soldiers doing what they were told to do. And Paul was a very religious, I mean, he was a pharisee of pharisees, and they thought Jesus was like this wild person coming in and preaching everything against, you know, he comes in with this love message and they're used to "An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth". Now, he's saying, "No more of that". This is something a lot of you're gonna have to go home, do something about, 'cause it's gonna be very hard to hang on to it after being here, today. This is gonna be an, "Ouch"! "Hallelujah"! Today it hurts but later you'll be, "Man, I'm glad I heard that". And God's gonna give you grace to do it.
I'm gonna be praying for you that God gives you grace to be able to walk this out. We don't wanna be hearers and not doers. We wanna do what we hear. And Stephen, Acts 7:59 and 60: "And while they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, 'Lord Jesus, receive and accept and welcome my spirit'! And falling on his knees, he cried out loudly, 'Lord, fix not this sin upon them [lay it not to their charge]!' and when he had said this, he fell asleep [in death]". He wasn't gonna die with unforgiveness in his heart. Wow! And Paul, at his first trial, this must've hurt. 2 Timothy 4:16 and 17: "At my first trial no one acted in my defense [as my advocate] or took my part or [even] stood with me, but everybody forsook me. May it not be charged against them"! Good gracious. "But the Lord stood by me". Come on. "But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the [gospel] might be fully proclaimed, as all the gentiles might hear it. So I was delivered out of the jaws of the lion".
Proverbs 24:17 and 18: "Rejoice not when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles or is overthrown, lest the Lord see it and it be evil in his eyes and displease him, and he turns his wrath away from him [to expend it upon you...]" who are now "[the worst offender]". So, not only do we gotta forgive 'em, pray for 'em, bless 'em, and don't curse 'em, feed 'em, give 'em something to drink, help 'em if they need help: now, if they get what's coming to 'em, we can't even be happy about it. Because if we are, now, God says, "You're worse than they are". I mean, at least I used to think I got that, "Well, you got what you deserved".
Come on, don't act like you don't think that. "You had it comin'. God got you". Man! God doesn't leave you anything, does he? Now, let me tell you something. There's no way that you can even come close to doing this if you're not born again. I mean, you just you can't. You've gotta have God inside of you to even begin to be able to do what he wants you to do. I mean, of course, there's a lot more people here in this second service, there was this morning, but we probably had about 60 people born again in the first service. I'm guessing at the number, but.
Preachers like to guess high, so I'm probably hyperboling and a little bit, but, I wanna tell you what it means to be saved or to be born again. It does not just mean to receive Jesus, but it means that you're gonna surrender your life to him. We're not doing you justice if we just tell you, "You're gonna get Jesus," and just tack him on to your messy life and go on with it. Repentance means to turn around and go in a whole different direction. So, you can be sorry for your sins without repenting. Now, I don't want you just to be sorry for the way you've lived. I want you to repent and say to God this morning, "I want to be a real Christian. I want to live for you. I'm willing to walk away from a life of sin if you help me". And it won't be all at once. Don't worry, he won't take away all your toys on day one.
The thing I love about the Holy Spirit is he knows when you're ready for what. And he's patient and he takes his time. I mean, I'm 45 years into this, and we're just now, I now know I can't be glad when my enemy falls so, some things take a while. But why not get started today on that path toward God's will? So, if you're here, today, and you say, "Joyce, I'm ready to surrender my life to Christ," and you know, there may be a lot of people in here today that you are born again, but you've never surrendered your life to Christ. You've been willing to have him, but he hasn't had you. Hmm. So, if you're here, today, and you've never been born again, or you, you just really need to get on with it. You've tried to live for Christ at some time and you fell back into sin.
If you wanna pray with me this morning and you mean business, I want you to stand up, right now. Come on. All over this house, stand up. Come on. Wonderful! Come on, keep standing. Keep standing. Awesome! Got a little boy out here, about ten years old. Come on, all over this building. Okay, now you mean business. Now, listen, I'm not gonna tell you that you're not gonna have some rough days, but your worst day with Jesus will be better than your best day ever was without him. Oh, you're gonna feel so clean inside, when you leave, you get a new beginning. God's mercy's new every day. Every day you get a new beginning. Let's all pray this together:
Father, God, I love you. Jesus, I believe in you. I believe you died for me. You took my punishment. I'm sorry for my sins. I repent. I surrender my life to you. Come and live in me. I want to be born again. I wanna be a Christian. I receive you now by faith. Take me just the way I am. And make me what you want me to be. I believe I'm saved. I'm on my way to heaven, and I'm gonna enjoy the journey.