Joyce Meyer - Do It Afraid - Part 1
Well, welcome to, "Enjoying Everyday Life". I hope that you really enjoy yourself today, and I'm gonna talk to you today about fear. We all experience fear in our lives. Fear brings torment, and God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. And I don't know what you might be dealing with right now, but it might be safe to say that a good majority of people watching today, are battling with fear of some kind. And you know, the Psalmist David said, "I will not fear. What can man do unto me". And I don't think that David was talkin' about, "I'm not going to feel fear". I think he was making a declaration, "I will not fear". And I think it's a decision that we all have to make and possibly very often in our lives.
And there's really only one way to conquer and overcome fear and that's with faith. When fear knocks on your door, send faith to answer. Fear and faith are two opposing forces. We receive everything from God by faith and we receive everything the enemy wants for us, by fear. So we really must learn to choose to live by faith. In Romans 14:23, there's a scripture that is just astounding to me, and every time I look at it, I have to just go, "Wow". And it ends by saying, "Whatever is not of faith is sin". Now just imagine that, God wants us to live from faith to faith to faith to faith to faith, not from faith to fear and doubt and unbelief and dread and then throw in a little more faith. He wants us to consistently live by faith. And that just simply means putting your trust in God, believing that he loves you, that he sent Jesus to die for you, that he has a good plan for your life, and that he's promised to never leave you or forsake you.
Many of the places in the Word of God, where the Bible says, "Do not fear," the only reason that they give for not fearing is because, "I am with you". God says, "Do not fear for I am with you". And I want you to just get a handle on that right now, just grasp that fact that God is with you. Jesus said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you". And you know, most of the time, the things that we fear, the fear we experience is actually worse and more tormenting than if the thing actually did happen. But fear, F-E-A-R, sometimes is said to stand for, false evidence appearing real. The enemy can make us afraid of things that will actually never happen in our life and cause us torment that whole time. And so we're always going to experience the feeling of fear, but we can learn how to do it afraid.
I heard a story many years ago that really, really helped me, concerning fear. I had taught on fear a lot, but I always kind of felt like I was missing something and I didn't know exactly what it was, and then I heard a story about a woman who had really just let fear rule her whole life. And I don't know where you're at in the area of fear, or what level of fear you have, or maybe you don't have any, but maybe you've got so many fears that you could never even write them all down on a piece of paper. But this poor woman, she was afraid to drive at night, she was afraid of heights, she was afraid of the dark. She was just afraid of so many things. And she was a Christian, she was a believer.
And one of her Christian friends stopped by and she was doing what she did a lot, she was complaining about what all had been stolen from her because of fear. And she was talking about some particular thing that she had wanted to do, but she was afraid to do it, and you know, how bad she felt that she was robbed of that. And her friend looked at her and simply said, "Well, why don't you just do it afraid"? Well, because God was trying to teach me something, I mean, I got that right away. But I want to try to unpack that for you today.
You know when God says, "Fear not". He's not telling us not to feel fear, I actually think it's kind of a warning that you will feel fear. And I don't know if this is 100% accurate or not, but I've heard it said that there are 365 different scriptures or references about fear, in the Bible. So, that would be one for every day of the week. And I think that fear is the main thing that Satan uses to try to control people. Fear keeps you from going forward. How many things do you think that the enemy has stolen from you or kept you from doing just because of fear? And so, we have to learn that we don't have to bow down to fear, just because we feel fear. Do it afraid. Well, what does that mean? You may shake, you may feel nervous, you may sweat, you might feel like you're going to faint and fall over, but that still doesn't mean that you can't do it while you feel that way.
Courage is actually taking forward motion in the presence of fear. Courage is not, not feeling fear. Courage is feeling the fear and doing what you believe God wants you to do anyway. And I've had many instances in my life where I've had to do that. Actually, I would not be in ministry today had I not been willing to step out and do it afraid. And so, I want to talk to you a lot about faith, and also some about fear, and I'm hoping and praying that the word is gonna penetrate deep into your heart and that you're going to really find some help with this area of fear. I believe that whatever the word is preached on, that there's power to deliver people in that area. So, I'm believing today, that as you hear this word, there's power available to deliver you, if you'll reach out and take it.
Hebrews 11:6, "And without faith it is impossible to please God. For whoever comes to him must believe that he is, and that he is the rewarder of those who diligently seek him". So, God wants us to believe, to believe first of all, that he is, that he exists, and he wants us to believe that he's good. Believe that God exists and believe that he's good, that's the beginning. You know, so often we wonder, "What does God want from us"? Sometimes I say, I think there's a little demon that is sent to sit on our shoulder every day and just whisper in our ear all day long, "What are you gonna do? What are you gonna do? What are you gonna do"?
You know everybody seems to wanna know what we're gonna do, and some of the disciples went to Jesus and asked (this is recorded in John 6:28, 27, 28, 29), "What must we do to please God"? "What must we do to be doing the works that God wants us to do"? And the answer came back, "This is the work that God requires of you, that you believe in the one whom he has sent". Can you imagine that? "What does God want me to do"? "He wants me to believe". "Well, yeah, I know that, but what does he want me to do"? Well, yes, there are things that God will give us to do, but faith always has to come first. First, you have faith, and that faith enables you to take bold steps to do whatever it is you believe that God has asked you to do.
I'm always amazed when I think about when Joshua was going to take the children of Israel into the Promised Land, he had to cross the Jordan. Well, it was too deep for them to cross, and so God told him to go forward. Well, you got this whole Jordan river in front of you, but the thing I find so interesting is, the water didn't part until he put his foot in it. You've heard people say, "Well, I put my foot in it now". And what they mean by that is, "Okay, I'm out into this, now, if God doesn't help me, I'm going to surely fail".
And God wants us to do that, he wants us to take steps of faith based on what we believe that he has spoken to us, whether we feel like it or not. And many times we feel like God doesn't show up right until that very second when we take that step, but a lot of people are not ever willing to take that step. They want to feel like, they want to feel courage, they don't want to have to have any fear while they do it, and that's just not the way that God works. I can tell you that every time that I step up on the platform, I don't know exactly what God is gonna do until I open my mouth and and see what comes out.
Now, by now, I've had a lot of experience with God, and so I know that he's not gonna let me down. But you know, a lot of times no matter how much I study or what kind of plan I make, it comes out differently than what I thought that it would. What must we do to be doing the works of God? This is what God requires of you, that you believe. You know, when Lazarus' family was waiting for Jesus to come and they had called for Jesus when Lazarus was still alive and was just sick, but the Word of God says that he purposely waited until Lazarus was dead. Actually, by the time he got there Lazarus had already been dead four days. And the Bible says that he loved Lazarus. So, in our natural state, we might think, "Well, what kind of love is that"? "You know, you didn't come and help me when I needed you".
So, when he did show up, 'course Martha said, "If you would have been here, my brother would not have died". And Jesus told them, "Have I not told you to only believe and you would see the glory of God". The glory of God is a manifestation of his excellence. Jesus, of course, was not threatened by the fact that Lazarus was dead, because he knew that he had the resurrection power to raise him from the dead. But I like the fact that he said, to them, "Have I not told you if you would only believe". That's what the classified Amplified says, "If you would only believe". You know, I think a lot of times that's all we need to do. We just need to only believe, just keep believing that God is going to do something. You know, he doesn't always do exactly what we want him to do, but God always does something, and he always does the thing that's right for our lives. It may not be what we thought he should do, but we can learn to trust him more than we trust ourselves. I was thinking this morning, how sometimes when we greet each other...
When we greet each other, sometimes somebody will say, "Well, how do you do"? And I thought, you know, that's really kind of a goofy way to greet somebody. You know, we need to care more about the person than we do what they do. But we are so, "Doing" oriented. We feel like that, that's how we get approval from God, by doing, and that's how we get approval from people by doing. And yes, God wants us to do things, but first he wants us to have faith and then we have the faith the things that we do, coming out of that faith, will be much easier for us than if we had tried to do them without that. And you might say, "Well, wait a minute Joyce, I just don't have faith for that, I just don't have any faith". And you know what? That's absolutely untrue, because the Bible says in Romans 12:3, "That God has given unto every man the measure of faith".
You say, "Well, what does that mean"? That means that everybody has enough faith to do whatever it is God assigns them to do. "For by the grace given unto me I say to everyone among you: do not think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned him". You know, we look at some people and we see the things that are going on in their lives and you know, I mean, maybe I see someone and... There was a car accident and they lost three other children at one time, and I think, "I don't know how you do that. I don't know how you ever recover from that".
Well, see? I don't have the grace to do what they did, so naturally, I can't understand it. Or I see somebody who's living with an alcoholic husband and trying to hang in there and pray for him because she believes that's what God wants her to do, and I think, "I don't know if I could do that". But see, what whatever God wants us to do, he gives us the faith, the grace, to be able to do that. People say to me all the time, "How have you done everything that you've done"? Well, it's because I had the grace of God on me, he put the faith in me to do it. I look back and I think, "How did I ever do this"? I didn't have the education to do it, I didn't have anybody to help me do it, I didn't have any money, but I remember one of the first really big opportunities that I got, I had taught small Bible studies and done a few things, but I was really believing God to get to do bigger things.
And I got invited to a conference at the last second because one of the speakers had canceled, which it's not too exciting to get, it was exciting to get invited, but it's not exciting to think that you were an afterthought. That you were like, the emergency person to bring in. And so, a lot of the other people that were at that conference were well-known, big-name people and they all had fancy titles, doctor and reverend, prophet and prophetess and then there was Joyce. Well, there were nine hundred people at this conference, which looked like nine million to me, and I was only a workshop speaker, I wasn't one of the main speakers. And so, they asked on the opening night for all the workshop speakers to come up and just give about a one minute synopsis of what they were going to talk about the next day.
And I was so scared. So scared, shaking, trembling, mouth was dry, I was so frightened that actually when I open my mouth to try to say something all that came out was a squeak. And you know, I'm pretty bold, so for me to say that my voice, I was so frightened that my voice wasn't working, I mean, I was pretty frightened. Well you know, I still look back at that night and I had a decision to make, I could either run off the stage in embarrassment, pack my stuff up and go back to Fenton, Missouri, where I live, which is what the devil wanted me to do, or I could try one more time and believe that God would come through. And since I'm still here, it's obvious that I tried one more time. And the next day my workshop was completely full, people standing out in the hall trying to listen.
And so, God honored that step of faith that I took, but the waters didn't part until I put my foot in it. When fear comes to you, you need to open your mouth out loud and say, "I trust God. I trust God". I don't care if you have to do it a thousand times every day, you say, "I trust God". And remember, we are given enough faith to do whatever it is that we need to do, but we must choose it. You know, God has given us free will and that means that we get to make choices about what we're gonna believe and what we're gonna do. And you know, if you really think about it, there's a lot of opposing forces in the world. There's good and evil, love and hatred, depression and joy, harshness and kindness, noise and quiet, positive and negative. And so really, we are constantly making decisions about what we're gonna do.
And I think that the only acceptable attitude that a believer in Jesus Christ can have is, the same one that the Psalmist David had, "I will not fear". And I want you to get that on the inside of you today, I will not fear. I didn't say, "I will not feel fear," you're gonna feel fear at different times in your life, if I do, you will, everybody does and it's probably gonna to last as long as we live, but we don't have to give into it, we can answer that fear with faith, take a step and go ahead and do what we believe that God has asked us to do, that's the only way that you're ever gonna be successful in life. You know, God has planned a great life for you, and I want you to know that. Think about that, God is good and he has planned a great life for you. John 10:10, Jesus said, "The thief comes only to kill, steal, and destroy, but I came that you might have and enjoy your life, and have it in abundance (to the full, until it overflows)".
We read in many different places in the Bible, that God wants to bless us and he wants to use us in mighty ways and he wants to meet our needs and he wants to do great things for us and through us. He's good, and God has a good plan for your life, and I feel that somebody really needs to grab hold of that today. Because right now it doesn't look to you like your life is very good, ever has been very good and the enemy's telling you, "It never will be any good". But I wanna say to you, only believe and you will see the glory of God. See, believing is your choice, what you believe is your choice. You can believe, "Well, nothing good's ever gonna happen to me". Or you can believe, "Something good is going to happen to me today". That's something that I try to say everyday, "Something good is gonna happen to me today, and something good is gonna happen through me, today".
And to stay in faith, Romans 1:17 says, "In the Word of God there's a righteousness revealed..." which is a position that we have with God by his grace and mercy because we believe in Jesus, he makes us right with him, even though we don't do everything right, he views us as being right with him. Do you know that every time you come to the father in Jesus' name, what you're saying is that you're presenting unto the father everything that Jesus is? Thank God when I go to him in prayer, I'm not presenting everything that Joyce is, because I fall very short of being what I'm sure God would want me to be, but because I have my faith in Jesus, faith, faith, faith, faith, because I have my faith in Jesus, I don't have to approach the throne with fear and trembling, thinking God doesn't want to hear from me.
You know what? God gets so excited by hearing your voice every time you come. And every time you pray, he's so excited to hear what you have to say and he wants to help you and he wants to do things for you, but you have to believe and believe all the way through. In Mark 11 it says, that we can speak to mountains and they'll move, that when we pray, whatever we ask for, if we believe we have received it, we will get it. And I love that. So, there's a space of time between believing that I've received it by faith and actually, getting it. And it's during that testing time when I need to keep my faith strong, and I need to keep saying, "I'm believing and I believe that God is working". You should try that when your faith starts to feel weak say, "I'm believing and I believe that God is working".
There's scripture that actually says, as long as we believe, God will keep working in us. Walk in faith, a walk is many steps, many decisions. What are you gonna do if you don't trust God? You're gonna be miserable. It's time to start trusting God more and more. It doesn't matter how you feel, you say, "I trust God, I trust God, I put my faith in God. I will not fear, what can man do unto me"? Joshua, chapter one, it's actually nine verses but I'm not gonna read 'em all, it says, "After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua the son of nun, Moses' assistant, 'Moses my servant is now dead: so therefore arise, go over this Jordan, you and all these people, into the land that I am giving to them, to the people of Israel'". Now, listen to this, "'and every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon, I have given it to you, just as I promised to Moses'". So, God says, "I've already given it to you, but you're gonna have to go in and take it".
I love that. There's such a good plan for your life laid out in front of you. But you're gonna have to shake off that despair and depression and discouragement, and the negative attitude, and the negative thoughts, and the self-pity and the being mad at everybody who's ever hurt you, and say, "I'm goinna live the life that God wants me to live". He's there to help you. God is in you, the Holy Spirit is in you, he'll give you the strength to do what you need to do. So, he said, "The good plan is already there, you just have to go out and take it". And then, a couple of...In verse five, he says, "Be strong and courageous for you shall cause this people to inherit the land". Verse nine: "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Don't be frightened or dismayed for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go".
He had a good plan for their life and all they had to do was be bold enough to take steps of faith, to go out and take it. God said, "As I was with Moses, I will be with you". He didn't tell him, "Go, be like Moses". Sometimes I think we get caught in the trap of thinking, "Well, you know, I'm not like them and I'm not like them, and I'm not like them". But you don't have to be like somebody else, as long as God is with you. Whatever you're lacking, God will make up for that. He's more than enough for every single one of us and he can help us do whatever we need to do in life. You need to forgive somebody and you feel like you just can't do it? God can give you the grace to do that. You need to, you really feel like you want to apply for a new position at work, but you're afraid that you'll get rejected? Well, do it afraid. If you let fear rule your life, you're never going to find out about the wonderful life that God has for you.