Joyce Meyer - Do It Afraid - Part 2
Welcome to, "Enjoying Everyday Life". I'm so glad that you're with us today because it wouldn't do me any good to talk to people if there's nobody out there watching. So, thank you for tuning in. We're talkin' about fear. Something that we all experience at different times in our life. Some people have a lot of fear, others may not have as much. But as long as we live there will always be times when fear will visit us, and fear is from the devil. "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but he's given us a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind". And the only thing, I think, that actually defeats fear is faith. When fear comes that doesn't mean we can't do what we believe we're supposed to do or what we wanna do, it simply means that, that fear is trying to prevent us from doing it. But you can still do it even while you feel fear.
Thus, the title the message that I preach a lot and have written a new book on, called, "Do It Afraid". You can do things while you feel afraid. I have a friend who was afraid to fly, and her husband flies all the time for business. And their kids were grown and gone and she could have gone so many trips with him, and they could have added some days for personal time, or vacation, or whatever. But she wouldn't go unless they could drive. So, sometimes they were taking like, long, I mean, like 20-plus hour drives just in order for her to go. And so, she had heard my message on, "Do it afraid," and at some point, she decided that she was going to do just that. She was going to do it afraid. And she shares with me that the first few times she got on an airplane, she felt like she was gonna throw up. She was nervous. She just didn't know if she could do it. Felt like she was having a panic attack, but she kept pressing in and saying, "No, I'm gonna do this even if I have to do it afraid".
And you know what? Now, she has no fear of flying at all, and she goes with her husband all the time, and they have such a wonderful time. Don't let fear steal your life. Don't let fear steal your relationships. Don't let fear steal your joy. God wants you to have a good life. But one thing's for sure, you have an enemy, his name is Satan or the devil, and he does not want you to enjoy your life. He wants you to be afraid all the time. Some of the times, when we are afraid the most, is when we're waiting for God to do something in our life. Maybe when you prayed about it, you just felt full of faith and you were sure that God was gonna come through for you and do what you needed him to do. But it's been a long time since you prayed that prayer, and so, doubt is seeping in, and the lies of Satan are coming on a regular basis, "It's not gonna happen. It's not gonna happen".
There's no telling, what all you might hear, "God's mad at you. He's not gonna do that for you. Your faith isn't strong enough". There could be numerous, so many lies that you couldn't even count them all, but that's exactly when you need to have faith. Paul wrote to Timothy and said, "You have to fight the good fight of faith". And we do fight but it's a different fight than the kind of fights that people have in the natural. We lift up the shield of faith, which is a piece of armor that God has given us, spiritual armor, talked about in Ephesians chapter 6, and we say, "No matter what I feel like, no matter how long it's been, I believe God".
You know, I can't tell you why some things take longer than others do. Sometimes I'll pray a prayer and it'll be answered within a day or so. And then sometimes I've prayed prayers, that by the time God answers 'em, I forgot I even prayed it, and he has to remind me, "Don't you remember back when you prayed that prayer"? I don't know, only God knows timing. And I think, if you ever wanna have any peace and enjoy your life, you have to believe that God's timing is perfect for you. The Psalmist said, "My times are in your hands". And one of the things that we go through all the time, is we have this question all the time, "God when, God when. When, God, when? When are we gonna get there"?
Well, you know, to be honest, that's part of the baby stage of Christianity. If you recall, if you have children, when they were small and you went on a trip, "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? When are we gonna get there? When are we gonna get there"? And God would rather hear, "I know that you're gonna come through at the exact right time". You know, just because God hasn't manifested your breakthrough yet, doesn't mean that he's not working on it. And so, one of the things that I've learned to say, when doubt comes to me is, "God is working". Instead of, "God, aren't you doing anything"? Or, "Why aren't you doing anything"? Don't say that, because God is always working in your behalf. Say, "God is working".
You know, God gives us desires. He gives us dreams and hope for our lives, but he hides the exact timing of when these things will manifest. This, he reserves for his wisdom. Why does God withhold information from us about timing? Well, first of all, sometimes if we knew how long we had to wait, we would give up before we ever really got started. Sometimes if we knew what we were gonna have to go through while we're waiting, we would give up before we ever got started. And I personally, believe that God likes a little mystery. I think it's good for us to not know everything. One of my favorite types of movies to watch are mystery movies.
I love that, watching, and being on edge, and waiting to see when it's gonna happen, and waiting to see the outcome: who did it or whatever the case might be. And I think that mystery actually gives us some excitement. I mean, we always think we'd love to know the future, but would we really? Would you really want to know everything that was gonna happen to you the rest of your life and exactly when it was gonna happen? I don't think so. Because first of all, if you knew all about the good things, you wouldn't be as excited when you get 'em, and if you knew all about the more difficult things, you would be frightened all that time. And the thing is, is when you know things ahead of time, you're looking at them without the grace of God, well, when the time comes for something to really happen that you do have to deal with, or go through, then you have the grace and the faith to do that.
God never leaves us without the help that we need to do whatever it is that we need to do. And I can tell you that everybody waits. You're not the only one that waits, everybody waits. It's part of our test of faith. And believe it or not, you're growing spiritually while you're waiting, especially, if you learn how to wait well. You know, patience is not just the ability to wait, but it's how we behave while we wait. Come on now, somebody needs to get a hold of that today. Patience is not just waiting. If God says you're gonna wait then you're gonna wait. But you can wait the right way, or you can wait in a way that makes you miserable.
So, waiting is not just sitting around, waiting for something to happen, or patience is not just waiting for something to happen. But a patient person knows how to behave while they're waiting. So, one of the things we need to do while we wait, is keep saying, "God, I trust you. I believe your plan for my life is good, and I believe that your timing in my life is perfect". Moses waited 40 years for God to use him to bring deliverance to his people. God spoke to him, and he jumped out ahead of time and tried to help the people before the time was right. And he ended up getting in trouble and being accused of some things, and he fled and ran from Egypt, and lived out in the wilderness for 40 years, and then God called him to do what he had put in his heart to do 40 years previously. Remember, he ran. Nobody told him to run but he ran. He ran out into the wilderness.
Do you know that the word fear doesn't mean to shake, or tremble, or to be nervous? The word "Fear" means: to take flight or to run from. So, when God says in his word, "Do not fear, for I am with you". What he's really saying is, "Fear is gonna come to you, but when you feel it, don't run. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord which he will work for you today". I wonder how many opportunities God has put in front of you to do great things and yet you were afraid of the unknown, so you stayed in what you think is the "Safe zone"? But then, if you look at your life, you feel like, "It's been boring, no adventure, no excitement".
Well, you know what? It's your own fault because if you're not gonna step out into the things that God calls you out into, you're never gonna really experience the life that he has for you. I always say, "Step out and find out". A lot of times, people don't know what it is God wants 'em to do. "Well, I don't know what God wants me to do with my life". You know, when I got into a serious relationship with the Lord back in the 70s, God had touched my life and filled me with the power of the Holy Spirit and I'd been a Christian for a long time, but now, I was an on-fire Christian. I mean, I wanted to serve God. But I didn't know what he wanted me to do. I didn't know at that particular time that I was called to teach the Word of God. And I'll tell you what I did, any opportunity that came in front of me, I stepped out and tried it.
One of the first things I did, as a ministry for God, was I went out with a group of people from my church on Saturday mornings in to downtown St. Louis, which is the city that I live in, and we passed out gospel tracts. To be honest, I wasn't called to street evangelism. It was hard for me to do, but it was an opportunity to do something, so I took a step to do it. One of the next things that I did, was I tried to work in the nursery. They were asking for nursery workers to help on Sunday mornings. And you know, that lasted about two weeks, and me and the kids, both knew that I wasn't called to nursery work. But the first time I tried to teach, oh my, I had found my slot. You know, you gotta find your place. You gotta find the place that fits you, the place that fits inside of you, and where you fit, and where you feel comfortable.
God's not gonna call you to do something where you have to be totally miserable all the time, while you're doing it. So, I say, step out and find out what God wants you to do. You would be surprised what you're capable of, if you would just step out and find out what God can do through you. You're never gonna find out if you're right if you're not willing to be wrong. Come on, I want somebody to hear that. You're never going to find out if you're right, if you're not willing to be wrong. And it won't be the end of the world if you step out and try something that you feel like you wanna do, or that God wants you to do and it just doesn't work, and you have to step back and say, "Well, I made a mistake". But at least that's something you can cross off your list and say, "Well, I know now, that's not what I'm supposed to do".
And I believe that there are people watching right now, that you really need to hear what I'm saying because you are not happy with your life, but it's because you're not taking any steps of faith. You don't have any adventure because you live too much in fear. Your new attitude toward life has to be, "I will not fear". I didn't say you wouldn't feel fear, but you're not gonna give in to fear because God is with you. Joseph waited 14 years. God gave him a dream, and I mean, from there, things got bad. You ever feel like God spoke to you and then it's just nothing but one problem after another, after another?
Well, I've had that experience and so did Joseph. He had a dream and he shared it with his brothers and they were jealous. So, they went out hunting with him, and they ended up selling him to slave traders, and killed an animal and rubbed blood all over his clothes, and took his coat back to his father and said that an animal had killed him. Well, he ended up in Egypt, and everywhere that Joseph went, God gave him favor. I love the way the Bible says it, that "Joseph's brothers hated him and they hated him all the more, but God was with him". God was with him. Do you see? No matter who's against you, and no matter who tells you that you're not enough, and you can't, and you'll never be able to, if God is with you you can do anything that God asks you to do. It's time for you to live a braver life. It's time for you to step out and find out what all you're capable of.
Abraham waited 20 years after God gave him a promise that he would have his own child. And you talk about somebody who had reason to doubt and not believe what God said, it was Abraham and Sarah. I mean, she was past childbearing age. He was almost a hundred years old, and by then, was not able to father a child, and yet, God said, "I'm gonna give you, your own child". And the Bible says that Abraham believed God, "And it was counted to him as righteousness". You wanna be right with God? Believe. Being right with God is not about doing everything right. It's about believing in the one whom he sent. John 6:27-29, gives us a wonderful explanation of this when the disciples said, "What must we do to be working the works of God, what must we do to please God"? And the answer was, "This is the work that God requires of you that you believe on the one whom he has sent".
So, Abraham had an impossible situation. But although things are impossible with man, all things are possible with God. But he waited, 20 years he waited. Well, that's a long time to have to stand against fear. But he believed God and it was counted unto him as righteousness. Let me say it again. You wanna be right with God? Trust him, believe him. Always believe that God is on your side and he's got a good plan for your life. And even when you sin and mess up, believe when you pray and ask for forgiveness that God forgives you and he removes your sin as far as the east is from the west. You know, sometimes I can teach a message on faith and then find myself later doubting whether or not my message on faith was right. So, we all have to make decisions all the time to stay in faith.
You know, I received a call from God to do what I'm doing now, in February of 1976. And if you can count, you know, that's been a long time ago. 45 years, 46 years, something like that. And I started with very small beginnings, don't despise the day of small beginnings. For five years, I taught a Bible study in my home with 25 people, five years. And I had quit a full-time job, where I made good money, in order to study and prepare to be able to teach because I hadn't been to Bible college, I didn't have the education, I didn't know how to do it. But God assured me that he did, and if I would step out in faith, he would make it work. And he did. And for five years the people came. And then, I felt like God wanted me to lay that down. So, I laid it down. Matter of fact, I thought I heard God say, "Lay this down, behold, I do a new thing".
Well, I thought surely the new thing was gonna be that I was gonna go to the world now, my dream was gonna be fulfilled, and I was gonna teach in large amounts of people, in huge meetings, travel overseas and do all these things. Well, the next thing that happened was, for one year, I did absolutely nothing. It was just like God sat me up on a shelf and said, "Let's see what you believe during this year". And you know, I didn't know what in the world was going on. But I look back now, and I can see what God did in me in that year was something that had to be done before he could promote me to another level, because I had some problems with comparing myself with other people and God had to give me the confidence to be myself before he let me go to the ministry that he had for me. He didn't want me to go into ministry and try to copy and be like somebody else. He wanted me to follow him.
Then, the next thing I did was, I worked at a church for five years, under somebody else's leadership. And that wasn't always easy because I couldn't just do everything I wanted to do, I had to come under authority. And I say, real often, that you're not fit to be in authority until you know how to come under authority. So, I worked there for five years, had a great job, had a woman's meeting there that four, five hundred people every week came to, and I got to do a lot of the preaching when the pastor was gone. And I taught in Bible college and had a lot of friends, and it was a good job, and then, God told me he was finished with me there, and I was to go north, south, east, and west. The only problem was nobody knew me north, south, east, or west.
And so, I thought, "Well, where am I gonna go"? Oh, my gosh. When I left, I was so excited on the inside and so frightened on the outside. Have you ever felt like that? We'll see, you have to go with the inside. What God gives you peace about inside and what you know is right on the inside is the thing you wanna do, not the thing your flesh is telling you to do. And yes, I was very frightened. It took a long time for us to start getting speaking engagements. And we started by going on a few more radio stations. And then, we would travel to places where we could drive to because we couldn't afford to fly. And I won't tell you the whole story, but it's been a long journey, and it was a journey of faith. And you know today, sometimes, I just wish I could sit down with some people and tell them the whole story because people just, they think, you know, they should have money, and they should have this, and they should have that, and something else, and I think just faith.
I remember, somebody said to Mother Teresa before she went to India, because she didn't have anything, she said, "I've got three Pennies and God and that's all I need". And she went over there and did such tremendous, tremendous work. You know, don't look at what you don't have, look at the fact that you have God, and put your faith in him and let your faith overcome those fears. And so, now, here I am, all these many years later, doing what God called me to do forty-six years ago, and I have been doing it now, for about 20 years, but it didn't just happen overnight. God led me the long, hard route even though there was a place that was nearer. When God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, the Bible says in Exodus 13:17: "When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them by way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near. For God said, 'lest the people change their minds when they see war and return to Egypt'".
Now, that's very important, because the thing you have to understand is sometimes when God leads you the long, hard way it's actually an education for what you're going to do a little bit later. You have to go to the school of the Holy Spirit before you're ready to be released into whatever it is that God is calling you to do. And so, God had told them that he was gonna take them to the Promised Land and that they had to go in and possess it. Well, you know, that sounds like, "We'll just go in and there it is, it's yours". But I was so amazed when I studied the word "Possess" to find that it means: to dispossess the current occupants. And that's why he said, he'd led 'em the long, hard way because they were not yet ready for war. They were going to have to take the land. God had given it to them, but they had to take it.
And God has arranged already, such a wonderful life for you, but you're going to have to take it. You can't just sit back and wait for everything to fall on you. You have to listen to the Word of God that comes to you, in your heart, and make sure it lines up with scripture, and then step out in faith and do whatever it is you believe that God has asked you to do, and he will never leave you nor forsake you. Well, God trained them while they were out in that wilderness and things were tough. They had to depend on God for everything. They didn't have food. They didn't have water. And they spent many years with God sending food called "Manna" every day. And they couldn't even gather up a bunch of it and save it for later. They could only gather up one day supply for one day, except when it came to the sabbath and because they couldn't work on the sabbath, they got to gather two days, the day before.
Well, if you really think about some of these things, just imagine how difficult that would be, because the thought wouldn't actually, be there, "Well, what if God doesn't send any tomorrow"? But if they gathered more than what they needed for that day, it would rot and stink. And I think some people have "Stinking" lives because they're not willing to follow the leadership of God and they're always trying to provide for themselves, what only God can give them, if they will put their faith in God. I'm gonna say that again, because somebody needs to hear it. Some people try to provide for themselves what only God can give, and you need to start trusting God, and living by faith.