Joyce Meyer - Determination - Part 2
Well, thank you so much for joining me today on "Enjoying Everyday Life". I hope that you enjoy the teaching. Not only that you enjoy it, but that it makes a real positive difference in your life. I am talking about determination. We started yesterday talking about being determined to keep a good attitude no matter what's going on in your life. Today we'll want to talk about being determined to not be anxious and upset every time you have a problem. Because you can't solve your problems anyway, only God can. So, believe it or not, it's perfectly okay for you to give your problem to God and then go ahead and enjoy your life while he solves it. I think I might need to say that again, 'cause, you know, we kind of automatically think that if we have a problem, we should be miserable, the whole time we have the problem or if you've got a kid that's not doing well in school or whatever, but you don't have to be miserable.
If you really believe that God is working on it and that he's gonna solve it, then why not go ahead and be happy, because "The joy of the Lord is your strength". And we're in the business of making the devil mad. And he does not like it if you're happy. So, the happier you are the madder you make him. A couple of scriptures that use the word determination. And when I say determination, I wanna repeat what I said yesterday. That doesn't mean just self-will. We can't do anything apart from God. But it does mean that whatever the word tells us to do, or whatever God asks us to do, we do need to be determined if we're gonna do it, because the enemy will work overtime trying to make sure that we don't. And so, God wants us to be peaceful.
Jesus said, John 14:27, "My peace I leave with you, not as the world gives do I give unto you. But my [own] special peace I give and bequeath unto you, so, stop allowing yourselves to be upset and disturbed: and stop allowing yourselves to be fearful and intimidated". So, God's done his part, "I've given you peace". Now your part, "You stop allowing yourself to get upset". How many of you can feel upset coming from down in here somewhere? Well, the key is to stop it before it gets to your mouth. Because once it gets there, then you only start magnifying the problem by "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah". And then you have more to repent for.
1 Peter 5:8 and 9 says, "Be well balanced, (temperate...)" which means disciplined, "(sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times: for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour. Withstand him: be firm in faith [against his onset... Rooted, establish, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood, (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world". And Paul said in Philippians 3, "My determined purpose is to know him and the power of his resurrection", that lifts me out from among the body, lifts me out from among the problems while I'm still in the body. You can be lifted above your problems into a place where God is even though you have problems. And Paul said, "I'm determined to know him in such a way that I'll be able to do that".
It seems that some people are always anxious and upset about something. You know, that can become a habit. You can make problems out of things that really don't even have to be problems. I think some people call it making mountains out of molehills. And it's amazing to me now, after 45 years of studying the word and walking with God, the things that I don't get upset about that I would have gotten very upset about when I was more of an immature, baby Christian. And we all go through those stages. But the point is, is if you've been saved 50 years and you're still in that first stage, then there's a problem with that. God is not upset with us if we haven't arrived, but he does expect us to always be growing and making progress.
So, we should be able to look at our lives and see some difference every year. Some area where you're making progress. We must learn to live the deeper life rather than a surface life. If you think about a body of water, if there's a storm on the top of that water, it'll be rough and waves. But if you can go down deep, it would be just as still as it could be. And see that's the way that God wants us to be, because really, we are a spirit which is deep. We have a soul, next layer, and we live in a body. So, it's our soul that gets upset: our mind, our will, and our emotions. And a lot of why we get upset is based on how we think, how we think about a situation. Do you really believe that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose?
See, I really do believe that because I've had enough experience with God now that I've seen it happen over and over and over. And I've also learned to say, "This won't last forever". And see, the enemy, he talks to us like, "Well, I can't stand this," because we think it's gonna last forever. But you know something? You can do anything if you do it one day at a time. I wanna make sure that our viewing audience gets that. Whatever it is you're going through, if you take it one day at a time, "God, just give me the strength I need for today". And don't let the devil tell you it's gonna last forever, because think of all the other things that you thought were gonna to last forever that God took care of, and you don't have them anymore.
You know, Dave and I have four grown children and I look back at the things that I was upset about and how I worried about each one of them and thought that "This kid will never be able to get out of the house and take care of themselves. I'll have them living here forever". They couldn't get a job. They couldn't do anything. And they've all turned out great. Our two boys run the day-to-day operations of the ministry and it's just, we worry about all that stuff, and we get upset and what we should do is: p-r-a-y. Who can spell? Pray. Our first response to every problem should be to pray. And when I say pray, don't think of it like, "Oh, I've gotta get somewhere in this certain place, and I've gotta get in a certain posture, and I have to have enough time to pray for a long time". No, we need to learn that we can pray about anything, anytime, anywhere. You can pray out loud or you can pray silently, depending on where you're at.
So, we have to learn that the world is not going to change. If anything, it's gonna get worse. And I spent a lot of time praying for God to change my circumstances, and he really didn't. So, I finally figured out he wants me to change. It's not my circumstances. Oh, you know, maybe one circumstance would go away, but then another one would come right behind it. How many of you have something going on in your life on a pretty semi-regular basis? Okay, we all do. You know, I mean, I could tell you just in the last week, things that have happened to me and, you know, I'm here today doing what I'm supposed to be doing. And, you know, when we're having problems, we should not withdraw and isolate and stop keeping our commitments and just stay home and feel sorry for ourselves. Activity.
The Bible says be alert and active and we should be actively continuing to do what God wants us to do. Keep your commitments. If you've committed to do something, if at all possible, go ahead and do that thing. So, the world is not going to change. So, we need to change. Can everybody say, "I need to change"? All right. Let's talk about the deeper life. You know, years and years and years ago, I love to read books by these, what we'll call "The old saints". And they actually had a movement of God called the "Deeper life movement". And they would have "Deeper life conferences". And I wish that we could have those today and people would actually come to 'em. But sadly, today, it's very difficult to talk about suffering, sacrifice. It's just so many things that we really need, we don't wanna hear.
The Bible says, "If you wanna share his glory, you have to also share his suffering". How many would rather that I not do a five-part series on suffering, right now? I love these scriptures in Luke 5:1-8. I use them often and they really have taught me a lot. "Now it occurred that while the people pressed upon Jesus to hear the message of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret (the Sea of Galilee). And he saw two boats drawn up by the lake, but the fishermen had gone down from them and were washing their nets. And getting into one of the boats, [the one] that belonged to Simon (Peter), he asked him to draw away a little bit from the shore. And then he sat down and he continued to teach the crowd [of people] from the boat".
I don't know if you know it or not, but when you talk across water, it amplifies your voice. He didn't have microphones, but that was why he asked them to draw away a little from the shore. "When he had stopped speaking, he said to Peter, 'put out into the deep [water], and lower your nets for a haul'". Now, listen to what Peter said. "'master, we toiled all night [exhaustingly] and we caught nothing [in our nets]'". Now just, let's think about how they felt. No sleep. Been up all night, fishing all night, catching nothing. How many of you know if you're "Fishing," so to speak, in life, or let's just say that you've been doing the right thing for a long time, and you still haven't had a breakthrough, it gets kind of hard, doesn't it? You need a refreshing. You need a little bit of encouragement.
But, you know, the Bible says that God will "Never allow more to come on us than what we can bear. But with every temptation, he always also provides the way out". And he does. So, Peter told Jesus how he felt. He said, "Look, we're tired. We are exhausted. And these nets were not easy to wash and get all cleaned up and put away". He said, "We didn't catch anything. But on the ground of your word, I will lower the nets again". I love that. So, what's he saying? "I don't think this is gonna work. I don't feel like doing it and I don't wanna do it". That's his soul. "But because you said to, I will do it".
Now, what do you think would happen in our world if everybody who calls themselves a Christian would just start to read the book, the Bible, and just do what it says? Wow. Yeah. I mean, and that's really what it comes down to. Everything that the Bible says is for us, even the things that are hard to do. God's not just trying to make it hard on us. He wants to set us free. And you can't run away from the hard things. If you run away from the hard things, then you always, they're always there chasing you. Anything you run from is always chasing you. But if you turn and confront it, then you can win over it. You can master it. You can't get rid of fear by running away from it. You have to confront it. That's the only way you can get rid of it.
And so, sure enough, they did what he said. "When they had done this, they caught a great number of fish: so many that their nets were [at the point of] breaking". When Jesus said "A haul," he meant a haul. How many of you are ready for a haul of blessings in your life? Amen? And I love this part, "So, they signaled to their partners in the other boats to come and take hold with them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink". What I love about that is, if we do what God tells us to do, not only will we have more than what we need, we will have so much that we will be able to bless all the other people around us. And I love that. We should not just want blessings for ourselves, but we should want to be able to bless other people because that's where the real joy comes in your life, is being able to bless other people.
"So, when Simon Peter saw this, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, 'depart from me, for I'm a sinful man'". So, we need to learn to act on what we know, not what we feel or what we think. So, the next time that you're really upset, you didn't get the anxious before it got to your mouth, and sure enough, you just got yourself more upset by just talking about it for an hour, and now, you just, you're really in a mess and you've got a decision to make and you're all emotional. Well, trying to make that decision based on those emotions is the wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong thing to do because your emotions will lie to you. You say, "Well, what should I do"? Go get somewhere where it's quiet, take a few deep breaths and try to calm down and just see what's in your heart. And you know what? You'll find out that you do believe that Jesus will deliver you.
If you've been around the word very long, you do believe that. In your spirit you know that, because he fills our spirit full of good things. But that's why our mind has to be renewed. The Bible says in Romans 12, that unless we renew our mind according to the Word of God, we will never really experience the good plan that God has for our lives. So, isn't that interesting that God's got a good plan for our lives, but just our, just wrong thinking can keep us from ever actually experiencing that plan. I remember all the years that I had no idea that my thinking or my words made any difference at all in my life. I wasn't being taught that in the church that I was going to. I was just being taught doctrinal things, which is important. But we need to learn how to live. We need to learn about our soul.
And it's our mind, our will, and our emotions and how we need to learn to keep that area calm so God can actually have his way in our lives. We need to act on what we know, not what we think or feel. And you know a lot more than you think you do, you just let your soul take over. That's why we need to learn how to live deeper. The deeper life manifests itself in the fruit of stability. The more spiritually mature you are, the more stable you will be. The Bible says, for example, be rooted deep in love, in the love of Jesus. You don't just, "Jesus loves me on the good days". No. How many of you have ever said when you've been having problems, "Well, Jesus don't you love me"? Or "I don't feel like you love me".
I've said that when I was a younger Christian, "Well, don't you love me? I feel like you don't love me". I would never say that now. No matter what happened to me, I would never say that. You know why? Because I don't just know. It's not just information. It's revelation. And that's what happens when something becomes revelation to you, nobody, no devil in hell, can take it away from you. And so, he said, "You need to be rooted deep in love, so nobody can take it away from you". Ephesians 3:17 and 18, "May Christ through your faith [actually] dwell (settle down, abide, and make his permanent home) in your hearts".
You know, I think about that sometimes, and I think, I really wanna just think about it more that "God lives in us". I mean, even though I say it, it's like, "Really"? I mean, we're the home of God. God lives in us. We're full of the Holy Spirit. And the bottom line is you've got what it takes to face any situation that comes along. You just have to remember who you are in Christ and not listen to the lies of the devil. Oh, he's such a liar. And he wants us to believe his lies, so we'll be deceived: and think that "God doesn't love us, and he's not gonna come through for us, and this is," you know, "Never gonna end, and it's not gonna work out good, and my life is terrible". "May Christ through your faith dwell (settle down, abide, make his home) in your hearts". It has to be through your faith because you don't always feel that way. "May you be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love".
You see, how can you put your faith in God when you're having problems, if you don't know, that you know, that you know, that he loves you? And he loves you with a perfect love. And I'm gonna tell you something today that we really need to realize, no matter how much more you improve in behavior, God is never gonna love you any more than he does right now, today.
You say, "Well, then, why should I keep trying to improve"? Because you love him. You're not trying to buy God's love by having better behavior. He loved you while you were still yet in sin and sent his son to die for you. He has a perfect love for us. We can't buy his love with our good behavior, but if you have something in your life that needs to change, say, patience for example, trying to be patient, that ain't gonna work. You ever try so hard to change and the more you tried, the worse you acted? Man, I've had that. But you know what? The apostle Paul did, too. He said, "The thing I wanna do, I can't do, and the thing I don't wanna do, that's what I always end up doing".
Well, Paul, I relate to that. And then toward the end of chapter 7, in Romans, he said, "Who will deliver me from this body of death"? And then it says, "O!" exclamation mark, "Thank God. He will!" exclamation mark. Who's gonna deliver us? He will! So, the thing to do is to fall more and more and more in love with Jesus. And so, if you're gonna work on something, work on your love relationship with Jesus. Tell him a hundred times a day how much you love him. Because Jesus said, "If you love me, you will obey me". So, I believe that the degree of our obedience lines up perfectly with the degree of our love for God. The more you love him, the more you're going to want to do everything he wants you to do, and the more you're gonna not want to displease him. Be "Founded securely on love: that you may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints, [God's devoted people, the experience of that love]".
Do you know that we actually should experience God's love? And in 1 John 4, it says that we should be conscious and aware of God's love. And that actually was, that scripture was very life changing for me, because if you pay attention, you'll catch God loving you. I call them winks from God. Little things that he does for you that maybe would only mean something to you. But you know it's God showing you that he loves you. And I've also discovered, I believe very much that God loves us through other people. A lot of times when my husband says to me, "I love you. You look really nice today". I don't even take that as Dave anymore, I take it as God. 'Cause God wants to work through us to edify and encourage and build other people up.
You want a ministry? Be an encourager. People need to be encouraged. It's amazing sometimes when I'll, you know, give somebody a compliment and they say, "You made my day". That's pretty amazing when you have the power to make somebody's day just by giving them a compliment. So, start watching for God's love in your life. And you might even keep a journal and just write down all the little things that God does for you, that, really, to be honest, nothing God does is little. Everything he does is big. And then it goes on to say that, "Who can ever separate us", Romans 8:35, "From Christ's love? Shall suffering and affliction and tribulation? Or calamity and distress? Or persecution or hunger or destitution or peril or sword"? Then it goes on to say, "But we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us".
What does it mean to be more than a conqueror? I think it means that you already know you have the victory before you even get the problem. So, therefore, you don't have to be afraid of trouble. I can remember when I used to get the first hints of trouble, I'd be like, "Oh, no". I was afraid of trouble. "Oh, no, not again". But see, now, I know, I don't like to go through them, but I know that I will have the victory and so therefore I am more than a conqueror. I don't even have to wait to see what I'm gonna conquer. And you don't have to either, because you are more than a conqueror.