Joyce Meyer - Pressing Past Negative Feelings - Part 1
Pressing into things and through things is a very important principle that we must understand, if we're ever going to be who God wants us to be, do what he wants us to do, and have what he wants us to have. God has got a job for you. Every single one of us has an assignment from God. And probably most of you don't know what yours is, but you have one. And for most of you, do you know what it is? It's just to get out in the world and be an example. For most of you, it's not to go to the mission field, it's not to be up here, it's not, you know, to be a great singer. It's just get out in the world, live your Monday through Sunday life and just be an example, be a pattern that people can follow.
What the world needs is to see real Christians being Christians. And like Ginger said earlier, "If you had any idea how amazing you are". I mean, really and truly how amazing, I mean, I was thinking about this the other day, that God took his own hand and fashioned and formed us. The Amplified Bible says, "Intricately and carefully in our mother's wombs". You are not a mistake. There's not something wrong with you because you're not like somebody else. You're not supposed to be like somebody else. And you're not weird, you're unique. Amen? Wishing does nothing for us. "Well, I wish I had..." "Well, I wish I was out of debt". "Well, I wish I could lose some weight". "I wish my closet was cleaned out". We don't need wishbone, we need backbone. Amen?
Wine is made by putting grapes through a press. And wine often represents power, in the Bible. For example, the Bible says new wine cannot be put into old wine skins, which really means a new power cannot be given to someone who is hanging on to old ways. If I was still hanging on to my old religious ways, I wouldn't have the freedom that I have now. And you always need to be open to new things, nothing outside of the Word of God. But don't ever get the idea that you know it all. And there's nothing that you have that you can learn. And no matter what denomination you're from, yours is not the one that has it all right. Amen? We're gonna be surprised I think, when we get to heaven, to find out none of us, were all right.
The past is like a magnet, trying to draw you back all the time. And God always wants us going forward. If he were supposed to be looking back all the time, you'd have eyes in the back of your head, not just the front of your head. We press clothes to get wrinkles out of 'em, and Jesus is coming back for a church without spot, blemish, or wrinkle. Matthew 7:13 and 14, "Enter through the narrow gate: for wide is the gate and spacious and broad is the way that leads away to destruction, and many are those who are entering through it". The wide gate, you know why many enter there? 'cause that's easy. It doesn't take any effort. You got lots of company on the wide road. It's easy to walk on. You can do what you want to, do what you feel like. Take all your fleshly baggage with you, there's room for all that. "But the gate is narrow," now, look here, "(contracted by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it".
You know, even among preachers, we all have something, I think, that we're especially called by God to focus on. And for me, it's always been spiritual maturity. It's always wanting to help the believer mature and be transformed into the image of Christ, so they can really enjoy the life that Jesus died to give them. He didn't die for us just so we could someday go to the sweet by and by, and live in our nice little mansion in heaven. I'm looking forward to that. Looking forward to eternity, being with God. The older I get, the more I look forward to it. But how many of you wanna enjoy the journey? And how many of you wanna be fruitful on the journey? You wanna take a few people with you? Let's don't just be around people all the time and let 'em go to hell by the dozens. But let's be an example to people and give them, let's be the kind of people that are salty. The Bible says we're salt and light, and salt makes you thirsty. So, if we're good and salty, then other people are gonna get thirsty for what we have. Amen?
Tonight, in particular, I wanna talk about, pressing past the pain of negative emotions. Anybody ever have an emotion, that keeps you from doing what you should be doing? Feelings? Boy, those feelings they're abundant, aren't they? You feel one way one day, and another way the next day. And one way if i, I mean, a lot of you tonight, you feel like coming and being here all day tomorrow. But if you wake up in the morning, and don't feel like it, then what are you gonna do? Eh, I can watch her on television Monday morning. But you know what? You'll miss something that God wants you to have. And we absolutely must begin to do what we know we should do, whether we feel like it or not. Amen? Matter of fact, I wanna suggest to you tonight, that you stop paying so much attention to how you feel. Just don't bother asking yourself how do i, "Well, how do I feel about this"?
Somebody asked me a few years back, "How do you feel about all the traveling that you have to do, to be in ministry"? And i, you know, it took me back for a minute, and I thought, and I said, "You know what? I haven't asked myself in a long time". You know why? Because if I did, I wouldn't feel too good about it. The more you pay attention to how you feel, the more you're going to not walk according to God's will for your life. Matter of fact, if I did what I felt like doing, you know, I might not even show up sometimes. But do you know that I've never missed one of my meetings? In 45 years, I've never left the stage to go to the bathroom. I mean, you ever think about things like that?
You know, people out there, they get up and run to the bathroom, and get up and run and get a drink of water. They don't care who they're disturbing around them, or whether it bothers the preacher or not. I never leave. I don't get to go anywhere. What about you, pastor Tommy? Do you ever have to go to the bathroom when you're up here? We just can't always do what we feel like doing. And we need to stop doing that, because that's part of that soulish nature that has to die, so Christ can live in us, and take that space that belongs to him. Courageous people and people desperate for change, will press and press, and press, and press, until they get the desired result. And I can tell you, I'm not, and this is not a put down to me, but I'm not especially talented. I'm really pretty normal.
But I'll tell you one thing that I've got going for me, I am bullheaded. Amen? They were reminding me, the other day, of a conference that we went to Cambodia to do. Is that where we were somebody? Yeah. And the people got in the building, and the worship team was in there, but then somebody got the power turned off. And there was an, it was an electric gate, and so, I couldn't get in. They were all in, and I couldn't get in. And so, the devil thought that he had ruined the meeting. And I said, "Isn't there any way you can get me in there"? My son said, "Well, not unless you wanna jump up on the trash can and jump the fence". I said, "Let's go"! And they hoisted me up on this big trash container outside, and I climbed up on that fence, and went over on the other side, and some of the guys caught me on the other side. And didn't have any power, so I preached through a bullhorn. And they said that, that did more for the city, than if the power would've been on, and I would've got in the normal way, because they actually saw somebody pressed through.
C'mon, I mean, how can we be full of the Holy Spirit and be such wimps? "Well, I can't do that, that's too hard". There's nothing too hard for God, and he's in us. Oh, there's so many things that we need to press through. I want you to go to Philippians chapter 3, beginning in verse 10, this is from the Amplified Bible. And we're gonna take this a little slow, I really want you to see this. This is Paul, he said, "Now, [my determined purpose is] that I may know him". Wow, he didn't say my determined purpose is to have a new camel, or a new donkey, or a bigger tent. Can I tell you the truth? We really, there's nothing wrong with asking God for what you want and need. But we don't have to spend very much time at all asking God for things. Because the Bible says plainly, if you seek him first, he will add all the things.
We need to be going for a stronger relationship with God, not any more of something else, that we've already got more of, than what we know what to do with. "[For my determined purpose]" he said, "I'm determined to know him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding how wonderful he is, and that I may understand it more strongly and more clearly], and that I may in that same way come to know the power outflowing from his resurrection [which it exerts over believers]". You won't like this part, "And so that I may so share his sufferings". Suffering, I know that's not a popular word, but it is a Bible word. You say, "Well, I thought Jesus died to deliver us from our suffering"? Yeah, he died to deliver us from our sin. We don't have to suffer the effects of sin, but we will have to suffer in the flesh. And I'm not talking about sickness and disease and tragedies, that's not the thing. I'm talking about, if you're gonna die to self and live for Christ...
Let me tell you something, while God was trying to teach me how to be a submissive wife, my flesh had real pain in it. I mean, pain that I could feel. How many of you know what I'm talking about? Alright. You know, even if it's something as simple as not having the last word in an argument, if you're... And you know the Holy Spirit is telling you, "Just shut up". If you obey him, your flesh is gonna hurt. And that's the kind of suffering that Paul's talking about here. And he says, "That I might so share his sufferings as to be continually transformed [in spirit into his likeness even] to his death". He's saying... See, the Bible says we are predestined to be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ. But to be predestined doesn't mean that it's gonna happen no matter what you do. That means that, that's God's will. That's what he has arranged for, and because he's arranged for it, it can happen, if we do our part.
And so, we can't back off from the hard parts, because if we do, we're never gonna get through to the finish. Do you honestly think that I can stand here after 45 years of doing this, without having gone through a lot of things that have been very difficult and hard? Of course not. So don't ever sit out there and say, "I wish I had a ministry like Joyce's". Well, do you wanna do what I did to get it? Don't be jealous of what somebody else has got, if you don't wanna do what they did to get it. Amen? "That I may be continually transformed [in spirit into his likeness even] to his death, [in the hope] that if possible I may attain to the [spiritual and moral] resurrection [that lifts me] out from among the dead [even while I'm in the body]".
Now, you know what that means? He said, "Look, I want, I wanna know Christ. I wanna be like him. I wanna have that same resurrection power, so when I have problems and trouble and turmoil, there's a place where I can be lifted above that". You see, we can be lifted above these things. It's almost like the eagle when they're in a storm, the downdraft from the storm kicks 'em up above the storm, and they just fly around up there in the good space and look down at the storm. Well, that's the way God wants us to be. He wants us to be the same way. The Bible says, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength: they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and they shall not faint".
We are not supposed to let our troubles take us down. We're supposed to stand up to them and say, "No, you're not going to defeat me. No, you're not gonna defeat me. I'm not gonna quit. I'm not gonna give up. Jesus died for me to have a life that I could enjoy, and I am going to have it". Amen? "Not that I have now attained this," he said, "I'm not there yet". "Or have already been made perfect, but I press, I press, on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus (the Messiah) has laid hold of me and made me his own". Why did Jesus die for you? Why did he take hold of you? What is his will for your life? He wants you to know who you are in Christ. He wants you to, of course, go to heaven when you die and live in eternity with him. But he wants you to have a good life while you're here. And if the only time we can have a good day is when we have no problems, we are not gonna have very many good days. Amen? I got a lot more message than I've got night, I know that.
Psalms 94:12 and 13, "Blessed (happy, fortunate, and to be envied) is the man whom you discipline and instruct, o Lord, and teach out of your law", now watch, "That you may give him power to keep himself calm in the days of adversity". So, in other words, God is gonna discipline us. You know what that means? He's gonna teach us by whatever means he has to use to teach us. How many of you just wish that your kids would listen to you when you tell them something? Because if they would listen when you tell 'em something, then you wouldn't have to take it to another level. Well, God's the same way, if you would just listen. If you would just read the book and do what it says, we wouldn't have to go through all this. But no, we gotta have it the hard way.
"Okay, have it the hard way, but I'm gonna keep working with you, and keep working on you, until I can work through you". Amen, did you hear me? God is gonna to keep working on you, until he can work through you. Because you have an assignment from God, and it's to affect other people. And you can affect other people and not even open your mouth. So, you don't need to be afraid, "Oh, I can't preach, I can't help," you know. You can preach a much louder sermon and never say a word, just by living the life that you're supposed to live in front of people. What do you think happens when... I had this happen to me, I bought a pair of shoes and I was looking at the purse, wanted to get it, didn't want to get it.
Finally decided not to get the purse. So, I paid for the shoes, and when I got home, I had the purse in the bag. I didn't put it in there, the clerk put it in there. So, now, I can't be one of those stupid Christians that say, "Well, God was just trying to bless me". No, no, no, no, no. The devil's testing you. And God may use it as an opportunity to test you, to see what you'll do. You gonna keep it, or are you gonna get in your car, and use your time, and your gas money, to go back and fix their mistake? Well, when I took that purse back, the clerk said, "Man, we never have anybody do this". And that's when you have an opportunity, if you're bold enough to say, "Well, I'm a Christian, and I certainly couldn't steel it, so, I brought it back".
Okay, let's look at this scripture again in Philippians. "Not that I have already attained it," I've not arrived, "But I press on to lay hold of and take hold of those things for which Christ Jesus died to take hold of me". Verse 13, "I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]:" yet. "But one thing I do," I love this, "[it is my one aspiration]: forgetting what lies behind and pressing," says, "Straining forward to those things which are ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the [supreme and the heavenly] prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward".
Now, probably people don't usually go on to this, but I think this is important. "So let those [of us] who are spiritually mature and full-grown have this same mind and hold these same convictions". So, what is he saying? He's saying, "Anybody who is spiritually mature should be able to let go of the things that are behind and press on to the things that are ahead". That means if you sinned on the way to church, I don't know, maybe you used a dirty word at another driver, or maybe you fought all the way here with the person you came with, I don't know.
Well, you're not gonna get a thing out of what I say, if you sit there all night and feel guilty. I don't care if it's letting go of something 5 minutes ago, or letting go of something 20 years ago, we need to let go of the past. And I'm gonna talk to you more about that tomorrow. So, I'm not gonna do any more of that. But isn't it interesting that he said the spiritually mature? Baby Christians are the ones that hang on to every little mistake that they make, and mourn over it, and grieve over it. Jesus died so we didn't have to do that, so we could repent, turn around, I'm not gonna live like that anymore, God. You probably will do it again, but then you get to turn around, and do it again.