Joyce Meyer - Blessed in the Mess - Part 3
Thank you for joining me today on, "Enjoying Everyday Life". And you know, I really believe the more of God's word you know, the more you will be able to enjoy every single day of your life. And when I say, "Enjoying Everyday Life," we call the program that because we want you to know that you don't have to just enjoy a vacation, or just enjoy a payday, or just enjoy a party, but ordinary every day, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, you can enjoy. You can enjoy going to the grocery store, you can enjoy cleaning your house, you can enjoy doing dishes, you can enjoy whatever you do, if you have the right mindset and the right attitude.
Now, we're talking about how you can be "Blessed in the mess". We all say, "Boy, my life's a mess," or, "My finances are a mess," or, "Man, my garage is a mess. I need to clean that garage out". Do we ever clean it out? Well, we're still thinking about that. Amen? But the point that I've been making is that we can be blessed in the mess if, say it. We do things God's way. Not just walking in the flesh, walking by emotions, doing what we think out of our own head, but if we do things God's way. So just for the sake of those who haven't been with us, what is God's way? How do you handle a problem God's way? Well, number one, you don't blame God. It's not his fault. God is good.
One of the first things to learn in life is God's good and the devil's bad. Period. Don't feel sorry for yourself. How many of you admit that's kind of hard sometimes? Stay positive. Stay in faith. Don't say negative things. We're gonna talk about that today. Don't prophesy your own defeat. Say things like, "God loves me. This will pass. This is gonna end well. God's gonna work something good out of this". And keep doing what you would do if you didn't have a problem. Don't withdraw and sulk in a corner somewhere, but get out and do something, be part of life, and especially be good to other people. Now, this message is called "The smallest thing that causes the biggest problem". And it's this. Right there.
So, it's interesting in James, he says that a ship, as big as it is, is directed by a small rudder. Now, that's really pretty interesting when you think about it. That as big as a ship is, I mean I don't know how big the rudder is but you know, it's very tiny compared to the whole ship and yet they can turn that ship completely around by the direction of that rudder. And James is saying our tongue is like that. We can change our whole life by speaking right words instead of wrong ones. And we don't know this when we're growing up. We don't... Sad to say a large part of the time people don't even learn this in church. I mean, I went to church for a lot of years and I never heard, nobody ever told me to be careful about what I said or that my words had any power.
But Proverbs 18:21 says, "The power of life and death is in the tongue". Wow. Now, you know, I've been studying God's word and trying to practice it for 45 years. And I will admit that I probably still don't fully understand just how powerful words are. I do a lot better than I used to, but there's times. And it says, "The words that you speak, you'll eat". We've heard that phrase, "You're gonna eat those words"! And people don't even know why they're saying it, but it's actually scripture. We feed on, like when we talk, if we say positive things, it helps us as well as the other people. When we say negative things, it hurts us as well as hurting all the people around us.
So, James says, "We all often stumble and fall and offend in many things. And if anyone does not offend in speech, [never says the wrong things], he is a fully developed character and a perfect man, able to control his whole body and curb his entire nature". So, that's the picture of somebody who's fully transformed into the image of Christ, someone who is completely spiritually mature. Like, Jesus never said the wrong thing. But you're gonna see in a minute that it's interesting, when he was going into difficult times, he would make his mind up ahead of him, "I'm not gonna talk". We speak, they say, between 8,000 and 13,000 words a day. So, the more you talk, the more likely you are to say the wrong thing.
In John 14:30, and I love this scripture, this one and one in Isaiah. Well, I'll read Isaiah first, Isaiah 53:7 says, "He was oppressed, [yet when] he was afflicted, he was submissive and he opened not his mouth: like a lamb that's led to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth". Now, you know, I read that for years and I didn't have any idea what that meant. "He opened not his mouth". Well, why didn't he open his mouth? You know, why didn't he say anything? And in John 14:30, he told his disciples, "I will not talk with you much more, for the prince, (the evil genius, the ruler) of the world is coming. And he has no claim on me. [he has nothing in common with me: there's nothing in me that belongs to him, and he has no power over me]".
So, he's obviously saying, "And I'm not gonna open my mouth and say something that's gonna give him an open door into my life". He was going into his roughest time in the Garden of Gethsemane where he was under such pressure that he sweated drops of blood, trying to make his mind up that he was gonna obey God and go ahead and go through what he went through. We have no idea, we cannot possibly understand what that... Holy, completely holy, sinless... Jesus, what it must have been like for him to become sin on that cross. He didn't just take our sins, the Bible says, "He became sin". And then to actually feel like he would have been forsaken by his father, yet he knew that he wasn't because he said, "You will not leave my soul in hell. I will praise you in the midst of the worshiping congregation".
Boy, when you're in a hard time the best thing to do is just decide I'm gonna be quiet. When you're angry. Whoo! Man! The best thing to do is just say, "I'm gonna get somewhere and shut my mouth, because if I don't, I am gonna say the wrong thing". Now, obviously when we say wrong things, we can repent. God forgives us, but we still don't want to open the door for the devil. No wonder the Bible says in Ephesians 4, "When you're angry, don't sin and give the devil a foothold in your life. Make sure that you settle it before you go to sleep". Before the sun goes down.
Proverbs 18:20 and 21, "A man's [moral] self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth: and with the consequences of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil]. Death and life are in the power of the tongue", now listen, "And they who indulge it shall eat its fruit, whether it's [for death or life]". Hmm. You know, we all need to hear a message like this, maybe, I don't know, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve, thirteen times a year. You can turn your life around by starting to say right things.
And if you've heard me teach much, you know that one of the first things that God taught me before I ever heard a message on confessing the word was to start confessing the word out loud. He had been dealing with me about not being negative, and I stopped saying negative things, but not much had changed, and I went to God kind of in a complaining attitude, "Well, I've been good. I haven't been saying negative things, and nothing's changed". And he said, "You haven't said negative things, but you haven't said anything positive either".
So, see, it's not just enough to stop doing the wrong thing, you have to start doing the right thing. In every area of life. That's why the enemy says, you know, "If an evil spirit's cast out and the house remains empty, then he'll just come back and bring seven more with him and the last condition will be worse than the first". So, we need to fill our mind with good things, fill our heart with good things. We need to do good things. We need to treat people good. The more good that you do, the better your life will be. Encourage other people. Make your mind up to put a smile on other people's face. You'll have to forgive me for saying this, but we are so selfish. Even our prayers sometimes are all about me, me, me.
Wow. I finally wrote the book. It won't come out for maybe not for a year, but I wrote it, "What about me"? Was gonna put a robot on the front of it, but I didn't know if everybody would understand that. I love James 1:26 and 27, "If anybody thinks that he's religious, (piously observant of the external duties of his faith) and does not bridle his tongue but deludes his own heart, this person's religious service is worthless". So, you can go to church every day and then go home and gossip in the afternoon. And it's, you know, all your time is just useless. "External worship, [religion as it is expressed in outward acts] that is pure and unblemished in the sight of God is: to visit and help and care for orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep yourself unspotted and uncontaminated from the world".
So, what is true religion? Bridle your tongue and help people. Whoo. At all times, even when you're hurting. Right? Even when you're angry. Even when you've been mistreated. Boy, when somebody's hurt you and you hear somebody talking good about them... It is so hard not to say, "Yeah, well, let me tell you a couple things you don't know". We talked about this, but I'll read you this scripture, James 3:4-10, "Likewise, look at the ships: though they are so great and driven by rough winds, they are steered by very small rudder wherever the impulse of the helmsman determines". So, he's saying the guy that's controlling the rudder determines the direction of the ship.
So, we might say, "We," the person who's controlling our tongue, "We determine the direction of our life". When God told me, "You've stopped saying negative things, but you haven't started saying anything positive". Like I said, I had not heard any kind of a message about the power of confession or the words of your mouth. I hadn't heard that yet, but I felt led by God to make a list of things that I wanted to see happen in my life that were all scripture. You know, you can't say, "Well, I confess I'm a millionaire". Because there's nothing in the Bible to back that up. But anything that you can find a promise for, and I found a scripture for every single thing that I wrote down, and I ended up with 65 things on my list, and I started confessing them out loud twice a day.
And I mean, I said things like, "Everybody loves me. I have favor everywhere I go. I'm good to people. I love to give". And to be honest with you, I don't think anything that I said at the time was a fact. It wasn't true as the way the world would look at true. But we serve a God that "Calls things that be not as though they are," Romans 4:17 says. He called Abraham the father of many nations before he ever had a child. God did that! He calls things that be not as though they are. What do you think prophecy is? God had prophets put things out in the atmosphere. See, words are powerful when they're spoken. That's why the spoken word, the preaching of the word, is so powerful.
And so, I still confess the word every day. Maybe not the whole 65 things on the list, but I can tell you this, every single thing on that list is a reality in my life now. Every single one of them. And so, nobody's ever gonna convince me that this doesn't work, and I can back every bit of it up by scripture. Hold fast your confession of faith in him when you're going through troubles. "God is good. This is gonna work out good. I am more than a conqueror through Christ who loves me. I have the victory. I'm not afraid of anything, not even death. Death has no sting. I'm on my way to heaven. Good things are gonna happen in my life today. Something good is gonna happen to me and something good is gonna happen through me". I mean, if you just took five minutes every morning and declared positive things out of your mouth.
You say, "Yeah, well, I've tried that, and it didn't work". We don't "Try" things. We "Believe" them, and we keep it up until we get a result. If you're just "Trying" something, then you probably really don't believe it. You gotta have faith behind what you do. The tongue is a little member and it can boast of great things. See how much wood or how great a forest, a tiny spark can be set ablaze. Well, we've had a lot of fires in the last few years, forest fires that have destroyed millions of acres and homes and just recently a whole town on maui, lahaina burned up and very often these fires are started by a discarded cigarette, a spark off an engine, one lightning strike. It starts in one, little, tiny place and then the wind just blows it all over the place and he's comparing that to our tongue.
See what a large fire, a little tiny spark can set. Do you know that many divorces are caused just by words? Words spoken or words unspoken. You can lose a job over words. You can lose a friendship over words. We have a choice. Every single one of you today, myself included, can make your life better or you can make it worse just by deciding how you're gonna talk. You know, I'm so tired of hearing everybody in the world talk about nothing but the trouble in the world. I mean that's everywhere. "Things are such a mess. Prices are so high. Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah. Gas prices are just going through the roof".
Well, how about saying, "Thank God I got the money to put some gas in my car. Thank God I'm still eating even though prices are high," you know. There's always something to be thankful for, and that's what we should talk about. Now, I know we don't stick our head in the sand and act like there are no problems in the world. We need to be awake and alert and read the signs of the times and know that Jesus may come back very soon. But I don't think, when he comes back, he wants to find all the believers doing nothing but talking about the trouble. I mean, I think we should be talking about, you know, there's trouble in the world but, man, there's an answer. God is the answer. I think these are the worst of times and the best of times.
You know, I think it's a great time for the church if we would just take the opportunity that's there to be saying positive things. I mean, I'm just so tired of hearing it. It's just like, "Can we please talk about something else besides how bad everything is"? Whew! You can tell I don't like it. Think of the power of words, a judge can say guilty or not guilty and change the course of a person's entire life. With one word, "Guilty". The president can say a few words and nation's at war. Peter preached at Pentecost and 3,000 souls were saved. I use words. That's my gift, words. And lives are changed with words.
How often do I hear, "You have changed my life"? Well, I haven't changed anybody's life. It's the Word of God that has changed their life, but it's words. And God's word is full of life and power. It's not just dead words, but words that are anointed to have life in them, and they renew your mind, and they get down in your heart, and they change the way you think and they change the way you act. They change the way you behave, and they change your life. On April the 2nd, 1855, Edward Kimball, Moody's Sunday school teacher, went into a Boston shoe store and while he was there, he led Dwight l. Moody to Christ and the result was one of the world's greatest evangelists. A few words in a shoe store. Wow. "I love you," can change a person's life.
I mean, I've had people say, "When you looked at that TV screen and you said, 'God loves you,' it changed my life". Now we think everybody's heard that, but they haven't. You know, some people have never had anybody say, "I love you," to them. There's a lot of lonely people in the world. Words can be used for good or they can be used for evil. They can be used for encouragement. Do you know that just a few words of encouragement can motivate someone to keep going and do great things? A few words of encouragement can keep somebody from giving up and quitting. It can give someone confidence to do great things.
A child who hears words of acceptance and love can grow up and do amazing things. Always encourage your children. Yes, we have to correct our children, but encourage them. Tell them, "You can do anything that you make your mind up to do. You're smart. You're creative. You're talented. I love you". A child who hears words of rejection and never experiences love or is abused, often grows up and becomes a sociopath or a psychopath and has no conscience and does horrible things to other people. Most of the people, if you watch any of the true crime stories, most of the people that become serial killers or psychopaths, they've all been hurt in their childhood. All.
And I'm so glad that I had God in my life. I don't ever remember a time when I wasn't aware of God. And although I had a lot of trouble, I had God. And so, let me tell you, if you've got a lot of trouble, but you've got God, well, you can make it. You can make it through anything. And you can do, no matter what kind of a mess your life is in right now, you can do great things with your life. And those of you watching by TV, I just want to tell you today, if you do not have a relationship with Christ, if you have not surrendered your life to him, and you're interested in knowing more about serving God, you say, "I want to have my sins forgiven. I want my name to be written in the lamb's book of life," call the number on your screen and one of our operators will be happy to answer any questions you have or pray with you and lead you into a relationship with Jesus.
You need Jesus in your life. You need him. You need a relationship with God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We need the power of the Holy Spirit in our life. Yes, the world is a mess right now, but when all the plagues were coming on Egypt, God hid the Israelites in a little place called Goshen, and none of the plagues touched them. And I believe no matter how bad things are in the world, that we can live in this world and still be just as happy as if none of it was going on. Amen?