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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - The Greatest Change of All - Part 1

Joyce Meyer - The Greatest Change of All - Part 1

Joyce Meyer - The Greatest Change of All - Part 1
Joyce Meyer - The Greatest Change of All - Part 1

The greatest change of all is what I'm goin' to teach on tonight. And you know, the greatest change of all, is the change that God makes in us. How many of you can say that since you've received Jesus, you have changed? How many of you, like me, still have a ways to go? Amen. Well, you know what? We will be changing until Jesus comes back to get us. So, if you're not perfected yet, don't get depressed about that. Paul said, "I'm pressing toward the mark of perfection, but I have not arrived. But one thing I do", and this is important, "Letting go of what lies behind", and he meant letting go of every mistake that he made, whether it was 20 years ago, or yesterday, you can't make progress if you feel guilty all the time about every little mistake that you make.

I said you cannot make progress if you're dragging around a sack of guilt with you all the time. Jesus paid for our sins. He took the guilt and the condemnation. You repent. You confess. And you let it go. And then you press toward the things that are ahead. We keep pressing. We keep pressing toward the things that are ahead. I've not arrived. Dave and I have been married 46 years, I mean, 56 years. Fifty-six years. But I think he's been married to at least 20, maybe 25 different women. Because I keep changing all the time. And just about the time he gets used to one version of me, then God does something else in my life, and he's gotta get used to a better version of me. Poor Dave, he wanted to get married. He was 26. And he was ready to get married. And he prayed that God would give him a wife, and he said, "Make it somebody that needs help".

Boy, you better be careful what you pray. We had five dates and got married. I always say he had to marry me before he found out what he was getting. And after we'd been married three weeks, he looked at me and he said, "What's wrong with you"? Oh, I was a mess. I looked okay on the outside, but I was a mess in my soul. How many of you know it's your soul that needs to be healed? Even after Jesus comes into your spirit, when you're born again, he comes into your spirit. And everything is made perfect there. I mean, the Bible says you're holy. All good things, you got all the Fruit of the Spirit. Everything good is in there, it's in you. You're not waiting to get it, you've got it, it's in you. Everybody say, "I've got it". You say, "Well, if I've got it, then why don't I act like it"?

Well, the Holy Spirit has to work this process in us of getting what's in our spirit into our soul. Your mind has to be renewed. You've got to change your mind. We're gonna talk about that tomorrow morning. You don't need any help with your mind, do you? Your thoughts? Never have any problems with your thoughts? Okay. You've gotta change the way you talk. If you ever want to have what Jesus died to give you, you have to change the way you talk. You've got to learn to say what the word says, not what you feel and what you think. And then, as our soul is healed, as our mind is renewed, and our soul is healed, and we learn how to use our will to choose God's will, God's given us free will.

And you know, I mean, some people say today, "Well, I don't believe there's a hell. I don't believe a loving God would send you to hell". Well, God doesn't send anybody to hell. They choose to go there by not doing what he tells 'em to do. And hell is real. And heaven is real. And the devil's real. And angels are real. And evil is real. And good is real. And we get to choose. "I set before you life and death, choose life that you and your descendants", every good decision you make affects your descendants, and every bad decision you make affects your descendants. We have four wonderful children and twelve wonderful grandchildren and six wonderful great-grandchildren. But they're all serving God. But it started with the decisions that Dave and I made. And the decisions that Dave made started with the decisions that his mother made. His father was an alcoholic, but his mother was a godly woman.

So, let me tell you, even if you're married to somebody that is not living a godly life, if you live a godly life in front of your children, you can have an effect on them. Amen? Whatever kind of mess the last generation gave you, you don't have to give it to the next generation. Amen? And so, we're always wanting to see miracles. "Oh, I'd love to see the blind see, and I'd love to see the lame walk". And you know what I've decided? I believe the greatest miracle of all is to see a messed-up person completely healed and made whole by the grace of God. We see miracles all the time and we don't make enough out of it. Let me tell you something. If God... Every change that God makes in you, you need to take the time to celebrate it instead of moaning about all the things that's still wrong with you.

Let me tell you a few of the things that were wrong with me. I ran out of paper, by the way, so. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, "If any person", so, we all fit into that, "If any person is in Christ, he is", is, not will be, "Is a new creation (a new creature altogether): the old [previous moral and spiritual condition] has", not, will, "Has". We need to pay attention to these words. The Bible tells you who you are and what you are, but you've gotta believe it. And the message that I want you to get tonight is you've gotta believe it before you see it. I'm gonna say that over and over tonight. And that's so hard for us to understand because in the world we're taught the opposite. But in God's kingdom economy, the way he does things, you have to believe what he says before you will see it in your life. "Be it unto you even as you believe".

So, you say what God says, "I am a new creation. The old man has died with Christ, and I'm a new creature". And the devil's gonna whisper in your ear, "Well, yeah, then why do you act like such a jerk"? "Well, because I have a flesh that is still being changed". See, the reason why you feel such a war going on after you're born again, I mean, you know, how many of you remember things that you did before you were saved that didn't bother you at all, once you received Jesus, now, all of a sudden, you're like, it bothers you when you do things. And that's because you're like two people. You've got a new, you're a new man, but you're still draggin' the old man around with you. And he has to be, don't miss the word, "Crucified". I just wrote a new book: I finally did it. I wrote, "What about me"? What about me? What about me? What about me?

Now, it's about dying to self. It's not for sissies. You don't wanna buy that book when it comes out, if you're not ready. But you got time to prepare. It won't come out until the fall of 2024, next year. I wish that I could write books like I wanna write, and put titles on 'em like, I wish I could just call it "Dying to self" and people would buy it. But no, you gotta, I put "What about me"? And my publisher said, "Yeah, people, they want something for themselves. They wanna know, 'yeah, what about me'"? So, see, they're gonna think it's one thing, but when they get it, they're gonna find out it's something else. I've had to get smart about this stuff. You can't just tell people, "Die to self". That's not a popular message anymore.

So, Dave prayed for somebody that needed help, and I worried all the time. I was impatient. I wanted to control everything. I got mad when I didn't get my way. I was selfish. When I was writin' this book on "What about me," and "Dying to self," I kept getting these little indications from God. "Well, why don't you make Dave a cup of coffee"? "Offer to do this for Dave, and offer to do that". And Dave's like, "Wow, what's going on? This is great". And I finally told him, I said, "Well, I'm writing a book on selfishness". So, I'm having to live it out. I'll be glad when this book's done. I'll be glad when this is over. Oh man, I was negative and critical and judgmental and unforgiving and had a victim mentality and I was jealous and ungrateful and made excuses for all my bad behavior and on, and on, and on, and on, and on. Is there anybody in here that was as bad as me? All of us, really. Well, some of these things God has helped me to completely overcome, but some of them I may be half of the way there.

So, you know, you just keep pressing toward that place of perfection that Paul talked about. But in the meantime, you don't, like, "What is wrong with me"? There's no perfect people out there, not even the preachers. They may not tell you about all their stuff, but trust me, we got it. We got stuff like everybody else does. God changes us on the inside when we're born again, and we're equipped with everything we need to live in a brand-new way. Listen to this. Ephesians 1:3: "Praise be to the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realm with every spiritual blessing in Christ". It's already done.

Can I tell you something? We are not waiting for Jesus to do anything. He has already done everything he's going to do. We're not waiting on God: he's waiting on us to believe it. But you've gotta believe it before you see it. And I think you also need to confess it. That was one of the greatest lessons in my life. God taught me to confess his word before I ever heard a sermon on it. The Holy Spirit taught me that. I was a very negative person, and I was always saying negative stuff, and God started dealing with me about that. And so, I stopped saying negative things, and I thought I was really doing good. But after six months, nothing had changed in my life, so I went to God, I said, "Well, I've", you know, "I've been good, I haven't been saying negative things, and nothing's changed". He said, "You're not saying negative things, but you're not saying anything positive either".

So that was, I mean, that was really how God taught me that it's not about just not doing the wrong thing. Come on, now, get this. We have to do the right thing. What did Jesus say? "If you cast out a devil and you leave the place empty and swept clean, it'll bring seven more worse than the one". You can't have an empty space. You've gotta fill it up with the good things. And if your mind is full of good things, then there's no place for bad thoughts to get in. We can't just, "I'm gonna really work on not thinkin' bad thoughts". No, you don't need to even work on not thinking bad thoughts. You just need to start thinking good thoughts. We're always working on something. And Jesus has already done all the work that needs to be done.

Let's talk about the word "Try". Oh, dear me. I tried till I almost died. I mean, I tried to be good, and I tried to be quiet, and i, you know, I tried, and I tried, and I tried, and I tried. You say, "Well, aren't we supposed to try"? Well, yes and no. You don't try in the flesh. The effort we make must be a Holy Ghost-led and infused effort. If it's not something that the Holy Spirit is leading you to do, then it's not gonna work. Amen?

We had somebody come through the church and they had a read the Bible through in a year plan. And the pastor said, "Okay, we're all gonna read the Bible through in a year". "Okay". We all got a calendar. You got a place to check mark off, you know, what you read. If you read six chapters a day, you got through it in a year: two in the Old Testament, two in the new, one in Proverbs, and one in Psalms. Got it. Went home, went to work. Put the calendar on the refrigerator. As long as I was getting check marks, I'd walk by there, and I'd feel so good. I put it on that refrigerator because I wanted people, when they came in, to ask me what it was. "Oh, I'm reading the whole Bible through this year". "Oh, wow". And I was all right, 'cause, see, I was tryin'! But then all of a sudden, I started getting these gaping holes in my calendar because you can only try until you get worn out.

And then, when you run out of yourself, if you don't have God there, you are in big trouble. Well, I didn't start trying to read the Bible through in a year because the Holy Spirit led me to do it. You know why I started doing it? Because when the pastor asked on Sunday morning who was reading the Bible through in a year, I didn't want to be the only one that didn't raise my hand. You know, we need to ask ourselves what our motives are for what we're doing. Because if we're not doing it because we feel led of the spirit to do it, if we're doing it as a man-pleaser and not a God-pleaser, then it's not going to work. Amen?

Now, come on, I've been at this 45 years, so I'm downloading a whole bunch of information on to you in a short period of time. Take notes, get it, by the recorded version, or buy the book, or whatever, but we've gotta study this stuff. Amen? So, you don't try in the flesh, but the Bible does say in 2 Peter, it talks about all the things that God has done for us, and he says, "Now you add to it your effort and your diligence, but it's gotta be a Holy Ghost infused effort". You see, I was trying to change myself, and I was so frustrated because nothing was happening, and I didn't understand it. How many of you have ever been there? "Well, God, I'm tryin', I'm tryin', I'm tryin'". And then every once in a while, "I just give up". Then we cry and think God's gonna feel sorry for us, and he's not. And finally, you find out that you can't change yourself, that only God can change you. Because he says, "Apart from me, you can do nothing".

So, the thing I was leaving out is I would hear a sermon maybe on Sunday morning about your mouth, and I knew that I had a big mouth that got me in trouble all the time, so, I would go home, and I would make my plan of how I'm going to keep my mouth shut. And so, my plan was then to go from saying all kinds of wrong things to saying nothing. "I'm just not gonna talk at all. Just won't say anything. Can't get in trouble if you don't say anything". Well, then, I would start getting depressed. And I didn't understand that. "Well, God, why am I getting depressed? I'm keeping my mouth shut". God said, "Yeah, but nothing's changed inside". So, now, you're just like a pressure cooker. You've got all this rotten stuff rolling around inside and there's no valve to let it out. How many of you understand that? Becoming a new creature in Christ is not about behavior modification. It's about a heart change. It's about letting God change your heart.

So then, you're doing the right thing because you want to and you're doing it leaning on God because you know that apart from him you can do nothing. So, good news for all of you that are worn out from trying to change yourself. You came to a place to get good news tonight. All of you that are so tired of trying to change yourself, you can just stop it. You just say, "God, I'm not doing that anymore. I turn myself over to you. I want to be everything you want me to be, but I'm putting you in charge of my change. You lead me and guide me in what you want me to do".

Oh, and by the way, you can't change the person you're married to. You can't change your kids. You can't change your neighbor. You can't change your parents. You can't change your friends. Too bad. You don't get to change anybody. You can pray. But you are not the potter. So, you need to go home and let everybody that you've got on the potter wheel, off. Just imagine the load that will come off of you when you understand that you are not Holy Ghost junior, and you do not have to run the world. Think about it. You might be free to become a Christian. I mean, like, a real Christian. Amen? You gotta believe it before you see it. Some people say it's hard to live the Christian life.

Well, I'll tell you, it's not hard, it's impossible. You cannot live the Christian life, and neither can i. Jesus has to live it through us. Amen? That's better news than you're acting. "It's so hard to live the Christian life". No. When the devil tells you, "It's hard," say, "No, you're wrong. It's impossible". It's not hard. It's impossible. But I can spend time with God. I can study the word. I can sit in God's presence, and I can let him change me. Amen? And then, you'll relax, and something will change, and you'll say, "Man, that had to be God". God gives us his Holy Spirit because we can't do it ourselves. In Philippians 2, it says, "Work out your salvation with fear and trembling, with serious caution and self-distrust, knowing that it's God who is all the while at work in you, giving you the strength that you need to do what needs to be done". So, we have this salvation in us, and the Bible says, "Work it out". He didn't say, "Work for it". He said, "Work it out". But you work with the Holy Spirit to work it out. And one of the first things that has to change is your mind.
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