Joyce Meyer - Nothing Is Hidden from God
Well, thank you for joining me today on "Enjoying Everyday Life," where I will be sharing God's word with you, which is the truth, and we need that today because there's so much deception in the world. So, perk up both your little, spiritual ears and get ready to hear something that I think is gonna help you. Today, and really for the next couple of days, I'm gonna be teaching on "Nothing is hidden from God". I think that, you know how we are, if we think somebody's watching, we behave better, don't we? We put on our best behavior when somebody's watching.
And I remember an incident a long time ago, back when I was still in my not-so-godly days, and I was frustrated and hollering at the kids. And my pastor rang the doorbell. You never saw anybody straighten up so fast in all your life. I mean, I was just like, "Pastor! So nice to see you. Oh, the kids, they're great! Yeah, come on in". And so, really, when we... It's amazing, I really kind of learned from that experience that, you know, we think sometimes we can't control ourselves. But you really can if you want to enough. And it's amazing how we'll act in front of some people. But if somebody comes around that we want to impress, or that we don't want to be disappointed with us, we can act pretty good.
Well, the thing is, is God sees everything. And I think that if we can learn that we live before, what I call, an audience of one, realizing that God sees everything all the time, we should be on our best behavior all the time. And so, God sees everything, so we should learn to live as if we believe that nothing is hidden from him. Do nothing that you wouldn't do in front of him because nothing is hidden from him. God sees not only what we do, but he sees the heart of a person, so he sees the real us. He sees all, knows all, and is everywhere all the time. So that's cool. He can watch all of us all the time. Proverbs 15:3, "The eyes of the Lord are everywhere, keeping watch on the wicked and the good". So, we don't even really need to be concerned about all the wicked people and all the things that they do because they're not getting by with anything either. God sees it all.
Hebrews 4:13, "Nothing and all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom", now, listen to these last few words, "We must give account". See, the day will come, and sometimes we don't like to talk about these things. But the day will come, it's actually called Judgment Day. When we will stand before God and give an account of our lives, it says in, I think it's Romans 14:12, that "Every man will stand before God and give an account of himself". And so, we don't need to be so concerned about what somebody else is doing, and judging them. We won't, because we're not gonna be asked to give an account for them. I always think, "God's not going to ask me to answer for Dave, so I just need to make sure that I'm doing what I should be doing because God's only gonna ask me about me".
And then, Psalm 139, I've actually got 12 verses here. It's such an amazing Psalm. And if we really pay attention to what it says, it's pretty awesome. "You have searched me, Lord, and you know me". And when God says, he knows you, that's not like, "Oh yeah, I know her". It's like, "I know you. You know when I sit and when I rise: you perceive my thoughts afar off". So, God knows even what we're gonna think before we think it. Wow. I don't even know that about myself. "You discern my going out and my lying down: you are familiar with all my ways". And I love this one. "Before a word is even on my tongue, you know it completely". So, God knows what we're gonna say before we're gonna say it. He knows what we're gonna think before we even think it. "You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me".
I'm real fond of that. Have you ever felt like God had you in a place where you couldn't get away and he was dealing with you? Nowhere you're gonna get away from it? "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, it's too lofty to attain. Where can I go from your spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go to heaven, you're there: if I make my bed in the depths, you're there. If I rise on the wings of the Dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me". And then I love this one. "If I say, 'well, surely the darkness will hide me and the light will become like night around me,' even the darkness will not be dark to you: God, the night will shine like the day, for darkness is the same as light to you".
So, God sees everything, knows everything. And if we really would think about that every day, God's gonna see everything that I do, and maybe think about it a few times, I think it would help us be on our best behavior. Psalm 94:11 says, "The Lord knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath". And then, Matthew 12:25, "Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them, 'every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand'". So, you know, a lot of times we may think we go in our house and close the door, and God doesn't know what's going on in there, but he knows everything behind closed doors. And one of the things that we need to be really careful of is strife.
In Proverbs 6, it says, "There's six things the Lord hates, and the seventh is an abomination unto him", and the seventh one. Now, get this. "Is he who sows discord among his brethren". So, you know what that means? Gossiping, telling tales, starting trouble, giving people a bad opinion about somebody else because of something you don't like that they did. And God says, "That's an abomination". That's even beyond, he hates it. It's an abomination. You know why? Because God can only work where there's peace. And so, if we want our homes to be blessed and our lives to be blessed, we really do need to work to keep peace in our homes. And in order to have peace, I do think you have to work at it, because the devil is always trying to stir up some kind of trouble.
If you wanna know where the devil's gonna be, it's anywhere where anything good is happening. That's always where he's gonna be. Paul said, I try to do evil, I mean, "I try to do good, and evil always shows up". Now, Jesus had a lot to say to hypocrites. And hypocrites are people who pretend to be one thing on the outside, but inside, there's something else. And we all know that you can smile at a person and be thinking, "That outfit really looks stupid on you". So, just think about that God sees what's going on inside of us and that's what's important to him. Much more important than any pretense of Godliness or supposed religiosity. And the pharisees, you know, "I'm fair-you see," the pharisees were very much religious, but yet Jesus told them, "You're like whitewashed tombs full of dead men's bones". Wow. He said, "You clean the outside of the cup, but the inside is filthy". And then he said, "If you clean the inside, then the outside will automatically be clean".
So, I do think, and you can nod or shake your head, but I think that we pay a lot more attention to what we do and what people see us do, than we do, what's going on inside of us all the time. And so, God cares about our attitudes. And nobody has to have a bad attitude. Your attitude belongs to you, and nobody can make you have a bad one if you don't wanna have a bad one. And I'll tell you, a good attitude is so valuable. I always say, "I would rather have somebody work for me that maybe is not quite as skilled but has a good attitude than somebody who is just brilliant but has a stinky, bad attitude". I met somebody out in the hall the other day and I asked him, "How long have you been working for us"? And he said, "25 years". And I said, "Well, you must like it here". He said, "I don't have one thing to complain about". And I thought, "I like you".
See, it's so easy to find the one thing to complain about without thinking about the multitudes of things that we have to be thankful for. And whether you know it or not, complaining is a sin because you don't do it by faith. And whatever is not of faith is sin. God wants us to be thankful, not murmuring and complaining. So, Matthew 23:25-28, and Matthew 23, the whole chapter is a great chapter to read. "Woe to you teachers of the law", and I always have said, "I don't know what woe is, but I know I don't want any of it". But it's actually, I looked it up. It's like kind of the worst kind of misery you can have. "Woe to you, teachers of the law and pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and the dish, but inside you're full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind pharisees! First clean the inside of the cup and the dish, and then the outside will be clean".
So, if we pay more attention to what's going on inside of us, everything on the outside that people see, that just kind of takes care of itself because what's in us works its way out of us. "Woe to you, teachers of the law and pharisees, you hypocrites! You're like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside, but on the inside, you're full of dead men's bones and everything unclean". I always say, "You can dress it up and take it to church. But that doesn't really say much about what's going on inside of you, the real person".
I don't know if you're anything like me or not, but I can remember Dave and I years ago... years ago, we don't do this anymore. Years ago, arguing all the way to church, arguing with the kids, but boy, as soon as we got in the church, we became Mr. and Mrs. Holy. And I can remember looking at the words of a worship song on the overhead and mouthing the words, while thinking inside, "If Dave thinks I'm fixing him anything to eat today, he's got another thought coming. For all I care, he can starve. He's just gonna go home and watch football and I'm gonna have to clean the house all day". And so, I was like, "I surrender all". So, you know that, but God really wasn't even hearing that. What he was hearing was what was going on inside of me.
So, if we wanna be real Christians, we have to pay attention to what's going on in us because God is a God of hearts. "In the same way that you are on the outside, you appear to people as righteous, but on the inside," he said, "You're full of hypocrisy and wickedness". Now, I wanna talk just a little bit today about not compromising. It's so easy to do, to compromise. "Well, everybody else does it". Well, you're not everybody else. And you're not gonna answer for everybody else. And I remember crabbin' one time, to the Lord, about I felt like he was, there were so many things that he wouldn't let me do. And I knew other preachers that, you know, maybe it was a movie that I wanted to go see. And I just didn't feel like God wanted me to go see it because of something that was in it. But I knew all kinds of other ministers that were going to see it and thought it was great.
And so, I was crabbing and complaining to the Lord, "Why are you so strict with me, and all these other people do it, and they seem to have good ministries"? And he said, "Look, you've asked me for a lot. Do you want it or not"? So, you have to remember that if you want God to do what you have asked him to do in your life, then compromise is not the way to go. And compromise, and we're all tempted to do it. The temptation to compromise is around us all the time. We know better than to gossip about other people, but it is so tempting. Or isn't it amazing how our ears perk up when we hear somebody say, "Did you hear"? It is so hard to just walk away and think, "No, and I don't want to". It's like, we just wanna know.
You know, because I fell and broke my leg this year and had the problem with my other leg from a blood clot from back surgery, when we put it on TV for the first time, we did it on one of the talk it out shows, and they called the show "The Fall of Joyce Meyer". And we got more hits on that show than anything we've ever put on the air. You know why? 'Cause people thought I'd fallen into sin, and boy, they wanted to know everything about it. You know, wonder what we'd get if we put on there "The Holiness of Joyce Meyer," you know. Probably think, "I ain't gonna watch that," you know. So, compromise, if you look at the definition, and this was really just, puts a little bit of the fear of God in you. Compromise means to go just a little bit below what you know is right. Ew, just a little bit below what you know is right.
You know, we need to teach more about holiness because God is a holy God, and he expects us to be holy. And I'm concerned because I don't, I think it's so tempting for pastors and Bible teachers to teach people what they think they wanna hear. I call 'em "Dessert messages," you know, what's gonna make you happy and wanna come back next week. But we, people called to preach the word, we're gonna be held accountable to God if we don't tell people the truth and tell them what we really believe God is telling us to teach. And that doesn't mean that you have to be hard on people and always just preach against something, but we can't just let people think that they can do whatever they wanna do anytime they wanna do it, and because God is a gracious God and a merciful God that it's okay to do that.
We need to call people to a higher standard. And so, I'm saying today, stop compromising, pay attention to what's going on inside of you because God cares more about that than he does what's going on outside of you. You know, let's just say you get in a bad mood today. You get depressed or whatever. Sometimes, if you'll just think about what you've been thinking about, or even what you've been talking about, you can locate your own problem pretty quick, because the things that we think can either make us happy or they can drag us down and make us sad. Same way with the things that we hear.
Now, our motives are very important. And people always get quiet when you talk about motives, because our motives don't have anything to do with what we're doing, it's why we're doing what we're doing. That's the thing that's important to God. "Why am I doing it"? "Is this something that I don't", I mean, you know, whatever, you sign up to do something, you agree to do something. "Is this something that I'm doing because I really believe that God wants me to do it? Or am I doing it as a people pleaser because I just don't want somebody to get mad at me"? You know, you can't be a God pleaser and a people pleaser.
And the apostle Paul said, you can find it in Galatians 1:10, "If I would have been trying to be popular with people, I would not now be an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ". There again, something that should put the fear of God in us. I mean, anybody who wants to fulfill the call of God on their life, you have, I mean, there's nothing wrong with wanting to please people and make people happy, but if pleasing the person is gonna displease God, then we're supposed to be led by the Holy Spirit. And he doesn't always lead you to do what people want you to do. And I tell people a lot of times because everybody today is so busy, busy, busy, busy, and stressed out because of their schedule.
And, you know, if you would write down everything you're doing, and do two things, cross off everything that's not bearing fruit, it's just sucking up your time and not bearing fruit. You know, you can even have a friend that supposedly comes to you for counseling all the time, and you can feel good about that because somebody wants your advice, but if they just keep coming and crabbing about the same thing, they don't really wanna be helped. They just wanna talk about their problem. And it's not doing anything for you. It doesn't bear any fruit in your life, or my life. And so, if you cross off everything that's not bearing any fruit. And if you cross off everything that you're doing for a motive that's not right. You know, sometimes we do things to be well thought of. Sometimes we do things to be seen by other people.
And so, in Matthew 6, Jesus covers all of that. And these are just good scriptures to go on read. "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them". It doesn't mean you can't do a good deed in front of somebody else, but it says, "If your motive is to be seen by them then don't do that". "If you do, you will have no reward from your father who is in heaven". I don't wanna lose my reward, you know? "So, when you give to the needy, don't announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others". Motive. "Truly, I tell you, they have received their reward in full already". And this is a favorite of mine. "When you give to the needy, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing".
Now, what does that mean? Well, this is what I feel like God showed me. It's like, if I do something good, even let's just say, we go out on a weekend and we just have a knockdown great conference. I mean, it's awesome. I preached good, people were saved, it was just awesome. Maybe in the process, we were able to help a couple of people there that were poor and needy. And so, it just all around was just a great conference. Well, you know, God doesn't want me to sit on Sunday and just ruminate and think on how great I was. How much everybody, "Oh, I got a standing ovation. They clapped. They applauded". And so, you don't even get to sit around and think about how good you are after you're good. You just come out of the shadows.
I heard this one time. Love stays in the shadows until it's needed. Then it steps out of the shadows and does what needs to be done and then goes back into the shadows. That's lovely, isn't it? And so, we have to, and I think that's what it means, "Don't let your left hand know what your right hand's doing". Don't wallow in your goodness. Amen? "See to it that your giving is done in secret". And that doesn't mean that, you know, everything you do has to be a big secret. Sometimes, to be honest, it blesses somebody to know that, it's beneficial for them to know that you're doing something for them. But you still don't have to blow a trumpet and announce it to everybody, tell everybody. "What you do in secret, God will reward you," in the open. I love that.
So, "When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others," motive again. "Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door, pray to your father, who is unseen. Then your father, who sees in secret, will reward you," in the open. You know, if you get up every morning and you pray the first three hours you're up, you don't really need to tell anybody that. You don't need to take the newest, little Christian at church to breakfast and say, "Well, how long do you pray"? "Five minutes"? "Well, yeah, how long do you pray"? "Well, at least three hours". Well, right away, you've put condemnation on her and she feels like she can never measure up to you and it stunts her growth. You didn't start with three hours. Motives are very, very important.