Joyce Meyer - Something Needs to Change - Part 1
Well, there's a lot of things that change throughout our life, isn't there? We change. You know, as you get older, you change your mind about things. Like when somebody's in their 20s, they can't understand wantin' to stay home every night. And you know... Rest. And, you know, by the time you get to be around ah, 50, 60, you're like, "Nah, I don't wanna go. I think I'll just stay home". The people in our life changes, and sometimes that's challenging for us because they change, and maybe we don't want 'em to change. However, we do have to respect people's right to make changes in their lives. Our kids grow up and leave home. Sometimes that's makes you happy, sometimes it don't.
And, you know, they get families of their own and then things change, and they don't, especially, if you have a real close relationship with your children, then they don't have the same amount of time for you that they once did, and that's challenging. And I remember, well, I call him my baby, he's 44 now, but. We had three children, and then 10 years later had him. So, he's kind of the "Special baby," you know? And he got married, and they lived right around the corner from us, but his wife was pregnant, and, you know, he just didn't have the time for me that he once did. Him and I were really close. And I remember saying something to him one day about, "I don't see you as much", something, you know, made him feel like I was complaining about, not seeing him enough. And he said something to me that, I'll never forget. He said, "I wish that you would not make me feel like I always have to prove to you that I love you".
And so, we need to be careful, because I didn't realize that's the way it was coming across to him. And you know, you have to let go of things. As things change, you have to let go of it. And then they change back again, like my one daughter, she had four children. And so, she went through a season of a good number of years where she didn't have much time for me. And now, she's actually my assistant and we're together all the time. So, life is just full of change. And women go through something called "The change of life". And that's really interesting: depending on who you are and how your health is when it hits. But I mean, some women have a really, really rough time. I had a rough time because I had had breast cancer and I couldn't take any kind of hormones. I had a hysterectomy, which threw me into the change of life. And you know, when you don't have time to sneak up on it, it's just all of a sudden, from one day to the next, you have it. I mean, you haven't lived till you have a hot flash every 45 minutes.
Friends come and go in our life. You know, you can have a friend that you think will just be your friend forever and something changes in their life. And there's really, there's nothing wrong. They're not mad at you. You're not mad at them, but their life just changes and they're not there anymore. Our desires change. The world changes around us and some of that we need to adapt to, but some of it we need to resist. Our bodies change. Whoo! I saw all of you go... Whoo, yeah. Well, sometimes you get to the point where you feel like somethin' hurts somewhere all the time, you know? And so, change is just part of life. And you know, some people handle change better than others. Some people just absolutely hate change. Some people are able to flow with it a little bit better. But it's like I said this morning, you might as well, if you don't like change, you might as well change your mind about change, because the only thing in life that doesn't change is God.
That's really wonderful when you think about it, because he's the rock. Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He always loves you. He'll always be with you. He's always for you. God never changes. He's faithful, always faithful. Will never let you down. And I think it's important to understand the process and the anatomy of change. Change is a process especially, like, if we're changing, if God's changing us, making changes in our life. And I would imagine some of you, even just being here last night and in this morning, you realize that there's some things in your life that need to change. And some things... How many of you realize there's some things in you that need to change? And I mean, I'm just gonna be honest with you and tell you, it's not gonna be easy. And it's probably not gonna feel good. But if you don't go ahead and go through it, then you'll still have it looming in front of you at some point.
So, the best advice, really, is just to bite the bullet and go through it and get it over with, because anything that God's trying to change in your life is gonna bring you into a better place. Amen? God never does anything in our lives that's not for our good. And he never tells you to do or not to do something that's not for your benefit. No matter what you think at the time, it is for your benefit, and you will see that eventually. Change is frightening because we like to be in control. We like to know what's gonna happen. And with God, to be honest, I mean, if we're just really honest, you never really know what's gonna happen. I mean, a lot of things suddenly change. And we just, in those times, we need to trust God. We just really need to trust God. It's wonderful when you don't understand to be able to trust.
It brings you into a place of real peace because there's a lot of mysteries in God. There's a lot of things that we just, "What is going on? I don't get it. I don't understand. Why is this happening? Why haven't you helped me with this"? We've got a lot of whys in our life, but has anybody noticed that you can ask God why, but he rarely ever answers you? And he really wants to hear, not "Why," but, "I trust you". Now, it's not wrong to ask God why, but he rarely does tell you. And it is better to just to trust God. Trust is a wonderful thing. I mean, the peace of God and the rest of God is just wonderful. And try to be content and happy where you're at on the way to where you're going. Because you're always going somewhere, and if you're never happy here, you're not gonna be happy here either. You're not gonna be happy here either. There is a destination that we're all headed for, but most of our life, we spend waiting on something.
You know that? Whatever you're waiting on now, it'll come to pass, and you'll be happy and then you'll start waiting on something else again. That's just part of it. We're built for progress. We're built for forward motion. And so, we just don't stay satisfied at one place very long, and we wanna move on to something else. And, like, if, say, I need to change, which I certainly always do, we have to learn to be satisfied with ourselves where we're at while God is changing us. You understand that? Because if you're not, you're always gonna be unhappy with yourself, and that's not what God wants. He wants you to enjoy yourself and be happy with yourself, and to know that while he's changing you, he still loves you right where you're at. Amen?
As a matter of fact, I can tell you something. God will never love you any more than he does right now. No matter how much better you behave, he's not gonna love you anymore because you behave better. You should behave better because you love him, not to get him to love you more. See, because God's love is perfect, he is love, and he already loves you with a perfect love. And I'll suggest something to you that really was a big thing in my life. In 1 John 4:16, in the Amplified Bible, it says we should be "Conscious and aware of God's love".
So, I'm gonna encourage you to start looking for God's love in your life, because he's always doing, a lot of times, just little things that are just unique and particular to us. They might not mean that much to somebody else, but it's, you know it's God. And it's good to be aware. I pray for that. I think awareness is a gift. Pray for that awareness. "God, I want to be aware of, if there's people around me that are hurting, that I can help, I wanna be aware of that". Or "If you're doing something wonderful in my life and I'm missing it, I wanna be aware of what you're doing". And we get so busy and move so fast that a lot of times we're just not aware of what's going on around us. And so, change comes, and many times we fear it because we wanna be in control, but we need to confront things, not run from them, and be afraid of them.
Most people would say something needs to change. And I just finished a book. I mean, I'm constantly saying "I'm finishing a book," but that's the truth, I am. It's called "Something needs to change in my life". And pretty much we can all say that at some time. And a lot of times we don't even know what it is that needs to change. We just have that feeling, something needs to change in my life. We feel a dissatisfaction. I always say, "The brook dried up". You know, Elijah was fed during the famine by the brook called Cherith. And so, he had water from that brook and ravens brought him food morning and night. But then, the Bible says an interesting thing, the brook dried up. And sometimes, our brook dries up.
You know, God's doing this thing in our life, and it satisfies us, and everything is good, and then all of a sudden that brook dries up. And the next place that God sent Elijah wasn't much of a promotion. God sent him to a poor, depressed, poverty-stricken, suicidal widow. You say, "Huh"? Yeah, he said, "I'm going to send you to this widow and she'll feed you". Well, when he got there, he said, "Give me a cup of water and make me a cake". And she said, "Well, we only have enough food, enough oil and meal in the jar for me and my son to have one meal, and then we're gonna die". "Well, God, this is a nice place to send me".
I taught a home Bible study for five years, and then I felt God say, "I want you to lay this down now. Behold, I do a new thing". You ever heard that? "Behold, I do a new thing". Well, the next thing was, for a year, I did nothing. God just kinda politely set me up on a shelf. And it was a big testing year for me because I had this big vision of teaching the word all over the world. And here I went from teaching that little 25-person Bible study to doing nothing. But really, God was using that year to prepare me for the next thing, and I wasn't doing anything, but he was doing a lot in me. And actually, the main thing that God did that year was he taught me through some different things that I couldn't be like anybody else. I had to be me. The devil, and through some different people was kinda getting me convinced that I needed to be a regular, normal woman. Because, you know, back when I first started teaching, that was, I mean, you didn't do that. You know, women didn't do that.
There was very few women, maybe a handful in the world that were doing that, and certainly nobody in my circle was doing it. And I thought when God called me, everybody'd be excited for me because I was excited, but they weren't excited. I got asked to leave my church. Most of my friends turned their back on me, a lot of family members. And it was a very lonely, hard time for me where everything in my life was changing and felt like it had turned upside down. And you know, when God calls you to do something, it doesn't always feel good. And the devil is always where something good is happening. And he'll try to make that good thing feel bad. Have you ever noticed that when you're trying to do something good, you get every kind of opposition you can get?
So, I tried to be normal, whatever that is. And I tried to be like my pastor's wife. She was real sweet and kind and, you know, patient and very submissive to her husband and it just, whew... If that was normal, it just wasn't working for me. And then, my neighbor next door, she was miss arts and crafts and had a garden and made her family's clothes. And so, I tried gardening and I tried sewing and I hated it all. And you know, it was just, so, God took that year and he taught me that I had to be me. And to be honest, I think that's one of the reasons why our ministry has been successful. If you wanna know the truth, and I hope this doesn't sound wrong, but I pretty much just stay away from this camp and that camp and this camp, and I just kinda hang out with God and try to do what I feel like he's telling me to do.
It's kind of dangerous to get too influenced by what somebody else is doing because what somebody else is doing may not be and probably is not what God wants you to do. God has an individual plan for each one of us. And, especially, young people starting out in ministry, it seems like, I mean, I know, I did. I kept trying to get appointments with all these different people that were already doing something so I could get advice from them. And honestly, I didn't understand, but every time I would, it just didn't work out. I either couldn't get an appointment or if I got one, it would be canceled at the last minute and I thought, "Well, God, why don't..."? You know.
Well, finally, of course, this was down the road a ways when Dave and I were gonna go on TV. We happened to be speaking at a place where another man was speaking who had a TV ministry. So, I thought, well, I'm gonna get some time with him and find out about TV. And so, I said to him, "You know, we're getting ready to go on television. Do you have any recommendations"? And he said, "Yeah, don't do it". I thought, "Well, that wasn't really what I wanted to hear". How many of you understand what I'm saying? You just, you know, you gotta hear from God about what you're supposed to do. All your friends can be going to Wednesday morning prayer at the church and that don't mean you have to go. You know, you gotta do what you feel like God is leading you to do.
So, that year that I thought nothing was going on was a very important year in my life. And maybe, right now, you just feel like God's put you on a shelf somewhere and you don't understand what's going on. Or maybe your brook dried up and you feel like you've got a demotion instead of a promotion. But maybe, that demotion is gonna lead you to a greater promotion than what you could ever imagine. Sometimes you gotta just sit still and wait those things out. What do we do when we realize that things are not as they should be that something needs to change? Well, some people get angry, some blame somebody else, some get depressed, some sink into self-pity, and a few take responsibility to do something about it.
If you want change, sometimes you need to change, you need to be the change that you wanna see. Amen? If you don't like the way things are going in your life, then maybe you need to make a decision to change. I got to the point where I was just complaining all the time about my schedule. I was so busy and didn't have any time for anything. And I was always complaining, and God said to me one day, "If you don't like your schedule, change it. You made it". Well, that's gotta be for somebody. Isn't that true? We complain about all we have to do, but we're the ones that signed up for it. If you don't like it, you're the only one that can change it. All you have to do if you feel like you're too busy, make a list of everything you're doing, pray over it, now go down the list and cross off everything that's not bearing fruit, that's just sucking up your time, but not bearing fruit.
And then, go back and cross off everything that you're doing for a wrong motive. I'm telling you what, you're all of a sudden gonna have more time than you know what to do with. Do I need to repeat that? Because that was very good advice, right there. God does not call us to be frantic, and frazzled, and frustrated, and running around like a chicken with our head cut off all the time. Now, listen to what I'm gonna tell you. God is never gonna give you so much to do that it's gonna frustrate you. I'm just gonna let that, you know, that's a selah. You know, in some of the Psalms at the end of 'em, it says, "Selah," and that means "Pause and calmly think about that". So, sometimes, when I'm preachin' and I say something, I feel like it's important enough that I need to just stop and let people kinda take that in before we rush to the next thing.
God is never gonna give you so much to do that you have to be frustrated all the time to do it. Amen? And he's not gonna give you so much to do that you have to be worried all the time about where you're gonna get the money to do it. What God orders he pays for. I have never had to get on television and say, "If you don't send in money, I'm gonna have to get off the air". You didn't put me on. You can't take me off. And if God wants me to have money and he puts his finger on you and you won't do it, he'll find somebody that will. We need to let go of what lies behind once we realize that it's no longer the best for us, that God's done with it.