Joyce Meyer - Something Needs to Change - Part 2
You know, God uses things for a period of time and then he's done with them. I taught that home Bible study for five years and then I did nothin'. Then I went to work at a church in st. Louis for five years. And it was wonderful, but it was awful. Have you ever been in anything like that where it's wonderful, but it's awful? I worked on staff at the church, and I loved it, but there were so many things that were so hard for me. For one thing, I didn't feel like I was being treated right. I didn't feel like I was being paid enough. I wanted to do things and they wouldn't let me do it. But then, on the other hand, that's where I got ordained, and I was getting all kinds of opportunities to preach, and I was teaching Bible school three times a week, and I got to do most of the preaching when the pastor was gone. So, I got a lot of opportunities, but I had to be under somebody else's authority and I wasn't too crazy about that. So, I'm getting' ready to say somethin' that some of you need to hear. You're really not fit to be in authority until you know how to come under authority. Selah.
See, if you're the kind of person that nobody can tell you anything, then you don't have any business being in authority over other people 'cause you want me to tell you what'll happen? You'll mistreat 'em. And sometimes, God will have you places not so you can learn what to do, but so you can learn what not to do. And we're still very good friends with the pastors of that church and I thank God for the opportunity they gave me. But the pastor was young. I was young. We both made mistakes and we had lunch not too long ago. He was talking about some of the things that he wished he would have known, then, that he knows now. So, some of the things, some of the ways I was treated wasn't right, but it taught me what not to do to other people. How many of you know, sometimes, the only way you cannot hurt somebody else is to feel that pain yourself.
So, some of you are going through some things right now that you don't understand and don't seem fair, but we live life forward and we understand it backwards. What you're going through right now, that you don't understand, you'll look back later and say, "Oh, yeah, I understand that now". So, in everything that you go through, you wanna trust God. You know, there are people in the Bible who made terrible mistakes, and yet they decided to get right with God and it changed their destiny. So, I just wanna encourage you today, whether you're here in this room or you're watching by television, there's nobody that's so far gone that they can't be redeemed. You may be in prison watching this. And who knows? You may get out and be one of the greatest preachers that ever lived. I'm gonna say it again. Nobody's so far gone that they can't be redeemed. Jacob and Esau were twins, and Esau was born first, and when they came out of the womb, Jacob was holding onto Esau's heel.
I always say, "Before he got out of the womb, he was trying to get ahead". And he just did some things that weren't right. You know, he stole his brother's birthright. Esau made mistakes too because he sold his birthright for a bowl of stew. So, he disrespected his birthright. So, they both really were wrong. But when their father was dying and he was, you know, then the firstborn got the inheritance, the money, they became the head of the family, and they got this special blessing from their father, which was extremely important to them. We don't understand the power of the blessing like they did then. I wish we understood it better. And so, the father knew that it was about time for him to die, and he wanted to pass that blessing on to his son. And so, Jacob's mother, who was also Esau's mother, of course, wanted him to have that blessing. She talked him into pretending to be Esau. And so, he did, and the father blessed him, but once he blessed him, he couldn't take it back.
And so, he spent years running from his brother afraid of him because of what he had done. And you know, when we do wrong things, until we repent and get right, we're gonna always be running from something. Amen? Well, in Genesis 32:22-28, Jacob finally got fed up with the way he was living. And you know, when you finally do get fed up with the way you're living, you will do just about anything to get things right in your life. Amen? And so, it says, "He rose up that [same] Night and took his two wives, his two women servants, his eleven sons, and he passed over the ford [of the] Jabbok. And he took them, and he sent them across the brook: and also he sent over all that he had". So, I love this because Jacob came to a point where he said, "I don't care if I lose everything. I've gotta get things right with God".
And maybe somebody here in this meeting, or somebody watching by TV, you're at that point where "I can't go on like this anymore. And I don't care what it takes, I'm gonna get things right with God". And if you're at that place, that's a great place to be. It's a wonderful place to be. And don't just sit in here and think, "Yeah, I'm there". Make sure you follow through when you leave. "And Jacob was left alone, and a Man", capital M, who happened to be the angel of the Lord. "Wrestled with him until daybreak". Have you ever had a wrestling match with God? Come on, where he's trying to get you to do something, and you're trying to get him to change his mind. Well, I can just save you some time. God's not gonna change his mind. You're gonna change your mind or you're gonna keep wrestling with God.
Come on. You know, I just get a sensing in my heart right now that there's a woman here this afternoon that you're having some problems in your marriage and you're 100% convinced that everything's your husband's fault. And God just wants you to know that it's not. He wants you to take a look at yourself. Whatever you wanna do with that, you can have it. I just knew all of my problems was Dave's fault. And one day, I was praying for Dave to change. I mean aggressively praying for Dave to change. And God said, "Dave's not the problem". And I thought, "Well, who is? There's only me and him". I couldn't conceive that it was me. Do you know how easy it is to be deceived about yourself?
Matter of fact, one of the girls here with us this weekend, on our team, said last night during worship her and her husband had had kind of a rough week and they'd been arguing a lot and not getting along good. And so, she'd been praying for him. I think we're so funny. I mean, I think it's funny now. When I was going through it, I didn't think it was so funny. And she'd been praying for him. And so, last night during worship, she finally said to God, "Now, if I am doing anything that I need to change, then show me". And so, God spoke to her, and he said, "Well, you need to be nicer". So then, by the time I got done preaching last night, the fire had really been turned up. And then she got stuck in a traffic jam going to the hotel last night, and she had all this time to think. So, she said, "I finally ended up calling my husband and apologized to him and told him that God told me I needed to be nicer".
And you know, sometimes things are not gonna get straightened out in your life until you take your part of the responsibility. Come on, stop blaming everything on everybody else. I said, stop blaming everything that's wrong on somebody else, and at least just ask God: "Is there anything I need to change"? It's highly unlikely that he'll tell you, "No, you're doing everything just right". I mean, maybe. But God showed me what it was like to live with me, and I cried for three days. I didn't know I was so bad. I mean, he showed me that I was controlling, and manipulative, and selfish, and self-centered. Man! And it seemed like God was always dealing with me about something, always me, always me, always me. You know, we go through that, "Oh, it's always me, it's always me". And the thing is, is God only deals with you about your part, so you feel like it's always you.
I remember saying to Dave one time, "Is God dealing with you about anything"? 'Cause man, he was dealing with me about some stuff in our marriage, and I thought, "Well, it can't all be me". And so I said to Dave, "Is God dealing with you about anything"? And he said, "No, I don't think so". And oh, that made me so stinking mad. But see, to be honest, all God wants us to be concerned about is our relationship with him. Come on, now, hear me. Our relationship with him... And what he's telling us to do, we don't need to be worried about somebody else. And that's, we get so derailed because we want everybody else to change. Come on. And God's just saying, "You just take care of you and let me take care of everybody else".
Come on, can somebody hear that today? Do you have any idea how much more peace you can have when you go home if you'll follow that little piece of advice? You just take care of you. Let God take care of everybody else. You can pray for people, but when you do, you better do it with all humility. I would never pray for somebody else to change without praying that "God change me too if I need to change". So, Jacob wrestled all night, basically, with God. And then the angel said to him, "'let me go, for day is breaking'. But [Jacob] Said", this is in verse 26, "But [Jacob] Said, 'i will not let you go unless you declare a blessing on me'". Now, that might sound like, "Well, that's a lot of nerve". But God actually likes that kind of spirit. He likes that in a person who says, "I'm not giving up. I'm not gonna quit until my life is blessed". "[And the Man]", the angel again, "Asked him, 'what is your name'? And [in shock of realization, he whispered], 'Jacob'".
And Jacob, the name Jacob, meant "[supplanter, schemer, trickster, and swindler]". So, at that point, in Jacob's life, he came face to face with himself. And we all have to come to that point of facing truth about ourselves. You can't grow to the next place until you face where you're at. Are you with me? "If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed, and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free". But it's not the truth about somebody else that's gonna make you free. And I'm not trying to make anybody feel bad about themselves or make you think everything's all your fault. I'm just telling you that you can't do anything about the other person. We need to leave everybody else to God, pray for them, leave them to God, and let God work with you on your own stuff.
Come on. In verse 28, I love this, "And he said, 'your name shall no longer be called Jacob [supplanter]'". That's where Jacob made a change. See, we can change. Everybody say, "I can change". Matter of fact, let's say it better, say: I am changing. "'but your name will be Israel, which means [contender with God]: for you have contended and have power with God and with men and you have prevailed'". I love that. God loved that spirit in Jacob that even though he had been such a bad fellow that now he he came to that point where he wanted to change, he wanted to turn things around, he wanted to get right with God. And that's why I'm telling you that there's nobody that's beyond redemption because no matter what you've done, if you wanna get right with God, Jesus is gonna be there for you. Amen?
The gospel is good news. Maybe you've sinned terribly and accepted a mediocre life because of what you've done in the past. Well, I've got good news for you today. You can have a wonderful life no matter what you've done, because when God forgives us, he forgets what we've done. You know, that's so hard to understand. He not only forgives, but he forgets it. "Remembers it no more," the Bible says. So, quit talking to God about stuff that he forgot. You've already asked him to forgive you 20 times. You don't need to keep doing the same thing over and over. Just accept your forgiveness now and go on.
I remember that when I was a young girl in my 20s, every night I'd pray the same prayer, "God forgive me, God forgive me". And I was talking about my past, you know? And one night I heard the Lord say, "I forgave you the first time you asked me, now you need to receive it and go on". And some of you need to do that. You need to receive it and go on. And there's people watching by TV. I especially feel like there's several people in prison. You need to receive God's forgiveness now and go on. You're not beyond redemption.
Isn't it wonderful that he's our redeemer? He bought us back with his blood. The devil doesn't own us anymore. Hallelujah! Thank God for the blood of Jesus. There's power in the blood. You know, God promises to turn things around for us. He'll give us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. I call it the great divine exchange. You can give him all your sin. He'll give you, his righteousness. Man, that's a pretty good trade. "I'll give you my misery and take your joy". "I'll give you my worries and take your peace". "I'll give you my past and take your future". God hates injustice. He is a God of justice, and if you have been treated unjustly in your life and you go to God, he will make wrong things right. You can't do it, but he can.
See, I had been mistreated, and I felt like I was owed something, and I was, but I was trying to collect from all the wrong people. I was trying to collect from people that couldn't pay me back. Only God can pay you back for the wrongs that have been done to you. Nobody but God can pay you back. And boy, payday with God is good 'cause he says he'll give you double blessings for your former trouble. Double for your trouble. Job had a rough time, but at the end, the Bible says that God gave job twice as much as he had before. Isn't that good? But one of the things he had to do was pray for his friends who had mistreated him. And the Bible says, "When he prayed for his friends, God gave him twice as much".
Come on, maybe God's just waiting for you to forgive that person that hurt you. That's all that stands between you and victory. Come on. That might be the only thing that stands between you and victory is forgiving the person that mistreated you and hurt you. "Well, I just don't know if I can do that". Well, God's not gonna change his mind. So, you might as well just wrestle some more and get it over with. Isaiah 61:7-8, "Instead of your shame you'll receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace you will rejoice in your inheritance. And you will inherit a double portion in your land, and everlasting joy will be yours".
Man, that was my scripture, and now I've got it. I've got a double blessing for the shame that I lived in, in my youth. Amen? God will always do your part, I mean, his part, but will you do your part? Now, there's a new life waiting for all of you, unless you're already living in it, but I have a feeling a good number of you aren't. But you gotta take a step of faith. You gotta step into some things that you maybe aren't real sure about. In Joshua 1, verses 2 and 3, it said, "Moses, my servant is dead. Now you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan and go into the land that I am about to give them". In verse 3, "And I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses".
That is such an important scripture. Because if you just look at it like this, God is saying, "I have, by my grace and mercy, I have laid out this wonderful future for you". It's already, God's already established it. He has nothing in mind for you but good. Jeremiah 29:11 says, "I know the plans that I have for you, plans to prosper you and to do you good". Now, that doesn't mean you'll never have any trouble, but like I said this morning, you're more than a conqueror. And you've already won the battle before you ever have the fight. You just have to walk it out. Keep your eyes on Jesus. So, this is all out in front of you, but God said, "Every place on which the soul of your foot treads, that have I given you". So, it's like it's yours, but you have to go take it. And you know what that usually means? You've gotta take scary steps of faith.