Joyce Meyer - Excellence - Part 1
When I started the ministry 35 years ago, God put something very strongly in my heart. And I was actually gonna teach something else here, but I really felt like God wanted me to teach you what he told me when he spoke to me 35 years ago. He said, "I'm gonna tell you three things to do, and if you do 'em, I'll bless your ministry. Always do everything you do with excellence. Always be a person of integrity. Keep your word, and don't ever mess around with the money that goes through your hands in ministry". He told me things like, put things in my heart like, if you take a speaking engagement for a smaller church, you're gonna go and do, we called 'em camp meetings back then. And you commit to do that, and another, much bigger offer comes along, you keep your word to the first one.
And then, he said, "And keep all the strife out of your life, out of your ministry, and out of your marriage. Do not get in the pulpit angry and preach". Because, you see, only where there's unity is there blessing and anointing. Psalm 133 not only says, there's blessing or there's unity, but that's where you're gonna find the anointing. And so, tonight, I'm gonna talk about the first of those three things, which is excellence. And I'm just calling this "Choosing to be excellent". And I say "Choosing," because if we don't choose to be excellent, the flesh will always be mediocre. And mediocre means halfway between success and failure. And I'd say that we live in a pretty mediocre world today, and it's getting worse all the time.
And it's up to us, it's not up to the unbelievers. It's up to us, the believers to set a standard for other people to follow. We are not to follow them. We are to set a standard for them to follow us. And there's enough of us that if everybody will do it, you hear me? There is enough of us, I mean, we're all over the world. There's enough of us, if everybody will really start to not just go to church, but to serve God with your whole heart, to make a full surrender and to be willing to do what you know is right, not what you feel like doing. Amen?
I was thinking today, what would happen if every person, let's just say, every person in here, would make a commitment for just 30 days to do what you know to be right instead of what you feel like doing? And I'm not even necessarily talking about sin. It could be sin, but I'm just talking about just doing what you know is right. You know, it can be little things like, you know, taking office supplies home. Come on. How many paper clips and rubber bands, and pens and notepads do you have that you took from the office? Well, we'll go on from there. See, there's always, anytime we're not excellent there's always a little conviction, I mean, just a little, you know, that little, like a little hangnail in your spirit. And when we learn to follow that then we'll learn how to be really, really excellent people.
You know, if I told you after the service, I'm gonna be serving chocolate chip cookies, out in the lobby, that I baked, how many of you would stop and get one because you like cookies? How many of you would do it just 'cause you wanted to see me? Forget me, we're talking about the cookies. And then, what if I said, "I have added one little, tiny, new ingredient to the batter"? "I just put, like, about a third of a teaspoon of dog poop in it. But it's stirred into this big batch of batter, and you won't taste it. It's just..."
How many of you would no longer care to get one of my cookies? Well, see, that's what we gotta be careful of in the world. C'mon, you understanding me? We don't wanna be Christians with just a little bit of the world in us, where we go to church on Sunday and act like the devil the rest of the week. Or we go to church on Sunday, and then, on Monday, we're sitting with everybody else at work gossiping about the boss, and crabbing, and complaining, and murmuring, and grumbling. We wanna be excellent. And we have to choose to be excellent. And excellence is not perfection. It's just taking what you have and doing the best that you can do with it. You might have an old car, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't keep it clean. Well...that went over good.
See, some people think, "Well, I want a new car". Well, you know what? Until you keep the old one clean and keep the trash out of it, you may not get a new one. And it's so important not to just do the right thing when somebody is looking, but I think it's especially important to do the right thing when nobody's looking except God. And he's always looking. One of the things I've challenged myself to do, and I'm doing this just cuz I felt like God put it on my heart, in my home every time I get something out and use it, my goal is to put it back where I got it. And it's amazing what a difference a room looks like when you walk out of it. I mean, I was amazed. You know, 'cause like, a woman goes in the bathroom, and we got makeup and three combs, and hair dryers and flat irons, and lotions and potions and, you know, all kinds of stuff. And sometimes, if I'm in a hurry, I don't put all that stuff back where it goes right then. And so, sometimes, it can look like a cyclone went off in the bathroom. And I've been taken time to just put the lid back on the toothpaste and put it away. Just do everything with excellence.
Now, see, that may sound foolish to you, but I believe if we're not excellent in little things, that we'll never get around to being excellent in bigger things. So, we have to choose it. You know, we have these little Instagram posts, as well as being on Facebook, and my team, I don't do this, my team will put captions on these Instagram posts and it always has something to do with what I'm teaching, but it's not necessarily the title of the teaching. And I get such a kick out of looking at how many people are watching which titles. Recently, I had one, "Study the word". We had 42,000 downloads. I had one that they called, "Relax and do nothing". And it had 300,000 downloads.
Now, what does that tell you about where we're at? See, they saw the title, "Study the word," one-fourth of the people were only interested in that. But if we're gonna sit and do nothing, everybody likes that. My son was at my house the other night, he's our baby, but he's 42, he's gonna be 43. And he's got a playful side to him. And he had this country song on, and I think they were doing some kind of line dance or something. And he said, "C'mon, mom, dance with me. Come on, dance with me". I don't know if he thought I couldn't do it, or wouldn't do it, or what, but I got up and started trying to dance with him. And you know, it was put your right foot here, and your left foot there. You know, do this, and that and... And so, he's filming the whole thing and he puts it on Facebook. Ok, now, are you ready for this? We've had 1,000,300 views on that.
It's actually funny, but it makes me mad that people are more interested in seeing me goof around, than will study the word. So, maybe, I've got the wrong career. Maybe I need to take up dancing. I don't know. But the reason why I share this with you is because it shows you where people are at. And it's concerning. It's actually frightening to me sometimes, to see that 300,000 people would like to sit back and do nothing, and only 42,000 would like to study the word. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 5:20 that "We are ambassadors for Christ". And an ambassador is a representative of another country, or another kingdom, or another person. And I love the Amplified translation of 2 Corinthians of 5:20, because it says, "We are Christ's personal representatives", now, just get this, "We are his personal representatives, and he is making his appeal, to the world, through us".
Now, that is strong. So, that means that I can't just go out and do what I feel like, I need to choose to do what I know I should do. The flesh is strong, and it'll pull you in the wrong direction. The Bible says in Galatians that the spirit wars against the flesh and the flesh wars against the spirit that they are continually antagonistic toward one another. So, the devil will always work through our flesh, which is your body and the part of your soul that's not been crucified and belongs to Christ. And our spirit is the deepest part of us where Christ lives.