Joyce Meyer - A Spirit-Led Journey
So, maybe, you're here tonight, and you've never received Jesus. Maybe, you go to church but you're empty inside, if I said to you tonight, "Are you born-again? Are you gonna go to heaven when you die"? "Well, I don't know. I hope". You know something, if you've really received Christ in your life, and he's living in you, then you know that, you know that. When your sins are forgiven and that burden of guilt lifts off of you, you know that God has done something in your life. And I'm not talking about a feeling, I'm talking about something changes in your life.
And maybe, tonight, you came with somebody or maybe, you came because you saw the meeting advertised on TV, or whatever the case might be, and the truth is tonight, you're not really sure that you're born-again, that you're right with God. You don't really know if Jesus came tonight, that you'd go to heaven. And I believe God wants you to have that assurance. And so, I have to tell ya, before I pray for you, that there's nothing that you can do to ever make yourself good enough for Jesus to accept you, nothing. The only thing you can do, is believe that he is who he says he is, that he did what he said he was gonna do. That he went to a cross, he died a very painful death, he took our punishment, the punishment that we deserve for all of our sins, and he gives us his right standing with the father.
"He that knew no sin became sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ". I don't know where you're gonna get a deal like that. He takes all your sin and gives you his right standing with God. Open up your heart tonight, and believe that. The Bible says that you must, "Come as a little child". If you're here tonight, and you say, "I want to be a Christian, I want to serve God with my life. I'm ready to turn away from sin and turn toward God. I want to be born-again", would you slip your hand up and let me see where you're at? Lots of hands up, lots of hands. Awesome. Awesome, awesome, awesome. That's wonderful, wonderful. And over, in the overflow rooms, same thing, there's people over there.
I want to ask one more time. If you didn't put your hand up, but you want to... I just don't want you to go home and say, "I wish I would have". So, is there anybody else? You say, I don't want to get left out, bless you. Thank you. Thank you. Okay. Now, listen to me just a second. This is really great. Now, I'm gonna ask you to do something that's maybe, a little hard for some of ya but, I'm not gonna bring ya down to the front but I am gonna ask you to stand up, right where you're at. And you don't have to be embarrassed. You don't have to be ashamed. C'mon, up, up, up. Thank you. Come on, all over the place, all the overflows, upstairs in the balconies, down here. Okay, yeah. Amen! Whoo! Awesome!
Okay, now, listen to me just a second. I know you guys are excited, you're seeing friends stand up and that's exciting. Why did I ask you to do that? I didn't want to embarrass you, but to be honest, you can't sneak into the kingdom being ashamed. I mean, if you won't take a stand in here, there's no way you're gonna go take one out in the world. So, I had you do it for you, to break off that bondage of fear, and to just say, "I am serious about making a commitment to Jesus Christ. I'm serious about it, no turning back". So, let's all pray with them, right now. Let's all pray this prayer nice and loud.
Father, God, I love you. Jesus, I believe in you. You are the Son of God. You are God, yourself. I believe you died for me. You took my punishment. You've taken all my sin. I want to be a Christian. I want to serve you with my life. I'm willing to turn away from sin. But I need you to help me. I give myself to you just the way I am. And I receive you, right now, as my Savior, and my Lord. Please, teach me. And make me what you want me to be. I believe you love me. I believe I'm saved. I'm on my way to heaven. And I'm gonna enjoy the journey. Amen.
Well, if you just prayed with us to receive Christ as your Savior, I want you to know that this is the beginning of a brand-new, wonderful chapter in your life, and it's going to be amazing. There's a lot you need to learn. So, we're offering you a little book to get you started and it'll be a gift to you. It's called, "A New Way of Living". So, you can call us, or go on our website. Now, who's ready to enjoy their journey? Watch the message on being led by the Holy Spirit.
Desire is the birthplace of change. When you come to a point where you're like, "I do not want to stay this way, I am not willing to stay this way", then God will start changing some things in your life. At that particular time in my life, I was baptized with the Holy Spirit. And some of you may know what that phrase means, some of you may not. I'm not gonna get into a long teaching on it, but I do want to take a few minutes to tell you that we all need to be ever filled, filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit. Now, when you're born again, you receive Jesus. You receive the Holy Spirit. My question is not, do you have the Holy Spirit? My question is: does the Holy Spirit have you? Come on, that's a totally different thing.
And if so, how much of you does he have? Does he have an hour on Sunday morning? About, 30%? Or is there anybody in this room tonight that's bold enough to say, "I'm tired of status quo. I don't want to live a narrow life. I don't want to live a life that I'm just putting up with. I want to live a life that I can love and I want to maximize". See, somebody that's being led by the Holy Spirit, they don't wish, they maximize their potential. And so, God touched my life, and I don't really know how to explain it to you any way other than to say that God touched my life. And, you know, I'm not talking about experiences. I don't want to tell everybody they've gotta have some kind of an experience with God. I mean, there are people that are great men and women of God that don't even really know when they accepted the Lord. They just always loved him.
And so, we all have different things that happen in our life, and I don't think it's wise to compare what's happening with you with anybody else. But all I can say is when God shows up in your life, you know it. Amen? And I mean, it can be in your home, it can be in church, it can be in your car, but if you cry out to God, if you will start crying out to God on a regular basis, "I need more of you in my life. God, I want change. I want your change in my life. I want to be your person. I want to be what you want me to be. Fill me with your Holy Spirit". You better put on your seatbelts and get ready for the ride of your life.
One of the first things that I noticed after that was I started hearing from God. And now for some reason, and it's just to me it's the most amazing thing. If you want to make a bunch of starchy religious people mad, you just start saying that you hear from God. And I mean you are about to get stoned. All over the Bible, men and women heard from God. "And God said to Moses, and God said to Abraham". Why is it that when we talk to God, it's prayer but when he talks to us, we're crazy? Doesn't even make any sense.
Now, yes, you gotta be careful in that realm, no doubt about it. We had a woman here last night that thought she was hearing from God and she got up, started talking while I was preaching and saying a bunch of stuff that did not agree with the Bible. When I heard her say, "The Bible is a history book, not the Word of God", I knew right there we didn't need to go 1 inch further. So, anything that you think you're hearing from God is not God if it doesn't agree with the Word of God. Amen? And when I say I started hearing from God, it wasn't like I was hearing voices, but I started just getting these nudges to do things, or not to do things, or I would start to do something and I just didn't feel right about it or, you know, you just mainly I believe that God guides us and speaks to us by his word and by what the Bible calls the still, small voice, which I believe is just like kind of a holy knowing.
How many of you have married somebody that you knew you weren't supposed to marry when you did it? Now, I'm serious. I did that when I was 18. Because I'd been abused, I didn't think anybody would ever want me because my dad abused me sexually. And so, out of desperation, I just took the first offer that came along, and I knew. I don't know how I knew, I wasn't actively serving God, but I did have God in my life 'cause I'd been born again. When I was nine, I was aware of God and he was trying to save me from a lifetime full of trouble, and I knew that I knew that I knew that it wasn't gonna work out but I did it anyway.
And so, I had five more years of nightmare on top of the 18 I'd already had. You know what? I would rather follow what I really believe is God and have God show me I'm wrong than to go with my head and do what makes sense to me or what I want to do and then end up with some stupid, boring, miserable life that's not helping anybody else or bringing any joy into my life. Amen? And so, that was one of the things that I really started to notice right away and it was like, it was just like so much fun for me. You know what? Hanging out with God is just so much fun. I mean, it really is. He said, "I'll never leave you nor forsake you", and it just makes me so sad to think that some Christians, all they think that a walk with God is about is going to church. My goodness, he wants to get involved in every single thing that you do.
That was when my walk with God started really getting exciting when I started letting him into every area of my life, and when I found out he wanted to be in involved in every area of my life. God wants to be involved in everything that you do, and he wants to help you in everything that you do. And I'll tell you what, in the beginning, all those things were just like, "That was God, that was God. Ooh oh, that was God. Everything was like God, that was God, that was". Anyone know what I'm talking about? "Oh, that was God. God spoke to me. God showed me this, God, God". Well, a few years went by and I said to God one day, "Why aren't you doing the kind of things you used to do"? He said, "I'm doing what I've always did, you've just gotten used to it".
See, we gotta be very careful that we don't let the amazing supernatural presence and work of God in our life become ordinary and no longer exciting to us. You are a Christian. God lives in you. You have got, come on, you have got your own holy GPS system on the inside of you. God's "Guidance and Protection System" living right on the inside of you. Don't you love that? And I tell you what, I am determined to stay excited about God and to not let all the junk in the world weigh me down, and drag me down. And we have an opportunity now in our lives to be led by him and to help lots and lots of people. When I say we, I mean all of us, every single one of us.
Galatians 5:16, "But walk in the Spirit and you won't gratify the cravings of the flesh". Galatians 5:25, "If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. And if by the Holy Spirit we have our life in God, let us go forward walking in line, our conduct controlled by the Holy Spirit". God just simply wants us to love him and obey him. It's just that simple. Love him and obey him. I just wonder if I said right now, and I'm not going to, but I just wonder if I said right now, "How many of you know that there's some things in your life that you're doing that God doesn't want you to do and you keep doing them anyway"? Do I need to say anything else? But see, we don't have to do that. You can make a decision here tonight. "God is smarter than me. He knows more than me. And I don't care what it costs me right now, I'm gonna go with God. I'm gonna go 100% with God".
And I'll tell you if you will, he is gonna do things for you and in your life that will just leave you absolutely amazed. God will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing so great that you cannot contain it. Let's look at 1 Corinthians chapter 2, verse 9. "But, on the contrary, as the scripture says, what eye has not seen and ear has not heard and has not entered into the heart of man, all that God has prepared (made ready, keep ready) for those who love him who hold him in affectionate reverence, promptly obeying him and gratefully recognizing his benefits". Okay so, he's saying here, we could not even begin to imagine everything that God has already prepared and made and has stored up for, who? Those who love him, who are grateful, and who walk in obedience to his will, just that simple.
If we'll be begin to do those three things... And you know, none of us are perfectly obedient. We all make mistakes every day, but I'm talking about a heart who's after it 100%. I'm talking about people that Jesus is the center of your life. Now, following the Holy Spirit. I love this part, Galatians 5:18, "But if you're guided and led by the Holy Spirit", we're talking about having a spirit-led journey in order to enjoy life. How many of you believe that you cannot live a life that you love if you're not following the Holy Spirit into the life that God actually has for you? Do you believe that? See, now here's the thing, you might produce a life for yourself that will tickle your flesh. You might produce a life for yourself that can give you a little entertainment and some fun, but I'm talking about to really love your life, to love the life that you're living, you gotta follow God for that. The only way you're gonna get to that is to follow God. You only get one go-through. You can't do any reruns, so we gotta make sure this life counts.
So, "If you're guided and led by the Holy Spirit, you are no longer subject to the law". Now, that doesn't mean we can break the speed limit and not wear our seatbelt. That's not what it's talking about. This is talking about the religious rules and regulations that the Israelites lived under under the old covenant. Everything about their walk with God was a law that they had to follow and, boy, if they made mistakes, then they had to sacrifice to make up for those mistakes. And the Bible says plainly in Romans that God only gave the law to show people they couldn't keep it so they would know that they needed a Savior. Somebody say, "I need help". Alright, so any new covenant believer needs to understand that, "He whom the Son sets free is free indeed". And we are free. We're not free to do anything we want to do. We're free to follow the promptings and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Romans chapter 7, "We are now free from the law, free to follow the promptings and the guidance of the Holy Spirit". Now, that's when life gets exciting. When everything is a rule and a regulation and you have these certain ways that you have to do everything and it has to be done that way every time you do it otherwise it's not gonna be right, you cannot live and love a life like that. It will absolutely kill you. It amazes me, now I didn't, you know, didn't go to a church like this, but it amazes me when I hear people talk about if they were in like some really, really legalistic religious organization,
How many of you grew up in some kind of a situation like that? Well, some, but not too many, good. You missed something that I don't have to now try to get out of you. But it amazes me the things that people couldn't do. Everything was something they couldn't do. They couldn't dance. They couldn't go to movies. They couldn't listen to anything other than Christian music. I even had one pastor and his wife tell me that when they were dating, they couldn't even hold hands. They could each hold on to the end of a stick, but the stick had to be between 'em. I mean, you couldn't look pretty, couldn't wear any color, couldn't have any makeup, couldn't have any Jewelry, couldn't, couldn't, couldn't, couldn't, couldn't.
And I'm not, you know, I'm just trying to tell you that God's not like that. Jesus said, "I came that you might have and enjoy your life and have it in abundance to the full". I mean, if you don't think that God likes pretty and flashy, you better go read your Bible and see what heaven's gonna look like. I mean, come on. I mean, I went back and read what the Old Testament priests, what their priestly garbs were like and I want to tell ya what, I am downright boring tonight compared to what they looked like. I mean, they had Jewels all over them, and gold, and silver, and all kinds of stuff. If I came out decked like that everybody'd be ready to send me to hell.
Can I tell you something? God likes a party. He likes a party. You say, "well"... have you ever noticed how sour real starchy religious people are? They're the only ones that do anything right and they're judgmental of everybody else who doesn't do it their way. And you dare not have any fun. Well, I'm gonna tell you something, even as a Christian, even as a spirit-filled Christian, for a long time, I didn't have fun because I thought that I was worth more when I was working. And I think sometimes our American dream does that to us. It's like, all we care about is the pursuit to have more, and to get more, and to do more, and to build more, and more, and more, and work, work, work, work.
Well, everything in life needs to be balanced. If you're gonna live a life that you love, it's gotta be a balanced life. And you can't just work all the time, you've gotta enjoy yourself too. And you can't just enjoy yourself all the time, you need to do things for other people. Everything needs to be balanced in our life or we're not going to love it. The first miracle that Jesus did, he did at a party. Hmm... A party. The first miracle he did was at a party. So, what are you gonna do with that? Wow, and I love in the New Testament when Jesus called people to follow him, I love this, he said, "Come and join my party".
Now, I know I'm stretching that a little bit. I'm sure he meant his group, but I'll tell you what, I bet it was a party to travel around with Jesus. I mean, if things got slow, he'd just walk on the water and kind of freak everybody out. Joyce: whoa, ha, ha. "We're out of lunch, well here, feed 5,000 with this fish". God likes color. He likes pretty things. He likes laughter. He likes joy. He loves giving. And he loves you. Follow the Holy Spirit and he'll lead you into a life that you can absolutely love. Come on, give God a praise.