Joyce Meyer - Seven Common Fears
Tonight I want to talk about seven common fears. We're gonna talk about some very practical areas where we let fear overwhelm us, make us miserable, and torment us. Can I just say loud and clear, you can not enjoy your life and be fearful at the same time? You can not enjoy your life and be fearful at the same time. Fear, 1 John 4 says, "Fear hath torment". It torments us. And so, some of these are fears that you may have and don't even know that you have. You don't even think about having them. But there are things over the years that God has dealt with me about and helped me get through and they've really brought a lot of freedom into my life. The first one I want to talk to you about is the fear that I'm not pleasing to God. And I think lots of people have that. They kinda think God's mad at 'em about half the time. "He's not pleased. If I could just be better then maybe God would be pleased more".
Now, I kind of fell into that because my father was never pleased no matter what I did. And I wanted to please him, but I was always afraid that I wasn't pleasing him. So it's very easy to translate that into a relationship with God. But I don't think that you even have to have been mistreated as a child. You could have had great parents and still have this subtle fear that you're just not pleasing to God. Let's just see if anybody out there agrees. See, 'cause sometimes you guys look so innocent I can't tell if you need this or not. And God doesn't want you to be that. "We did not receive the Holy Spirit to put us once again in bondage to fear", Romans 8:15 says. We did not receive the Holy Spirit, the spirit of adoption, God has adopted us.
You know what that means? He's chosen you. He didn't have to chose you, he chose you on purpose and knew when he got you, every wrong thing you would ever do. That's better news than you're acting like. See, adoption is really a powerful thing. I mean, there are people who've been adopted that it becomes a problem for them because they only think about the person who didn't keep them for some reason. But, I mean, adoption, if you look at it properly, is amazing. Because somebody came and they didn't just have a baby. They wanted you. They chose you. They picked you. And that's amazing. We need to think about the upside of stuff and not the downside of everything that's going on in our life. Amen?
Well, John 6:28 and 29 helped me so much when I was going through these things because if you're afraid you're not pleasing to God you're likely to just work yourself to death trying to do everything right and be really good and make sure you do enough of everything that God is pleased. But the interesting thing is, is when you're trying to please God through your own works, no matter what you do, you're still afraid he's not pleased. So, apparently we're not the only people who had this problem. It was all the way back in the Bible with the disciples. "Then they said to him, 'what are we to do'", and boy, that's a question we ask all the time isn't it? "What do you want me to do? What do you want me to do, God, what do you want me to do"? "What are we to do that we might habitually be working the works of God? What are we to do to carry out what God requires"? In other words, what would it take to please God?
And Jesus replied, Jesus said this, "This is the work, the (service) that God asks of you: that you believe", yes, Jesus, and what? No, "That you believe in the one whom he has sent that you cleave to, trust in, rely on, and have faith in his messenger". And you know, sometimes I kind of like it when I can tell people are going... You know why? Because there is so much deception from satan spreading his lies and making people miserable. And I know right away you think, "Well, yeah, but I mean, I can't just believe. I mean, God wants me to be good. He wants me to pray. He wants me to blah, blah, blah, blah". But you gotta lay all that aside for a few minutes and there's gotta be a foundation.
And see a lot of people are trying to build this great Christian life and they don't have a good foundation. And you know what happens when you build a building on a foundation that's not good, you're gonna have trouble, trouble, trouble, and it's going to show up every time you turn around. There's cracks here and cracks there and everything just becomes a big mess. And a lot of times we think, "Well, we don't want to hear about foundational things, we wanna hear about deeper things". Well, you know what? If you don't have a solid foundation then you need to park at the message of, "God loves me", until you get it and it is so strong in you that no devil in hell and no problem can take it away from you.
And I say all the time, just because we've got it highlighted in our Bible doesn't mean that we know it. I'll tell you when you can know that you know that God loves you. There's some ways you can tell. When you can receive correction from God without feeling condemned. When you can actually appreciate it when God shows you something that you didn't do right and not feel all down again, "Now, God's not pleased". God is pleased. He's pleased that you're here tonight. He's pleased that you care enough about him to take a Friday night and come here. He's pleased that some of you have taken off work and traveled to come here. God is smiling at you tonight. He's not frowning and getting out his list of everything that you've done wrong all your life. God sees the end from the beginning and he sees what you already are in his mind and what you're becoming every day of your life.
And he says, "Before anything else, you must believe that I am your only right standing with God". No amount of our works is going to get us right standing with God. I could pray until I couldn't even talk anymore and that doesn't mean that God would be pleased with me. He's only going to be pleased if I fully, completely believe that Jesus is who he says that he is and that he did what he said that he did and I bank my life on that. See I decided a long time ago I'm gonna be all in or I'm not doing this. I'm going to believe the whole book or I might as well throw it all away. We've got too many people with one foot in the world and one foot in the kingdom and they want to be a Christian on Sunday and a sinner the rest of the week.
And that's not what God wants. And if you live like that, you don't know who you are in Christ. Because what happens is when you really get the revelation of what Jesus has done for you, you not only love him, you fall in love with him. And there's a difference. I remember the first time I said to the Lord, it's, like, "I love you, but I've got something going on that's much deeper than that. I am in love with you. You are it. You are my life". I love what Paul said, "In you I live and move and have my being". There's nothing that I have any interest in doing if God is not first in my life. And that comes from knowing what he did for you, not from anything else but knowing how good he is and what he did for you. So, that has to be the foundation. We are not justified, made right with God by our works but by his work. You say, "But".
See, it took me, what I'm trying to tell you here tonight took me probably 25 years to get. To really fully believe. And I can understand what some of you, the process of your mind right now. It's like, "Well, yeah but. But, yeah, but. Joyce, you just don't know the things I do. You don't know what a mess I am". Well, I can tell you something, if you've been a Christian for 30 years and you're not changing, it's because you lack this revelation that I'm talking about right now. Do you have any idea how many people have a certain love for God and they go off to some religious mausoleum every week and they just hear five more rules that they need to keep for God to be pleased with them and they go out and they just end up giving up on God. They never even had God to start with. They had a religion. Jesus didn't die for us to have a religion. He died so we could have an intimate, personal relationship with him through Jesus Christ. We're talking best friend! Never leave you.
So, right believing... Now get this, it's not that God doesn't care about our behavior. The Bible's full of things to do and not to do. But you can't get the cart before the horse. And so the very first thing, the foundation has to be Jesus and your relationship with God, your personal intimate relationship with God through him. And once you have that then right believing begins to produce right behavior. Right behavior doesn't produce right relationship, it never will. But right relationship will produce right behavior. Let's go at it again. Right behavior never produces a right relationship with God. Because we are not justified before God by our works. Justification comes only by faith.
Martin Luther brought that revelation to the church. Faith and not works is the only way that we can ever be justified. That means to stand before God as if you've never sinned. That's what it means to be justified. To stand before God. The Bible says that when we repent of our sins, "He removes them as far as the east is from the west", and get this, "He remembers them no more". My goodness. He remembers them no more! So why don't you stop talking to God everyday about things you did 20 years ago that he's already gotten rid of and doesn't even remember? Come on, I don't want to work that hard tonight. Behavior modification will never produce righteousness before God. Have you ever seen that silly kid's game called whack-a-mole? I got one of those but I didn't think to bring it here. It's such a great example because as long as you're just trying to modify your behavior thinking by that God's gonna love you.
This game is like a board and it's got all these little heads that pop up, and so you have this hammer and you whack one down and another mole pops up. And you whack another one down and another one pops up somewhere else. Well, that's the way it is when we're in to behavior modification, thinking that, that's gonna cause God to accept us and to love us. He already loves you. He loved you before you ever showed up on the planet. He will-God will never... Now this is another one people just go silent when I say this, God will never love you any more than he does at this moment right now. Well, man this is like taking a whole bottle of nerve pills. It's like, wow! And then we're so amazed that we want to do better. We don't have to do better to buy God's love because you know what? God is not for sale. But then we want to do better.
And so you're always going to be playing whack-a-mole with your flesh. You may discipline yourself and squeeze out one thing, only to have it pop up somewhere else in a different form. Amen? And I tell you I've got a few moles left in me, but you know what, now, you're going to think this is nuts but I don't worry about 'em. I'm not focusing on my problems. I'm focusing on Jesus, and he's taking care of my problems. You know why? God knows your heart. And if you love him, that's the most important thing to him. And if you want to change, he sees that. And if you keep praying and you keep studying, you're going to change little by little from glory to glory. It's not going to happen all at one time, and you're going to need to be patient with yourself and learn to enjoy yourself while you're making the journey.
I kind of like myself. I hated myself enough years. And I'm enjoying myself because I know that God enjoys me. Okay, listen Jesus is our justification, not our good works. Just so you know I'm not making it up, Galatians 2:16. "Yet we know that a man is justified or reckoned righteous and in right standing with God not by works of the law", everybody say, "Not by works. But only through faith and absolute reliance on it, adherence to and trust in Jesus Christ the Messiah. Therefore even we ourselves have believed in Christ Jesus in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law". Say, "Not by works of the law. For we can not be justified by any observance of the ritual of the law given by Moses, because by keeping legal rituals and by works no human being can ever be justified and (declared righteous and put in right standing with God)".
So now, see, you might think, "Well, then what's the point in trying to be good"? Well, see, you've missed the whole deal. Don't make me start over. So what's the point in trying to be good? Here is the point. If you get the relationship part, nobody can keep you from trying to be good. You're going to fall all over yourself trying to be good, trying to improve and trying to please God and wanting to do just what he wants you to do because you know that he loves you and you now do what you do because you love him, not to get him to love you. Come on, you don't know what I went through before I finally got ahold of this after the way I was treated when I was growing up. Oh my gosh, it took me so long to actually get to the point where I could totally believe this. And now it's such a revelation in my life, and when I try to pass this on to you, I do it with passion because I know what people go through who don't have this understanding. Thank you.
Now, in Matthew 3:17 when Jesus was baptized, it says, "And behold, a voice from heaven said, 'this is my son, my beloved in whom I delight'". Another translation says, "In whom I am well pleased". And you might say, "Well, yeah that was Jesus". Well, yeah, but you're in him. Come on, you're in him. You know what, if I put a dollar bill in this Bible and I burn it up, the dollar bill gets burned up just like the Bible would. When you're in Christ, everything that happened to him happened to you. You died when he died. You were raised when he was raised. You're in Christ. And so you're the beloved. "Oh, come on, Joyce that's a little much".
Well, okay. Let's take a little journey here. Daniel chapter 9, verse 23, and this was before Christ, this was a guy who was just looking forward to the Messiah. "At the beginning of your prayers", this is an angel sent from God, "At the beginning of your prayers, Daniel, the word giving an answer went forth and I have come to tell you for you are greatly beloved". Everybody say, "I'm the beloved". Oh, your religious flesh just had a creepy crawler right then. I'm the beloved. Wow. "And the angel said to me", this is chapter 10 verse 11, "'oh Daniel, you greatly beloved man'"! And chapter 10 verse 19, "And he said, 'o man greatly beloved, fear not'"! Come on, there it is. "Greatly beloved, fear not"!
You don't have to live in fear because I've got you covered. I love you. Everything is going to work out okay. "Stand still, see the salvation of the Lord which he will work for you today". John referred to himself, John, the disciple John, the apostle John, wrote the book of John, and in the book of John, he refers to him over and over as the beloved, John the beloved. I am the disciple that Jesus loved. Now, you know, still every once in a while that just annoys me a tad. And I was thinking again the other day before I bought this to you. What kind of person just stands around and says, "I'm the one that Jesus loves? I am the beloved".
And you know what? I got my answer. You know who does that? Somebody who is confident and bold, and see, when you know the love of God, then you can't live in fear because it give you a confidence, a boldness and a security that the devil just absolutely does not know what to do with. Come on. See, when you know you're loved, you can step out and try to do great things because you don't live in the fear of making a mistake. But that's another fear, we're going to talk about that one later. It's going to take a miracle for me to get through all seven of these, you know that don't you? David, the Psalmist David, his name means beloved. "I'm the beloved of God. I committed murder and adultery. God loves me".
See, we need a greater revelation of what it means to be a new creature in Christ. "That old things pass away and all things become brand new". Old things pass away. "God forgives our sins and he forgets them and moves them as far as the east is from the west". Oh, we're killing religious demons tonight. And, you know we've all got a little bit of that in us. There's a man here tonight that talked to Dave and he spent, what? Six years in prison, Dave? He got saved in prison watching our TV program. You know, he's here tonight. And listen, he's here tonight and God loves him just as much as anybody else in this room. And, matter of fact, he could be you know, a little more excited for him than he is the rest of us because you know what happened when the one sheep got lost and came back?
There was great rejoicing over the one that was returned. And when the prodigal left and came back and the father wanted to have a party for him, the elder brother, "The religious brother", he said, "I'm not going to the party". Well, can I tell you something? Whether you go to the party or not, God's still going to have a party. And I decided I'm going! I am going to the party that God is throwing! Amen? So, brother, wherever you're at, we love you. You are accepted. Totally and completely accepted. You never have to hang your head in shame. God's going to do some great things for you. Amen. Matter of fact, where are you? Are you on this floor? Are you down here? Stand up wave, scream, something. Come here and let me pray for you. See, we're going to celebrate your mistakes. I said, we're going to celebrate your mistakes. Dave, why don't you come and lay hands on him, I'm going to pray for him.
Father, we pray for this brother who is beginning on a new life and I pray that you would open doors for him. That he would always have good employment. That people would not hold his past against him. I pray, Lord, that he would not spend his life feeling guilty and condemned and that you would even use him to help other people that are still in the situation that he's come out of. We pray for him, we bless him in your name and thank you that you're going to do great things in his life. Amen.
We're gonna talk about some very practical areas where we let fear overwhelm us, make us miserable, and torment us. Can I just say, loud and clear, you cannot enjoy your life and be fearful at the same time. You cannot enjoy your life and be fearful at the same time. 1 John 4 says, "Fear hath torment". It torments us. And so some of these are fears that you may have and don't even know that you have. You don't even think about having them. But they're things over the years that God has dealt with me about and helped me get through. And they've really brought a lot of freedom into my life. This is a good one, number two. Number two. "I'm afraid I won't get what I want".
Now, you know what? That causes us to do all kinds of silly stuff. "I'm afraid I won't get what I want". John 21:18. Prior to this, starting in verse 15, Jesus was talking to Peter, "Peter, do you love me"? "Yes, Lord, you know I love you". "Feed my sheep". "Peter, do you love me"? "Yes, Lord, you know I love you". "Feed my sheep". "Peter, do you love me"? "Yes, Lord, you know I love you". "Feed my sheep". So John 21:18, "I assure you", now, listen to what he said. Okay, now, if you love me. I want you to hear this. "I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, when you were young you girded yourself you put on your own belt or girdle and you walked about wherever you pleased to go". And I don't think this is talking about young in age. I think he's talking about young in the Lord.
You know, a lot of times, baby Christians, it takes a while to get into having to deal with all this God's will be done. I mean, you want somebody to pray for you and get an answer, go to a baby Christian 'cause God's just in the process of just showing out for them. They're in that relation establishing thing. But the time comes when God says, "Now, up until now, you've done whatever you wanted.."., "But when you grow old", or when you grow up, "You will stretch out your hands, and someone else will put a girdle around you and carry you where you do not wish to go".
Now this was so valuable to me because, man, there were things that I wanted. You know, I'm a very and I don't just want anything a little bit. If I want it, I want it! I know where I wanna eat and I know what I wanna eat before I get there. I even know where I would like to sit in the restaurant if it's one I'm used to going to. I have purpose, passion, and so I had this dream from God. This ministry dream, and I was working so hard and not much was happening, everything was little, little, little, little, little. And one day I was reading the Bible and came across that scripture and fear kinda clutched my heart. "Is God telling me I'm not gonna get what I want"? And the Lord spoke this to my heart. "If I ask you to go down to the riverfront and minister to 50 homeless people, the rest of your life, would you do it just for me"? I'm, like, "Oh, no".
Now, somebody over there said, "Yes", a lot quicker than I did. You know why? Because I had a dream. I had a vision. I knew how it was supposed to be. And you see, the truth was is I did have a vision and I did have a dream and this was God's will for me but before he would give it to me, I had to be willing to give it up. Okay, I wanna try that again. Before he would give it to me, I had to be willing to give it up. C'mon, if you're a pretty, single young girl and you're saying, "I just cannot be happy if I don't get married", mmm, you're gonna stay single a while. Well, I'm getting some sour looks. You say, "Well, you mean to tell me, I mean, I've got a word from God. Do you... Do you... Well, oh, well, well"!
Here's the thing. You gotta get God before the thing. It's like, "Yes, God, I wanna get married. I believe that you're gonna provide for me. I believe that you're gonna provide the right person but let's just be clear that I can be happy without that because I've got you". This is what I'm talking about. C'mon, this is what I'm talking about. So let's just say that maybe you were wrong about whatever you think that you're believing God for him to do. What if he made it clear that he wanted you to turn and go in an opposite direction? "Peter, do you love me"? "Yes, Lord, you know I love you". "Well, feed my sheep". "Peter, do you love me"? "Yes, Lord, you know I love you". "Well, Peter, feed my sheep". "Peter, do you really love me"? "Yes, Lord, you know I really love you. Why do you keep asking me the same thing"? "Well, take care of my people".
Up until now you've put your own girdle on and walked about wherever you wanted to go and did your own thing and I kind of blessed it and made it work out. But if you really surrender to me, someone else is gonna put a girdle around you and may carry you somewhere where you do not wish to go. Hmm. I guess there's not much to clap about, is there? I mean, listen, some of you are in here and things have not turned out for you the way that you thought they would. But you know what? You can be happy anyway. You can be happy anyway. You know, I pray God that my joy is not tied up in this ministry and what I'm doing. Because you know what? When I'm no longer Joyce Meyer, I will still be Joyce Meyer. And I know somebody is gonna see me someday when I'm about 95 and say, "Didn't you used to be Joyce Meyer"?
Well, see, the thing is, is I am still always gonna be who I am because I'm more than what I do and you are more than what you do. You are much more than what you do. So let's not get our worth and value all tied up in what we do because the day will come when you can't do it anymore. Then what? I had somebody say to me recently that had been working for us basically all their lives, starting when they were a teenager. And some things changed and we didn't have the right position for them anymore and we all agreed that it was time for a change, including the person. It was really hard for him and he said, "I don't know who I am anymore".
Well, see, we gotta be so careful that we don't get our who tied up in our do, amen? It doesn't matter if you clean the toilet, if you sweep the floor, if you clean homes for people, if you're the president of the company, if you're on the platform, if you're in the back row, that's not what gives us worth and value. The only thing that gives us any worth or any value at all is who we are in Christ. I'd like to be able to stand here tonight and tell you you're gonna get everything you want but I don't think that that's very smart for me to do that 'cause you may not. But I will tell you this. You will get what's right. I said you will get what's right. You may not get everything you want but you will get what's right. We need to come to the point where we can say and really mean it, "Father, your will be done and not mine". I mean, really mean it. We need to be able to say, "I surrender all", and really mean it. Not just a song we sing but really mean it.
You know, the cross that we carry is not a bunch of disaster and trouble all the time, and just all kinds of wretched, tragic things happening to us. "Well, it's just my cross to bear". No, that's not the cross we're asked to carry. Let's look at Mark 8:34. "And Jesus called to him", the crowd, "With his disciples and said to them, 'if anybody intends to come after me, let him deny himself forget, ignore, disown, and lose sight of himself and all of his own interests". No clapping for that either. "And let him take up his cross, and follow me". So he's telling me here that the cross that I'm to carry in life is to want his will more than I want mine, even to the point that if what I want is not what he wants I'm willing to walk away from that and say, "God your will be done". C'mon, we're having more meat tonight. This is not dessert.
So, many people are afraid they're not gonna get what they want. And when you've waited a while and you're not getting what you want, you gotta be very careful that you don't start trying to make things happen yourself 'cause, boy, you just make the mess worse. Now, number three, the fear of bad news and trouble. Psalm 112:7 and 8 in the ESV translation says, "He is not afraid of bad news: his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. His heart is steady: he will not be afraid, until he looks in triumph at his adversaries". Not afraid of bad news. Believing that something good is gonna happen all the time. Psalm 46:1 through 3, "God is our refuge and our strength mighty and impenetrable to temptation, a very present and a well-proved help in trouble".
Everybody say, "God is with me. And I'm the beloved". And I love Psalm 27:13 and 14. I wrote a whole book based on this scripture. It's called, "Get Your Hopes Up". I want us to look at this together. Psalm 27:13 and 14. David said, "What! What"! Exclamation Mark after each "What" in the amplified. "What would have become of me", Psalm 27:13. I want you to see it. "What, what would have become of me had I not believed that I would see the Lord's goodness in the land of the living"! What kind of life are you gonna have if you just keep expecting more of what you had that you couldn't stand? And see, sometimes when we'd have trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, then we start getting afraid of trouble and we're afraid we're gonna have more trouble. You hear there's gonna be a lay-off at work and the first thing you think is, "I'm gonna lose my job". "What would have become of me had I not believed that I would see the Lord's goodness"!
Let me tell you something. Let's look at verse 14. "Wait and hope for and expect the Lord: be brave and of a good courage", saying, 'fear not,' "And let your heart be stout and enduring. Yes, wait for and hope for and expect the Lord". We need to live with a holy expectancy that something good is about to happen at any moment in our lives. And I had so much fun writing that book and I still tell people all the time, "You need to get it. It's my happy book". Don't just kinda get up every day and hang around to wait and see what happens. Get up and start declaring some truth out of your mouth. "I'm expecting God to do great things in my life today. I'm expecting favor. God loves me. He calls me the beloved. Good things are gonna happen to me. God is with me. I have favor everywhere that I go. I'm not afraid of trouble. You know why? Because I can do whatever I need to do through Christ who is my strength".
See, you don't have to be afraid if you say, "I can do whatever I need to do. I'd rather not have trouble but if I get trouble, I can still handle life and do what I need to do because God is with me and I know that it won't last forever and I will come out on the other side and something good is going to happen to me". Oh Jesus, hallelujah. Boy, the devil hates for you to hear the kind of stuff you're hearing tonight. Dear Lord, pray for me and my protection. I mean it. We need your prayers all the time.
Number four, the fear of failure. Boy, the fear of failure keeps us in these little tiny puny lives. The fear of failure is actually rooted in the fear of rejection. We're afraid if we're not good and successful that we won't be accepted. "If I fail my test, if I lose the race, or if I fail in any way then I'm gonna be criticized and rejected. I will not be chosen". You know, one of the things that I can remember from my childhood that was the most gut-wrenching to me and this really was not even a good way for things to be done but at the grade school I went to we had girls' softball team and they would have two teams and two captains and then the captains would stand there and choose out of the players who they wanted. Any of you remember that? Look at that. Wasn't that terrible?
Now if you happen to be the star player, it was a lot of fun. But here's the thing, in a situation like that, I thought about this today, somebody was always last. I wasn't last but I was close to it most of the time. And people hate that feeling that nobody wants them. They hate that feeling that they're not the chosen one. But see, if you really know who you are in Christ, you cannot be chosen by the world and still know that you've been chosen by God. Chosen, beloved. You know, we always talk about all the people that made it. But, what about all the people who helped them make it? You know, I'm on this platform but it takes 700 more people that work for us to make this happen.
So you see me but God sees them. C'mon. And we got sound people and helps people and we have people that come and volunteer at these meetings at their own expense and they travel from other places and pay to have the opportunity to serve God. Let me tell you something. There are a lot of amazing people in the body of Christ. I mean, people who serve and people who help and people who sacrifice and let me tell you something. They're just as important as the ones up front. I was thinking about the Olympics today and, you know, we always hear about and for years after cheer for the people that won the gold medal. Well, what about all the other people who ran just as hard as they did? And maybe they didn't get the medal but they put out the same effort. They had the same desires and the world is full of people like that.
You know, really, out of all the people in the world, there's only probably relatively few who are the ones that are noticed. But let me tell you something, God notices the people that nobody else notices and I kinda got a sneaky suspicion he's extremely fond of them. One day I was walking in kind of a pathy, woodsy area. I don't remember exactly where it was now but there was these beautiful little flowers that were hidden, like, behind a rock and in a real out-of-the-way place and I just said to God, "God, why do you even put something that pretty there and nobody sees it"? He said, "I see it". And see, you may feel like that you're planted on the back side of a rock somewhere and nobody sees you and you don't understand what your value even is but God sees you. And if you're alive just for his pleasure, c'mon, I said if you're alive just for his pleasure.
You know, so many people miss the whole thing because they're wanting somebody in the world to applaud. Well, yeah, I get a lot of that but I can tell you that doesn't make me any better than anybody else. I want you to know tonight that you're valuable, that God loves you more than you could even possibly imagine. That he's not mad at you, that you are pleasing to him. That you don't have to live in fear of not being chosen because you have already been chosen by God Most High, amen? Chosen by God.
Ephesians 1:4, "Even as in his love he chose us". Amplified Bible says, "Actually picked us out for himself as his own". Well, I might have not got picked for the baseball team but God picked me. And God has picked you. Let me tell you something. You may feel invisible but you're not. God sees you. "He picked us out as his own in Christ before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy (consecrated, set apart for him), blameless in his sight, even above reproach, walking before him in love".
John 15:16 says, "You've not chosen me, I've chosen you and I have appointed you and I have planted you, that you might go and bear fruit". I love that. Chosen, appointed, planted, and bearing fruit. I want you to go out of this place tonight believing that you're special. And you know, I'm not talking about having a puffed up, haughty, prideful attitude that you're better than everybody else. That's not what I'm talking about at all. The point I'm trying to get across is that we're all equal in Christ.