Joyce Meyer - The Guidance Of The Holy Spirit
- How to know Jesus
I wanna talk to you today about The Guidance of the Holy Spirit, because one of the things that he offers us is his guidance and his leadership, and we should be so much seeking that and desiring to know what God wants us to do. Because any time we do what we wanna do, if it's not what God wants us to do, it is not gonna work out. How many of you have already had that sad experience of trying to run your own life and found out that you're really just not so good at it as you thought that you might be?
So, I wanna start in John 16:7, although I was there last night. Probably gonna be reading this pretty much every session, because it reminds us of what the Holy Spirit wants to do for us. Father, we thank you for the word today and approach the subject with reverence, and ask you to bring truth out. "However, I am telling you nothing but the truth", this is Jesus speaking, "When I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away". How could anything be better than Jesus? "Because if I don't go away, the comforter (the counselor, the helper, the advocate, the intercessor, the strengthener, and the standby) will not come to you into close fellowship with you: but if I go away, I will send him to you to be in close fellowship with you".
Now, one of the reasons why it was better to have the Holy Spirit than Jesus was because, first of all, he is the spirit of Christ, so it's not like we lost Jesus. But the Holy Spirit has a different dynamic. Jesus came as Son of God, son of man. He was in a body just like I'm in up here, so he could only be one place at one time dealing with one person at a time. The Holy Spirit, however, can be everywhere all the time, working in every person's life, bringing them into spiritual maturity. One of the things the Holy Spirit does is he works in our life after we're born again to bring us and conform us into the image of Jesus Christ.
How many of you are aware that the moment that you're born again, God is not finished and you're not all mature and grown up, that you still have, I mean, it's pretty much a lifetime journey, wouldn't you say so? And so, I want you just to think about. Even the message that I speak today, it's possible that the Holy Spirit can take what I say and he could minister a 100 different things out of it to different people depending on what you need. Some people will hear things that I say that others, you won't even hear at all. So, the Holy Spirit is amazing in how he works in such an individual way in our life. That's why it's so important to develop a close, intimate, fellowshipping relationship with the Holy Spirit.
Now, the word "Comforter" cannot be explained in English. The original language, the word that "Comforter" comes from, you can't explain it in English with one word. And so, the amplified Bible here has amplified the Greek, and it says, "The comforter is (the counselor, the helper, advocate", that means he pleads our case for us, "Intercessor", he strengthens us, and in case we don't need any of that, he stands by just to see what we might need so he can jump on board and help us. And people have been getting pretty excited about that. That's kind of interesting to think that somebody's standing by all the time just in case you need him for anything. So, he says, "If I go away, then I will send him to be in close fellowship with you". Now, if we go on and we read verse 8, "And when he comes, he will convict and convince the world about sin and about righteousness".
Now, here's a good little lesson that'll help you in your everyday life, and in your homes, and in your businesses, and in your churches. The Holy Spirit is the one and the only one who has the job and is successful at convicting people of sin. It's not your job. It's not my job. Took me years to learn it was not my job to convince Dave of all the changes that he needed to make in his life. Now, obviously, we train our children. I'm not saying there's no correction, but I am saying that... How many of you know that we waste a lot of our time trying to do God's job? And it just doesn't work out. And so, it's very refreshing, even as much as I know this stuff and I've taught it, just reading that in preparing for these messages on the Holy Spirit. I got another whole fresh revelation of thank God I don't need to spin my wheels trying to change people.
Some of you might be thinking, "Well, if I don't stay busy doing that, what will I do with myself"? Well, see, the point is is you cannot change anybody else, but you can pray, humbly, that if they truly need changing and it's not just your imagination, that God himself will do the work. And you can plead with God that while he's working in those people you've prayed for that he will also make big changes in you. Well, I like that more than you do, but anyway. He's the convictor and the convincer. You know, Dave doesn't even know this, so I'm telling on myself, but you know, I used to, man, I would try to get Dave to do what I wanted him to do, and I can't say I never do it, but man, I've learned a secret.
The other day, it was just something simple, I asked him if he could go down, he was getting ready to go play golf, and you know, when Dave's ready to go play golf, and he's got his equipment, and he's ready to rock and roll, it's not a great time to ask him to do something. And so, I said to him, he's in the bathroom, he had the golf hat on, got the shirt on, he's ready to go. I said, "Could you go downstairs and get thus and so for me"? He's like, "No, I don't have time to do that. I got a tee time. Gotta get out of here".
Now, normally, like a few years ago, or maybe even before I read this, I would've said, "You've got time. You get there so early every time you go and you play golf all the time, and surely you can go downstairs and do this one thing for me". Now, how many of you ladies might have handled it the way I just said that I would've handled it? But I've learned, if it's something God wants him to do. I just said, "Okay", and just was real quiet. I mean, it only took about 30 seconds. He said, "Well, I guess I can probably make time", and he went downstairs and did it. Come on, ladies. Let's turn the wise up.
Now, in order to help you, I've exposed my secret, and so the next time I do that, he's gonna say, "Now, you're just being quiet so I'll go do what you want me to". What? Yeah right. He said that he was just waiting for me to have a right attitude, then he knew he would go do it. That is so bad. Okay, now, verse 9, "About sin, because they don't believe in me trust in, rely on, and adhere to me: about righteousness (uprightness of heart, right standing with God), because I go to the Father".
These are things the Holy Spirit is gonna reveal. "About judgment, because the ruler (the evil genius, the prince) of the world Satan is judged and condemned and sentence already is passed upon him. Now, I still have many things to say to you". I love this one. Jesus said, "I have still many things to say to you, but you're not able to bear them or to take them upon you or to grasp them. But when he, the spirit of truth (the truth-giving spirit) comes, he will guide you into all truth". Everybody say, "Guide". Now, "Guide" is a very nice word. He doesn't shove us into the truth. He doesn't dump all the truth on us at one time that we need in our lives.
When I think about this, if I could just put it on a practical level, maybe it was like Jesus saying to the disciples, "If I told you guys everything that was wrong with you right now", 'cause you know, we can read the Bible and see that they weren't exactly excellent choices for apostles. I mean, really, the only one that the world would've picked was Judas, and they would've only picked him because he was educated and had all the stuff that the world thinks you need to serve God. However, he purposely chose people that were unqualified to show that he qualifies us, and if our hearts are right towards him, he can and wants to use anybody. But they had a lot of stuff still wrong with them, and it was time for Jesus to go, and he's saying, "You're gonna need more help. There's a lot of things you still need to know and a lot of things you still need to learn".
You know, I mean, right now in my life, after studying the word for 40 years and really working with God, I mean, I think I'm okay, you know? I mean, I know I'm not perfect, but I'm not standing here today aware of, you know, ten things that I need to change in my life. But I know that by this time next month, God will have shown me something, the Holy Spirit will show me something the month after that, and the week after that. And see, the thing that I just so love about our walk with the Holy Spirit is he knows what to show you when. He never does it in a condemning way. The devil condemns, but the Holy Spirit convicts. And conviction always makes us aware of what is wrong or what is right, but if it's something wrong, he then gives us the power to see that thing lifted out of our life and changed.
When I first started walking with God and I married Dave, oh my gosh, I had so many problems it was unbelievable. And the thing that was funny was really, at that time, I didn't know I had any problems. I mean, I honestly didn't. I thought everybody had a problem. I thought everybody else just needed to do what I told 'em to do and what I wanted 'em to do, and then everything was just gonna be right. Come on, some of you are still out there. Don't be laughing at me. Yeah, you're in the right place at the right time today. And don't be thinking about who you wish would've come. You're here. Yeah, 'cause a bunch of you already thought, "Oh man, so and so needed this".
And I'm telling you the truth, there were things that maybe God didn't deal with me about for years. Just didn't deal with me about 'em at all. I was just dumb, didn't have any idea that what I was doing was wrong. But at the right time, when I had come far enough along in my walk with God that now I could endure, maybe, like a deeper dealing from God, then he would show me something else. So, I just wanna recommend that you turn the case of your recovery over to God. The Holy Spirit is the counselor. And I'm not saying you can't go to somebody for counseling, but I do think it's wise to go to somebody who has the counselor living in them. Because I don't think it's really good to get a lot of advice from people who don't even know what they're doing.
I had one psychiatrist tell me, she said, "Before I came to Christ", she said, "I was trying to give people advice all the time and tell 'em what to do with their problems". And she said, "One day, I got so confused, I thought, 'you know what? I don't even have a clue what I'm talking about'". She said, "I had more problems than anybody". She said, "Now, I still counsel, but I've been saved and I've read a lot of your books. So, I just prescribe your books and just let people go home". Because the Word of God is what's gonna change our lives. Amen. Amen, amen, amen. All right, so, he will guide you into all truth.
Now, truth is very important to God, and I just have a little funny Dave story that will fit in really good right here. It's amazing where I can put stuff, but I find a way to work it all into the word. So, Dave, you know, I was gonna be gone on my birthday. Yesterday was my birthday, and I was here preaching to you guys. And so, I got some flowers last week. I got a couple, two or three sets of flowers. And so, Dave said, "You got some flowers out in the kitchen".
So, I went out in the kitchen and here's this, I mean, this vase was, like, this tall, and the roses were like up to, I mean, they were the most beautiful long-stemmed white roses I have ever seen. And so, I thought I knew who they were from, and so I said, "Oh, those are really nice". And Dave said, "Well, aren't you gonna look at the card". So, I looked at the card, and it was from him, and said, "I went all out for you babe". And so, while I'm making on over him and like, "Aww, Dave, that was so sweet and that was so thoughtful", he got this silly grin on his face.
Well, it turned out they were from a local pastor in town and he took that guy's card off. Wrote his own card and got that pastor's thunder. But so, Dave's still learning a little bit about this being guided into truth thing. Anyway, that's an aside. It really has nothing to do with all this, but I had to find a place to put it, so there it went. Verse 13, "But when he, the spirit of truth (the truth-giving spirit) comes, he will guide you into all truth (the whole, full truth). For he will not speak his own message on his own authority: but he will tell whatever he hears from the father: he will give the message that has been given to him, and he will announce and declare to you the things that are to come the things that will happen in the future". And then he goes on and says some really good things about everything.
Verse 15, "Everything the father has is mine. That's what I meant when I said that the spirit will take what is mine and will reveal (declare, disclose, and transmit) it unto you". So really, for all intent and purposes, you're here today, I'm a teacher, but you have the teacher living in you. And if you don't, we can take care of that today. And so, God is transmitting things to you. It's almost like you're here just getting a holy transfusion, a revelation from God and the presence of God. And boy, are you gonna be so much stronger and better when you leave. You ever feel like that after you're in a really great church service, kinda like you just had a holy transfusion?
Now, I wanna talk to you about God as our guide. There's some pretty amazing scriptures. Let's look at Psalm 48:14, for example. "For this God is our God forever and ever: and he will be our guide even until death". Boy, I like that. I can trust God to guide me. And one of my motives today is I want you to stop thinking that God will guide you and believe that he is guiding you. We've always got everything with God in the future. "Well, someday", and "Maybe". But faith is now, so, "Right now, I believe that God is leading me and guiding me". And many ways, when God is guiding us, initially we can think that we're not getting what we want or we can think that what's happening is a disappointment.
And I'm gonna give you a couple of examples. Pastor Mike and his wife travel with us. We're good friends. We've known them for a lot of years and she's my administrative assistant. He's our staff pastor. And the time came a few years ago when they really wanted to sell their house. They really felt like they were supposed to sell their house and they put their house up for sale. They knew where they wanted to move. They were really looking forward to it, but the house never sold. Well, you know, no matter how much you wanna move, if your house don't sell, you're kinda there. And so, penny and I were talking this morning and she said, "It's a good thing that God didn't give us what we wanted", because that area of town where they wanted to move has since then had a lot of extreme violence in it, and so it would've ended up not being a good place for them to be.
Let me tell you something, we live life forward, but we understand it backwards. And many times, when we're not getting what we want, we don't understand, we're confused, we think God didn't hear us, or you know, we're not liking what's going on. But I believe that we cannot trust that God will guide us, but that he is guiding us, even because he is our guide. So, therefore, if we ask him, "Guide us", and you have not, because you asked not, so please ask. "God, I ask you to guide me in everything that I do". What does Proverbs 3 say? "Acknowledge him in all your ways and he will direct your path. Be not wise in your own eyes".
And so, it's very simple, every day to just say, "God, this is my plan, but I know that my mind plans my way, but you direct my steps. And so, if my plan's not working out don't let me get all bent out of shape about it, just know that you have a better plan than I have". Amen? Would it be insulting to you if I told you you're not smart enough to run your own life? Okay. You're not smart enough to run your own life. I'm so impressed by what the apostle Paul said that's recorded in Philippians 3:10-11. Of all the things that he knew, and he was given the task of writing about two-thirds of the New Testament by revelation, you would think that he already knew everything he needed to know. And look at what he said. "For my determined purpose", Philippians chapter 3, verse 10, "For my determined purpose is that I may know him".
What is your number-one purpose in life? It really should be to know God. And I'm not talking about knowing about God. I'm talking about knowing God. And I'm not talking about sitting in church and hearing somebody else who knows God talk about God. You don't need second-hand faith, you need your own faith. You need your own relationship with God. Doesn't matter what grandma's got, or what mama's got, or what your pastor's got, you need to know him personally for yourself. But, let me tell you something, when you come to know God then you don't have to worry when you don't know what's going on. You can trust God, you can lean on him, you can rely on him. You are never alone. The Father sent Jesus, Jesus sent the Holy Spirit. He said, "He is going to be with your forever. He will never leave you, nor forsake you".
Where can I go from your spirit? There's nowhere that you can get away from God's spirit. Do you know, some of you, because your grandma was praying for you and your mama was praying for you, even when you hung out in bars every night, the Holy Spirit trailed right along behind you, trying to bring a little conviction and a little help into your life. And you pray for your kids and you may have to watch them do dumb things for a few years, but let me tell you something, if you pray for them and you continue loving them and you're a good example in front of them, don't try to tell your kids to do stuff you're not doing yourself. If you're a good example in front of them, the Holy Ghost is not going to leave them alone. He is going to pester them and pester them. There's always hope. We are never without hope when we have God.
Okay. Just a couple more scriptures. Psalm 91:14, "Because he has set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him, I will set him on high, because he knows and understands my name has a personal knowledge", not a knowledge through somebody else, but, "As a personal knowledge of my mercy, love and kindness, trusts and relies on me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never". Can somebody say, "God will never forsake me". And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to his purpose. We don't think they might, we know that they will. Why? Because we know our God. Job, in the worst conditions that you could possibly imagine said, "I know that my redeemer lives and that I shall be redeemed on that final day".
Do you know that having too much up here can actually prevent you from ever coming to know Christ and receive him. And I'm speaking to anybody who might be watching by TV today that you just think, "Well, this whole Jesus thing just makes no sense. Religion's just a crutch for people who can't manage their own lives". Well, you know, the truth is, is you might not be managing yours so well either. You may have business success, you might have money, you might be well known but the point is do you have righteousness, peace, and joy? Do you now who you are in Christ? Are you confident about who you are? What if everything you owned was stripped away, would you have any confidence then? Or is all your confidence coming from just what you have?
Let me just tell you today that God loves you and the very fact that you're listening to this right now is proof that God loves you and he's trying to guide you out of the misery and the messes that you're in. He has a good plan for you life, it may not be what you're doing with your life right now and that may be why you're not happy because you're not going according to God's plan. He wants to forgive your sins. He wants to give you life eternal, where you don't have to be afraid of death and you don't have to be afraid of what's going to happen after death. You can receive Christ as your Savior today and your name can be written in the lamb's book of life. All you need to do is pray a very simple prayer, "God, I believe in you. Jesus, I believe in you. Forgive my sins, come into my heart, and take my life and make me what you want me to be".
Now, there's a phone number on your screen (800-727-9673) and if you'll call that number, we'll have an operator standing by that can give you more information. We'll send you a booklet that we'd like you to have about how to start your new life right with Christ. But don't think that you're so smart that you don't need God. Because I'll tell you right now, some people are so smart that they don't ever receive Christ because to them it makes no sense. Last night, we talked about the mind of the flesh and the mind of the spirit. And in Romans 8:6, it says, "The mind of the flesh is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit". We don't need that. What we need is the Holy Spirit all mixed in with our plan.
So, if God wants some it doesn't make any sense to me, he can give me discernment and revelation about it and I can know that it's right. Even though my mind doesn't agree. What sense does it say, "If you give your money away, you'll have more than ever? I mean really lady, do you think I'm a Nutcase? I can count. If I give my money away how am I going to have more"? Well, what sense does it make to say we have one God, and three persons? Three never equals one. No matter what you do. How can the first be last and the last be first? If you're first, you're first, if you're last, you're last. What are you going to make out of that? So, there are things that we can not make sense out of up here but we know that we know that we know that we know.
Let me tell you something, God is real and God is not dead. He is alive. And let me tell all the really smart people out in the world, you are not going to get rid of God. I don't care how many signs you rip off the wall or how many things you tell us we can't do. You are not going to get rid of God and you better hope that you give up on that idea before he comes back because I wouldn't want to be you and have to face him. Amen? And if somebody really doesn't want to serve God, that is your choice. But please leave us alone. Because I've made my choice, how about you? God is the only way to go, come on, get up and give him a big praise. I know that my redeemer lives!