Joyce Meyer - The Strength And Comfort Of The Holy Spirit
Okay, tonight I want to talk about the Holy Spirit, our strengthener. I'm speaking this weekend on the Holy Spirit and the present-day ministry of the Holy Spirit because I don't think he gets the attention that he deserves and personally, I think he's excited that we're talking about him this weekend because he knows what he wants to do in and through people, but we need to ask him to work in our lives. We need to be aware of his presence, and we need to be baptized in the Spirit, filled with the Holy Spirit on a regular basis.
The Bible says, "Be ever filled with the Holy Spirit". There's a huge difference in a Christian who is just kind of trying to make it on their own and one who really relies on the Holy Spirit in their lives to enable them to do everything that they need to do. And I can tell ya, I was a Christian for a long time before I knew anything about the things that I'm gonna talk to you about tonight. I knew about the Trinity. I heard it more as a doctrinal message, but I didn't understand really what Jesus meant when he said, "You're gonna be better off if I go away because if I go away, I'm gonna send you another comforter who's been with you and is going to be in you".
Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to represent him and to take his place here in the earth and when Jesus said, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you", the way he does that is through the Holy Spirit. Jesus was in a human body like we are and he can't be everywhere all the time, but the Holy Spirit can be everywhere all the time. So, John 15:26 is our first scripture. "But the comforter", and I've said this in each session but we always have new people in every meeting. The word "Comforter" in the original language cannot be defined as one word in English so it has to be described in many different ways.
So, what is the comforter? Well, the Holy Spirit is called the comforter. "I will send you another comforter, (the counselor, the helper, the advocate)", that means he pleads our case, "(the intercessor, the strengthener)", and that's what we're gonna talk about tonight, the Holy Spirit, our strengthener. "And, (the standby) comes, whom I will send to you from the father, the spirit of truth who comes and (proceeds) from the Father".
Now, how many of you have any giants in your life? And I'm not talking about like a, you know, 10-foot tall person. I'm talking about something that's, you know, constant guilt, addictive guilt can be a giant in your life. Drug addiction, of course, would be a giant in your life. Deep-rooted insecurity is a giant in your life. Lacking no confidence is a giant in your life. Constant financial problems, relationship problems, there are giants in our lives. And most of us, when we first enter into a relationship with God through Christ, we have lots of giants, and we slay them one by one over the period of time that we walk with God.
How many you have, with God's help, killed a few giants already as you walk with God? Well, one of the things that we need in order to do that is constant strength. You know, I love doing what I'm doing, but I will be tired when I get home. And I'm not just gonna try to feel better. First thing I'm gonna do on Sunday morning is go up to my office, spend time with God, and one of the first things I'm gonna do is ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen me and help me recover from the work that I've done and do all in me that needs to be done. Don't ever start a day without asking the Holy Spirit to give you the strength to do whatever's gonna come your way that day. You can do whatever you need to do through Christ who is your strength and he ministers to you through the present-day ministry of the Holy Spirit.
Now, Numbers 13:23. Now, Moses had been leading the Israelites through the wilderness toward the Promised Land. They'd been hearing about the Promised Land for a long time. And I'm sure that everyone here and everyone in the overflows, if you've been in church very much at all, or even if you've just been watching my program on television, you hear us talk about the promises of God. You hear us talk about all the good things that can be yours as you continue your walk with God. And so, they'd been hearing about the Promised Land and how abundant the fruit was gonna be and all the good things that were gonna be there.
And so, Moses sent in 12 spies to check out the land. He wanted to make sure that they were in the right place, I guess, at the right time and that it was indeed gonna be what they thought it would be. And so, he sent in 12 spies, and you're gonna see in this story that 2 of them acted in a way that pleased God, but 10 of them behaved in a way that did not please God. Two of them acted in faith and ten of them acted in fear. Fear is a giant in our lives. "And they came to the Valley of Eshcol, and cut down from there a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they carried it on a pole between two of them".
Now, I want you to think about just this fruit and how that obviously represents the hugeness of what God wants to do in our life. It wasn't like going to the grocery store and buying a little bunch of grapes. They had a cluster of grapes that was so huge, one cluster, that it had to be put on a pole and two men had to carry it on their shoulders. I don't know about you, but I like that kind of fruit. I'm all for big. "And that place was called the valley of Eshcol cluster because of the cluster which the Israelites cut down. And they returned from scouting out the land after forty days. They came to Moses and Aaron and to all the Israelites, the congregation in the wilderness of Paran at Kadesh, and they brought them word, and showed them the land's fruit. They told Moses, 'we came to the land to which you sent us: and surely it flows with milk and honey. And here's the fruit'".
Now, I don't know if you realize it or not, but that little word many times is one of the most dangerous words that we can speak because they're basically saying, "Look, everything's like God said it would, looks really good in there. Everything's promising. Here's the fruit, but there's a problem, there's giants in the land". Well, you know, possess the land, which God told them, "You're gonna go in and possess the land". And it's interesting if you really do a Bible study on it, the word "Possess" means that you possess by dispossessing the current occupants. So in other words, God had not cleared out all the problems so they could just walk in and party for the rest of their lives. He had done a work in them, at least what he was trying to do was do a work in them out in the wilderness, teach them how to trust him, make them strong in him, teach them how to lean on him, and rely on him, and part of the way we learn that is through the problems we go through. Do you know that we learn more in our difficulties than we ever do in our good times? We learn more when we don't have anybody but God than we ever do when we've just got all the people around us that we want and everybody's providing for us.
So, don't despise the things that you go through because even though they're difficult, God will use them to make you so strong in him that he will then be able to use you for greater things than you could ever have imagined. I would not even know how to talk to you about some of the things that I have went through in order to get to where I am today. And man, I thought they were gonna kill me, but as you can see, I survived and I'm still here and you will survive too. You know why? Now, listen to me because many of you are in trouble right now in your life and you're hurting. God will never allow more to come on you than what you can bear but with every difficulty and temptation, he always provides the way out at just the right time. And I want you to receive that for yourself.
You need to know and experience God for yourself. And the way you come to know God's faithfulness is to step out and trust him in situations, refuse to try to, refuse to get into works of the flesh trying to make something happen yourself. If you know God is telling you to leave it alone, then you leave it alone because the easiest thing in the world to do is try to get in and do what only God can do. And all we do is just put it off, and put it off, and make it take longer, and we make it harder. Get to know God. Let him prove to you what he can do in your life. Know who you are in him and then know the power that's available to you as a believer in Jesus Christ. You have power. Holy Ghost power belongs to you.
Let's look at Acts 1:8. I'm talking about the Holy Spirit that is with you all the time, never leave you, never! Even when you're not so good, he doesn't leave. "And you shall receive power (ability, efficiency, and might)". You see that? "(ability, efficiency, and might) when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you shall be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the very ends of the earth". Now, that doesn't mean that the power of God's gonna come on you and every one of you's gonna become a preacher. To be a witness literally means that God is gonna give us the power to be the kind of people that he wants us to be so we can get out in the world and represent him and be a light in a dark place. In other words, he'll give you the power to have peace in the midst of a storm. He will give you the power not to worry when you've got a huge problem. He'll give you the power to believe that your kids are gonna turn out good when looking at them, you think there is no hope for you at all.
So, I just wanna tell you, when things look the bleakest, come on, and I'm saying this for some of you parents who have got kids in trouble. When things look the worst, when they look the darkest and the bleakest, that's not when you want to give up. Amen? I've got a saying that I came up with when I'm working out with my trainer and I'm having a hard day, which I did one day last week. It was, like, get this over with. And so, he said, "Well, would you rather only do, you know, 8 remembers instead of 12 or whatever"? And I've got this thing I say, I think this is no day to turn back. And sometimes you just gotta be like a spiritual bulldog and you just gotta say, "This is no day to turn back. Things look the worst, but I'm gonna believe the most. I don't care what it looks like, I believe that God is working and I am not gonna give up on my kids".
My father, who abused me, I prayed for him for at least 40 years before he accepted Christ, at least. And I didn't pray for him every day or all day long or anything like that but when he'd come to my heart, I'd just say, "God, I know you can do it. I don't know how you're gonna do it, but I believe that you can do it. Please bring him to the end of himself and save him". And it's a long story, I don't have time to get into, but I had the privilege of leading him to Christ, baptizing him in water, and I know that he is in heaven right now. And so, don't give up! When the Holy Ghost comes upon you.
Tonight at the end of this service, we're gonna wait about 4 or 5 minutes. You think you can be still 4 or 5 minutes? Well, we'll see. You'll be surprised what all... I tell ya, one of the things we don't know how to do sometimes is just get still and quiet. It's almost like something you have to acquire an ability to do it. Now, you know, if you really want to be led by the Spirit, sometimes you gotta get quiet. You gotta wait a little bit because he's not in a big hurry like we are.
And I was in this, I've been telling people about the meeting I was in over in London that was such a powerful meeting for unity. And there was some leaders there from different faiths and one was a catholic priest, one was the archbishop of Canterbury, one was the archbishop of Westminster, and this one priest got up to pray and he had spoken and had a powerful word and so they asked him to pray for unity. And so, he went up to the platform and he bowed his head, and he just did nothing. And so, 1 minute, 2, 3, 4, I'm starting to feel like I need to help him now. I mean, I'm thinking, "Did he not hear the guy running the meeting? Does he not know he's supposed to pray"?
You know, I was feeling sorry for the guy running the meeting. I'm thinking, "Boy, if I was up there, I'd really be like in a fix". And so, it was interesting because the man running the meeting then said again, "Now father", named his name, "will pray for unity", and he still just stood there. And did absolutely nothing. But you know what? We need to be willing to be still and do nothing until God shows us what to do. And so, about 7 minutes went by and he lifted up his head and he said, "Father, make us one. Jesus, make us one. Holy Spirit, make us one. Amen". But I'll tell you truth, the presence and the anointing of God was so strong that I felt like you could slice it.
And so, tonight, you're gonna wait, and I'm even gonna give you a little music while you wait, but you're gonna wait in the presence of God at the end of this session for one thing and one thing only, receiving the strength and the fullness of the Holy Spirit into your life. And I believe that many of you are gonna receive a touch from God like you have never experienced before. And some of you might be thinking, "Oh, I don't know, George, they don't do this in our church. This sounds a little spooky to me". Come on, what does the Bible say? "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and they shall not faint".
Ephesians 3:16. Holy Spirit, strengthen us, comfort us, counsel us, guide us, teach us how to pray. Pray through us. This is a scripture that I pray over myself, my husband, my children, I call them by name, my grandchildren, and our ministry partners pretty much every day. "May he grant you out of the rich treasury of his glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the Holy Spirit himself indwelling your innermost being and personality". Whoo! If you're living with somebody that's a nightmare, maybe you need to pray for them to have a spirit-filled personality. And if you're the nightmare, maybe you should pray for yourself to have a spirit-filled personality. Come on, this is an awesome scripture. This is the way to live. "God, strengthen me with all might and power in the inner man".
See, if you're strong enough inside, if you're strong enough spiritually, I don't care how many giants come against you, you are not gonna run from 'em, you're gonna say, "Let us go up at once for we are able. We are able to do all that God wants us to do". Well, I'm excited. Now, you know, sometimes, to be honest, you look at your problem too long and you need to get away from it for a little bit. And there's a situation in Genesis that I like. I'm not gonna actually take the time to go there right now, but well, yeah, I will. Genesis 15:1 through 6, changed my mind.
"After these things, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, saying, fear not, Abram, I am your shield, your abundant compensation, and your reward shall be exceedingly great. And Abram said, Lord God, what can you give me, since I am going on from this world childless and he who shall be the owner and heir of my house is my steward Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram continued, look, you've given me no child: and a servant born in my house is my heir. And behold, the word of the Lord came to him, saying, this man shall not be your heir, but he who shall come from your own body shall be your heir".
Now, hang on just a minute because this gets really good. You see, the thing that is such a problem is that Abram was about a hundred years old and he was long past being able to produce babies. And Sarah was also really old, probably like in her 90s, and she could no longer have babies. And God's telling them, "You're gonna have your own child". Now, I don't know, maybe Abraham had looked at Sarah too long or maybe he had looked in the mirror too long, if they had mirrors, I guess they did. And so, God did something interesting, he said. Look at verse 5, "And he brought him outside his tent into the starlight and said, look now toward the heavens and count the stars, if you are able to number them. Then he said to him, so shall your descendants be".
I think it's interesting that in order to get Abraham to believe, which the next verse says, "And he believed God", he had to get him out of his circumstances, out of what he was used to looking at. He had to get him outside and give him a new vision of what God could do. And, you know, I think that's exactly what some of you are doing here this weekend. You've gotten outside your tent and you're getting a new vision. You're getting energized. I'm not gonna tell you when you go home that everything's gonna be different, but I will tell ya that you'll be different. And if you go home different, then you're gonna be a giant killer. I'm teaching you tonight how to kill giants. Amen?
Don't just wish there weren't any or that they would go away. Just say, "I am able. Let us go up at once for I am well able to conquer the giants in my life. With God on my side and the strength of the Holy Spirit, I may not enjoy all of it, but I can do whatever I need to do through Christ who is my strength". God is greater than your giants. He's greater than your addictions. He's greater than your financial needs, your disease. He's greater than the difficulty of being a single parent. He's greater than your painful past or your bleak future. Even if you've got something in your life that is a continual irritation to you... Does anybody know what I'm talking about?
Now, well, Paul called it a thorn in his flesh. I'm, you know? You know, maybe it's, I don't know, one of your parents could be a thorn in your flesh. One of your in-laws. You know, you may have a kid that you love, but you don't like. I mean I know, you wouldn't want to tell that, but it's true. I mean, you know, well, you do know so I'm not even gonna go there. Man, if you hang on though, you might like 'em by the time they get old enough.
2 Corinthians 12:7. Well, I'll tell you what, I just talked myself into a circle here. Thank you. Okay, so, do you know sometimes, God allows a little trouble in our life a little longer than we would like, something that's over our head that we can't handle, just to keep us from getting puffed up and full of pride? "And to keep me from being puffed up and too much elated by the exceeding greatness, the (preeminence) of these revelations, there was given me a thorn (a splinter) in the flesh, a messenger of satan, to rack and buffet and harass me, to keep me from being excessively exalted".
Now, to be honest, we don't know exactly what it was. We don't know if it was a physical problem, or if it was a person that annoyed the living daylights out of him. But, "Three times I called upon the Lord and besought him about this and begged that it might depart from me: but he said, my grace (my favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you, it is sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully: for my strength and power are made perfect, and (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in your weakness". Amen?
So, when you're weak in yourself, you can actually be stronger in him than you ever could have been in yourself. Don't look at the things that you can't do in the natural and assume that you can't do them with God because you can do whatever you need to do with God. God will strengthen you. Instead of just saying, "I can't stand this, God. You gotta get rid of... I can't do this anymore". Say, "God, if this is where you've got me and this is what you want me to do, and I don't believe that you want me to be unhappy in this place".
Because let me tell you, anywhere where God has got you, there's a way for you to be there joyfully. Come on. You're not liking that, are you? You're like, "If you think I'm gonna get happy with the situation I've got, sister, you are wrong". I mean, just would God really have you in a situation where you can have no joy and no peace? You say, "Well, I don't believe this is God. I think it's the devil". Well, it may be, but God's still gotta deliver you. And so, until God decides that it's the right time to deliver you, you might as well enjoy the journey, enjoying where you're at on the way to where you are going.
Maybe you're not in the job where you're gonna end up, but don't despise it and hate it and make every day of your life miserable. Get a good attitude, go to work, be thankful for the job you've got and just say, "God, through your strength and your power, I can enjoy what you've given me to do right now". All it takes is an attitude adjustment. You know, the Holy Spirit anoints us. Wow, whew. What is that word, "Anoint"? You know, there's a large majority of the church worldwide that never even hears that word. Well, Christ is the anointed one and the Holy Spirit anoints us for whatever God wants us to do. And so, when you're anointed to do something, you're given a special grace, a special ability, a special power to do it and to do it with ease. Come on now. To anoint, to be anointed.
David killed giants, he killed Goliath, but you know what? It was not until after he was anointed by Samuel to be the king of Israel that he even dared to attempt to kill giants. Don't go against your giants in the power of your own strength, go against your giants with the anointing of the Holy Spirit. 1 John 2:20 says, "There is an anointing that abides". Everybody say, "I am anointed with the Holy Spirit. I have ability, efficiency and might. I can do whatever I need to do through the strength of Almighty God". You have an anointing. To anoint, and I love this, means to rub all over with or to smear all over with. So, tonight as you wait in the presence of God, you are gonna get a good rubbing with the oil of the Holy Ghost. And I just want you to just turn your little brain off for a few minutes and just receive.
Ginger: Karen, from California, has this question for you today, Joyce. "I watch your show every morning, and I love your messages. I was wondering if you do any outreach for girls, here in the United States"?
Joyce: Absolutely. We start at home and we go out from there. One of the ministries that we have been involved with for 30 years, maybe, is mercy ministries which is now called, mercy multiplied. Nancy Alcorn, and she takes in girls that have been hurt and wounded, girls that are pregnant and aren't married, helps adopt babies out through that organization, girls with eating disorders, and just all kinds of things. And then, we actually, were involved with the dream center, in Los Angeles. And when I say involved, like for example, in LA, at the Los Angeles Dream Center, run by the Barnett family, our ministry actually, was blessed because of our great partners, to be able to provide the funds for them to build a whole floor in the place they have, which once was a hospital. So, it gives you an idea of how big it is.
Ginger: They have a lot of space.
Joyce: And they have whole floors dedicated to different things, like, you know, drug addiction, or alcoholism, or different things. And so, they really wanted to build a floor for sex trafficking victims. And we were able to give the money to do that. And so, we're involved in a lot of different ways, as well as, just that the television program here, in the States, goes to millions and millions of people. And I can't tell you how many people say, "I accidentally came across your program and my life's been changed". Also, we have a big prison ministry. And we put our books in prisons, and if the prison will let us, we take 'em from cell-to-cell. We've had this prison ministry here, I guess, again, for over 20, 25-years. And so, a lot of people who have been hurt and wounded end up in prison because they lash out in wrong ways. So, that's a way that we also reach people.
Ginger: We hear from women all the time that have been impacted by that ministry.
Joyce: So, the answer to her question is: YES.
Ginger: Lots of it and we love doing.