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Joyce Meyer - Divine Guidance



All right, I'm gonna talk to you today about "Divine guidance," or "Hearing God's voice". Probably it's not the top prayer request that we get. The top one that we get is for people's children and their loved ones. And obviously, we understand why people are very concerned about their kids that aren't walkin' with God. But the next one is guidance.

So many people need and want to know what to do about specific situations. How many of you are in a situation right now where you really need to hear from God about a decision that you need to make? Okay, well, see, that's pretty much everybody. And see, the thing is, is we need it all the time. We don't need just to hear from God occasionally. We need to be led and guided by the Holy Spirit every day of our life as long as we're alive.

But before I start talkin' about how to hear from God, I'm going to talk to you for a little bit about obedience because there's no point in anybody hearing from God if you haven't already made your mind up that you're gonna do what God tells you to do. Whatever he tells you to do. And that doesn't mean that you're always going to like what he tells you to do. So, we have to be ready for, I'm gonna use a word that nobody likes, a little bit of suffering in the flesh. You know, if we want more of God in our life, then there's always a little more flesh that has to go.

You know, John said, "I must decrease and He must increase". We can't expect to have an increase of God in our life if we're gonna just keep doin' what we wanna do all the time and not make our minds up to listen to God. Maybe we need more teaching on obedience. We should be hungry, I mean, hungry to know what God says and what he wants us to do in our lives because here's the fact. God is always right, and if we disagree with him, then we are always wrong. God's the only one that can guide our lives in a right way.

And I wanna say this, and I want you to get this. Anything that God asks you to do or not to do, anything he asks you to give up is always and only for your benefit. If we really believe that God is good and that he loves us, and he tells us to give up something that we don't wanna give up, first of all, it's wrong to disobey God, but secondly, we're only hurting ourselves because everything that he tells us to do is something that's going to gives us the life that we say we wanna have, but we're not doing the things that we need to do in order to get it.

I'll never forget a woman that attended a conference. And I tell this story pretty often, but it's still amazes me. We were havin' some kind of a banquet-type conference and it was all ladies, and they were sittin' at these big round tables together, like, about eight people at a table. So they had plenty of fellowship during meals and stuff, and so, I don't know what I was teachin' on, but at the end of the conference, the lady came to me and she said, "Well, I know now exactly what my problem is". And I said, "Well, what is your problem"? She said, "Well, I was abused sexually, like you are. It just so happened that all the ladies at the table with me had a similar background to mine. As I listened to them talk about their healing and what all God had done in their life and how free they were. Now, I realized after listening to them that God has told me the same things that he told them. The only difference is, they did it, and I didn't".

Let that soak in just a little bit. If I were to ask right now, how many of you know right now, without me sayin' another word, that there's something that God has told you to do or something that he has asked you to stop doing, maybe quite a while ago, and you still haven't done it? We've got people, brave people out there. Okay, you know what? I'm not tryin' to be mean, but you'll stay in the same mess you're in and it'll just get worse until you do what God tells you to do. "Faith without works is dead". It's great to say, "I have faith in God," but if I'm not gonna do what he tells me to do, then I'm not gonna get anywhere.

And so, maybe some of you will squirm in your seats a little bit this morning. I hope you do. I don't think we should always just be all that comfortable sittin' in church. Okay, so, we're gonna talk just a little bit about obedience. How many of you have heard the scripture, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you"? Okay, well, that's actually not what the scripture says. That's the part of it we quote, but it actually says: "Submit yourself to God, resist the devil, and he will flee from you". So, we have no power over Satan if we're living in known disobedience. Now, I think that God's a little more gracious to us when we're livin' in ignorance.

The apostle Paul said that God gave him grace because he had zeal without knowledge. He was persecuting Christians, but he actually really believed that he was doing the right thing. However, as soon as God showed him otherwise, he was ready and quick to make a change.

So, if you really don't know that what you're doing is wrong, then God will give you more grace, a space of time. But every time you come to hear the word of God, whether it's watchin' a TV program, or listening to a message, or reading the Bible, or coming to church, you know what you get? Not just a good message. You get more responsibility. Because now you know something that you didn't know before, and so, if you keep doing the same dumb stuff you did before you knew the right thing to do, now, you're gonna experience the other side of it. "Well, I thought God's merciful". He is merciful, but sometimes the most merciful thing you can do is not let somebody keep getting away with something that's hurting them.

"Submit yourself to God, resist the devil, and he will flee". Now, we're always all gonna have trouble with the devil because he hates us. And really, you should be more concerned if he's not giving you any trouble than if he is. Because if he's not giving you any trouble, then you're probably not giving him any. However, the best way in the world to give the devil no power over you is, to the best of your ability, quickly and promptly do whatever God asks you to do. Quickly and promptly do whatever God asks you to do. You know, I'm feelin' better about this the longer I'm talkin' about it. I can tell some of you are kind of tickled about it, but some of you just aren't smilin' at me very much yet.

Isaiah 1:19 says: "If you're willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land". Well, we're all willing, but that's not all the scripture says. It says, "If you're willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land". You know, I'm really excited about what's gonna happen in this area in the next week or so because after me preaching this, boy, you're all gonna perk up and you're gonna be on your best behavior for a few days. And then somebody'll have to come back around and give you a fresh dose. So, pastor, I think this is, like, a ten-part series for you, see?

Okay, in Haggai chapter 1, verses 2 through 9, I find an extremely interesting story. It says: "Thus says the Lord of hosts: these people say, the time has not come that the Lord's house or temple should be rebuilt". So the people were sayin', "No, it's not time to rebuild the temple". Now, in the classic, original version of the amplified Bible, it says in that one, "Although Cyrus had ordered it done eighteen years prior". So the people are still saying, "Nope, this is not the right time," but God had already told them through a prophet 18 years previously that that was what they needed to do. So they had been being disobedient for 18 years.

And you know one of the main reasons why we're disobedient, and why we can be... I mean, people who love God and you got a good heart because we make excuses. Anything that's gonna be a little uncomfortable, we can quickly find an excuse why it's not time. And procrastination is so dangerous. It's so deceptive because when we procrastinate, we don't see it as being disobedient, because we're going to do it. Come on, we plan to do it. We intend to do it. But unless God has told you to wait till another time to obey him, then you haven't obeyed until you've done what God asked you to do, hallelujah.

"Then the word of the Lord came by Haggai the prophet, saying, is it time for you yourselves to live in your expensive paneled houses while this house of the Lord lies in ruins"? So, God is saying to them. "I told you to rebuild my house, but instead, you're buildin' your own house".

You know what? We need to be much busier building the kingdom of God than we are tryin' to increase the size of our portfolio. "Now therefore thus says the Lord of hosts: 'consider your ways and thoughtfully reflect on your conduct. You have planted much, but you have very little harvest: you eat, but you don't have enough: you drink, but you don't have enough to be intoxicated.'"

I'm still kind of wrestling with that. I'm not sure of it. But it's there, it's the Bible, so. I do wanna say I don't think that means you should all go out and get drunk, but... anyway, the mysteries. "You clothe yourselves, but nobody's warm enough: and he who earns wages earns them just to put them in a bag that has holes in it because God has withheld his blessings". Have you ever felt like that in your life? "No matter what I do, it never seems to work out".

I remember tellin' Dave years ago, "We get a little bit of money saved, and somethin' always happens to take it". Well, these people are sayin', you know, "We're working, but we never have enough. We're doin this, but it's never enough". And God's answer to them was, "Consider your ways".

You know, it never hurts to have a little meeting with yourself once in a while. You ever take time to have a meeting with yourself? And just sit down maybe and think about your life, and think about what you're doing with your time, and even just to think about how many things are you doing just to please somebody else, when, really, you don't feel in your heart at all it's what you're supposed to be doing. But to keep them from getting upset, you waste your time on stuff that you feel no anointing on. There's no grace on you to do it. You don't even like doin' it, and even that kinda stuff is disobedience to God. God has a destiny for each and every one of you, and I can safely say that if you wanna fulfill that destiny, there's a pretty good chance you're gonna have to make a few people mad. Amen?

Oh, wouldn't we love it if everybody loved us, and everybody agreed with us? But surely, we can understand that the devil is not going to let that happen, because approval from people is one of the things that we crave way too much. He's always gonna make sure that there's somebody that disapproves, hoping that, in order to gain their approval, we will do what they want instead of doing what God wants. Somebody in this building needed to hear that today, amen.

I'll tell you very shortly, when God called me to start teaching, the group of people that I was around, women didn't do that. The group of people I was around, nobody talked about people hearing from God. And so, when I'm tellin' 'em I heard from God and he called me to preach the gospel to the world, I mean, just to make it short, I got asked to leave my church. I lost every friend that I had except maybe one or two. A lot of our families turned against us.

And so, let me just say plainly that if you wanna do what God wants you to do, if you wanna have... how many of you wanna have the best life that God's got for you? Okay. I mean, do you really? Okay, well, then, there is going to be some sacrifice, and some hard things, and some hard decisions that you're gonna have to make. You know, I realized a couple weeks ago, you're gonna laugh when I say this, but I told my daughter, I said, "You know, I've decided that I'm pretty addicted to bein' comfortable". And she said, "Oh, you know, we all know that".

And, you know, we can get so spoiled where we don't wanna be cold, and we don't wanna be hot, and we get mad if the escalator doesn't work in the store, and, you know, if the elevator's too slow. And I mean, it's really pretty pathetic what we have drifted off into compared to the way people used to be. We need a little more backbone and not so much wishbone.

I wanna see people be strong and believe that they can do whatever God wants them to do, and be people that make a decision, "I am not gonna give up. Devil, you might as well forget me givin' up because I am not gonna give up. If anybody can have the promises of God, then I can have the promises of God".

Verse 7: "Thus says the Lord of hosts: 'consider your ways and thoughtfully reflect on your conduct.'"
verse 8: "Go up to the hill country, bring lumber and rebuild my house, that I might be pleased with it and be glorified accepting it as done for my glory".
Verse 9: "'You looked for much harvest, but it comes to little: and even when you bring that home, I blow it away. Why?' says the Lord of hosts. 'Because of my house, which lies in ruins while each of you runs to his own house eager to enjoy it'" amen.


Let me just go ahead and irritate somebody by saying that you need to be a generous giver. I mean, a generous giver. If you're gonna be part of a church, be part of one that's doin' a lot of outreach. I don't think a church is even a real church if not helpin' the poor and the needy. I mean, if all we're gonna do is have a little social club and all get together and try to build our own little kingdom, then we've missed the whole thing. I mean, the way that the world is gonna change is by us getting out in the middle of it and loving, really loving people because that's one thing that they just don't know what to do with, especially, especially if you learn how to love your enemies.

Now, see, right away, that's already givin' somebody some pain. If you listen really good, you'll hear God tell you to help that person that's been mean to you at the office that now has a need. See, look at you. See, that's how you prove your Christianity. That goes beyond your bumper sticker and the cross you hang around your neck. That says now you're gonna put some action to what you say that you are. You know, if we can get out there and live right, we wouldn't have to do much preachin' at all. People would come and ask us for the answers.

Hebrews 5:8: "Although he was a Son, who had never been disobedient to the Father, he learned active, special obedience through what he suffered". Now, I find that to be very interesting. Jesus was never disobedient, but he learned what it really meant to be obedient by doing the hard things that God asked him to do. And so, see, you can't really learn what it means to really be obedient if you're only gonna do the things that you don't mind doing, or you like doing, or you kind of enjoy doing. Don't think that God won't test you.

Let me tell you somethin'. There's so many people watching right now. You are in the middle of a big fat test, and I'm tellin' you, you might as well go ahead and pass it because if you don't, you will get to retake it. In the school of the Holy Spirit, you never flunk out. You just get to keep takin' the same test over and over and over until you pass it, amen?

One little quick story I'll tell ya. I had a rhinestone bracelet. I don't know if somebody gave it to me, or I bought it, but it was, the rhinestones made a little bow on top, and I just thought it was so cute. I just loved that bracelet. And God started dealin' with me to give it to somebody, some girl that was on our worship team.

Well, I didn't wanna give it away, and... now, if I wouldn't have liked it, I wouldn't have cared. I would've considered myself very generous, and how good I am, and how obedient I am. But, you know, David said, "I will not give my God that which costs me nothing". So, I didn't wanna give that bracelet away, and so I kept makin' excuses. "Oh, God, I don't think she wears silver. I think she wears gold". And, you know, she was a pretty thin little girl, and I said, "Oh, that's gonna fall right off her arm. It's not gonna work".

But how many of you, finally, sometimes you just get so fed up with God annoying you about the same thing that you finally just figure, "I might as well just do this and get it over with"? So that was kind of the attitude in which I gave her the bracelet. However, I made a display of generosity, like we do. "I just want you to know how much this bracelet means to me, and it's so hard for me to give it up, but God has put it on my heart to give it to you. And so I wanna be obedient".

And then I continued over a few weeks, when I would see her with the bracelet, sayin', "You just don't know how hard it was for me to give that up. I just, I really miss it". Well, one day she gave it back to me. And she said, "You know, I just felt like God told me to give this back to you". I thought, "Oh, Joyce, Joyce, Joyce, Joyce, Joyce".

But here's the interesting thing. I still have that bracelet. But here's what I wanna tell ya. I have never worn it one time, not one time since then. And you know what God taught me? "Once I put my finger on something, it no longer belongs to you". Now, listen, "And if you keep it, you'll have no ability to enjoy it".
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