Joyce Meyer - Don't Be Offended By The Truth
Offenses are everywhere. It's amazing how many opportunities we can have in one month to be offended. You don't have to take offense though. Just because it's offered, you don't have to take it and that's where we need to get smart enough to say, "No, thank you, devil. I've had enough of that in my life. I think I'll pass this time. I think I'll just believe the best and go on and enjoy my life".
We get offended at people. We offend people. We get offended at God. We're gonna talk about that a little bit today. We become offended at ourselves because we don't do what we want us to do. The government, trouble, stores where we shop, traffic, high prices, even God's word can offend people if they don't want to hear it. God's word is truth and one of the things that I want to talk about today is how people get offended by the truth. It's all over the Bible.
I said last night, I want to say it again today, a lot of the stuff that's going on in the world today, "Well, if you pray in school, that offends me". Well, you know, how long is it gonna be before somebody says, "Well, if you pray in a restaurant, that offends me"? The only reason why God could ever possibly offend anybody is simply because they don't want to submit their lives to him. They want to do what they want to do and all they would really have to do is look and see that they're not doing such a hot job. It doesn't take a, you know, a scientist or a real extremely intelligent person to look at our society today and see the more people try to get rid of God, the worst condition we get in. So that's all I'll say about that.
The word "Offense" comes from a greek word "Skandalon" which literally means the part of the animal trap that the bait hung on that lured the victim into the trap. So if you're gonna bait a mousetrap, you'll put a little cheese on it and then that little spring there in that cheese becomes the bait and when the animal wants the cheese bad enough, then he gets caught in it and that's the end of it. Well, offense is Satan's bait. John Bevere wrote a great book called "The bait of Satan". I've got a book on living conflict free. Get his book on dealing with offenses. Get my book on forgiveness. Get some material and read up on it and study up on it every once in a while because this is something that tries to get us every time we turn around.
The word also means a stumbling stone or a rock of offense. Jesus was actually called a rock of offense because people were going along and then they heard the truth and they didn't want to hear it so they stumbled over it and it became a place for them to fall and not make anymore progress. For example, if you're going to church, got a great church, you're part of the family there, you're growing, you're learning, now all of a sudden, something happens, the preacher doesn't do something you like or somebody else doesn't do something that we like, and so we get offended. Now that becomes a place to stumble over and we don't make progress anymore. We stop growing at the stumbling places.
Offenses are very dangerous and that's exactly what we're gonna talk about today, the danger of offenses. We're gonna talk about a couple of different ways, but first I want to talk to you about not being offended by the truth. You say, "Well, why in the world would I be offended by the truth"? Well, we do get offended by the truth. We don't mind if it's the truth about somebody else, but if it's the truth about us, then it's another story altogether. Come on now, don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about.
John 8:31 and 32, these are some of the first scriptures that I learned 37 years ago when God nabbed me and I started studying the word. And by the way, I'd been a Christian a long time before that but I wasn't one that studied the word so therefore I was living a pitiful, pathetic, unproductive, non-victorious life. Jesus was my Savior, but I had never invited him to be my Lord. There is a huge difference in those two things. "So Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, if you abide in my word hold fast to my teachings and live in them, live in accordance with them, you are truly my disciples. And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free". Amen. Now just hearing the truth won't make your free. It's applying the truth in our lives. He said, "If you hear my words and if you live in them, if we let what we learn be worked into our life, then and only then, it will set us free".
Let's look at Ephesians 4:15. We can't grow without the truth. "Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth in all things, let us speak truly, deal truly, live truly. Enfolded in love, let us grow up..." can everybody say, "We need to grow up". "Let us grow up in every way and in all things into him who is the head". So what he's clearly saying here is we cannot grow without truth, and I think that it would be safe for me to say that everybody in here is probably at a different level in their walk with God, and that's totally right and fine. One person's here. One person's here. One person's here. One person's here. The only way you get to the next place that you want to be, it always happens this way, God will deal with us about something where we're at right now.
You may realize back in January, "Well, you know, I didn't even see this before but now I see this is not in accordance with God's word and, you know, I need to work with the Holy Spirit and let him change that in me". And then you go along and, you know, everything's fine. You don't think there's anymore problems at all, now all of a sudden in February you see something else. And then you come to my conference, now, you know, you got a problem with being offended so you gotta go home and get that taken care of. And I don't know about you, but when I first started studying the word, I just thought, I don't even know if I want to go hear anything else because I already know that I'm gonna need it, 'cause there was not a message that anybody preached that I didn't need.
You know, we have blind spots in our life. Just like you have blind spots in your side mirrors on your car, you think you can see everything but then all of a sudden, there's something that you don't see at all. That's why it's good to see all three of those mirrors, the one up here, the one over here and the one over here. And we have blind spots in our lives. It's very easy to be blind about ourselves. We're doing something, and we don't even really realize how it's affecting somebody else and so God will try to get to us himself. He'll try to convict us through the word. He'll try to put us in the right place to hear the right message and hope we realize it's for us and not somebody else.
See, you don't need to sit here today and think about all the people you wish would have came with you because of how bad they need this message. And all the people you're gonna buy the CD for and the DVD for, that forgiveness book for, that's great. Get it all for everybody but make sure you realize God got you here for a reason. I'm glad I get to preach this stuff 'cause I just get lessons all the time. It just keeps me fresh and sharp. And so we're here for a reason because God wants to take us to another place. The more truth we hear, the more we grow, the more we learn.
And so we have blind spots in our life, things that we don't see. It's better if we can get it from God. It's less embarrassing if we can get it from God. It's not too bad if you're sitting out there in a congregation and you just get it from some preacher, still nobody else really knows that you got that problem. It's just kind of like that secret thing. "Well, I'm not gonna tell anybody, but yeah, I needed that. Oh, boy, I needed that and I needed that". But I found out in my life, if I don't get it from God or I don't get it from the messages, then God will, in his loving mercy, send somebody to tell me. And that is the not so fun part because now they're right in my face presenting some truth to me about a blind spot in my life and our first impulse is to attack. "Yeah, well you got some problems yourself, buddy".
Now see, what happens when we do that, here's what happens. Okay, we're over here and really we've already told God we want to be over there. "There's something over there, God. Oh, man, I see that promise. Yes, God. I want to get there. I want a promotion on my job. God, you know, I want this. I want that. I want something else". And so God is gonna reveal the things to us that need to be revealed and gotten out of our way so we can get to where we say that we want to be. So now we're not hearing the messages. We're not hearing from God so he sends somebody to confront us and we like... And then sometimes if you're not careful, you have go back a few paces and hear a few things all over again. But ultimately, we're gonna come up to that same thing that has to be dealt with in our life. Is anybody with me today? We have to come to that thing that we're running from, that we're dancing around, that we're avoiding and we're evading and we don't realize that God never tells us anything to make us feel bad about ourselves. That's the last thing in the world he wants to do. None of it is for condemnation. He wants to help us deal with things, get them out of our way so we can have what we say that we want to have. Amen?
So always remember it's best to get it from God. If you can't get it straight from him, try to listen to the preacher or the teacher. If that don't work, God will bless you enough to send somebody else to bring you some truth. And I can tell you probably a lot of the things even you turn the TV on in the morning and I'm saying something God's already told you three times. And you're like, "How did you know that, Joyce"?
John 16:13, the Bible says that the Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth. Now, let's get ahold of this. "The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth," and he has been sent by Jesus when he ascended on high to guide us into all truth. I'm glad he guides us and doesn't just throw us in it because if we got thrown into all the truth that we need to see in our lives right now, we would all just fall out in a dead faint and forget it, but he guides us. He gently, lovingly leads us and guides us. He prepares us to see the things that we need to see, and he's always there ready to help us walk through those things so we can have the better life that we say that we want to have. God wants to lead us, not into a little bit of a truth, but into the whole, full truth.
And I could pretty much guarantee you that there is not very many people sitting here this morning that if you were honest about it, you would be able to tell me something that God is dealing with you about right now that when you fully submit to God in that area, it will make you a better person. Maybe not every single one of you because thank God, we have resting points between our confrontations. Amen? So maybe you're one of the blessed ones right now that's in a resting point. Maybe you're in between glories and you're just glorying and enjoying your glorying, you know? I can't say that always, every day of my life, there's something that God's dealing with me about, but a lot of the time I can say — I like it. I don't dislike it. It doesn't make me feel bad. It doesn't make me feel condemned. If you want to know the truth, the Bible says, "Whom the Lord loves, he chastises". If he leaves us alone, we ought to get more concerned than if he's dealing with us. It's a sign of his love.
See, the whole thing is is it really... we just make it such a bad thing. "Oh, now I got this wrong with me and now I got that wrong with me". That's not even what it's about at all. It's simply God trying to guide us into things that are gonna put us in a place where we can have more peace, more joy, where our conscious is not gonna bother us. Do you know that not submitting to authority is a huge problem in our society today? I mean, like the spirit of rebellion, the Bible says, is the spirit of Antichrist. And in the Old Testament it says rebellion is like witchcraft. And we don't think anything at all about, "Well, if I don't agree with that, I ain't gonna do it".
We've had people get offended because we ask them not to sit in a certain seat. "This section's reserved for a group coming in, you know, would you mind to move"? "Well.".. And then wonder why they don't get anything out of the service that day. The truth will make us free. Every time that God deals with us about something, we should just jump up and down for joy say, "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, God". And don't let the devil tell you that you're the only one because I can tell you you're not the only one. God deals with me about stuff all the time, and I've been 37 years a serious student of the word of God and doing everything that I can every single day to live in agreement with God and he still is dealing with me about stuff all the time. So I don't know if I just got this unique problem, but maybe there's a few other... I mean, can any of you kind of relate to what I'm talking about here? That's good. So I've kind of come to the point where I'd be more concerned if God never did deal with me.
Let's look at 2 Corinthians chapter 7, beginning in verse 8. I want to show you something that I just really paid attention to a couple weeks ago when I was reading it and I got something really good out of this. 2 Corinthians... Chapter 7, verse 8. Now Paul had written a letter to the Corinthians correcting them because there had been some incest in the congregation and they had been allowing it and not dealing with it. Do you know sometimes God will deal with us if we don't deal with things? Sometimes God just wants us to go confront a situation. It could even be something as simple as you letting somebody else control you and God is wanting you to confront them. And if you don't confront them, then God will confront you to get you to go confront them because there's no way you're ever gonna have the freedom you say you want if you keep letting people walk all over ya all the time.
So there are times when we need to confront things. And so Paul said, "For even though I did grieve you with my letter, I do not regret it now, though I did regret it". See sometimes when... like even as an employer, when I have to correct somebody, I don't like hurting people. That's the last thing in the world that I want to do is hurt somebody. And sometimes we put it off and we put it off, sometimes you even put off correcting your children because you don't want to hurt them. You don't want to have to take a privilege away from them. So we always hope we can pray everything away, but a lot of times that don't work. Many times you have to just go and confront the situation.
And so Paul's saying, "You know, I did regret it at first because I saw that it pained you, but only for a little while," he says. "My letter did pain you, though only for a little while: yet I am glad now," verse 9, "Not because you were pained, but because you were pained into repentance that turned you to God: for you felt a grief such as God meant you to feel, so that in nothing you might suffer loss through us or harm for what we did. For godly grief and the pain that God is permitted to direct, produce a repentance that leads and contributes to salvation and deliverance from evil". I love that. But you see that it hurts our feelings when we get confronted. Hello?
Okay, I'll sit down. We'll take our time. See, today we don't have the respect for spiritual authority that we should have and more than likely if the pastor goes and confronts somebody in the congregation, I mean, in love, lovingly about whatever... "You know, I really need you to stop getting to church late all the time, you know, or if you're not gonna get here on time, then sit in the back. Don't come marching all the way down the front and excuse yourself through five people, interrupt the whole service. You know, it's kind of distracting". "Well... Bless God I'm not staying here. I'm going to another church".
See, we don't like that. And you knew. The person knew already that what they were doing was wrong. They already knew and they weren't listening to God. They were convicted every time they did it. The problem is is if you do it over and over and over, then our heart can become hardened. You become callous to it and so you're not getting it. So out of love, not only for you, but love for the other people that are being disturbed, God may send somebody to just gently say, "You know, I really need you not to do this". And we need to say, "Oh, man, I'm sorry, I didn't realize it was such a problem. Forgive me. I'll make sure that I'm either on time or if I can't be, I'll sit somewhere where I'm not bringing a disturbance".
Even little things like that anymore, the society today has gotten to the point where we don't want anybody telling us anything. I mean, everybody but you, I know you're not like that. I can already tell that I've got the wrong message for the group. All over the Bible, the Holy Spirit is called the spirit of truth. We can't go the next level unless we receive truth about the level that we're on.
I shared last night that in the beginning of the year, I felt like that God put a really strong thing in my heart: "Joyce, if you're gonna complain about something, then don't bother to pray about it". Now, that wasn't God just trying to be mean to me. I honestly believe that God has got some greater things for this ministry to do. I believe that God's got a greater still anointing, more people to be reached in places maybe where the gospel has not even been yet. Listen, I've not gotten too old to stop dreaming. I mean, I'm still dreaming dreams and seeing visions and wanting to help hurting people.
But let me tell you something, every time you wanna come up higher, a little bit more of your flesh has gotta go down lower. Every time we're gonna come up higher, we're wanting God to give us more, we wanna be responsible for more, we want more privileges, there's always another side to that of God showing you then... see, if I'm on this level, and I'm doing okay here, and I'm living my life in such a way that whatever evil spirits function on this level I'm keeping them away. So everything's going cool, I'm doing alright, but now I'm saying, "Okay God, I really wanna get into..." and we, you know, we got a few countries before God where we wanna get into, and a couple of them are places where the gospel just isn't. I mean, you just cannot get in there. And so here I am praying, asking God to open those doors for us.
I even told my son, "I want you to go there, start poking around, start getting our books translated into some languages there. I don't care if you gotta get into the underground church, start getting them around. We gotta do something there". Okay, now, there are other kinds of demons over those areas. And don't make a face 'cause I'm talking about demons. All you gotta do is go read the Bible. Jesus dealt with the devil all the time. He cast out demons, he dealt with the devil. There are angels that protect us and watch over us. But the Bible says, "Submit yourself to God, resist the devil, and he will flee". Amen?
There was a demon principality and power that was over the place where Daniel was, and he asked God for something and he had to keep praying for 21 days while the angel that God sent broke through the principalities and the powers over that area in order to bring that answer to Daniel... "Demons? Devils"? Well, let me tell you something. The devil is not just some dude that comes out on Halloween in red pajamas carrying a pitchfork. The Bible says that the enemy will come and try to take the word away from us, and he does it through stirring up trouble in our life. He wants us to focus on that trouble, rather than focusing on what God is asking us to do.
So maybe, just maybe down here I can complain a little and get by with it because maybe what I'm doing here, you know, it's not... I got these guys at bay anyway. But now if I'm gonna come up here and try to get into this higher place with God and operate in these realms where the devil's had a strong... you know, I go out of the country. I go preach in places where there are very big false religious strongholds, and I know what happens, I've seen what happens, I have felt the attacks and seen the attacks. So don't think that those things are not real. And if we're gonna go and take that ground, then there is a price that we have to pay, and that price is normally letting go of more fleshly stuff so we're closer to God because the closer we are to God, the less the enemy can do to us when we operate in these different realms. Is anybody there? Amen.
And this must be God for somebody because I had zero, zippo intention of getting into this this morning. That was not anywhere even remotely in the realm of what I'm trying to talk about. But we need to understand that when God is putting his finger on something in our life, it's because he's trying to get us ready for the thing that we've asked him to do, but in fact if we don't let him do what he wants to do in us, we would never be prepared to go to that level, amen? Here's the way I like to say it: God has got an amazing place prepared for you. You say, "Well then, what is going on in my life"? He's preparing you for the thing he has prepared for you.
You say, "Well, this isn't preparing me for anything. It just hurts". No, trust me honey, it's preparing you for a lot of things. People used to say to me when my ministry first got popular... 'cause it was like... I mean, I'd been teaching home Bible studies for 5 years and working for somebody else for 5 years at a church, and then, you know, all of a sudden "Joyce Meyer"! I went on TV. "Who is that? Where did she come from? We never heard of her". Well, let me tell you something, just 'cause nobody ever heard of me, that didn't mean I wasn't anywhere. I was somewhere on the backside of nowhere being dealt with and dealt with and dealt with and dealt with.
The truth that God brings to us in our life is absolutely amazingly wonderful. Let's thank God for the truth that he brings to us. So can anybody here say that God has dealt with you this weekend to really deal with this stuff about offense? Okay, you know what? God's doing that not unto condemnation, but because he loves you, loves you, loves you, loves you, loves you, loves you, loves you, and he wants you to get rid of that spiritual hangnail, that's what I said last night that offense is like a spiritual hangnail. He wants you to get rid of that spiritual hangnail because maybe he's got a promotion for you at work. Maybe he's got something else for you to do in ministry. Maybe he's got another level of financial blessing for you. You know, just having more money is not all there is to it. There's always tests that come with that. Sometimes people want more but they're not prepared to have more because if they had more it would make them love the thing more than they love God. And that's not what God wants. We have to always be willing and ready to keep God first before he can give us more stuff.
Now, being offended prevents progress. And you know, Jesus was always trying to tell people the truth. And people were always being offended by the truth. In Luke chapter 15, they got offended because he was a friend of sinners. Well, I don't know about you, but I'm glad he's my friend, and I'm glad he's the friend of sinners. But the pharisees didn't like the fact that he eat with publicans and sinners. They didn't like the fact that he invited sinners, preeminently wicked sinners to come in and listen to him preach. They didn't like that. They got offended. So you know what happened? The pharisees couldn't hear anything, but the sinners got the truth and it set them free. Satan is the one that instigates offense. He's always trying to get somebody offended.
Let's go to John chapter 6, I wanna show you something. I would like to encourage you to read John chapter 6, verse 48 through the end of the chapter. Read and study them for yourself. But the first thing it says in verse 48, Jesus said, "I'm the bread of life, I am the bread that gives life, I am the living bread. Your forefathers ate manna in the wilderness, and yet they died". Well, what's that all about? "But this bread that comes down from heaven, so that any one may eat it and never die. I myself am this living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever: and also the bread that I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh. Then the Jews angrily contented one with another, saying, how is he able to give us his flesh to eat"?
Now Jesus went on and on like this. "If you eat my flesh and drink my blood. If you take me for your living bread, and you take me for your living drink, you will never hunger again, and you will never thirst again". They got mad. Who can be expected to listen to stupid teaching like this? This is ridiculous. Now, he starts out saying, "Your forefathers ate manna in the wilderness, and they died". Now, over here he's saying, "You need to learn how to take me for your all. I gave them miracles, that didn't keep them satisfied. I wanna give you not what I can do for you, but I wanna give you myself".
Now, come on, hang with me. I believe with all my heart that in John chapter 6 there's a great transition that we see that has to take place in the believer's life. We come into a relationship with God, and everything is what God can do for us. And that's okay for awhile. "I need a miracle. I need a healing. I need, I need, I want, I want, I need, I want, I want, I want, I need, I want, I want, I want. Oh, God is so good, woo-hoo. All the time, God is so good. All the time". And then starts coming some of this truth.
I remember when I thought every problem I had was somebody else's fault. And God actually said to me, "You're the problem. They're not". And over the years I heard things like, "You have a bad attitude. You wallow around in self-pity all day. You're easily offended, you're hard to get along with". Well... and I'm gonna tell you the truth. If I would not have received those things from God... I'm not saying I did it immediately. I'm not saying I did it easily. Sometimes it took a month, 2 months, 3, 6, a year. But God's pretty stubborn, he'll stick with you, amen? But I'm telling you the truth. I would not be standing here today if I was still back wallowing around in all those same problems, amen?
Let me tell you how I started preaching. God called me to teach, and he put a burning fire in me to share the word. And I had an anointing to do it from the get-go. I'd always been able to talk my way in and out of just about everything, but I was just using it the wrong way. Now God gave me this anointing to preach. Now, for 5 years I sat in my living room floor, taught the Bible to about 25 people that would come from the neighborhood and from my church. And I mean, they would come through blizzards, they would come through storms. I'm telling you, it was anointed. We had our little guitar player, and we would pray for each other. And, you know, it was back when everybody had these home meetings, and it was just so awesome. Some of you don't remember that, but it was really a great time.
Now, when I started preaching, I would sit in the floor, and I would have on short-shorts. I'm talking as short as I could get 'em. And... blowing smoke in everybody's face the whole entire... I mean, there would be so much smoke in the room that you couldn't even hardly see the people. And it was anointed! You're like, "Oh, get out! I don't believe that"! You know why it was anointed? Because God not only saw where I was: he saw where I was gonna be if he saw that if he accepted me where I was and didn't reject me and tell me I had to get all fixed up before he was gonna love me, that then I would fall in love with him enough that I would be willing to lay those things down for him, and then he could have his way in my life. Woo! Come on.
So it doesn't do any good for somebody to sit out there and say, "Well, I wish I had a ministry like yours". I didn't get it wishin'. I got it sometimes wanting to run away from God so bad that I remember laying in my office floor and holding onto the legs of the furniture to keep from running away from God. It's not always easy when God gets in the middle of you because we live a lot of deception. "Well, it's your fault, it's your fault, it's your fault, it's the way I was raised. If I would've had parents, if I wouldn't have been abused," if, if, if, if, if. And God comes in and says, "Look, none of that stuff was great, but let's don't use it as an excuse to act bad our whole life. How 'bout if you let me fix all that? How 'bout if I redeem you? How 'bout if I give you double for your trouble? How 'bout if I show you how this thing really works"? Amen?
And so, every one of those things that I received, that truth that I received from God... oh man, it was like a deep, cutting knife in my soul sometimes because I would hear, "You need to respect your husband". How can I respect men when I had at least seven different men that sexually abused me? How can you ask me to do that? Because God didn't want me punishing Dave for what somebody else did to me, and every other man that I ever met in my whole life. And my soul screamed out, "But it's not fair! What about me"! And of course, the message from God is always, "You do what I'm telling you to and I will take care of you," amen?
When I think about where I could still be, when I think about how wretchedly miserable my "Christian" life could have been... and yes, you can be not only a miserable sinner, but you can be a miserable saint. How wretchedly miserable my life would have been had I not received that wonderful truth of the Holy Spirit when he continued to just be after me with this little thing and that little thing and this thing and that thing. I mean, the Holy Spirit went to the grocery store with me, and for years he would follow me around in the grocery store, "Put that back. Put that cart back. Don't act like that. Don't be impatient with that clerk". I learned so many lessons in the grocery store.
I couldn't go to Bible college, I had three little kids. I didn't have any money. But I went to the school of the holy ghost, and I tell you what, that'll work better for you anyway. It's learning how to be led by the Spirit everywhere that you're at. And this being the led by the Spirit is not just ooh... "Did you feel it? Oh, I got goosebumps from the top of my head"! Well, probably the air conditioning vent's blowing on your head. Jesus didn't die to give us goosebumps: he died so we could be formed into the image of Jesus Christ and get out in the world and represent God in a way that's gonna bring glory to him. Amen? And I love God. And I love the word. And I love it when the Holy Spirit won't leave me alone, and he confronts me, and I say to him, "I don't care if you gotta tie me to the altar: I want you to have your way in my life".
Let's get over this attitude of, "Oh, another thing that's wrong with me. I'm so sick and tired of having something wrong with me all the time". And every time God shows us something wrong with us, now we gotta go on a 3-week vacation of guilt and condemnation, run around and feel rotten about ourselves 'cause we think that's the way we pay for it. God doesn't confront us so we can feel guilty. Yes, there may be a godly sorrow that we feel, like, "Oh, God, I'm so sorry". But that leads us to repentance, and as soon as there's repentance there's change, and there's renewal, and there's refreshing. Amen?
So here in John chapter 6, Jesus is saying, "Okay, I took care of them and they still died out there. We need more than a miracle 7 days a week. We need more than for somebody else to come along and do it for us and for God to make everything easy for us. He said, "Here's what I want now. I want a transition. I want you to stop worrying about what I can do for you for a while, and find out what you can do for me". I wonder how many people came here today thinking, "God, you gotta do something for me. I need a miracle. I need a word, amen. I need Joyce to give me a word". And don't you dare go home and say, "God, you didn't give me a word". He's giving you about 100,000 of 'em.
So anyway, Jesus is saying, "I'm the bread of life, I'm what you really need, take me for your everything, take me for your all". When we take Jesus as our everything, everything else comes with it. He's the owner and the heir of all things. We are joint heirs with him. Everything that he has becomes ours, when everything that we have becomes his. How about if somebody just throws your life wide open to God, and you say, "God, I'm tired of dancing around these same mountains over and over and over and over again. I'm tired of the foolishness, I'm tired of being mad all the time, I'm tired of being aggravated and frustrated and upset and unhappy and discontented and unsatisfied. I want your will in my life, and I don't know what that's gonna take, it scares me to even think about it, but God, whatever you have to do in my life to get me to where you want me to be, I am telling you now I surrender all". Woo!
And sadly, look at John 6-6-6. And my personal opinion is it's not an accident. John 6:66: "And after this, many of his disciples drew back (returned to their old associations) and no long accompanied him". We're fine as long as it's all me-me-me-me-me. But when God starts calling for that transition, when he starts saying it's grow-up time. You know we all have a time of courtship. I mean, I had mine. God touched me back in February of 1976 in an amazing way. Maybe it wouldn't have been amazing to you, I don't know what it was to me 'cause I was one dry, thirsty soul.
And I was born-again. I went to church all the time, I worked in the church, but I mean, nothing was working at home. And I cry out to God in my car, "God, you have got to do something. I cannot go on like this anymore". And God touched me and filled me with his presence. And, I mean, for weeks I was drunk on the love of God. I loved weeds. I mean, I'm telling you, I just loved, I would look at people I couldn't hardly stand and think, "Oh, I love you. God created you, I love you, I love you". I mean, I had people saying, "What is wrong with you"? I mean, I was leading people to the Lord, I was praying for people in the bathroom at work, leading them to Christ. I mean, I was just like out of the box...
And I don't know what happened. But all of a sudden the honeymoon was over and the marriage started. And I started finding out some things that was gonna have to change. And see, we always wanna go back to that, "Well, I remember the days". People, "I remember the good old days". I tell you honestly and truly, they were fun, but they really weren't the good old days. I tell you what the good old days are now: when God gets in the middle of you and won't let go 'til he gets to do what he wants to do in your life. That's the good old days. Because those are the days that are gonna change us forever.
And I don't wanna be part of John 6-6-6. I don't wanna be one of the ones that when God comes to me with a hard truth, with something that's hard for me to hear... and they said, if you read the whole thing, they said, "This is a hard and an unbearable message. Who can be expected to listen to this? I'm supposed to let go of the manna in the wilderness, and now you want me to actually take you for my everything and take you for my all, and you want to... I'm supposed to know what I can do for you? Well, that's a hard message". And many of his disciples drew away. But thank God he turned... To the 12, verse 67, "Will you also go away? And do you also desire to leave me?" Maybe we're about to find out why they were one of the privileged 12. And here it comes, "Simon Peter said, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life". Amen!