Joyce Meyer - I Will Not Fear
Well, today as we pause to give thanks for the countless blessings that God has given to us in our lives, we simply must take a moment to thank you, our Joyce Meyer Ministry friends and partners. Your gracious love and support is amazing. Because of you, all of us working together every single day, people hear about the transforming love of Jesus Christ through things like the, "Enjoying Everyday Life", television program, now being seen in 100 languages worldwide. Our social media presence continues to grow as we connect with now for 23 million people through Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, and Twitter.
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There's only one attitude that a believer should have toward fear, and that is, "I will not fear". Okay, can you say that? Say, "I will not fear". Alright, now we're gonna do it one more time and you're gonna say it like you really mean it. Ah, you don't all still have it. It goes like this: "I will not fear".
Okay, we have to understand that fear, first of all, is a demonic spirit. It's not from God. And I think it's the enemy's favorite tool in his toolbox, the sole purpose of which is to keep us from making progress and going forward. Fear's whole design is to stop you in your tracks or to drive you back where you came from instead of you going forward and becoming all that God wants you to be. I'm sure that you can remember times in your life when you've been stopped by fear of some kind.
Now I wanna say from the outset here that we've been set free from fear. There's scripture after scripture after scripture in the Bible that says we've been set free from fear. But being set free from something does not mean the disappearance of it. Now, I want you to think about that. Being set free from something does not necessarily mean the disappearance of it. In other words, I think I might as well just tell you that from time to time in your life, you're always gonna have fear come against you. I'm sorry, but that's true. I believe that we're free from worry, but that doesn't mean that worry will never present itself and try to tempt us to worry. But just because worry tries to pay me visit, that doesn't mean I have to let it in and invite it to stay all day, right?
And so, I don't know, that was just somethin' that God gave me a few weeks ago, and I've been tryin' to say that in my conferences 'cause I think it's important. We think that being set free from something means that we should never have to deal with it again. And it really doesn't mean that. It just means that now you learn to recognize it, and you know you have authority over it, and so you have an option then to either let it rule you or to rule it. I have been set free from the effects of what my father did to me by sexually abusing me for all the years of my childhood. I've been set free from that. But that doesn't mean that I never ever have to confront any of the effects of that that still try to visit me from time to time, even after all these years.
You know, if we would just get as determined as the devil is, c'mon. Yes, I said, "The devil". If we would just get as determined as the devil is. You know, some Christians, when you say, "The devil", they're like, "Eww". Well, I just might as well tell ya ahead of time, we're gonna talk about him a little bit this weekend because one of the worst conditions we can be in is to not know that he's alive and well on planet earth and that he ultimately the source of all of our problems, amen? "I will not fear". Until you make that decision, you're more than likely to have a lot of what God has for you stolen by fear.
The word "Fear" means "To take flight or to run away from". So when God says in the Bible, "Fear not", he's not telling us not to feel fear. He's saying, "When you feel fear, don't run". When you feel fear, confront it and have that attitude, "I am not going to live in fear". Has anybody in this building found out that the enemy will do to you whatever you will put up with? I said, "He will do to you whatever you will put up with". And some of you just need to get a good Holy Ghost fire in your belly.
What I mean by that is way down deep inside of you to just be determined, "Jesus died for me to have a good life, and I am going to have a good life. If anybody can be blessed, then I can be blessed because God is no respecter of persons", amen? "I will not fear". Romans 8:31: "If God is for us, who can be against us? Who can be our foe, if God is on our side"? I want us to just take our time tonight. I've got quite a few scriptures I'm gonna have you look at. And instead of just runnin' past these, I want you to think about that. "If God is for us", God, "If God is for us", then what difference does it make, really, who's against us? Because God is certainly greater than anything or anybody that could come against us.
And you know, I think that where we get into trouble is we believe that God is for other people, but are we sure that he's for us? Are you sure tonight that God is for you? See? One person over here. Are you sure tonight that God is for you, see? Now, you know, I'm sure some of you think, "Well, I haven't been too good lately". Well, you know, he's not for you because you're good. He's for you because he's good and because he knows the human condition and he sent us a Savior.
And by the way, he knows that we're growing, that we're not where we need to be, but thank God, we're not where we used to be. At least if you're here in the building, your likely to make some progress tonight. So congratulations, you showed up. Now God can do somethin'. So how 'bout if everybody says, "God is for me"? Psalm 118:6: "The Lord is on my side: I will not fear". I may feel fear, but I won't give into it.
Now, it's impossible to live without fear if you don't know that God loves you. And so I'm gonna pretend like you don't know anything at all about the Bible and that all the people watchin' by TV don't know anything at all about the Bible and I'm just gonna teach you maybe some things that are very basic and foundational. But it's surprising for me all the time to found out how many people have never had anybody look them right in the face and say, "God loves you unconditionally". Matter of fact, I'm about to say something shocking. God will never love you anymore than he does at this moment right now. See, that's kinda like a halfhearted, "Yea".
And hey, I get it because you're like, and here's what people think when I say that. I get the same reaction every place. Here's what people think: "Well, surely when I improve"? See, we think we can earn God's love if we can behave just a little bit better. But the truth is, get this, God is not for sale. C'mon, I said, "God is not for sale". You can only receive him by faith. You can't buy him with good works. So we don't do good works to get God to love us. We strive to do good things because he does love us. And so the quicker, the sooner, the more you believe that God loves you just as much right now as you could ever possibly be loved in your whole life, then knowing that unconditional love is gonna give you the courage to confront fear and live the life that God wants you to live.
1 John 4:16 was kind of a life-changing scripture for me. It says: "We know (we understand, we recognize, and we are conscious of, by observation and by experience) and we believe (and adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love that God has for us". Now, that's a lot of words here in the amplified, but taking a look at those words is what makes this meaningful. "We know", what does it mean to know that God loves you? It means that, first of all, you recognize when God's at work in your life. Let me tell ya somethin'. God is doin' so much for us all the time. And half the time, we don't even, we don't know it's God. We think it's, like, circumstance or coincidence or, "Boy, we're lucky", or you know?
I don't like it when people say, "Well, you know, I'm just lucky", or, "You're just lucky", you know? I don't see that word in the Bible. And you know, it's not a sinful word, but I'd much rather say, you know, "We're blessed". "God's blessing us", than to say, "We're lucky", like it kinda, just, we happened to be the one that it happened to and who knows who it's gonna happen to next, you know, amen?
"(We recognize, we're conscious of, by observation and by experience) and we believe (and adhere to and put faith in and rely on) the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who dwells and continues in love dwells and continues in God, and God dwells and continues in him". So I believe that God loves me. Not because I'm necessarily lovable all the time because honestly, I know that I'm not lovable all the time. But hey, I'm better than what I used to be. And I hope this time next year I'll be better than what I am right now. And you see, God sees the end from the beginning, c'mon. He not only sees where you're at right now, he sees where you're gonna end up as you keep walkin' with him, and treats you accordingly. "Perfect love casts out fear". "Perfect love casts out fear".
1 John 4:18: "There's no fear in love". How much fear do you still have in your life? The fear of man, the fear of lack, the fear of abandonment, the fear of loneliness. We're gonna talk about a lot of these things tonight. How much fear do you still have in your life? However much is there, it's because you or me or anybody else, you're lacking knowledge about the love of God. You may believe God loves you, but you maybe need to believe it more and more and stronger and stronger, amen? You oughta practice. Go look in the mirror and say, "God loves you. God loves you, you stinker you. God loves you".
C'mon, did you ever pinch one of your little kids on the cheek and say, "You stinker, you, mama loves you anyway"? Well, amen. I have a couple of great-grandchildren. Imagine that, great-grandchildren, whew. And one of 'em's name is abriella, and man, she is so cute. She's got this springy black curls, and they just, she's only, like, 9 months old, and so she was over this morning. Well, I mean, you know, how can you do anything with that but just wanna love it and hug it and mwah, mwah, mwah, and kiss it?
And you know, you're just, like, you're just tellin' her constantly, oh, you're so cute. You just so sweet. Coochy-coochy-coochy-coochy-coo. I mean, a kid can just turn an adult into a blithering idiot. You're just like, well, coochy-coochy-coochy-coochy-coo. And then Dave was behaving the same way. And see, we're God's children. Are you awake in the building tonight? We are God's children. He loves us unconditionally. Fear is thrown out by knowing that God loves us. "It expels every trace of terror"!
Now, there's things in life that we could easily be afraid of. In Mark chapter 4, beginning in verse 35 and goin' all the way through to chapter 5, verse 1 it says: "On the same day when evening had come, he said to them, 'let us go over to the other side.'" now, really, when Jesus says, "Let's go over to the other side", that really ought to be the end of it. We oughta just say, "Well, it's a done deal. I'll end up on the other side". And you know what I mean when I say, "Let's go over to the other side".
When you see a promise in God's word, when you feel that God speaks somethin' to you, when God says to you, "I'll restore your life if you trust me", or you know, "This'll happen if you put your trust in me", then that doesn't mean that we're just gonna go, "Whew", and it's all gonna happen. You can count on goin' through some things because from this side to that side, however far that is, and only God knows that, there's always some unexpected storms. And this storm, says, was, "Of a hurricane proportion". Has anybody got a hurricane-proportioned storm going on in your life right now?
Well, you know, faith is not for the times when everything is goin' exactly the way we want it to. Faith is for the times when nothing makes sense, and everything hurts, and we're hangin' onto God for all we've got. And believe it or not, and don't stone me when I say this, but hard times are actually good for us. I mean, they really are because, you know, there are things that the enemy does to try to hurt us, but God works 'em out for our good. And the thing that is so wonderful is he then uses them to make us stronger the next time the enemy comes against us.
Mark 4:35: "On that same day when evening had come, he said to them, 'let us go over to the other side.' And leaving the throng, they took him with them, just as he was, in the boat in which he was sitting. And other boats were with him. And a furious storm of wind of hurricane proportions arose, and the waves kept beating into the boat, so that it was already becoming filled". Now, not all storms are in the forecast. Occasionally, the weather man makes a mistake. "But he himself was in the stern of the boat, asleep on the leather cushion:" doesn't it just aggravate you when you've got a problem and it seems like God's asleep? "And they woke him up and said, 'master, do you not care that we are perishing?'"
You know what? Even these disciples were not sure of his love. "Don't you care"? Can I tell you somethin'? You havin' a problem is not a sign that God doesn't care. C'mon, somebody needs to hear that. You having a problem does not mean that God doesn't love you. It does not mean that God doesn't see you. It does not mean that he does not care about you. He wants to help you in your time of need and trouble. Amen? "And he arose and he rebuked the wind and he said to the sea, 'Hush now! Be still!' And the wind ceased (sank to rest as if exhausted by its beating) and there was immediately a great calm (and a perfect peacefulness). And he said to them, 'Why are you so timid and fearful? How is it that you have no faith (no firmly relying trust in me)?' And they were filled with great awe and feared exceedingly and said one to another, 'Who is this then, that even wind and the sea obey him?'"
And look at Mark chapter 5, verse 1: "And they came to the other side". I love it. "Jesus said, 'let us go to the other side.'" "And they came to the other side". Who are you giving access to your life? Job said, "The thing that I feared has come upon me". We give the enemy access to our life through fear and we give God access to our life through faith. We don't have to be afraid of things. God will take care of us. Whatever's coming up in your future, even the stuff that you don't know about, God will take care of you. C'mon, I said, "God will take care of you". Get it in your head. God will take care of you.
I can just sense some people watchin' TV right now, and you're layin' in a hospital bed watchin' this program. And I tell ya what, fear has just grabbed ahold of you. It's about to choke the breath out of you. And I'm here to tell you, God will take care of you. I don't know how that plays out. I don't know how that works. I'm not sayin' that means you'll get out of the hospital tomorrow. I don't know how that's gonna play out. But God will take care of you. Whether it's a short visit or a long visit, God will take care of you, amen? And that's really all we need to know. God's gonna take care of us.
"God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and of sound mind". Do you know that fear is actually putting faith in what the enemy says to us? "Oh, this is gonna be so hard". "Boy, this is gonna be bad". "Well, this is just not fair at all". "Well, I mean, you worked hard all year, and now this is your reward"? You know what? God is our reward. Anybody home out there in TV-land? God is our reward, amen? Well, we give God access to our life by putting our trust in him. When you put your trust in God, then it opens up a door for him to come in and help you.
Three scriptures, I want them to look at us, yeah. I want us to look at them. Psalm 28:7: "The Lord is my strength and my impenetrable shield: my heart trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on him, and I am helped: therefore my heart", what? "Greatly rejoices, and with my song I will praise him". Psalm 37:40: "And the Lord helps them and delivers them: he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they trust and take refuge in him". Psalm 86:2, and I wrote in parentheses, "Very good". "Preserve my life, for I am godly and dedicated:" David said, "O my God, save your servant, for I trust in you leaning and believing on you, committing all and confidently looking to you, without fear or doubt".
You know, I don't know if you've ever noticed about David, but I mean, he had some boldness. I mean, he goes to God when he's in trouble and says, "Now, I am godly and I am dedicated. Help me". And he called himself, "I am your anointed, and I believe that you will deliver me". And in Psalm 26:1 he said: "I have walked in integrity". "I have walked", you know, sometimes we get this false humility. It's like, "Oh, God, I'm just nothin' but a worm and I don't deserve your help. And you know, Lord, if you'll just help me just one more time, I'll never ask you for anything again".
Oh, come on. We ask God for somethin' every time we breathe, amen? So, you know, why not say, you know? And not in a haughty spirit, but, "God, I love you. I've been serving you. And I'm expecting you to take care of me. Now, you know, that doesn't necessarily mean that I'm gonna always get everything the way I want it. But however this turns out, God, it is gonna turn it out for my good when all is said and done". Somebody needs to get excited.
Alright, now we're gonna talk about a few common fears that people deal with. You ready? I think this fear right here is a big one. I'm afraid I won't get what I want. "I prayed, but I got a backup plan. And then I've got a backup plan for my backup plan. And then, because I'm afraid that things might not turn out the way I want, I can even get really good at manipulating circumstances and people, trying to kinda make sure that I get what I want, just in case God doesn't see it my way".
Come on, is anybody home out there tonight? That's what causes us all the problems. James 4:1-2 says, "What leads to strife? What brings discord and feuds and fights? And where does all the quarreling come from"? And he said, "It arises from your sensual desires that are always warring in your bodily members". He's saying all the turmoil in our lives is from all the stuff that we want. James 4:2, "You are jealous and you covet what others have and your desires go unfulfilled: so you become a murderer. Because to hate is to murder as far as your heart is concerned". And then he goes on to say you get angry, and you don't get what you want, and the beautiful answer is you have not because you ask not.
So, here's the plan. Ask God for what you want, and trust him to give you what you need. Come on, ask God for what you want and trust him to give you what you need. Maybe I better just walk from person to person and say that. How about a new way to pray? God, please don't ever give me anything that I ask you for if it's not gonna be the best thing for me and the best thing for your kingdom. You know why? 'cause I'm well aware that I can ask for stuff that's not gonna work out good for me, right? And we're always gonna ask for no trouble, no problems, nothing but promotion, and comfort, and everything. How 'bout a little bit of, "Lord, if this is your will".
Alright, the second common fear that I think that we face a lot is the fear of failure, the fear of imperfection. Wow. Now, I tell you what, I mean, we've all got somewhat of a perfectionist in us, but there's some people who have it really bad. And it's really hard for people like that to ever get happy, because you can't be happy if you can't be happy with yourself. Amen? You can't be happy if you can't be happy with yourself. And the only way you can ever be happy with yourself is if you learn that you have and always will have some imperfections.
Look at me and let me tell you something. You're always gonna make mistakes. But you know what? If you really wanna get the upper hand on the enemy, don't spend one more day of your life feeling condemned about something you did yesterday. If you spent 5 minutes here acting what the Bible calls unseemly, that means ugly. If you spend 5 minutes here not behaving as you should behave, not showing the Fruit of the Spirit, to spend this next 5 minutes over here feeling guilty about it, you wasted that 5 minutes and now you're wasting this 5 minutes. Why don't you spend this 5 receiving forgiveness from God, shaking the thing off, and going on? That's what makes the Gospel good news, good news, good news. Not bad news, good news. It's no wonder some people don't like going to church or they fall asleep in church. I mean, if all you're gonna hear is how bad you are. Just a poor, miserable sinner. Wretched man that I am.
Well, Paul did say that, "Wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death? Oh, thank God, he will through Jesus Christ. So, therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus". See, it's just so good that it's hard to believe, isn't it? You will make mistakes. I remember when God said to me, "Why don't you give yourself permission to be a human being"? Come on, you're not Holy Ghost junior, and neither am I. Do you know that the Bible says that God assigns weakness to all of us? You know why? Because that's the only way we're ever gonna lean on Jesus.
Let me tell you something, if any one of us could do it all, you wouldn't be here tonight. As soon as you can be comfortable being imperfect, you'll be free from the fear of failure. Come on, how many perfectionists do we have in the house? Well, you need what I'm saying tonight. Come on, let's say it again. As soon as you can get comfortable being imperfect, you will be free from so many things.
Now, some people might think, "Well, you're just giving people a license to sin". You're not looking for an excuse to sin. You wouldn't have come here tonight if that was the case. I don't have to talk to you like you're a bunch of little babies just waiting to, you know, get in the cookie jar when mama's back is turned. You wanna do what's right, and me telling you that you don't have to suffer with the fear of imperfection is not gonna make you think that it's okay to do wrong things, because it's all about your heart's attitude.
Matter of fact, I think the more we know that God loves us and the more we see his goodness, the more we want to do what's right, but we wanna do it for the right reason. Amen? I get up every day and I just, I do everything I can to do what's right because I love God, but the good news is, is when I mess up, I know that he did not stop loving me for 1 second. See, it's all about relationship. Jesus did not die so we could have a religion, not your brand, or mine, or anybody else's, but so we could all have a relationship with him. You know what? You've never failed until you stop trying. You've never failed.
I like what John maxwell says, "You can fail forward". You learn from your mistakes and you fail forward. I like what God said to Jeremiah, Jeremiah 1:4-5, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you". Now, when God says, "I knew you", that's not like a passing acquaintance. "I knew you and I approved of you". Come on, somebody's gonna get happy now. "I knew you and I approved of you as my chosen instrument, before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you: and calling you to be a prophet to the nations". "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you and I approved of you", before Jeremiah ever made one mistake, which he did make mistakes. You can't find one of these what we call the great men and women of the Bible who didn't make mistakes. They all made mistakes.
Well, I think that God likes people that has courage. Don't be timid, and fearful, and cowardly, and always shrinking back. Be bold in your prayers, not presumptuous. We don't ever approach God without reverential fear and awe, but we need to come boldly before the throne of grace. Don't ever say to God, "If you'll just do this one more thing. If you'll just forgive me". I don't even like the word "Just", because you know what it means? Barely enough to get by. "Well, God, if you'll just help me". No, "God, pour it on. Pour it on. Help me big time. I don't deserve it, but just show yourself strong through my weaknesses".
Come on, Peter and all the disciples were in the boat, and I don't think anybody had a bigger mouth than Peter did. That guy got himself in trouble every time he turned around. I like Peter because I think Peter and I must've been connected at the hip. Any of you your mouth's ever getting you in trouble every time you turn around? Alright. But you know what? I believe that God used Peter because he had a lot of courage. Peter was the only one that got out of boat, but he was the only one that walked on water. Not for a long time, but at least he walked on water. He started to sink.
Well, some people would only talk about, "Well, yeah, but he sank". "Well, I don't wanna talk about that". "But he walked on water". "Well, yeah, but he sank". "But he walked on water". "Yeah, but he sank". "No, but he walked on water". I mean, you're always gonna have the grouches in the world that only wanna talk about when you sink, but Jesus wants to talk to you about those few moments in time when you walked on water. I've had my mess-ups in my life, but I tell ya, I've had some victories too, boy. Whoo! Another time when fear comes against us, or a different type of fear that you might not even tend to think about is the fear that we're not doing enough.
Hmmm. I heard somebody go, "Hmmm". We took a survey of what people would like to ask Jesus if they could just sit down and have a conversation with him, and you know what one of the number one things was? I would just like God to tell me when I've done enough. How many of you already know what I mean by that without me even going into a long dissertation? See, you know. Because we have this works-oriented mentality that we just need to do some more, do so more, do some more. Did I read the Bible enough? Did I pray long enough? Did I do enough good works? Well, I'm about to set you free. Stop counting. You'll get there. Stop counting.
"Well, I pray 2 hours every morning. Praise the Lord. Well, sister Joyce, how long do you pray"? I don't know, and even if I did, I wouldn't tell you. You know why? 'cause I don't gotta compare myself to you. We're free from that monster too. I just pray 'til I'm done. Some days I never get done. Amen? See, we may start out that way, like a boat tied to the dock, everything is by some kind of rule and regulation. But sooner or later, God wants to cut you loose, and let you give yourself to the waves of the ocean, and let the Holy Spirit lead you, and guide you, and how long, and when, and where, and what, and why, and how.
Romans 8:15, "For the spirit which you have now received is not a spirit of slavery to put you once more in bondage to fear, but you have received the spirit of adoption the spirit producing sonship in the bliss of which we cry, Abba (Father)! Father"! Okay, John 6:28-29. If nothing else has helped you so far, maybe this one will. "They then said, what are we to do"? Now, I mean, this is us right here. "What are we to do, that we may be working the works of God"? "What are we to do"? "God, what do you want me to do"?
Come on, how many times have you said that this week? "God, what do you want me to do? What do you want me to do"? I think there's a little demon that comes and sits on our shoulder. And we've each got one assigned to us, and he sits right here and he says, "Well, what are you gonna do? What are you gonna do? What are you gonna do? What are you gonna do"? It's the only thing he knows. "What are you gonna do? What are you gonna do"?
And then we go have lunch with somebody, hoping to get a little encouragement, and they say, "So, I heard about your problem. What are you gonna do"? And we don't know what we're gonna do, but Lord, we don't think we should say, "I don't have a clue", so we try to come up with something. "What are we to do to carry out what God requires? Jesus replied, this is the work (the service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the one whom he has sent that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in his messenger". And we're all waiting, "And"? Come on, you're like hanging on a cliff. And? What else does he want us to do? There's nothing else. Believe.