Joyce Meyer - Receiving From God
How can you change? Not by hearing messages and going home and trying to make them work in your life. My goodness, I tell ya what, if you're as bad and I was, I needed everything I heard, everything. And every preacher gave me something different to do.
I was to make confessions, and get up early and pray, and we had the read the Bible through in a year plan. And, you know, I mean it was just one thing after another after another. And then I would hear messages about being careful with your mouth and not talking too much. And I had to hear messages about the mind and so I would decide that I was gonna go home and not say anything so that way I didn't make any mistakes with my mouth.
Come on, you know where I'm at? And then I'd just be real super quiet. Then people would say, "What's wrong with you?" and then I'm like, that figures. You don't like it if I talk. You don't like it if I do talk. People just aren't happy no matter what you do.
But here's the wild thing that I noticed, when I shut my mouth as an act of discipline, I would get depressed. By the time late in the afternoon came, I was so down and I didn't understand. I said, "God, why do I feel so down? I'm just trying to do what You want me to do."
And this is what the Lord spoke to my heart, he said, "You shut your mouth but nothing's changed on the inside. At least when you were talking, you let some of the pressure out, now it's all in there."
Well yes, we should respond to the messages that we hear, but what we need to do is go home and say, "You know, God, I was really convicted by that word tonight. That really touched my heart and I really want to grow in that area. And so, Holy Spirit, I'm asking You to teach me in this area and, God, I need You to change me because I know that I cannot change myself."
And then your part is to study the Word in that area because the Word of God contains the power to save your soul according to the Book of James, chapter 1. The Word of God, if received in meekness, contains the power to save your soul.
So, our part is not to go home and try really hard to change, but if you feel like you've got a mouth problem, then go home and read every book you can find on the mouth. I've got two or three out there plus a bunch of CDs, and DVDs, and everything else 'cause I had a lot of mouth problems so I teach on that a lot.
You gotta have the Word. We are changed by the power of God's Word and our part is to study the Word. As we look into the Word of God faithfully, we are changed into His image from glory to glory to glory.
"If you continue in My Word," Jesus said in John 8, "Then are you My disciples indeed and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free," amen? So, i changed my trying for trusting and i decided that i would try to live the same way that i was saved.
"God, you gotta help me. God, if You don't change me, I don't know what's gonna happen, but this is it. If You don't change me, this is what You're stuck with."
There's no point in promising God, "Oh God, please, if You'll just forgive me, I'll never do it again. Please God, just forgive me and I'll never do it again." Why don't you just tell the truth and say, "God, I trust that You will forgive me because Your Word says that You've already paid for all my sins so I receive Your forgiveness and I receive Your mercy. And I'm just gonna kind of be honest with ya and tell ya, if You don't help me, I will definitely do it again."
And I'm not suggesting that we make no effort, but it's not a fleshly effort that we make, amen? Is anybody in the building worn out from trying? How many of you are just trying really hard to be a good christian? You know, a good christian is an oxymoron. There's no such thing as a good christian. If we could be good, we wouldn't need christianity.
Now, I know you're gonna have to think about this a little bit. Any goodness we have in us came from God, it's not our own goodness. And any good thing that we do, we give the God the praise for it and the credit for it and we know right then, "I'll never do another good thing in my whole life if You don't help me."
I'm talking about doing everything with and for God and giving Him the credit and the glory. The same way you were saved, that's the same way we need to learn how to live. God is not for sale and we cannot buy Him with our good works. And when we do good things, God doesn't owe us anything because we did.
Come on, if you get up and pray the first 2 hours of every day and you read 6 chapters in your Bible every morning, God doesn't owe you anything. So, then when you have a problem and God doesn't show up the minute you think he should, you can't kind of think about "Well, you know, I mean, I pray hours every day."
Eh, better watch it. Doesn't it make you mad when God blesses somebody that isn't nearly as spiritual as you are? 'Cause see, we think if we're good, then God owes us and we should be the ones that God just does everything for, but we need to get rid of that attitude that, "I'm gonna do this so I can get something from You."
You know, I remember one morning the Lord said to me, "Will you stop acting like you're doing Me a favor when you read the word? I already know it." You're reading it for you. We're not doing God a favor. We don't get some kind of checkmarks on our heavenly works calendar when we read the Bible or when we pray. We pray if we've got any brains at all so we can get help from God.
Prayer is a privilege, it's not an obligation and a duty, and reading the word is smart. It shows you how to manage and run your life in a way where you can have the most blessed life that you could possibly have.