Joyce Meyer - Simplify Your Life
Life is not intended to be stressful. Do we really think that God is the author of all the stress that's in the world today? You know, we all want every electronic toy that comes out and then they drive us crazy because we don't know how to work 'em and they break down all the time. And I'm not suggesting that we don't use technology today, I use it, but I think sometimes you can go too far.
One thing's for sure, you can... you know, my assistant said something this morning that I thought was good. She said, "You know, what is really simple to one person could be complicated for another". So, she's like this really hyper-, super-organized person. When I asked her what she likes to do in her time off, she said, "I love to organize things". I don't call that fun. I'm, like, in the middle somewhere, you know? Like, I'll get my socks and underwear to the drawer, but they're all not gonna be like, you know... And she said because of her high level of organizational skills, she said, "I could have company and have a party that to somebody else might look very complicated, because that's not their gift".
And see, one of the things that we have to do if we wanna simplify our life is stop trying to be something we're not. Here's what I wanna encourage in every area of your life, find your level of skill and gifting, which will normally mean that that's where you're comfortable. Not that we never stretch ourselves or go beyond, you know, what's extremely comfortable, but we're all created different, and we all have different strengths and gifts in different things.
Her and Mike have a real gift of hospitality. The last thing in the world that I would want would be somebody living with me. And they've had different people come and stay with them. They used to be the one that kept all the guest speakers at church. And I'm like, "I love people, but I'm kinda liking the distance thing". I mean, I love you guys to pieces, but I wouldn't want you just to knock on my front door and just show up. I'm not real good with that. And see, here's the thing.
Now listen, you don't have to keep apologizing for what you're not. You just need to realize who you are and then do what you're good at. I don't have to try to do a party like somebody else does. I don't have to try to have the gift of hospitality if I don't have the gift of hospitality. But honey, I can talk. I can communicate, and I'm doing that, amen? How many of you ever get tired of the pressure of trying to be something that you're not? And don't you feel a lot of times that the world pressures you to do that. Well, you should, and you ought, and they say. I don't know who they are, but they're running our lives and we don't even know 'em.
What about prayer? Oh my gosh, can we ever complicate prayer. Two minutes of focused, simple prayer can accomplish more than one hour of rambling. Now, I want you to hear me, because I think sometimes we think if we're gonna pray, we just need to... can't stop, can't breathe, can't wait for an answer, don't take time to receive anything. And most of the time that's just fleshly stuff.
First of all, get quiet and ask the Holy Spirit to pray through you. "God, lead me in my prayers today". And God has challenged me, "I want you to ask me for what you want and need with as few words as possible". "Lord, I shouldn't have done that. I'm so sorry. Forgive me". Not, "Oh God, forgive me. Oh God, forgive me. God, God, God, please forgive me. Oh God, if you'll just forgive me one more time, I promise I'll never do it again. Oh God, I'm so sorry. God, I just feel so bad". You know what we do? I don't know, we're trying to impress ourselves or something, or impress God, and half the time we don't even know what we're saying or doing. Is this making any sense to anybody?
See, we're not real satisfied with simple. We think we've gotta sound eloquent and complicated. In Matthew chapter 6, it's beautiful, the first seven or eight verses. He says, "When you pray, don't repeat phrases over and over just seeing how many words you can say". In James, it says, "Let your prayer be sincere". You could enjoy prayer so much more if you would simplify it and just believe that you can very simply present your need to God, that he hears you, and you don't have to be fancy and eloquent, or not even necessarily long.
There's nothing wrong with praying a long time, but I think there's too much emphasis on long prayers, and we tend to think that long amounts of time in prayer are much more beneficial than simple, shorter prayers. I believe in spending lots of time with God, but I could not even tell you how long I pray because I've learned, in addition to a set apart time of prayer, I just try to pray my way through the day. Did you hear me? Just pray as you go, amen? All right. "Ask and receive that your joy may be full". "You have not because you ask not".
Let's start simplifying anything in our lives that is complicated. Areas to simplify: how 'bout clutter? Some of you, the minute you walk in your house, you feel frustrated. Come on, let's see. All right, how many of you have way too much stuff in your house? Okay, I'm gonna challenge you to get a big box and write on the side of it "Giving," and go collect everything that you've got too much of, that you don't care that much about anyway, that you're not using, that you're not doing anything with, and give it away.
See, you don't like that. Well, what if I need it? You know what, even if you did, you couldn't find it. You wouldn't know where you put it. You know what I've come to believe? At least this is the way I feel about my home. If I have too much stuff, you even take, like, a shelf, like a decorative shelf or a coffee table, if I have too much stuff on it, I don't notice any of it. All I see is stuff. But if I have one or two really attractive things that I really like and enjoy, then I can actually enjoy having them.
And you know, just be careful that you don't just have so much clutter around you all the time. A stack of magazines you're not ever gonna read. The only thing I don't want you to throw away is my magazines that I send to your house. By all means, keep those. And you know, there's a lot of you, you know that you need to go home and do what I'm talking about. And I'm telling you what, it will help you enjoy your life more, because then every time you walk in your home, you're not gonna feel overwhelmed and frustrated.
And you know what? Just because somebody gives you something, that doesn't necessarily mean you gotta keep it. I mean, I get some unique stuff. God gives you bread to eat and he gives you seed to sow, amen? And if it's not intended for you, then maybe God put it in your hands to pass it on to somebody else. And don't even give somebody something if you're gonna try to dictate to them then what they have to do with it. Once you give somebody something, you have to let go of it, otherwise you're not giving it, you're using it as a tool of manipulation. Oh boy, this is so good.
Don't live in the midst of clutter. Make decisions and get on with it. Not being double-minded. I made a decision. Well, I don't know if that's right, so I'll make another decision. So, then I go back to the first decision. Then I call up four of my friends that don't know what they're doing and ask them what they think I should do. Well, you guys are hitting each other out there and giggling. Now, there's nothing wrong with asking for a word of counsel, but you have the Holy Spirit, and you can be led by the Spirit, and you can make decisions. And by and large, you need to do what you feel is right in your heart. Do what you have peace about. Well, hopefully that teaching will help you start the process of simplifying your life.