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Joyce Meyer - Staying Strong



Okay, well, you know, there's lots of things that you can preach when you've been doing it as long as I have when you go to a place, but I never just go to my little message drawer and pull out a message and come and show up and speak it.

A lot of times I'll put together things that are new and actually I've had this message a couple of months and just waiting for the right place to preach it, just about the importance of staying strong, just staying strong.

I wanna make a statement here in the beginning and I hope this'll mean something to you. Most people don't do their maintenance and they end up being controlled by emergencies, just think about that. They don't do their maintenance so they end up being controlled by emergencies.

I'll give you a little example about my dentist. How many of you really aren't real crazy about going to the dentist and just getting your teeth cleaned and just getting a checkup, you know? So, you just wait until you have a bad toothache then you have to go, okay? Well, I was like that.

I remember many years ago when we were first starting the ministry and I was so busy and just had so much going on, and I never wanted to go to the dentist to get any kind of checkups. And I had some different issues with my teeth and so I was somebody who needed to go. And I get a lot of plaque buildup on my teeth so I need to go and get that taken care of, but didn't want to go.

So, then I'd get a bad toothache and maybe I'd be going out of town on a conference and I'd call my dentist, "I had an emergency, is there any way you can work me in"? So, my poor planning ended up pressuring him.

Come on, now. Our poor planning can end up pressuring somebody else who then we put in a position of having to take care of our emergency because we didn't do what we should have done to start with. And to be honest, that's really not walking in love.

And so, that happened about three times and then my dentist just said to me the last time I went in for an emergency, he said, "I don't want to be rude to you," but he said, "If you're not gonna get your checkups and get your teeth clean, then I'm just gonna have to ask you not to call me when you have an emergency".

And so, don't want to stretch that story too far, but I don't think it would be out of line to say that maybe God is wanting to say that to some of us today. Now, I'm not saying God won't help us when we have an emergency, but sometimes we do have to learn things the hard way if we won't learn them the easy way.

And so, if there's things that God is telling you to do, telling you to do, telling you to do, showing you to do, showing you to do and you keep just not doing it, not doing it, not doing it, then maybe when we have an emergency, God might have to just say, "Well, not this time. You need to learn a little something".

People don't like to do maintenance on their car. Who wants to change the filter on your air-conditioning? You'd rather sit on the back porch and have an iced tea. I mean, who in the world wants to go get a colonoscopy just to make sure that later on you don't have a problem? Nobody wants to do that, you know?

I'm gonna tell you something that I have not thought of for a long time, but maybe this'll help you. You know, 28, 29 years ago, it's been so long now I forget when it was, I had breast cancer and I ended up having to have a mastectomy on one side.

And 3 years before that, I had gone to the doctor for a mammogram, which nobody likes that either. And they said they saw a little something on the test, they weren't sure what it was, but they highly recommended that I come back in 3 months and get it checked again. I didn't want to do that. I'm busy serving God. I'm busy in ministry.

So, you know what we do a lot of times is, "I'll just trust God to take care of that". Boy, and I tell you something, sometimes that's just an excuse. It has really nothing to do with real faith. It's not even anything God's really put in our heart. It's just an excuse we use to not have to deal with something.

So, I didn't do what the doctor told me to do. I waited 3 years, and when I went back, I had breast cancer. Now, I tell you that because I believe that God not only uses miracles to heal us, but I think He also uses wisdom and common sense.

I don't know, Lisa, it may be quiet in here today. It just might be quiet today. I'm dealing with something right now with my back. Got some arthritis in each one of my disks, they said. One of them is a bulging disk and so we're dealing with that, but in the process of looking at my spine, I went to a doctor that does a lot of preventative care also.

And he said, "Well, even if we take care of this immediate problem," he said, "I'm gonna highly recommend that you do some certain treatments and do some certain physical therapy that will keep you from having a problem later on".

Well, I don't want to do that. First of all, these treatments, I think, might be a little painful and I'm not looking forward to that. And I already exercise and work out and walk, and I don't wanna now add physical therapy to it. And I'm busy, and I'm serving God, but I do believe that a lot of times, God will put some information in front of us that if we will do the maintenance now...

See, one of my great dreams is to finish my race. I don't even know how to tell you how important that is to me. This has been a long journey for me, and I've been teaching the word 42 years and I really hope and pray, it is a great desire of mine that I can still be sharing the word in some form or fashion right until God is finished with me and he takes me home.

Well, you see, I know that in order do that, I gotta do a whole bunch of stuff behind the scenes to stay strong. It takes my time. It takes effort. Sometimes it takes money. Sometimes it's inconvenient, but you see, we're very bad at wanting something over here on this end but not wanting to do what it takes to get it.

Let me ask a question, are you a gambler or an investor? You know what a person who kind of has a gambling spirit does? And I'm not even necessarily talking about the casino type thing. I'm talking about you kind of just don't do the right thing and kind of sort of hope you get by with it.

But the Bible says that we reap what we sow. And so, I think that we need to start doing a whole lot more maintenance and instead of just waiting until we have a major disaster in life and trying to quick get strong, let's talk this morning about staying strong.

Let's talk about doing what we need to do when there is no emergency, but it's just wisdom to do it, and then you know what? We're gonna have a lot less emergencies, and to be honest with you, it's gonna be a lot less painful, and in the long run, it's gonna take a lot less time to deal with things a little bit at a time.

You know, I didn't take care of my teeth for a long time, part of it was we didn't have the money, but then part of it was I just didn't want to. And I'll just be honest and tell ya, I have six teeth in my whole mouth that don't have crowns on them.

So, do what you need do when you need to do it. And even now, I'm one of those kind of people that get a lot of plaque on my teeth. They want me to come get my teeth cleaned every 4 months. I don't want to get my teeth cleaned every 4 months. I mean, I'd be happy to go once every two or three years.

But here's the thing, if I even 7 or 8 months when I go to get my teeth cleaned, it really hurts because they have to really dig around to get the plaque off. If I go every 4 months, doesn't hurt at all. Come on, how many of you are understanding what I'm saying today?

You say, "Well, this is sure a lot of practical stuff. I came to get a word from God and you're talking about my teeth and colonoscopy". You know what? That's what's wrong today, sometimes we go to church and everything is just so spiritual that we go out and we don't know how to live practical, everyday life, amen?
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