Joyce Meyer - Your Spiritual Health
Let's look at 1 Thessalonians chapter 5, verse 23. 1 Thessalonians 5:23, "And may the God of peace himself sanctify you through and through, that is, separate you from profane things, make you pure and wholly consecrated to God". Everybody say, "Wholly". Now, that's not H-O-L-Y, it's W-H-O-L-L-Y. "Make you wholly consecrated to God: and may your spirit and your spirit, your soul, and your body, be preserved sound and complete and found blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)".
Now, you are a spirit, you have a soul, you live in a body. Like one of the functions of your spirit is your conscience. Your spirit is where you receive revelation. It's where you hear from God. Your soul is your mind, your will, your emotions, all very important parts of our being. And then there's your body, the house that you walk around in and all of those are important to God. I think too often we think he's only interested in our spirit, and the spiritual parts of our lives, and the so-called spiritual activities that we engage in, but actually God is interested in and concerned about every area of your life.
There's nothing about you that God's not interested in. I said, there's nothing about you that God's not interested in. He's interested in everything that concerns you, every single thing. And he wants all of you, every bit of you, to be whole and healthy because really, to be honest, we can one part of us that's doing okay and two or three other areas that all messed up and we're still not gonna enjoy life. Amen? I mean, you can feel good physically but if you're still hurting and wounded from things that happened to you in your childhood and you're angry all the time, then you still don't have much of a life.
Now, we can be sound spiritually, maybe we're born-again and we're on our way to heaven, but God wants more for you than that. I'm gonna say something that's kind of shocking. I don't think that Jesus came just to get us to heaven. I don't think that's all he came for. Now, I mean that, I guess, is the most important part, but he wants us to enjoy the journey. He said, "I came that you might have and enjoy your life, and have it in abundance to the full until it overflows".
Now, I was in church for a long, long time before I learned anything other than just the spiritual part of life. I learned all the church doctrine. I took instructions in the church. I was born-again. I had received Christ as my Savior. I prayed for my sins to be forgiven. I knew I was gonna go to heaven, but every other part of me was a mess. I looked on the outside like maybe I had it all together, but there was a lot of stuff going on inside that nobody knew about. And the sad thing I think was that I don't remember in those years ever hearing a message about my thoughts. I don't remember ever hearing a message about my emotions.
How many of you can bear witness to that? You went to church for a long, long time maybe and you never heard any of the things that were gonna help you in your practical everyday life. You loved God but you didn't love your life. And I just wanna be very clear tonight for those of you here and those of you that watch this by TV that Jesus came to make us whole, complete. He cares about every area of our body. He cares about how you think. He cares about how you talk. He cares about your finances. He cares about your social life. He wants everything in your life to be good.
And I'm gonna encourage you not to settle for half a package or a quarter of a package. I'm glad, if you're born-again and you're on your way to heaven, but I really want you to enjoy the journey. That's part of what I believe the call on my life is. Yes, I love to see people born-again. We have lots of people born-again but I really like to help the Christian who is born-again but is still miserable. Because it's one thing to be a miserable sinner, it's another thing entirely to be a miserable saint. Amen?
So, Jesus came to make us whole. Luke 19:10 says, "For the son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost". And I like that it doesn't just say he came to seek and to save those who were lost but that which was lost, not just the lost person, but he wants to restore us to the original plan that God had for man in the garden before he got himself in trouble by doing what God told him not to do. Now, a couple of scriptures in Psalm that I love. They're both in the same chapter and they're only three verses apart, but I think they go together.
Psalm 63:5, the Psalmist David said, "My whole being shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness: and my mouth shall praise you with joyful lips". But I want us just to focus on that first sentence, "My whole being shall be satisfied". Wow. I wonder how many Christians can say that. My whole being is satisfied. I'm satisfied, content. But if you look at three verses down at Psalm 63:8 he says, "My whole being follows hard after you". So, you see, I think that if we want our whole being to be fully satisfied, then our whole being has to follow hard after Jesus.
See, they go together. I don't mean this to sound wrong. I'm not talking about getting into works of the flesh but I think in any area of life, what you get out of it is what you put into it. And see, it's foolish to think that you're gonna have a great, intimate, close walk with God and never spend any time with him. I mean, it's just silly to think that everything is just gonna work out awesome for you if the only time you ever talk to God is when you're in trouble. But see, if he's number one in your life and you're ready to dedicate all of yourself to him, which we're gonna talk about here in just a minute, then you'll come to the point where you can say, "My whole being is satisfied and my whole being follows hard after you".
You know what? Being a Christian, I mean a really victorious Christian, is not a Sunday-morning event. You know, there's no better place for us to be tonight than right here. I mean, I just love the atmosphere when we get together, the praise, the worship. I mean, you got entertainment right here. You know, we'll laugh. We may cry. We sang. We danced. I mean, why go out to a nightclub? I mean, certainly there are other things to do besides just going to meetings and going to church but, you know, I commend you for taking a Thursday night... In case you're confused, this isn't Sunday morning, this is Thursday night. And I think they told me there's between 6,000 and 7,000 people here on Thursday night.
And to be honest, I don't do anything fancy. I teach the word. And so, you came because you love the word and you love to worship. And I'm gonna tell ya something, that's gonna bring great dividends in your life. Amen? Romans 12:1, Paul, "I appeal to you therefore, brethren, in view of all the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies", I'll go slow, "Presenting all your members and faculties, as a living sacrifice," all your members and faculties, your mind, your will, your emotions, your feet, your hands, your eyes, "As a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God," and then he throws this in, "Which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship".
So, God's saying, "Oh, and by the way, I'm not asking too much". This is like pretty normal Christianity 101. Dedicate your entire being to God. Sometimes in the morning when I'm walking, I get up, I spend time with God and then I walk. And I like to pray while I walk and confess the word and, you know, whatever else comes to mind. Then sometimes I'll say, "God, I dedicate myself to you today," and I kind of go through the list. "I give you my mouth. I give you my mind. I give you my hands. I give you my feet. I give you my eyes. I don't look at anything you don't want me to look at. I don't want to say what you don't want me to say".
Now, am a hundred percent successful all day? No. But my heart's to get there. And see, that's what God loves. He loves a person who has a heart that is passionate after him and who says, "I am not gonna quit and give up and just be kind of a half-baked, Lukewarm Christian. I'm gonna pursue you with my whole heart". And I tell ya the truth, if Jesus came tomorrow and you had not arrived at that place of perfection, he would not be the least bit disappointed in you because what he's pleased about is that you're pressing toward that place. Amen?
And so, I'm proud of you that you're here tonight because that tells me that you are serious. Some of you took off work, you traveled. Some of you will get to be here the entire weekend. And I'll tell ya, that pays great benefits. So, I'm just gonna ask you, and there's no point in saying, "Yes," if you don't mean it. Are you ready to open your entire life to Jesus? I mean, are you really ready to get in and put everything out before him and say, "Okay Lord, if there's anything I'm doing that you don't like" oh yeah, we're going there. "If there's anything I'm doing that you don't like, if you'll show me and help me, I'll be willing to sacrifice it to have more of you in my life".
You see, God never asks us to give up anything if he doesn't intend to replace it with more of himself. Amen? And the things that we cling to are the things that make us miserable. We think it's what we need, but it's like a mirage. It's like that person out in the desert who thinks they see water and when they get there, it's not water at all. You know, we see these things. "Oh, I gotta have that. Oh, I gotta have that". And then we wonder why we still stay miserable. "I appeal to you to make a decisive dedication".
So, it's a decision that's a dedication. And bring yourself as a living sacrifice. Yes, the word "Sacrifice" is in the Bible. As a living sacrifice. He doesn't want dead sacrifices anymore. He had those under the old covenant. Now, he wants living sacrifices. People that are gonna get out in the world and show people what it's really like to have an intimate relationship with God through Christ and what it's really like to be full of the life of God. Okay, so, you wanna go there with me, right?
All right, now, tonight, I'm gonna talk to ya about being spiritually healthy because if your spirit is not right, none of the rest of you's ever gonna get right. Because you see, God wants us to dedicate all of it. I said, he wants us to dedicate all of it. Not just some part, but all of it. So, to be spiritual healthy, obviously the first thing we need is to receive Christ as our Savior. That's the beginning. And so, what does it mean to be born-again? Well, you're born-again inside. Your spirit is made new. God comes to live in your spirit and you become the home of God.
Now that, to me, is just an amazing thing. And we'll talk about that a little bit more when we talk about the body. God lives in you as a believer but I'm particularly fond of 1 John 3:9 and so we're gonna share that in talking about the new birth. "No one born of God," or born-again, "Deliberately, knowingly, and habitually practices sin". Now, it doesn't say he never sins, but it says you don't habitually, knowingly, purposely, live a lifestyle of sin. You can't do that anymore if you're truly born-again. And if somebody says to you that they're a Christian and they're doing that, then something's wrong because you get a new nature. God's nature comes to dwell in you. You get a new heart.
And so, you just cannot keep doing all the things that everybody in the world does, can't keep doing all kinds of ungodly things because, and it's not even because it's wrong and God doesn't want you to do it. You just can't do it because it's not your nature to keep doing it anymore. And so, you can't be happy with it. Now, I'm not saying that you never sin. Of course, you sin and there may be things that are bondages in our lives that it takes us a while to get free from. And, you know, we make allowances for all those things but I'm just saying that if you're really born-again, then you can't just live in sin and just be happy with it. You just can't. I mean, if you thought you were miserable in your sin before you were born-again, you just get God living on the inside of you and keep it up and see you miserable you can get. Amen? He cannot continue to live that kind of life because God's nature abides in him.
Now, I love the way the Amplified Bible puts this. "His principle of life, the divine sperm, remains permanently within him: and he cannot practice sinning because he is born or (begotten) of God". Now, what's this divine sperm thing? Now, we all know that when a woman gets pregnant, the sperm of her husband is planted in her womb and she becomes pregnant with a child. Now, I'm real fond of this because this is putting it about as plain as it can be. Jesus, as far as looking at this, would be the Son of God, the divine sperm of God. When you're born-again, he comes to live in you. He's planted in the womb of your spirit.
And I love to say it this way. I'm not trying to be cute, or weird, or anything else, but I think when you're born-again, you become pregnant, so to speak, with everything that God is. He's in you. Joy is in you. Peace is in you. Righteousness is in you. Holiness is in you. You are so full of good things. You are amazing and many of you don't even know it yet. You don't even know how amazing you are. The anointing is in you. The presence of God is in you. Power is in you. I mean, you got what it takes to live an amazing life and to do amazing things, but the devil doesn't want you to know it. So, see, no matter what you have, and I'm telling you, you got it. If you're born-again, you got it.
I got a little song that I teach people. "I got it, I got it, I really, really got it. I got it, I got it". I'm not much of a singer, but there you have it. You let that jingle get in your head and you'll walk around singing. "I got it, I got it, I really, really got it". And that's better than looking for it all your life. See, that doesn't even work. "I'm looking for it, I'm looking for it, I'm really, really looking for it. I'm looking for it, I'm looking for it". I mean, that just wears me out even trying to sing it. But when I say, "I got it, I got it, I really, really got it", and see, you got it. God is abiding in you and so when he comes, everything he is comes but just like when a woman gets pregnant, she gets all excited just like a born-again, "Ah"! But when she's first pregnant, one of the things that people say is, "Well, you sure don't look pregnant".
Well, that's what people say to us a lot of times when we first serving God. "Well, you don't look any different. You haven't changed. You're no different". But see, God sees the end from the beginning and everything that he does comes as a seed. Come on. And as you water it with the word and the sun shines on you. Yeah, you got it. And then pretty soon, you know what people say? "I see it, I see it, I really, really see it". And that's what we want. We don't want to just know we've got it but nobody else believe we've got it. We want people to see God working through us and that comes from doing just what you're doing here tonight. That comes from spending time in the word, spending time worshiping God, spending time just in an anointed atmosphere, and trusting that God is working in you and changing you from glory to glory. Amen? Give God a big shout.
Now, I think that obedience, which is what we have to talk about, right? We're gonna have to go there. We can't understand this if we don't. You know, everything was good for Adam and Eve in the garden before they disobeyed God. And God's trying to get us back to where they were before everything got messed up. And God breathed into Adam the breath of life, but it was, we have to understand the quality of life that God has given us. See, it's not just a, "Yeah, I'm breathing so that means I'm alive". The life that God has given us comes from a word "Zoe," which means life as God has it. That's the kind of life that's in you.
When you're born-again, you receive the God kind of life on the inside of you and honey, that'll put a smile on your face, I don't care how many problems you've got, if you learn to focus on the right thing. And God said, "If you eat of the tree that I'm telling you not to eat of", he said, "You can do everything else, one thing I don't want you to do". Isn't it amazing? "You can eat of every tree in the garden, eat all you want, freely eat, just don't touch that one". Well, you know, it's amazing the one we're not supposed to touch, the one thing we're not supposed to do, and of course, Satan lied and tempted, and they gave in. And God told 'em, "If you do what I'm telling you not to do, you shall surely die".
Well, he didn't mean they were gonna fall over dead and not breathe anymore. He meant that, that life that was on the inside of them, that candle that was in them was gonna become dark again. And Adam was so full of life... I checked this today just to be sure. See, he not only didn't die, he lived another 830 years. He had so much life in him, it took almost a thousand years for the devil to teach him how to die. We're getting it a lot faster these days. Amen? I mean, he had his third child when he was 130. I mean, come on. A hundred thirty and he's just getting started with his family. I want you to understand the life that he had in him.
We need to get back to some good old-fashioned sacrificial obedience. Thank you. Thank you. And here's what I wanna say about obedience before we even get started. I'm not asking you to follow a bunch of rules and regulations, not ones that the church has made for you, or even ones that you make for yourself. I'm asking you tonight to make a commitment to be led and guided by the promptings of the Holy Spirit. And see, life gets exciting when you commit to follow the Holy Spirit because he will deal with each one of us a little bit differently. You know, I might have yay and so planned for my morning time with God, and yours might be totally different.
See, things get boring when we lay down a bunch of rules and regulations for everybody, and everybody thinks they've gotta do everything the exact same way that everybody else does it. The Holy Spirit is very creative, and he has a lot of really cool ideas. And he knows you, and he knows what will work for you, and he knows what won't work for you. But when you live under the law, you're so afraid to get outside of the prescribed lines of what anybody does that pretty soon you're just suffocated with boredom. And yes, there are a lot of Christians that are just bored. You go to church. You go home. You go to church. You go home. You go to church. You go home. You go to church. You go home.
Romans chapter 7, verse 6: "But now we are discharged from the law and have terminated all intercourse with it, having died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under obedience to the old code of written regulations, but under obedience to the promptings of the spirit in newness of life". C'mon, this is a much better deal. See, I mean, let's just get practical. I love examples. Let's just say that, I don't know, you're in a Bible study group, or you've got a group of friends, you've got a small group you go to in the middle of the week, and everybody's trying to read their Bible through every year, and it just don't work for you. You just, you try. You just, you got so many chapters you gotta read every day to keep up with the plan, and it just, you're just, it's just not working for you.
Well, you know what? Maybe that's not the way God wants you to do it. Maybe there's another, "Well, but everybody else". Well, I wonder how many of them are doing it under obligation too just because they think that they should do it 'cause everybody else is doing it. And I'm not saying that it's not, I mean, it's a great thing to do. But I've never, I've never read the whole Bible through in one year. And I'm not trying to say because I haven't done it, it's not a good thing to do. But I'm trying to use this as an example that I tried and it didn't work for me. You know why? Because I'm like a subject studier.
And so I can start, and then I'll get to something that interests me, and then all of a sudden one verse is not enough because I'm a teacher. I wanna get in there and find out everything I can about that one thing. So, before I know it, I'm in the concordance looking up every scripture I can find on anger, or something else. And everybody just doesn't learn the same way. I'm just trying to tell you that the Holy Spirit wants to lead you. C'mon, it gets exciting when you let him lead you, amen? And that doesn't mean that we can all just go off on our own and do whatever we feel like doing. That's not what I'm saying. But when you're led by the promptings of the Holy Spirit, you plan and God laughs.
And I'm all for having a plan. I have a plan every day. But you know what? I can tell you there's very few days that it ever works out exactly the way I planned it. And that's okay. I get done what I'm supposed to get done. And I'm very focused. And I'm very disciplined. So, it's not like I'm making a plan and then not, you know, just being irresponsible. I'm just saying that you gotta give God room. If you wanna love your life, you've gotta give God some room to interrupt you, amen? How many of you wanna be used by God? All right, if you really mean it, I can tell you that God will use you every single day if you'll listen to him. Every day, God'll use you every day if you'll listen to him. And a lot of it will be in things that seem small and insignificant.
But let me tell you somethin'. What seems insignificant to you can be life-changing to somebody else. Absolutely life-changing to somebody else. I'll give you an example. I don't tell these things to make myself look good. It's just a parable so I'll just share it with you like I'd share out of my heart all the time. I went in a coffee shop, get a coffee and they had a new coffee press that they were selling that she said, "I'll make you a French press". I said, "Oh, I don't like it when the grounds get in my coffee". And I wanted her to do a pour over. And she said, "Well, the grounds won't get in your coffee with this one. This is really cool. This is awesome, it's"... You know?
So she made me a cup of coffee, and it was really a good cup of coffee. Some kinda double filter so the grounds don't get through it. And so in the process she was, she just said, she said, "I just, I really wanna get one of those," but she said, "I just, I can't afford it yet". Now, she would not have been the type of person that you would've probably thought I'd be hanging out with. Her hair was three different colors. And she had many piercings in many places, and many tattoos in many places. But she was just as sweet as she could be. See, we are so weird. We get so caught up in looking at the outside.
So anyway, I don't wanna share too much of that 'cause I've got it in another series that I put together. But the point is, is see, I've kinda learned if I'm gonna dedicate everything to God, then my money belongs to him too. And it's fine to have your little tithing money stuck over here. But what if God asked you for some that you didn't have in your tithing pocket? What if God asked you for something beyond what you planned to give? I felt like I was supposed to give the girl the money to buy this coffee pot. Now, you know, yes, sometimes you just feel really dumb when you do that kinda stuff, 'cause, I mean, who just walks up to somebody and hands 'em... This coffee pot was $130, and says, "Here, I just wanna bless you with this".
So, I took my coffee, walked outside, and you know, God was just aggravating me. How many of you know what I mean? So I've kinda learned unless I wanna be aggravated all day and then go home and know that I missed God and feel like a louse, you know, then I might as well just be willing to be embarrassed, or whatever. I mean, you never know what people are gonna say, you know? And so I went back and I called her over, and I said, "You know what"? I said, "You're just such a nice young lady". And I said, "I just felt like God wanted me to bless you with the money to buy that coffee press". And she goes, "Oh, no"! I mean, she's like, you'd have thought I shot her. "Oh! No"! And I'm like, "Oh no". I'm thinkin', "Don't make a scene. Just take it". And so I said, "No, really". I said, "It's, I just, I just wanna bless you". I said, "I just, I just wanna bless you. God's blessed me, and I just wanna bless you".
Well, she cried, and you know, the whole thing that people do. Okay, so now, listen. So, I mean, God is so cool. So, later I went to the bathroom up in the top part of the store, and who's in there but the girl? Now, why would she end up in the same bathroom that I'm in at the same time that I'm in there? Because God was using my few bucks to speak something to this girl. So, this is what she says to me. She says, "Okay, I want you to tell me why. You are the kindest person in the whole world".
Now, obviously, I'm not the kindest person in the whole world. I wish I was. But she had not experienced that kind of kindness. She just hadn't seen it. So, here's what she says to me. I said, "Well," I said, "Look, I'm a Christian. God's really blessed my life, and I just felt like he wanted me to bless you. He wants you to know that he loves you". And she said, "My mother died of cancer when I was 7, and I've been mad at," she didn't even know how to refer to him so she said, "My higher power". And she said, "This really means a lot to me".
Now, that's the kind of stuff that can happen when you're led by the Holy Spirit. You think I wasn't happy the rest of the day? Whoo! Now, see, God told Adam in Genesis, he said, "I've given you dominion and authority, and I want you to subdue the earth," and this is what the Amplified Bible says, "Use all of its vast resources in the service of God and man". See, God doesn't want us to use our stuff just to bless ourselves and to live selfish, self-centered lives. Yes, he wants us to take care of ourselves and have nice things, but God says, "I want you to use what you've got to bring people to me and to be a blessing to them".
Joyce: Well,we need to take care of our spiritual health through a disciplined commitment to follow God wherever he leads us. Today, Ginger's with me, and we're answering your questions about following the leadership of the Holy Spirit. It's a very important subject, Ginger.
Ginger: It sure is. It definitely is. And this first one is the question that everybody wants to know, and then, we have a lot of other great questions that go along with it. But colleen asks, "How do I know when I'm listening to the Holy Spirit or if it's just my own thoughts. I want to quiet my own thinking and give in to faith, but how can I be sure that it's him".
Joyce: Well, one way is by making sure that what you're doing lines up with the Word of God, or, maybe, I should say the spirit of the word. Because not every question we have has an answer, I mean, the Bible doesn't say who to marry.
Joyce: But it does tell you not to marry someone that's an unbeliever. And you know, the Bible doesn't tell you what job to take, but...
Ginger: So, those specific details...
Joyce: Right, but because I know sometimes, people run into, which I do too, I mean, every question that I have doesn't have an answer in the Bible. But when I say the spirit of the word, I mean, we know the character of God if we've studied his word. And so, you know that he doesn't want you to do certain things, or to do certain things. That, and then, the Bible always tells us to follow peace. Now, to be honest, and say that if I wanna do something bad enough, I can kinda talk myself into having peace about it. So, I think depending on the importance of the decision, if you're making a decision, that's really important, you never wanna make it really fast. You want to think about it. Let it settle. I like to say, "See if it fits," you know? Because you can really get excited, emotionally excited about something. Like, I decided a few years ago that I wanted to move, and buy a piece of property, and have a couple of my kids build houses on the property, you know, and this neat little plan. And so, after we got into it, I just realized I didn't have peace about it. And so, my emotions, in the beginning, were covering up the lack of peace that I had. And I should have waited longer before I even said anything to my kids, because by then, I had gotten them excited. And so, then, it was a harder thing for me to back out of it. But if you do that, the only thing you can really do is just go be honest with people and just say, "You know what? I let my emotions get the best of me, and I said this was what I felt like I was supposed to do". Or even, sometimes, we'll say, "This what God is leading me to do, but I realize now, that I just don't have peace about it".
Ginger: That's a great example for what colleen was asking about, quieting ourselves long enough to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying to us.
Joyce: Right, if you just wait, and I've got a lot of examples, but we don't have time to go into all of them. But the other thing I would say about how do you know when you're hearing from God, is we learn to hear from God by making mistakes. And so, everybody is going to make mistakes. You know, but experience with God is so valuable, and the only way you get that is through time.
Ginger: Great, okay. Well, we have several other questions that are specific, and will really help us to understand how to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit. Jennifer, from Illinois, says: "I've been unhappy at my job for awhile. So unhappy that I'm sick to my stomach, and I wake up with panic attacks. I keep feeling like God wants me to quit for the good of my health, but it's my main income and I have children to support and bills to pay. So, how do I know what to do in this situation"?
Joyce: Well, I think if she really feels that strongly about it that while she's still working there, she needs to start looking for something else. You don't want to spend your life somewhere where you're unhappy and miserable, especially not if it's getting to the point where you're sick.
Ginger: Physically impacted.
Joyce: And you know, one of the ways that God can prove himself to her is by providing another position for her, but it's not gonna just show up on her front porch, she'll have to look. But she can't just quit her job because she has a family to support, and so, you can do both at one time. Just step out and find out what God will do.
Ginger: Good. Alright, this question says, "How do I continue to be strong in my faith by following God's word when the rest of my family is against it? It feels like I'm alone in my faith walk, and it's really hard".
Joyce: Well, it is hard to be alone in your faith, but the bottom line is that we are to be God-pleasers not people-pleasers. And so, I mean, Paul said he would have missed the calling on his life if he would have tried to be popular with people. And I really wonder how many people actually do miss the call on their life or the best life that God has for them because people don't agree with them. I mean, really Ginger, if I would have followed people, I wouldn't be sitting here today, doing this. Because there was very, very few people that didn't just think I was stark-Raving mad because women didn't, it was just a time when women didn't really do this, and the denomination that I was part of didn't feel like that women should do this. And so, I lost friends, I had family that disagreed, and thankfully, my husband was not one of 'em. He was for me. And I had a couple of friends that really believe that God had called me, but it was tough. It was hard. But still you have to look at the future, and if you go with people then you're always gonna feel unfulfilled because you didn't do what you really felt like you were supposed to do. We really have to be true to our own heart or we're gonna be miserable in life.
Ginger: Yeah, there are so many choices before us and so these different things that God teaches us along the way are so helpful, and there are many, many choices that were making. So, here's another question: "I would love for God to show me and raise me up in the purpose he has created me for here on earth, however, I battle with the spirit of rejection. How do I follow the Holy Spirit when I'm afraid of disappointing him and feel like I'm not good enough for anything he would ask me to do"?
Joyce: Well, first of all, she's dealing with a lot of emotions that Satan is using to tell her lies, that if he can get her to believe them, which he obviously has, then even though they are lies, she-it still becomes her reality. And the Bible tells us that God will never reject us. We're accepted in him, if we're believers in Jesus Christ. We can't do enough right things to be acceptable to God. But the answer to what she's asking is to step out and find out. I really encourage people, if they're not for sure, but they really think this is what God wants 'em to do but they're not 100% for sure, you you have to be willing to be wrong to ever find out if you're right.
Ginger: That's a hard one for us, isn't it?
Joyce: Well, it's hard, especially for somebody who's coming at it from a standpoint of rejection. So, I think the first thing she has to do is study the word enough and spend enough time with God to really understand that he is never going to reject her. And you know, God sees our heart. So, if we're doing something that, I mean, really in our heart, we really believe it's the right thing to do, even if it's not, God will gently show us but we may not know until we step out and see that it doesn't work, or it just doesn't fit us, it's not right for us. When God first called me into ministry, I just wanted to be used by God. You know, I didn't even really know for sure that I was called to teach. I mean I didn't know what I was called to do, but I just had this passion to serve God. So, I took any opportunity that came along, and for a while, I went with our church on Saturday mornings down to the streets of downtown st. Louis and I passed out Gospel tracts. Well, I hated it. I just didn't like it. It just wasn't for me. Well, then, you almost feel bad. The devil can try to make you feel bad, "Well, why are you embarrassed to get out and share the Gospel with strangers"? But you know, some people are called to that and others aren't. And I don't believe that God calls us to do things that makes us miserable while we're doing it. And they needed nursery workers. So, I tried working in the nursery. And I always say, "It only took about two weeks for me and the kids to know that I was called to nursery work". But when I taught that was my sweet spot. And so, I had to do a couple of things that weren't right for me, but my heart was right. I mean, God didn't get mad at me. He wasn't disappointed in me. So, if her heart's right, that's all she really needs to be concerned about. God will work with her until she finds the exact, right thing.
Ginger: Yeah, that's very, very encouraging. Okay, this question says: "I want to involve God in every area of my life. I want him to fight my battles, but sometimes I try to solve those problems myself. How do I allow the Holy Spirit to take full control over my life"?
Joyce: I think it's a process. I think it's something that we learn, especially if a person has a strong personality. I mean, I'm very much a fixer, you know? Especially, I mean, if I don't have a problem, I'm more than happy to try to solve yours. You know, the first thing that happens to me when anybody tells me they have a problem, I start thinking how I can fix it for them. Well, that's not a bad trait. I think that's part of ministry. But that doesn't mean that's what God wants me to do. And so, I've learned by making mistakes, by doing some things right and doing some things wrong, how I'm supposed to handle situations like that. And letting go is difficult, especially if you have more of a controlling type personality, or like, in my case, I was abused in my childhood and I never had any proof, I mean, my first husband cheated on me and mistreated me. I never had any proof that people really cared enough about me to make right decisions for me. So, I had a very difficult time totally letting go and trusting God...
Ginger: That makes a lot of sense.
Joyce: To do the right thing. So, there again, I think studying how much God loves you, and how good God is, and you learn to trust him, but we only learn anything by doing it, you can only learn so much from reading it. But then, you have to have the life experience to go along with it. So, she's in the size same boat all the rest of us are, she has to step out and find out.
Ginger: Yeah, well, thank you. There are, like I said, there are just so many things that we need to feel the Holy Spirit... Let me rephrase that, not feel it, we need to be guided by the Holy Spirit, that there's a lot of questions that go along with that. But I think that reassurance that mistakes that we make are not failures, they're a learning process, and it's what God uses to get us where he needs us sometimes.
Joyce: And another thing, I just wanted to get this in, because I think it's really, really important. There are a lot of things in our life that God leaves up to us. I mean, he gives us a lot of free choice. And as long as we're following the spirit of the word, where we're not doing something that we know is against the Word of God, it's like, you know, if I have the money God doesn't care if I wanna get a new outfit, you know? But I know enough about the word to know if I'm just getting to the point where I'm being wasteful, and I'm buying more, and more, and more of something when I'm not even using what I have. But it took me awhile, especially for somebody who really wants to obey God in everything, if you're not careful the enemy can use that against you too, and then, you're not even making the decisions that God wants you to make.
Ginger: Yeah, we can become frozen.
Joyce: Right, yeah.
Ginger: Well, thank you for your help today.
Well, thank you. You know, our spiritual health is strongest when we're led and guided by the Holy Spirit. He is very creative and has different ideas for all of us. So, what works for one person may not work for you. The Holy Spirit wants to lead you, individually. And today, we're offering you a package of teaching, we call it, "My Healthy Life", package and it has in it, "Healthy Living: Spirit, Soul, and Body," four teachings on CD, and a, "Healthy Living," journal. I really hope that you get these resources and you become the healthiest, happiest person that you can be: body, soul, and spirit. Thank you for being with us today.