Joyce Meyer - Power Gone Sour
You know, several of the people that Jesus touched, man, they wanted to travel with him right on the spot. They were ready to walk off from everything and travel with him, and he sent them home. And he said, "Go home, and show them what great things I've done for you". You know what? If it don't work at home, then it's broke. "Go home and show them, show them what I've done for you. Go them and show them". If you've been a nightmare, go home and be peaceful for a couple of years and see what that does for your family. Get a spirit-filled personality and become a body just holy filled and flooded with God. That will get some attention.
When God touched my life, I didn't have to run around and try to tell everybody that I'd been touched. They started asking me, "What's different about you? What's going on with you? You're acting different than you used to". Let's let our personalities be a dispenser for the Holy Spirit. Now, this has hand lotion in it. This is a dispenser and it has hand lotion in it. So I go up. Hoo, there you go. Got just what I wanted right out of there. So let me ask ya a question: What happens when people push you a little bit? What are they gettin'? They're getting some love, joy, peace, patience, goodness, kindness, meekness, gentleness, humility, self-control. What happens when our fruit is squeezed? Are we just kind of like one of those oranges that's been ripened under gas somewhere and it looks beautiful in the store, and when you go cut it open it's just a dried-up mess? Uh-oh, I tell ya we're going deep tonight.
Let's look at Genesis 12:1 and 2, "Now in Haran the Lord said to Abram, go for yourself for your own advantage away from your country, from your relatives, from your father's house, to the land that I will show you". Now sometimes, folks, you just can't grow in God if you don't get away from some stuff. So I'm just gonna just leave that there with you for a little bit. Oh, man, I could say some stuff but I better be careful. Okay, I will. You know what? Now let me just preempt this by saying this, I don't care what denomination you belong to as long as they got good, solid doctrine. This is not about my denomination, your denomination. But I'm gonna say this, if you're in a dead church, don't be expecting to grow while you're there.
"Well, I don't want to hurt mama's feelings". You know, sometimes if you really want to have the power of God in your life, you gotta make some unpopular decisions. We do too much to please people and then we end up very unpleased and even bitter and resentful because we feel like everybody else has stolen our life. Enough said. Just if you want to have life, then you can't be hanging out with dead stuff. We're gonna talk about dead stuff a little bit more here in a minute. But so actually a lot of Abram's family was idol worshipers and that's why God said, "You go away from there".
"Now in Haran the Lord said to Abram, go for yourself" he said, "This is for you". "For your own advantage from your relatives and your father's house, to the land that I will show you". Now watch this. "And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you with abundant increase of favors and I will make your name famous and distinguished, and you will become a blessing dispensing good to others". You become like a Holy Ghost dispensary, and you can just pray that somebody will push your button so the Holy Spirit pop-up. Let me ask again, what do people get when they push you?
Now, the Bible uses the phraseology, "Put on and put off". And I really love to teach on this because both of those are action words. It's not just something that happens. It says, "Put on Christ. Put off the old man. Put on the new man". These are decisions that we make about how we're gonna behave. But now let me just quickly say this before we go any further. No matter what kind of decision I make or you make, it's not gonna work if it's not energized and backed up by the power of the Holy Spirit. So I don't ever want to come across like I'm just saying, "This is what you need to do and boy, you just need to go home and do it". Yes, we need to do those things, but we cannot do them without him. Jesus said, "Apart from me, you can do nothing". That's why we must really depend on the Holy Spirit who has come to live in close fellowship with us.
Listen, we've got all the help we need living on the inside of us. I said you have got all the help you need living on the inside of you. Matter of fact, let me just go ahead and tell ya, if you've got some kind of an addictive bondage in your life, you have got the help that you need to resist it on the inside of you. You do, yes, you do. "Oh, I can't, I can't". Stop saying you can't and start saying, "I can. The power of the Holy Ghost is in my life to enable me to do what I need to do. I can do it, not by myself but through Christ, I can do what I need to do". And you know what? The moment that you believe, really believe and stop living in fear that that thing's got power over you, the moment you believe, you'll be free from it, the moment you really believe. Close fellowship, close fellowship.
So I'm gonna read you actually three scriptures here that talk to us about our behavior, but I want to make it very clear that you can't behave, and I can't behave, the way the Bible tells us to without this wonderful power of the Holy Spirit having full reign in our lives. So Colossians 3, 12 through 14. So what this is talking about is we need to be covered spiritually. We need to be clothed spiritually, the same way you put on physical clothes, you need to put on spiritual clothing and the way you do that really for me I think is just through making some decisions and asking God to back it up with his power. Make a decision, ask God to back it up with his power. God can't do anything through you if you don't make a choice because we have the right of free choice. Amen?
The power of choice so he says, "Clothe yourselves, as God's own chosen ones his own picked representatives, who are purified and holy and well-beloved by God himself, by putting on behavior marked by tenderhearted pity, mercy, kind feelings, a lowly opinion of yourself" and that doesn't mean like thinking you're no good. That just means humility. "Gentle ways, patience which is tireless and long-suffering," and I love this part, "And has the power to endure whatever comes, with good temper". Wow. "Be gentle and forbearing with one another and, if one has a difference a grievance or complaint against another, readily pardoning each other: even as the Lord has freely forgiven you, so must you also forgive. And above all these things put on love". Just put on.
Colossians 3:8 and 9, just bear with me a minute. "But now put away and rid yourselves completely of all these things: anger, rage, bad feelings toward others, curses and slander, foulmouthed abuse, shameful utterances from your lips! Don't lie to each another, for you have stripped off the old unregenerate self with evil practices, and you have now clothed yourself with the new spiritual man".
So we see this put off the old stuff, put on the new stuff. And for me I think it's just as simple as reading the word and saying, "You know, I agree with that, God, and I'm not willing to keep acting that way. I'm deciding to act this way". But then I go right to God and say, "But we both know that I cannot do it without you. And so whatever success I have today, you're gonna get the credit and where I fail, I'm gonna take the blame. And I probably won't hit it 100% today, but I'm a get up again tomorrow and give it another go and the next day, and the next day and the next day. And you're gonna keep changing me from glory to glory," until we're finally transformed into his image.
Don't have leaves, have fruit. I hope somebody in the building is feeling even a little bit convicted. You know the apostle Paul made this statement that just still just boggles my brain. He said, "Follow me as I follow Christ". Now how many of us would be comfortable saying to all of our friends, "If you act like me, you're gonna be in good shape"? We really should be able to say that. I mean we really should be able to say that. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 4:12 that we are to be a pattern for other people to follow, a pattern in faith, a pattern in conduct. Watch me and I'll show ya what it means to be a Christian. Come on, you out there tonight? Just watch me and I'll show you what it means to have Christ in your life. Watch this victory. Look at this good fruit. And especially when you used to be a nightmare and now people see the change in your life, you can't argue with that. To be honest, if you're just really a mess, you should rejoice because now God's got a lot of great things he can do that will shock everybody.
Now, you are anointed. Every single person who has Christ as their Savior is anointed. You have an anointing of the Holy Ghost on your life. And that anointing translates into power, enablement, ability, efficiency and might. You have power, Holy Ghost oomph. And that anointing, where there's an anointing, there's life. Now we need to get a little better at discerning when something's dead because if it's dead that means God's not in it or God's not on it. That's why the Bible talks about dead works. Dead works are works of our flesh. It's us trying to do what only God can do. It's me saying, "I can do that".
Dead works was like when Abram and Sarah decided since she wasn't getting pregnant that Abram should now take her handmaid, and they had concocted this crazy plan that just did nothing but 'cause them problems for years and years and years. That's called a work of the flesh, a dead work. Dead works wear us out and never give us the result we're looking for. Did you hear me? Dead works wear us out and never give us the result that we're looking for. If something is of God, even though you may go through a period of standing firm, it will ultimately work. If it is of God, it will work.
Let's look at Ecclesiastes 10:1. I don't think in all the years I've taught I've ever used this scripture so. But I thought it was kind of cool for this message tonight. "Dead flies cause the ointment of the perfumer to putrefy and send forth a vile odor". Okay now, you know, ointment is just another word for anointing. And actually the anointing oil that was poured on the priests and the prophets in the Old Testament was a perfume, was oil, mixed with all these spices that turned it into this sweet-smelling perfume. So let's just look at it like this. Dead stuff causes the anointing to be hindered and everything in our life starts to stink. Come on, let's get rid of the dead flies. Let's don't let it mess up our anointing, amen?
All right, now. Are you able to discern when the anointing is present and when it's not? That is so valuable to us because to be honest, somebody can put on a slick show and there not be 1 ounce of anointing there. Do you hear me? Don't be so overly impressed by just all the outward stuff. You make sure there's fruit and look for life and look for the anointing. Is something anointed? I don't care how polished it is, if it's not anointed, it's not gonna do you any good. We gotta have the anointing. When somebody preaches to you under the anointing, it penetrates and goes in and makes a change in your life. But it must be anointed.
Jesus said, "My words, they are spirit and they are life". Now, we need to get good enough to realize when there's been a decline in the anointing on our life, other things we might be dealing with. We have to get sensitive to knowing, "Is there something not right here that I need to maybe get a little handle on"? Let's look at Luke chapter 2 for just a minute. "Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year to the passover feast". It's talking about Jesus, Mary and Joseph. "And when he was twelve years old, they went up, as was their custom. And when the feast was ended, as they were returning, the boy Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem. But now his parents did not know it".
So Jesus wasn't with them anymore and they didn't know it. Wow. I pray, God, that I'm never in a situation where he's not with me and I don't know it. Come on. I mean our society is full of churches that Jesus himself wouldn't go to. Now there's a lot of great churches, a lot of wonderful, wonderful, wonderful pastors. I'd strongly advocate being plugged into a good, local church. You need that connection. You need that commitment. You need that pastoral oversight. You need the accountability of a body of believers. All I'm asking is that you go to one that's alive where you can grow and flourish and serve and maybe get your bottom smacked a little bit if you get out of line. Come on, that's all right too. They didn't know it.
Verse 44, "But, supposing him to be in the caravan" now you see, this is where we make our mistake if we just assume and presume and suppose that he's with us. But oops, where's Jesus? "They traveled on a day's journey," thinking he was with them, "And then they sought him diligently, looking up and down for him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances. And when they failed to find him, they now went back to Jerusalem, looking for him up and down". Now I'm just kind of throwing out some tidbits here. You know, sometimes you gotta go back to the place where you lost what you had.
Okay, now, you know, just to say I've said it so I don't get anybody telling me I've got bad doctrine, obviously we don't lose Jesus. What I'm talking about I mean we really don't even lose the anointing because the Bible says it abides on us and it's here to stay. But we can have greater measures of the anointing or less measures of the anointing. We can have greater power or less power in our life depending on how we live. Because the Bible makes it clear that God will not anoint the flesh. Did you hear me? No anointing oil was poured on the flesh. So if I'm just carnal and walking in the flesh, God's not gonna anoint that. Where I find the anointing is when I begin to behave like him.
So they assumed he was there, he wasn't. They've gone on a day. Didn't have him. Now all of a sudden they're realizing, "Whoops, something's wrong. Jesus ain't here". So now they had to go back to where they thought maybe they left him. All right, now watch this 'cause I think this is worth mentioning too. Verse 45, "And when they failed to find him, they went back to Jerusalem, looking for him up and down all the way". Now watch this. "After three days they found him". Now I'm just gonna make this point, you can do with it what you want. They lost him in one day, it took them three days to find him. In other words, it's easier to lose our power than it is to get it back once we give it up. And that's not meant to frighten anybody. It's just meant to say, let's value what we have. Let's treat it precious. Let's not grieve the Holy Spirit. Let's not quench the Holy Spirit. I don't want to give up what I've got because I don't want to go through the work of trying to get it back. Amen?
Listen, I know what it's like to preach under the anointing, and I know what it's like to not preach under the anointing. It's only happened to me maybe four or five times in my life, but they were good lessons for me. And I want to tell you something, when I start looking at my watch hoping it's gonna be over soon, I'm in trouble.
One more example, Samson. Boy, Samson had a case of power gone sour. It's really kind of sad what happened to him. We're almost done. "And when he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting to meet him. And the Spirit of the Lord came mightily upon Samson, and the ropes on his arms became as flax that had caught fire, and his bonds melted off his hands. And he found a still moist jawbone of a donkey and reached out and took it and with that one jawbone of a donkey, he killed 1.000 men with it," all because of the anointing. I mean with Moses, God anointed a stick and he parted the Red Sea with it. I'm just telling you, you don't have much. I mean you don't have to have much. All God said to Moses was, "What's in your hand? If I anoint what's in your hand, man, watch out". Are you there?
So Samson was supernaturally strong because God's special anointing was on his life, and he had been told that he had to take the vow of a Nazarite and that meant that he could not cut his hair. And so the enemy, of course, sent a woman after him to tempt him to try to find out his secret of his strength. Her name was Delilah and sure enough he caved in and finally told her what the secret was. And while he was sleeping, she cut his hair. And now let's look at chapter 16, verse 20, "And she said, the Philistines are upon you, Samson"! Now she's there with him. She's cut his hair. He doesn't know that his strength is gone. He doesn't know that the anointing is gone. And it is gone because he did what God told him not to do. "The Philistines are upon you! And he awoke out of his sleep and said, I will go out as I have done time after time and shake myself free. For Samson did not know that the Lord had departed from him". Wow.
You know what? What got him in trouble was, first of all, he disobeyed God and then he just woke up and thought, "Well, I'll just go do what I've done before". You can't just assume because you were good at it last week that you're gonna be good at it today. And sometimes when people have a lot of power and a lot of influence... now just think about this, they're being successful. Samson had power. He had influence. He was being successful. Sometimes they start to think then they can just do whatever they want to and God's power will still stay with them. But it don't work that way. If you got power, don't end up with power gone sour someday. Stay strong in God. Keep depending on him all the way through and the more successful you are, the more you need to depend on God because success in itself is a temptation to draw you away from God.