Joyce Meyer - Do You Have a Heart Murmur?
How many of you really wanna have a perfect heart toward God? And we found out, last night, that if you wanna boil it all down to one thing: what does God consider a perfect heart? And that's somebody who loves him with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. I mean, like really, really, really loves God and is fully, not partially, but fully committed to him. Everything you have, everything you are, belongs to God. You know it, and so it's at his disposal. And Jesus said, I think it's in John 14 that, "If you love me, you will obey me".
Well, I think you can hear that two different ways. You can hear it like, "Well, if you love me, you will obey me". I think it's more of a promise that, "If you really love me, obedience will be the fruit of that love". It's not gonna be a bunch of things you feel like you have to do that you struggle with. You're gonna realize that just because you love God, you want to do what he wants you to do. Now, there's always another side of us that wants to fight against anything that's good.
The Bible says that we are dead to sin but it doesn't say that sin is dead. So, as long as we're here on this earth, we're gonna have to deal with the temptation of sin. And the flesh sometimes, wants to do the sinful thing, but the spirit does not want to do the sinful thing. That's why sometimes, you feel like you're in a war, all the time, being pulled in two different directions. So, it's very simple if you feed your spirit the Word of God, and it comes in many different forms, from the time you walk in here, you're being drenched in the word. The music is full of the word. Everybody that's got up and said anything to you, it's full of the word.
And today, I wanna talk to you about the parable of the sower. That is so important in the Word of God because really, it's a parable about four different kinds of, the Bible says soil, but it's really talking about four different kinds of hearts. Four different conditions of the heart and how those different hearts hear, or don't hear the Word of God.
Now, there's a few thousand people here today and they'll be multiplied many more thousands and even millions that will watch by TV all around the world, and some will get more out of what I say than others will. Some will hear what I say and they'll take action on what I say, and they'll begin to see good changes in their life, but some won't really do anything with it. Some will stay focused on what I'm saying. Others will let their mind drift all over the place and they'll sit there with a smile on their face, but they really not getting anything because they're not really listening.
And so, I know what God has done in my life. And I know what he can do, and wants to do, and is doing in your lives. And I so much want you to have the good life that Jesus died for you to have. And the only thing that's gonna make that possible is for you to know the word and take action on what you hear. Hearing it and not doing it is pretty much useless. The only thing, if you just know a bunch of stuff, but you don't act on it then you just usually become proud of what all you know and wanna tell everybody else what to do. But if you're not doing it yourself, it's not gonna change your life. It's not just hearing, it's not just underlining in your Bible. It's doing what you hear.
And so, the purpose in coming to something like this is to either be encouraged that you know, "I am doing that", or, "I need to come up higher in that area. And boy, I'm glad I heard that today because I really need your help in that area, Lord". Don't ever even bother going to church if you don't go with the intent to learn something that will help you grow and become more Christ-like in your daily life. I mean, you know, some are like, "Man, I go to church every Sunday". Well, good for you. But can you remember the next day anything the pastor said? I hope that tomorrow when somebody says, "What did Joyce teach on"? You can tell 'em. Not just, "I don't know. But it was really good".
And interesting thing about this parable is Jesus told his disciples, "If you don't understand this parable, you will not be able to understand any of the parables". Wow, what a statement. If you do not understand this parable you will not understand any of the parables. And then, he also says in Mark 4:24, and this is very important to hear, "The measure of thought and study that you give to the truth that you hear is the measure of virtue and knowledge that will come back to you". Let me say it again. "The measure of thought and study", thought and study, thought and study, "That you give to the truth that you hear is the measure of virtue", which is another word for power, "And knowledge that will come back to you".
I'm doing my part. But now, if you don't do your part, well, you might a had a nice time, but I want you to have more than a good time. I don't want you to ever be sorry that you invested this time. And I mean, I want you, a year from now to be able to remember, "Something changed in my life, a year ago, when I went to that conference".
A story was told to me. The woman told it to me herself, and I think it's just such a good story. I'm gonna take the time to tell it. She was at one of my conferences years ago. That particular conference, we were serving meals and so, people sat at round tables, about maybe, eight, ten per table. And so, this lady came. She'd been abused. She had all kinds of problems in her life. And she came to me at the end of the conference and she said, "Well, I found out, this weekend, why I don't have any victory over any of my problems". And she said, "As I heard you teach, and then we'd talk this weekend amongst us", she said, "I found out that every one of those other women had, had similar problems and they all had victory and had been set free, but I hadn't". And she said, "As I listened to them talk, they talked about things God had told them to do and things God revealed to them, and they did it and this changed, and that changed". She said, "Do you know that every single thing that God told them, he's also told me? The only difference was they did it and I didn't".
God is talking to us and showing us things all the time. And we're talking in this conference about making a greater commitment. And so, let's let one of our goals be to make a commitment to listen to what God says. Come on. God is trying to give you answers that will keep you out of trouble. And he's not gonna change his mind. It doesn't do any good to ignore him, hoping that he'll come up with an easier answer the next time because he won't. And I know, that I know, that I know any person sitting in this room, because God is no respecter of persons, and the word works for everybody, "Whosoever will".
Any person that will learn the word, I mean, study that word and get it down on the inside of you where it's not just information, but it becomes revelation, and you will act on what it says, repeatedly, not just one time to see if it works. You didn't get your life in a mess by doing one thing wrong, one time. And it's not gonna get straightened out because you do one thing right, one time. You get committed to it, and you do what God says over and over, nobody can do that and come back and tell me that God did not change your life. So, I guess I'm putting a little bit of responsibility on you today, to say, your victory is not up to those of us who labor and study to bring you the word. It's up to what you do with what you hear. Amen? Alright. The parable of the sower.
Mark 4:1-9, "Again Jesus began to teach them by the lake. And the crowd that gathered around him was so large that he got into a boat and sat in it out on the lake, while all the people were along the shore at the water's edge. He taught them many things by parables". Now, a parable is a story that makes a point. "And in his teaching he said: 'listen'"! I like that he started with that. "'listen!'", exclamation Mark. "'A farmer went out to sow his seed. And as he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. And it sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants, so they did not bear grain. Still others fell on good soil. And it came up, grew and produced a crop, some multiplying thirty, some sixty, and some a hundred times as much as was sown'. Then Jesus said, 'whoever has ears to hear, let him hear'".
It's kind of interesting, some of the little one-liners, that he throws in there, that we just probably never even give much thought to that, let him who has ears to hear, hear. And so, really what he's saying is, "Okay, now, I'm saying something that's for everybody". He starts out by saying, "Listen". And then he's saying, "If you have ears", obedient ears. In one place the Bible talks about having a circumcised ear. You know, I can say the same thing and different people can hear it differently depending on the condition of their heart, and some people won't hear it at all. It's something they don't like, so they just, right away, throw it out before it ever gets a chance to do anything.
Now, in our world today of supermarkets and machinery operated farming, we might not immediately relate to this parable of the sower because Jesus used examples that were relative to the culture that he lived in. It's a parable drawn from the farming community of Jesus's day. But his hearers would have immediately recognized the scene and related to the message Jesus was bringing. Everybody then made a living by farming except the very, very wealthy.
Now, my grandmother had a garden. I was in her garden quite a bit. So, I know a little bit about farming. I'm certainly, not a farmer, but I know a little bit. Some of you've planted gardens, if not vegetables at least flowers, so, we know that you never get any kind of a harvest unless first, a seed is planted. Amen? As long as the earth remains, there will be seed time and harvest. You plant your seed in the ground, then there's always time, and then eventually, there is a harvest. Well, the sower, who is sowing, is the Holy Spirit.
Now, he's using my mouth today, but it's the Holy Spirit sowing the seed of God's word into your life. If you take this and you really hear it, you really grab ahold of something... I realize you probably can't remember every single thing that I say, but we've made it so easy today, people don't even have to look at their Bibles. Everything's on the screen for 'em. And I think sometimes, we haven't done people a big favor. Everything in life is so easy now, that we don't have to... You should see what I used to have to do to study for one message.
Now, you just get out your computer, I mean, just like that you can find anything you want. You could even ask for a sermon on such-and-such a subject. I mean, I wouldn't even have to think, I could just download somebody else's sermon, and get up here and give it to you. But the thing that makes it good is the amount of work that I put into it, and how many times I go over it, and over it, and over it. And I'll tell you what, I'm convinced when I get started, but by the time I get up here, I mean, this is not a hope-so to me, I know, that I know, that I know so I could bring it across in a manner that I believe it so much, I can get you to believe it. But that doesn't happen without work and effort.
I read a statement in book that I really like, "Anybody can be as close to God as they wanna be, it just all depends on how much time they're willing to put into it". God doesn't just pick out a few handful of special people that are the ones that are, you know, really close to him and everybody else just doesn't get that opportunity. We all have choices in life about what we're gonna do with our time. And so, there's nothing said in this parable about, "Well, it worked good for some people, not for others because the quality of the seed that some people got was better than others". The seed that I'm putting out today is perfect. It's a healthy seed it. It's a great seed.
So, there's nothing wrong with the seed. If you don't get anything out of this, it's not because of the seed. It's the condition of your heart and how you hear. Four types of soil, four types of hearts. The first was hard soil. It was so hard that when the sower, he basically, just like he had a bag around his neck and it was full of seed and he's just like, throwing it out there. And that's really kind of like what I'm doing today, I'm just like... Throwing it out there. And it's thrilling to think that we're here, in Ohio, with a few thousand people here in the room, but this message is being recorded and will go all around the world in 100 different languages.
So, boy, are we sowing today? Throwing seed out there. But you know, some people will run across this on their television and say, "Oh, yeah, another one of those Bible thumpers", and just, because they've got a heart problem. They've got an attitude. Some people have attitudes against people like me and they don't even know why they have the attitude. It's amazing the things that we believe and don't even know why we believe it. "Oh, somebody said, one time. So, we said, 'okay'". Some seed fell on thin, rocky soil. Some fell among thorns. Others fell on good soil. He didn't give any further explanation, right at that moment, to the crowd. But later, Jesus took his disciples aside and he told them, "If you cannot understand this parable you will not be able to understand any of the parables".
Well, to be honest, I never really thought about that nearly as much as I did when I was preparing for this. And I thought, "You know, this is really important". He's saying, "Look, if you don't get this, you're not gonna understand any of the parables". So, let me try to break this down and see why Jesus said that. First of all, people didn't understand why Jesus came. They didn't get it. He came to bring a revolution. And a revolution kind of means that things get turned upside-down and somebody comes in and starts doing stuff that nobody's ever seen before and it's gonna bring big changes. People misunderstood the type of revolution he was bringing.
Now, listen, they wanted and expected him to rise up against unjust government and set up an earthly throne for himself and rule the world. His disciples really thought that he was gonna set up a throne somewhere and they were gonna get to be his important guys. And he was just gonna give orders and make everything right. Jesus announced from the beginning of his sermon, I mean, of his ministry, "The Kingdom of God is here". He was introducing a very different kinda kingdom, though. And it's a kingdom that we live in, in the midst of the world that we live in, which is a type of a kingdom. We, the believers in Jesus Christ, we live in another kingdom that's kind of like a secret kingdom that nobody can understand unless they are a believer. We get it, but the world doesn't get it. Amen?
I just did a whole series of messages, a conference or two ago, about the secret kingdom that we live in. And I like to call it the upside-down kingdom because it's just totally opposite from the world. If you want more, you gotta give away some of what you got. If you wanna be first, you gotta be willing to be last. If somebody takes advantage of you and treats you unjustly, you don't have to waste your life hating them, you get to forgive them. C'mon, you better be a little more excited than that.
Do you know that people that are unsaved have no option but to hate, and want to take revenge, and be full of bitterness, and let that just eat them up, and ruin their life. But we have another option. God enables us. He enables us to actually have compassion on the person who mistreated us. And we can say like Jesus did, "Father, forgive them. They don't know what they're doing". He wanted them to live the best life imaginable in that kingdom. The whole kingdom, this secret kingdom is based on one thing, hearing, understanding, and taking action on the Word of God.
I don't even know how to tell somebody who doesn't already know how powerful the words are in this book. I mean, mike was sharing just a couple of testimonies with me today, from a couple of beautiful amish ladies that are here. And one of 'em said she'd been abused like I was, and that there's quite a bit of that in that male-dominated community. And she was looking for help, went to the public library and found a bunch of my books. I think, got, "Battlefield of mind", and her life got completely turned around and now she's teaching. And it's not because it's my book. That has nothing to do with it. It's the Word of God. That's how powerful the Word of God is.
Jesus knew if they could not understand this parable that they weren't going to understand any of the parables. Now, I want to take, there's four types of hearts that he's talking about, four kinds of soil. Well, the good soil is very easy to understand. That's not hard. That's the person who sits here, and I mean, man, they're focused. They get it. They're taking a few notes. They're gonna go home, they're gonna study this thing until it becomes a reality in their life. They're gonna have a harvest.
And I know somebody's thinking, "Well, why some thirty, why some sixty, why some a hundred"? I don't know. Haven't figured that out myself, yet, so... I could give you a good guess. It probably has something to do with just how obedient they are, and how they live their life, and so on, and so forth. But hey, I'd rather have a thirty-fold harvest than to have no harvest, wouldn't you? But the heart that I want to talk to you, probably, about the most, and then, I'll mention the other two, is the first one. Which is, where the seed was scattered on the ground and satan came immediately, and stole what was sown before it ever even had a chance to begin to take root, he stole it. And that, actually, is a hard heart.
What causes a hard heart? Well, there's a whole bunch of things but a legalistic rule keeper, the pharisees, boy, they've got hard hearts. They know all the rules and regulations, but they won't give anybody mercy. Judgmental, they judge everything. They're right and everybody else in the world is wrong. In Acts 28:26 and 27, it says, "'Go to this people and say, "You will be ever hearing but never understanding: you will be ever seeing but never perceiving". For this people's heart has become calloused,'" hard, "'They hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise, they might see, and hear, and understand, and I would heal them'".
I had a hard heart, at one time, because of the abuse I went through in my childhood. And when you have a hard heart, there's bitterness in there, there's resentment. You have a very difficult time. It even aggravates you, if people tell you, you can have a better life. You're sour and you want everybody else around you to be sour, too. I can actually, remember when Dave's joy used to make me aggravated. Because I'd had so much hurt in my life, and I was kinda like, jealous of people who had, had these nice, little lives. And you know, now, you're giving me advice and you don't even begin to know what you're talkin' about. Well, that's not gonna help us get well.
Can I just say something? Feeling sorry for yourself never helps you get better. Feeling sorry for yourself is just a waste of time. And I don't mean that like, I don't care that you're hurting, but I've been there, done that. I wasted years sittin' around feeling sorry for myself. And God finally said, "You can be pitiful or powerful, but you can't be both. So, take your pick". You give up the pity and God'll give you power. You give up the ashes and he'll give you beauty. Amen? Hard hearts, people that are hard-hearted are quick to judge. They have a very difficult time showing mercy. They have a difficult time forgiving.
And so, the word can't really get into their hard hearts. Hard-hearted people are those with preconceived ideas due to things they believe and don't even know why they believe them. People who flip past Christian programming on television due to a preconceived idea, "That's just a bunch of junk". They may be basing their opinion on one or two bad stories that they've heard. And you know, there are people that are dishonest. But, boy, don't get a cynical attitude about everybody because a few people have done something wrong. Some people get hard hearts because they've tried church, thinking they were trying God. And they happened to get into a wrong church that wasn't friendly, or was judgmental and so, they get a hard heart against everything.
Now, I'm gonna talk to you for just a minute about the condition of our world today. And you know, the Bible says that, "In the last days deception will increase to the point that if God would not have shortened the days for the sake of the very elect, no man could stand against the deception coming on the earth". Everyday, we need to pray that we will not be deceived. Don't think you're above it. Don't think it can't happen to you. To be deceived means to believe a lie. And I can tell you every one of us, myself included, probably still in our life, there's some kind of lie that we're still believing that the devil's using to steal something from us that God wants us to have. And the only way that we can overturn that lie is by knowing the truth.
Today, there's a humanistic agenda that is rampant in our society, and it's deceiving large numbers of people, even Christians. And humanism is simply centered on human interests or values. It's a philosophy that rejects supernaturalism, or God. And stresses an individual's dignity, worth, and capacity for self-realization through reasoning. Man, have I ever gotten myself in trouble in my life through reasoning. Whoo. Or simply put, the humanist wants to eliminate God. That's what's going on in our society today. They're trying to get God out of everything concerning government, and trying to get God out of our schools.
Do you know our children are the future? And if they're successful in taking God completely away from them, what in the world is this place gonna look like 50 years from now? I mean, we're in a very tedious place in our society today. Humanistic people don't want accountability. Now, listen to this. They want to do what they feel like doing, not do what they don't feel like doing, and have someone else pay for their lack of discipline. Amen? Humanistic people are self-centered. They want immediate gratification and they feel entitled to have it. They wanna run their own lives with no accountability.
The main reason why they refuse to believe in God is because if they admit God exists, then they would need to follow his ways and commands, and frankly, they just want to do what they wanna do. Hardness of heart develops from being hurt, not allowing God to heal the pain. It can also come from the reception of too many worldly ideas, especially if a person has none of God's word to offset the rest of what they hear. I feel sorry for people who watch television and don't know the Word of God. I mean, if the television set is your educator, you are in deep trouble. Watching too much of the news can give you a hard heart.
Let me tell you something. Everything in the news is bad. But look at me. There are more good things going on in this world, than there are bad ones, we just don't hear about 'em. Another thing that'll give you a hard heart is allowing yourself to stay angry. Please, please, please don't stay mad at people. Do what God asked you to, and forgive, and forgive quickly, and forgive often. Refuse to live your life bitter and resentful. The shallow, stony ground is like believers who have no real depth. You know, they got it underlined in their Bible, but there's no roots in their life. They kinda, sorta know that God loves 'em until they have a problem, then they wonder if God loves 'em. But when you're rooted and grounded in the love of God, no matter what happens you never say, "Well, God, don't you love me"? We need to be rooted and grounded in what we believe. And I mean, "No, I believe it. And no devil is ever gonna take it away from me". Amen?
The shallow Christian lives by what he feels, and what he sees, and what he thinks. And then, the seed that fell among thorns, and that would be about a four-part series, so... It's just basically, letting all the worry, it says, "The worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word and make it unfruitful". See, you gotta make your mind up if you wanna be in the world or in the kingdom. You can be in the world, but you can't let it be in you. Amen? Matter of fact, God wants us in the world. But he wants us behaving the way Jesus did so we can be a light to the world and they can change. Be the good soil, that the word can be planted in your heart.
Joyce: Well, it's very important that we keep our hearts tender before God by allowing him to heal us of any pain, forgiving people who have hurt us. So, now, let's go a little bit deeper into this topic. Ginger's here with me today, with some of the questions that you've sent in about how to keep your heart right before God. Well, Ginger there's so much violence in the world today, and so many people that are hurting, and so many people that are angry, and so much injustice. And I think, there's probably, never been a time where it might be harder to really keep your heart tender before God.
Ginger: Oh, I think you're absolutely right.
Joyce: I know we have some questions about that.
Ginger: Well, there are so many things coming at us all the time. And you've been teaching on the parable of the sower, and keeping that heart right and one of the first questions comes from donna, from Dallas, and she says, "What characteristics and behaviors represent the good soil"? So, what do we need, to be good soil, for God's word to sink into and take root?
Joyce: Well, the more that the character of Christ is developed in us, the better it is. You know, when you have a murmuring heart, you're never happy, you're always complaining about something, or when you've got a lot of jealousy, or envy, or especially, anger, there's somebody that hurt you and you won't forgive them, it's hard for the word to go in. There's a scripture in James, in the amplified Bible that says, "The word must be sown in a heart of peace by someone who works for and makes peace". And so, if I bring that to the most practical level, that's like, if you're coming to my conference, you need to get there in peace, and I need to get there in peace because if I don't have peace in my heart when I'm sharing God's word, it's not gonna have his anointing on it. And if you don't have peace in your heart, you're not gonna be able to receive it. And I think we all know that even though Jesus left us his peace, that we must decide to stay peaceful. And there's just so many things today that really, the devil uses constantly to try to steal our peace.
Ginger: And I think that's the big question for everyone who is saying, "I want peace", but there's so much going on in the world. All those things that you were just talking about. How do I have a peaceful heart when the world around me isn't peaceful?
Joyce: Well, you know, in the Amplified Bible of John 14:27, Jesus said, "'my peace I leave with you. Not as the world gives, do I give unto you. But my own special peace, I give and bequeath unto you. So, stop allowing ourselves to be upset and disturbed, fearful and intimidated'". So, we actually, really do have peace because the Prince of Peace lives on the inside of us, as believers in Christ. But we do need to learn how to not let ourselves get upset.
And I know people are gonna say right away, "Well, I can't help it". But you can develop a habit of staying on top of those things. Because you don't just go from happy to too angry. I mean, you can feel that emotion rising up in you. And the more you think wrong things, the more angry you're going to become. So, to be honest with you, I don't think it does any good, although, we do it, we'll continue to look at somebody that's a pretty new believer and say, "Now, you know, stop allowing yourselves to be upset". And, because what I have found out is the only way that you can do that, is number one, you have to really get to know God.
Really believe that he's good, and that he does care about your problem, know about your problem, and that if you release it to him, he will take care of it. We don't know exactly when or how, but God is faithful and he will not leave us without answers. And the second thing I've found, is we have to come to a point of really recognizing that we really can't solve our own problems. Just to put it bluntly, I'm not smart enough to run my own life and do a good job without God's help. So, the more you see God work in your life, the more experience you have with him, the easier it becomes.
Ginger: And that leads us right into our next question coming from mike, in lake worth, Florida. "How do we maintain keeping our hearts right with God consistently? Are there things that we have to be doing on a regular basis to maintain that right heart"?
Joyce: Okay, well, most people probably get a heart check-up once a year when they go to their doctor. I mean, I went to a doctor for years. Every year, he did an ekg just to make sure my heart was all right. So, why not, in your time with God, your prayer time, your meditation time, why not just take a few minutes and say, "Jesus, let's do a heart check and show me anything that's in my heart that's not pleasing to you". And to be honest, if you just think about it, it doesn't take very long. I mean, like, name three or four things that you know would be wrong heart attitudes.
Ginger: Well, I can just go for myself. I mean, there's anger, there's complaining, annoyances, maybe a little bit a mix of all those things. But I get easily annoyed, and I know that's something that separates me from God and makes my heart not where it should be.
Joyce: And so, really, if you've been studying the word for any length of time, you really are a lot more, "Spiritually smart", than what you might think. I remember, one time, having a problem and I just didn't know what to do, didn't know what to do. And I was praying, "Oh, God, you know, I don't know what to do". And he spoke back in my heart, "Just do what you'd tell somebody else to do".
See, we've always got good advice for somebody else, but we don't always take our own advice. And so, Jesus said, "'if you love me, you will obey me'". And I think the more deeply we fall in love with Jesus, the easier it becomes to obey him because we come to the point where we would rather do anything than offend God. And we need to keep our hearts right, so we can hear him, and you know. In the beatitudes, Jesus said, "'blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God'". And to me, that means, if I can keep my heart pure, I'm gonna be able to see God's direction and hear what he wants me to do.
Ginger: I love hearing this from you because, the questions that come in, you've experienced so much of what people are talking about. And faith, from Los Angeles, says, "If we've been emotionally wounded, what are some things we can do to keep ourselves from developing a hard heart"? And that almost seems like the natural thing is, "I've got to protect myself. My heart will get hard".
Joyce: Right. Well, I think first of all, you have to realize that most of the people who hurt you, did it out of some hurt in their own life. You know, my father sexually abused me and you know, most people that watch my program have heard about that nightmare. But, he had been hurt in his childhood too. So, hurting people, hurt people. That was something that really helped me when I was on my journey to forgiving my dad, you know, what did Jesus say? "'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do'".
Now, that doesn't mean they're not responsible. I'm not saying that at all. That doesn't mean that you know, they don't need to be dealt with and brought to a place of true repentance. But, people, you know, God really cares about his children. And when we hurt God's children, he doesn't take it kindly. And so, we need to realize that people really don't realize how dangerous it is to mistreat God's people. Stephen said the same thing when he was being stoned. "'Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do'".
Now, they knew they were stoning him, but they didn't really realize how serious it was. And I think that's part of what we've lost sight of today, is we don't really realize how serious and how devastating it can be to our own lives to stay angry, to get a hard heart, to be jealous and envious. And so, those are all emotions that satan will work double-time to try to get us to have because he knows it will keep us from enjoying the presence of God, and also, from really understanding the word.
Ginger: So, whether, we've had something that was a terrible wound to the soul, or we just have those daily things that affect you, what is the impact of complaining?
Joyce: Well, actually, people don't realize this, I don't think. And it took me a long time to get it, but complaining actually, really opens the door for the devil in our lives. And that's proven out in, I think, it's 2 Corinthians. Where the example is given of how the Israelites murmured and complained and poisonous serpents got into the camp and killed twenty-three thousand of them in one day.
Ginger: Yeah, what a horrible thought.
Joyce: God is so good to us, but, what happens? I've been thinking a lot lately about perspective. You know, when we focus on what's wrong, then the more you focus on it, pretty soon, that's all you see. And you don't have to try to complain, that comes natural. But we do have to sometimes work with the Holy Spirit on remaining thankful. And so, that's something I do every day, on purpose, is think about the things that I have to be thankful for. And so, it's so important that we don't murmur and complain simply because it's just an affront to God. He is so good. And the more we talk about God's goodness, the more we recount and recall, and remember the good things that he does for us, the less likely we are to get a heart murmur, as I call it.
Ginger: Well, thank you, Joyce. We appreciate your help, as always.