Joyce Meyer - Are You Frustrated with Yourself?
Well, welcome to enjoying everyday life, and we are so glad that you're with us here today. Today, this is what I'm gonna talk about. I don't know if you can see it from everywhere, but it simply says, "Are you frustrated with yourself"? I should at least get a few giggles out of that. I wanna talk to you about entering the rest of God concerning yourself, your faults, the things that you realize, that areas you need to grow in and you know that God is dealing with you about those areas, but you still just keep having difficulty with that.
You know, the apostle Paul had the same issue. I'm sure I won't quote it exactly but in Romans 7 starting in about verse 15, he says, "You know, the thing I wanna do, I can't do. The thing I don't wanna do, I always find myself doing it". Anybody relate to that? I always say, "We can make such plans for holiness laying in bed in the morning". And everything is great till you put your feet on the floor. I always used to say, "I could be so spiritual until the people came home".
We do pretty good if it's just us and the Lord, but it's people that God lets us practice on. And isn't it interesting that God always puts us with people that are not like us. And I might even go so far as to say, he seems to always manage to put us with some that are just a little bit irritating to us. Of course, we forget that we're also irritating to somebody else, but we kinda let that one go. If you can't learn to enter God's rest concerning yourself, you can never, never, never enjoy your life.
Now, I discovered, quite a few years ago, that the biggest problem I think that most people have and it causes a ripple of other problems in your life is, to be honest, a lot of people just don't like themselves. I mean, they really... I think we don't even always think about that. But I finally, realized that was my biggest problem. I didn't like myself and so, I was always comparing myself with other people that I thought really had it all together. Although, I realize now, they didn't have it all together either.
You know, we get pretty good at pretending. "Well, how are you"? "Well, praise the Lord. I'm great". That doesn't necessarily mean that you are. "How's everything going with the family"? "Oh, just wonderful, awesome" you know, I could be having the biggest temper tantrum in the world, and I remember one day my pastor rang my doorbell and I looked out the window and, "Oh, the pastor's here. My gosh". Well, you know what? I got over my angry spell just like that. And so, it doesn't really do us any good to say, "I can't help it", or, "I can't control it", because all that really is, is an excuse to keep doing it. Amen?
And so, until we take responsibility for our behavior and say, "With God's help, I can change", that actually, was a very, very... That incident that day was very good for me because I learned that I could help it. If we're around people that we wanna impress, it's amazing how good we can act. Amen? And so, hopefully, that'll help many of you watching and some of you, at least, in here. "So, when I opened the front door", the pastor said, "How are you"? "Oh, praise the Lord". "How are the kids"? "Oh, the kids are lovely. They're just playing, and you know". They're probably in their rooms, you know, eyes still red from crying. But we have to learn that making excuses only gives us an opportunity to keep repeating the same behavior.
So, some people go further than not liking themselves. They actually hate themselves. They have self-rejection, shame, guilt. Some people even dislike themselves so much that they do damage to their own selves. They cut themselves or do other things. And you have to learn to feel about yourself the way God feels about you. God loves you, and he loves you with a perfect, unconditional love. Now, that doesn't mean that he loves everything that you do. But you have to learn the difference in your who and your do. If you take king David, for example, the Bible says that, "He was a man after God's own heart".
Now, how can you say that about somebody who committed adultery and murder? I mean, here's a guy who was very close to God. And then, even after that, it was a year of ignoring it before he ever really, truly repented before God. But I don't know that I understand all that, but God knew his heart. God knew his heart. And see, one of the ways that you can stop being frustrated with yourself... Okay, maybe you're frustrated because you've not changed in an area, but God sees that you wanna change. He sees your heart that you want to change. You may see how far you have to go, but God sees how far you've come. Amen?
And so, while you're in this process of changing, guess what? You get to still enjoy yourself while you're on your way to behaving better, and better, and better. And the Bible tells us to, "Be perfect even as our father in heaven is perfect", in Matthew 5:48. But in the amplified Bible it says, "Growing into spiritual maturity". So, I personally, don't think that any one of us will ever reach 100% complete perfection in our behavior. I do think you can have a perfect heart toward God. And I don't know about you, but I'm very grateful that God sees our heart.
Now, knowing that God sees my heart cannot become an excuse for not wanting to improve because we do represent Jesus in the earth. And so, the better our behavior is, the better our witness is to other people. But I'm gonna tell you, if you don't like yourself, you're not gonna like anybody else. That's just the truth. If you don't love yourself in a godly balanced way, you're not gonna be able to love somebody else. You know why? You can't give away what you don't have. That's just such a simple way to put it.
If you asked me, "Could I have some water"? Well, I've got some water. So, if I was generous, I could give you some of it. But if I didn't have any water up here, I couldn't give you any, no matter how much you asked me to give it. So, the way I see it, is when we're born-again, God downloads all this stuff into our spirit. Now, we do have a soul that gets in the way sometimes. And so, what God is doing is he sends the Holy Spirit to work with us to help us grow into spiritual maturity, by working with us, so that what he has deposited in us finally, makes its way out of us, where the world can see it.
Just to say, "I've got a good heart", that's great between me and God, but it doesn't help my next door neighbor who needs to see a genuine Christian and needs to have somebody that will help them when they're in need. So, the Holy Spirit uses the word to convict us of wrong behavior, in our life. But if you don't really know the process and if you don't really know who you are in Christ, then you'll do what I did and you'll let that feeling of conviction become condemnation. And condemnation just presses you down further into the problem, where conviction is intended to lift you out of it.
Now, even though you're convicted of something, and man, I went through this for years. I mean, for years, and years, and years, I would... I loved God. I was in church all the time. But there was not a message that was preached that I didn't need. I mean, I needed every single one of them. And so, I would always get convicted but then I would immediately, let the devil turn it into condemnation, which just made me feel bad about myself. And so, I never really made any progress. And you won't make any progress either until you learn who you are in Christ.
There's a scripture. Let me see if I can find it in my notes here. But it says, "Those who continue to feed on milk and not the meat of the word are unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness". Now, think about that. Baby Christians can only handle nice little messages that make them feel good about themselves. "You're wonderful. God loves you. You've got a great future. You're forgiven". And we need to hear all those things. But we also need to be rebuked, warned, we need to have things preached to us that make us squirm a little bit in our seats. But the people who can't take that, it's because they don't understand the doctrine of righteousness.
In 2 Corinthians 5:21, it says, those who knew no sin became sin that we might be made, or, "He that knew no sin became sin that we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ". So, in Christ, you have been made right with God. I mean, how amazing is that? The devil wants to give you wrongness. All you ever hear from him is, "What's wrong with you? Well, what's wrong with you? Well, why can't you act like everybody else? What's wrong with you"? I had this record playing in my head and it was just like a nonending loop. "What's wrong with me? What's wrong with me? What's wrong with me"?
And it started when I was being abused as a child, and let the enemy convince me that it was my fault. That if my father wanted to do what he was doing to me, there must be something wrong with me because other little girls didn't have that happen. I didn't realize that probably many of them were going through the same thing. But just through ignorance, I wasted years, and years, and years of my life. Actually, to be honest, I was born-again when I was nine, but I never learned anything, and you can't grow without learning anything. And then, when I was in my early thirties, I had a real touch from God and there was quite a revival going on at that time called, "The word revival".
And so, people just loved the word. I mean, I remember, you know, if you weren't in church for three hours it was a short service. Now, you gotta be in and out in 45 minutes or everybody gets, you know, aggravated. But people just loved the word. And I loved the Word of God. And you can't grow and mature in God without that. But it's not all gonna make you feel good and comfy. So, there's the milk of the word, which is what I call, "Dessert". And we all need a little dessert, now and then. But there's the meat of the word, which are the messages that are a little bit harder to hear, but to be honest, you cannot live a healthy life on dessert. You need the vegetables. You need the spinach. You need the meat. You need the stuff that you...
I mean, I like all that stuff, but I've learned to like it. I prefer it now, over sweets. And you know, in Timothy it says, "The time will come when people will gather and heap unto themselves one teacher after another until they find one who's saying what they want to hear". And I think that's kind of the situation that we're in today, in the world. You know, if you turn me on, on television and don't like what I'm saying, then you can just flip the channel and find somebody else. I had a very interesting, eye-opening revelation last week.
You know, we do these little Instagram posts that are just like 30 seconds or 45 seconds, something like that. And it shows you on there how many people viewed it. And so, sometimes the numbers are real high and sometimes they're rather low. And I've tried to understand why that is. And a couple weeks ago, they were real low all week. And then, I realized I was teaching on having a clean conscience that week. So, I can connect the numbers to whether what I'm teaching on is meat or milk. And I want you to be the kind of person that it's like, "Tell me something, speak something deeper to me. Speak something to me that's gonna help me change". Don't just be the kind of person that wants to just go to church and sit there and clap and jump up and down and go home and nothing ever be different.
Now obviously, we all need to change. How many of you agree with that? There's not a person in here that doesn't need to change, including me. But here's the good news, you can't change yourself. Only God can really change you. The Bible says, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the entire renewal of your mind". So, transformation is a work done from the inside out. Confirmation means, or conforming to something, means somebody has laid out a mold and you're trying to cram yourself into that all the time.
So, we really need to understand that when we go to church, or we hear a message, or you're watching this today and if there's something about it that makes you squirm a little bit, or if you think, "Yeah, I really, yeah, I got a problem in that area", don't let that condemn you. Thank God for it. Every time God corrects you, thank him for it. He only chastises those whom he loves. But see, what I would do is I would go to church and I would hear those messages and they would make me feel bad about myself because I didn't know how to handle them properly. But I would be determined, I was gonna go home and change. "I'm gonna change". If I heard a message on talking too much. That was me. I talk too much. "Well, bless God. I'm gonna change. I'm not gonna talk too much, tomorrow".
So, my answer because... Remember this, the flesh is always extreme. It's never balanced. And so, I would go home and not talk at all. Wouldn't say anything. I would just like, "Mhm, mhm". I mean, it was ridiculous when I look back. And then, Dave would say, "What is wrong with you"? And then, I would do what the flesh usually does, "It figures, you try to do the right thing and people don't like it. You do the wrong thing and people don't like it. No matter what you do, people are never satisfied with you".
And see, that's just the flesh having a pouting, little fit. And so, what a great revelation it was to me when I found out, especially, through a revelation that I discovered in Galatians 3:1-3. "O you poor and silly and thoughtless and unreflecting and senseless Galatians"! It coulda just been, "O you poor, silly, thoughtless, unreflecting and senseless Joyce". "Who has fascinated or bewitched you or cast a spell over you, unto whom-right before your very eyes-Christ (the Messiah) was openly and graphically set forth and portrayed as crucified? Now, let me ask you a question: did you receive the Holy Spirit as a result of obeying the law and doing all of its works, or was it by hearing the message of the Gospel and believing it"?
Second right? You didn't receive Christ because you did everything right. Matter of fact, you finally went to Christ because you couldn't do everything right, and you were at the end of yourself, and you wanted help. You couldn't live like that anymore. So, it was more like, "I give up, God. If you'll take me the way I am, you can have me". And so, the same way that we receive Christ, it says in 2 Corinthians, that's the same way that we should live. Everyday I say, "I am nothing without you. In me that is in my flesh dwells no good thing, but I can do all things through you if you'll help me".
Just because I've come into this TV studio and done these kinds of things thousands and thousands of times, don't ever think that I ever come here without asking God to help me. Because having human flesh, we can have a downfall at any time if God doesn't keep us strong. Amen? And so, I would go home and try to change but I left God out of the equation. And what I should have done was said, "I receive that conviction. You're absolutely right, I talk too much. And I wanna change. And I'm asking you to change me".
Now, did I have a part? Yes, my part and your part is to (now, listen to what I'm gonna say) study the Word of God in the area where God is convicting you. It's not just a matter of, "Oh, I've got a problem with a temper. So, I'm gonna read... Let's see, I like Psalms. I'll read a Psalm. Now, I've put my time in the word". No, if you're angry, you need to find every scripture you can find on anger and temper, write 'em out in longhand, put 'em on your computer, confess them. Because the Word of God is sharper than a two-edged sword. And it has the power in it to change us because God works through his word. He works through his word to bring you salvation.
You heard the message and you believed it, and so, it became a reality in your life. And the same way that you were saved, is the same way you're gonna be changed. And when you believe, you enter the rest of God, which is where we started almost thirty minutes ago. Are you frustrated with yourself? No, I'm not frustrated with myself anymore. I'm where I'm at today. I wanna be everything that God wants me to be. And I'll change a little bit today, a little bit tomorrow. Sometimes we change in such tiny, little amounts that we don't even notice it. We can't even really measure it. But here again, if you keep it up, and keep it up, and keep it up, and keep it up, and keep it up, and keep it up.
There's a wonderful little word in the Bible, "Continue". "If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free". It doesn't just magically make you free, but the truth of the word, if it's applied to your life will make you free. So, let's just finish reading this Galatians. "Let me ask you a question: did you receive the Holy Spirit as a result of obeying the law and doing its works, or was it by hearing the message and believing it? Are you so foolish and so senseless and so silly"? I love this. "Having begun your new life spiritually with the Holy Spirit, are you now reaching perfection by depending on the flesh"?
See how amazing that is? Do you think that you can grow spiritually because you try really, really hard? Now, obviously, we should make an effort. But there's a difference in a fleshly effort and an effort made in the Holy Spirit with the Holy Spirit's help. Philippians 1:6, "Being confident of this one thing, he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ". Let me read you the amplified, 'cause I like it better. "And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Christ right up until the time of his return".
So, on the day, the hour, the moment that Jesus comes back, we're all still going to be growing. Amen? And so, what's the point in not enjoying yourself while you're in that growing process? I think about the girls at the mercy home and the lives that they've came out of, and I know the condemnation the enemy tries to heap on you, but today, I am giving you permission to enjoy yourself while you're growing and changing from glory, to glory, to glory. Amen? I always say, "Do what you can do and God will do what you cannot do".
Now today, we're offering you a book called, "Perfect love". And there's only one person that can ever love you perfectly, and that's God. Everybody else will disappoint you in some way, shape, or form. It's just part of human nature. We disappoint people. They disappoint us. But God loves us perfectly, and the good news today, is God is not mad at you.
Now, God can get angry, but he's not an angry God. And so, if you really still have not experienced total acceptance through the love of Christ, this is a great book for you. And it's being offered to you today for your gift to the ministry of any amount. And whatever you send in today, is gonna be used to help pay the television bills for this program that you watch. And so, I pray that you'll do your best. And maybe, you don't feel like you need this book, but you know somebody who does. So, you help us by giving and we'll help you by sending you this book that's full of wonderful things that will make you happier than you've ever been before in your life. Thank you for being with us today. And remember, God has got a good plan for you.