Joyce Meyer - Take Time To Enjoy Life
Welcome to, "Enjoying Everyday Life", I'm so glad that you joined us today. And I just said, "Welcome to Enjoying Everyday Life", and guess what? Today, I'm gonna talk to you about taking time to enjoy your life. Yes, I said taking time to enjoy your life. In John 10:10, the Bible says, "The thief comes only to kill, to steal and destroy". But Jesus said, "I came that you might have and enjoy your life, and have it in abundance (to the full, until it overflows)". Now, you know, this is an important subject to me because to be honest, I didn't really start enjoying my life until I was probably well into my 40s and maybe even around 50.
You say, "Well why not? Did you have a bad life"? Well, I had a bad childhood, I didn't have a good beginning, but I've really made my mind up to have a good finish. And one of the things that was difficult for me was, I never really got to be a child, and so I didn't know much about relaxing or resting or feeling safe or just havin' fun. My dad was an abusive alcoholic, mean, hard to get along with man, and he wasn't happy. And I don't know if you've noticed it or not, but when somebody is not happy, they generally don't want you to be happy either. And I remember my dad actually getting annoyed and I remember being corrected for laughing. So somewhere along the way I learned that being serious, and working hard was more acceptable than relaxing and laughing and enjoying life. And I think because I never really got to have a childhood, it took me a long time to really believe that God wanted me to enjoy my life.
Now, I don't know why because I never saw God as a mean person or an angry person but this enjoyment thing, now that's another thing altogether, because to me, if you worked and you are accomplishing something, and you were productive, turning out something with your time in life, then people were pleased. And so, I lived a large part of my Christian life in the beginning under "the law", which thankfully we've been delivered from, because I was so busy trying to do what I thought God wanted me to do to get him to accept me, that I just didn't have time to relax and enjoy life.
And the thing that I had to learn and maybe some of you need to learn, is that I needed to learn that he had already accepted me, that we are made acceptable in Jesus Christ. God can't accept me because of my righteousness, because I don't have enough righteousness of my own for him to ever accept me, but through Christ who took my sin and your sin and gave us his righteousness, that's right, 2 Corinthians 5:21, "He that knew no sin became sin that we might be made the righteousness", or "The rightness" of God, in Jesus Christ.
Well, I didn't know that, so I was always trying to earn what I already had. And you know, if you're in that "earning, deserving" mode all the time, then you're never gonna feel like that you can relax and enjoy your life. And as I grew in God, I was already teaching the word when this happened, I remember one evening laying down on the couch, laying back on the couch, and I was gonna watch a movie, and I had some popcorn and some frozen yogurt and it seemed like this always happen to me, some of you will recognize this, I had this vague sense of guilt kind of all around me. It wasn't a real aggressive feeling but just like this vague sense that I shouldn't be doing that. And so, I finally just said to the Lord, right there, I said, "Why do I always feel guilty every time I try to relax and just enjoy myself"? And right away, God spoke to my heart and said, "Because you don't think you deserve to enjoy yourself".
And so see, my problem came all the way back from the shame and the guilt and the blame that I felt in my childhood. But when we're born again, when we receive Jesus as our Savior, he takes our sin, he took all of our punishment, you no longer have to punish yourself because you're not a perfect person. And God wants you to enjoy your life. He sent Jesus to pay for your sins so you could enjoy your life. And even if you mess up early in the day, and you do something you really shouldn't do, you can go to God and all honesty and repent, and tell him you're sorry, and he will forgive you instantly, and remove that sin as far as the east is from the west, and the Bible says, "He remembers them no more". And when the sin is forgiven, the guilt goes bye-bye. So guess what? You can go ahead and enjoy that whole day, you don't have to make yourself miserable because you made a mistake on that day.
You know what? The Bible says, "The joy of the Lord is your strength", in the book of Nehemiah. And I think a lot of times, it's not our stuff that the devil's after, he doesn't really care that much about tearing up my car, or turning off my refrigerator, or my pipes leaking in the basement, what he wants is my joy. So he uses circumstances: people that are hard to get along with, different kinds of troubles, trials and tribulations to steal our joy. And I would like for many of you today, who really don't enjoy your life like you should... Come on, are you out there? Life's just goin' by in a blur and you're doing everyday what you think you ought to be doing, and should be doing, but you're really not enjoying the journey.
I wrote a book a long time ago, called "Enjoying Where You Are on the Way to Where You Are Going". To be honest, I don't even know if it's still in print, but you'll hear a lot of this kind of theme in my teachings because the devil doesn't want you to enjoy your life. One of the things that he does to prevent you from enjoying your life is, he tries to keep you from enjoying yourself.
Boy, how easy it is to find fault with our self. "I don't like the way I look". "I don't like the way I act". "I don't like my life". "I don't like my job". "I don't like my neighbors". I mean, we can find all kinds of things that we don't like and then we think because we have some things in our life that we don't like, or, "I don't like myself because I make too many mistakes" or, "I don't like myself because I tried to go to college and I wasn't smart enough to get the grades and I had to quit", whatever it is, the devil doesn't want you to like yourself. He doesn't want you to have a good relationship with yourself because you can never enjoy your life if you don't like yourself, you know why? Because everywhere you go you're there.
Just think about it, what's it like to spend one hour with somebody you really don't like? Well, it's something you dread and you can't wait for the visit to get over with and you're miserable the whole time you're with 'em, but you're with yourself all the time. So if you don't like yourself, and I just wonder how many people are watching me right now that you're mad at yourself right now, because of some mistake that you made and I will tell you what, you can ask God to forgive you right now and if you're sincere and you mean it, he will take away that sin and take away the guilt, but if you don't know and believe that he will, then even though you're forgiven and there's nothing to feel guilty about, you'll still feel guilty and feel bad. I wonder how many of you don't like yourself because you don't look the way that you would like to look.
You know, there was a time when I hated my voice. I'm mean not, just two days ago, we set the alarm off in our house and the alarm company always calls when you set it off, and you have to give 'em your password and all that, and so right away, she says, "Yes, sir". And she says, "What's your name"? And I told her and she said, "What was that again"? I said, "Joyce". And I know she thought I said George, because my voice is deeper than most female voices and so on the phone if a person doesn't know me, they always, I mean, always, think that I'm a man. Well, you know what? That used to bother me so bad, I wanted to have a sweet little, kind voice like so many other women do, but you know, then God caused me to realize, he gave me my voice just for what he has called me to do.
Let me ask you a question, especially if you're a guy, would you listen to me if I was like, "Well, I just think it's just such a good thing to be on TV, and I just enjoy this so much"? God gave me a bold, strong, firm voice. It may not be like other women's but it is mine and I don't care at all now, that sometimes somebody thinks I'm a man on the phone, because I know who I am. And see if you know who you are, if you know that you belong to God, that you're his child, then you don't have to get bothered and concerned about those things that aren't with you the same way as they are with somebody else, and you can enjoy your life.
The Bible tells us that the greatest commandments are to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbor even as you love yourself. And I think that yes, we can look at that like well, don't be selfish, make sure you love your neighbor like you love yourself, but to be honest, most people don't love themselves. Most people think that that would even be wrong, to love yourself. And I'm not saying, be in love with yourself and selfish and self-centered, I'm just saying love the you that God created. And say what he said about it when he saw you, "It is good".
You know, I was noticing in the Book of Genesis, and I love this, God in creation, if you take your Bible in Genesis and you look this up when I'm finished, everything he created, the light, the fish, the trees, the plants, the people, all these things, in almost every verse after he created something, it says, "And God saw that it was good". You know what? God didn't create any junk and he created you, and so you're not junk, you're good. You may not do everything good, but you're good. And the other thing I like about those verses is that God took time to enjoy what he created. In other words, let's say he filled the waters in the earth with all the fish and the creatures in the sea, and I guess he just kinda sat back and looked at it for a little bit and said, "Oh that's really good".
Ya know, do we even take time, when we work hard and enjoy something to even think, "That is really good". And that's not being proud in a wrong way, that's enjoying what you've spent your time doing. How many people own a lovely home but their life goes by in such a blur, that they never take the time to just sit and look at it and enjoy what God has given you. Ephesians 5:15-17 says, "Be very careful then how you live, don't live with an unwise person, but a wise person, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil". You know something I think that we need to take every opportunity to do, is laugh. We need more laughter, laughter is good for you.
This morning when I woke up, I keep my phone plugged in by my bed and I charge it there. And we have four grown children, and 12 grandchildren, so I want them to be able to get me, if they have any reason why they need me, and sometimes when I get up in the mornings, I'll have text messages or emails on my phone. And so this morning there was a message on my phone that said, "Dad's on Netflix now", and I thought, of course, you know, keep in mind, I'm a little bit sleepy, "Dad's on Netflix"? "What's Dave doin' on Netflix? How did he get on there? What did Dave do to get him on there"? And then I opened it up to look at it. And I realized it's a new TV show called, "Dad" and they were trying to tell me that, that show was now showing on that channel on TV. Well, I don't know about you but I thought that was kind of funny. So, I got a good laugh out of it.
You know what? Learn to laugh at yourself, don't be so hard on yourself. Make a decision that you're gonna start enjoying your days, not just going through them in a blur, being so busy trying to accomplish something, because you think that if you're not accomplishing something all the time, that God is not going to be happy with you. Psalm 90:12 says, "Teach us to number our days". I think what that means is, you know, life goes by quicker than what you may think it does. I heard somebody just say the other day, "I can't believe this week is over, this week has just gone by so fast". Well, the busier you are, the quicker life seems to go by. And I think most people are just too busy and they need to slow down some. Are you busy all the time, but don't even seem to know what you're accomplishing? This is caused from not living slow enough to even fully realize what we're doing.
You know, there's something that I read about one time called, "God's rhythm". I mean, can you really imagine Jesus hurrying from village to village? No, he had a divine rhythm and I think if we follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit, we'll have a divine rhythm in our life. One of the things that I like to do is take time at the end of the day, I don't do it every day, but I should because I enjoy it, and just think through what all I did that day. Like, if I just think about today, I got up this morning, I had my coffee, had my time with God, then I ate a little bit, then I got cleaned up and I thought through that, then I had a conversation with a couple of people and then I got ready to come to the TV studio and do the recording and some other things I needed to do here. And then I've got another appointment to go to after this, and then something else to do after that.
And I don't want to just get to the end of the day and think, "What did I do all day"? It's nice, even if you worked all day, it's nice to remember what you did and what you accomplished, so you don't feel like that you just went through the whole thing in a blur and don't even know what you did. You know, Jesus always had time for people, always. If we're too busy, you know what we lose, our sensitivity. You can be right in the midst of somebody that's hurting really bad, and you're in such a hurry that you don't even realize that God has put you in a position to have an opportunity to be a blessing to someone by maybe just cheering them up or saying, you know, "God loves you", or you know, "God wants you to know that you're precious to him". Jesus didn't miss opportunities. He was always going somewhere, but he always had time to stop for people.
Mark 10:46 says, "Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples together with a large crowd, we're leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus, was sitting by the roadside begging". He stopped: Jesus stopped for blind Bartimaeus, Jesus stopped for a leper who needed healing and he was on his way somewhere. He stopped for the woman with the issue of blood, he stopped for the centurion with a sick servant, he stopped for the woman whose son had died and actually took time to raise him from the dead. Each time he encountered one of these cases, he was going somewhere, but he always had time to stop and help hurting people.
You remember the story about the good Samaritan? How there was a man who had been beaten up and was laying on the side of the road, all bloody and in need. And two different people that appeared to be religious people, passed by on the other side of the street because they didn't want to take the time to deal with him, but the Samaritan stopped and took care of the man. Put him on his own horse, took him to an inn and said, "Take care of him, and when I come back, I'll pay you whatever it cost to take care of him". He didn't even put any limits on it, he just said I want this man taken care of. And you know what? I think we need to, to do more of that. We need to make sure that we notice the people around us that are hurting, and we take the time to do something to make their life better.
In Ecclesiastes 2:22-24 it says, "What do people get", this was Solomon, "What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain: even at night their minds don't rest. This also is meaningless. A person", now, listen to this, "A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I believe is from the hand of God". And there are several places in the Book of Ecclesiastes, it's interesting because that book starts out with Solomon saying, "I tried everything to enjoy my life. I built myself houses, I got myself servants, I built myself large pools", and one of the things that I noticed was every time he did something, it says, he did it for himself.
Well, that was one of his problems right there, he was selfish and self-centered. And you know, selfish people can't be happy, but he apparently got a little bit of wisdom as he went along, because in Ecclesiastes 4:7-8 he says, "Again, I saw something meaningless under the sun: there was a man all alone: he had neither son nor brother. There was no end to his toil, yet his eyes were not content with his wealth. 'for whom am I toiling,' he asked, 'and why am I depriving myself of enjoyment?'" I love that! He said, "Look, I worked and I did everything and I tried everything", but he never took the time to enjoy. "Why am I depriving myself of enjoyment? This is a miserable business".
You know what? He had not taken time for relationships, his work never seemed to get done, no matter how hard he worked. Even though his work had produced riches, he does not enjoy them. What about you? Are you enjoying what God has given you? My husband has a great philosophy concerning finances: give some, save some, and spend some, within your borders and then God will increase your borders. Yes, God wants you to not spend everything you have, but he wants you to spend some of what you have on things that you enjoy. He never stopped to ask himself, "Why am I doing this? Why am I not taking time to enjoy my life"? His life went by in a blur. And then he said, "Why am I depriving myself of joy"?
And you know what? If you've been doing that, I want to ask you to decide to make a change. Don't just live life, enjoy your life. Don't just have children, enjoy your children. I have to be honest and tell you that now I really enjoy my children, they're all adults and I've learned to take time to enjoy my grandchildren. When my kids were little, I mean, I was a good mom, and I love my kids, but I "took care of my kids". I thought I was always too busy to sit down and play, or some of the things now that I wish I would have done. I thought I was too busy to do back then and when I look back I was busy doing nothing, cleaning a house that got dirty again the next day. I'm not saying we shouldn't keep our houses clean, but there are some things that are more valuable than others. Don't just have a spouse, enjoy your spouse. And in the New Testament, the Bible even commands a woman to enjoy her husband.
When I say that in a conference where there's a lot of people, the women always laugh really loud, but it's true, we need to take time enjoy the people in our life. God has put so amazingly precious people in your life and you need to take time to enjoy them. Don't just own a home and make payments on it, enjoy your life. John 10:10, once again, "The thief comes only in order to kill, to steal and destroy, but I came that you might have and enjoy your life, and have it in abundance, (to the full until it overflows)". Jesus said, he wants your joy to be full, and that he wants you to have the same kind of joy that he does. Make a decision today that you're gonna start enjoying everything you do, because God wants you to.
Now, I'm offering you today, a book called, "Seize The Day". Everyday you have is a precious gift from God, and you don't want to waste any of 'em. Now, seize the day is a lot about making use of the time that you have and not wasting it, but it's also about enjoying what you do. And I want to encourage you to get this book and make a decision that you're going to enjoy your life. God bless you and thank you for being with us today. God loves you very much.