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2021 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - James Chapter 4

Joyce Meyer - James Chapter 4

Joyce Meyer - James Chapter 4
Joyce Meyer - James Chapter 4

We're gonna start in verse 4 in James chapter 4. Will I get done? I could but I don't wanna talk so fast that nobody remembers anything I say, so. I sat down and made a list, this morning, of how many things I would have to deal with, in these two chapters, if I wanted to do it all, and here's what it would be. Keeping God first. We all need to be reminded of that. Depending on God's grace, which is his power, to change ourselves, the people around us, and our circumstances, instead of us trying to do it. Resisting the devil. Obeying God. Not judging other people, critically. Probably, nobody needs that. Don't be presumptuous.

Some of you may not even know what that means. We're gonna find out. Don't be selfish. Don't mistreat people that are under your authority. Be patient as you wait on God. Don't complain while you wait on God. Pray about everything. And help people that are trapped in sin to be restored to Jesus. James 4, verse 4: "You are like unfaithful wives having illicit love affairs with the world and breaking your marriage vow to God! Do you not know that being the world's friend is being God's enemy? So whoever chooses to be a friend of the world takes his stand as an enemy of God".

Now, this is not saying that we can't enjoy being in the world. It's not saying that we can't enjoy things in the world. But we have to always strive and I mean that in the right sense of the way to keep God first in our lives. Because we all know, if we're honest, that there are so many things that can easily crowd him out and take the place that belongs only to him. So, it says here that if you love the world too much it's like breaking your marriage vow to God which I think is interesting.

You see, literally, God considers us to be his wife, whether you're male or female, today you get to be a wife. We're married to God. And a point that I like to bring out is that we have been given the name of Jesus which is above every other name that at the name of Jesus every knee must bow. But you know, I did not get Dave's name until I said, "I do", and married him. So let me just say this. If you're just dating Jesus... Then you can forget enjoying the privileges that come along with the name. At the name of Jesus every knee must bow in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. If you pray in that name, you're presenting to the Father all that Jesus is and those prayers will be answered if they're according to the will of God. Any prayer that you pray in faith and you're patient, if what you're praying is in the word and it's the will of God, and the right timing in your life, you will get it. But you gotta keep your marriage vow to God.

Can I just tell you today that one of the most important things that we all need to do in our life is keep God first. And we gotta get honest about that, whether he is or he isn't. Don't just run to God when you have an emergency. To be honest, whether we know it or not, we're in an emergency mode all the time. I mean, if God doesn't help us every second of every day, I don't know what in the world would happen to us. And we need to realize that and pay more attention to him.

Listen, God is never more than one thought away. Never more than one thought away. If you wanna experience God in your life, think about him. Talk to him. You don't have to be in some certain posture or position to pray. Prayer is just talking to God. And I think a lot of times, we over-spiritualize it and we make it something that it's not and it almost kills the pleasure of it. Develop the habit of having a continual conversation with the Lord. He may not always speak back to us in words, but many times, when you're talking with the Lord, he will put a thought in your mind and it may sound like your own voice, but that's one of the ways that God will speak back to us.

Jesus didn't die so we could all go to church once a week and be proud of ourselves. He didn't die so we could be Baptist, or Methodist, or Catholic, or Presbyterian, or Pentecostal, or whatever your own personal brand is. He died to open up the veil between us and God. He paid for our sins because God cannot be in the presence of sin. He's too holy for that. And so when we come to the Father through Jesus, we come completely clean, cleansed through the blood of Christ, and what Jesus died for is to open up that veil that stood between us and God so we can now freely go in and go out and fellowship with him and he can be a regular part of our everyday life.

What is the greatest and the most important commandment? "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and all your strength". And the second is like it. "You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself". Verse 5: "Or do you suppose that the scripture is speaking to no purpose that says, the spirit whom he has caused to dwell in us"... Let's just take a moment and realize the Holy Spirit lives in you. God's not off somewhere in heaven where you gotta try to get his attention and get him to come down. When Jesus ascended on high, he sent the Holy Spirit, the Bible says, "To represent him and take his place".

God lives inside of you if you're a believer in Christ. God lives inside of you. You are the home of God. So, let's just think about this. Wherever you decide to go for entertainment, you're taking him with you. Yeah. Whatever we decide to watch on TV, he's right there with us. Hmm. See, if we will think like this, it will change our decisions. He said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you". Never. You're never anywhere where God is not with you. He is everywhere all the time. Jesus said, "I am". "I am," awesome. The scripture that, "The spirit whom he has caused to dwell in us yearns over us and he yearns for the spirit to be welcome with a jealous love".

Can you imagine that? God is jealous of your attention. He gets jealous if we pay more attention to something else than to him. And it's not that we can't enjoy other things. I enjoy a lot of things and, actually, the closer I get to God, the more I do enjoy lots and lots of things. But we don't enjoy them apart from him. We enjoy them with him and in him and through him. That's why it's very difficult to enjoy what you're doing if you're doing something that you know is opposed to the will of God. What happens then is we live with this uncomfortable feeling on the inside of us and we do all kinds of things trying to ignore it and trying to deaden it but it's still right there all the time.

Keeping God first is something that I think we have to work at and do on purpose. Because there's just too many things to crowd him out. And let me just tell you something. If you're too busy for time with God then you are just too busy with stuff that is really stealing your life, it's not adding to it. And most of you would probably say without hesitation that one of the most challenging things for you to do is to regularly spend quality time with God on a daily basis. I think it's, I don't even really like to use this phrase 'cause I don't do it for this reason but I think it's the key to success in every area of your life. If you wanna be successful, if you own a business and you want it to be a success, you better take the time, before you get there, to spend time with God. Hmmm... That's all right, I don't mind if you're quiet. We need to think about this.

And I'm grateful that I got this through my head. God got this across to me years and years and years ago. And that is one thing that Dave and I both do. First place we go when we get up in the morning is to our designated places where we spend our time with God and I think it's probably the main factor in why we're still around after all these years. Please, make God first place in your life. Don't pray for God to give you something and then when he gives it to you, let that very thing that he gave you take you away from him. And that happens so often, so often.

I remember a couple. I think about this. They were really locked in at church and serving in church and had been married a lot of years. And they wanted to build a new home and they wanted to be involved in the building of it, partially to save money but partially, I guess, just because they wanted to. And so, it wasn't too long and the husband wasn't making it to church much anymore and when you ask why, "Well, he's just so busy with the house". C'mon now, there's a lesson here. And I don't know that this was the total cause of it, but I can tell you, today that couple's not married anymore. He got involved with another woman at work.

And I'll tell you right now, the devil hates us. And the Bible says we are not to give him a foothold in our lives and we are not to open doors for him. And one of the quickest ways to open a door for the enemy is to know that you should put God first and let other things get ahead of that, that are useless and meaningless.

Now, I'm not trying to scare you but I don't mind if I do. You know, if it helps. Because I'll tell you what God got across to me. I mean, he literally told me, I mean, you can't do what I'm doing and the devil not come after you. I mean, that just don't work. And God literally, told me probably 30 years ago, "You cannot do what I've called you to do and stay alive if you don't put me first in your life". You say, "Well, that sounds a little severe to me". Well, I'm just telling you. You wanna do great things for God? The more you wanna do for God, the more time you gotta spend with him.

Okay, well, I got 11 things to do today so I guess I best get on. Don't make the mistake of asking God to give you something and then when you get it let it take you away from God. A career you wanted, a ministry, a family. I know some of you, maybe, are young moms and you've got a house full of little kids and you think, "Are you crazy, lady? I can barely get time to go to the bathroom, let alone spend time with God". Well, you know what? God knows what season you're in and I'm not giving you timeframes on what you need to do but you could at least start by saying, "Good morning, Lord. I need you today," amen? Because God understands where we're all at in our life and I'm well aware that I can arrange my schedule the way that I want to and so I can get out of bed and get my coffee and go upstairs and stay there 'til i, well, please to come out.

That doesn't mean that I don't have days when I've gotta get out and go faster. And I realize that everybody's life is not like that. But I will say this. There is no person that's hearing my voice right now, that cannot cut some quality time out of every day of your life to spend it with the Lord. Not one person. Not one. Don't let the pleasure of the world, material things, or anything else get ahead of God. Proverbs 3:6, the living Bible. "In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success". And we're all familiar with Matthew 6:33, "Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness: and all of these other things will be added unto you".

Don't seek what you want. Seek God and let him give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the secret petitions and the desires of your heart". Now, going on to James 4:6-10, "But he gives us more and more grace". What the Amplified Bible says next was extremely life-changing for me. "(power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully)". God gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet every evil tendency in our life). So he's saying this tendency to not keep God first is evil and if you wanna make sure that you do keep God first in your life, then it's not just something you can do by determination although that is part of it.

You need God's grace which is his power. Well, when I read this many years ago, I was about to kill myself with works of the flesh. And works of the flesh are works that don't work. They're our energy trying to do what only God can do. In other words, maybe you're a wife, you've got a husband that's not saved and you're working real hard trying to get him saved. Well, useless. Spend that same amount of effort praying and being a good example in front of him. C'mon. And then that might make a difference. You hear everything that I've said this weekend and hopefully you're gonna remember a few things when you go home. And you're here because you love God. You're here because you wanna do what's right. You wouldn't waste your time being here on a Saturday morning if you weren't a serious seeker after God so you are going to want to go home and do some of the things that you've heard me say that you should do. That's gonna be a natural desire. But I am gonna tell you that if you go home and just try to do them, you're wasting your time.

You say, "What am I supposed to do"? Well, first, you go home and you have a little meeting with God and with yourself. "Now, Lord, I heard a lot this weekend and I needed all of it and I really wanna change. I wanna be what you want me to be but I'm just gonna tell you right now, God, I cannot change myself. I need you to do the work in me that needs to be done. I put my confidence in you. I put my faith in you". You say, "Well, do I have a part"? Absolutely, you have a part. Your part is to study the word, especially in the area where you have a weakness and secondly, to spend as much time with Jesus as you possibly can because the more you hang out with somebody, the more you begin to act like them.

People that listen to a lot of my CDs or watch the program all the time, sometimes their relatives will say, "I feel like I'm living with you. Every time I turn around, my wife's saying something that sounds just like you now," or whatever, you know? And so how many of you agree with that? If you're around somebody, you start to pick up their habits? Well, the more we hang out with Jesus, the Bible says that we are changed into his image. Transformed and changed into his image from glory to glory to glory. It doesn't happen all at once. I hear the word, I have a desire to change. I lean on God. I trust him. I study in that area. Pretty soon, I'm like, "Wow, wow, I'm doing better in that area".

Now, the next mistake you can make is getting proud of yourself. You should say, "God, I know you did that and I'm grateful for you and not only am I grateful that you changed me but I'm trusting you now to keep me". Let me tell you something. It was a major change in my life when I stopped trying to change myself and started trusting God to do it. And along with that, and my family was grateful, I learned that I also could not change other people. How many of you, your families would be grateful if you would come home with that new knowledge? That you are not Holy Ghost junior and it's not your job... I'll give you a piece of information. God has not given you the job of running the world. Let's stop trying to manage everybody else until we can first manage ourself real well.

Oh, my goodness. It's so hard not to try to make people be the way we'd like 'em to be. Oh, goodness. And that's what causes strife. That's what causes fights. People do not want to be manipulated and controlled. They want to be accepted for who they are. And I'm not talking about not confronting sin. I'm not talking about not dealing with issues that need to be dealt with. But I'm talking about a lot of the stuff that people fight over is just personality differences, amen? "He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That's why he says, that God sets himself against the proud and the haughty, but he gives grace continually to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it)".

So the proud man, the haughty man, thinks he can do it himself. And it's really interesting, if you listen to somebody that's had a victory over something and if they don't keep in mind that God was the one that gave them that victory, they either lose it or you hear them always giving other people advice in that area because "Now, if you do what I did," and that don't always work either. You know, what God does in one person's life may not be the way he deals with another person at all in their life. "Humble enough to receive it". The humble man says, "Help me, God," about 2000 times a day. "Help me, Lord, help me, help me, help me". You don't honestly think that I get up here without asking God to help me, do you? And I've done this for 30 years, over, and over, and over, and over, and over again. You would think I could do it in my sleep. But I am not stupid. If God doesn't show up, we're finished.

Verse 7. I love verse 7. Normally, when you hear people quote James 4:7, they only quote half of it. "Resist the devil, and he will flee". But that's not what it says. It says, "Be subject to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee". Our power over the enemy is found in being submissive to God. Did you hear me? Our power over the enemy, matter of fact, I'll tell you. The more you walk in obedience, the less the enemy can do anything to you except maybe try to annoy you. Do you know that you have an enemy? Is anybody in the building aware of that? Do you know, I went to church for years and I didn't even know the devil was real. I thought he was a Halloween character that came out with a pitchfork and red pajamas and a long tail. I never heard anything about the devil in church.

And let me tell you something, he's alive and well on planet earth and he is the source of our problems, and we need to know how to deal with him. "Resist the devil, and he will flee". But at first, you've gotta submit yourself to God. "Come close to God and he will come close to you". Remember he is never more than a thought away. "Recognize that you are sinners, get your soiled hands clean: realize that you've been disloyal wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts of your spiritual adultery". Now, here again, this doesn't mean that you can't enjoy other things and have other interests, but God needs to be first. That means he needs to be first in our time, first in our conversation, first in our thoughts, first in our finances, first in every decision that we make.

If you keep God first, you'll never find yourself in last place. "As you draw near to God be deeply penitent and grieve, even weep over your disloyalty. Let your laughter be turned to grief and your mirth to dejection and heartfelt shame for your sins". Now this, you know, this does not mean that we go around like, you know, thinking that we're terrible all the time, but I think it's an exhortation to take sin seriously. Take it seriously. You know, half the time now, the world doesn't even call sin, sin. Half the things that the Bible says are sin are now addictions, or these diseases, or sicknesses. Amen?

See, the biggest danger that we have is drifting toward the world and away from God. We cannot think like they think. We cannot talk like they talk. We cannot act like they act. We cannot believe what they believe. We have something higher, and it's the Word of God. And I will keep shouting from the housetops as long as God gives me a voice that this is the truth, and anything that does not agree with it is a lie. Sincere repentance, very sincere repentance.

One time, I was praying, I'd done something wrong. I don't even remember now what it was. And I said, "Oh God, forgive me, I missed it". And I remember the Lord saying, "Missed what"? And I said, "Well, Lord, you know what I did". He said, "Yeah, I want to hear you say it". Not because he didn't know, but you see, true confession and repentance is good for the soul. David said, if you read Psalm... Um... I don't know, one of them, where, I think it might be Psalm 32, where he repented for sin, 32? Yeah, Psalm 32. I'm looking at my concordance down here. Where David, the Bible records the prayer of repentance that David prayed when he finally faced the magnitude of his sin with Bathsheba. And believe it or not, he ignored it for a year.

As close as he was to God, he had adultery and he had murder, and he managed to think he was avoiding it for a year. And if you read Psalm 32, it's really good especially in the Amplified Bible. He basically says he was miserable. And when he did confess his sin, the Amplified says that he told it and told it until he told it all. And then the joy of his salvation came back. Don't go around with hidden stuff in your heart that you don't wanna talk to God about because he already knows anyway. And sometimes, we need to hear the ugliness of what it is because it'll shock us even sometimes to realize that we're jealous, or we're just being hateful, or just being hard to get along with. "Humble yourselves", verse 10, "Feeling very insignificant in the presence of the Lord, and he will exalt you he will lift you up and make your lives significant".

Now, here again, feeling insignificant is what the Amplified Bible says. I'm not real crazy about that translation. I don't think that God ever wants you to think little of yourself, but he never wants you to think more of yourself than you ought to, and that's the key. I like to say, "I'm an everything nothing: nothing in myself and everything in Christ". Nothing in myself, nothing without him, everything in him and through him. God gives us grace. We can't change without him. We need to spend time with God and trust him to change us on a regular basis. How many of you would love to be set free from always trying to change yourself and being unhappy with yourself? All right. Obedience releases God's power in our lives.

James 4:11 and 12, "My brethren, do not speak evil about or accuse one another. He that maligns a brother or judges his brother is maligning and criticizing the law and judging the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a practicer of the law but a censor and judge of it". Now, the law he's talking about here really is the new, royal law of love. And he's saying basically, which that's the law that we live under, under the old covenant. If we can walk in love with people, we're gonna keep all the rest of it, agreed? I mean, that's why the Bible says, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you".

We would have no people problems at all if we would treat other people the way that we wanna be treated. That would solve it all. So, he says, "Be careful how you talk about people". We covered the mouth last night. Be careful how you talk about people. Don't be making accusations against people. Half the time we accuse people of things, we don't even know what we're talking about. Verse 12, "Only one is the lawgiver and the judge who is able to save and to destroy the one who has the absolute power of life and death. But you who are you that you presume to pass judgment on your neighbor"?

Romans 14:10-13 backs this up in a little different way. "Why do you criticize and pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you look down on or despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God". I love to say what I'm getting ready to say. When Judgment Day comes, God is not gonna ask us about anybody but ourselves. God is not gonna ask me one thing about why Dave didn't do something. Let alone my neighbor, or the people I work with, or, you know, we need to just leave other people alone, pray for them, let God deal with them, and spend our time with God asking him to straighten our deal out. Come on, this is good.

Is there anybody here bold enough to admit that you tend to be judgmental? Is there anybody here that no matter how many good things are going on, if there's one thing that's wrong, you can spot it? That's called humanity, amen? And those are the things where we need to resist the devil. That's where we need to resist the enemy. I have to say to myself, and if I'm by myself sometimes I'll say it out loud, "Joyce, it's none of your business. It is just none of your business". We don't need to have an opinion where we don't have any responsibility. "Well, I don't think they should... And if I were"... You have no idea what you would do if you were in somebody else's shoes because you're not.

Oh my, my, my. "Why do you look down or despise your brother? We'll all stand before the judgment seat of God. As it is written, 'as I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God and acknowledge him and give him praise. And each of us shall give an account of himself in answer to judgment to God'". Verse 13, "Then let us no more criticize and blame and pass judgment on one another, but rather decide and endeavor never to put a stumbling block or an obstacle or a hindrance in the way of the brother". So, instead of judging people, let us determine that we're gonna be a good example. And maybe if they do have a problem in their life, then if we're a good example, a godly example, maybe they can learn something from our example. But we don't need to criticize them and judge them.

Let's talk about presumption for a minute because in the world that we live in today, I think we've got a lot of what we call entitlement, people who have an attitude that's owed to me, and I deserve that. And they don't want to do anything to earn it or deserve it. They just feel like for some reason that everything should be handed to them on a silver platter. And a presumptuous attitude is not pleasing to God. "Come now, you who say, 'today or tomorrow we're going to go into such and such a city and spend a year there and carry on our business and make money'. Yet you don't know the least thing about what might happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You're really but a wisp of vapor (a puff of smoke, a mist) that is visible for a little while and then disappears into thin air".

I really like when I share this scripture to bring a can of hairspray and just go pfft... "There I go". You know what we need to hear a lot more of? We need to hear a lot more of, "If God wills, I'll do that. If God approves". I'm serious, we need to get more of that into our conversation, even our conversation with each other. Let's just stop declaring what we're gonna do all the time because we're not gonna do anything if God doesn't enable us to do it and bless us to do it. I think we've moved too far away from, "If it be thy will". How many of you want what God wants more than you want what you want? "You ought instead to say," verse 15, "If the Lord is willing, if the Lord is willing, we shall live and do this thing or that thing". I have a plan to go buy a pair of shoes when I leave here today, and I sure hope the Lord is willing.

How many of you think he is? I believe it's God's will, amen? "But as it is, you boast falsely in your presumption and your self-conceit. All such boasting is wrong". You know, all these scriptures are gearing toward lean on God, lean on God, lean on God, lean on God. Put him first in your life, keep him first in your life, know that you're nothing without him. "For any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin".

Let me give you a few biblical examples of presumption. In numbers 14, verses 40-45, it says, "And they rose early in the morning and went up to the top of the mountain, saying, 'behold, we are here, and we intend to go up to the place which the Lord has promised, for we have sinned'". This is what we're gonna do. "But Moses said, 'why now do you transgress the command of the Lord to turn back by way of the Red Sea, since it will not succeed? Go not up, for the Lord is not among you, that you be not struck down before your enemies. For the Amalekites and the Canaanites are there before you, and you shall fall by the sword. Because you have turned away from following after the Lord, therefore the Lord will not be with you'. But they presumed to go up to the heights of the hill country: however, neither the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord nor Moses departed out of the camp. Then the Amalekites came down and the Canaanites who dwelt in that hill country and they smote the Israelites and beat them back, even as far as hormah".

So, they said, "We're gonna go up". You know, there was a time when they could have gone up and they didn't obey God. Let me tell you something, when God tells us to do something, there's an anointing on it for that time. And a lot of times, we like to put it off and wait till it's convenient for us. And I've found out that what I could have done easily a month ago I may not be able to do at all now a month later because God was with me then, but, I mean, he's always with us, but he's not anointing that particular thing for now.

Presumption. A few more instances in the Bible of presumption. When the disciples rebuked the little children and told them to leave Jesus alone, Jesus corrected them. When Peter rebuked Jesus, telling him he must not go to Jerusalem and suffer and die, Jesus said, "Get thee behind me, Satan". When Peter cut off the ear of the high priest and Jesus had to put it back on. Let's just be people who realize what we're not without God, which is absolutely nothing. Totally useless without God. "God, I need you". If you have a job, don't expect to have handed to you what it took somebody else 30 years to earn.

And can I tell you something? Just 'cause you got a college degree, that still doesn't mean that you don't need to prove yourself. Just because you've got a degree still doesn't tell anybody you know anything. We need experience, don't we? Be willing to put a little time in. Be willing to prove yourself faithful, and let God promote you. You may sing better than the worship leader in your church, but don't get mad 'cause they didn't give you the job. Trust God if that's where he wants you that he'll put you there.

James chapter 5, "Come now, you rich people, weep aloud and lament over the miseries (and the woes) that are coming upon you". It's not wrong to have money, but if you get a bad attitude with it, then it's wrong. And you know, we talked about this yesterday morning, I think, how a lot of people that end up with a lot of stuff, they end up mistreating people. And it should be the exact opposite. The more we have, the more we should be a blessing to other people. Amen? "Your abundant wealth has rotted and is ruined, and your many garments have become moth-eaten". You know, and he goes on and on and on here. I love verse 4, "But look! Here are the wages that you withheld by fraud from the laborers who reap your fields".

You know, if you own a business and you have employees, treat them the way you would like to be treated. Pay them what you would like to be paid for doing the job that you may be underpaying them to do. Come on. Don't make them work ridiculously long hours and give them no benefits for it. "Here are the wages that you have withheld from the people that you should have been good to". Anybody that's in a position of authority represents the Lord, and we need to treat people good. Let me tell you something, we pay our people at the ministry what they could make for doing that same job if they worked out in the world. I don't think that because somebody works for a ministry, that, that means they should have to do everything on the cheap scale. Matter of fact, it should be the exact opposite.

"Here on earth", verse 5, "You have abandoned yourselves to soft (prodigal) living and the pleasures of the self-indulgence and self-gratification. You have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter". James basically gives a warning to people not to focus on their wealth without having any regard for God or man. James 5:7, "So be patient, brethren, as you wait". We're back to where we started in James 1. Aren't you proud of yourself? You've made the whole journey. I want you to notice he doesn't say, "Be patient, brethren, if you happen to have to wait". He says, "Be patient, brethren, as you wait".

And remember, patience is not waiting. It's how we behave while we're waiting. Patience is an attitude that's only developed under trial. It's a Fruit of the Spirit that only grows under trial. That's why God permits us to go through things, and why he doesn't deliver us as quick as we would like to be. It's not that he doesn't have your deliverance planned, but he's just using what's going on now to stretch your faith just a little bit more so you'll be a lot stronger when you get done. "See how the farmer waits expectantly for the precious harvest from the land. See how he keeps up his patient vigil over it until it receives the early and late rain".

You know, that's a whole message in itself. He's like, "Look, while you're waiting, just keep doing what you know to do. Just keep waiting". I mean, the farmer just pulls the weeds, and waters the seed, and pulls the weeds, and waters the seeds, and gets up, and goes to bed, and pulls the weed, and water the seeds. And so, what do we do while we're waiting on God? We keep fellowshipping with God. We keep trying to be a blessing to people. We keep studying the word. We keep believing. We just keep it up, and keep it up, and keep it up, and keep it up, and keep it up, and keep it up until we just drive the devil mad. Get ready to get excited. "So you also must be patient. Establish your hearts strengthen and confirm them in the final certainty, for the coming of the Lord is very near". Oh, "And while you're waiting, don't complain".

How many of you see those first three verses? "Do not complain against one another, so that you may not be judged". The Lord is near. James 5:13, "Pray". "Is anyone among you afflicted, (ill-treated, suffering evil)? Let him pray. Is anybody glad? He should praise God. Is anybody sick? He should call the elders and they should pray. The prayer that is of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will restore him: and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven".

This talks about the power of prayer, and how Elijah was a man just like we are, an ordinary man. He did great things for God, but he also made mistakes. One day, he killed 400 Baal prophets. The next day, he was running from Jezebel, got depressed, and was out in the desert wantin' to die. Sound like anybody you know? "Whoa"! Let me tell you something, it's easy in these conferences to feel super spiritual. You have a worship team like we've had this weekend, all these thousands of people worshiping together, and we're like, "Yes, praise God"! But you gotta go home. Oops... And that's where we gotta put all this to work.
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