Joyce Meyer - A Relaxed and Peaceful Attitude
Well, thank you for joining us today on "Enjoying Everyday Life". You know, I think one of the most important things that we need to do as believers is learn the importance of balance. And so, recently, I did a teaching about spiritual warfare and our authority as a believer and I talked a lot about staying on guard, and watching yourself, and watching what's going on around you. And if you're not careful, then you can start to feel like, "Well, that's just like I gotta be tense all the time and watching everything that's going on".
But to be honest, the other side of that is, is peace is also part of your warfare package, so to speak. We have weapons and we have armor. We have things that we can go after the devil with, like the word, the name, and the blood, but then, we also have things that God has given us that are called the armor of God. In Ephesians 6 it says, "Put on the full armor of God". So, I always like to say, I've never gone into my closet in the morning and had my clothes just jump off the hanger on get on my body. I have to put them on, and I'm careful to get things that I like, and things that fit well, and things that I feel like I look good in.
And I think we that we also have to realize that we need to, "By faith," put on this armor that God gives us. And the armor are things like, let's say, the helmet of salvation so that involves how you think. Do you think like a person who's a child of God? Do you think like a person should think that's born-again? Or are you still thinking according to the old person that you used to be B.C., before Christ, amen? The breastplate of righteousness, wear the breastplate of righteousness. Well, what is that? It's knowing who you are in Christ. Then when Satan attacks you about your identity or you're no good, you have no value, you mess up all the time, all you ever do is stuff that's wrong, then you can have on that breastplate of righteousness say, "No, I am the righteousness of God in Christ. I make mistakes, but I come to God through Christ".
Well, one of those pieces of armor is the shoes of peace, and I want to talk to you for a little bit today about your approach and your attitude to life. I want to talk to you about what I'm gonna call the anointing of ease, now that doesn't mean that everything in life should be easy. That doesn't mean that we can be lazy because we can't be. The enemy loves a lazy Christian. So, on one hand, we need to be on guard against him but in another way we need to relax and enjoy our life and know that God is fighting our battles and that we can put our trust in him. And one of the ways we show that we have our trust in God is by staying at peace.
Philippians 4:6 and 7 says that, "We are to be anxious for nothing but in all things by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God and the peace that passes understanding will keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus". So, for me to say that I'm trusting God while I worry is just silly. So, one of the ways that we can tell if we're really trusting God is, are we at peace? If we're trusting God, then we believe that he's gonna take care of whatever needs to be taken care of.
And I was just telling somebody before I came out here today that more and more and more, and I've been at this a long time, I'm learning the value of just praying and not trying to make things happen myself. And if we really believe in the power of prayer, I mean really believe in the power of prayer, I mean really believe in the power of prayer, and I might as well throw in if we're willing to wait a little bit, you see, that's what messes us up.
If we prayed and got an answer immediately, we'd think prayer was the coolest thing in the world. But a lot of times we pray about something and then maybe some time passes by before it happens and honestly, you get an answer and you think it was a coincidence or you forget, you know, when you really learn to pray without ceasing, which doesn't mean that you just with your hands folded all the time and do nothing but pray all day. But I mean, this relationship with God where everything you're praying, you're asking God to help you, you need him to be involved in what you're doing.
And so, if we do that on a regular basis, then we should be able to be at peace and to live with an anointing of ease. However, sometimes, when you pray like that all the time, you actually can forget you prayed about stuff. And I hear myself saying sometimes, you know, "I think I prayed about that," but then you can't even really remember if you prayed about it or not. Prayer is actually the greatest privilege, I think, that we have. And so, I just want to say this to you and I hope it doesn't sound too disappointing, but life is not gonna change. If anything, it could get worse because we're living in times where things seem to be rapidly getting worse and worse.
And so, I kept wanting my life to change, wanting my circumstances to change, wanting my kids to change, wanting my husband to change, wanted everything to change. And finally, years ago, I got the message. I needed to change my approach and my attitude to life because honestly and truly, and I know it's really hard for us to believe this, it's not your circumstances that make us unhappy.
Now obviously, there's circumstances we don't like and they can affect us, I don't mean that they don't, but it's amazing if you take a real positive person and a real negative person and they both have the same bad circumstance, the one that's negative is gonna have a much more miserable life than the one that's positive. Maybe, I should say that again. "How can two walk together unless they be agreed"? Does anybody here think that God is negative? Anybody think Jesus was negative? He never said, "It's hopeless, nothing's gonna work out, there's no answer to this". He was always positive about everything. And I love to say this, you know, there's a lot of things that people can take away from you but one thing nobody can make you have if you don't want to is a bad attitude. Misery is an option. We don't have to have it if we don't want to.
So, Jesus said that we're to hang out with him and learn how he handles everything in life. That's actually, what Matthew 11 is saying, "Come unto me all you that are weary and heavenly burdened, and I will give you rest". One translation says, "I will ease, relieve, and refresh your souls, the anointing of ease. I can make hard things easy if you trust me. You can do things that you would have never, ever, ever thought that you could do if you trust me". You can deal with situations in your life that would just completely do other people in and yet you can still have that situation and enjoy your life if you learn how to trust God. "Take my yoke upon you and learn out of me. Follow me as my disciple, for I'm gentle, humble in heart, and you will find rest". There it is again, "Rest for your soul".
I'll give you a real practical example, something that God has taught me and still has to remind me of on a regular basis. Isn't it interesting that no matter what God's taught us, he still has to remind us on a regular basis? And that is, "Joyce, stay relaxed in your soul". How many of you know what I'm talking about when I say we can get all uptight inside? You can look really, like, cool on the outside but inside, whether that's getting around people you don't know and wondering how they're going to receive you, standing up in front of 20,000 people and trying to teach the word, going to apply for a job at a company. We can get all tense on the inside.
But see, I believe that because God lives in us, that if we relax, that what's in us will come out of us. And I can tell you something? Don't ever forget this. If you're insecure and you fear rejection, people will feel that and it will be a put-off. I've had people work for me that were real insecure and it is so hard to be around somebody all the time that's insecure because you feel like you have to constantly keep them fixed. And so, we need to realize that God can give us favor with people. We have to stay relaxed and that shows that we're trusting him. It's not my job to try to make everybody in the world like me and it's not your job to do that either.
Statistically, "The experts," whoever they are, tell us that 10% of all people won't like us no matter what we do, no matter who we are. So, just face it, not everybody's gonna like you and be okay with that. So, "My yoke is easy and my burden is light". Jesus basically, wants to teach us what his attitude was toward people, toward the devil, toward circumstances. How did Jesus handle criticism? How did he handle judgment? How did he handle betrayal? You know, he always looked beyond what was happening in this realm to the greater thing of eternity. He was here to do a job for his father and he knew that he would go back to him. And it wasn't so important what he dealt with here as it was how he handled what he had to deal with while he was here.
Come on, I think we better say that again. It's not so important what we deal with here as it is how we handle what we deal with here. It's how we handle what we deal with that speaks to the world and it's how we handle what we deal with that declares whether we really truly have faith or not. Jesus never got upset when people accused him. He just said, "Well, whatever you think". Well, wouldn't that be cool? "Whatever you think. God knows. He knows my heart. He knows me. I know my heart. If you want to think bad thoughts about me, I can't control that. I guess if you're bothering me, then you're not bothering somebody else".
Even the apostle Paul, he had this revelation. It's recorded in 1 Corinthians 4 that Paul said, Paul was being judged by some of the people as to whether or not he was truly a faithful apostle. And he said, "It matters very little to me that you would judge me. I don't even judge myself". So, in other words, if we just put it real plainly, what was he saying? "I don't care what you think. I just really don't care what you think". And Paul also recorded in Galatians, "If I were trying to be popular with people, I wouldn't right now be an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ".
Come on, how much more of your time are you gonna waste being all upset about what everybody else thinks and does? Get your eyes on how God feels about you and let that be the center of your life. Attitude determines how far we go in life. A positive attitude can make all the difference in the world in your life. A thankful attitude, wow, a thankful attitude. You know, just about anytime that I'm feeling a little bit, anybody ever get like that? All I have to do is just start thinking about some of the blessings in my life, 'cause you know what we do? We have blessings for so long that sometimes we don't even see them as blessings anymore. We start to think that's normal, and we're not normal.
Look at all the stuff that God does for you. We need to realize what we do have in our life and that needs to be in the forefront in our thinking. And, you know, these things that I'm sharing today, they're not complicated. They're not hard. But you know what? Relax, just breathe. What do they tell you? Even like if, you know, you're taking classes on stress management, the first thing they'll tell ya is, "Breathe". And we need to do that instead of... God wants us to enjoy our life. He wants us to enjoy every single day of our life and honestly, we can't do that if we're gonna be worried about something all the time, constantly worried about what somebody's gonna think, and if we're gonna get our fair share, and is somebody gonna get ahead of us, and so on and so forth.
You know, all the things that we worry about now when we get to heaven, if there's any ability to look back and see how goofy we were, we're going to realize, man, what a waste of time that was, what a waste of time that was. So, Jesus was humble, he was meek, he was lowly. He walked in simple faith. You know what I wrote down here, and I think it's just a good quote. "Satan cannot control you if you don't lose control". That'd make a good Facebook quote, won't it? "Satan cannot control you if you don't lose control". That's exactly why in battles, God would speak through the prophets and say, "Hold your peace. God will fight for you".
When the Egyptians had the Red Sea in front of them, I mean, when the Israelites had the Red Sea in front of them and the whole Egyptian army behind them, I would say they were in a pretty tight spot. There was nowhere they could go that looked like a good option. Maybe you're like that right now, maybe of all the options you have, none of them look good. Maybe you look behind you and you just see a mess and maybe you look in front of you and you don't see any open doors, but God's word to you today is, "Hold your peace. This battle is not yours, it's mine. You hold your peace and I will fight for you".
Come on, God wants us all to get this today. You hold your peace, you know why? Because the more peaceful you are, the more powerful you are. You know, we talk about peace a lot and it's not any kind of a new teaching but that's why I kind of like the idea of just staying relaxed, staying relaxed. I'm not talking about being lazy. I'm not talking about laying on the couch all day and eating doughnuts. I'm talking about whatever you're doing, staying relaxed in spirit because I have found, you know, I relate it a lot to the ministry because that's what I spend a lot of my time doing, but I've actually found that if I can stay relaxed inside, that the anointing is much stronger on my life.
Matter of fact, I got a really good compliment at our big yearly women's conference this year. One of the people that we brought in to lead worship who's done huge meetings all over the world and very well known, he said to me before he left, he said, "I don't think I've ever seen anybody as relaxed as you are up there". And I thought, "Yes"! I like that. See, it was interesting to me that he noticed that, and I am comfortable in the pulpit. I'm comfortable, right now, teaching. I'm not worried about what you're gonna think. I'm not worried about whether or not everything's gonna be just perfect. I'm comfortable because I have my trust in God, and I'm staying relaxed.
When I first started teaching, I would be so concerned about whether or not people were gonna like me or if I was gonna say the right thing. And I'll tell ya, I was just wearing myself out. Do you have any idea how much energy you'll have if you just learn to relax? Breathe, amen? Alright, the anointing of ease, not a lazy ease, but an ease that comes from trusting God. Now, let's just talk about what the word "Ease" means. "A state of comfort, freedom from worry, pain, and agitation, freedom from difficulty and freedom from great effort, a naturalness". See, that's what people like, I think like they like to be around people that are real and genuine, people that are just, like, being natural, see?
You know, I think a poor person can be natural with a rich person. I think a rich person can be natural with a poor person. I think a single person can be just happy, and comfortable, and natural in a room full of people that are married. You know, we don't have to be like everybody else to be comfortable and to be natural because that comfortable ease doesn't come from our circumstances, it comes from what's going on inside of us from trusting God, amen? All right.
Now, let's talk for a little bit of time we have left about this, "I will ease, relieve, and refresh your souls," what Jesus said in Matthew 11. It's a beautiful scripture. "Come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. I will ease, relieve, and refresh your souls". Now, he didn't necessarily mean, "Just come to me and pray a little prayer and I'll make it all happen". He said, "Learn of me, learn of me. Hang out with me. Let's get yoked together. Let's be real close so you can see how I handle everything and then you follow me and you'll see how things in your life are gonna work out so much better". So, the soul is your mind, your will, and your emotions. This is gonna be real simple. It's gonna help you.
How about having some mental ease? Here's a good one for you, stop trying to figure it all out. Boy, would that be life changing. I'm sure a lot of you young ladies from the mercy home, you just, it's so hard to not sit around try to figure out, "What am I gonna do when I graduate? What am I gonna do? Will I be okay when I get out of this atmosphere where everybody loves me and thinks I'm wonderful? Will I make it on my own"? Well, you're not gonna be on your own, that's the whole point. You're gonna have Jesus with you and right now God's giving this support system to keep you propped up, but you're getting rooted and grounded in him. So then, when it is time for you to go out, you won't be going out alone, you'll be going out knowing who you are in Christ and you're gonna trust him. "Am I gonna be able to get a job? What's gonna happen? What's gonna happen"?
Proverbs 3, "Lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him and he will direct your path". Here's another way to have some mental comfort, stop being double minded. Make a decision, change your mind. Make a decision, change your mind. Make a decision, "Oh, it's probably not right, what if I'm wrong"? Make decisions, pray, see what you feel good about, make a decision. Obviously, there's some decisions that you might wanna pray about a little bit more than others but, you know, what can you do? If you've prayed and now you're at the point where you need to make a decision, then sometimes the only way that you can ever know if you're right or wrong is to take another step.
Come on, you know, these automatic doors that you have now, you know, where you step on the rubber mat and the door opens, well, that's the way it can be with God if what you're doing is right. You take a step and everything opens. You know, if you keep taking steps and you're just running into the door banging your head against it, then you might want to back up and say, "Well, maybe I need to try something else," amen? Listen, I've even had times where I have gotten up, thought that what I was gonna teach was the right thing. This doesn't happen to me very often but I've actually, without anybody knowing it, I've changed my message right in the middle of it because I can tell once I get started, it's not really what God's anointing is on.
And so, you can even be in the middle of something and God will help you reroute, and he'll still take benefit out of what the steps you have taken but, you know, failure is just an opportunity to begin again only this time with more experience. Mmm-hmm, amen? So, stop worrying about everything and trying to figure everything out. Do your best and then relax, breathe. How about some ease for your will? Well, you know what? We don't have to run the world, God's doing a pretty good job at that. And sometimes I get involved in trying to make things happen that...
Have you ever tried to make something happen for somebody else that they don't even want to happen? "I want to help you. I'm gonna help you. You're gonna change. You're gonna have a good life. You're gonna get off those drugs," you know? It's pointless to try to help somebody that doesn't even wanna be helped. Jesus never went around saying, "Oh please, can I help you? Let me help you, let me help you". You know who he helped? The people that came to him, and you can't really help somebody that doesn't want help. Stop trying to make everybody do what you want them to do, and do what instead? Pray. Stop getting mad at everybody because you gave them a little advice and they didn't take it, pray. God can do in one minute what we cannot do in a lifetime.
How about some ease for your will? Doesn't that sound good? "Your will be done, not mine". And then lastly, our emotions. How about some emotional ease? "Well, I can't help the way I feel". Well, sometimes that's true, sometimes you can't help the way you feel, but I think one of the ways we can have emotional ease is by realizing why we feel the way we feel. Instead of like, you know, "Well, you're not doing this for me, and you're not doing that for me. I want you to make me feel better about myself". Well, how about asking why do you not feel good about yourself to start with? What's the root of the problem? What's the real issue?
You know, I probably don't even do this as much as I should but one of the things that God taught me a few years ago is when I'm having a bad day, or I seem to be upset, or things just don't seem right, instead of just trying to plow through it, stop and ask God, "What is the real problem here"? 'Cause you know what? I think is lot of times what we think is the problem is not the real problem. The real problem is not how you're treating me, it's how I'm taking it.
Let's just take, for example, expectations. Well, what if I'm expecting somebody to do something for me and they don't even know I'm expecting them to do it? "Well, you've been gone for a week. I thought you'd", maybe one of my kids is gone for a week or two weeks. And, you know, I'm pretty close with my kids and I see them on a regular basis. So, what if this child comes home and, you know, another week goes by and they still haven't stopped by, "Well, I could have expected you to come and see me". Well, if I want somebody to come and see me, I've learned to pray about it and God can send them. And if they don't come, then just trust that God can work that out too. Do you understand what I'm saying?
See, we can't get upset all the time because people are not doing what we want them to do. And so, a lot of times we're upset, it's not really what the person's doing, it's what we expected them to do that they didn't even know that we were expecting. So, whatever you want to take away from this today, one thing I want you to remember is when you're bothered about something, you're upset, you're not relaxed, you're not at ease, at least just say to God, "What is the real problem here? What is this really all about? Is it really something that somebody else is doing or not doing or are you just wanting me to grow up and mature"?
See, I believe that some tests and trials are purposely put in our path to help us grow and mature. We don't grow spiritually when everything's the way we want it. We grow spiritually when we have to believe the Word of God regardless of how we feel. Let me just leave you with this scripture John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you: my perfect peace I give to you, not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. Let my perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge", amen?
All right, I hope that you're calming down right now, that you're feeling relaxed. And if you still need more help, guess what? I have a book on every problem you could have. "21 Ways to Find Peace", how could you not need this book? "21 Ways to Find Peace". Your way surely has to be in here too. This is for you today for your gift to the ministry of any amount. Now, how about that? All we want you to do is just do the very best that you can. Don't just send a little tiny bit because I told you you could choose. Be as generous as you can be. But we want everybody to be able to have it. So, let's seek his peace and truly when we do, we're gonna enjoy life so much more. Thank you for joining us today.