Joyce Meyer - Stir Yourself Up
Well, thank you for joining us today on "Enjoying Everyday Life". I care about you and I want you to be as strong as you can be in your relationship with God. Today, I wanna talk to you about stirring yourself up. Now, maybe, you've been going through a lot. Maybe you feel like you've just had one thing after another, after another happen and you're just flat-out tired of it. And maybe, you've made the mistake of getting kinda down about it and thinking negatively, and you've maybe, withdrawn a little bit from your normal routine with God of being in the word, and talking to him about everything.
And if that's the case, not saying that it is, but if it is or if you ever get into that kind of a situation, which I know we all do, we have to take the responsibility to stir ourselves up. A lot of times we want somebody else to come along and fix, what only we can fix. And yes, we do need to encourage one another. But I loved what David said, king David. He said, that he encouraged himself in the Lord. And you know, I've kinda found out, and I'm sure many of you have, that not always do other people know that I'm hurting, or realize that I need encouragement, and sometimes, if you're the one that's ministering to people all the time, they especially, don't ever think that you need encouragement.
And so, I've learned that sometimes I just need to encourage myself in the Lord. And one of the ways that you can do that is one of the most important things I'm gonna talk about today, which is remembering, remembering the good things that God has done for us in the past. If you feel like, right now, that God is not doing anything good in your life, then remember good things that he's done in the past, and remember, if he did it once, he can certainly do it again.
You know, we often use an example of a bottle of salad dressing. If you have a bottle of salad dressing sitting in your cupboard or in your refrigerator, and you go to get it out to use it on a salad, all the good stuff has dropped to the bottom. And if you just opened it up and poured dressing on your salad, you'd get nothing but oil and that wouldn't be very tasty. So, what's the first thing we do before we use it? We shake it up or we stir it up, we mix the good stuff with the stuff that wouldn't be so good if we used it by itself.
And I think life is a lot like that. If you only look at the bad stuff, or if you always let the bad stuff come to the top, and that's what's always in your thinking, that's what's always in your conversation, then life is not gonna be very enthusiastic or exciting. But if you stir yourself up, and along with some of the difficulties that you have, you remember and talk about and think about all the good things that God has done in your life, and how wonderful it is just to know God, I think about that sometimes. How wonderful it is just to know God. How many people just don't know him at all? How wonderful it is to know that if God decides to take you out of here that you're gonna be in heaven?
You don't have to be afraid of dying. There's so many benefits to just being in a relationship with God, even if he's not doing anything super spectacular in your life, right now, that we can get excited about that, and get ourselves stirred up. So, it's your responsibility to stay on fire for God and to stay stirred up. I think we should be excited about our relationship with God. Why is it that people think it's perfectly fine to go to some kind of sporting event and get all excited, but if you get too excited about God then people begin to say that you're some kind of a fanatic.
Well, Paul told Timothy to stir himself up by remembering when hands were laid on him, and gifts were transferred to him, and God called him to be used in ministry. In 2 Timothy 1:6, the Amplified Bible, it says, "That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the gracious gift of God, the inner fire that is in you by the means of the laying on of my hands with those of the elders at your ordination".
Now, you know, I just have a feeling that this is just so needed for some of you today, because you've kinda lost your pizzazz, you've kinda lost your enthusiasm. And maybe, when you first received Christ as your Savior, you were all excited about it, but now, you've gone kinda cold. It could be because you're hanging around with too many of the wrong kind of people. You know, the people that you hang out with, have a lot to do with your mood and your attitude. If you're around negative people all the time, or people who only wanna talk about everything negative that's going on in the world all the time, I don't know about you, but I get really tired of that. I wanna hear some good stuff. You're not gonna hear good things on the news.
Sometimes, if you just listen to everything that's going on in the world today, you just think, "Man, there's no hope in anything". But I tell you what, we are born again into a living hope and we always have hope in Jesus Christ. And no matter what you're going through, right now, and no matter how long it has lasted or will continue to last, you have hope in Jesus that something good is going to happen to you, and that God will take everything that Satan meant for harm and he will work it out for your good. So, be careful, who you spend your time with because people like that can drag you down. Be around people that will lift you up.
One of the main ways we stir ourselves up is by remembering. I want you to think about that, remembering. You know what? You can get yourself upset by remembering. I was abused sexually by my dad, and had a really rough childhood, and I don't spend my time thinking about that. But I could, if I wanted to just go sit down, right now, and spend the next 15 minutes just thinking about everything my dad did to me, I could get myself upset. But instead of doing that, I think about how God's delivered me and how he's healed me, and all the wonderful things that he has done in my life, and I believe that he is doing and will continue to do.
Now, think about what I'm saying. You can upset yourself by thinking about the wrong thing. So, you can stir yourself up and improve your attitude and your mood by thinking about right things. "Remember," the Bible says, recall, recount, how far you've come and what God has done for you. Paul stirred people holy emotions by preaching to them. And I believe that some of you, when you turned the program on today, or maybe, you just accidentally, kinda ran into my program. It's amazing how many people tell me, "I turned you on accidentally". Well, no, you didn't. I believe, if you're watching, right now, it's because God wants you watching, right now. And I believe there's a purpose in you hearing this today.
And Paul said, "My language and my message were not set forth in persuasive (enticing and plausible) words of wisdom, but they were in demonstration of the Holy Spirit and power a proof by the spirit and the power of God, operating on me". And here's what that power was doing for the people listening to Paul, and I believe it can do this for you, right now. "And stirring in the minds of my hearers their most holy emotions and thus persuading them". In other words, right now, as you listen to the word, the words that I'm speaking, can stir you up, make you feel better, get you excited, get you enthusiastic again.
That's why people love to go to church, or they love to go to church conferences, because they feel so much better, where when they're in that atmosphere of worshiping God, and being around people that are all positive and having a good time, and listening to a good speaker, and then, they go home. Well, you gotta remember how to take that with you and stay stirred up, even in the midst of your plain, old, everyday, ordinary life, and you do that by what you think about. What have you been thinking about? You can depress yourself by what you think about. You can discourage yourself by what you think about. What have you been talkin' about? Same thing.
Go to lunch with somebody and sit and complain about everything that's going on in the world, or everything that's going on in your life for 45 minutes or an hour, and I can promise you, when you leave, you are not gonna be in a very good mood. But you can choose to think about good things. He said he stirred them up by preaching to them. So, today, I believe that I am stirring you up to stay stirred up. It's your responsibility to keep yourself stirred up about how good God is. Paul stirred the people up by reminding them and helping them remember God's word to them and what he had done for them, in the past.
You know, one of the things that Dave and I do on a regular basis is, I mean, it's not like we have this on our calendar and plan to do it. But quite often, we talk about the early days of our ministry, and how difficult things were, and how little we had to work with. And it always makes us so grateful for what God is doing right now, and what we have now, and how much different the ministry is now. You know, I've been doing this for over 40 years. And when I first started, we didn't even have the money to stay in a hotel overnight if we went out to a speaking engagement. We could only go as far as we could drive.
And back then, we were driving a van that was a long way away from being new, and it cost $1,600, which Dave saved. And it had bald tires and rusty wheel wells. And we had a little, bubble trailer that we attached to the back of it that carried our, probably, didn't have any books then, but our, back then, there was a lot of cassette tapes. And we'd fill that thing up with our resources and drive somewhere, maybe 50, 70, maybe even a 100 miles from st. Louis, and hold a meeting in a little hotel ballroom, because I was on the radio and so we would advertise a meeting.
And you know, people would come: 50, 60, 70, something like that. And we'd do a meeting and maybe get done at 9:30, 10 o'clock, and then, drive home. But we didn't have the money to stay in a hotel, so a lot of times if Dave got real tired, he'd have to pull over into a fast food restaurant parking lot and he would take a little nap, and maybe, I would take a little nap, and then, he would finish driving back home. And also, back then, for worship, we had one guy that did worship, and he could sing, play a guitar, play a piano, and he had a drum machine that he played with his foot. Dave set up all the resources, sold 'em, took 'em down, I did all the preaching.
We just really, did not have very many extras. We had to do with what we had. But it wasn't what we had that mattered, the thing that mattered, was that God was with us and his anointing was on us to help people. You have to remember that everything in life is not going to be easy. Sometimes, you're going to have to go through some hard times before you get to the good times. But when you get to the good times... Now, I'm gonna give you a scripture about this in just a minute. When you get to the good times, it's good sometimes, to remember the hard times. Because one of the most dangerous things that anybody can do is fail to stay thankful.
Maybe you've been complaining about a lot of things in your life, and it's been a long time since you've taken time to just have what I call a "Thank-you day". Sometimes, I like to set aside a whole day and I just call it a "Thank-you day" and I just spend that day thanking God for everything I can think of. When I take a bath, I thank God for hot water. Just anything I can think of to realize how blessed that I am. In 2 Peter, 1:12-13, and chapter 3 verse 1, it says, "So I will always remind you of these things". I'm reminding you today of how powerful it is to stay thankful. "You know them and are firmly established in the truth. I will remind you of things even though you know them and are firmly established in the truth that you now have. I think it's right to refresh your memory as long as I live in the tent of this body".
You know something I've discovered, everything I preach doesn't have to be a brand-new thing that nobody's ever heard. It just needs to be what you need to hear right now. And maybe, right now, some of you just need to hear that you can fix your whole problem by just being more thankful. You can fix your whole problem by just getting around some more positive, uplifting people. Many times it's not as hard as you think. But you have to stop waiting for somebody else to come along and make you happy. Take responsibility for your own joy. I used to give Dave the responsibility for my joy. He wasn't making me happy, so I was mad at him. And God spoke to my heart one day, and he said, "Stop giving Dave the responsibility for your joy. It's your job to remain joyful".
So often, we don't take our responsibilities and we want other people to do what we should be doing ourselves. Now, these scriptures I'm gonna read you next, are very, very important to me because they were put on my heart at a very important time. Deuteronomy 8:2, 10-14, and 18 and 19. "Remember how the Lord your God led you", God's talking, or Moses talking to the Israelites. "Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years". Forty years it took them to make what was an 11-day journey. And one of the reasons why it took so long was they wandered around the wilderness murmuring and complaining, feeling sorry for themselves, and blaming Moses and God for everything that happened that they didn't like.
Let me say it again. Took 40 years to make an 11-day journey, why? One of the reasons was because they blamed Moses and God for everything. They didn't take responsibility themselves. They felt sorry for themselves all the time, and they murmured, and grumbled, and complained about every little thing that didn't go right. "Remember how the Lord led you all this way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commandments".
You know, sometimes, God lets us go through difficult things and it's just a test. It's just a test. You know, God provided for them. They didn't have everything they wanted, but he provided for them: their shoes didn't wear out, their clothes lasted forty years. Well, as a woman, I wouldn't care much for that. I'd rather have new ones, but God met their needs. They didn't get everything they wanted, but God met their needs. Water came out of a rock for them to drink. Their food was rained down out of the sky every morning. It was called manna. And they even got tired of that.
At first, I'm sure, that was a great miracle and then, they got tired of that. Well, I've been through a lot of years in my life where I didn't have anything extra, but I have to stand here, and say, right now, that God always got us through. He always came through for us. It wasn't always easy, but he always came through for us. And Moses is telling them, "Remember, those forty years, so you can appreciate what you have now".
Verses 10-14 say, "When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good things that he has given you. Be careful that you don't forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increases and all that you have is multiplied", oh, this is so good, "Then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God".
You know, it's a shame that sometimes, the only time certain people cry out to God and want him is when they're having a disaster in their life. Listen cry out to God the same all the time. You need him the same in good times, as you do, in bad times. And so, they had gone through a rough time in the wilderness, and now, things are much, much better for them. God's multiplying them. And things are going much better for them. They have houses, and food, and just, things are good, but they have forgotten God. And he said, "Be careful when you do that because if you forget, you're gonna go right back where you came from".
You know, that's one of the things that's happened in America. We forget, or we have forgotten what God did to put this country together: the miracles that God did, and all the people that sacrificed and gave their life for this country: so many miracles and freedom. And so, now, in the last number of years, there's a movement of trying to get rid of God, get him out of the schools, take the Ten Commandments off the wall, no prayer in school, no prayer in public, take down anything that represents God, get rid of it, take down the crosses, this and that and something else.
And you know what? That's one of the reasons... well, it's not one, it is the reason why we're having the trouble in America that we're having, right now. And it's not gonna be fixed through politics. It's only going to be fixed by people returning to God in mass. Sure, there are people here, that love God. But we need people to rise up, we need revival in the land. We need people to go back to saying, "God, we wouldn't be here. We wouldn't have the things we have, we wouldn't have the freedoms, we wouldn't have the financial blessings we have in this country if it weren't for you".
God wants us, in good times, to remember what he did for us in hard times. You know what? I remember the day that I was diagnosed with breast cancer. But I also, remember the day when they told me that I was cancer-free. And I remember the 27 years since I had to have a mastectomy, on one side, that for 27 years, every time, I go and get a test, a mammogram, they tell me, "Everything looks great. Everything looks great". I had a hard time, but now, I've had lots of good times.
And you know what? All of us go through hard times, but we all have good times that we can remember. I really feel in my heart that some people are being helped today. Please remember the things that God has brought you through, and then, let that give you hope and encouragement that no matter what you're going through, right now, God can do it, again. He doesn't always do everything when we want him to, or the way we want him to, but God is good. And he meets our needs and takes care of us, and you can stir yourself up by remembering the good things that God has done in the past.
I say that sometimes we remember what we need to forget, and we forget what we need to remember. What do you do when you're feeling depressed or discouraged? Depression manifests in a loss of energy and enthusiasm for life in general. A person who is depressed just doesn't want to do anything. All their thoughts are dark and negative. Everything in life seems really terrible to them. But when king David felt depressed, he remembered a great victory, an event in his life that was thrilling to him and enthusiastic.
In Psalm 42:4-5, he said, "These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the mighty one with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng. Why, my soul, are you so downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God".
David remembered a time, when he was bringing the Ark of the Covenant back into the city where it belonged. He remembered being in front of that ark, as it was being brought in. And he actually, got so excited, that he only had on a loin cloth and he danced in the streets wildly before God. Well, you know, that wasn't a very kingly thing to do and his wife got so angry with him. She was so embarrassed by what he was doing. But he says here, I won't take the time to read you all this, but it says in 2 Samuel 6:12-21, if you wanna read it yourself later, that he was so excited about it, that he remembered that.
When he got depressed and discouraged, he remembered that day that he had the privilege of bringing the Ark of the Covenant back in to its home where it should be, and how exciting that was for him. Well, you know, if you get a little bit too enthused about God people are gonna start calling you a fanatic. But you know what? We have a right to be excited about God because he has done some absolutely, phenomenally, amazing things in our life.
I look back over the years and see how God has taken care of us in the ministry, how he's taken care of us with our children, and the things that we went through with them, and things that we thought were just gonna never change. I mean, I've got children that help run the ministry now, that I used to wonder if they would ever even be able to go out in life and live on their own. I know, you know, what I'm talkin' about. I had a teenage girl that just was so sloppy, she couldn't hardly find anything, and now, she helps take care of me. And our two boys help run the ministry on a day-to-day basis.
Let me tell you something. God has got good plans in store for you. And don't you let yourself get all down, and drag yourself around all the time with dark and negative thoughts, and feel depressed and discouraged, and let all your conversation become negative, and all your thoughts become negative. No, this is a time to remember the good things that God has done for you in the past and mix those things with some of the hard things you're going through. And it'll be just like that bottle of salad dressing, then it'll be worth having.
Today, we're offering you something that I think can get you excited even more. It's a book I've written called, "Seize The Day". You know what? This is the day the Lord has made and you can rejoice and be glad. We're offering you, today, that book for your gift to the ministry of any amount and the money that you send in today, the finances you send in to get the book is going to all go toward helping pay for TV. Yes, it costs money to be on TV, and we need you to help us with it. If you enjoy the show and you're learning from it, and it's helping you, then, please, reach out with a financial gift and we'll send you this book and you can learn how to seize every day that you have, and make it a day worth living. Thank you so much for being with us today, and God bless you.