Joyce Meyer - Keys to Breakthrough - Part 1
Is there anybody in this building today, or in the overflows, or watching by television that you need a breakthrough in your life? How many of you are asking God to give you a breakthrough? Well, I said last night was gonna be a happy night, you were gonna like everything I said. Today, you probably won't like everything I say. It might not be quite as happy right now, but it's one of those messages that if you follow it, a year from now, or two years from now, or six months from now, you're gonna be a whole lot happier than you are right now. Everything that we hear is not always something that feels good.
Sometimes we need to hear things that make us squirm in our seats a little bit, maybe even get a little bit mad at the preacher for a few minutes, 'cause, you know, when they tell us somethin' we don't wanna hear, it's easy to get mad at 'em, but I believe that you'll all see the truth in what I'm gonna say. The main thing that I wanna say is that if you want any kind of a breakthrough in your life, financial breakthrough, breakthrough in your health, breakthrough in relationships, whatever it is that you might want a breakthrough in, first thing you should always do is pray, but never pray and ask God to do anything for you if you don't intend to listen to what he probably is going to tell you to do that will ultimately bring that breakthrough.
I'm gonna say that again. See, this idea we have about prayer is pray and get God to do everything. When we've done our responsibility, then we have the right to cast our care on God and wait for him to do what we cannot do. In Ephesians chapter 6, this is laid out so clearly. It's a chapter about spiritual warfare and the armor that God has given us. Great teaching points in Ephesians 6, but I love what it says in the beginning. It says: "Having done all [the crisis demands], now stand [firmly in your place]". A lot of times people just say, "Well, we're just standing," but have you done your responsibility? Have you done what you should be doing?
Tell you a story. Years ago, we had banquets. We'd have meetings like this, but, of course, not this large, and everybody would sit around tables, and meals would be served, and it was more like a weekend, you know, event. A lot of those were at women's conferences or marriage retreats. And so, six, seven, eight ladies might sit at one table, and a lady came to me at the end of the conference, and she said, "Well, I learned a big lesson today". She said, "As God would have it, he put me at the table with a lot of people who have had a lot of the same, similar problems that I've had and came from a similar background that I came from," where she had been mistreated and abused. She said, "The only difference in me and them now, is I listened to them talk about the trouble they were havin', and God showed 'em to do this, and they did it, and then God showed 'em to do that and they did it". She said, "You know, God showed me everything he showed them. The only difference was I never did it".
So, just throwin' this out for thought. If the shoe don't fit, you don't have to wear it, but I wonder just in this room right now how many people there are that you know that God has told you to do something or not to do something and you're still prayin', but you haven't taken the action yet to do what God told you to do. Yeah, look at that, well. I really don't wanna be mean,but I'm havin' a hard time feelin' sorry for ya, 'cause here's the thing: we are partners with God. He's just not our big celestial Santa Claus that we just give our list to every year and sit back and lollygag around while he provides everything we need. That's not the way it works, and I think that a lot of people have been deceived into thinking that.
I was in a church for a long, long time, and I knew about the doctrinal things of the church. I had a good foundation on salvation, but I didn't know any of this stuff that I know now. I thought everything that happened was God doing it. And if it was gonna get undone, then God had to undo it. I didn't understand anything about my responsibility. I didn't know that you could hear from God. You know, and a lot of people today, they don't like that thought that you can hear from God. I mean, when you talk to God, it's prayer, but when God talks to you, you're psychotic. I mean, it's amazing the way people act and look at you if you say, "God told me," or, "God showed me". "Well, who do you think you are"? I mean, all over the Bible, it talks аbout: "And God said to Moses," "And God said to Abraham," "And God said to Jacob," "And God said to David," "And God said to Joseph". I mean, that's the Old Testament.
Now, true, he lives in us now, and we may not hear as many audible voices, but God speaks to us, and one of the ways that God speaks to us, interesting enough, one of the ways that God speaks us, and I wanna be careful when I say this. I don't wanna give anybody the wrong idea, but one of the ways that God speaks to us is through our own thoughts. And so, it becomes a thought that won't go away. Maybe, like, something you're supposed to do for somebody, and it just won't go away. You wake up in the middle of the night, and there it is again. You're drivin' to work, and there it is again. Or maybe it's something that God wants you to do, and it's a different quality of thought than just your own thought running through your head. It's a thought that you have that your whole spirit bears witness with, and you just kinda know that it's something that you need to do.
That's the beauty of havin' the Holy Spirit living on the inside of us, so we can hear the gentle whispers of the Holy Spirit. He's not in the habit of yelling at us and making us do things. He whispers to us what he wants us to do. He guides us, and then he expects us to do it. God will never ask you to do anything if he does not give you the grace to do it. Never. So, that girl sittin' at that table, she had the same ability to obey God as all the rest of those women, but for some reason, she still got stuck in that old improper thinking about, "Prayer means that I ask God, and he does everything".
Now, obviously, there's a lot of things that God does that we can't do, but, "Having done all [the crisis demands], then you stand [firmly in your place]," and you wait for God to do what only he can do. I don't know about you, but don't you see this as kind of a fallacy in the way we think sometimes? You know, we're partners with God. That's the exciting thing about hangin' out with God, is it's not just, like, he takes over, and you have no personality, and you have no will, and you can't make any decisions. A lot of times, God will just be with you while you work out decisions, and if one doesn't work, he'll get you back on the right path. It's part of being a human being. He doesn't want to do everything for us. He wants us to work together in partnership to get his will done in the earth, amen?
So, I might as well warn you ahead of time that, as I talk about all these keys to breakthrough, that there's gonna be a responsibility attached to almost every one of them. But you know what? An irresponsible person is an unhappy person. You can't be happy when deep in your heart you know that you're not doing what you should be doing. You really can't be happy. You can't be lazy and be happy. You can't be disobedient and be happy. I am challenging every one of you, and rechallenging myself also, let's get so much better at quick, prompt, complete obedience to what God shows us to do. I mean, let's don't be the kind of people that God's gotta deal with us for a year and a half to get us to do some simple thing that could be life changing for us. We've asked him, "I need a breakthrough. I need you to help me," and he's showed you something like maybe, maybe you need to apologize to somebody. Just, you know, you acted kinda ignorant.
Now just go tell 'em you're sorry. Come on, man up, take responsibility. Get rid of the excuses and just say, "You know, the other day, when that happened between us, I lost my temper. You know what? That was totally my fault". Man, isn't that hard to say? We once in a while will share the blame, but, "That was totally my fault," now, that is, like, gut-wrenchingly hard. But, boy, you know what? Those are freeing words. When we stop making excuses and we start taking responsibility for the things that we do wrong, that's what sets us free. Satan wants us to be deceived, always finding somewhere else to put the problem, so we never get our problem fixed, because we never take responsibility for it. And guess what? Nobody else is gonna come along and fix your problem. You know, I got three ladies out here in the middle that are agreeing.
Joyce: Well, today I've been teaching about the keys to breakthrough. And Ginger is here with me, to answer some of the questions that you've sent in regarding breakthrough. Well, we all need a breakthrough in some area, don't we, Ginger?
Ginger: That is so true, and I think people really appreciate the encouragement, you know, that breakthrough is even possible.
Joyce: Yeah, and that everybody needs it, so you're not by yourself.
Ginger: Yes, exactly. So this first question, I think is a great place to start. It says, "What does breakthrough really mean"? So, I think sometimes it's so foreign to us that we can even experience that.
Joyce: That's a good question. Well, I think it just means that you, you know something needs to change in this area, and so, finally, you feel that you've got that change or you've got a handle on how to make that change in your life.
Ginger: And that's why I think it is so encouraging to hear because these are those areas that you do feel often stuck. Or, "Am I ever going to get through this"?
Joyce: Yeah, you know, one of the reasons I think why, people get stuck is because a lot of times when we need something to change, we're always hoping it'll be somebody else that needs to change.
Ginger: To fix our problem?
Joyce: Not us.
Ginger: Yeah, right.
Joyce: And, you know, Jesus said, in John 8, that if, "You continue in his word you will know the truth and the truth will make you free". And you know, it's very easy to blame everything on everybody else, but the fact is and the truth is, you can't make somebody else do what they should do.
Ginger: Very true. I've tried, doesn't work.
Joyce: Yeah, me too. The only thing you can really do anything about is yourself. And so, if there is a problem in a relationship, or say, it's a financial problem, you know, a lot of times, people will have a financial problem and they'll blame it on their job: they're not paid enough for doing what they should be doing or they'll blame it on the world: everything is too expensive. But you know, facing truth, it's like, really getting real with God. I love the way David, in the Psalms, was always so real with God. And a lot of times we just really need to go to God and say "Okay, is there something that I'm doing? Or something I'm not doing? Or what can I do in this situation to make that change"? You know, it's fine to want change but it's kind of silly to want a change that you're not willing to do anything about.
Joyce: And I almost always find that, no matter what somebody else is doing wrong, there's a part that I play, too. Either I'm responding to their wrong behavior, wrong, or I'm just getting angry at them and I'm not praying for them, or, you know, I'm just looking at what's wrong with them and not thinking about all the things that are right. So, I think that breakthrough, getting the changes that we need, whether it's in your eating habits, your finances, relationships with other people, your health: we always need to not just want God to do some miraculous thing. You know, that's fine and who doesn't want a miracle? But there's usually a cause behind every problem and yes, it may just be the devil trying to annoy you, but let's be honest enough with God to give him a chance to tell us for real.
Ginger: Yeah. I love what you're saying because you're saying, "Yes, it's true that other people do impact our lives, and there are things that don't seem fair at times, but we still have responsibility". God's still asking us to do certain things for our own breakthrough. Here's a question from Christina, she says, "Are obstacles to breakthrough normal, even when you truly believe that God is leading you in a certain direction"?
Joyce: Oh, absolutely. I mean, Paul said in, I think, 1 Corinthians 16:9: "A wide door of opportunity opened unto me and with it many adversaries". And so yes, you know, whatever it is, I mean, let's just say you're trying to lose weight and you've got your plan and you know, it won't be abnormal to get invited to every party imaginable and they're going to have everything there that you shouldn't eat that you're gonna wanna eat. And it's always easy to say, "Well, after this party," "Well, after this dinner," "Well, after this, or after that," and sometimes we just need to go ahead and do the hard thing. You know, it's not like, "Well, after Christmas". Well, what about before Christmas? You know? What about just, you know, doing things now instead of always trying to wait for it to be a convenient time? And yes, there, absolutely, anytime you try to make progress, the enemy hates progress, and anytime that you try to make progress he will try to stop you. So, persistence is very much a key to breakthrough.
Ginger: Yeah, and it doesn't necessarily mean that it's not what God wants for you because it's not coming easily.
Joyce: No, right.
Ginger: Great, okay. This one is Ann, from Missouri, "I'm tempted to worry, and stress out, and be envious of others who have their breakthroughs. What about mine? How do I avoid the pity party that inevitably comes while I'm waiting for my breakthrough"?
Joyce: Well, I think she knows the problem.
Ginger: She described it really well.
Joyce: She described it really well, so, being honest with God and praying and asking him for the grace, you know, something that I've been realizing lately just more and more is why spend my time doing things that are useless? You know, when you really think about it, worry has never solved a problem. Being jealous of somebody else is not gonna get you what you want. Those things don't move God one bit. You know, no matter how sorry we feel for ourselves, God is not gonna get in our pity party and feel sorry for us, too. And so, let's just like, and I don't mean this harsh, but let's just grow up a little bit and stop wasting our time doing all these things over and over that really are not bringing solutions to our problem.
Ginger: Right. And it's not harsh because we've all been there. I mean, we all need to tell ourselves that and to be reminded of that so...
Joyce: And it really, you know, to be jealous of what somebody else has is really foolish because first of all, you don't know what they did to get what they've got. You don't know what that person has gone through, you know, maybe they've had a very, very difficult time and God is blessing them for some reason that's only between them and God. You know, the thing I think we all have to realize is God is not gonna hold me accountable for anybody but me.
Ginger: That's important.
Joyce: In Romans 14, it says, "Every man will give an account of himself," but God's not gonna ask me, you know, why Dave didn't do this, that, or something else, or why Ginger didn't do this, that, or something else. You know, I can pray and that's what we really need to do, we need to do a lot more praying in faith, believing that God can make the changes that need to be made and keep our hands off of it and let God do what he wants to do with us.
Ginger: That's really good because it's not like there are only a certain amount of breakthroughs and God's gonna use one on someone else and you're not gonna get it.
Joyce: Right, yeah.
Ginger: This question from Debbie, from California says, "I feel like God has forgotten about me while I'm waiting for my breakthrough. Isn't my problem important to him? Has he given up on me"?
Joyce: Well, you know, I think about when the disciples were in the storm and at the end of Mark chapter 4, Jesus said, "Let us cross over to the other side", or not the very end, but a few versus up, "Let us cross over to the other side," and they were in the boat and the very next thing that happened, the Amplified Bible says, "A storm of hurricane proportions," so, wasn't just a little storm, it was a big storm and the disciples were frightened. They were really upset, and Jesus was asleep. Now, how often do we feel like, "Well, you're asleep".? You know, David in the Psalms, he cries out, "God, when? When are you", you know? "How long am I gonna have to wait"? But then I love, if you read that whole story, chapter 5, verse 1 says, "And they arrived on the other side". So, when Jesus says something, he said, "Let us go to the other side," doesn't matter how many storms you have in between, what he says will come to pass if you don't give up and I think this, you know, why does God hide from us? Well, one: to make us seek him. Which, a lot of times, people don't, if it's all convenient.
Ginger: And he promises, when we do that, we'll find him.
Joyce: Yeah, "Seek me and you'll find me". And actually it says, "Seek and keep on seeking," in the Amplified, "Ask and keep on asking". And so there is a persistence sometimes that we need to go through. And I think the other reason why sometimes God hides from us or doesn't give us our breakthrough right away is, it stretches our faith. You know, faith doesn't grow if you don't have to use it. So, sometimes, God will literally put us in a position where faith is all we have. And faith is the substance of things hoped for. It's not what you already see or what you already have or even what you already feel. It's what you have in your heart.
Ginger: And I've certainly, been there, I think we've probably, all been there...
Joyce: Oh, we all have.
Ginger: Where our faith has really been stretched and after it's over, 'cause there is such benefit in looking back, you don't see it, you especially don't feel it, when you're in it, but there's such good that God had for me in that time, so much to teach me. Don't always enjoy it but all of that, the reason is always for our benefit.
Joyce: Oh, absolutely and you know, then you have to say well, you know, "Gee, I really wouldn't be where I am now if I wouldn't have learned those things that I learned through that". So, above all we need to believe that God is good. All the time. And that everything that he asks us to do or not to do is for our benefit.
Ginger: Yeah. Alright, let's do one more, is that alright? Lillian says, "I'm struggling to believe in God's promises. I know I need to trust that he has a good plan for me, but I don't. Every time I trust him for a breakthrough it doesn't happen. So, how do I keep trusting him in a situation like this"?
Joyce: Well gee, that's just, like, such an easy question to answer. It's like, you know, she's asking me how she can have faith and that's something that she has to decide, you know, because faith is not a feeling. You know, you either say, I mean, what do you have if you don't have God, really? I mean, what else is a person gonna do?
Ginger: What else does she do?
Joyce: I'm either going to, you know, the Bible says, "Only a fool says there is no God," and so, I don't know why she's having trouble believing the promises of God. But I do know one thing, nothing will ever change if she doesn't put her faith in something that God says and maybe she needs to look around a little bit better at what God has done instead of just maybe whatever it is she's fixated on that God hasn't done. Because I mean, you're not gonna find anybody who believes in God who hasn't had some good things happen in their life. And so, a lot of times, it's not that God needs to do something else, we need to fix our focus and see what he is doing. And you know, that's something that I prayed just this morning, "God, let me see today what you're doing in my life" because I think a lot of times we just don't see it. You know, we think it's a coincidence or this, or that, or something else and so...
Ginger: It does build our faith.
Joyce: I guess the bottom line of my answer to her is look around and see what God has done and it will increase your faith to believe that if he can do that, then he can do something else.
Ginger: Exactly, and his word does say that he's not a respecter of persons, that he loves us all completely. There is breakthrough coming because he can do all things.
Joyce: God is not a man that he should lie. And I think just to sum this up today, I believe, if you wanted one key to breakthrough, I would say it's not to ever give up. I think persistence and sticking with it. Just keep on keeping on, you know, "Be not weary in well-doing for in due season, you shall reap if you faint not".
Ginger: Well, thank you.
Joyce: You're welcome.
Well today, we're offering you two teachings on CD, "The Keys to Breakthrough", and, "The Power of Simple Prayer". You know, I think, sometimes, we complicate prayer, we get it in our head that it's gotta be a certain way, and in a certain posture, and you know, certain words, but God wants you to be comfortable when you pray and he wants you to talk to him like you would a good friend. And so, get these two teachings today on CD and learn more about the keys to breakthrough, and learn how you can enjoy your prayer life a lot more. We really appreciate you being with us today and we'll pray for you and we ask that you pray for us, and remember that we'd love to hear from you. God bless you.