Joyce Meyer - Keys to Breakthrough - Part 2
The first thing you must do if you ever intend to have any freedom over bondages is you have to take 100% responsibility for where your life is at right now. But do you know how hard that is because you know how long it took me to get there? I mean, I'm this way because my dad sexually abused me. I'm this way because my mother abandoned me, knew what he was doing, and wouldn't help me. I'm this way because my first husband was a conman and a petty thief and he ran around with other women. I'm this way because and I'm this way because and I'm this way because... And you know what the Lord finally put on my heart? "That's true. That's true. That's why you are the way you are but don't let it become an excuse to stay that way".
That's such a good point. You are where you are. No matter who caused you to be here, you are stuck with you and your life. And now, God will help you but nobody else, let's put it like this. A lot of people may wanna help you but you can't depend on somebody else coming along and fixing your mess. And even people who wanna come along and help fix it, they don't want the full job. They want other people to do something for them. I'm gonna tell you a quick little story. I didn't really plan to do this but I only had one sibling. He's not alive anymore. He was nine years younger than me. And we both were abused in different ways. He wasn't abused sexually but he was definitely, grew up in a home where the father was unpresent and whatever he did teach him, everything he taught him was wrong. He went into the Vietnam war when he was 17 and ended up in the jungles in Vietnam and his sergeant gave the guys drugs over there just to keep them, I guess, what he thought was sane.
Anyway, my brother, at the age of 17, got addicted to drugs. And it was a lifelong problem for him: alcohol, prescription drugs. But the biggest thing that I always saw about my brother was that he would never take responsibility for anything. He got married, he had a child, he never supported the child. When they came after him for child support, he would work for people for cash so the government couldn't find that he was working and take his check. We'd get him in treatment program after treatment program and, just when he'd start to get a little better and they would start to give him a little, listen to the word, responsibility, then he'd decide that, "Well, you know, sis, this is just not for me. This is not me".
So, he lived with us for four years and we tried to take care of him and helped him and if I said, "David, get up and go to work," he'd get up and go to work. If I said, "David, did you do this," and he hadn't done it, he'd go do it. But if somebody didn't tell him everything to do, then he just didn't do anything. So I marvel that the two of us grew up in the same household with the same types of problems and very sad to say that I guess about eight years ago, he ended up committing suicide and I'm, at the age of 75, still preaching the Gospel all over the world. Now, I'm not saying something bad about him and something good about me, but I have to believe that we both had the same opportunity. Otherwise, God is so grossly unfair, I mean, if he just says, "Well, okay, you can make it but you're never gonna get out of bondage, and oh, there, okay, you can make it but, no, you're gonna stay in bondage all your life".
The promises of God are for whosoever will do what God tells them to do can have what God says they can have. Gonna say it again. Whosoever does what God tells them to do can have whatsoever God says they can have. Are you getting it? I want you, when this conference is over, to go home and have a long meeting with yourself. We're always having meetings but the person you need to meet with the most sometimes is you. Some of you've been running past yourself for so long, avoiding yourself and avoiding facing some truth, that you don't even know where you're at anymore, you need to slow down, get down with yourself, and say, "Okay, what am I doing with my life"? What am I doing with my life? Where am I headed? With what I'm doing right now where am I likely to end up in five years or ten years? Do I really wanna end up in the direction that I'm headed in or do I wanna make some changes now?
C'mon, say, "Now". Do I wanna make some changes now? You know what the most dangerous word in the English language is? Tomorrow. You know, when Pharaoh's house was full of frogs, frogs in the bed, frogs in the oven, frogs everywhere, if they had a driveway there were frogs in the driveway. When they pulled the chariot out, it was crunch, crunch, crunch. Frogs, frogs. Imagine having frogs in your bed. Everywhere, you couldn't walk without stepping on a frog. And Moses said, "Tell me when you want me to pray for these to go away and I will pray and they will go away". And Pharaoh obviously was missing something on top because he said, "Tomorrow". Now, what kind of dumb do you have to be if you could not sleep with frogs tonight and you can just take that wherever you want to. You know, c'mon, ladies, let me just take a chance on making you mad. Some of you may be living with somebody that is frog, frog, double-frog. And they don't love you. They're using you and you are so petrified of never having anybody that you're sticking with something dumb. C'mon, get rid of the frog today.
So now is the time for change in some of your lives. I believe it. I could easily stand here and say, "Thus saith the Lord: now is the time for change". I believe that there is an anointing here today for people to make decisions. There's a grace here for God to help you stick with those decisions but it's time to start doing the things that you believe that God has told you to do or stop doing the things he has told you to stop doing. It's time to get your life headed in the right direction, amen! Here's a scripture that scares me a little, in a right way. I have a reverential fear of this scripture.
Romans 14:12: "So then each of us will give an account of himself to God". I think we need to have some scriptures that give us some reverential fear. That's part of what's wrong with people today. They don't have the proper reverential fear of God. Yes, God is our friend but you can't look at God like your buddy that you just hang out with, that just understands you and just, you know, whatever. No, God is God. He is Almighty God and he means what he says and when he says to do something, we better do it. And we need a little more of that hellfire and brimstone preaching back that people used to have years ago.
So I was reading something the other day that said, "Today people think hell either doesn't exist or that it's just gonna be a place that's gonna be uncomfortable". It's no wonder we've got so many wimpy Christians. You gotta have some reverential fear of God. You don't need to be afraid of God. He loves you, he's not gonna hurt you, but he's not to be messed around with either. "We get the kindness and the severity of God," Paul said. When the Holy Spirit comes to live in us, we have a guide and a companion for the whole rest of our lives. But now get this. We have a companion that's smarter than we are. And he's in us to hopefully keep us going in the right direction so we can have the things that Jesus died for us to have. They're all ours by right of inheritance but God is not going to give the inheritance that he wants us to have to a bunch of spoiled bratty babies, amen?
Any parent knows if you've got any kind of an inheritance to leave to your children, you don't go give a bunch of money to a three-year-old. You put what they have with a trustee until they're old enough to get it. Well, the Holy Spirit is our trustee, and Jesus said he will reveal everything to you that's mine. He will transmit it to you. He will make it work in your life but it's as we mature and grow up in God. John 16:13: "When he, the spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth". But please remember, a lot of what God's gonna have to show you is stuff about you that you don't wanna see. Well, let's just ask and see what we get. Why not? How many of you are hard to get along with? Well, then, I guess you don't have to wonder why you don't have many friends. How many of you are controllers? You wanna be in control of everything? See? This is like a free session on the psychiatrist's couch today.
Okay, now listen. If we know that, we know... See, God showed me when I was talking to him about changing Dave, he said, "You're just hard to get along with". I remember when Dave finally said to me one day, he said, "You know what? I've tried to do this to please you and that to please you and this to please you and no matter what I do, you still find some way to be unhappy, so, guess what? I'm done trying. You can either get happy or you can stay unhappy but you're not gonna make me unhappy anymore". Seriously, have a meeting with yourself. Be bold. "What kind of a person am i? C'mon, God, let's have a truth session. Am I selfish or am I generous? Do I really enjoy giving"?
I found out a truth about me last week. At this age, I found out something about me, and I said to my daughter who then began to laugh very loudly, I said, "You know what, Laura, I have discovered about myself"? And she said, "What"? I said, "I don't like to be uncomfortable". And she said, "Really? You didn't know that before"? And I said, "No". See, I don't like to be hot and I don't like to be cold. I want it to be just right. I like a good mattress. Can't do with a mattress that's not good. And then I also realized that when I'm not comfortable I usually wanna make sure everybody knows I'm not comfortable. So if God decided to show me that, I have a feeling that the next lesson is gonna be learn to be uncomfortable and keep your mouth shut. How many of you think that you maybe have a few more things to learn about yourself?
Okay, now, it's not good to lie to a preacher. So, I wanna know how many of you are gonna go home and sometime within the next week you're gonna have that meeting with yourself. All right, you know, we can't grow spiritually without truth. But here again, it's just not, "Some truth". You know, we love it when God shows us truth about somebody else. That don't hurt. But it's when he starts showing us, you know what, it is your fault. There's always things that other people are doing wrong. Nobody's saying that you're the only person in the building that does anything wrong. But here's the thing. We can't fix them. Only God can. The only person you can fix is you, amen? And so I learned a long time ago if I stay busy letting God work with me, then he'll take care of the other people in my life and I don't need to make them my private workshop... Thing.
"Speak the truth in love [in all things,both in speech, our lives expressing truth], let us grow up in all things into him [following his example] who is the head that is Christ Jesus". Funny example. Your clothes get too tight. Well, you're never eating too much. We know that. Your metabolism has gone haywire. The cleaners shrunk your clothes. Surely, the cleaners shrunk your clothes. truth is armor. When you start walking in the truth, being truthful with yourself especially is what I'm talking about today. When you start really walking in truth, it gives you an armor against the devil. The Bible says that the belt of truth is one of the pieces of armor that God has given us.
Now, we know that's talking about the Word of God. But the Word of God must be applied to our lives. And so, in Ephesians 6, it says that when you're having problems, you are to tighten the belt of truth. Tighten it. In other words, if you're going through something tough, you better hang on to what's in here like you have never hung on before. And I've learned something about problems. Short-term problems are much easier to deal with than long, long, very long, problems. Or when you get over one, and another one comes right back. And you get over another one, and another one comes right back. Anybody here feel like you've just had a train of problems lately? Well, I've had some stuff going on too, let me tell you. And I've had to hang on. We got time for one more. I have ten of these today, by the way.
Psalm 51:6 says: "Behold, you desire truth in the innermost being". So, what's our job for today? We're gonna be honest with ourself about ourself, right? And you know what we're gonna learn how to say? I want you to learn how to say this without mumbling: "I was wrong, and I'm sorry". You mumbled. You did okay on the "I was wrong", but you went to a low mumble. C'mon, "I was wrong. And I'm sorry". That can save marriages, it can endear you to people. You will be absolutely amazed how much better people will like you if you start taking responsibility for the things you do wrong and stop trying to push everything off on somebody else.
The second key to breakthrough: pray, of course, 'cause you're gonna need a lot of help with this one. So you wanna pray first. Because the next key to breakthrough is stop feeling sorry for yourself. Self-pity. The devil invites you to a pity party and you decide to go. You've been there every day for the last 20 years. You know it's a miserable party but you go again. I mean, who wouldn't wanna sit in a dark room all day and cry and think about how bad off you are? What could you find to do that would be any more fun than that? I used to have such a problem with self-pity. "I was abused. I didn't get to go to college. Dave's out playing golf again today". On and on and on.
And I'm sure you've heard me say this but as I was growing up in God and he had given me a ministry and I was wanting that to grow, I still wasted a lot of my time... Yes, I said, "Wasted a lot of my time," feeling sorry for myself. If a meeting wasn't big enough I felt sorry for myself. If I wanted an opportunity to do something and the opportunity went to somebody else I'd feel sorry for myself. How many of you wanna see the power of God flowing through your life? Well then, today, you have to give up pity. Self-pity. You know why it's a problem? Because it's idolatry. It causes us to turn in on ourselves and everything is about how I feel, what I want, what I'm not getting, what people aren't doing for me, what I've missed out on in life. What we should be doing is counting our blessings, not looking at all the stuff that somebody has not done for us.
Let me read you Deuteronomy 7:1-2: "When the Lord your God brings you into the land which you are entering to possess and has cleared away many nations before you, the Hittites, the girgashites, the amorites, the Canaanites, the perizzites, the hivites, the Jebusites," and we've all got our own "Ites," the grouchy neighbor-ites, the bad boss-ites, the aching back-ites, the.. We've all got 'em. Now, listen to this. "When the Lord your God gives them over to you and you defeat them, then you shall utterly destroy them. You shall not make a covenant (or a treaty) with them, nor shall you show them mercy or compassion".
Now, I want to apply this to this thing about self-pity but you can apply it to lots of different things. I knew that God had dealt with me about self-pity. I knew I needed to stop doing it. And I fully intended to obey God but sometimes I just wanted to have just one cup of coffee with pity. Before I had to not feel sorry for myself and act happy all day. I just wanted a little bit of time and God led me to this scripture. Said, "You can't have pity on pity. You can't have compassion on pity. You can't let it stay around for two seconds. You have to utterly defeat it and destroy it".