Joyce Meyer - Aging Without Getting Old - Part 3
Well, thank you for joining us today on, "Enjoying Everyday Life". And I believe that some of the things I'm gonna say today or gonna help you enjoy your life a lot more. I've written a new book called, "How To Age Without Getting Old". Age is a number but being old is a mindset. Now, there's a lot of things that we can do in the natural to help us not to age as fast, and to still be in good shape even as we get older. Many of those things are found in the Word of God, and things that we should do anyway, just because God tells us to do them. Stress, excessive stress throughout your life always causes you to look older and feel older, when you get more up in years.
You know, I mean, you could put two people side-by-side that are both 75 years old, and one of them can look 60, and one can look 95. And a lot of it is just how they've lived their life. Did they live a life of worry and anxiety? Did they spend way too much time in the sun without any kind of sunblock or protection on? Did they go year after year and not get enough rest, not get enough sleep? Were they angry all their life, holding onto unforgiveness because of something that happened earlier in their life? You know, you may be in your 20s, or 30s, or 40s, and maybe, even your 50s and your thinkin', "Well, this is not for me". Well, the thing is if you'll listen early and if you'll implement some of these things I'm suggesting early, then when you get to be older, you won't have some of the problems that you will have if you don't listen.
And I know a lot of people wait until it's too late, and then they say, "I wish I would have". Well, it doesn't do you any good when you're over here, to wish you would have over here. But we can learn by listening to other people. And I've learned many hard-earned lessons by doing too much, and not getting enough rest, and pushing myself and pushing myself. A lot of it because I didn't know how to say, "No," because I wanted to make people happy, I wanted them to like me. And as I said, stress causes a large majority of this aging too fast. And one of the things that causes stress is not knowing how to say, "No". Are you a person who is a people-pleaser? Well, we should all wanna please people, the Bible tells us to live to please people. But we shouldn't live to please people, if it gets to the point where by pleasing people, we're not pleasing God. The thing we need to do is to be led by the Holy Spirit.
When Jesus ascended on high, he sent the Holy Spirit to live on the inside of us. He said, "He has been with you and now he's going to be in you". And he's our helper, our comforter, our strengthener. He helps us pray. He prompts us and lets us know when we're doing something right, and when we're doing something wrong. You know, the Holy Spirit will prompt me sometimes when I'm in a conversation to just stop talking. It's not going the way it should, or I'm just talking too much, or I'm talking over other people, and not letting them talk. I mean, the Holy Spirit will get involved in all the tiniest details of your everyday life, if you'll learn how to listen to him. And one of the things we need to do is learn when to say, "Yes," and when to say, "No".
Now, let's talk about grace. The Bible talks a lot about grace. And the Holy Spirit is the spirit of grace. He gives us grace when what we're doing, is what God's will is for us. We also need to make sure that what we're doing is for the right reason, like the Bible says in Matthew 6, "If you give and do good things for people to be seen by men, then you lose your reward". Or "If you pray in public to be admired by men, you lose your reward". Well, what you do in secret unto the Lord with the right motive, will be rewarded in the open. So, I've learned that motives are very, very important. And if I'm doing something just to keep somebody from getting mad at me, when I know down deep inside it's something that I should be saying, "No," to, then that's actually sin, because I'm not obeying God. If you find yourself doing things and complaining the whole time you're doing 'em or dreading them, it's probably something you should've said, "No," to but you said, "Yes," to.
Now, don't misunderstand me, all of us have things that we need to do, that we maybe aren't that crazy about, but we just know that it's something that we need to do for somebody. But you can still do it without having a bad attitude and without dreading it, because you can ask God to help you with that. Grace is an amazing thing, grace is ability. It's the ability to do something with ease. When God's grace is on something, it's not stressful to you. It doesn't wear you out. You do it with the grace of God on it and his grace is like oil. Matter of fact, I'll share a scripture with you in a little bit that actually talks about that. God's grace makes everything smooth, things run smoother, they work. But when things aren't working and we're just pushing and pushing, and trying to make something happen, and make something happen, most of the time that's because we're doing something that's outside of what God wants us to do.
Now, don't misunderstand me, there are things that are hard, and there are things that are challenging, and there are times when we need to press through, even resist the enemy. But there's only so much of that, that you can do, and then you need to wake up and smell the roses, so to speak, and say, "Maybe I'm trying to do something that God's not in"? Sometimes we're even doing something, we're trying to do something that is the will of God, but it's the wrong timing. So, let's learn how to follow those promptings of the Holy Spirit, so, we can live in peace. The more peace you have, the slower you will age, and the more frustration you have, the faster you're gonna age. You can be 50 and look 70, or you can be 70 and look 50, it all depends on how you live your life now.
Frustration equals stress. If I could see all of you, which I can't, you can see me, but I'll ask this question anyway, how many of you are frustrated about something in your life right now? Well, if I could see you, there would probably be millions of hands around the world going up. Or how many of you are upset about something that happened this morning? How many of you are mad at somebody? Well, all of those things create stress. They create inner stress in your life, and that's what really wears us out. That's what wears out our organs. Jesus said, "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest". The Amplified Bible says, "[I will ease, relieve and refresh your soul.]" your soul is your inner life: it's your mind, your will and your emotions, and that's where we need rest. You can take a vacation and come back from the vacation and need a vacation to get over your vacation.
Some people when they go on a vacation, they have every second scheduled to do something and there's no rest involved at all. And yes, vacations are to have fun, but they're also to be refreshed, so when you go back to work, you're ready to give it your all again. Grace is the power of the Holy Spirit to enable you to do a thing with ease, that you couldn't do otherwise, with any amount of struggle and effort. Doing your own thing leaves you on your own to do it. But doing what God wants you to do, comes with grace and ability. Doing what others demand, what they require, you have to be very careful that you don't let people control and manipulate you.
Once again, we all want everybody to like us. Gosh, I hope everyone of you like me. But you know, if you don't, I can't get into some kind of a thing of trying to rework myself and change how I preach and how I teach just to make you happy. I have to be led by the Holy Spirit. We need God's approval much more than we need man's approval. You know, we're not all in a popularity contest. In Galatians 1:10, I love what the apostle Paul said. He said, "If I were trying to be popular with people, I would not right now be an apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ". Do you realize what he's saying? "I would have missed the calling on my life if I would have tried to be popular with people".
And I can tell you I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing now, if I would have been a people-pleaser, because when God first called me to do this, I lost practically every friend I had. It wasn't popular for women to teach the word or preach the Gospel in those days. It was okay to teach maybe a Sunday school class to little kids, but you couldn't teach anything else. It was wrong for a woman to be in leadership. Well, God used women, there's all kinds of women in the Bible that God used. And Jesus said, "There's no more male nor female, Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, but we're all one in Christ". I didn't call myself, God called me. But if I would have wanted to be popular with people, now, listen to me, I would not now be doing what I'm doing and I would have missed so much. I wonder how many people miss their entire destiny, because they're set on trying to please people and keep them happy? You know, you can rework your whole life to please people and then as soon as you don't please them, they're gonna get rid of you anyway.
So, you might as well start by following God. In Zechariah chapter 4 verse 6, there was a project that had been going on and now it needed to be finished, and the question was asked, "Who's gonna bring the finishing stone to this building"? And "Then he said to me, 'this [addition of the bowl]'", which was full of oil, I want you to think oil, "[to the candlestick, causing it to yield a ceaseless supply of oil from the olive tree] is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel, saying, 'not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit [of whom the oil is a symbol],' says the Lord of hosts". So, it's kinda like we're the candlestick and the Holy Spirit is the oil. Well, they had oil lamps, and so if there was no oil in 'em, there was gonna be no light.
Well, we can think about, let's just say I'm a lamp, and the Holy Spirit is the power cord to the lamp. Well, I'm not gonna put forth any light, if I'm not plugged into the outlet. The Holy Spirit is the power, for you to live a life that is not full of stress. Did you get that? The Holy Spirit is the power, for you to not live a life that's full of stress, but you have to listen to him. You say, "Well I don't know how to hear from God". Well, actually, it's not that hard. You know the word, he's not ever gonna tell you to do anything that's outside the word. And we know that God wants us to live in a restful, peaceful state. So, he's not gonna give us things to do that are gonna leave us worn out, and stressed out, and burned out, and full of fear, and frustrated and aggravated all the time. He's not gonna give us a schedule that's gonna just cause us to go from thing, to thing, to thing, to thing and always have to be in a hurry all the time.
And if that's the way your schedule is, then it's because you've made it yourself and it's probably because you said, "Yes," to too many people when you should've been saying, "No," to somethings. Now, once again, we wanna make people happy. There's a scripture that says, "Live to please people," but it's not talking about doing it, if what you're doing is gonna cause you to displease God. Do you have enough oil coming to your candlestick? Are you plugged into the power source that you need to be plugged into? You know, Satan doesn't care if you're over committed or uncommitted as long as you're out of balance. That's what causes stress in our life is being out of balance, too much of one thing, not enough of another.
In the Amplified Bible in 1 Peter chapter 5, I think it's verse 8, it says, "Be well-balanced: for your adversary, the devil, roams about like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking whom he may devour". So, if I'm out of balance, if I'm eating too much sugar, if I'm drinking too many caffeine drinks, if I'm sitting around all day being lazy doing nothing, if I'm doing, doing, doing, going, going, going all the time, either one is out of balance. So, the devil doesn't care if you're uncommitted or overcommitted, he just doesn't want you to be a balanced person that's following the leadership and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Do you know that God does not want you to be tired all the time? And I could stand in front of a crowd of thousands of people and say, "How many of you feel tired most of the time"?
And I can guarantee you there would be almost all the hands in the room go up, and it's because we've forgotten how to live properly. Everything has to rest. God even gave commandments in the Old Testament that one year, out of every seven, the land had to rest. One day, out of seven, the people had to rest, the servants got to rest. We need rest and we don't just need it once a week, we need it on a regular basis. Don't live your life stressed out and overcommitted because you don't know how to say, "No," to people. Are you letting somebody control you? I know I'm being a little bit straightforward here today, but I only got so much time to get this across to you. Are you letting someone control you? Are you a people-pleaser? Are you saying, "Yes," to all kinds of things while your heart is screaming, "No"?
Matthew 5:37 says, "Let what you say be simply, 'yes' or 'no': anything more than that comes from the evil one". Another translation says, "Let your 'yes' be 'yes' and your 'no' be 'no'". Well, I think we could take that a couple of different ways. One thing is, if you say, "Yes" then follow through and do it, be a person of integrity. But it can also mean if God is saying, "No," you say, "No," and if God's saying, "Yes," than you say, "Yes". Let's slow down in life. Let me just suggest to you that you slow down just enough, where you can have one ear tuned into the guidance of the Holy Spirit on a regular basis. You know, somebody told me a couple days ago, they were going to a certain restaurant that night to celebrate their wife's birthday and right away, I remembered that I had a gift card to that restaurant that I'd had for over a year and had never used. Well, I didn't have to get a sermon from God, it just came to my heart, give them the gift card.
Well, you know how we are sometimes we're like, "Well, I wanna keep it". Well, it was obvious I didn't need to keep it 'cause I wasn't using it. And so I could sense that God wanted me to give it. I didn't have to have a prophecy, I didn't have to have a sermon preached to me, I didn't have to go look up scriptures to see it was okay. I knew because the Holy Spirit prompted me, to do that. Follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Get rid of some of the stress in your life and you won't age nearly as quickly as you will if you don't follow the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Do you know how wonderful it is, to do everything you do with the grace of God on it? To not have to feel pressured all the time? To not be upset all the time? You know how wonderful it is to forgive people the minute that you feel offended because that's the way God has told you to live and you wanna be obedient to him?
And then the enemy whispers in your ear, "Well, it's not fair, they this, and they that, and they something else". Well, you know what? God will take care of they, if we will do what he's asking us to do. Be an obedient child of God, be pliable and moldable in the hands of God, adapt and adjust yourself to his will. Let your 'yes' be 'yes' and your 'no' be 'no' anything more than that comes from the evil one. Here's a good example about a prompting of the spirit, or your conscience being stricken.
You know, one of the ways that God uses to let us know that something is right or wrong is by our conscience. You feel right about something or you just know that it's wrong. And sometimes we know something's wrong for us, and there's not a scripture and a verse for it, it's just like, "I know I'm not supposed to do that". Here's a simple example, you're out shoppin', you're gettin' really tired, you're gettin' tireder, tireder, tireder. But in the natural, in the fleshly part of you, you wanna keep shopping because you're finding things, you're liking 'em, they're pretty, you're spending money, you're emotional about it. But down deep inside you know, I need to go home and rest because I've got thus and so, and thus and so, and thus and so to do tomorrow.
Well, I can't tell you how many times I would override that. So, the rest of the trip, maybe I stayed out till the stores closed, but I did it without God grace. And then sure enough the next day I was exhausted and worn out, probably from buying things I didn't really need any way. The Holy Spirit will lead you and guide you in literally, every area of your life, if you'll slow down enough to listen to him, and be committed to listening to him. Here's an example from David's life. You know, Saul had spent years trying to kill David. And so, David had to spend a lot of time hiding from him. And in 1 Samuel 24:1-8, it says, "When Saul returned from following the Philistines, he was told, 'behold, David is in the wilderness of engedI'. So Saul took 3000 men and went to seek David out. As he came to the sheepfolds by the way, there was a cave, and Saul went in to relieve himself. Now David and his men were sitting in the innermost parts of the cave".
This is really good, so stick with me. "And the men of David said to him, 'here is the day of which the Lord said to you, "Behold I will give your enemy into your hand, and you shall do to him as seems good to you"'". So, God had said to David at one time, "The time is gonna come when I'm gonna give Saul into your hands and you can do as you please". "So, David got up and he stealthily", that means sneaking, "Cut off a corner of Saul's robe. And afterward David's heart struck him, because he had cut off the corner of Saul's robe".
Now, why did he just cut off the corner of Saul's robe? Because he was gonna go to him later and say, "See I could've killed you, but I didn't". And "He then said to his men, 'the Lord forbid that I should do this thing to my Lord, the Lord's anointed, to put out my hand against him, seeing he is the Lord's anointed'. So David persuaded his men with these words and did not permit them to attack Saul. And Saul rose up and left the cave and went on his way". I love that, his "Heart struck him". That literally means that by his conscience he knew that it was not a right thing to do. Oh, my goodness, how different the world would be, if everybody could hear what I'm saying today, "Let God into their life and follow his guidance".
You know, God only wants good things for you, and he only wants good things for me. And if we'll follow him, our lives can be so good. And one thing's for sure, if we follow God we will still be strong in our old age. What does it say about Moses? Even when he was a hundred and twenty, he was still strong and his eye was not dim. He could still see good. And who was it, Caleb? At this old age asked God to give him a mountain to conquer. How about if you were 80 or 90 and you were still asking God for mountains? I don't wanna just get old and go sit somewhere in a corner and feel sorry for myself all the time. So, I'm tryin' to do everything I can now, to make sure that I can bear good fruit for God as long as I'm on the earth.
Today, we're offering you the book that I've written, "How To Age Without Getting Old". And I hope this book just does wonderfully, because I think that there's things in it that people really need to hear. And we're offering it to you for your gift to the ministry of any amount, and I trust that you will do your very best. And we promise to use your money to help hurting people all around the world. We love you so much. I'm so glad you're with us today. God bless you, and follow the promptings of the Holy Spirit.