Joyce Meyer - Dealing with Doubt - Part 2
Okay now, I think that sometimes we do doubt God but I think more than we doubt God, we doubt ourselves. So, we're gonna talk a lot tonight about self-doubt. And what I mean by that is we don't doubt that God can do it, but will he do it for me? I don't doubt that he might do it for you, but will he do it for me? And so, in James chapter 1, the Bible teaches us, beginning in verse 5, he's already been talking about trials, and tribulations, and the problems that we have but then he basically says that, when you're having problems of any kind, even if you don't deserve it, you can go to God and you can ask him boldly to help you and he will help you. And I love this in the Amplified Bible, "Without reproach or fault finding".
In other words he doesn't say, "Well, I'm not gonna help you, you've been this that or something else. Well, I'll help you but let me remind you of what you've done". That's what reproach is and God's not like that. You know, sometimes we're like that as parents. Kids will get in trouble and they come and they need mom to help or dad, "Well, all right, but I just don't want you to forget. Just make sure that you know how wonderful I'm being in helping you because you really don't deserve my help". But aren't we glad that our Heavenly Father's not like that? He helps us without reproach and without fault finding. Now, that doesn't mean that he doesn't correct us. That doesn't mean that he doesn't deal with our silliness and our foolishness but anytime that you're in trouble, God is going to help you. So, even when you have not been good and you don't deserve his help, you still need to go boldly to the throne and ask God to get involved in your situation and help you.
Now, the word "Doubt" defined in the Greek dictionary, which was the original language this was taught in, means to be without a way which we're never without a way because Jesus is the way. So, when you hear that phrase, "No way, there's just no way, there's no way this is gonna work," that's a good time to open your mouth and say, "Jesus is the way so there is a way. I may not know what it is, but he does". To be without resources. And this next part of this definition, to be honest, I had to think this one over for a while. I actually had to finally pray and just say, "God, what's with that"? Part of the definition of the word to doubt means to be embarrassed. And you know what I think that refers to? I think that some of the reason why we waver back and forth and we think, "Well, yeah, I'm gonna do this. Well no, I'm not gonna do this. Well yeah, I'm gonna do this. Well, no, I'm not gonna do this".
I think that there's a part of us that if we're very concerned that if we're wrong and God doesn't come through, that we're gonna be embarrassed when we have to face up to other people that it didn't happen in our life. And I don't think we have to be like that. To be in doubt, to be perplexed, to be at a loss, doubt also means to stand in two ways or to have everything just all up in the air. And when you've got a relationship with God, things are not ever or always just up in the air.
Now, let's talk about self-doubt. First of all, the Bible says in Ephesians 3:12, one of my favorites scriptures, that because of our faith in Jesus, we now can dare... Everybody say, "Dare". That word is used a lot. It's used in Ephesians 3:20 that "God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond all that we could ever dare to hope, ask, or think". And God doesn't want you to have little faith. He wants you to have big faith and he wants you to ask him for and believe for things that your mind cannot get in agreement with. Come on. I mean, one day I was praying many years ago and I felt like I was supposed to pray this prayer that sounded really stupid to me, but I was gonna be daring. And so, I prayed, "God, I pray that the time will come when you will let me help every person on the planet". Now, you know, the very next thing I heard from the devil was, "Who do you think you are"?
See, if you really step out in faith and you get daring and bold in your faith, the enemy's gonna right away tell you, "Who do you think that you are"? And then he's gonna start reminding you of everything that you do wrong. Well, you know what? I don't think we've got the whole planet yet, but we're making going progress, amen? You know, I would rather believe for a lot and get some of it than believe for a little and get all of it. So, why not go ahead and just be daring? "We dare to have the boldness, (the courage and the confidence) of free access", I love what the Amplified Bible says, "(an unreserved approach to God)".
A woman that was waiting on me in a store one time, her and I got to talking and I found out she was a Christian. And I just asked her some questions. You know, I think sometimes even in the conversations we have with people and the questions we ask people, we don't even know we're being led by the spirit. Because the questions that I asked her led into her telling me something that I was then able to help her with that I believe may have been life changing for her. So, I was asking her about the store. I said, "Do you guys work on commission"? She said, "No, we don't work on commission. We're salaried". But she said, "We do have quotas that we have to meet and if you don't meet the quotas, then you can lose your job". And so she said, "You know, when we don't have many customers, it can get really tough". And I said, "Well, do you pray and ask God to send you customers? Do you pray and ask God to give you favor with the people that are in the store so even though they don't understand why, they would really prefer that you wait on them rather than somebody else"?
And that woman looked at me like a deer looking at headlights. And I mean and she had been a Christian for 30 some odd plus years but she was not part of a church that taught her to be bold and aggressive in her faith. So, she looked at me and she said, "Well, would it be okay to ask God for something like that"? I said, "You can ask God for anything you want. The worst thing that can happen is you won't get it". Amen? Now see, if I needed customers to meet my quota because of what I've been taught, it would never occur to me not to ask God to give me favor and send them to me. Why should I stand around and let some unbeliever have 'em when I'm believing God, "Get them over here to me, God. Make me look good". Are you with me?
But see, we're not gonna do that if we look at ourselves and think because of our mistakes, we dare not expect God to do those kinds of things for us. Are you with me tonight? Are you getting anything out of this? Little bit, okay. Now, I mean, listen, I know, that I know, that I know what faith can do because I can tell you, and I mean this sincerely, it's not like a putdown. I am so not qualified to do what I'm doing. I mean, I just am not. And I had a lot of people that were very happy to tell me that. But the whole thing is is whatever you're not, God is. And I love in the book of Joshua when God called Joshua to take Moses' place, which that must have been scary, he said to him, "I will be with you as I was with Moses". He didn't say go be like Moses. He said, "I will be with you as I was with Moses".
Moses had weaknesses that God filled up. Joshua had weaknesses that God filled up. I was the least likely person for God to ask to do this but somewhere, somehow, God gave me that gift of faith to just... I couldn't even tell you why I believed it but I just believed it and I couldn't let it go and so here we are today, amen? From 25 people in my living room floor for five years to having the privilege of doing what I'm doing today. I want to encourage you to stop doubting yourself because God doesn't do great things for you because you're great. He does them because he's great and it shows his greatness more when he does them through people that the world would think, "Really"? I like people to look and say, "Well, that has to be God because we certainly know you".
Come on. What kind of a good testimony would it be for that woman if she had all these customers and people are saying, "Well, how does that happen"? And then she gets an opportunity to say, "Well, I pray. You should try it". All right, Jeremiah was a guy, him and Moses, I probably don't have time to do both of these but I mean, they just kept looking at themselves instead of God. Jeremiah 1:4-8, "Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as my chosen instrument]". Before he was ever in his mother's womb, God had already seen down through time and he said, "I knew you". And let me tell you, when God says he knows you, he knows you and I'm talking like nobody else knows you. You know, in Psalms it says that every word in our tongue that we have still not yet spoken, God already knows them, already knows. He already knows every dumb thing that I'm gonna do the whole rest of my life and he's still using me anyway. And he knows every dumb, you know, there's no point in promising God perfection. It's not gonna work.
You know, I used to lay in bed in the morning and make all my plans for holy days and it lasted till I put my feet on the floor and another human being got up. You know, I can be real good when there's no people around but when the people come around, it gets tough. Come on, are you with me? "Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as my chosen instrument], before you were born I separated and set you apart", which let me just stop and say, you're set apart for something too. "[and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations". And the first thing Jeremiah says is, "Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, I am only a youth". "I'm too young". "I'm too old". "I'm a woman". "I'm not educated". "I have nobody to help me". "I have no money". Mother teresa said, "If you got three pennies and God, you can do anything," amen? "But the Lord said to me", verse 7, "Say not, I'm only a youth", maybe God's wanting to just say to you tonight, "You need to stop saying some of the stuff you been saying".
And the worst thing that any one of us can do is to say downgrading things about ourselves out of our own mouths. I mean, you can't stop other people from talking about you, but you can stop yourself from talking about you. Amen? "Say not, I'm only a youth: for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you will speak to them". And I love verse 8, "Be not afraid of [their faces]". Wow, we just get so concerned about what everybody thinks, and what they're gonna say, and what they're gonna do. And you know what? They're gonna be talking about somebody at least if it's you, it's not somebody else then. And I love verse 19, "And they shall fight against you, but they shall not [finally] prevail against you, for I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you".
Come on, they're gonna fight against you. We're not gonna say there's not gonna be a fight because there will be a fight. You will fight the good fight of faith. And some of you right now feel like you've lately been in the fight of your life, but you will prevail. You will prevail if you just keep saying to yourself, "God's gonna come through for me. God is working. He's not a liar. He does what he says he will do". Your faith may be being tested but everybody's is. Pass your test so you don't have to take it again. There's one interesting thing about God in his school, you never flunk out. You just get to keep taking the same test over and over and over till you finally get it right. Maybe you're going around a mountain right now you been around 500 times. Well, maybe it's just time you climb over it and get that one over with.
Of course, Moses, I don't really have time to do this justice, but I mean God called to him and right away he said, "Oh, you got the wrong man". And then God, "Hey, throw your rod down". He threw it down and turned into a serpent. "Pick it up". He picked it up, it becomes a rod again. I mean, God would have had me right there. It's like, whoa. And then he said, "Put your hand into your bosom," and he did and he brought it out and he had leprosy. And he said, "Put it back in again". He put it back in again, he brought it out and it was whole.
And then he says, "So, if you show these signs to Pharaoh and those don't work, then we'll just put a curse on the nile and turn that into blood". And he's seeing all these miracles and he still keeps going back to God saying, "No, God you got the wrong guy. I'm not eloquent. I can't speak. I'm not the right choice". And just to show you how God will meet you where you're at, I don't why he did this with Moses, but he finally got tired of hearing it. He said, "Okay, you think you can't talk, I'll give you Aaron and you talk to him and then he'll talk for you". God will meet you where you're at. Come on, you're not gonna get out of doing what God wants you to do, not and ever be comfortable so you might as well just get around to doing it and getting it over with, amen?
Now, let me talk to you for just a minute before we close about a very close relative of doubt, which is procrastination. Mmm, ooh, that's gonna be a good place to end, isn't it? I love it. You know, it's like when you're throwing out a meal like this and people are going, "Oh". You know it's gonna be good. David, facing off with Goliath, my goodness, what kind of faith did that take? It's worth it to go to 1 Samuel 17 and read that whole story, and read it frequently, and digest it, and do it slowly because here he's the most unlikely. He was so unlikely that they didn't even consider him. And his brothers were accusing him and, but he was looking at God. He wasn't looking at himself. He wasn't even really paying that much attention to the giant, he was looking at God.
And when you take time to read it, look at all the things that David was saying. I mean, he went in there saying, "God is gonna defeat you, and this day I'm gonna cut your head off, and I'm gonna give your carcass to", you know, I mean he just like, he was calling those things that be not as though they were before he ever got there. And I love this, so he's facing off with Goliath, there he is. And verse 48 said, "When the Philistine came forward to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine". I love that that he didn't think it to death. He just got on with it and got the job done. And I tell you something, we can get the paralysis of analysis. In other words, we just try to figure it out for so long that it's like, "What was it, God, that you said you wanted me to do"? We can't even remember what it was anymore that God wanted because we've looked at Goliath for so long and, you know, we're just like we think we got, "How's this gonna work? And what's good gonna do"? And God didn't even want him to use a regular weapon. He's supposed to do it with a slingshot and a hand full of stones.
So, I mean if you really take the time to look at some of these stories in the Bible and realize they're not just stories, they're not just made-up stories. These were people that existed and they had real faith in God, but they had doubt and they had things come against them, and they had to see the circumstances, and move on beyond that. And really, they're not any different than we are today. And I don't want to be somebody, you know, you can look at the doubters in the Bible and the people who didn't obey God, and they're on one or two pages and then they disappear. I want to be one of the ones that's there's in the end of the book, amen? I want to be one of the ones that finished, and made it, and saw the reward of standing strong and firm with God. Let me tell ya something, hanging on to God may get difficult at times but wow. You're gonna be so glad when he splits the Eastern sky that you didn't quit and give up. David ran quickly toward the battle line.
And then there's another great example when the 12 spies went into the Promised Land and they came back out and ten said, "Oh no, there's giants in there. They're big, man, they are big giants". I mean, they carried out the fruit. The fruit was phenomenal. It was so big they had to carry a bunch of grapes on a pole to get 'em back, you'd think that would be impressive. Why is it they were more impressed with our doubts and the things that we see wrong with us than we are God? They said, "Well, yeah, the fruit is good, but boy, the giants are big. We are not able," they said. "We are not able to go in and take the land". And here's what Caleb and Joshua did. "Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, 'let us go up at once and possess it: for we are well able to conquer it'". Here again, they didn't waste anytime. "Come on, don't stand around looking at the giants, get up, let's get going. Let's do what God wants us to do". Amen?
And I had to do that so much in the early days of my ministry and I still have to do it at different times today, just shut my eyes and go and believe that God's gonna show up when I get there. Let me tell ya something, you are never gonna do much of anything if you don't take some chances and if you won't step out boldly. I always say, step out and find out. If you find out that you stepped out the wrong way, then step back. It's not the end of the world. And then one last example, man, Abraham, whoo. "Leave your home and everything you're comfortable with and go to a place that I will show you". I'd be saying, "Well, you show me and I'll go".
And some of you are in that place right now. You feel like God's finished with something in your life but you don't see the next thing yet. See, I got a taker over there somewhere. And so, you know how we are. We don't have hold of this so we don't want to let go of this because we'd almost rather have something that's unfulfilling and doesn't make us happy rather than to have whatever that is. What if I don't like that any better than I like this? See, that's what faith is. Faith doesn't give you a blueprint of everything God's gonna do. Faith says, "Let go, and get moving, and trust God to do something that will amaze you and leave your mouth hanging open in awe".