Joyce Meyer - Stop Stuffing Your Stuff, Part 1
Well, thank you for joining me today on, "Enjoying Everyday Life". I wanna talk to you today about, "Stop stuffing your stuff". And you might think, "What in the world are you talking about"? Well, you know, a lot of times we have issues and problems, but instead of dealing with them, we just run from them or we stuff 'em somewhere on the inside of us, and try to put 'em behind a locked door, so we don't deal with them anymore. But the thing is, is as long as we're running from something, it's chasing us.
Now, I want you to think about that for a minute. Just think about what I just said: as long as we're running from something, it's chasing us. You know David when he was being taunted by the giant Goliath, Goliath was threatening him and saying all kinds of things. And the Bible says that, "David quickly ran toward the battle line". And I love that. We need to stop running from the giants in our life. And we need to run toward them, knowing that God will be there to help us, and that the greater one lives on the inside of us.
And so, I wanna talk to you about no longer running from your problems but facing them. What are some of the things that people run from? Well, people run from responsibility, hard work, difficult people. Boy, we love to just get away from all the difficult people, instead of learning how to handle them the way Jesus would handle them. Difficult places, how many times are people in a difficult place, and they don't ask God if they're supposed to leave, they're just like, "I'm out a here, I'm not puttin' up with this". We run from the past.
I ran from my past for a long time. I was sexually abused by my father, and so I thought when I left home, "Boy, my problems are over, I'm away from it now". But actually, I just took the problem with me in my soul. And I definitely just stuffed it somewhere way down on the inside of me and close the door, and thought, "I'm never gonna think about this again, I'm never gonna have a problem with this again". But I had all kinds of problems in my personality, and in the way I treated people, the way I responded to people, the way I behaved. And I didn't even realize it was from all the stuff that I had stuffed on the inside of me, and that I wasn't really dealing with past issues. You know, you can't go forward as long as you're hiding from your past.
Now, the Bible says, "Let go of what lies behind," but it never says not to deal with it. People run from their sin, instead of confronting their sin and confessing it, they run from it. The Psalmist David did that for a year, he did not repent over his sin with Bathsheba, he just ignored it. People run from themselves. They have weaknesses, they have issues, anger issues, personality issues, but instead of dealing with them, they make excuses for 'em, and just run from it. People run from the truth.
You know, it's easy to face the truth about somebody else, but it's difficult to face the truth about yourself. And so what the Bible says is that we should, "Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord". In other words, there's a lot of things that God would love to deliver you from, but as long as you're running from them and refusing to deal with them, I mean, it could be an eating disorder, it could be some kind of an addiction to something, there's all kinds of things that we run away from.
And so, in Exodus 14 beginning in verse 9 in the Amplified Bible it says, "The Egyptians pursued them," them being the Israelites, "All the horses and chariots of Pharaoh, and his horsemen and his army, and overtook them where they were encamped at the Red Sea". The Israelites had left Egypt, they'd been slaves in Egypt and God was delivering them, Moses was leading them out. But God didn't take them the short way, which would've actually been around the Red Sea. He took 'em the long, hard way and they ended up facing the Red Sea. So they couldn't go anywhere, there was the Red Sea, now what? Well, that wasn't too bad until all of a sudden, they realized the Egyptian army was coming behind them.
Now, they were in a tough place. And of course, the first thing they wanted to do was find somewhere to run to. It seems like when we have trouble in our life, the first thing that we wanna do is run away from it. And we're gonna be talking about this on the program for today, and the next two days. And you're gonna find some of the ways that we run from our problems. Like I'll just give you a hint, we run from our problems when we blame other people. We run from our problems when we make excuses for our problems. You can even run from God in church. It's amazing, we can get all busy with church work and think that we're doin' this great thing, and yet God's tryin' to deal with us about something and we're not even paying attention to what he's saying.
So, it says, "When Pharaoh drew near, the Israelites looked up, and behold, the Egyptians were Marching after them: and the Israelites were exceedingly frightened and they cried out to the Lord. They said to Moses, 'is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you treated us this way and brought us out of Egypt'"? Well, they forgot apparently that they were the ones that kept begging to leave Egypt. They kept praying for God to get them out of there, to send them a deliverer. And now, all of a sudden, they're blaming Moses, "Why did you bring us out of Egypt"? "Did we not tell you in Egypt, 'leave us alone, let us serve the Egyptians'"? They didn't do that, they kept wantin' to leave. "For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness".
You know, they just had a bad attitude. And a lot of times when we get problems in our life instead of facing the problem and dealing with it, we just get a bad attitude, we get negative, and all of a sudden now, everything that's wrong in our life is somebody else's fault. We told you to, "Leave us alone. We would have been better off to have just died right there". "Moses told the people, 'fear not'". Now, somebody needs to hear this today. "Fear not: stand still and see the salvation of the Lord which he will work for you today". You know, if you have a problem that you're running from, it's time for you to stand still and listen to what God wants to say to you. Because God's got a plan for your deliverance, but you'll never hear what that plan is as long as you're running and hiding. We can run in busyness, in work, some people are workaholics and they stay so busy they never have time to hear what God has to say to them.
"See the salvation of the Lord which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians you have seen today you will never see again". I mean God was actually telling them, "If you will stand still and let me work with you, I'll get rid of this enemy and you'll never have to deal with it again". How many of you have been around and around the same mountain so many times that you're dizzy, and you'd really love to just get completely free? Well, the only way that's gonna happen is if you stand still, really listen to God, see what he has to say with you, see what he wants you to deal with, what he wants you to face, what he wants you to confront, be obedient to him, and then you'll receive the deliverance that you would really like to have.
You know, I have found, in studying the Word of God and over 45 years of experience with God, in allowing him to deal with me, and being set free from so many problems that I had, I have found that whatever we run away from, God always ends up taking us back to that thing or to something like it. And we have to face that and learn how to deal with things. Because as long as we're running from our enemies, they will always be chasing us. I really feel like there's some people who need to get that. As long as you keep running from your enemies, and your enemy can be anger, it can be fear, it can be impatience, it can be a lot of different things.
Well, in Acts 7:34, Moses who had ran from Egypt, you see he felt a call on his life to help his brethren, who were slaves in Egypt. He actually had been, as a baby: they were killing all the young babies. And so Moses' mother put him in a basket and he was rescued by Pharaoh's daughter, and he was raised in the palace as one of Pharaoh's sons. But he knew he was an Israelite and when he got to be a certain age, he felt the call of God on his life to bring deliverance to his brethren. However, he got out a little bit ahead of God and long story short, he ended up thinking, "I'm gonna get in trouble for doin' this, I'm gonna have problems, Pharaoh is gonna find out". And the Bible says that he fled, or he ran to the wilderness.
Well, you know God never told Moses to run, it was his plan, he ran. Well now, in Act 7:34, God's speaking to Moses, 40 years have gone by, he had a lot of spiritual growth out there in that wilderness. And if you're wondering why you're in a wilderness time in your life, maybe it's because you needed some spiritual growth that you couldn't get anywhere else. You know, we don't tend to grow spiritually when all of our circumstances and situations are great, because in those times we may feel like we don't need God. But when things are tough, when they're hard, when we're dealing with things that we don't know how to deal with, we have a tendency to really seek God and to dig in... It's amazing how we can find time to spend with God when we're desperate.
Well, I found out quite a while ago, that I just need to pretend like I'm desperate all the time whether I am or not, and make sure that I spend that time seeking God on a regular basis. And then maybe I won't get, have as many desperate times as I would if I didn't. So, Moses has been out in the wilderness for 40 years, he's married, he's got children by now, and he's forgotten all about this call on his life, he's goin' in another whole direction. And so, he comes up to a burning bush. A bush that's burning, and it was kinda like on fire by itself and it was a curious sight.
So, he stopped to see what it was, and God begins to speak to him out of this burning bush. Well, I guess that would get your attention, wouldn't it? And God says, "I have indeed seen the oppression of my people in Egypt". Those people were still praying for a deliverer. "I have heard their groaning and I have come down to set them free". You know, I noticed the other day when I was reading that God comes down. I'm glad that, it's amazing, God doesn't make us try to get to him, he comes down, he comes down to us. He came down through his son Jesus. He came down through the power of the Holy Spirit.
And God will meet you where you're at, if you will cry out to him and say, "I wanna be set free, I'm ready to deal with whatever I need to deal with, I don't wanna stay in this bondage any longer". "I have heard the groaning and I have come to set the people free". Now, listen to this, "Now come, and I will send you back to Egypt".
Now, where did Moses run from? He ran from Egypt and now God, after 40 years is telling him, "I'm gonna send you back there". Well, I doubt that he was really too thrilled about that. Why did he run to start with? Well for one thing, he was being misunderstood. He thought that his brethren would understand that he had been sent to deliver them, but the Bible says, "They did not understand". You know why? Because Moses was out of God's timing. He had a right heart, but his timing was all wrong. Moses had to learn some things before God could actually really use him.
And maybe you have a call on your life, maybe you've sensed a call on your life. You believe that there's some way particular that God wants to use you, or you're supposed to be in ministry, or you're called to the mission field, or whatever it is. And all these years have passed by, and you haven't understood why what you've sensed hasn't come to pass? Well, maybe there's some work that God needed to do in you first? I always say that, "God prepares something for us, and he often shows it to us, but then he has to prepare us for what he's got prepared for us". I know that was the case with me. God told me I was gonna teach the word all over the world and have a large ministry helping other people, and I thought, "Well, it would just happen the next day".
Well, you know, we're 45 years down the road, and now I'm doing what I saw 45 years ago. And it happened a little bit at a time, a little bit at a time, but it was very slow. I mean, for five years I just taught a home Bible study in my home, five years, not five days or five weeks. And then I worked in somebody else's ministry for another five years. And then we started our ministry, and it was very small and everything I did was very small, but I had a big vision. And all that time, God was working in me and he was making changes in me. Let God do the work in you that he needs to do.
Don't be so caught up in getting what you want, that you keep ignoring the work that God wants to do in you. You may want God to do something through you, but he may have to do something in you, before he can do something through you. You know, God never told Moses to leave Egypt, that was his idea, Moses ran. Moses had to learn some things before God could use him. Surely Moses had to return in faith, from the place he ran from in fear.
Boy, I've gone through that, there's things that God's told me that I had to go back and face. For example, God spoke to me at one point, that I needed to go and confront my father. Well, all I'd ever did was avoid my dad, not wanna be around him, and never wanted to talk to him about what he did to me when I was a child. We just all ignored the big elephant in the room. And God told me that I was gonna have to go back and confront him, the time would come when I needed to confront him. And that doesn't mean that would be the case with you, if you were sexually abused. But that's what God wanted me to do. Well, I ran in fear, but it took a lot of faith for me to go back.
There may be something in your life that you have ran from in fear, but you can go back in faith. Well, what was he running from? I already said, from being misunderstood, from being rejected by the people he wanted to help, fear of confrontation with Pharaoh and the Egyptian authority. We often wanna fulfill the call of God on our life, but we don't wanna confront the people that we knew or the life that we had in Egypt. Let me say that again. We often want to fulfill the call of God on our life, but yet we don't wanna deal with the things that we left behind. Now, maybe, there's nothing for you to deal with, but if there is, then you have to deal with it. Maybe there's people from back there you need to forgive?
That was one of the things I had to do. I had to forgive my mom and my dad. Not only forgive them, God asked me to help them. Abraham was another man that God used in a mighty way, but it took some time. Abraham had to leave his family and his relatives in order to progress in the call of God on his life. But you know, leaving when God calls you is totally different than running. Abraham didn't run from God, he left when God told him to. So, things were a little different for him. But God promised him a child. He was too old to have children when God promised him this child. He was already a hundred years old, too old to have children. His wife was past the child-bearing age. And God said, "You're gonna have a child and you're gonna be the father of a multitude. Nations are gonna come from your womb".
And Abraham believed God and it was counted unto him as righteousness. But years passed by and nothing happened. And so like most of us do he and his wife, Sarai, they got a bright idea, a way that they could make God's will come to pass. Boy, I've done that a number of times in my life. How about you? And so, Sarah had a hand handmaiden, a woman that served her, work for her named Hagar. And she decided that she would give Hagar to Abraham as his secondary wife, which I don't know what woman with any common sense wants to give her husband another wife. Nor do I understand what man would want more than one, because one is enough to deal with. And that she would get pregnant, and then Sarah would claim that child as hers and raise it as her own. That's how she would get her child.
Well, they did all that and sure enough she got pregnant. And the Bible says that once she got pregnant then she despised her mistress, and there was all this friction between her and Sarah. Come on, you get the point. And so it says that Hagar ran from Sarah and God told her to go back. Listen to this, Genesis 16:8-9, "And he said, 'Hagar, slave of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going'"? I like that. Maybe you're runnin' from something right now, and God's using this program today to say, "What are you doing"? And she said, "'I'm running away from my mistress'. And the angel of the Lord said to her, 'go back to your mistress and submit to her'".
Ouch, ouch, ouch. Boy, I tell you in my life there were some places that God had me, where I was having to submit to other authority and I didn't think the things that they were doing was fair, and I wanted to get away from 'em and do my own thing. And God told me, "You stay, and you submit to the authority that I have you under right now". You know, I tell people all the time, "You're not fit to be in authority until you know how to come under authority". And I'll tell you that's something in our society today, that we have a huge problem with. Don't have a rebellious attitude, be willing to submit to the authority that God has placed over you. Whether that's church authority, or authority in the home, or authority on the job, God wants us to humble ourselves, not to be rebellious in pride. "Go back to your mistress and submit to her". Here's the woman who's been mistreating her, she runs away from her and God says, "No, go back".
Wow, Sarah was mistreating Hagar. But Hagar had a wrong attitude, her whole attitude of despising her mistress was wrong. You know, frequently, we see what other people are doing to us. We see what their faults are, but we don't see what we're doing. We don't see what our faults are. I'm asking you today, if you'll forget about the people that you're having trouble with and go before God and ask him, "What about me God? Is there something you wanna deal with me about? Is there something I need to change"? You know, we can't change other people, only God can change other people. But we can cooperate with God, and work with him to let him change us.
I hope somebody is hearing what I'm saying today. Elijah was another example: he ran from Jezebel. Boy, Elijah was a powerful prophet. Not the type that you would've thought would've been afraid of anything. I mean the day before he ran away from Jezebel, he had single-handedly killed 450 prophets of the idol Baal, and cut them up in pieces. And when Jezebel heard about it, she told him she was gonna kill him. Well, he ran from her, which still amazes me, but I understand why he did. He was completely tired, and worn out, and exhausted. And the Bible says that he ran out into the wilderness.
It's always interesting to me that when we run from God, we always end up in the wilderness somewhere. And he actually got out there, and he had a pity party and wanted to die, and told God, "I'm the only one that's doing your work," and you know, God dealt with him. Elijah was afraid and he ran for his life. Then God said, "What are you doing here"? You know, when God finally told me to leave the church where I worked and was under somebody else's authority, I had wanted to leave. When God finally got ready for me to leave and I wasn't listening to him.
One night, I went to church and on a Tuesday night and I went to sit in my seat. And God said very loudly inside of me, "What are you doing here"? And I thought, "Well I'm going to church". And God said, "I'm finished with you here". You know, if you leave when God wants you to stay that's wrong, but if you stay when God wants you to leave that's wrong, too. He said, "Elijah, what are you doing here"? Obviously, Elijah was in the wrong place, because God had told him to go back and get back to work. We're gonna pick this up again tomorrow. So, I want you to be sure you tune in with us, because I don't want you to be running from your problems. I don't want you to be running from your Goliaths. I want you to be ready to face them, to stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.
Well, we do I have a couple of good things, good resources. How many of you love books and CDs, things that you can learn from? We've got a couple of really good things that were gonna offer you today. "Habits Of a Godly Woman" a book that we've put together. I mean, you know, if you wanna be a godly woman, there are habits that you need to form, and this is gonna help you do that. And then, also a beautiful book, it's so attractive, got https://joycemeyer.org/shop/Books%3djoycemeyer_usa-books/WisdomandVirtuePackage%3d013920 in it. Two great resources in one book that can really teach you a lot. You can use that as a devotional every day, and it'll be a great blessing to you. I'm so glad you've joined me today and remember, "Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord". And I hope to see you again tomorrow. God bless you.