Joyce Meyer - Stop Stuffing Your Stuff, Part 2
Well, thank you for joining me today on, "Enjoying Everyday Life". And I pray that you will enjoy the program, and not only that you will enjoy it, but that it will make a real difference in your life. We started yesterday, talking about not running from your problems. I'm calling this "Stop stuffing your stuff". We have a tendency to do that, don't we? If it's something we don't want to deal with in our life, we try to hide it somewhere down deep in our soul, and close the door over it and just pretend like it doesn't exist. But even if we're successful at doing that, many times it comes out of us in other ways.
And I always say that what we run from continues to chase us. So, I think for many people this is a time in your life where you need to, "Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord". That's what God told the Israelites when they were trying to run from him. The Egyptian army was chasing them, the Red Sea was in front of 'em, and they became afraid, and they wanted to run, and they were blaming everybody else for their problems. And God said, "Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord". What happens when you stand still? Well, if you get still and you get quiet, you can really hear from God. You can hear what he has to say to you.
I'm remembering a time in my life, when I was blaming all the problems in my marriage between Dave and i, on Dave. And one day I was praying for Dave to change. It's interesting how we pray for other people to change, but really, we're the ones that need to change. And I remember the Lord spoke in my heart and he said, "Dave's not the problem". And I thought, "Well, if Dave is not the problem, who is? There's only me and him in this relationship". I just didn't get it. Well, when I finally faced the fact that I had a bad attitude. Yes, I know, I'm so sweet now, and it's hard for you to believe it, but I had a bad attitude, a really bad attitude.
And there was a call on my life, God wanted to use me to teach his word. And I was doing little things, little tiny Bible studies, and a little of this and a little of that. But I had a big vision, I had a big dream for my life. And I wanted God to do big things in my life, but I wasn't letting him deal with me, I was running from everything. And one of the ways that we run from things is by blaming our problems on somebody else. Well, like, "If you wouldn't do this, then I wouldn't act bad". "And if you would change, then I would behave better".
So, yesterday, we looked at people in the Bible who ran. Moses ran from Egypt, but God sent him back there. Hagar ran from her mistress, but God said, "Go back and submit to your mistress," even though Sarah wasn't treating her right. Hagar also had a bad attitude that God wanted to deal with. And I think when we closed yesterday, we were talking about Elijah who was a great prophet of God. Certainly not the type of man that you would think would run from his problems, but he got worn out from doing the Lord's work. You know, even though you're doing the Lord's work, sometimes you can get worn out from it. And he had the previous day killed 450 Baal prophets, and the Bible says, "Cut 'em up in pieces". I mean, I can't even imagine what kind of a job that was. And he was exhausted, and he was tired.
And you know when you get too tired, too exhausted, you don't think right. It's hard to even have faith when you're like that. And so, when Jezebel heard about what Elijah had done to her prophets, she threatened Elijah and said she was gonna kill him. And the Bible says that he ran out into the wilderness and he sat down under a tree and he told God, "You might as well just kill me, if this is the way my life is gonna be". He wanted to die, he had a bad attitude, he was having a big pity party. And an angel came and gave him a meal and gave him a nap. And the same angel came back gave him another meal and gave him a nap.
It's really an interesting story when you think about it. He had all these huge problems, and God said, "You need a good meal and a nap". And you know, sometimes just before you can hear what God wants to say to you, you have to get some rest. If you've worn yourself out, and you're in a bad mood, and you're all discouraged and down in the dumps, and you're blamin' all your problems on somebody else, maybe before you can hear from God, you need to get yourself rested, and be prepared to hear what God has to say to you. Well, after Elijah got his rest, God said to him, "What are you doin' here"?
I love that. "What are you doing here"? "What is it that you think that you're doing"? And he replied, this is in 1 Kings 19:13-16. "He replied, 'I've been very zealous for the Lord God Almighty. The Israelites have rejected your covenant, they've torn down your altars'". Now notice, you know, God said, "What are you doing here"? And he starts telling God everything that everybody else was doing wrong. "'And they put your prophets to death with the sword. And I am the only one left'". Boy, aren't we like that sometimes? "I'm the only one that's doing what's right. And I don't understand why I've got all this stuff going on in my life. Why don't you deal with all these other people that seem to be the problem"? "I'm the only one left, and now here they're trying to kill me too". And I love what the Lord said, "'go back the way you came'".
Remember we're talkin' about how the places we run from, God sends us back to, and we have to deal with issues that we ran from. "'go back the way you came, and go to the desert of Damascus. And when you get there, anoint Hazael king over Aram. Anoint Jehu son of Nimshi king over Israel'". And I love this, "'and anointed Elisha the son of Shaphat to succeed you as prophet'". Well, how would you like that? You feel like you've done a good job. You're all worn out, somebody's trying to kill you. You run. God says, "Now go back and anoint somebody to take your place".
I'll tell you sometimes the things that God asks us to do aren't easy, but I will tell you this: anybody who is obedient to God, I'm talking to you right now, if you are obedient to God, no matter how hard it is, God will bless your life in ways that you won't even be able to imagine. The last guy that we'll talk about, well not the last, there's a couple more but Jonah also ran from God. And I think sometimes we think if we run away from God, hide from him long enough, he'll change his mind and give us something easier to do, something easier to deal with. Maybe God's telling you that you need to forgive somebody, and you need to go and bless 'em and be kind to 'em. And you're like, have selective hearing, you don't want to hear that from God, you want another selection.
And no matter how long you wait, God's gonna tell you the same thing, because God doesn't change his mind about what he wants us to do. And it says in Jonah, actually, you'd have to read the whole book to get this whole story, but it's chapters 1, 2 and 3. Jonah ran from God's call to go to the city of Nineveh. God told him, "Go to Nineveh and preach the Gospel to them". Well, Jonah didn't think Nineveh even deserved to hear the Gospel. He didn't care for 'em, he didn't like 'em, he didn't wanna go there. So, the Bible says that, "He went the exact opposite direction that God told him to".
I just wonder if there's anybody watching me right now, and you're going the exact opposite direction of what God is trying to lead you in? Wonder how many of you are running from God and trying to pretend like God doesn't exist, and you're just kinda doing your own thing, living your own life, and doing things that you know you shouldn't do, thinking it's okay, you'll get by with it? Well, sin has consequences. And we can't do things that are against the Word of God and think that we're gonna get by with it, and there's gonna be absolutely no consequences. So, Jonah got on a ship to go to Tarshish, which was the exact opposite direction from Nineveh, and a great storm came up. And finally, Jonah told the men he said, "I'm the problem, throw me overboard and the storm will calm down". They did and a great fish, a whale, swallowed Jonah. You've heard the story.
Now maybe some of you don't think it's real, you think it's a myth, or a made-up fairytale, but I can tell you that a whale swallowed Jonah. And finally, while he was in the belly of the whale... Isn't it interesting that sometimes we won't repent until we're in such desperate circumstances? I don't know about you, but I can't imagine what it would've been like to have been in the belly of this whale? And the belly of a whale is big enough for a man to be in it. I know one thing it sure didn't smell good in there. He had seaweed wrapped around his head, it was an awful thing. And so, finally he repented, cried out to God, and it says that the fish vomited him up. And he came up, went back to God, and I love this, "Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time: 'go to Nineveh and preach the Gospel to them'".
I'm sorry, but I have to laugh at this story, it's just hilarious. He went through all that and still God had the exact same answer for him, "Go and do what I've told you to do". Anybody knowing God's will and running from it will have trouble in their life. Maybe I need to say it again, "Anybody knowing God's will and running from it, will have trouble in their life". You may think for a while that you're gettin' by with it, but eventually it will catch up with you. Luke 12:47 is a great scripture. It says, "The servant who knows the master's will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows". Now, that's not actually talkin' about getting a physical beating. It's talking about you're gonna have so many problems, that you're not gonna know what to do.
Well, David was also a great man of God, but he had weaknesses, just like we do. And he sinned greatly with Bathsheba by committing adultery with her. And the Bible actually says that when kings went to war, David stayed home. Well, he wasn't where he should've been. A lot of times if you're not where you should be, that's when you get in trouble. Come on, somebody needs to hear that. If you're not where you should be, you can get in trouble. Maybe you're at the wrong party at the wrong time and you get in trouble. Stay away from places where you know, you shouldn't be. Well, while he stayed home and all the other men were off to war, he saw Bathsheba on the rooftop takin' a bath. And he had her brought to him and he committed adultery with her, and she became pregnant and so now he had real problems.
See, sometimes, one problem leads to another problem. He had a real problem, and so he even did something that made the matter worse. He had her husband, Uriah, brought home thinking that he would sleep with his wife, and then he would think the child was his. But he was a man of honor, and he said, "I won't do that. I won't enjoy myself and have relations with my wife while my brothren are still fighting the war".
And so, David still had a problem. So, he ended up having Uriah killed. So, he committed adultery and he committed murder. And for a whole year, he managed to ignore the whole situation, for a whole year. And then, God sent Nathan, the prophet, to him. Told him a story that really got David's heart. Told him a story that I might share with you tomorrow, if I have time. I'm not sure that I will or not. The point is, is he finally came to his senses and knew that he needed to repent. You know, facing truth is the only thing that sets us free. John 8:31 and 32 says, "If you continue in my word, then you are my disciples indeed, and you will know the truth and the truth will make you free". You can only find freedom through facing truth.
Let me tell you a few things about truth. Truth defined is the way things really are, not the way we think they are, our wish they were. truth equals reality from God's point of view, not from our point of view, but from God's point of view. What does God think about our behavior? What does God think about the choices that we're making in our life? I tell you: I hear some of the craziest stuff from people. A woman called in, one time, and said a lot of her friends were doing things that were dishonest, but they felt like God was blessing them. And she wanted to know if she could do things dishonest and God would bless her.
I mean, what sense does that even make? Why would you even ask a question like that? God means business, and he tells us what to do and be blessed and what not to do, unless we wanna lose those blessings. I want peace with God, don't you? I want to know when I lay my head down at night that, not that I've been a perfect person because there's no day that I ever am perfect, but I do wanna know that I gave it my best. And that the things that I did wrong I repented for, that I wasn't hiding from them. It took me a long time to get to that point. I did a lot of this running, myself, in the earlier years of my life.
Truth is a central theme in the Word of God. Jesus said, "I am the truth". He said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No man comes to the father, but by me". He is the word of truth. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of truth. And we are those, the Bible says, who belong to the truth. "Jesus came full of grace and truth," the Bible says in John 1:14. John 1:17 says, "For while the law was given through Moses, grace unearned, undeserved favor, and spiritual blessing, and truth came through Jesus Christ". And I love this one. Psalm 51:6, "Behold, you desire truth in the inner being. Make me to know wisdom in my inmost heart". First place we gotta be truthful is within our self, about our self. Not try to make excuses and blame other people, but take responsibility for the things that we do that God doesn't want us to do. God has such a good life plan for each and every one of us. But we need to walk in truth. We need to love the truth. God loves the truth.
You know, after David faced the truth, he was able to repent. And he said, his peace came back to him after he repented. Well, there's a lot of different ways that people run from God. And there's actually, six ways that I have laid out, that I wanna talk to you about. We'll probably just get to one of them today and then we're gonna talk about it again tomorrow. But one of the ways that people run from their problems is through making excuses. Jonah made excuses. He didn't think that Nineveh deserved the Gospel. I don't know what kind of excuses David was making, but I'm sure that he was making some good ones, 'cause David was a man who was close to the heart of God. The Bible actually says, "He was a man after God's own heart," and yet, he managed to ignore his sin for a whole year.
I can't even imagine how miserable the guy must have been. And actually, I'll tell you the story, today. The Lord sent Nathan, the prophet, to David. And David, as a king, was used to making judgments in situations. And so, Nathan put a situation before him that was really a fiction situation, I'm sure. But, "He said, 'there were two men in a town, one rich and one poor. And the rich man had a large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man only had one little tiny lamb that he had bought. And he raised it, and it grew up with him. It was like a daughter to him. And a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep to prepare a meal for the traveler. And instead, he took the sheep from the man who only had the one'".
He took it from the poor man. The rich man mistreated the poor man. And took the one thing that he had left. Well, the Bible says, that "'David burned with anger'". He got so mad about this situation. He was so upset. And "Nathan looked at David, and he said, 'you are the man'". Whoo. I can't even imagine that. You know, have you ever been blaming somebody else and God has confronted you with the truth? I've shared how I was praying for Dave to change. I was sure he was the problem in our marriage, and God said, "It's not Dave, it's you". Well, that was hard for me. But it was good for me.
You know, there's a lot of things that are hard for us, but they're actually things that are gonna be good for us if we will listen to them. Maybe, you're praying for somebody else to change and instead of doing that you need to ask God if there's something you need to change that can maybe make the situation or the relationship better. And so, then David finally prayed this great prayer of repentance that you can find in Psalm 51. His peace came back to him, and the joy of salvation came back to him. You know, don't be miserable because you won't repent for the things that God's trying to deal with you about. But one of the ways that people run from their problems is through making excuses. Wow, we've all got a bunch of them.
Sometimes, I bring this little bag that I call my "Excuse bag". And it seems like anytime we don't want to do something, we've always got an excuse. "Well, you know, I've never done that before". Or, "That's too hard", that's an excuse that people use all the time. "That's gonna be too hard. Nobody else is doing that, why should I do it"? You know, today, we have a lot of immorality in the world. And one of the excuses that people use is, "Well, everybody else is doing it, why shouldn't I"? Well, you know, what? You're not everybody else. You're God's child. If you're calling yourself a Christian then you need to live according to the Word of God, and not think that it's okay to just compromise and do all kinds of things just because the world is doing it.
I remember going to a shop one day and I was looking for something to wear, and I tried on this dress. And it was back when people were wearing slits in their clothes way, way up their leg. The dress did look good on me. But I told the lady, I said, "I can't wear this". And she said, "Oh, but that looks great on you. That's style". And I said, "Well, I'm a minister of the Gospel. I can't just do what's in style. I have to do what is gonna please God". You can't just do what's in style or always just wear what's in style. You need to do what you believe is going to please God. And I know, sometimes, people don't like preaching like this. They'd rather you just pat 'em on the head and tell 'em how wonderful they are. Well, you know, you are wonderful, and God's created you, and he created you in a great way, but it's important to know the word and make a decision to live by the word.
And don't use the excuse that nobody else is doing it, because it doesn't matter if anybody else is doing it or not. If you're the only one, you know, that obeys the Word of God then you obey the Word of God, and God will bless you. Excuses. "Please, have me excused". Jesus was calling people to follow him. And maybe, today, he's calling some of you to follow him. Maybe you don't have a relationship with Jesus. Maybe you've never received him as your Lord and Savior, and he's calling you today, you can sense it on the inside of your heart. God is calling you to accept Jesus as your Savior and to repent of your sins and to begin to turn in another direction and live a different kind of life.
And if that's you, and you've never received Christ as your Savior, there's a number on your screen right now, you can call and we have operators standing by that will be happy to explain more to you, and pray with you. It's very easy, very simple to receive Jesus as your Lord and Savior. All you need to do is believe. "Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord," that you believe that God raised him from the dead, and be ready to turn away from a sinful life, and learn how to live for God. But Jesus was calling people to follow him. And listen, in Luke 14:18 it says, "But they all alike began to make excuses". Wow. "The first one said, 'well, I've just bought a field and I have to go and see to it. So, please have me excused'. And another one said, 'I've married a wife, can you have me excused'"?
I guess he thought taking care of a wife was gonna take all his time. "'please have me excused'". We have to quit giving God all of our excuses, and just say, "Yes, Lord, whatever you want. Your will be done. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven". Let's don't pray the Lord's prayer if we don't mean it. You know, the Bible tells us that when we judge other people, there's no excuse for it. Well, we're all full of opinions, aren't we? We've got opinions about this, and that, and something else. And we think, "You shouldn't drive that kind of car," and, "You shouldn't do that, and you need to do this, and you shouldn't do that". You know, you just have so much more peace, if you just mind your own business. But we judge other people.
In Romans 2, verse 1 says: "Why do you judge other people when you're doing the same things that they're doing"? Well, we don't believe that. You know why? Because we make excuses for what we do, but for other people there is no excuse. And the Bible says, "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you're condemning yourself, because you're doing the same things that you're judging other people for". Let's take a good look at our self, today. Let's let God examine us under the light of his word, and say, "God, I want any area in my life that you wanna deal with me about, I want the truth". Let's be lovers of truth, and want truth more than we want anything else. And let's stop running from things that God wants us to face and deal with.
You know, we always offer you resources because I love the word so much. And the offer, today, is the "Habits Of a Godly Woman" book. This book has not been out very long. And I think it's gonna bless you. If you're a woman, and you wanna be a godly woman, then you need to form the right kind of habits. And also, this is a silver book. I love the book just because it's so pretty. And it's "The everyday life https://joycemeyer.org/shop/Books%3djoycemeyer_usa-books/WisdomandVirtuePackage%3d013920". You're gonna love this. You're gonna really enjoy it. There's nothing better to study really than https://joycemeyer.org/shop/Books%3djoycemeyer_usa-books/WisdomandVirtuePackage%3d013920. And I want you to be sure and join us again tomorrow when I continue to talk about the excuses that we make for not facing truth and doing what God wants us to do. And I believe that your life is gonna be blessed by it, and you're gonna see some areas that's gonna help you. So, I'll look forward to seeing you tomorrow. God bless you.