Joyce Meyer - Taking Risks - Part 1
Tonight, we're gonna talk about taking a risk. Because, anybody who's not ever willing to risk will never do very much in this world, and in all probability, you'll end up being quite bored with your life. Couple things that I said last night that I don't want you to forget is walking by faith is taking step one before you know what step two is. My gosh, I have done that so many times in my life. After a few times to get a little more used to it and it's not quite as scary. But, taking a step of faith is stepping out to do something when you don't know how it will be provided for but you believe with all your heart that it's what God has told you to do.
I'll give you one example from my life. When God started puttin' it in my heart to teach a Bible study, a home Bible study, I had a full-time job and I made as much money as Dave did. I had a really good job, and we didn't have any money pressure. But, I didn't know the Bible very well and so, I needed to study. And I didn't really have time to study with having a full-time job and three children, and so God started puttin' it on my heart to quit my job. But, I was not an irresponsible person and that just didn't make any sense to me because I could get out the calculator and figure out that our bills were more than our income would be if I didn't work. And so, I did what we do so often, I kinda bargained with God and I quit my full-time job and got a part-time job.
Come on, you ever try to obey God part time, part way? "Well, I don't want to do that, but how 'bout if I do this? That way I'm still obeying you but I still got a back-up plan". Come on, maybe God is wanting some of you to let go of your back-up plan and trust him completely. So, I got fired from my part-time job, and... I was not the kind of person that got fired from a job, I mean, I was a good worker. And, I mean, it was just ridiculous. I mean, I could not do anything right at that job. Everything I touched broke down, and I mean, it was just crazy. So, it became obvious that God had completely blocked my way and that he meant that I was to lay down that job and trust him. Well, to be honest, back then I was just trustin' God for my kids' shoes, we were $40 a month short on paying our bills and so it wasn't like this huge sum of money that we needed, but we needed a little bit of extra money to come in miraculously every single month from somewhere.
And so, I took that step of faith to do that. And you know, sometimes we think when we take a big step of faith, that boy, God is just gonna load in the reward and the blessings right away. I mean, look at this sacrifice I made and I can't wait to see what God's gonna do for me tomorrow. Well, for 6 years, for 6 years we had to believe God literally, when you hear people say I was believin' God for my socks and underwear, I was believin' God for my socks and underwear. I didn't know then why I had to go through all those hard things. But I know now, 'cause I can tell you now, we need a lot more than a $40 a month. I mean, when you're on television in 2/3 of the world, let me tell you what honey, you got some bills to pay. I mean, all these stations don't just love me and say, "We'd like to put you on free". There are few, but not very many.
And so, 500 employees, and buildings, and offices, and eight different countries and on, and on, and on. I don't even bother to try to look at what we need anymore because it would just, would make you want to faint. But, you know what? All the bills are paid. The building's paid for. We're never late paying our TV bills. You know why? Because God is faithful, and I believe that what God orders he pays for. But, I don't think that anybody will ever do anything of any magnitude without getting some tests. And so, you step out and boy you've put your foot in it, and now you're there. And you know, it's tough when you're in the middle of something and you don't know how to go forward and you can't go backwards because you'd left everything.
There's nothing back there to go back to and you can't get to where you want to be and you're just stuck there waiting for God to do what only God can do. But it brings you so close to God when all you have to depend on is him. So, if you want to live dangerously and you want to have an adventurous life, I don't think there's any life that's more adventurous than just following the leadership of the Holy Spirit. And, I can tell you, you may not like every place he takes you but you won't be bored. If you follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit, you will not be bored because he is one creative guy that comes up with more things than what you can even possibly imagine. Amen? And so, Satan tries to attack us in so many different ways to get us not to take those steps of faith and not to do what God wants us to do. And one of the areas where Satan attacks us more than anything else is in how we feel about ourselves.
Now, just very seriously, I want to tell you that a lot of people's problems, more than anything else, your problem is you just don't like yourself. And a lot of people that don't like themselves don't even know they don't like themselves. And, they blame everything on everybody else. "Well, if you wouldn't do this, I'd be happy, and if you would do that, I'd be happy, and if you didn't do this, I'd be happy". Do you know if you can get happy with who you are and happy yourself then you can spend your life making somebody happy rather than being mad at them 'cause they're not making you happy? Amen?
And so, I finally came to grips with the fact in my life that I wasn't able to love anybody because I didn't love myself. I couldn't have mercy on other people. I was very legalistic because I was very legalistic with myself. I didn't receive God's mercy, and you can't give away what you don't have. And so, one of the things I'm gonna ask you to do, as part of your journey here at this conference, is somewhere along the way get in touch with how you feel about yourself. Do you like yourself? Do you love yourself? Do you respect yourself? Because here's the bottom line, what you believe about yourself is much more important than what anybody else believes about you.
Come on, what you believe about yourself is much more important than what anybody else believes about you. And if you know who you are in Christ then you don't have to live as a people-pleaser. Satan regularly attacks our worth and value. You know, when Jesus was being tempted in the wilderness, the account is in Luke chapter 4, two different times Satan said to him, "Well, if you are the Son of God". "Well, if you are a child of God, then why do you have these problems? Well, if God loves you, then why hasn't he answered your prayers"? He's always trying to attack our worth and our value and keep get us thinking that God doesn't love us. And so, we want to talk for just a minute about how your self-image affects your future, because adventure requires boldness, and boldness requires confidence, and confidence requires a healthy self-image.
So, how do you see yourself? 2 Samuel chapter 9 the first eight verses, "And David said, 'is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I might show him kindness for Jonathan's sake'"? What we need to see out of that is God is saying, "Is there anybody that I can show kindness to for Jesus' sake"? God's not good to us because we deserve it because we don't, but he's good to us because Jesus deserved it and we believe in him and we're joint heirs with him, and he said, "Everything the father has is mine and everything that's mine, I'm giving it to you. And now there was a servant of the house of Saul whose name was Ziba, and they called him to David. And the king said to him, 'are you Ziba'? And he said, 'i am your servant'. And the king said, 'is there still someone at the house of Saul that I may show the kindness of God to him'? And Ziba said to the king, 'there is still a son of Jonathan: but he is crippled in his feet'".
Now, there's a story behind this, I'm not going to get into all this. He actually, had fallen down the steps when Saul and Jonathan died, and it was announced that David was going to become the king. And, people were afraid, and he fell and that was how he became crippled. But, none the less, here's this young boy that was the king's grandson, the son of the new king's covenant friend, but he spends his life in hiding in a place called Lo-Debar. Have you ever lived in Lo-Debar? I was tryin' to think of a way to be cute and I thought, "Well, I've been low at Dee Bar before". Can you imagine me hangin' out at the bar, depressed because my life was so bad? Thank God, I'm not at Lo-Debar anymore. Amen?
And, "The king said, 'well, where is he'? And Ziba said, 'he's in the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-Debar'. Then king David sent and brought him from the house of Machir the son of Ammiel, at Lo-Debar. And Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan," boy, these people had some names, didn't they? "Came to David and fell on his face and paid homage. And David said, 'Mephibosheth'! And he answered, 'behold, I am your servant'", now, you gotta watch this, "And David said to him, 'don't fear, for I will show you kindness for the sake of your father Jonathan, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your father, and you shall eat at my table always'. And he paid homage and said, 'what is your servant, that you should show regard for such a dead dog as I am'"?
Now, we see the real problem. It was his own poor self-image that kept him from going to the palace, boldly going in and sayin', "I am king Saul's grandson. Jonathan was my father, and I have rights". How many of you, because you have a poor self-image never go boldly to the throne? "Come boldly to the throne," the Bible says. "Well, God, if you'll just do this and if you'll just do that". Try to keep that phrase out of your prayers, because the word, "Just," means just enough to barely get by. "Well, God, if you'll just help me tonight". I don't want you to just help me tonight, I need help every single moment of every single day. "If you'll just get me out of trouble this time, Lord". No, you gonna get in trouble again tomorrow, and tomorrow, and the next day, and you're gonna need help then, too. So why don't you just go ahead and admit it and say, "God, I need help every moment of every day. Please don't ever leave me for one second because I need you. I need you". You're gonna have to get a little bit bolder if you wanna get very much out of God. You gotta ask for a lot.
Joyce: Well, following the leadership of the Holy Spirit is exciting, even though it can feel risky. Many of you have questions about stepping out in faith and Ginger's here with some of those questions, that by the grace of God, I prayerfully, will answer.
Ginger: Well, we have some really good questions today, and it's a scary thing often times when God asks us to do something, and sometimes we're not sure what he's asking us to do. So, this first question comes from Cheryl, "I'm 65, and I can't retire. I want to switch jobs, but I'm too afraid my age makes me unemployable. Can I make a change at my age without losing it all"?
Joyce: I think you can absolutely make a change at any age. You know, I would probably not recommend that she quit her job if she really has to work, until she has another one secured, because that's just wisdom. But, certainly, go for it. You know, age is really a number. It's like, I like to say I can age without getting older. You don't have to get an old mindset just because you, you know, have reached an upper age. Now, you know, in the natural people might be a little more disinclined to want to hire someone that's a little bit older. But, we had a man just recently left here and moved to Florida and he's in his sixties and he got a great position. And so, a lot of times people will really appreciate your experience that you have.
Ginger: So, step out there.
Joyce: "Step out and find out," that's what I always say. The thing you have to realize about stepping out is you have to be willing to be wrong to find out if you're right.
Ginger: Oh, yeah, yeah.
Joyce: And to me that's really something to think about, it's like we're always so afraid we're gonna be wrong. But, a lot of people just stay in things forever that is not even the right place for them anymore because they're not willing to be wrong.
Ginger: Yeah, well, then I think you can help Christina with this one. She says, "I've been asking God for years what he wants me to do with my life but he hasn't really revealed anything. Does that mean he wants me to stay where I am? Would God want you to stay in a place where you don't have peace"?
Joyce: No, I don't think God wants you to stay somewhere where you don't have peace. And, if you don't have peace that may be God telling you to move on. And here again, you know, I don't know the details of exactly what she's talking about but as far as like, finding out what God wants you to do? I always say just try some things and pretty soon you'll find what your anointing is. I was just so hungry to serve God and wanted to and was willing to do anything. I even cleaned my pastor's house a couple of times, but that's definitely not my gift. And passed out tracts on the downtown streets of st. Louis and didn't like that, worked in the nursery, didn't take long for me and the kids to find out that wasn't it. But, when I started teaching, I knew I'd found my niche. And so, you know, if you try somethin' and it doesn't work, don't get discouraged, just say, "Well, at least now I know that, that's not what I'm supposed to do".
Ginger: Yeah, it's just part of the learning process.
Joyce: Yeah, sometimes you have to try a few things before you find out what's right. It just came to me so I'll just believe it's a good example. It's kinda like sometimes when you go to the doctor, sometimes they'll have to try two, or three, or even four different kinds of medicine before they find what's going to work with your system. And so, don't ever just stay in a place where you don't have peace and you don't have grace to be, because you're afraid of makin' a mistake. Obviously, we have to support ourselves so you can't be foolish and just, you know, quit your job until you know that you have something. And, but there's ways work around that and do what God wants you to do.
Ginger: God can make a way where you don't see one. This is a question from Jessica. "How do you know the difference between God's timing and your own when taking steps forward"? It's a big one and a hard one.
Joyce: I always say, "Take a step and see"...
Ginger: That's great advice.
Joyce: "And see if that one works, and then if it does and you can tell God's favor's on it, then take another step". We don't have to just go jump off the cliff.
Joyce: You know, we can climb down one rock at a time. And so, you know, when God called me into ministry, I mean, I started teaching a very small Bible study. And, five years later, people were still comin'. And so, then I took a step of faith and for one year, I felt like God had told me it was time to quit teaching the Bible studies, and I quit, but then for a year, I did absolutely nothing. And so, that was a real testing year for me, and it didn't make sense to me at the time but I look back now and there were a lot of issues that were settled in my life during that year of, "Not knowing". Then I went to work at a church, had a little bigger opportunity, then finally stepped out into my own ministry. And so, it's a little bit at a time.
Ginger: Yeah, that's good. Question from Belinda, "Fear and the what-ifs are holding me back. I have my children and my mother to consider, what if I make the wrong choice? How will I know it's God"?
Joyce: Well, sadly, we never know 100% for sure that something's God until you step out and find out. That's why I recommend taking baby steps so you can see what God's anointing is on. You know, not knowing each one of these specific situations, it's harder to speak into them 'cause I'm having to speak in general terms. But, I mean, when I think about all the the risks that I've taken or even like you, when you left your job and came here. I mean, you walked away from all your friends, your church, and everything, and you did it based on what was in your heart.
Ginger: Yeah, and we left a place where we were very content, very happy and we knew that God was asking us to do something. And so, it definitely is taking a risk, and those what-ifs are big. You know, "What if we're not hearing God right"?
Joyce: Yeah, right, and even when we say, "We know," it's a different kinda knowing than like knowing for sure in your head this is all going to work out. And sometimes, we just get the timing off a little bit, you know. I felt a desire to go on television and I tried a couple of years before God actually put me on television, and it was just a disaster. It just didn't work at all. So sometimes, it's not that what you step out to do is not the right thing, it may just not be the exact right time. But you know, risk always brings reward. And, you always have to make some kind of an investment to reap some kind of a harvest. And so, all you can do is the best you can do to hear from God. And, I think she said, "Well, what if you make a mistake"? And, I believe this wholeheartedly, if your heart is really right, and you sought God and done all you know how to do to hear from him, and you step out into somethin' and it turns out not to be the right thing, I believe God will even use that in your life as experience and help you get yourself back on the right path.
Ginger: I think you're right, and that's so reassuring that we're not going to miss God. If we're seeking him, we're not going to miss him.
Joyce: You know, like he told me one time, "If you miss me, I'll find you," so...
Ginger: Yeah, that's good. One more question?
Ginger: This is from Lisa, "I can't get past my past. How do I let go so I can move forward with the plan that God has for me"?
Joyce: Well, you know, I don't recommend a lot of reasoning but sometimes you do have to be reasonable with yourself. And so, the thing that comes to my mind is, what good is it doing you to stay stuck in your past? Can you go back and undo what happened? If there's nothing you can do about it then you have to trust God to somehow work it out for your good. Everybody's got a past but the key is, is it's past. And we all have a future, God's got a good plan for us in the future. And, I think sometimes just, you know, she says, "How can I get past my past"? Well, the best way is just to head straight into your future. In other words, if she starts taking steps to go forward then the things that are behind, it'll be easier to leave them behind. First, she may take them with her mentally, but eventually she'll get over that. But if you just stay stuck in the same place and you keep doing the same thing over, and over, and over nothing's going to change. So, you gotta start moving forward. You know, what the apostle Paul said, "One thing I do, it's my one aspiration, forgetting what lies behind," and he said, "And straining or pressing toward the things that are ahead".
Ginger: So, it takes a little bit of effort, a little bit of force.
Joyce: Takes a little pushing and a little, you know, and I don't mean it like works of the flesh where we're struggling, and miserable, and frustrated but there is a decision and there's a stepping out. And, I think any time we step out the enemy's going to step toward us, like Paul said, "A wide door of opportunity was opened unto me and with it many adversaries". I say it a little different way, "New level, new devil". So, the enemy's always going to try to keep us from the future that God has planned for us. And, everybody gets there the same way, you either step out and you take a risk or you stay in the same old place. Which is okay too, if that's what you want to do. But, if you really feel like you're supposed to be stepping out then the only way to find out is to step out.
Ginger: Right. Well, thank you for your help. I think a lot of us are ready to take that jump.