Joyce Meyer - Taking Risks - Part 2
If you want to have the life that Jesus died to give you, then you gotta live a little bit differently than the average, ordinary person out in the world. It's time for us to stand up and act like we believe what we say that we believe. Amen? And if you have to stand alone and have not one friend in the whole world, then take a risk. Be alone rather than be ungodly and see what God will do for you. We don't have time to just go to church and entertain people and just put on a big show. You know, if you didn't come to change, then you might as well just leave now. Well, please don't leave yet, but... 'cuz maybe you didn't come to change. But I'll tell you, that's why I'm still doing this at my beautiful age of 75 years, young. Because I can't stand what the devil is doing to people, and how asleep we are, just letting him do it.
You have got so much power on the inside of you, and so many things to live for, and so much that you can do. If every woman in this room would go out of this place knowing who you are in Christ, I mean ready to follow the leadership of the Holy Spirit, you can change this whole state, and it wouldn't take very long at all to do it. I got some people on the front row, trying to egg me on, down here. Romans 12:2 says, "Do not be conformed to this world". We're in the world but not of it. Don't be conformed to this world. Don't start compromising on the Word of God. The Bible says, "In the last days, good is going to be called evil, and evil is going to be called good".
What, what, what did you tell me today, that there's some evolving faith? Don't go there? Okay. Yeah, I'm already there, so help me. Like, really? I mean, faith is what it's always been. We're not gonna evolve into something else now where we can just live these goofy, sloppy lives, and think because we go to church and have a fish on our bumper, that everything's taken care of and we're gonna be okay. Anyway, I'm gonna go back to my message. I'm going to try. Do you understand what I'm saying? If you're the only one, if you're the only person, you know, that makes the decision, "If I'm going to do it, I'm going to do it right. I'm not gonna compromise my morals at work just to keep my job. I'm not gonna compromise my integrity just to get a promotion at work. I'm going to do what God wants me to do, and I believe that God will lift me higher than any person can ever lift me high". Amen? Don't you do it? Don't be compromising. And you know what compromise means? To go just a little bit below what you know is right. That's what the word means.
I taught on excellence last year, at one of our conferences, and just being an excellent person, just doing what you say you're gonna do. Returning people's calls, if you tell 'em, you're gonna call 'em back. Putting your grocery cart back. You know, you've heard the stories. Little things. You know, that little scripture, "Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you". Just being honest, not lying. We don't need Christian liars. Amen? "Swear to your own hurt and change not," the Bible says. If you say you're gonna do it, then do it, no matter what it costs you, and learn to not make a commitment, if you're not going to keep it.
And let me tell you something. How you live your life, when nobody's looking, is much more important than how you act on Sunday morning with your church friends. 'cuz God sees everything, all the time. You know, we've all got a past but we've also all got a great future. Like, Mephibosheth, we're crippled in our feet too. But it goes on to say that he ended up eating at the king's table the rest of his life, even though he was crippled in both feet. Are you hearing me? Even though we have some weaknesses, even though we have things about us that are not perfect we can still eat at the king's table. Amen? We have a high priest who understands our weaknesses and our infirmities. Because, he's been tempted in every point like we have, yet without sinning. If you'd just get up every day and be determined to do the very best that you can with God's help, and you're quick to repent for anything that you do that's wrong, God can work with you and work with you and he can do great things through you.
How do you feel about yourself? I want you to go outta here fired up and likin' yourself. Somebody said to me last week, or they started to say, and I told 'em I didn't wanna know. They said, "We heard that your ministry is bigger than so-and-so's," and they named this really, really super well-known person. And I said, "Well, I rather doubt that, but even if it is, I don't want to know it". I don't want to know. I don't want to know that stuff. There's only two places, I want to be famous, in heaven and in hell. Amen? What did the demon say to the guy that was tryin' to cast him out and couldn't? "Jesus, I know. Paul, I know. But who are you"? Well, I want him to know who I am. Amen? And, I'll tell ya, when you put your pretty little feet on the floor in the morning, hell oughta shake that you woke up one more day to do damage to the kingdom of darkness. And all you really have to do, to just tear the devil up, it's not hard, just go out there and act like a Christian.
Quit being mad at people because they don't treat you the way you think that they should treat you all the time. Get good at forgiveness, get quick at forgiveness. Make sure that you're famous in heaven and in hell, but don't worry about being famous here. Just let God do whatever he wants to do through you, because like I said, it doesn't matter if you've got some job where you're in front of people all the time or if you've got a job behind the scenes where nobody sees you, and nobody thanks you, and nobody even really cares what you're doing, God cares and that's the only thing that matters. He cares.
There's another guy in the Bible that was a real rascal named Jacob. In Genesis, well, I'll tell you about him a little bit first. He was a schemer, a trickster, a swindler, a liar, and a cheat. Wow. You know, I used to be a pretty good thief. And now, here I am preaching all over the world. You say, "A thief"? Oh, yeah, I'd steal anything I could get my hands on. You say, "Why"? You know what? I would steal stuff I couldn't even use and didn't need, but I know now, why I did it. I did it when I was a teenager and it was because my father was sexually abusing me and controlling me, and stealing those things was my way of having control over somethin'. I didn't understand why I was doing it. But, you know what? God understood why I was doing it. God understands all your pain and everything in your past and even if you were a trickster, a schemer, or swindler, or a cheat, and a liar like Jacob was, if you'll repent and go in the right direction God can still do great and mighty things through you. Amen?
Alright, now listen. You're listening, right? He stole his brother's birthright. He stole the blessing of the first born, lived in fear and hiding, but thank God he finally got tired of it and decided to make a change. Is anybody in here tonight tired of the way you've been livin' and you're ready to make a change? Don't just come to a conference to just be at another conference, be ready to make a change. Nothing's gonna change in our lives if we're not willing to change. It says in Genesis 32, beginning in verse 22, "That same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. And he took them and he sent them across the stream, along with everything else that he had. And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day".
Now, I want you to see something there. There comes a time in your life when you're so desperate for God that you're willing to walk away from everything else. Are you hearing me? You remember last night, when I said that sometimes the greatest adventure you'll ever live is to let go of something? I want to talk to you about that tonight. Because, you can never take hold of the next thing that God has for you if you're not willing to let go of the last thing that he had for you. Maybe, it's a group of friends you need to let go of. I can guarantee that there are people in this room, you would be so much further along with God if you just had some better friends. Anybody? Anybody? Some of you need to go to a different church, mmm... 'cause you don't want to go, you don't get anything out of it. You can't wait till it's over. You're not learning anything. Why do you go? "Grandma goes, and mama goes, and they're not gonna like it if I leave".
And so, you just sit there and stay spiritually dumb your whole life. Come on. Then sneak a peek at me on TV when nobody's lookin'. Come on, you gotta at least be bold enough to say, "Hey, I don't want you guys to be mad at me or to not understand, but something's gotta get happening in my life. I've got to learn something about Jesus, and I'm not learning anything where I'm at. I gotta go somewhere where I can learn".
Now, see, I'm gonna have people mad at me 'cause I'm tryin' to get you out of your churches. I want you to go somewhere where you want to be there, and you learn, and you grow, and people are gonna confront you and if they're gonna ask you where you're at. We need to be accountable to somebody. Abraham had to leave where he was at because his family was idol worshippers. And God said, "Leave everything and go to a place that I will show you". Take that first step of faith before you even know what step two is. He didn't even know where he was going. Let me tell you somethin'. If you want to be all that God wants you to be, he's gonna lead you into some stuff that is dangerous.
I had a job at a church in St. Louis and I'd worked there five years and I felt I had this bigger call on my life and that God wanted me to go to the world and preach. And, I know it was stupid. I know it sounded dumb. I had no qualifications do that. There's no reason for me to think that I should do that. But, you know, God can make you believe crazy stuff. Amen? Stuff that you even think, "Am I nuts"? Everybody else already does but you even begin to agree with 'em and think, "You may be right". And so, I worked there for five years and stayed two years longer than I should of. And God kept tryin' to get me to go, get me to go, get me to go.
And, you know, sometimes God's got to be like the mama eagle, you know. When she's ready for her little eaglets, the cute, little, furry fuzzy things to fly, if they won't get out of the nest, the first thing she does is she starts pulling all the padding out of the nest. And, you made a commitment last night. Maybe, you forgot it, but I didn't. Everyone of you prayed in here and said, "Here am I God, send me". Now, that means that you're not gonna get to just be in your comfortable, little, padded nest anymore, compromising so you keep all your friends. It means you're gonna have to walk away from some stuff, step into some stuff, and learn how to follow God whether it's convenient or inconvenient, comfortable or not.
Let me tell you somethin'. Oh my gosh, I am so glad when I look back at what my life would've been if I would have stayed comfortable back then compared to what it is now. I lost all my friends, got kicked out of my church, was made fun of, people thought I was nuts but I'm still here. Amen? And, I had to walk away from a lot of things but God's given every one of them back to me. Jacob walked away from everything. He left everything and went and wrestled with God. And, somehow in this wrestling match, Jacob said, I mean the angel that he was wrestling with said, "Leave me alone and let me go". And he said, "I will not leave you alone until you bless me".
Come on, what kind of boldness, "I will not leave you alone until you bless me". And somehow, in the process, the angel touched the hollow of his thigh and he got a limp. And, I love this. It says, "So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, 'for I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered'. The sun rose upon him as he passed Peniel, limping because of his hip". So, I love it. He got blessed. He went away limping, but he still got blessed. So, we're always gonna have some kind of a limp. We're always gonna have something that is not going to be perfect about us, but that doesn't mean that you can't let God do great things through you. Sometimes we gotta let go of some stuff. And all of our life we're making changes. Things are changing and we're having to let go of things and take hold of things. And, when you let go of things it's hard, because even if you're following God, sometimes your soul is tied that thing that you're letting go of.
And so, when I finally did leave my job at the church, because I stayed two years longer than I should have, and so things started getting real uncomfortable for me. And, I won't go into all the details of all that, but I finally knew, to the best that I know how to know, I knew... And Dave felt the same way, that we were to take our ministry and, "Go north, south, east, and west," that's what God said to me. Well, sometimes you gotta be very childlike and nobody knew me north, south, east, or west. So, I went to north St. Louis, east St. Louis, west St. Louis, and south St. Louis. And I'm telling ya the honest to God's truth. I was trying so hard to obey God, so, I started a monthly meeting in each end of town. And I had 50 people, and 20 people, and 70 people. And, man, if we hit a hundred I thought I had died and gone to heaven. And every Sunday when I'd go to church, at the church where I used to be on staff, I would get depressed. And, I'd go home and just feel lonely and depressed. And, then I would wonder if I made the right decision.
Come on. See, some of these changes that God is gonna ask you to make, some of these things that he may want you to walk away from, you gonna miss 'em. Even though there's a part of it that you don't want any part of anymore, there's parts of you that are tied to it. And, I got so confused, I didn't understand. "Well, God if I did the right thing, then why do I feel like this every time I go there"? Is anybody hearing me? Okay, and God finally said to me, "You have soul ties to the place".
See, sometimes you can physically walk away and you know it's what you should do, but your soul, your mind, your emotions are still tied to the place. And, I want you to understand that, that when God calls you out of something that doesn't mean that you're gonna feel good about it or it's going to feel good all the time. You gotta give it a little bit of time. That's like if you walk away from a wrong group of friends that are leading you down a wrong path, you may be lonely for a while. I'm not gonna tell you that you won't. You may be lonely. And, it may be hard if you're gonna be a real Christian when you're not invited to the party anymore. It may be hard to sit home and be lonely. But, if you do what God tells you to do, the day will come, do you hear me? The day will come when God will lift you up. And let me tell you, what God lifts up nobody can put down. Nobody can put down.
And so, here's what I'm tryin' to get at and I hope this is helping somebody. Because, I think there's probably more people here that need to let go of something than those that need to step out into something. I just feel that in my heart. I feel like that there's people here that you're hurting yourself because you don't know how to walk away, or how to let go, or how to say no, or how to stop, or how to make a change, or how to realize that you're not what you used to be and that's okay. Life is just a long series of changes. It's a journey, and we're constantly making changes. And, everything is beautiful in its time, but when it's not in its time anymore, then it gets ugly. Making that change when you can't do what you used to do. Does anybody need this?
See, if you're 20 tonight, you probably don't need this, but you know, most of you probably need this. You gotta make changes. You gotta say no. You gotta disappoint people. You gotta walk away from some stuff, you have to. And so, stepping away from things has felt much more dangerous to me than taking on five new things. Does anybody get it? You know, it's hard to let your kids start makin' their own decisions, especially, when you really believe the decision they're making is wrong and they're not gonna listen to you and you gotta just sit back and let them make their own mess. It's hard to stop tryin' to change people, and say, "God, if you can't change 'em, then certainly can't. I'm taking my hands off".
Come on. I said some of you need to let go of some stuff. You need to just stop being the potter. Let all the people off the potter's wheel that you're tryin' to rework. And let God be God. Amen? And when you let go of things that are useless, then you can become more fruitful than you've ever been before in your life. And that's really what we need to be doing more than anything else. Can I tell you the truth? While I'm resting, I'm on television in two thirds of the world in almost 100 languages, while I'm resting, 'cause see, what God showed me is, you don't want to look at what you're doing today, you want to look at what you've done your whole life. And now you need to start seeing how much use you can get out of all that stuff that you've already got.
And, I'll tell ya, my team of people they're takin' all these thousands of messages that I've got and breakin' 'em up: they're on podcast, and iPods, and you-pads and WI-FI's, and... You know, all this stuff. I mean, I bet you, it's just driving the devil crazy. And, you can drive the devil crazy too if you'll stop doing what everybody else expects you to do and start doing what you really believe that God wants you to do. Come on. Is anybody bold enough to take that step of faith? Come on, get up on your feet. Is anybody bold enough to take that step of faith and say, "Dear God, I don't know what's gonna happen when I do this, but here I am. I'm gonna let go so I can take hold".
Father, in Jesus' name, I pray for every person here that they will follow the leadership of your spirit. Be led and guided by you. Let go of what they need to let go of, and take hold of what they need to take hold of, in Jesus' name.