Joyce Meyer - No Parking at Any Time - Part 1
All right, how many of you see my sign? That's the title of my message tonight, "No parking at any time". Some of you have had your life in park for way too long, and it's time to get it out of park, put it in gear, and put Jesus in the driver's seat, and get going. We're going to start with Genesis 11 in verse 32. "And Terah took Abram his son, lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, her son Abram's wife, and they went forth together to go from Ur of the Chaldees into the land of Canaan, but"... Now, you know, that word always creates a problem, always. You can see that they started out for somewhere, "But when they came to Haran, they settled there". They settled. I've come to kind of despise that word because I think far too many people settle. They settle for a life that's so much less than what Jesus wants to give them. They settle for staying at a job that they can't stand just because they'll make a few more dollars there than they would if they went and did what they really loved. They have a dream for their life, they have a goal, and it gets a little tough, it gets a little hard, and so they settle.
And how many women even settle for a guy that they know is not really right, but they're just kind of desperate and afraid they'll never have anybody, so they get themselves into another mess that lasts for a lifetime because they didn't want to wait for the right thing? And I think it's time that we stop settling and we start going all the way through with God, all the way through to the place where we start out to go when we get started. Wouldn't it be kind of foolish if we started this conference, and halfway through decided, "Well, it's been enough. We've worked hard enough this weekend. We're just going to settle right here and not finish the rest of it". You'd all think we were about half crazy, but yet people do that all the time in their lives. And then verse 32 says, and this is the part that I think is really important, "And Terah lived 205 years, and Terah died in Haran".
So actually, here's the thing that I've learned. He started out to go to Canaan, but he settled in Haran, and he died where he settled. He died where he settled. Now, you might keep breathing, but if you settle for less than what's really in your heart, there's going to be something in you that's going to die. Something in your soul is going to sour and give up because all of us, if you're Christian, God has put a desire in you to not be mediocre, to be all you can be, to be excellent, and to do something worth doing other than just walking around the planet, and just breathing, and taking up space, amen? But it takes a little bit of courage, doesn't it? He died where he settled.
Years ago, when I was first, or really, at that time, all I had was a home Bible study in my home. And I was getting ready to go to a little, it wasn't a Bible college thing, but it was a 3-night-a-week thing at my church where we were going to learn more about the Bible. They called it the Elijah program. And somehow, somewhere during that time, I got really tired and worn out. We had kids, and we're trying to do all this stuff. And one night, I had a dream, and I dreamed that I was driving in my car. And I saw a bridge up ahead, and there was a little bit of water covering the bridge. It wasn't a lot of deep water, but it was some water that was going to make it a little bit difficult to drive through. And I noticed that some people were turning around, going back in the other direction. A lot of people were pulling off to the side and parked.
And so, I pulled off to the side and parked, and I kept, in my dream, I would look at the bridge and the water, and then I'd look behind me, and then I'd look at the bridge, and then I'd look behind me. I was trying to make a decision about whether to go on or to turn back. And when I woke up, immediately God showed me what the dream meant. He said, "In life and on this journey that I've called you on, there's going to be lots of places in the road where you can pull off to the side and park. But you can also decide to go all the way through and finish your journey". And I'm going to tell you, some of you have pulled off to the side of the road of life, and you have parked somewhere. It's time for you to get it in gear and get going again because God gives dreams and he doesn't take them back. They're still there waiting for you. There's still time for you to be all you can be, the best person that you can be, the greatest person that you can be, and you can do that for God's glory, amen?
Now, has anybody here, seen the movie that was out recently called, "The Lady In The Van"? Am I the only human that watched that... You saw that movie? All right. Now, that movie has a tremendous meaning in it. Did you get it Chris? Did you get the meaning in that movie? I got, it I've watched it twice. So, it's actually taken from a true story, at least the guy who wrote the book that turned into a movie, he said, "Well, it's mostly true". But there actually was a, "Miss shepherd," and she lived in a yellow van that she painted herself, and she was basically homeless, this van was her home. The only reason why I started to watch it is because I love that actress, she was in, "Downton Abbey," and so I love the actress. And part of the way through I'm thinking, "What am I watching this for"? So she's parking on the street and she kept getting runoff from her parking places. And you know, people would feel sorry for her. She's really just kind of like, this strange character, she was just, you know, really unique. And dirty, dirty clothes, the van was full of trash, it was was just a mess.
And so, she finally ended up getting this guy to feel sorry for her and he let her park in his driveway, which was supposed to be for 3 months, because if she had an address for 3 months, then she could get some kind of allowance from the government, and she had no money, so he wanted to see her be able to do that. Well, long story short, she lived in his driveway for 15 years. I mean, this is actually true. She lived in this yellow van, in this guy's driveway in London, for 15 years. And so, it was like, in one way, he really loved her and cared about her, but in another way, she just annoyed the living daylights out of him, because she was just so unique and so strange.
You know, you would think, well, "Why would somebody want to live like that"? Well, she got sick one time and so he was checking to see if she had any relatives. And so he found out that she had a brother and he traveled to see the brother to say what kind of condition she was in. And so the brother said, "Does Mary still play the piano"? And he said, "You don't mean Mary, her name is Margaret". He said, "No her name is Mary". So she really kind of even made up a false name. And he said, "Well, what do you mean, does she still play the piano? I didn't know she played the piano at all". And so he brings out this record and starts to play it for him. And then he said, "She's played before a king, she's actually a piano virtuoso", and so you're thinking like, "What in the world happened to this lady"? Well, it turns out that she had been touring and playing piano and was doing all these great things, and thousands of people had come out to see her, but she really love God and she wanted to serve God, so she decided that she wanted to be a nun.
And so, when she got into the convent, she had a real strict woman that was over her, and they caught her in a room one night playing the piano and the nun told her, I want you to get this, because there's something here for you. The nun told her that God wanted her to give that up, as a sacrifice to show how much she really loved him and was willing to sacrifice for him. And I want to tell you what, sometimes, religion, what I mean by religion is, just like, church rules and regulations that really don't have much to do with God at all. They can steal everything from you that is good. Why in the world would God give that woman that gift, amazing gift and then tell her that she had to not use that gift in order to show how much she cared for him. Well, music was such a part of her. It was like, it was what made her feel alive, it was part of her soul. And it just crushed her, but she kept trying to do it because she love God, and she wanted to be good.
So she kept getting in trouble in this place and kept getting in trouble in this place, and so finally they made her leave. Well, it did something to her mentally. And so her brother, actually for a while, even had her put in a mental institution. Well, she got out, she's living in a van, and she's driving around different parts of the country. And so one day while she's driving, she hits a guy and kills him. Well, it scared her so bad, that she just ran. So, then the police were looking for her. So now she had this burden of failure, this shame of feeling like that she had disappointed God, now, she had this guilt on her, of feeling like that she had killed somebody. And so, that's the way she lived. And, eventually she died, and the first person that she met after she died was this young man that she had hit. And he said, "I just want to tell you it wasn't your fault, I stepped out in front of you", and I forgot if the movie said if he did it on purpose, or not, but he stepped out in front of her. And so, what I got out of that movie was...
Now here, she spent her whole life misunderstanding what she could have had in God because she didn't really get a hold of somebody that was teaching her about Jesus, she just got a hold of people that were trying to teacher dead, dry rules and regulations about how to try to get to God through giving everything up. Jesus already gave everything up. He already gave his life for us. He already died for us. And God may ask us to give up sinful things, but he's certainly not against music and good things. So don't ever let anybody tell you that in order to serve God, you have to have nothing, be nothing, do nothing, and just, you know... Amen? I guess John 10:10 will probably always be one of my favorite scriptures, "The thief comes only to kill, to steal, and destroy", but Jesus said, "I came that you might have and enjoy your life, and have it in abundance, to the full, until it overflows".
Now, here's the other interesting thing, she died in that van. So here again, she died where she parked. Come on, there's a message here tonight. She died where she parked. Terah died where he parked. I'm telling you what, if you want to live a life, you better get your engines churning, and you better start living a life on purpose, for a purpose, and doing something that's worth doing. And by saying that, I don't mean you have to be a world-renowned evangelist, I don't mean you've gotta be on a platform somewhere, you don't have to be a great singer, but whatever it is that you are, you need to be that, and you need to be the best version of that, that you can possibly be. Amen?
Now, God promises us healing and restoration. And we're going to talk a fair amount about that this weekend. You know, we cannot always avoid the pain that wounds us, but we can choose to not let it ruin the remainder of our lives. Many people in here have been hurt, some very badly. And some of you have done some really bad things in your life. And I think that a lot of times, people park at the point of their pain. How many people get hurt by their parents and they never really ever get over that? You might have somebody who was adopted, for whatever reason their parents didn't want them, they weren't able to keep them. Or let's just take it to the extreme, they didn't want them. They didn't want them. And they can spend their whole entire life, whole life trying to recover from that.
And many of you know Chris Caine's story and, you know, I don't want to get into whatever she might be going to share in her messages, but even if I do, she'll share it better than me. You know, she found out when she was, what, 30, 33 that she was adopted. She never knew that. And make a long story short, she finally got ahold of her birth certificate and her birth certificate said, "Unwanted and unnamed". Unwanted and unnamed, and look at her now. Look at what she's doing now. Look at her. She didn't park at the point of her pain. My father sexually abused me for as many years as I could possibly remember. I didn't park at the point of my pain. I decided I was going to go ahead and have a life.
I remember meeting a woman in a restaurant in Utah. And as soon as she saw me and recognized me, she wanted to tell me her story, and so she was telling me how bad things are, and how bad things have been, and she said, "I'll tell you, Joyce, life has just thrown me under the bus". I said, "You know what? It did me too, but I decided to drive it". Come on. I mean, it's time to shake some of this stuff off. It's time to stop just living your life with a chip on your shoulder, acting like everybody owes you something because you went through some pain. There's no doubt if you've been hurt, you are owed something. But I'll tell you what, God is the only person that can pay you back, nobody else can. And as long as you're trying to collect from the wrong people, you are going to be miserable and stay miserable.
God is in the business of healing and restoration. Your entire life does not have to be ruined because somebody hurt you way back when, or last week, or last night, and even if you did some terrible things, there are people sitting in here tonight and I'm sure people watching by TV that, like ms. Shepherd, you've done something wrong, and you're hiding it, you're hiding from it. Maybe you didn't hit somebody with your van and run off, but it could've, maybe you hurt somebody. Maybe you're in prostitution. Maybe you had several abortions, and now you wished that you wouldn't have done that. You know, regret is pretty much useless. We can be sorry for the things that we've done, but then we need to receive our forgiveness and we need to go on. I mean, living with regret will just suck the life right out of you, amen?
And if you've done wrong things in the past and you're still holding that against yourself, it's time for you to say, "I am going to shake that off, I am going to", you know, when I think about sometimes the things that were done to me when I was a child, to be honest, at this point, I feel like I'm thinking about somebody that I used to know a long, long time ago. It's like that's so much not me anymore, I don't sit around, I mean, now sometimes it'll come back to my mind, and I have to decide, "Nope, been there, done that, not going back there". But you have to make decisions. You can't just go by what you feel all the time. God promises to heal and restore.
Jeremiah 30:17. This is such a great scripture, "For I will restore health to you, and I will heal your wounds, says the Lord, because they", you know, let's stop for a minute and talk about they. It is amazing how much value we put on what they think, and what they say, and what they do. And one day several years ago, I got to thinking, "Who are they"? We let them run our life, and we don't even know who they are. "They have called you an outcast". It doesn't matter what they call you, it's what God calls you that matters. "Saying, 'this is Zion, who no one seeks after and for whom no one cares'".
I love Psalm 27:10, "Even though my mother and father have forsaken me, the Lord will take me up [and adopt me as his own child]". Hallelujah.
Acts 9:34, "And Peter said to him, 'aeneas, Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [now] makes you whole'". I love the little amplification that the Amplified Bible puts in places like this. He does it now. And I want to say to you tonight the Lord Jesus Christ now makes you whole. You don't have to go home full of holes bleeding anymore. Tonight, you can make a decision to receive God's love, and healing, and restoration, and you can go home whole. You don't have to stay parked at the point of your pain and ruin the rest of your life. Amen? How many of you think, maybe you had your life in park and it's time to get it going again, in the right direction? All right, I gotta just find out if I've got a message that anybody needs, otherwise I can change in the middle of it.
Now watch this. "And Peter said, aeneas, Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [now] makes you whole. Get up and make your bed! And immediately [aeneas] stood up". You know, the same thing happened with the man that I love to preach about... How many of you know who I love to preach about? Okay. Okay, I promise he's not in any of my sermons this weekend, but I do just have to mention him. And that's the man that laid by the pool of Bethesda for 38 years, waiting for a miracle. 38 years. If I'm not careful I'll get into preaching about him. And when Jesus did heal him, first of all, he said, "Do you really want to get well? Are you really serious about getting well"? And I can be honest with you, a lot of people who moan and groan and even go to counseling week, after week, after week, they don't really want to get well. They just want to keep telling their story over, and over, and over, and over, and over.
And don't think I'm being mean when I say that, I'm just saying that sooner or later you gotta stop talking about it. You gotta keep rehearsing it. You gotta get it off your mind, and you gotta get on with what God wants you to do. Amen? But when he healed that man, who'd been laying there for 38 years, he also said to him, "Get up"! Big exclamation mark. And make up your bed and take it with you. Well, what's with the making the bed thing? Why in the world would you heal somebody and then tell 'em to make their bed? And it's in, it's in more than one places. You know what I believe it means? I believe Jesus is saying, and I don't, we're going to do something in your life to where there is not, I don't want any evidence even left here that you are ever in this mess. Just get up, and we're gonna get rid of all the evidence. Come on. I'll tell you what, when Jesus does something, he does it and he does it good.