Joyce Meyer - No Parking at Any Time - Part 2
Now, let's look for a minute at Daniel's three friends, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Now, even though this is in the book of Daniel, it's not about Daniel. It's about his friends: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. But, you know, the friends that you have are very important. And to be honest, a lot of times, the friends that you have show a lot about you and who you are. And Daniel was not only a man of excellence and integrity but he had friends who were excellent and had integrity. And these were men who would not compromise. You know what the word compromise means? It means to go just a little bit, just a little bit below what you know is right. Just a little bit. We don't need to compromise in our lives. There's too much compromise out in the world. We're living in a day and a time when we need to stand strong for Jesus.
Now, Daniel 3:26 and 27, we're gonna read 27 first. "And the satraps, the deputies, the governors, and the king's counselors gathered around together and saw these men". These men who had been thrown into the fiery furnace because they would not bow down and worship the king. "They saw that the fire had no power upon their bodies, nor was the hair of their head singed: neither were their garments scorched or changed in color or condition," and here's my favorite part, "Nor had even the smell of smoke clung to them". No evidence. They were in the fiery furnace and when they came out, there was no evidence, c'mon now, no evidence. It's time to let God get rid of the evidence in your life. It's time to stop dragging around your ashes. Give 'em up and get beauty instead. C'mon.
See, here's the thing you gotta get this weekend. You can't keep the old stuff and get the new stuff. C'mon, I said, you can't keep the old stuff and get the new stuff. You can't keep a bad attitude and get the good life that Jesus wants to give you. You can't keep self-pity and get powerful. Mm-hmm. And some people, to be honest, the things that have hurt them become their identity. They're like their badge that they wear and carry around all the time. "Look at me, I've been hurt. Look at me, I've been hurt". Do you know what I'd rather say? "Look at me, I've been healed. Look at me, I've been healed. Look at me, there's no evidence that I ever went through the junk I went through. Look what God has done for me".
Don't you just love Jesus? I'll tell you what, I am just whacky, madly in love with Jesus. He is just so wonderful. Who would not wanna be a Christian? I cannot believe that anybody would not want to be a Christian. My gosh, it's so much fun. You might say, "Well, I'm not having much fun at it". Well, maybe that's because you don't know how to be a right one yet. Amen? All right, back to the fiery furnace. "Not even the smell of smoke had clung to them". Verse 26 says, though, and I love this, Daniel 3:26, "Then Nebuchadnezzar came near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you servants of the Most High God, come out and come here. Then they came out of the midst of the fire". Let's think about another situation. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, he walked up to that tomb and he said, "Come out".
You know, I think Jesus is saying that to a lot of people here tonight. And if I could shout and get by with it, I would, but I can't 'cause I've gotta save my voice tonight. It's time to come out. It's time to come out of those messes and come out of that pit and come out of that pity party and come out of living in the past. It's time to get away from where you been parked all your life. It's time to go and do something that is amazing with your life, amen? C'mon, when you're living less than your potential, you're just... You're not happy. And I can tell you what happens. Unhappy people make other people unhappy. I mean, you do. If you'll listen to me tonight, your family will be so glad to get you back. I mean, they will pay you to come here next year.
When Jesus told Lazarus to come out, then he said to him, "Take off your grave clothes". And I think it's basically the same thing. It's like, how many years was I a Christian but I was still wearing the grave clothes of the past? It's time to let go of everything that's ever soured your life, whether it's something that was done to you or something you did and it's time, now, Jesus Christ maketh thee whole. C'mon, I said, now. I said now! C'mon, I see you all the way up there in the top. I said now! Right now. Not some other time. Right now, Jesus Christ makes you whole.
Another thing that is very, very, very detrimental to people is how you feel about yourself. And I found this out many, many, many years ago, and it was so good when I did, but my main problem was I felt bad about myself. Because I'd been abused, I took the blame. Gotta be something wrong with me. Why is it that when somebody don't like us, there's always gotta be something wrong with us? Why is it if a woman's married to a man that leaves her, there's gotta be something wrong with her? There must have been something wrong with me. Or one of your kids turn out badly, "There must have been something wrong with me". We need to stop just, I mean, there's enough stuff that we actually do without taking a bunch of false guilt and false blame on us all the time and letting the devil just load us down with a bunch of junk that's not even reality.
It wasn't my fault my father abused me. It wasn't my fault that the first guy I'm married to was a first-class jerk. I didn't make him the way he was. I didn't make my father the way he was, amen? A lot of things even that we do wrong, we do wrong out of ignorance. You know, I'm sure that I wasn't a perfect mother, but really, when I look back, for the little I knew I was actually pretty on top of it, you know? I mean, wow, could I have done some nut-ball stuff. So I wanna tell you another little story in the Bible that has really helped me and I hope it helps somebody here tonight. You know, under the old covenant, back in the Old Testament, they made covenants with people and it's kinda not like what we do today, you know. People giving you their word today doesn't mean too much anymore but, back then, boy, if you had a covenant with somebody, you kept it not only with them but even to their children and even grandchildren after that.
And so, David, who became the king, and Jonathan, who was Saul's son, the previous king, had a covenant relationship. And that basically means anything that's mine is yours and anything that's yours is mine. Anything you need, you got it. I'll help you with anything. We need more covenant relationships, don't you think so? And so Saul was dead, Jonathan was dead. And David is remembering this covenant and he still wants to bless somebody from Saul's and Jonathan's blood line. So, he went to his servant.
I'm in 2 Samuel 9 and I'm reading verse 1, "And David said, 'is there still anyone left of the house of Saul to whom I might show kindness for Jonathan's sake'"? I love that. I kinda look at it like this. It's like God looking around the room tonight and saying, "Is there anybody that I can show kindness to for Jesus' sake"? See? For Jesus' sake. God's not good to us and kind to us because we deserve it. The relative that David was gonna bless, he'd never done anything. He wasn't even in the covenant relationship. David just wanted to bless him for Jonathan's sake. And God wants to bless you for Jesus' sake. And sometimes, all we gotta do is learn how to receive it. Just stop fighting him off. And so they told him about a boy named Mephibosheth. And they said, "But he's crippled in both feet".
And actually what happened was when they were running from the house when they heard that David had become king, they'd been lied about David and they were running from the house. They fell down the steps with the boy and he became crippled in both of his feet. And he was living out in a place called Lo-Debar which meant without pasture. So, it was not such a great place. So, he was told about this Mephibosheth and so David ordered him to be brought to the palace and when he brought him in, verse 6, "Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, came to David and fell on his face and did obeisance. And David said, 'Mephibosheth!' and he answered, 'behold your servant"!
Now, I thought about this a little bit today and I don't know that I'm 100% right but I'm just gonna pretend like I am, and... I always say, "It's my meeting and I can pretend I'm right if I want to," so. You know, you almost look at that and you think that he bowed down in worship, but I'm not so sure a part of it wasn't fear. I think he was afraid. See, he knew whose grandson he was and he understood covenant. He knew it extended to him. And if he wouldn't have been fearful, he would have already been knocking on the palace door long before that, saying, "I came to get what's mine," amen? And not in any kind of an irreverent attitude, but when we pray, that's kind of what you're doing. You're going to get what's yours, not because you've earned it or deserved it but because Jesus has, amen?
That's why you don't need to beg God to do things for you that he already wants to do more than you even wanna receive 'em. Who can I bless for Jesus' sake? And, boy, I got a hold of that and I'm, like, "Here I am! Pour it on, God. I'll take all you wanna give me. I know I don't deserve it, but if you're looking for somebody to bless, yoo-hoo! Here I am". "And David said", well, hey, I guess I must have been right 'cause David said, "Fear not". Verse 7, "For I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father's sake, and I will restore to you all the land of Saul your [grandfather], and you shall eat always at my table".
Now, watch verse 8. This shows the problem. "And [the cripple] bowed himself and said, 'what is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I am'"? That was the image he had of himself. And probably part of it was because he was crippled and lame in both feet and probably part of it was because he lived in Lo-Debar. You know, sometimes, your circumstances can even affect you and make you feel like you're a lot less than what you really are. And I know I talk about this a lot, but I just want you to do a little heart check tonight and just ask yourself how you feel about yourself. 'cause, see, if you don't really love yourself in a balanced way, I'm not talking about being in love with yourself. But if you don't really love yourself in a balanced way, then you're gonna miss out on so many things that God has for you because you're always gonna be shrinking back in fear from something or thinking that you don't deserve what God wants to give you.
The more you like yourself, the more you're gonna like other people, amen? The more mercy that you receive from God, the more mercy you'll have to give away. The more love you receive from God, the more love you'll have to give away. You can't give away something you don't have in you, amen? You gotta have it to give it. So, long story, short, he restored everything to him, gave him servants, on and on, and on, and on. And then, I love verse 13. "So, Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem, for he ate continually at the Lord's table, [even though] he was lame in both feet". And here's what I like about that. Let's just say, "The lame in both feet," represents that he was imperfect. He had issues. How many of you have issues? No, no? I have some issues. Just a few, not many, but just a tad. Little bit, I expect to be rid of them by next year, but right, now I've got just a few. However, just as soon as I get rid of a few, I know of now, God will show me 25 more that I didn't even know that I had.
Aren't you glad that he doesn't show you everything that's wrong with you all at one time. My gosh. But see, even though he was imperfect, c'mon, get it, even though he was imperfect, even though he was lame in both feet, even though he, quote, made mistakes and did things wrong, he still got to eat at the king's table every, single day, and so can you. Amen? Stop crawling around under the table, when you've got a seat, amen? Years ago, when my kids first heard me preach this, they were all... I guess, teen, well, maybe they were married, I don't know, teenagers. Do you remember? Were you married by then? I don't remember.
Anyway, I used to tell this story about, now, just imagine if you were mom and you spent all day, you cook this great meal, you had turkey, and you had all the pies, and you called the family to come in, and they all came in and started crawling around under the table, saying, "Oh, mom, we're not worthy to eat at the table". You'd wanna just, you know, you can just imagine how you'd feel. You would just be like, "What is wrong with you? Get up out of that floor and get up to this table. I have spent this whole day cooking this for you. Stop acting like that". So, one thanksgiving, I called everybody for dinner. Sure, I didn't cook it. I don't know where I got it, but I called 'em all for dinner. Ha-ha. Amen. And they all got under the table. All my grown children got under the table and started crawling around, under there, saying, "Oh, mom, we're so unworthy. We're so unworthy. We can't eat. We're so unworthy".
But you know what? That's how we act sometimes, isn't it? Come on, Jesus died to give you everything that God wants you to have. And as long as you're growing, and you love God, and you want to just do your best every single day, God is just gonna fall all over you with blessings. New: don't you love new things? Don't you love newness? I like getting new clothes. I feel good in 'em. I like, new, fresh mornings, that smell good. I like new things. Well, it's interesting how many scriptures are in the Bible, about new things. I just wanna read you a few of them.
Jeremiah 31:31: "'behold, the days are coming,' says the Lord, 'when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel'".
John 13:34: "And I give you one new commandment".
Isaiah 65:17: "For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth. And the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind".
Ezekiel 11:19, "And I will give them one heart [a new heart] and I will put a new spirit within them: and I will take the stony [unnaturally hardened] heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God]".
Isaiah 42: "Sing a new song". Boy, I bet some of you, your families are tired of hearing the same old song come out of you, over and over, and over. "I'm the only one around here that does any work. Everybody else"... "Do not [earnestly]", Isaiah 43: "Do not [earnestly] remember the former things: neither consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing, a new thing". Couple more. I offer you a "(new) and a living way".
And this is one of my favorite: "To him who overcomes", this Revelation 2:17: "To him who overcomes and (conquers), I will give to eat of manna that is hidden, and I will give him a white stone with a new name engraved on it".