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2021 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - Spiritual Maturity, Part 1

Joyce Meyer - Spiritual Maturity, Part 1

Joyce Meyer - Spiritual Maturity, Part 1
TOPICS: Spiritual Growth
Joyce Meyer - Spiritual Maturity, Part 1

Spiritual maturity. I'm going to start with a story that any time I use this story, I pretty much always close with it. But I thought, "I'm going to do it backwards tonight, I'm going to start with it". Sometimes, I just like to shake things up a little bit, amen? A couple went into an antique shop, and they saw a very beautiful, I mean a really beautiful, magnificent little teacup sitting very high upon a shelf in the store. And they just fell in love with it. "That is the most beautiful teacup I had ever seen. We have to have this teacup". While they were admiring the teacup, all of the sudden the teacup began to talk.

And it said, "You know, I have not always been like this. There was a time when nobody would've wanted me. There was a time where I was not attractive at all. You see, there was a time in my life when I was just an old, hard, grey lump of clay. And the master potter came along, and he picked me up one day, and he began to pat me and reshape me. And I said, 'stop that, what are you doing? That hurts. Leave me alone'. And he simply looked at me with a little smile and said, 'not yet'. And then he put me on this wheel, and he began to spin me around and around and around. I got so dizzy, I couldn't even hardly see where I was going. I felt like I was losing it. Everything was spinning around. I didn't know what was going on anymore. I felt sick to my stomach and I said, 'let me out of here,' and he just smiled and said, 'not yet'".

Anybody kinda get the symptoms? Okay. "Finally, the day come when I had taken on another shape, all that spinning around finally gave me another shape, and all that patting and molding and squeezing and pinching gave me another shape. And all of a sudden, he put me into a furnace. And it was called the first firing, and it was so hot in there. Oh, I could not believe how hot it was. I thought, 'i can't stand this, I'm going to die. You have got to get me out of here. Don't you love me'? While crying, 'why are you leaving me here'? You see, the oven door had glass in it, and the master could look in through the glass, and he just had this big grin on his face and this certain look in his eyes, but he wouldn't let me out. And then he just smiled and simply said, 'not yet'. Finally, the oven door opened, and he took me out and he set me on a shelf, and I thought, 'phew, thank God that's over'. Then he began to paint me all over".

We think that, "Oh, thank God that's over, I finally got that one". "Then he began to paint me all over with a stinky paint, changing my color from grey to a pretty blue that I am now, and I said, 'this stuff stinks, it's choking me. I don't like this smell. Stop it, stop it, stop it, stop it'. And all he would say is, 'not yet'. Then he put me back into the second oven, and it was called a second firing, and it was twice as hot. And I thought, 'now, I'm really going to die for sure. This is the end of me. This will finish me off. Get me out of here. I can't stand it, I can't stand it'". I bet this sounds like some of you maybe even this week. "'I'm telling you, God, I can't stand it. I mean, really God, I really can't stand it. Get me out of here'. And he would just look through the glass and say, 'not yet'".

Now, don't give up on me, we're just about done here. "Then one day, the door finally opened, and he took me out and he put me up here on this shelf to let me cool off". How do you like that when God puts you on a shelf to let you cool off? "And after I cooled off, one day he came by and he handed me this mirror. And I looked at myself, and I could not believe how beautiful I was, and I could not believe how much I had changed. Well, I did not look anything like that old, grey lump of clay that I started out to be. Now, I'm this beautiful, delicate teacup, and everybody wants me now. But there was a time in my life when nobody wanted me, nobody liked me, nobody paid any attention to me. They just kicked me around and walked on me, but now I'm special. But you see, I wasn't always this way". Give God a praise here.

Now, I've always had a leaning toward teaching in some way, shape, or form on spiritual maturity. When God called me to teach, I was a person who'd been a Christian for a long time, but I had never really been taught really hardly anything at all about spiritual maturity. I was taught a lot about doctrine, I had good doctrine, I knew about the Trinity, the blood of Christ, communion, and a lot of the things that we learn when we go to church, but I wasn't hearing what I needed to deal with the kinds of problems that I had in my life. And so, because of that, I certainly wasn't a very good witness. I really wasn't helping anybody else. And so, when I really began to learn the word and I saw what God really wanted to do in our lives, I just had a passion for the Christian who loves God, but just keeps staying in that baby stage of Christianity. And when we're like that, not only can we not really help anybody else, but we're not happy. We're not happy, we're not content, we're not satisfied. We always think there's one more thing that we've got to have to be happy.

And Jesus died that we could have and enjoy our life, not so we could just now be a miserable Christian. You know, it's one thing to be a miserable sinner, it's another thing to be a miserable Christian. I think that there should be some kind of a transition that takes place. And you know, God wants us to enjoy our lives, there's no doubt about that, and he wants us to be blessed, but I want everybody to be clear and understand that that's not the only reason why you're on the planet. God doesn't have us here just so we can get everything we want, and just so we can be happy and we can have a nice life. We are his representatives in the earth. The Bible says it clearly that we are God's representatives. And the Amplified Bible says that God is making his appeal to the world through us.

Now, every single one of you in this building and everybody watching by tv, I want you to know that you are important to the cause of Christ in the world today. And if there was ever a time in the world, ever a time, and I know that times have been bad in the past, we always say, "Well, this is the worst things have ever been". And you know, then sometimes you read some stuff in history and you think, "Well, I don't know, maybe not". But you know, things are really bad, and more and more people don't believe in God. More and more people are finding reasons to try to get God out of their life. And so, really and truly, we do live in desperate times. But they can also be wonderful times if we'll all just realize, "I'm not here just for me. I'm here because God wants to do something, yes, for me, but he also wants to do something through me. And in order for him to do something through me, I have to get out of his way". Amen?

So, just real quickly, if maybe you've never made that transition from saying, "God, I need this, I need this. Do this for me, give me this, give me that, give me something else," if you've never made the transition from that to, "God, what can I do for you? What do you want to use me for," then how about let's just do a turnaround here tonight and get things straightened out the way that God wants them to be? I love the story of the prodigal son, and you're probably familiar with it if you've been in church very much, but just real quickly, when that boy left home, he wanted his inheritance, and he left saying to his father, "Give me, give me". After a trip in the pig pen and realizing what he had given up and what he had at home, he said, "I'm going to go back to my father". And when he went back, he said to his father, "Make me what you want me to be".

So, we need to go from give me to make me. We need to go from, "This is what I want," to, "God, what do you want"? And I can tell you, you may think that you cannot do without the things that you want right now, but I can tell you if what you want is what God wants, you'll end up with it, but you don't have to spend all your time trying to get it. If you chase God, the blessings will chase you. We all have many, I mean, I have things that I want. I have things in my life I don't want. I have things that I don't have that I do want. You know, we all have desires, we all have things that we want. But we have to get things, Jesus said, "I'd rather not do this. If you can remove this cup from me, then remove it from me. Nevertheless, your will be done and not mine".

So, spiritual maturity, what does spiritual maturity look like? A person who's spiritually mature, what are some of the things that we might see in their lives? Well, first of all, there's a lot of self-control. There's a lot of, "God, I want your will," in their prayers. They're very careful with their words, they have very disciplined speech. They don't live by their feelings. They have feelings, but they don't let their feelings rule them and control them. Lots and lots of consistency. Not one time one way you see them, and another time the next time you see them. And happy when their circumstances are good, and not happy when their circumstances aren't good, just consistency. Lots of generosity. A real spiritually mature Christian, you don't have to try to talk them into giving. They get up every day looking for ways to be a blessing to people. Lots of humility from a spiritually mature Christian. Quick to forgive. Difficult to offend.

Now, I'm sure that all of you here have all these qualities and that you don't really need much of this, but I've been in kind of a season lately of God dealing with me about some things. And I told somebody tonight it's been a while since I've gone through this. I've been walking with God quite a while and, you know, God deals with us in layers. Sometimes, you think that you just really mastered something, and then all of a sudden, God will come along and, you know, you might say, "Well, what do you mean God's dealing with me"? Well, one of the things when God is dealing with you is you begin to notice things in your behavior that maybe you didn't pay that much attention to before. So, I've been hearing a lot of in my heart, "Well, that was selfish. Well, you sure didn't need to say that". And it's been kind of going on for a little while, so I'll just tell you the truth.

If you don't need this message tonight, I'll be happy to stand here and preach to myself because I do need it. And you see, you're going to be growing your whole life. This is not just something where you arrive. The apostle Paul said, "I've not arrived. But one thing I do, it's my one aspiration, forgetting what lies behind and pressing on to the things that are ahead". He said, "I am", now listen to this, he said, "I am determined to take hold of those things for which Christ Jesus died to take hold of me". So he said, "Jesus died for us for a purpose, not just so we could go to heaven, but so we could develop Christ-likeness and be molded into his image while we're here, and the world could". He said that he showed the world the father. Well, now he's giving us the job of showing Jesus to the world. That's what we're supposed to do. And it's not just up to somebody like me that's on television or has a large audience.

Every single one of you can reach people that somebody like me could never reach, every single one of you. You know people in your neighborhoods, you know people at your workplace, you meet people all over the place. And if every Christian would just turn the lights on. How many of you know what I mean by that? Just turn the lights on. My goodness, you know what? To tell you the truth, if Christians will stop compromising and stop slipping over into the world, and really take a stand to be what God wants them to be, we can see some great things happen in the earth. And so, I've always preached along these lines in different ways. I don't preach on the same thing all the time, obviously, but I preach along these lines because I know that if we stay baby Christians, we're not ever going to be happy. And I don't know about you, but if I'm going to be here, I want to be happy. I mean, if we're going to stay baby Christians, we're never really going to have any peace. You know why? You can't control all your circumstances and neither can i.

So, we have to learn if we can't control our circumstances, then we need to learn how to control ourselves so our circumstances are not ruling us all the time, amen? So, 2 Corinthians chapter 3, verse 18, "And all of us as with unveiled face", keep that unveiled face in mind, I'm going to explain that to you, "[because we] continued," stressing continued, "To behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, we are constantly being transfigured into his very own image in ever increasing splendor, and from one degree of glory to another [for this comes] from the Lord [who is] the spirit".

So, God changes us in degrees from glory to glory. And so, I told you God's been dealing with me about just stuff, you know? I don't know, not probably any thing that's gonna send me to hell, but just stuff, you know? Just things that he wants me to come up higher in. And so, what he's doing is he's calling me into another level of glory. You go from glory to glory to glory to glory. Well, always you will have to be dealt with about something, something that you have to leave behind in order to go to that next place that God has with you. So, I'm hoping this weekend that we can help you, with the Word of God, move some obstacles out of your path. And just go ahead and make a decision to stop putting some things off, and just get on with it, and begin to do what God wants you to do.
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