Joyce Meyer - When You Don't Know What to Do
Well, I'm so glad that you've joined me today to hear the teaching of God's word. 'cuz there is power in the Word of God that will change your life. I wonder how many of you, right now, in your life, have some kind of a problem goin' on and you're saying, "I just don't know what to do? I just don't know what I'm going to do"? You know, I've said, "That I think the devil sends out a little demon, to sit on everybody's shoulder every morning, just scream in your hear all day long, 'Well, what are you gonna do? What are you gonna do? What are you gonna do? What are you gonna do'"? And somehow we feel like, we need to have an answer. But, if you don't know what to do, what are you going to do? Well, a lot of times people just start doing the wrong stuff. And so today I wanna talk to you about what to do, when you don't know what to do. Because there are things that would be valuable to do, and there's things that would not be valuable to do.
First of all, don't focus on or fixate, on your problem. We pay way too much attention to our problems. And the more attention we pay to them, the bigger they get. Whatever you focus on, becomes the largest thing in your life. That's why we need to focus on God, and on his word, and let that become bigger than our problem. Thinking about your problem, and talking about your problem, is not gonna make your problem go away. It's just gonna make it worse. What happens when a child is having a tantrum? If someone pays attention to them, they continue and even increase in fervency. I've noticed that when I have pain somewhere in my body, or don't feel good, the more I think about it, the worse I feel, and the worse it gets. But if I go do something else, and get my mind off of it, it's amazing how I'll start to feel better. I mean, I've had times where I felt really bad, and went out shoppin', and pretty soon, I didn't feel bad at all. So it's true, the more you focus on your problem, the worst your problem gets. Don't talk about your pain, or your problems, unless it's going to help. Talking about it just to be talking about it, merely draws attention to what the devil is doing.
Now, listen to what I'm gettin' ready to say, because this is an important statement for this teaching, today. Excessive talking about the wrong things, is possibly one of our biggest problems. Let me say it again. Excessive talking about wrong things, is possibly one of our biggest problems. It's all right to vent a little bit if you're hurting, or you're going through somethin', or tell somebody to ask 'em to pray for you. But to talk about it, just to be talking about it, all it does is just keep you focused on it. And the more you focus on it, the bigger it becomes. Here's a wonderful story about Jesus. Mark 5:35 and 36, "While he was still speaking, there came some from the ruler's house, who said [to Jairus], your daughter has died". Now, Jairus was a man who went to Jesus and said, "My daughter is very ill, would you come and heal her"? And Jesus was always willing to help people. He always stopped what he was doing. He was very interruptible. And so, he said, "Yes, he would go to Jairus' house, and heal the girl". And while they were on their way, some people came and said, "Well, it's too late, there's no need to go. The girl has died. Don't bother and distress the teacher any further".
Now, listen to this, "Overhearing but ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue". So, Jesus heard what they said, but it says he, "Ignored what they said". So, it might sound funny to say this, and I don't mean in a wrong way, but how about if you just ignore your problem? How about if you just ignore that bad report that you got? Or maybe you heard about the possibility of a lay off at work? Well, don't focus on that, and just keep talkin', talkin', talkin', talkin' about it. Just pray and then just let it go and trust God that he'll take care of you. "Overhearing but ignoring what they said, Jesus said to the ruler of the synagogue, 'do not be seized with alarm and struck with fear: just keep on believing'". Well, that's one of the things, we can do if we don't know what to do, is just keep on believing. You know, when they were waiting to see what was gonna happen with Lazarus, after he had died and they went to Jesus and said, "Oh, Lazarus is dead".
And Jesus knew that he was dead, he'd heard about it four days prior to that. But he didn't go and do anything about it. And they were like, "Lord, if you would've just come, he wouldn't have died". And Jesus told 'em not to worry about it, that he would go and take care of it. And they said, "Well, Lord, by now, he stinks". There's nothing you can do now, he's been dead four days. There's an offensive odor comin' from that tomb. And Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you would only believe you would see the glory of God"? That's in John 11:40. I love that. What can you do when you don't know what to do? Believe. Believe that even though you don't know what to do, God does. You know, there's so many things going on in our world today that are confusing and perplexing. And so many people wonder, "Well what's gonna happen? What are we gonna do"? And you know what? I don't know.
People have a tendency to ask people like me, expecting to get an answer. But I don't know, but I do know God. And I know he loves us. And I know that he knows what to do. And so, even if you don't know what to do, as long as you know the person, who does know what to do, you're still in very good condition. "Only believe and you will see the glory of God". Some of you have focused, on your problem for so much, that you just kinda lost your faith. And you need to go back to just trusting God. And I believe in saying things out loud. I think it reinforces them in our life. And you can say out loud, "Lord, I believe that you're gonna do something about this situation. I don't know anything else to do Lord, but I know I can believe. So, I put my trust in you". Hebrews 12:2 says, "Looking away [from all that will distract] unto Jesus".
See, if you look at your problem too much then it distracts you from Jesus. "Looking away [from all that will distract] unto Jesus, who is the leader and the source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its finisher [bringing it, to maturity and perfection]". Looking away from all the problems in the world that will distract you from Jesus because he is the author and the finisher of our faith. God has started something good in your life, and he will finish it, if you keep your eyes on him. And I know some of you have some very pressing problems. Maybe, you've had a very bad report from the doctor. And the devil is just screaming in your ear, "There's just no way, there's no way, there's no way". Well, Jesus is the way. He said, "I am the way, I am the truth, and I am the life. No man comes to the father but by me".
And you know what? When nobody else is on your side, Jesus is on your side. And you have what it takes to make it through this problem that you have. You are stronger than you think. And you have wisdom. Wisdom is your gift from God through Jesus Christ. And God will show you what to do, or he will do it for you, one of the two. "He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God". Well, Jesus despised what he had to go through. It was shameful. He took all of our sin upon himself. I can't even imagine how awful, that had to be for him, how he suffered. And we should be so thankful, every day of our life, for what Jesus did for us. But he said he endured it for the joy of the prize, that was gonna come later on in his life. And now he's enjoying that prize. He is right now, right this moment, while we talk, seated at the right hand of the father in heaven. Satan uses pain and problems, to distract us from what our main theme in life should be, and that's Jesus.
Now, let's talk about meditation. That's not just a word that false religions use, or something that's bad. We hear about meditating and think, "Oh, that's not good". Well, you know, that's just a plot from the devil, to keep people from doing it. God was the first one that said to meditate. And he said to, "Meditate on his word, day and night," that you might know it, and see it, and then do it. The more you meditate on the Word of God, the more likely you are to have the strength, to do what the word says. But no, what does Satan want us to do? He wants us to meditate on our problems. You know, the word 'meditate' just literally mean to roll something over, and over, and over in your mind. Well, that's what worrying is. So, if you know how to worry, you know how to meditate.
Now, all you have to do is, instead of rolling your problem over and over in your mind and thinking, "What am I gonna do? What am I gonnna do"? Do that with the Word of God. Take any section of the Word of God. Like, maybe, Proverbs 3:5-7, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and mind, and lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path. Be not wise in your own eyes". I love that. It's almost like, like, I love verse seven, "Be not wise in your own eyes". It's like, you're really not smart enough to run your own life, so just stop trying to figure everything out and put your trust in God. Boy, I tell you, reasoning can get you in deep, deep trouble. The more you try to reason things out, the more confused you get. And even when God is trying to give you an answer to your problem, you can't discern it or hear what he's saying because you're, too busy worrying. The Bible teaches us to meditate on God's word, on his works, and on our calling, and our duties.
You know, here in the studio, today, I've done three teachings, for three days of TV. And I put all three of these messages together, and put it on my computer, and I lost two of them. I don't know what I did. I do weird things sometimes. I type really fast. And so, sometimes I hit buttons, I don't know I hit, and highlight things. And then, hit another wrong button, wipe everything out, and can't get it back. And you know, that's very disappointing when you do that. Because that probably represented, I don't know, maybe, four hours of work. Well, then I had to do 'em all over. And so, then, I had the three messages, and I studied them yesterday. And I got up early this morning, and I studied them again this morning. And in between each teaching, I would sit in the little green room here, and I would go over it to come out and share it with you again.
So, I meditated on these messages over, and over, and over. I have preached these to myself, over, and over, and over, so, I can come and preach them to you. What I share with you, wouldn't have any power on it, if I just got up and grab something that maybe I've taught sometime, and came in here and just tried to deliver it. The more you meditate on something, the better you're gonna be at it. And if you wanna really be good at something, then meditate on it. If you wanna be really good at having problems, then just worry about 'em all the time. But if you wanna be really good at enjoying your life, then meditate on the fact that there are over 7.000 promises in the Word of God, of good things that God will do for you, if you will only believe. To meditate means to roll over, and over in your mind or to mutter softly. "Meditate on the Word of God day and night, that you might observe and do everything that it says," that's Joshua 1:8.
And you know, when God sent Joshua out to finish what Moses had started, he said, "As I was with Moses, I will be with you". He didn't say, "I want you to go be like Moses". God never tells us to be like somebody else. But he always promises to be with us, if he sends us to do a job. And if God has sent you to do something, and it looks, right now, like, it's just not gonna happen, the devil is a liar, and you keep your eyes on God, and he'll give you the answers you need. Meditating on something, adds power to it. Do you wanna add power to God's promises, or do you wanna add power to your problems? I remember, one morning, a long time ago, I got up to have my prayer time, and I started thinking about some problem. And I was rolling that over, and over, in my mind. And the Lord spoke to my heart and he said, "Now, are you gonna fellowship with your problem today, or are you gonna fellowship with me"?
Get your problem off your mind. Stop thinking about it. Stop talkin' about it, and meditate on God's word. What you focus on becomes the biggest thing in your life. Meditating increases progress. Do you want to progress in your calling, or on your problems? And I believe that we all have a calling on our life. 1 Timothy 4:14 and 15. Paul told Timothy, "Don't neglect the gift which is in you, [that special inward endowment] which was directly imparted to you [by the Holy Spirit] by prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands upon you [at your ordination]. Practice and cultivate and meditate on your duties". It's just like I shared with you about how I prepare for these teachings. It's my duty. It's my job before God to deliver the Word of God. The best way that I know how. So it can really have an impact, on your life. And I'm fully aware that what I say, must have God's anointing on it. It can't just be words. It has to be anointed words. And the only way I know for that to happen is to be obedient to God to just meditate on it over, and over, and over, so it becomes very real to me, before I even try to teach it to you. "Practice and cultivate and meditate upon these duties: throw yourself wholly into them [as your ministry], so that your progress may be evident to everybody".
You know, if you feel that you're called into some kind of ministry, then think about it all the time. Talk to God about it all the time. Pray about it on a regular basis. If you're called to teach the word, then meditate on what you're gonna teach. If you're called to encourage people, then meditate on how you can encourage people, and who you can encourage. If you're called as a giver in the body of Christ then meditate and think about on what you can do for somebody else. Satan always attacks the person who steps out into the will of God. I said, Satan always attacks the person who steps out into the will of God. I heard somebody say one time, "If the devil's not bothering you, it's probably because you're not bothering him". He only bothers people that are helping somebody else, or that are doing the will of God, or that are making progress in their life. Let me say it again, Satan always attacks the person who steps out into the will of God. And he does that through creating pain or problems. Hoping we will put all of our attention on those problems or on that pain, which does us not one bit of good.
Remember this, the more you meditate on something, the more power you give it. Okay, do what you can do, when you don't know what to do, but don't try to do what you cannot do. "Do what the crisis demands". Ephesians 6, says, and then, "Stand firmly in your place". That's Ephesians 6:13. "Therefore, put on God's complete armor, that you might be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands]," you are "To stand [firmly in your place]". If there is something that God shows you to do, then by all means do it. But if he's not showing you anything, then don't try to do something just to be doing something. Ask the Lord to show you if there's something he wants you to do. But don't try to do something, just for the sheer sake, of doing something. Trying to do something about, something you can't do anything about is very frustrating. For example, tryin' to change yourself is something you can't do, only God can change you.
Now, you can study the word. You can pray. But only God can change a heart. Trying to change somebody else, is something you can't do. So, you pray for the people in your life that you feel like need change. But do it with a humble attitude. Because there's a possibility, you need more change than they do. You know, even if you behaved wonderfully, you cannot make everybody in the whole world like you. So, trust God to give you favor. That's so much easier than playing all the games we play trying to get everybody to like us and accept us. You may not know what to do, but something you can do... Well, two things you can do is you can pray, and you cannot give up.
I think one of the biggest things that's been in my favor all these years, is I just flatly refuse to give up. I will not give up. I believe the promises of God. And if anybody can have them, I can have them. And if anybody can have them, you can have them. But the devil will try to get you to give up. Refuse to give up. Jesus said in Luke 18:1, "He told his disciples a parable to teach them that they should always pray and not ever give up". Keep on praying. I don't care if you've been praying about something for 25 years, keep on praying. I prayed for my dad to give his life to the Lord for probably, over 30 years. And finally, it happened. I didn't do it every day, all day long. And sometimes I would think, "There's no point in prayin' about this anymore, he's not ever gonna give his life to the Lord". And I'd say, "No, I'm not gonna give up. I'm not gonna give up".
Meditating on your problems, does not bring answers. God has your answers. 1 Corinthians 2:14 talks about the spiritual man and the nonspiritual man. And the nonspiritual man is your head, and the spiritual man is your spirit. And you know, many times what the Spirit of God tells you to do doesn't make any sense to your head. I had an accountant one time, helping me with my taxes. And he tried to tell me that we were giving too much money to the church. Well, there was no point, in me, trying to explain it to him, because he was a carnal man, and I was a spiritual woman, and he was not gonna understand what I told him. Because when you're talking to an unspiritual person about the things of God, they don't get it. When you don't know what to do, just ask God. The Bible says, "You have not because you ask not".
Don't try to figure things out, trust God to bring you the answers that you need. And then the last thing I wanna mention to you, is that when you don't know what to do, keep doing what you do know to do. Now you know, that's so simple. But so many people when they're hurting, they withdraw, they isolate. They stop goin' to church. They stop reaching out to their Christian friends. They may even stop talkin' to God. And the last thing in the world, that you wanna do is back slide, because you're having a problem. If you're having a problem in your life, maybe if you usually just go to church on Sunday, well, go on Sunday and the midweek service. Continue to tithe. Continue to give offerings. As a matter of fact, if you gotta problem, you ought to give more than what you normally do.
And boy, one of the things that you can do when you have a problem, that just infuriates the devil, is go be a blessing to somebody else. Be good to somebody else. "We overcome evil with good," Romans 12:21. When the devil's pickin' on you, go be a blessing to somebody else. Call somebody up and encouraging 'em. Pray more than normal. Study your Bible more than normal. Keep doing what you do know how to do, and then God will do what you don't know how to do. I tell people all the time, if you do what you can do, God will do what you cannot do. Now, listen, if you're in a situation right now, and you don't know what to do, I'm telling you what, turn your situation over to God. Release it. Cast your care on him. Because he cares about you, and he will take care of it. You never know, you may have a suddenly coming today. That means a sudden breakthrough is on its way to you.