The sermon "God, What Do You Want Me to Do?" - Part 1 - Joyce Meyer (online). Are you tired of running your life by yourself? Learn from what Jesus taught His disciples along the seashore!
Full SermonJoyce Meyer: can I tell you, there is nothing, nothing that you do that God is not interested in, and there's no place that you go that God is not there? You're never alone. It amazes me, I continue to be amazed at how much is in just one chapter of the bible. But if we just read through it, many times, we miss a lot of what's there. And so, today, I wanna share with you this morning out of John chapter 21. In John chapter 21, there are nine different lessons, just in that one chapter of the bible. I won't stand here and promise we'll get through all nine, because I know how I am, but we'll do the best that we can. All right, John chapter 21, verse 1: "after this, Jesus let himself be seen and revealed [himself] again to the disciples, at the sea of tiberias. And he did it in this way." Now, just try to kinda get a picture of this. "there were together simon peter, and thomas, called the twin, and nathanael from cana of galilee, and the sons of zebedee, and two others of his disciples." So, they're all sittin' around in a group, I guess, kinda thinkin' about what they wanna do, like we do some days. "and simon peter said to them, 'i am goin' fishing!'" Exclamation mark, now, that always caught my attention because of the exclamation mark that's there. So, he must have said it with some emphasis, or maybe, and I don't know this for sure, but maybe peter and some of the disciples were just a little bit, I don't know, frustrated. You know, they had these thoughts about Jesus and what was gonna happen, and here, he died, and he's gone now, and I don't know. Maybe they thought he was gonna come back and do somethin', and they haven't seen him in a while, and nothing's happening. And so, peter was a fisherman before Jesus called him, and so now it kinda seems like he's just decided he's gonna go back and do what he used to do. You know, you gotta be careful if you feel like Jesus hasn't shown up in your life for a while that you don't decide to just go back and do what you used to do, amen?
Joyce Meyer: now, see the lesson there that we wouldn't have got if we wouldn't have slowed down and really looked at that. Second thing here is, "and they said to him, 'and we're comin' with you!'" Exclamation mark, well, I like that too. Do you know that a leader, or the head of a family, they have--there's a certain gift on them for persuasion? And, you know, it's bad enough to send yourself, but it's doubly bad when you drag other people into it. And so, it's just interesting, whatever a leader does, without even really telling other people to do it, people will follow them. Years ago, when I first started what was a women's ministry at that time, my hair was a little bit longer, and I wore it pulled back on the side with combs. I pulled it back with combs, and they had a little decoration on 'em. And I never told anybody to do it, but it wasn't long, and almost all the women in the church were wearin' combs in their hair
Joyce Meyer: with their hair pulled back. So, you need to realize, if you wanna lead something, that you better be leading people in the right direction. Because now, you're not only responsible for yourself, but you're gonna be responsible for some of the things that you lead and guide them to do. Same way with parenting. Your kids are gonna do a lot more of what they see you do than what you tell them to do, amen? See what we're learnin' already? Now, "so they went out and they got into the boat," and here comes the next message, "and throughout the night they caught nothing." See what happens when you just jump up and make your own decision and do your own thing? "ooh, nothin' else has happened. I'm goin' fishin'." "yeah, we're gonna come with ya." And guess what? They caught nothing. Some of you haven't caught anything in a long time.
Joyce Meyer: and you don't understand why God's not blessin' your plan. Come on, now, God doesn't have to bless our plan. His plan is already blessed. Come on, maybe somebody this morning could just make a slight turn and things would get so much better for you. Now, you know, I'm not suggesting that you have to have a 3-day prayer meeting to decide if you can fishin' or not. I mean, we all do a lot of thing that we'd like to do, but there is a principle here that we don't wanna miss, and that is that the bible says in proverbs, and I love this, "in all your ways acknowledge him." So, I just think it's good to start your day, "now, Lord, this is what I have planned today, but if what I have planned is not what you want, then you're welcome to interrupt me and give me the grace to go in whatever direction you want me to go in," amen?
Joyce Meyer: James 4:13 says: "come now, you who say, 'today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a city and spend a year there and carry on our business and we'll make money.' Yet you do not know [the least thing] about what might happen tomorrow. What is the nature of your life? You are [really] but a wisp of vapor," doesn't make you feel too important, does it? "(a puff of smoke, a mist)," sometimes when I share this scripture, I will bring a can of hairspray up into the pulpit with me and just spray it once and just kinda watch it float off, and just say, "there we go."
Joyce Meyer: I mean, in light of eternity, our years that we have here and our importance compared to who God is, so it's not that we're not important to God. He assigns great importance to us, but he's just makin' a point here. You know, "you're not in charge. You're not as important as you think you are. You're not as smart as you think you are. So, instead of just makin' all your plans for the future and expecting me to bless 'em, how 'bout just slowin' down here and sayin' this?" "you ought instead to say," verse 15, "'if the Lord is willing, we shall do this thing or that [thing].' But as it is, you boast [falsely] in your presumption and your self-conceit. And all such boasting is wrong." So, they had their own plan. Their plan didn't work, and throughout the night, they caught nothing. Verse 4: "morning was already breaking when Jesus came to the beach and stood there. However, the disciples did not know that it was Jesus." Wow, how could Jesus be in our midst and us not know that it's Jesus? But it happens all the time. You know, what we need to--and I'm not tryin' to be overly religious here, but I don't think believers need to use the word "luck." "well, well, I was just lucky." No, God gave you favor or you were blessed, but luck is for the world.
Joyce Meyer: we're not just lucky. "well, wasn't that a nice coincidence?" No, I don't think so. Because God busies himself with our every step. And, you know, this wasn't the only time that the disciples were standing right with Jesus and didn't know that it was him. You'd think that those men who were literally with his physical presence day in and day out would've recognized him. So, one of the things that I like to pray is, "God, any time that you're doin' somethin' in my life, please don't let me miss it." I don't wanna miss the things that God does in my life, because I think that's part of what makes every day of our life special, is to know that God is concerned with every little teeny-tiny detail of our life. Can I tell you, there is nothing, nothing that you do that God is not interested in, and there's no place that you go that God is not there?
Joyce Meyer: you're never alone. I'm actually preparing a message right now that i've just gotten into. You're never alone. I read somethin' last week that impressed me. A certain preacher had accomplished a great deal I his life, just a phenomenal amount of work, and somebody said to him toward the end of his life, "how in the world have you accomplished all that you have accomplished?" He said, "well, you have to remember, there's two of us." Isn't that good?
Joyce Meyer: there's two of us. We're not alone. We have a constant companion. Now, verse 5 is just actually really cute: "so Jesus said to them, 'boys (children), do you have any meat (any fish)? [have you caught anything to eat along with your bread?]'" In other words, he's not calling them, "sons," representing maturity. He's calling them, "boys (children)," representing that it's obvious they're still quite immature because they're still just jumpin' up and doin' their own thing. Come on, is anybody gettin' anything out of this?
Joyce Meyer: and so, I just love this chapter because it's like Jesus is sayin', "okay, is it working?" I tried for years to change my husband and make him be what I wanted him to be. And finally, one day, honestly, dave has always loved, loved, loved sports. Well, I never grew up with any of that. My dad didn't like sports, and the way I was raised, what he didn't like, nobody got to like. And so, I didn't have any love for any of the sports. And so, because I didn't like it, I didn't want dave to do it. Now, I know none of you other ladies had that problem, but I did. I didn't like it, and I didn't want him to do it. And so, he played golf. He watched football. He watched baseball. He watched basketball. He got into tennis. He got into bowling. Anything that rolled or bounced, dave liked it.
Joyce Meyer: Amen? And so, I keep tryin' to get him not to like this, not to like this, not to like this. And one day, he was watching a football game, listening to a baseball game, and shining the driver for his golf clubs at the same time, and my lightning-fast brain, after many years of misery, finally thought, "you know what? What I'm doing is not working." So, maybe I could just ask you today, is what you're doing working? Maybe some of you need to just get out of control and love it. Come on, a few of you'll get that. I think that would make a good book: "out of control and loving it." In other words, how wonderful would it be if we could ever get to the point where we knew that we did not have the ability to run the world and make everybody in the universe do what we want them to do? My goodness, I wonder what it would be like if we could just get through one day without havin' opinions about what everybody else is doin'. "'boys (children), is your plan working?' 'no!'" Exclamation mark, "and then he said to them, 'well, cast your net on the right side of the boat.'" Come on, somebody needs today, you need to cast your net on the right side of the boat 'cause you've been fishin' on the wrong side of the boat and not catchin' anything. Actually, the title of this message today is, "God, what do you want me to do?" Now, sometimes we say that in frustration, like, "well, i've done everything I know to do, and nothing's working. God, what do you want me to do?" But I'm lookin' at a more sincere question, like, "God, what do you want me to do?"
Joyce Meyer: I can say it again if you don't all like it. "God, what do you want me to do?" You know, sometimes, when I'm in the middle of somethin', if I just stop and say, "okay, God, I'm feelin really frustrated. I've lost my peace here. What do you want me to do?" So often, i'll just hear him say, "just leave it alone. This is not somethin' you can do anything about. Just let me take care of this." You know, there's so many things in our lives that God wants to take care of. But he won't unless we let 'em go. "cast your care on the Lord, and he will care for you." First, we have to stop trying to do everything, showing that we trust God to do it. "so he said to them," verse 6, "'cast your net on the right side of the boat and you will find [some].' So they cast their net, and now they were not able to haul it in because it was such a big catch." I love that. How many of you would love a big dump truck to pull up to your driveway and just dump a haul of blessings right at your front door?
Joyce Meyer: Amen? "then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to peter, 'it is the Lord!'" Great revelation, when he saw the miracle, another lesson here, he believed it was God. But, you know, Jesus told thomas, who said, "i will not believe unless you show me your sides and your hands, the scars in your side and your hand," Jesus met him where he was at, which I love about him. He will meet us where we're at. And so he showed him so thomas could believe, but then he said, "blessed are those who believe and have not seen." Hey, it's easy to get up and get excited if you've received your healing. It's easy to get up and get excited if you've had your miracle, if you've had your breakthrough. But don't forget about what it was like while you were still getting that testimony you're now giving.
Joyce Meyer: 'cause the only way you get a testimony is to go through a test. And like we said last night, we need to love Jesus just as much when things are not going the way we want them to as we do when they are. And I believe with all of my heart, if you cannot love God in the hard times, you will not love him in the good times. And I know people think that doesn't make sense, but it actually does because we are more inclined to seek God when we've got a need than we are when we don't have a need. So, if you love him just as much in the valley as you do on the mountaintop, then you're likely to stay in the right place and keep your priorities straight. See, maybe you've got your breakthrough now, and you've had your haul, and everything's good for you. Well, just a couple things to remember. Don't forget to have compassion on those who haven't come through yet.
And don't forget, just because you don't need a miracle now, that doesn't mean that you don't need Jesus just as much every single moment of your life. 'cause you know what? When he said, "apart from me, you can do nothing," he meant it, amen? "then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to peter--" and boy, you know, John wrote this book of John, and he constantly called himself, "i am the disciple whom Jesus loved." Now, I'm enough like peter that I know that had to grate on peter.
Joyce Meyer: "I'm the disciple whom Jesus loved." It's like, "blah, who do you think you are?" What confidence he must have had. More than any of the other disciples, he was focused on not his love for Jesus, but Jesus' love for him. And he outlived 'em all, amen? That's another whole message. "then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to peter, 'it is the Lord!' And simon peter, hearing him say that it was the Lord, put (and girded) on his upper garment (his fisherman's coat)--for he was stripped [for work]--and he sprang into the sea. And the other disciples came in the small boat, for they were not far from shore, only a few hundred yards away, dragging this net full of fish. And when they got out on land (the beach), they saw a fire of coals there and fish lying on it [cooking], and there was bread." Now, here comes another amazing lesson. "and Jesus said to them, 'bring some of the fish that you have just caught.' So simon peter went aboard and he hauled the net to land, full of fish, 153 of them;" which, my goodness. I looked all over the place, and nobody can give a reason for that 153. The only thing that i've found, and they're not even sure this is true, is somebody said that there was 153 different species of fish at the time, and part of the miracle was, was that there was 1 fish of each species. But I think this. I think if, for no other reason, those fish were counted and it was recorded in the bible just to show us what great attention God pays to every little detail in our life.
Joyce Meyer: i've been reading in leviticus and numbers. Well, let me rephrase, i've been trying to read leviticus and numbers. And I mean, the detail of the ark, the detail of the tabernacle, the detail of how the priests had to dress, I mean, just everything was just these intricate details. But then you get all the way over into the new testament and the bible says that "he has numbered the very hairs on our head." Now, I know for some people, that's not as big a job for God as it is for others, but. Amen? Just think about that for a minute. I don't know what we think. You know, God is just not in our life for an emergency. The great thing about bein' a christian is you get a helper, a companion, a friend. There's no longer one of you. There's two of you. And last night, we had a fairly large number of people receive christ, and I pray that same thing will happen today because you don't wanna go out of here and live your life alone, doin' your own thing, and spend your life catchin' nothin'.
Joyce Meyer: it's so much better today to just surrender and just admit that you're not doin' a good job runnin' your life, and ask Jesus to take over, amen? Ask him to come in and control and take over. And then I love this, verse 13. I shake my head every time I see this. "and Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and also the fish." Now, in case you missed this, Jesus cooked them breakfast. What? The resurrected Lord, he had died, gone to hell, take the keys of hell and death away from satan, rose out of that grave victorious, took his blood into the holy of holies. Came back during the 50 days, revealed himself to his--the resurrected, the king of kings, the Lord of Lords, the everything of everything.
Joyce Meyer: and he cooked them breakfast. What an example. And then we have to think about John 13, and boy, that's so full of lessons. Peter was talkin' this morning about, "do you know who you are?" You know, the only way you can really serve other people with a good attitude is to know who you are. Jesus knew who he was, so therefore, he didn't have to prove who he was. He cooked the breakfast. You know, dave'll ask me once in a while, "you wanna cook me some eggs?" And I don't. Now, I mean, I cooked a lot when my kids were little, but I gave it up a long time ago. And now, at this point, my family's glad. But let's just say that when anybody mentions breakfast to me, I don't have the good attitude Jesus had. You know, I'm so grateful that we have a helper in our life, the holy spirit, who's promised to never leave us nor forsake us, to be with us and to help us and guide us. So, whatever may be coming up on the horizon of your life, you can know that you're not ever going to have to do it alone. And you can have fun while you're doing it. You can enjoy your life. Today, I wanna offer you a book that i've written that I'm really fond of called "the power of simple prayer." You know, we all wanna pray. We know we should pray. But really, prayer is not an obligation. It's more of a privilege that we have. And I'm gonna encourage you to start praying more than you ever have before. And even when I say, "more," I'm not sayin' you have to sit down in one place and pray a lot longer at one time. I just want you to learn to pray your way through the day. Start letting God in on everything that you do. Invite him into every situation. And we're gonna offer you, we're gonna give you this prayer journal, which is a nice little leather journal, and you can write down maybe some of the things you've prayed, and then record when you see those answers coming in your life. I believe a lot of times, we pray about things, and then maybe 2, 3, 4, maybe even 6 months later, the answer comes. And we forget to really thank God for what he's done in our life. So, learn more about prayer. Write some of it down, and be amazed at what God will do in your life. Thank you for bein' with us today.