The sermon "Living Courageously" - Joyce Meyer (online). God hasn't called you to be ordinary. Be encouraged to face your fears and take hold of the extraordinary life God has planned for you.
full text of sermon "Living Courageously" - Joyce MeyerJoyce Meyer: he's pretty much saying, "this is what i've called you to do, all you gotta do is go out and take the land. I've already provided for everything else. I'm gonna be with you. You can be your own person. Keep your eyes on the prize. Don't be afraid, don't be afraid, don't be afraid, don't be afraid." And he wasn't saying don't feel fear. He was telling him to fear not because God knew that he would feel fear, but he said, "don't let it stop you."
Patrick: I'm currently in a retraining program doing something I never thought I would do, I'm machining. I had been a retail assistant manager. I've worked in stores. I've written books. I'm very comfortable in libraries. My last job was in a library and I'm gonna be working in a machine shop, something I never imagined, but I honestly feel that God has led me to this place. A lot of things happened around the schooling that I know this is where God wants me to be and I'm not feeling any fear. I'm calm. I'm learning because of it and I'm not anxious. I can do it. And God has provided in amazing ways that I never thought. I don't have to worry about money. I don't have to worry about, you know, whether I'm gonna get a job or not. That's--i know that God's got a plan for me.
Joyce Meyer: "dear fear, I only refer to you as dear because of our longterm, intimate relationship and certainly not because you're dear to me in any way. In fact, you've been a tormenting influence from start to finish. You've told me lies and prevented me from doing the things I wanted to do and should have done. You're indeed a miserable, wretched companion and one that I no longer am willing to be involved with. I'm writing you this letter to let you know that from this point forward, I will not fear. Although I may feel your presence, I will not bow down to your demands. I have a friend whose name is Jesus and he has promised he'll never leave me, nor forsake me, but to be with me always. He is indeed a powerful friend, and although you do have some power, he is by far much greater than you are. You can come against me, but Jesus lives in me and the power of the one that is in me is greater than you are. If you don't believe me, see 1 John 4:4. Although I cannot prevent you from coming to visit, I do want to give you notice that you will be ignored. I'm far too busy now fellowshipping with my friend Jesus and developing an intimate relationship with him to give you any of my time. The more time I spend with Jesus, the more courageous I become. He is teaching me a new way to live, one that is exciting and adventurous, one that is fearless. I also want to inform you that since I have so much experience with you and know how self-defeating it is to listen to you, that I now intend to tell as many people as I can what a thief and what a liar you are. The years I have wasted with you will be redeemed and I will bear much good fruit. Thank you for driving me to Jesus. You see, you made me so miserable that I sought a way to be free from you and Jesus met me where I was and set me free. Should you decide to waste my time and try to visit even after receiving my letter, I am letting you know ahead of time that you will be met by faith in God and a determination that I will not fear." Come on, give God praise.
Joyce Meyer: and yes, I wrote the letter. Let me just say from the beginning that fear is something that's not ever gonna completely disappear from our lives. The feeling of fear is not ever gonna completely disappear. And just because you feel fear, that doesn't mean that you have to be afraid. And I don't know about you, but that was a real great revelation to me many years ago because I kept wanting to not feel afraid and God wanted me to feel the fear and be courageous anyway. Courage means to go ahead and take the action that you believe you should take or that you know God wants you to take while you feel fear. We let our feelings dictate to us way too much. So, the only acceptable attitude that a christian can have is simply, "I will not fear." So let's all say that, "i will not fear." Now, once again that doesn't mean that you'll never feel fear. Matter of fact, I can pretty much promise you that you will, but it does mean that you can feel the fear, do whatever you believe that you're supposed to do while you feel afraid. You can learn to do it afraid if that's the only way that you can do it. Don't let the feelings of fear keep you trapped any longer. There are 365 times in the bible, they say, that says, "fear not." Why is it in there so much? Because God obviously knew that just like he offers us faith, satan was gonna offer fear. Everything that the devil offers is the opposite and perverse of what God offers. We receive from God through faith and we receive from the enemy through fear. We let God into our life through faith. We let the enemy in through giving in to fears. And so we need to learn how to live from faith to faith to faith and not from faith to fear and back to faith and then to fear and faith to fear and faith to fear. Anytime that God wants us to do anything that's gonna benefit us or benefit anybody else, you can pretty well be assured the enemy's gonna try to come against us and make us afraid. He can plant thoughts in our mind, but we need to learn that if those thoughts are not in agreement with the word of God, that those are the ones that we need to cast down and learn how to say, "the devil is a liar." Let's practice, "the devil is a liar." All right now, joshua chapter 1 beginning in verse 1, "after the death of moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to joshua the son of nun, moses' minister, moses my servant is dead. So now arise [take his place]." Wow, what a job, what a job. "go take moses' place." He'd been watching what moses had been doing. He'd been seeing how the people behaved every time they didn't get their way. All these years he'd been out in the wilderness with moses and all these israelites who were just griping, complaining, murmuring, always wanting to blame moses for everything that didn't go right. So now moses is dead and God says to joshua, "now you arise, get up." And before you can do anything you gotta get up, so that's another whole message all in itself. And it doesn't just mean to get up physically, you gotta get up on the inside first. And part of what I want to do this weekend is get people to get up on the inside, get you determined that you're gonna do what God wants you to do, confront what you need to confront, be the person that God wants you to be, and have all that Jesus died for you to have. And there's gotta be a determination, a holy determination on the inside of us, and I call it getting up on the inside. You gotta get up on the inside before you could ever get up on the outside, amen. The enemy's always pushing us to give up and to believe that we can't do something. And as soon as we start going down inside, then everything else will follow and we'll stop doing the things that we're supposed to be doing. So he said, "moses is dead. Now arise, get up, [take his place], go over this jordan, you and all the people, into the land which I am giving to them, the israelites." Now, the next verse is so amazing and if we miss this verse, we miss a wonderful message in the word of God. "every place upon which the sole of your foot shall tread, that have I given to you, as I promised moses." Okay, now he didn't say, "if you do this and that I will give you the land." He said, "i have already given you the land, now you go take it." No, you didn't hear me. "i have already given you everything that you need to live an amazing life, now you arise and go take it," amen? In other words, you gotta have a holy determination, "Jesus died for me to be free and free I'm gonna be. Jesus died so I could be bold, and courageous, and secure, and confident, and that's the way I'm gonna live. Jesus died for me so I don't have to spend my days worrying and being frustrated and that's the way that I'm going to live," amen? And i--look at me when I tell you something, if you are not determined, you'll never have what God wants you to have, and nobody can be determined for you. I said nobody can be determined for you. But if you are determined, then nobody can stop you, amen? Anything that God wants you to have, there's no devil in hell and no person on earth that can keep you from having it if you just won't quit and give up. So, our destiny's not in the hands of all these other people, it's between us and God, amen? "every place on which the sole of your foot shall tread, that have I already given unto you. From the wilderness and this lebanon to the great river euphrates--to the land of the hittites [canaan]--and the great [mediterranean] sea on the west shall be your territory." I love verse 5. "no man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. As I was with moses, so I will be with you; I will not fail you nor forsake you." Now, here comes another big message. Although he said, "i want you to go and take moses' place," he's now saying, "but you don't have to be like moses. You don't have to do what moses did, or talk the way moses talked, or pray the way moses prayed, or dress the way moses dressed, or do things the way moses did them because moses was only successful because I was with him and I will be with you as I was with moses." You know what that means? Whatever God tells you to do, no matter how impossible it might seem to you, if God said it, you can do it. But you won't do it if you don't believe that God will do it through you. Just as he is with anybody else that's successful at anything, God will also be with you. Matter of fact, if josh would have went out and tried to be like moses, he would have failed. And many people fail because they never have, now listen, the courage to be who they are. They're always trying to be somebody else, a copy of somebody else instead of the original that God has designed them to be. "be strong (confident) and of good courage, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only you be strong and very courageous, that you might do according to all the law which moses my servant commanded you. Turn not from it to the right hand nor to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go." So, he's basically saying, "whatever God has told you to do, that's what you need to do. Don't turn away from what God has told you to do. Don't look to the right or the left, but keep your eyes straight ahead and go for it." Can I just say to you tonight, whatever God has put in your heart, go for it?
Joyce Meyer: come on, tell the person next to you, "go for it." All right, now, two more verses here. "this book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you might observe and do according to all that's written in it. For then you'll make your way prosperous, deal wisely and have good success. Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go." So, in four verses, he uses three of those four verses to say, "now, don't let fear stop you." He's pretty much saying, "this is what i've called you to do. All you gotta do is go out and take the land. I've already provided for everything else. I'm gonna be with you. You can be your own person. Keep your eyes on the prize. Don't be afraid, don't be afraid, don't be afraid, don't be afraid." And he wasn't saying don't feel fear. He was telling him to fear not because God knew that he would feel fear, but he said, "don't let it stop you. Don't let it stop you." It's amazing what we lose in life by listening to fear instead of listening to God. Now, what did Jesus purchase for us with his death and resurrection? Well, first of all, righteousness, peace, and joy in the holy ghost. So, how much time do you waste feeling guilty and condemned? How many days do you waste being frustrated, and upset, and worried? How many days do you let the devil steal your joy and you're all down in the dumps and depressed and discouraged all the time? Well then, you're not living in what Jesus died for you to have, come on. Do you know I think it takes more guts to live free from guilt and condemnation than probably any other thing that we can stand up against. Jesus said, "i have made you right with me through your faith in Jesus christ." But the devil wants us to feel totally wrong all the time about ourselves about something. If you're praying, you're not praying right. If you listen to the word, you don't remember anything you heard. If you read the bible, you don't understand it. I mean, when is enough ever enough? It's never enough if you listen to the devil. And so, I recall when the Lord put on my heart many years ago, he said, "Joyce Meyer, if you want to use your faith for something big, use your faith to live free from guilt and condemnation." Because I felt guilty about something absolutely all the time. And here's the bottom line, the bible says that when we sin, which we do, that God has already provided our forgiveness through the death and resurrection of christ. We need to repent, which means be sorry for the sin, be willing to turn away from it, and then once we've done that, we believe that God forgives our sins, he forgets them and removes them as far as the east is from the west. Therefore, when I feel guilt, it is a lie from the devil because God says that he forgot it and I need to forget it. Jesus died for you to have that freedom. Don't waste another day feeling guilty about the mistakes you made yesterday. I can't do anything about your feelings, but I can tell you how to live. And if you live the way you should live, then your feelings will catch up with your decision. Did you get that? You can't wait for your feelings to all be right before you believe something. You believe first, you act on your faith, and your feelings catch up with it later. You want it one more time? Joyce Meyer: see, we listen to our feelings too much. "but I feel. But I feel. But I feel." You can't let your feelings rule your life. Just because you feel guilty, that doesn't mean you are guilty. If you've asked God to forgive you and you're sincere and you really, with all your heart, don't want to keep doing those kinds of things anymore, then you believe what the word says more than you believe how you feel, and when you begin to believe what the word says more than your feelings, your feelings will catch up, amen? All right, we always believe first and everything else comes later. Now, he died so we can have an intimate relationship with God. Do you have an intimate, close relationship with God? So, we can have power. We have power. We don't have to go around whining and wimpy. And "i can't, and it's too much, and it's too hard." No, we have power. The same power that raised christ from the dead dwells in us. We can do whatever we need to do through christ who is our strength. Let me tell you something, you beautiful, single mom. If your stinker husband ran out on you with another woman and he's not helping take care of your kids and you're a single mom and you're trying to raise them all by yourself, don't you ever say again, "this is just too hard for me. I just can't do this." You say, "i can do whatever I need to do through christ who is my strength."
Joyce Meyer: "God will provide for me. He will make a way, and if I need to be mom and dad and grandma and grandpa and everything else, then God is with me and I can do whatever I need to do." If you don't believe it, it's never gonna happen. We can be free from self, free to be the person God designed us to be, free from bondages, addictions and fears, have complete forgiveness of all sin now and forever, on and on and on, confidence and life. But let me share something with you in ephesians 3:20. Let's go look at this scripture. This is a very popular scripture. Okay, does that whole half of the room over there like ephesians 3:20 or something? Okay, wow, we got the ephesians 3:20 people over here.
Joyce Meyer: I don't know who you are, but that's good. Praise God. Ah! We're gonna probably find out who they are before they leave, I don't know. I think sometimes we can read scriptures for years and miss things. So now, "now unto him who, by (and in consequence of) the [action of his] power that is at work within us, is able to do--is able to [carry out his purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, and dreams]." So, unto God who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond all that we can ever dare to hope, ask or think, other translations say, "according to his power that worketh in us." Now, I think what we think when we see that scripture is, "okay, I can ask for anything and God will do it." But I'm not so sure that's what it's saying. I think it's saying that I can ask for anything and God will do it because of his power that's at work in me. God will enable me, he will equip me to do what I need to do, come on. You gotta read it properly. I looked it up in every translation I could find and they all say the same thing. God does things through us. Now, yes, God does things for us, but I think we sit back and wait far too much for God to do everything for us and what he wants us to do is say, "God, I'm asking you to do this, but I know you're gonna do it through me. I know we're partners, and so if you'll be with me, i'll do anything that you tell me to do." Come on, give God praise.
Joyce Meyer: how many of you are seeing that? Because that's very important. "oh God, I need a miracle. I need a breakthrough. God, will you--God, I need a miracle. Get me out of debt." I'll tell you what God will do, he'll give you a job. And he might give you two. He might give you some overtime, amen? Yeah, we always want God to come and undo everything that we've done. And God will help you. God will help you heal your marriage, but he might tell you you're gonna have to zip your lip and not argue all the time.
Joyce Meyer: oh, this is just warmup night. How many of you know we always want God to change the other guy? Make them treat us nice so we have a happy life. God says, "you don't worry about them. Let me change you. I want to work in you. I want to do something through you." So, God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond all that we ever dare to hope, ask, or think according to his power that worketh in us. It's not just his power that worketh out there somewhere making all these things happen, but it's power that worketh in us, amen? And God's power is at work in you. Now, I believe it's time to be free. Courage is fear that has said its prayer and decides to go forward anyway. A person has courage when they know a thing is not gonna be easy and they decide to do it anyway. Courage faces fear and says, "i feel afraid, but I'm not gonna let what I feel stop me." Courage is not even needed if we don't feel afraid. Let's determine to live courageously. Now, I want to talk to you about having the courage to find the will of God for your life. So many people say, "what is God's will for my life?
Joyce Meyer, what do you think God's will is for my--" I don't know. [audience laughing] Joyce Meyer: I'm still trying to figure out what I'm doing. "Joyce, what do you think I ought to do?" I don't know, go pray and hear from God the same way i've learned to. And I don't mean that we never want to give anybody advice, but we all--we're just, you know, we're afraid of making mistakes. We don't want to make decisions because we might make mistakes. We don't want to step out because we might make mistakes. Well, guess what. If you make a thousand mistakes, that doesn't mean you're a mistake. I said if you make a thousand mistakes, that doesn't mean you're a mistake, it just means you made a mistake. And the quickest way to get over making a mistake is to say, "i made a mistake." Instead of making excuses for it and trying to hide it from everybody just say, "i missed God. I thought that's what he wanted me to do." I was wrong. You've never failed in life until you stop trying. The only way you can fail is if you stop trying.
Joyce Meyer: well, God is with us at all times, and that's the main thing that we need to know in order to live courageously. Courage means going ahead with the action you believe God wants you to take, even while you might be feeling fear. Let's believe what God says and trust that our feelings will catch up with the decision that we've made in God. Today, we're offering you five of my books in a little library called the "Joyce Meyer heritage library." It's volume 2, i've written over 100 books and these are 5 of the books that we believe can really help you and that you will really, really enjoy. One of those five includes the book, "living courageously." It's all about doing it afraid, about confronting fear and not letting fear rule your life. I believe that one of satan's main strategies is to get us to live in fear, but God offers us a remedy and that is to live by faith. The only thing that really conquers fear is faith. Why don't you make a commitment to start reading every day for just even a little while? How about even making a commitment to read 30 minutes every day? And maybe these five books could help start your christian library of things that are gonna really make a difference in your life. I think you're really going to enjoy them. God bless you. We care about you and we believe that God is doing something amazing in your life right now. Announcer: in her more than 40 years of ministry, Joyce Meyer is known for teaching people how to practically apply God's word to every area of life. The "Joyce Meyer heritage library volume 2" is a special collection of some of her most powerful books. Each of the five books in this collection features life-changing truth and wisdom from God's word. The "Joyce Meyer heritage library" is available today for your gift of...OR More. Additionally, we're also offering Joyce Meyer's teaching, "living courageously," which includes two teachings on both cd and dvd. Learn how to make every decision based on faith rather than fear and pursue the destiny God has for you. This cd and the dvd set is available for your gift of... Or more so contact us now for either offer. To order, call us toll free at...OR Visit us at Joycemeyer.org.
Joyce Meyer: well, there's really no special formula to spending time with God. It's just very important that you do it. Making this a priority will change your life like nothing else. I know it has mine. And now I wanna help you enrich your time with God by sharing some thoughts and insights from my own life in my brand new devotional called, "my time with God." Let's focus on him together and my prayer is that these scriptures and declarations of faith will help you grow deeper in your relationship with christ a little bit more every single day. Announcer: order your copy of Joyce Meyer's new devotional, "my time with God." Call...OR Go to Joycemeyer.org.
Joyce Meyer: you know, when we are confident in who we are in christ, it allows us to face life with boldness and it releases us from jealousy and envy toward other people. Thankfully, we don't have to compare ourselves with anyone. We have self-confidence only because christ lives in us and it is his confidence that we draw on.
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