The sermon "What Is Faith and How Does It Work?" - Part 3 - Enjoying Everyday Life - Joyce Meyer (online). God wants more for you than you can imagine. Today, be encouraged to release your faith according to His Word in prayer.
full textual sermon "What Is Faith and How Does It Work?" - Part 3 - Enjoying Everyday Life - Joyce Meyer
Joyce Meyer: so, faith is not something that you have because you see something that convinces you. It's not even something that you have because you believe or you feel something that convinces you. But it's something you first have in your heart. How do we release our faith? Well, the first thing we do is we ask, but you have to ask according to the word. Now, what is faith? Hebrews 11:1 says, "faith is the assurance (the confirmation, the title deed) of the things [we] hope for, being the proof of the things that [we] do not see--" see, when you're asking for something by faith, you don't see it yet as a reality in your life and a lot of times it doesn't even make any sense to your mind. It's like it's way beyond anything that you would ever, in your sane mind, think that you can have but faith sees things that don't make any sense to the natural man. What--you know, I marvel, I look back and I marvel at why in the world I would have ever in my wildest imagination thought that I could do what i'm doing today. And yet when God speaks to you, when he puts something in your heart, when something in the word comes alive to you, if you'll listen to your spirit and not your head, you see things and you can believe for things that just absolutely don't even make any sense. And I remember 42 years ago when I had listened to my first teaching, back then teaching cassette tapes, and I listened to somebody preach for a whole hour on one scripture in mark chapter 5 called cross over to the other side. And first of all, I couldn't believe that anybody could keep my interest for a whole hour preaching on anything because prior to that, 15 minutes in church was enough to knock me out.
Joyce Meyer: but when the word that you hear is anointed by the Holy Spirit, and it's a word in due season for your life, and it's something that you can apply to your life, there's a part of you that gets really excited. So, I just couldn't believe how exciting that message was to me and what I felt on the inside as I was listening to it. And this desire rose up in me. A lot of people want to know, "well, how do I know if God's speaking to me?" Well, one of the ways that he speaks to us is through desire, like a strong desire that just won't go away. And many times what we're desiring doesn't seem to make any sense. And this strong desire rose up in me and to me, I felt like I heard words, but i'm not gonna tell you I heard an audible voice. But there was something that I heard in the spirit and this is the way it came to me, "you are going to go around the world and preach the gospel." And at that time what I heard, because we only can hear based on what we know how to apply it and I heard, "and you're gonna have a large teaching tape ministry." Well, that was all I heard. And from then on, my whole desire from then till now has been to teach the word of God. And literally, I do have a teaching tape ministry, although that doesn't make that much sense today because we're on television in one hundred languages, in two-thirds of the world, hundreds and hundreds of tv stations. Now, wait a minute, i'm not trying to brag. I want to make a point. This teaching that i'm doing here today will be divided up into 28-minute teachings and those will go on radio, and television, and podcasts, and the website. And so, literally through recorded messages through cds, teaching tapes, now they just download all that stuff and it's a lot easier. But literally that is what has happened. This, what we're doing here today, is gonna be seen and heard in a hundred languages around the world, and I don't think that's very bad for somebody with not a lot of education and not really all that
Joyce Meyer: and I still, I told somebody recently I said, "you know, for the life of me, I don't know whatever made me think that I could do this." What would ever make--i mean, I didn't have any religious training. I mean, I went to church. I'll tell y'all I had, I love Jesus and I just either was pretty dumb or had a lot of nerve, one of the two. But I just started taking little steps of faith. And you see, faith is released three ways. If you're taking notes, you want to write this down. Faith is released through playing, through saying, and through doing. Praying, you ask God for something, you release your faith with it. The bible says don't pray in doubt and unbelief, pray in faith believing that what you're asking for will happen. It may not happen right away but you keep believing that it will happen. You say something. You line your confession up with what you've prayed. You don't pray for your kids to be saved and then go to lunch with your friend and talk about how you're afraid they're never gonna get saved. Come on, and that's what we do so often. We pray for something when we're feeling spiritual and then by the next day we've already cursed our prayer by saying just the opposite four or five times of what we just asked God to do. "God, I pray that you'll help us get out of debt. I pray that you'll meet all of our needs. I pray that the time will come, God, when we can own our own house. I pray, God, that I can get my car paid off." And then you go to lunch with somebody and you say, "we will never get out of debt."
Joyce Meyer: "I'll probably never own my own home, never have a new car: i'm just the tail end of everything and every time I get $10, the devil steals $20." Sound like anybody you know? Come on, don't sit there and look spiritual. I want to know the truth. And so, we really need to learn, if we want God's will, to get our mouth in agreement with God's will. And you know this is not a name it claim it message where you can just say anything you want and get it. But you can say the word of God and if you are saying the same thing as God says, which is what confession is, to say the same thing as. If you say the same thing that God says, and you're doing what God is asking you to do, you know, there's promises in the bible, there's conditions that go along with those promises. You believe, you obey, you do what God asks you to do. When I got that vision in my heart to teach, I had to take steps of faith. I stepped out, I started a bible study. Five years, I felt like God said to stop that bible study and he was gonna do something new. For a year, I did nothing, that was not very much fun. You know, you think if you do something you believe God's asking you do and it doesn't seem to work for a while, don't give up, just keep believing if you heard from God that God will bring it to pass and make it happen. He'll either redirect you or you just need to wait on him. Well, then I went to work at a church in st. Louis, and it was a brand-new church, not very big, only had about 30 people the first service I went to. And after a period of time, they asked me to start a ladies meeting at the church. Well, I didn't want to teach ladies because I had a vision to teach everybody that could breathe. I mean, I had a big vision. I mean, I prayed stupid stuff like, "God, let me help every person on the planet," and even while I was praying it, my mind would go, "that's dumb, that's dumb. How do you think any one person, and especially a woman--"
Joyce Meyer: come on, ladies, when I started doing this, it was very unpopular, very unpopular. So, I had to get out and dig up a lot of fallow ground and be really determined to not quit and not give up. And so, I didn't want to just teach. You're welcome. I didn't want to just teach women, I wanted to teach everybody. And so, for a while I thought, no, i'm not gonna do that. And then the thing that God put in my heart is, "well, that's the only thing in front of you to do right now so it's better to do something rather than do nothing." So, I started doing that. Well, after that, the pastor recognized there was a real anointing on my life so he started asking me to teach in the church when he wasn't there. So lo and behold, now it's not just women, there's men there. And so, I became an associate pastor at the church. I taught in bible college, on and on and on. I worked there 5 years and then God spoke to me again to step out and he told me to quit my job and take the ministry and go north, south, east and west. Well, the thing is nobody knew me north, south, east, or west.
Joyce Meyer: don't you love it when God tells you to do something and your mind goes, "well, that doesn't make any sense"? Come on, has God ever spoken to you to do something and you just couldn't get your mind to agree with it? You know what most people do when that happens? They just don't do it. They wait for something that makes sense. But i'm gonna tell you something, God is not always reasonable. He doesn't always tell you to do something that you can reason out and fit it into your normal way of thinking. Now, i'm not suggesting that anybody just start doing all kinds of crazy stuff, and wild stuff, and stuff that doesn't make any sense. But I'll tell ya one thing, if you believe that God's put something in your heart and it stays, and it's not going away, and it's not going away, and I don't think there's anything wrong with asking God, if it's something major, to give you a good solid confirmation. I don't think that we should have to do that all the time. We need to trust God's word. But if it's major, you wait for a good confirmation and then you take one step and you see what happens. If that seems to work, you take another step and you see what happens. And if that seems to work, then you take another step and pretty soon, those steps that were baby steps are starting to get bigger and bigger and bigger and before you know it, you know what's gonna happen? You're gonna be running with God full speed ahead doing things that you cannot even imagine.
Joyce Meyer: amen? And so, all of that stuff's been started 42 years ago and then i've been gone from the church about 32 years now and nobody knew me north, south, east, or west. I was on one radio station in st. Louis and so I went to north st. Louis, east st. Louis, south st. Louis, and west st. Louis. I'm telling you the absolute truth. We started a little monthly meeting in each north, south, east, and west of our city and i'm telling you, what, we would have 20 people come, 15 people come. I did one meeting one time with nine people and I took five of them with me. I mean, I didn't start in arenas and on television. You gotta be faithful in small things and then God will make you ruler over much.
Joyce Meyer: and even financially, some of you need more finances. Well, maybe you just need to step out and do something that God is telling you to do that you haven't done before. Maybe you're gonna need to give more before you're gonna get more. Well, a lot of people don't want to do that. "well, if I just had more money, then i'd give more." Well, I don't want to be insulting but if you won't give some of what you got, you're not gonna give any when you get more. You start by giving when it kind of pretty much hurts and doesn't make too much sense, and you don't just do it once to try something and see what happens, you get committed, and you're faithful, and you do it, and you let the devil know, "i am gonna do this till I breathe my last breath, not to get something, but because I believe it's the word of God."
Joyce Meyer: and so, here we are today, 42 years later, and my prayer is--my kids don't like this, they really don't like it when I say this so but i'mma say to you anyway. I would love to preach a message and then just go sit down and go to heaven. That's the way i'd like to leave. I'd like to go out preaching, amen? I'd like to go out teaching the word. Now, they have said, "can you imagine how horrible that would be for the people in the meeting?"
Joyce Meyer: well, you just remember if you happen to be there when it happens that it's what I wanted and you don't need to get upset. The point is is I intend to do what i'm doing as long as I can breathe. And I mean i've told God, many, many, many times, "how much energy i've got from now until I die, you're getting it. I'm giving it to you. I want to do what you want me to do," amen? And, you know, here's the thing, you'll never be any happier than you will be if you're right in the center of God's will. Now, all of you don't have a vision to preach, or teach, or whatever. Maybe your vision is to lose 10 pounds and get your closet cleaned up. Well, that's good too. Whatever it is though, you're gonna have to start somewhere and you're gonna have to go through somewhere before you get somewhere. And so, we've gotta be the kind of people that won't quit and won't give up. So, how do we release our faith? Praying, saying, and doing. Let's practice again. How do we release our faith? Audience: praying, saying, and doing.
Joyce Meyer: okay, see how easy that is? You take action, and you pray, you line your words up with what you believe. Now, I can back this up in scripture. Romans 10:8 through 10 are scriptures about salvation, about what we do to be saved and it says, "well, what does it say? The word (God's message in christ) is near you, on your lips and in your heart; that is, the word (the message, the basis and the object) of faith which we preach, because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart you believe--" now, do you see that? You believe in your heart, you confess with your mouth, you believe in your heart, you confess with your mouth "that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." So, how do you receive salvation? You believe it in your heart and then you confess it with your mouth. Now, let's look at verse 10, "for with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on christ) and he is justified (declared righteous, made acceptable to God), and with his mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and that then confirms [his] salvation." So, here's the thing, when I believe in my heart, God knows what's in my heart. When I open my mouth and say something, that lets the devil and everybody else know where I stand. You believe in your heart and you confess with your mouth. Don't try to be a sneaky christian who never wants to say that you're a believer and never wants anybody to judge you critically. That's why many times when we ask people in meetings if they want to receive christ, we will ask people at the end to stand up or to come down front. And people don't always want to do that but here's the thing, if you won't take a stand in here, you're not gonna go out in the world and take a stand. It's not about embarrassing anybody, but you can't be a sneaky christian. If you look at the disciples, the first thing they did after christ called them was go tell somebody else. Go tell somebody else. Don't keep your mouth shut about Jesus. Don't try to hide the fact at work that you're a believer. Now, you don't have to go in and be obnoxious, you don't have to go in with a tape recorder in your ears, and carrying four bibles, and, you know?
Joyce Meyer: but neither do you need to hide it. You need to openly let people know that you believe in God, amen? So, faith is first in your heart and then it's gotta get in your mouth. 2 corinthians 5:7, "we walk by faith [we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man's relationship to God and divine things, thus we walk by faith] and not by sight or appearance." So, faith is not something that you have because you see something that convinces you. It's not even something that you have because you believe or you feel something that convinces you, but it's something you first have in your heart. That's why many times you believe something that doesn't make any sense at all to your mind. Do I have any people here today that you've got something in your heart that you believe God wants to do in your life and you can back it up in the word but to your natural mind, it makes no sense at all? How about somebody who just, you don't see any way that what you're believing could ever possibly happen? Well see, that's why you need this message 'cause there's not enough of you. You know, if you're not believing for the impossible, then you're not open for a miracle in your life. The only way you're ever gonna get a miracle is if you have to have one, if you need one, when you stop depending on everything else around you and believe that only God can help you. Luke chapter 5, the first 5 verses. I share these scriptures often because I think they make such an amazing point and so I want to share them in this message. "now it occurred that while the people pressed upon Jesus to hear the message of God, he was standing by the lake of gennesaret, the (sea of galilee]" so, Jesus is standing by a lake and there were all kinds of people around who wanted to hear what he was saying. I guess a little bit like today. We got lake out there somewhere and here you are and here I am, and i'm preaching and you want to hear the word of God. "and he saw two boats there were there at the lake, but the fishermen had gotten out of the boats and they were now washing their nets." They'd been fishing all day and they were finished for the day. And so, he got into one of the boats, one that belonged to simon peter, and he asked him to draw out a little bit from the shore. Now, you might not understand why. It could have been because the crowd was pressing in him too much but one of the things back then is they didn't have the microphone and the sound system that i've got, but when you speak over water, it carries that sound a lot more than if you're not. So, Jesus got out a little bit into the water, I guess so he didn't get pressed by the people, but also so the sound would carry better. He got into one of the boats, the one that belonged to peter and he said to him, "pull out a little bit from the shore." He finished his message and then he said to peter, "put out into the deep, and lower your nets for a haul." So, here's the thing, simon peter said, "master, we fished all night. We're exhausted and we didn't catch a thing." Well, some of you've been doing that. You've been fishing half of your life for something and you haven't caught anything yet. Well, maybe it's because you haven't been fishing deep enough. Come on, remember last night I talked about christians that are attached but not committed? People that are just dating Jesus but not married? When we make a full commitment, something different happens in our life. So, they'd been fishing all night. They didn't catch anything. They were tired. They wanted to go home and Jesus said, "nope, I want you to go out a little bit deeper." You know, maybe you've about given up on your dream and God's saying to you today, "nope, not yet. Don't give up. Let's just keep believing one more time, one more time." Maybe some of you need to pick your old dreams up and dust them off and believe that God can do great things in your life. Maybe you've got a child you're about ready to give up on. That kid is just giving you so much trouble if you didn't color your hair, it would all be gray.
Joyce Meyer: my son who runs our world missions, you see him sometimes in the ads. His name's david and he--i mean, I thought he was gonna just absolutely do me in. Oh my gosh, he was so hard to deal with, so hard. And I didn't have any idea why but then I know now it's because he was just like me.
Joyce Meyer: and I didn't like him 'cause I didn't like myself. He was very rebellious, and strong willed, and wanted what he wanted when he wanted it. So, I mean if I cooked chicken, he wanted spaghetti. If I cooked spaghetti, he wanted chicken. I feel like from the time he was in his playpen, he was looking through those bars trying to figure out how he could run the world. Anybody know what i'm talking about? Well, for some reason at one point, I felt like we should offer him a job. Many times after that I thought, was I crazy? Why did I want to put myself in that position? Well, he gave me so much trouble, he was so hard to get along with one day I was driving to work and I was ready, that's it. I'm done. I'm gonna fire him. I cannot work with him. It's just not gonna work. And God spoke to me very clearly, this is one of the times when I can say I know that he heard from God and he said, "Joyce, do not give up on david." That boy runs our whole world missions programs today.
Joyce Meyer: well, faith first begins in our heart and then we need to learn to release our faith and we can do that through praying, asking God to do something, through the things that we say. You can find out real quickly if somebody has faith or not just by listening to how they talk and by the actions that they take all according to the word of God. So, we want to you to know as much as you possibly can about faith because that's how we receive from God. And so, today we're offering you two teachings, "what is faith and how does it work?" I think you're gonna really enjoy both of these. And then a book that i've written that I am particularly fond of called "unshakable trust" in God. Imagine having a trust in God that cannot be shaken and I think we desperately need that for the times that we're living in. So, if you'll stay with us, I want to encourage you with a special prayer right after this. Announcer: discover how to energize your faith and experience total trust in God when you order today's offer, the free to trust package. You'll receive the two-teaching cd set, "what is faith and how does it work?" And Joyce Meyer's book, "unshakable trust." In "what is faith and how does it work?" Learn how faith is a powerful force that you can release and begin to believe in God to do great things even when you can't yet see them. Then in Joyce's book, "unshakable trust," explore how to live a life in complete and total dependence on God in which every area of your life, you can trust that he has your very best in store. The free to trust package can be yours today for your gift of...OR More. Contact us right now... Or visit us online at joycemeyer.org.
Ginger: we all go through times when the questions in our life seem to outweigh the answers. Joyce Meyer wants to help with that. Check out her new show, "everyday answers." Send us your questions and join us as we discover life's everyday answers together.
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 want to 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: well, I would just like to remind you that God can heal any kind of hurt that we have. Whether it's physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual, he is our healer. And so, i'd like to pray for you right now. Father, I pray that anyone who is sick in their body, who needs healing for their mind, for their emotions, for any area of their body, I pray that you would touch them, that your word would manifest in their life through healing, that they would know that you're their healer, that they would stand fast and firm, that they don't have to remain sick in any area of their life because you want them to be made whole. We ask it in Jesus' name, amen. Now, today we're offering you free, upon request, a book that we've put together for you called "the healing word" booklet. And this is just full of scripture that you can meditate on, read out loud, confess out loud because the word of God is healing and health to all of our flesh. Get your copy, I think you're gonna enjoy it. Announcer: we hope you have enjoyed today's program. Please contact us or visit joycemeyer.org to share your prayer requests, see the conference schedule, or partner with us in sharing christ and loving people all across the globe. Announcer: this program has been made possible by the friends and partners of Joyce Meyer ministries