Have you ever had an experience that moved you yet when you tried to capture it in words to share with someone you couldn’t do it justice? That’s how I feel when I try to tell people about the Joyce Meyer conference I attended almost two weeks ago. If you ever have an opportunity to attend—do it. You may be surprised by what parts of her messages strike you—for me it was usually simple things that I’d heard before, probably from my dad, that had me saying “Amen” out loud.
The four sessions that made up the event were about the redemptive names of God. When you know someone’s name you know more about who they are, or what they do, and by knowing God’s names, we can trust him and he becomes more real to us. The names that she shared were: Yahweh, Jehovah Rafa, Jehovah Elyon, El Shaddai, Jehovah Elohim, Jehovah Shalom, Jehovah Jireh, Jehovah Tsebaoth, Jehovah Nissi, Jehovah M’Kaddesh, Jehovah Tsidkenu. All of these names culminate in the name that is above all names—Jesus. I wasn’t familiar with the spelling of most of the words that came after Jehovah, so thank God for Google!
Before she got to her actual message, Mama Joyce would encourage us to give to Joyce Meyer Ministries, to allow them to continue to do the amazing things they’re doing around the world. During one such session she talked about how if we’re faithful over little things, God will give us greater things. And when you feel like nothing is happening in your life, that you’re not doing anything or going anywhere, that’s when God is working in you, and we must not leave a situation we’re in before God releases us.
If you’re like me, your question might be: how do I know when I’m in a situation where I should be still and let God work in me? As you spend more time in prayer and studying of the bible, you’ll get better at sensing God’s will for you at certain times. The closer you get to God, the easier it is for him to talk to you. But at the same time he can use people who don’t even believe in him to reach you so the whole thing is kind of mind-blowing. Since I don’t feel like I hear from God, I know I have more work to do in the bible-reading and prayer departments!
But let’s talk about generosity for a minute, since each of the sessions started with a call for us to be generous. If you look at yourself and your life, would you call yourself a generous person? Are you generous with some things but stingy with others? I’ve looked into this aspect of my life before and I already know that I’m generous with my time but not so generous with money. It’s easy to justify not giving money to the person on the street, or not treating someone to lunch—I have bills to pay (mortgage, car, utilities, etc) on one paycheck. But how do I explain the fact that many of the generous people around me don’t have a lot of money themselves but still give from the little they have? If I borrow $11.45 from you I’ll round it up when paying you back, but I’m more likely to give you $12 than $15. These may be little things that don’t mean much to some, but when I think of how I feel in my heart over money issues, I know I’m being called to be more generous and I’ve been better in the last couple of years—but there’s room for improvement, and I’m actually glad that Joyce didn’t shy away from encouraging us to give, even though the event was free.
If you’re like me, 2 Corinthians 9:6 is the verse for us:
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
Don’t you want to reap generously? I know I do! I want to be able to upgrade certain areas of my life. But more importantly, when I do something stingy, I don’t feel good, whereas I’ve never regretted being generous. That’s part of what you’re reaping I think—that good feeling in your heart from giving to someone who’s less fortunate than you, or to someone who just doesn’t expect it. Joyce called this the Kingdom Economy.
How do you rank in the generosity department?