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Joyce Meyer - 3 Ways To Change Your Thoughts


Joyce Meyer - 3 Ways To Change Your Thoughts
TOPICS: Talk It Out, Thoughts
Joyce Meyer - 3 Ways To Change Your Thoughts

Ginger Stache: Hey, friends, come on in. This is Joyce Meyer's Talk It Out podcast, where my friends and I, talk about God's word and the real stuff of life, and we hold nothing back. I'm Ginger Stache. My friends Erin Cluley, Jai, and of course, Joyce Meyer will be along momentarily, I promise. You see, today is a special episode. We've talked a lot about how important it is to think about what you're thinking about. Our thoughts impact every aspect of our lives. And we've heard so much from all of you, our friends, on this topic. You're asking for more help with this, and we are here today to give it to you. You see, it's not an instant endeavor. It takes work to renew your mind, and practice. So, we're talking about defeating negative thoughts. And we're doing it in a very special way. We're going to share moments from your favorite podcast episodes, to face this issue from three different angles: stopping those negative thoughts, how we think about ourselves, that is such a big one, and getting dressed for the battle in our mind. I'll even share how the Lord helped me upgrade my helmet of salvation. Did you know you can do that? You can. Well, that is part of the discussion on today's Talk It Out. First up, here's Joyce explaining how the mind is the battlefield.

Joyce Meyer: Probably our mind gives us more trouble than anything. You know why that is? Because the mind is the battleground that Satan comes and attacks us on. Thus, the book that I wrote, "The battlefield of the mind". If you can win the battle in your mind, then you can win the battle for life. Where the mind goes the man follows. So, an obedient mind will lead to an obedient life. A disobedient mind will lead to a disobedient life. So, if you made a decision last night or at any time in your life, "I want to not just be a Christian, I want to be an obedient Christian. I want to be a child of God who wants to do what's right and does what's right and glorifies God. I don't want to be mediocre and compromising and just see what all I can get by with and hope I can still sneak in the back door of heaven. I want to love God with my whole heart and do it right". And, I'm sure that most of you have made that decision. But, a lot of times people make that decision but it never happens for them because although, they made a good decision and they have a good desire, they never change their mind. They still think junk. They have stinkin' thinkin' and anytime we have stinkin' thinkin' we're gonna have a stinkin' life, so... Amen. Is that right? So, the devil constantly attacks our thoughts and, but believe it or not, in the beginning, if you first start trying to cooperate with the Spirit of God to think right things you are gonna feel like you're in a battle from daylight till dark. And, you just get so tired of fighting the enemy all day, you don't hardly know what to do. But, I can tell you, if you stand your ground, it gets better, and better, and better, and better, and better. And, you know, although, my mind still gets attacked, there's always things that the enemy's suggesting to my mind, but after all these years now in practice, I mean, I recognize them really quickly and it's not that difficult at all to just say, "Nope, I'm not going there". And I'm asking you tonight to take an inventory of your thoughts. What's been on your mind lately? If you're depressed, what have you been thinking about? If you're angry, what have you been thinking about? If you're bitter, what have you been thinking about? We can have our mind renewed according to the Word of God. Let's take just a second and look at Romans chapter 12, verse 2. "Do not be conformed to this world [fashioned after and adapted to its external customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind," amen. So, how are we changed? First, our mind has to change, and then our life changes. We don't think the way that we used to think, but we begin to actually believe this book and think like God thinks. My goodness, do you know how many problems people have because of the junky thoughts they think about themselves? I tell you what. You're looking at a woman. I would be petrified anymore to think bad, junky thoughts about myself, because I know it so displeases and so dishonors God. He sent his only son to die for you. He loved you enough to pay an awful price for you, and who do you think you are to have bad, terrible, junky thoughts about yourself? If God loves you, then you can love you. Amen? I said if God loves you, then you can love you. You don't think,you don't need to think, "I'm stupid". You think, "I have the mind of Christ". You don't need to think, "I can't do anything". You look at Romans 12, and you say, "I'm gifted and talented. There's something that I can do and it's important to the people in the body of Christ that I fulfill my part". Quit letting the devil drag you down through wrong thoughts that don't agree with the Word of God. "I have the mind of Christ. I'm gifted. I'm talented. I'm anointed". Learn how to talk like God talks. Learn how to see yourself the way he sees you, and your life will change radically.

Ginger Stache: Ew, that's good stuff. It is. It's so good. If God loves you, then you can love you. I mean, there are so many people, right now, whose minds are being blown by this whole process that, "If I can believe God's word for someone else, I can believe it for me, too".

Ladies: Yeah.

Ginger Stache: I mean, those things are big.

Erin Cluley: It's true. And how many of our days, and our thoughts during the day is spent on, "If only, I could do this like my friend here, or if only I looked like this then I could have this, or all of that". And yeah, we can still go to heaven. But man, are we missing out on all the things God has for us because we're too busy worrying about other people.

Jai Williams: Worrying about other people, comparing ourselves to other people, worrying about if we're good enough, worrying about if we're lovable, if we're this, if we're that. And honestly, like Joyce said, it's an insult, you know, to God and to the price that the Jesus paid on the cross to, you know, really like, doubt she'd be petrified to even think negative thoughts about herself. Man, I mean, and I have to war with that. And me and my daughter talk about it all the time. And it's like, we cannot allow ourselves to think negatively about ourselves. No matter what phase were in, no matter if you have a huge zit on your forehead, or on your nose, no matter if you ate a lot, you know, over the summer or during quarantine, and you gained some weight, or whether you look your best, either way, it can't be based off of situations. It has to just be based on the fact that "God loves me, so I need to love myself".

Ginger Stache: There's always something wrong with every one of us.

Jai Williams: We can always find something wrong.

Ginger Stache: Exactly, it's not like it's hard to find a reason for anyone to think poorly about themselves. But when you look at it that way, that we're God's chosen creation. So, we're not just talking about ourselves in a negative way, we're talking badly about who God made us to be.

Jai Williams: His masterpiece.

Ginger Stache: Yeah. And he doesn't want that for us, and we shouldn't want that for him. So, there's so much in all of this. I've had a really hard week. Like, I've just, I don't know why things happen the way they do sometimes. But it's just been a really difficult week. And I think probably part of it is getting ready to talk about this, you know? Not that God does that to us, but that Satan will throw things in our path. And instead of going a negative way, you know, I've had to think about this a lot. And to say, "Okay, what am I going to do instead of dwelling on these hard things that are happening right now"? So, real practical, like you said, Erin, to say, "Stop," and do something different. One of the things, for some of the things that I've been dealing with this week is, I am not gonna go to Google and look up a lot of stuff. You know what I mean? Because that can take you down a really dark path, really quickly. So, make some good, practical decisions to what you let into your mind. That makes a big difference. "What are we dwelling on? Am I looking up everything that could possibly go wrong? Or am I reading God's word and trusting what he says. That he's there, that he will never leave me, he will never forsake me, even when I don't see an outcome. Even when I'm fearful, that it's not him, that puts fear in me," you know, combating all of that. So, you know, one of the things for me is Psalm 139, it's so beautiful. I love it so much, and it's, when I start to have those thoughts, one of the first things I'll say is, "God search me, you know me, check my anxious thoughts and lead me, you know, help me to think the right way". And that always helps me a lot, because I know it's not even just, I have to change my thoughts. If I ask God to help me, he will help walk me through it. So, that's one of the ones that's really been helping me. And just through some of these hard things that are happening, you know, outside of myself. There are always hard things that are happening inside of yourself at the same time. So, you can have those thoughts, like, you know, rather than, "I'm rejected," right? We all have those thoughts, like, you ever feel like you're just not loved well enough? Or you know, you just feel on the outside of whatever? To go back to, "God, you think of me so many times, every day, that it out numbers the grains of sand, and the number of stars in the sky". And then, when I have those things that, I'm not thinking well, then I go back and I remember that, "God has put the Fruit of the Spirit in me," love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control, but I don't feel like I have any of those things. I can start, instead of thinking about, "Oh, obviously, I have no self-control because I just did this". I can begin confessing, "God promises, because his spirit lives in me, that I have these things," and, "God, help me to walk in them". So, it's so practical. I mean, there are so many things that you can write down. This is not an ethereal kinda thing. This is daily, hitting the road and doing it kind of stuff.

Erin Cluley: I didn't realize that until a couple years ago when I start dealing with anxiety. Which I've shared before, I've never dealt with. And so, that's what drew me to reading "Battlefield of the mind," again. Because I needed something, and I needed some direction. Like, I knew the Word of God would be my source but I just, it was too much. So, I needed some like, specific direction of "Here's how to do this". And so, reading that book with those practical steps, a couple times, I've had like, panic attacks and it's usually during the night. I was with Ginger, one time, we were traveling on a trip and I text her the next morning, and said, "I'm gonna be late because I just had a panic attack last night. I just need a minute". And it's like, our friends are gonna understand this, if you had it, like, a shaking, I couldn't,my mind was racing, my heart was racing. And so, all I could do was quote scripture. I remember,and I called, I went to the bathroom, it was in the middle of the night, cuz I had a roommate. So, I huddled up in the bathroom, and I was sobbing, and I said, "Mike, I can't, I can't stop shaking. I can't stop. Like, what's happening"? And so, he prayed for me. And then, I turned on worship music in my headphones, and I just, like, took deep breaths, and I just had to keep thinking the thoughts of God. I had to keep remembering that I have the mind of Christ and that this will pass. But, you know, the verse in Psalms, it's, "You give me," or, "I will lay down," I can't. I'm telling you all these things and I can't remember the verses. Psalm 4:8, "In peace I will lay down to sleep for you, oh, Lord, keep me safe". And so, I should be able to remember that, I've said it so many times. But just over and over again, to replace that negative thought that's coming in. That's me saying, "No, this is the thought I'm going to think on". So...

Ginger Stache: You know what I love about what you're sharing? You're doing it right now, and you did it then. That morning, you called me, and you let me know, and you told me, and I could pray about it, I could understand a little bit, you know? When you keep something secret, when you hide it, then it gives it so much more power. And Erin took the power away from it by saying, "There's nothing, there's no shame in this. This is what I dealing with. I just want you to know. Will you pray for me"? And by telling everyone else that there's no shame in anything that they're dealing with. And I just think that's beautiful that you did that.

Erin Cluley: I appreciate you saying that because on the flip side, I thought, "I do not want to tell my boss that I'm gonna be late to this meeting because I can't get my act together". And I thought, "No, this is where I am in this moment. Ginger knows me. She knows I'm going to do my best, but I need to be honest, and I need to let my friend in". And it made a huge difference. Even calling Mike at two in the morning. I thought, "I don't want to bother him. He's got the kids. I don't want to wake him up". But in that moment, I needed to tell somebody else, "I'm not okay. And I need you to help me through this". Just like you were saying, you need to be able to talk to somebody, cuz like, it did, it took the power away. It's so amazing when you say stuff out loud that, that power of what's racing in here, diminishes.

Ginger Stache: It changes your thoughts.

Jai Williams: It's so crazy, how Christians, a lot of Christians tend to feel like that's a bad thing. You know, to aknowledge that you have a moment of weakness. I wanted to share something else with you guys. This past Easter was big for me. And not because of any amazing production, or any magical, or you know, Holy Spirit-filled worship session. It was because after Good Friday, and I've shared a lot about, you know, what's going on in my personal life as it pertains to infidelity and divorce, getting, you know, getting served papers. And now, being, you know, figuring out life by myself.

Ginger Stache: Lots of hard stuff.

Jai Williams: It's a lot of hard stuff through a pandemic, as well. And so, anyways, I'm saying that because, this past, I was thinking, right, the day before, Good Friday, it was just a hard, hard day for me. I was just thinking about a whole bunch of stuff, got several emails, more things about the situation came out. Like, it's unfortunate when just layers and layers of things that come out. And finally, I just really started reading about the cross and Jesus, you know, dying on the cross. And then, I read the part in the scripture where it was talking about how they, like, the people were casting lots for Jesus' clothes, like, you know, and then Jesus says, "Forgive them for they know, not what they do". And I'm like, "Hold up. They did know what they were doing. They were literally casting lots. Like, while you were dying".

Ginger Stache: They should have known better.

Jai Williams: "They gave you vinegar when you needed water". Like, they knew. And he's like, "Yeah, they knew, but they didn't know that they were part of the big plan". So, I immediately, then was like, "Man, well, thank you," to those people. And so, what that did was help me, and hopefully, this helps you. Even with the way that you think about a horrible situation, I begin to thank my ex. I called him by his name. "Thank you". And I begin to, thank the mistress. I said her name out loud, like, I began to thank them, and I felt a release. I'm like, I don't have to find out any more stuff. I don't have to know anything else. But thank you, because they're part of a big plan that I have never even seen before. I haven't even seen it. But what they've done, what I thought was detriment, what I thought was detriment, is actually catapulting me to whatever's coming next. So "Thank you".

Erin Cluley: Jai that is big.

Ginger Stache: That is huge.

Erin Cluley: I think when you start recognizing the fact that you can think about what you're thinking about, it's harder in the beginning to learn to change the way you think. So, like you said, Ginger, the circumstance is still the same, but I can think about it differently. It's hard in the beginning, but once you practice, and once you begin to see God working, and you see this, whatever that was, you see God take that story for, and turn it into something amazing, then it makes the process even easier.

Ginger Stache: What we're talking about works. And so, that changes things, and slowly it becomes second nature, instead of, you know,in the beginning, it's like, "Oh, wait a minute, I need to do this," and that's good. That's a great place to start. But there will come a time where it's second nature that, "This is what I need to think instead of what I'm thinking". It's almost always the opposite, right? There's a scripture in the Bible that is the opposite of what you're thinking. If you're thinking you're worthless, God tells you, you are valuable. If you are afraid, God tells you, he is there with you. You don't have to be afraid.

Erin Cluley: Like, even sitting here, on this podcast, we've been doing this for almost two years and even still I'll get here and I'm like, "Erin, who do you think you are that you should be sitting here talking with Joyce Meyer and these women who are brilliant? You have nothing to say. Like, eventually, they're going to figure out you're just making it up". So,no, this is not like, a feel sorry for me, this is me just being honest. So, even, as like an adult, we all have those moments.

Ginger Stache: Yeah, I think we've all felt that at different times, we've all kind of been there.

Erin Cluley: Yeah, absolutely.

Jai Williams: You have a lot of value though: I just want you to know.

Erin Cluley: But this is a preface to say I don't need you to validate me. I know you love me. You can tell me later.

Jai Williams: I'll tell you later.

Ginger Stache: I love just watching this conversation.

Erin Cluley: But I think we all experience that in our lives every day. You are put in situations, even if you know that you're supposed to be there, you still are,the enemy knows where to get you and when to hit you and you question yourself.

Joyce Meyer: I can give you some good news.

Erin Cluley: I love it.

Joyce Meyer: When you get old enough, you finally get over it.

Erin Cluley: Do you? Do you just not care anymore?

Joyce Meyer: You just get to the point where it's like, "It is what it is, take it or leave it".

Erin Cluley: I love that. I look forward to that.

Ginger Stache: Did you have that at different times in your life?

Joyce Meyer: Oh, yeah. I had a lot of it because I was abused in my childhood and I certainly didn't know who I was and tried to be like everybody, tried to be like Dave, who's nice and calm, and my pastor's wife, who was sweet and merciful, and my neighbor, who could make her family's clothes and had a garden. And I tried it all, and before I finally got around to just being me, and finding out who I was, in Christ. And, you know, a lot of people still, it amazes me, really, how many people still don't understand what that means.

Ginger Stache: Well, let's start there, because we've all talked about on this podcast. You talk about it all the time, how this is very likely, the most important thing you can grasp. Because you can't even understand salvation: who Christ is and what he's done for you without this knowledge. So, what does it mean "In Christ" when you say that?

Joyce Meyer: Well, let me just first say that a large majority of churches don't even teach this. So, I was in church for a lot of years before I knew who I was in Christ. And it's actually, a phrase that's all over the Bible, especially, in Paul's letters. And I have a thing on the internet for anybody who wants to look it up called "Knowing who I am in Christ". And I don't, I think there's like 40 different things on here, that the Bible actually, says that we are in Christ. I won't read 'em all. But just for example, "I am complete in him". So, let's just take an example, like say, a single girl is invited to something where she knows everybody's gonna be married couples. Well, if she doesn't know who she is in Christ, then she can feel like she's really out of place. She doesn't belong there, she shouldn't be there. "Something's wrong with me, because I'm not married". But if she knows that she's complete in Christ, then she doesn't have to have a man to complete her. She's complete in who she is in him. And it's the same way really, with anything. Like, even, like, what you were talking about Erin, about feeling unqualified to be here. You're qualified in him because you made yourself available. And so, you know, "I'm alive with Christ. I'm free from the law of sin and death. I'm far from oppression, and I will not live in fear. I'm born of God and the evil one does not touch me". And it's just, I mean, every one of these are just absolutely beautiful. And if you can really learn who you are in Christ and it really,we're in Christ by faith. When you receive Christ as your Savior then you're considered to be in Christ. And so, if you're in something, whatever that something gets, you get. So, we were considered to be in Christ when he died on the cross. So, when he died, we died. When he was raised from the dead, we were raised from the dead.

Ginger Stache: He took our sin.

Joyce Meyer: Yeah, he took our sin. When he ascended on high and was seated at the right hand of the father, the Bible says, in Ephesians, that we too, are seated at the right hand of God. So, literally, believers live in two places. We live here with our feet on the earth, but we're also living in heavenly places with Christ. And when you can really grasp how much he loves you, and what he's done for you, and that he says, he never will leave you nor forsake you, his thoughts toward you are more than the sands of the sea, you're made acceptable in him: and if you meditate on those things instead of what's wrong with you all the time, pretty,then after a while, you get it. But it's amazing how many people that I talk to about knowing who you are in Christ, cuz that's the only thing that's gonna keep you from being insecure. Either that, or you're gonna try to get it through your career, how much money you have, how you look, what you wear, who you know. And I'm done with all that. You know, I went through all that and that's all just a bunch of fluff and air. You talk about something that's an imposter, that is. Because it says, "Come here and I'll make you complete. I'll make you secure". And then it fails you, just when you need it the most.

Erin Cluley: It's really interesting, cuz when you Google: "Knowing who you are in Christ," online, your list pops up, and very few other things come up. You'll get a couple of blogs from other people. And I think that speaks to what you're saying, that's not a part of our culture. And people don't know to be taught or to learn who they are in Christ. "I have a career and I'm gonna chase that, and I will figure it out there," or "I'll be validated in this relationship". But we aren't taught, often enough...

Joyce Meyer: And it's actually, one of the most important foundational doctrines that Paul taught, "Who we are in Christ".

Ginger Stache: And it takes hearing it and over, and over, and over, really, for it to sink in. So, what we're gonna do, right now, is we're going to listen to another way that Joyce explains it, in one of her teachings, and then, we'll come back and we'll talk more about it. 2 Corinthians 5:21: "For our sake he made Christ [virtually]," that means really, "To be sin who knew no sin, so that in and through him we might become [endued with, viewed as being in, and examples of] the righteousness of God [what we ought to be, approved and acceptable and in right relationship with him, by his goodness]". Now, to be honest, you could take that one verse and study it for the next two weeks and maybe, if that's all you looked at for two weeks and thought about it and meditated on it, it might begin to start to sink on,sink in. Jesus took your sin because he's good, not because you're good. He took the penalty, he took the punishment, and he gave you,gave you his righteousness that he earned by never doing anything wrong and it,we can't figure it out mathematically in our head but the Bible says that if we believe that then God views us or he sees us as his very own righteousness because he sees us through Christ. He sees us,he doesn't see us in our old sinful state, he sees us as these new creatures that we are, where? Inside, in our spirit. You are a spirit, you have a soul, you live in a body. So you have all this amazingly wonderful, good stuff on the inside of you. Now, you still have a flesh too that has the sin principle in it. This is why after you become a really committed Christian you sometimes feel that you're in a war all the time. Do you ever feel like you're two people? "The thing I wanna do I can't do. The thing I don't wanna do, I'm always doing". I mean, I can make such plans for holiness laying in bed.

Joyce Meyer: I mean, I'm not gonna say anything wrong that day. I'm gonna be so submissive and such a good wife, and I'm not gonna talk back and I'm gonna be kind. I'm not gonna gossip about anybody. I mean, I'm just, I am so good until I put my feet on the floor.

Ginger Stache: Can't we all relate to that? We make these wonderful plans for our own righteousness, and boy, then like you said.

Jai Williams: I'm so perfect before I get out of bed.

Ginger Stache: Yeah, oh yeah.

Erin Cluley: Full of joy.

Jai Williams: So full of joy.

Joyce Meyer: Listen to this one scripture. This just leaves your mouth hanging open in awe. "I am holy and without blame, before him, in love".

Ginger Stache: Okay, now, let me ask you what is going through people's minds. "I know better than that. I have messed up so many times, I'm not without blame. So, how does that work for me, in my imperfections"?

Joyce Meyer: Well, see, they're missing the two words. "I am holy and without blame, 'before him' in love". And that's what you have to look for. Every one of these, "I am complete in him". This has nothing to do with me. It's, I call it the divine exchange. He takes all of our badness and gives us all of his goodness. You know, he takes all of our sin, everything, and he gives us all of his goodness. I liken it to, when I married, Dave, always say, "I didn't have a car, but he had a car. And as soon as he and I were married, suddenly I had a car". But I make a point that I didn't have that while we were dating. It was after I said, "I do". So, some people are still just dating Jesus, and they need to get around to the, "Yes, Lord".

Ginger Stache: A full-on commitment.

Joyce Meyer: A full-on commitment, and begin to walk in what's theirs. We're co-inheritors with him: everything that he inherited from God, the Bible says that we're joint heirs with him, we get too. And so, you either believe that or you believe how you feel. And I believed how I felt...

Ginger Stache: Those are the two options.

Joyce Meyer: I believed how I felt, and what I thought, and what other people said about me for years and years, and all I was, was miserable. And when, I finally decided to believe the Word of God over how I felt and what I thought, then I started having some joy, and some peace, and beginning to enjoy my life.

Jai Williams: I really, I love that. I love the analogy of the car. That just makes it so real, you know. And I'm just walking into something, these past couple years, like where I'm really like, grasping, how wrong I had it, you know? I thought I knew God, and you know, I knew who I was, you know. But looking back and just reflecting,you asked earlier, you know, if I've ever dealt with that. I just,I've really taken these past couple years to really do some life reflection, you know. To just be like, "What is up? Like, what, like, what are the good things, bad things, you know, what can I work on right now"? And just looking back, I realized how much of an imposter I've been the majority of my life. Like, I was,I'm a pastor's kid, even though my relationship with my dad wasn't perfect. But I'm a pastor's kid, and I thought that, that was my identity, at first. Everywhere I went, I was, you know, pastor Vaughn's daughter, like, that was my thing. You know, I was a worship leader. Then,but then, going to a school where I was the only,one of the only black girls, like, in my school. And I, look back at pictures of me, even in high school, where I had blonde hair. I got blue contacts. I didn't realize, I didn't even realize, I look crazy, like... I didn't even realize, I wanted to fit in so badly that I even, I have long, I still love braids, don't get me wrong. I got a couple blonde streaks in there, ain't nothing wrong with that. But, I'm sayin', like, I had a full head of blonde braids and blue contacts wanting to fit in so badly. Until the fact that, even when I got when I got married, I became his wife, you know? And so, now, in this season of my life, trying to figure it out, I'm like, "God, who am I for real"? And I realize, all that time, like, I was dating God, but I was married to the other situations. I was married to,my identity was in my father, or who I looked like in school, or what I did, or the job I got, the degrees I got, the marriage. But now, it's really,it was a reality check. And so, when you brought that up it just really struck something in me like, I am so at a place now, where I just want to be like, one with him that the car is now mine too. You know, like, my identity is found in him, not in who I'm with, or what I'm doing.

Ginger Stache: How are you making that shift?

Jai Williams: Talking like this. Being,and actually, having those reality check moments, to look back. Taking that time to reflect and be, like, "Girl! You not this high and mighty. You know, like, that's nothing. Nobody cares what you did, nobody cares what you do". Like, it's about who you are with him, and really just, having those honest conversations with God, and being honest with him, and repenting, and saying, "God, you know what? I had it all wrong. Teach me what this looks like". I'm almost feeling like, and it's hard at almost 40 now, like, that I'm, I feel like I'm starting over in an extent, into an extent. And it's not a bad thing. And I'm encouraged by Joyce, like, the fact that you talk about this stuff. And I know that, like, how old were you, when you married, Dave? And you realized...

Joyce Meyer: Twenty-six.

Jai Williams: Oh, okay. So,but I'm saying,like the, when I hear like, how even,

Joyce Meyer: I didn't realize it, when I first married Dave. I gave him a lot of trouble, for a long time, because I didn't know who I was in Christ. If you don't know, if you don't have your identity straight and know who you are, you normally put that off on other people. And you want them to make you feel good.

Jai Williams: You want them to make you whole.

Joyce Meyer: And you know, I remember, it was a few years, but God told me, he said, "Stop giving Dave the responsibility for your joy".

Erin Cluley: I remember, I've heard you say that a couple times, and I've always felt really annoyed by it, cuz I'm like, "That's what I'm doing, erin. I am putting my feelings of myself on somebody else. I have to take that back to God". You're not annoying. What you told me was hard, because it's where I was. It's so good.

Jai Williams: It's not easy.

Joyce Meyer: And you know, something that's important for people to know: no matter how old you are, the devil loves nothing better than to try to make you feel bad about yourself. And I just went through a period of, I don't know what it was, maybe a couple of weeks, where I got focused on: you're not praying enough, you're not doing this, you're not doing that, you're not doing something else. And so, clearly, this morning, when I first got up, I heard the Lord speak in my heart and say, "I don't want you to think about anything this morning unless it's something good about yourself". And see, God actually wants us to have good thoughts about our self, "In him". I'm creative in him. I'm talented in him. I'm forgiven in him. I can do all things through him. I'm complete in him. And,people feel like that's wrong. You know, we, somehow or another, we feel like it's "Holy" to think that you're a rotten, no-good, you know, that, that's what God wants. But he doesn't want that. He really can't do anything with us until we know who we are in him.

Jai Williams: That's so beautiful. It's beautiful to, like, own that. And I'm walking in that now. That when you asked, like, "What are some of the things that you're doing"? I'm doing that. I'm actually, allowing myself to speak, nice things about myself, and not be defined by the things I've been through in my past that did identify, that did define who I was, for season. Like, it was my story and I felt like you can't, I didn't know myself past my story.

Ginger Stache: You're doing something really powerful, and what you're always teaching us, is taking the power away from that imposter, through our own honesty and vulnerability. Because that impostor is what's out there, trying to make everybody think everything's great. You know, "I've got it all together. Everything is looking good over here". But when we can just be vulnerable and say, "Hey, I'm just guessing at this. I'm walking with God and he's teaching me so many things, but I'm so far from perfect," it takes the power away from that whole feeling of being an imposter, and it helps keep you in Christ. Because I think, this walk, with Christ, is definitely, a bit of a,in and out, slippery slope sometimes. We're never in and out of our relationship with Christ because what he did counts for everything. But I take steps forward and backwards, sometimes.

Joyce Meyer: Well, sure, your mind, the devil attacks, your mind, the battlefield of the mind. He attacks your mind and he does it everybody. And just about the time, you think you've got it nailed down, you know, then, he'll attack you and you have to go back to the beginning. But I, it just came to me so strongly this morning, what Paul said, "One thing I do, it is my one aspiration forgetting what lies behind and pressing on to the things that are ahead". So, every, single day his mercy's new, and he doesn't want us thinking about yesterday's mistakes. We're sorry for 'em. We wish we wouldn't have done it, but we'll probably, do it again and need forgiveness again. But I think, before you can ever know who you are in Christ, I think, you have to know who you're not in yourself. So, you kinda have to, I like to say, "Come to the end of yourself". So, it seems like God just has to stand back and let you try and fail, try and fail, try and fail, try and fail, try and fail, until you finally realize, "I can't do this. I can't live the Christian life. God's got to live it through me".

Jai Williams: It's easy to think, when you're having a tough time, especially, to almost put, to doubt if God loves you.

Ginger Stache: Absolutely, yeah.

Jai Williams: For me,and you all know I'm more like a practical person. I like to like make a list. I have to because sometimes when my mind starts to scatter and I start thinking about life, and reality, and future, it's like... You know? And a lot of times I would always be like, "What is a practical step to make me stop going crazy with my thoughts," you know? And number one was putting on the helmet of salvation, because that helmet of salvation doesn't stop me from thinking it, it just triggers me to think about what I need to think. Cuz those thoughts are gonna come. It is not like a magical hat that you can put on and it's like, "Oh, it's all gone. I never think," no, you're gonna,

Ginger Stache: No bad thought ever come.

Jai Williams: You're gonna think bad thoughts, but you have to discipline yourself to remember, thinking on these things, "Whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are of good report, think on these things". And for me, for season, it was literally writing it down. Like, I literally, I'll put post-it notes sometimes on my mirror just to force me to think on what I need to think about.

Ginger Stache: I love that because this is a very spiritual thing that we're talking about. So, this helmet that we're talking about is not something we can see with our eyes, but is just as real. And as you said, it doesn't make the problems go away, but it's like the Holy Spirit covering your thoughts, and you asking for him to do that for you everyday. And my helmet, you know, I've upgraded over the years, and so, I also, you know, I have this eye shield so I can see more what God wants me to see and not miss the stuff. I wanna hear the way that God wants me to hear, and not hear things that I hear, that are things like, you know, "Oh, they don't like me," cuz of how I took what they said. Instead of, maybe, I hear hurt in their voice and I think about what they need, you know? And then, the other thing mine has is a great big, ole mouth guard because I want to speak the Word of God and not all of the junk that could pour out of my mouth on my own. And I see the importance of it, in the way of looking at it like, I'm gonna put sunscreen on, right? I can't see it, when I put it on, it disappears into my skin, but it's going to protect my skin from the sun. And for me, you know, it's burning, and breaking out, and sun poisoning, and all kinds of nasty little aging factors that I just don't want, so. And the same like, when I go hiking. I put on my hiking boots to protect my feet, or after all that walking, you know, my feet are gonna feel terrible, but they're just cozy and cloud-like in my hiking boots. So, I think about that with the full armor of God. It's the amazing fact that my God thought to include shoes for me.

Jai Williams: He's so kind.

Ginger Stache: He's so wonderful. He knows me so well, he knows how much I love great shoes, and he included them in the full armor. And the readiness of,to spread the gospel of peace. It's like, what could be better than shoes of peace?

Erin Cluley: Yeah, I, another practical thing I did. I was googling lots, this day when I was studying. So, I Googled the definition of all those different pieces that you put on. And that's a really great thing to do, just like a word study. I love a good word study. And I can't remember which one it was, and I'm trying to find it in here, but one of the things, one of these, oh, no, it was part of my spartan study. But they talked about how the armor and shield were buffed to a brilliant shine and glinted in the sun.

Ginger Stache: Did you see her face?

Erin Cluley: I know, I know!

Ginger Stache: It's so cute. Erin's face just lit up!

Erin Cluley: In the sun... But like, I had this visual image of the fact that, you know, they're getting all their stuff ready and it's shiny. But like, that's the whole point is for our armor to glint in the sun. Like, that's what the point is, is that we're reflecting God in all we do, and we cannot reflect him if we aren't putting on what he's given us.

Ginger Stache: Let's say, we don't put on the full armor of God. That's when I often feel very unprotected, you know, very vulnerable in a bad way, almost naked before everything that's out there, because I'm trying to do it on my own, right? I didn't take the time to invite God in, to ask him to get me ready for the day, to protect me and prepare me, which means I'm so prideful that I don't need any of that, I'm going to do it all on my own. And that is where my toes get stepped on, and my heart gets broken, and I'm thinking all the wrong things. And if we don't want to feel that nakedness that we all feel so often, this is a great way to combat that, to counteract it.

Jai Williams: truth moment. I did not arm myself yesterday. I did not, I got busy. Early in the morning, I got busy. And I even though I had my plan, I started, I did some of my things but I did not pause to actually put all of my armor on. And throughout the day, it just slipped my mind. But, like you said, I felt so incomplete. And those fiery darts of the enemy, they were piercing in different ways. And like, had I done that, now, you can't live in regret but had I done that, I probably, I was hit with some more blows like, this year will not stop with blows, you know? And so, this is why I say it's a necessity for me now. Like, I have to put it on because if I don't, I don't know what blow I'm gonna get day-to-day. And so, like, that's not gonna stop the enemy from attacking but me being prepared and ready is a necessity for me. And I wasn't. And so, I didn't pass every test yesterday, like, I didn't because my emotions were on high cuz I was hit with some really heavy things. I'm like, "Ugh, I thought I was just about to come over the hump". But you know, you gotta stay ready. Like, you have to stay ready. So, I encourage you, it's a necessity.

Ginger Stache: We don't know the things that this armor's protecting us from. There's so many things that we will never know that God shielded us from, and so many things that we face that are going far better than they could have because God is walking through it with us.

Jai Williams: And this is such as gift that God gave us that, he's like, "No, I've given you the authority to dress yourself, you know"?

Ginger Stache: Yeah, it's not a legalistic thing, like, if you do this something, if you don't do this, something bad is going to happen. It's not that.

Jai Williams: You know, like, I've watched you when Peyton dresses herself, or you know, is proud of something. As a mama, you're like, "Look at her". The outfit could be awful.

Erin Cluley: Terrible.

Jai Williams: "You did that". Those frozen panties are backwards, but, "You did it".

Erin Cluley: But, they're on.

Jai Williams: They're on, and so, but I'm saying, like, God has given us that ability to dress ourselves, because he loves us so much. He's like, "Hey daughter, hey son, you can dress yourself. And this is the outfit I picked out for you. And it's the best outfit and it'll protect you". So, I think it's cool. There's a confidence that comes with knowing that you've dressed yourself in something that'll protect you.

Ginger Stache: The wonderful thing about putting on the full armor of God, is no matter what comes, we're not fighting it on our own.
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