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Watch 2022 online sermons » Joyce Meyer » Joyce Meyer - How To Enjoy A Life Of Freedom

Joyce Meyer - How To Enjoy A Life Of Freedom

Joyce Meyer - How To Enjoy A Life Of Freedom
TOPICS: Talk It Out, Freedom
Joyce Meyer - How To Enjoy A Life Of Freedom

Ginger Stache: Hello, our friends, come on in here! We've got so much to talk about today. We're not gonna waste any time.

Jai Williams: No, let's jump right in.

Erin Cluley: Don't have time.

Ginger Stache: Not that we ever waste time. In fact, we can talk about our hair and, you know, vacation plans, nails...

Erin Cluley: For days.

Ginger Stache: Or whatever...

Jai Williams: Always.

Ginger Stache: And it's never wasted time.

Erin Cluley: No!

Jai Williams: No.

Erin Cluley: Time well spent.

Jai Williams: We enjoy it. That's what we do all the time though.

Erin Cluley: Jai and I... Well, we're presenting our beach desires with our toe... Polished colors.

Ginger Stache: 'Cuz you have bright neon...

Erin Cluley: Yes.

Ginger Stache: Toe polish for the beach.

Jai Williams: I have neon... Toe, like a neon greenish toe of mine.

Erin Cluley: Are we going to the beach? No.

Ginger Stache: Because that's the closest to the beach we can get.

Erin Cluley: We live in Missouri.

Ginger Stache: Well, I do love to think about the beach as like, you know, totally free. The waves, the sand, lots of room to roam. And today we are talking about true freedom.

Jai Williams: Yes.

Erin Cluley: I love this topic so much.

Ginger Stache: It is such a good topic. And it may or may not involve the beach at all. We don't have to have that...

Erin Cluley: Bummer!

Ginger Stache: To be free.

Erin Cluley: True.

Ginger Stache: This is a great topic. And I think it's something that people don't realize how important it is to be truly free. And what a gift God is giving us by saying you can have freedom. Because I think about how love is unconditional, right? God's love is unconditional. He loves us, loves us, no matter what. But freedom, it comes with some conditions. Like there are some steps that we have to take, to really experience God's freedom. He wants us to have it. But we have to play a part in it. Yeah, there are all these things that secretly steal our freedom, things like insecurity, comparison, even the need for control. Like that... When I think I'm in control, that's when I have the least freedom.

Ladies: Yeah.

Erin Cluley: I think freedom is a word that we often kinda just throw around.

Ginger Stache: Yeah, you're right.

Erin Cluley: And you know, in America, we talk about that we have the 4th of july, and we celebrate our freedom as a country. And which, it's just a word that we use. But I don't think we understand how that applies to our... Like, our every day, like on a Tuesday, I can have freedom. And what does that look like in my life.

Jai Williams: Yeah, and I think of freedom in so many different ways. Of course, as a black woman, I think of freedom, you know, for people of color, you know. But then as a woman that has experienced the freedom of Jesus, you know, what I thought was the freedom Jesus, and I plan on talking about that a little more later, like just... What I thought was the freedom of Jesus and now truly experiencing more freedom than I've ever experienced before, like redefining what freedom is, I think, it's been a great journey. It's been super challenging. But freedom is a lot easier for those that are in Christ than we really... I think a lot of us aren't free.

Ginger Stache: I think you're definitely right.

Jai Williams: You know, like, in our minds and our spirits in our lives. Like, you know, like, thank God for the freedom we have in America. Thank God for the freedom that, you know, like, black people, you know, fought for, like, I'm grateful for that. But I'm talking about a spiritual freedom that we have that I didn't even know really what that meant until recently, so.

Ginger Stache: Cuz we're gonna talk about this and such a wide variety today, because here, at Joyce Meyer Ministries, we also believe in fighting for freedom for women and girls all around the world who have some really difficult situations. And then, we're going to get into the very practical day-to-day freedom that we all need in our own lives. So, we're gonna talk about it all. And you are in the right place. So, let's start with Joyce. She's gonna pray for us. What a great way to get started. And she's going to talk about what freedom is. And then we will get into talking it out.

Joyce Meyer: Freedom! How to live a life of freedom, enjoying a life of freedom. Father, we thank you that you came to set us free. And we want to know what that really means, how to appreciate it, and how to really be free in every single area of our lives. Amen. Well, enjoying a life of freedom. The word free means, in the Greek dictionary: "Free from bondage or slavery. Free from restraint or obligation. Free to go wherever one likes, free from a sin. Liberated or to have a liberty". Free, in the Webster's dictionary says: "Not imprisoned or enslaved, at liberty. Not controlled by obligation or the will of another". See, even God doesn't want us to do things for him out of obligation. He wants us to do them because we want to. Amen?

You don't read the word every day out of obligation. If you do, you're reading it under the law, and I can guarantee you're getting very little out of it. But if you read it because you wanna know what he has to say about your life, and you read it because you're smart and you wanna be instructed and you know there's power in the word, then that's a different story. "Not affected or limited by circumstances or conditions. Free from want, free of jealousy, uninhibited, outspoken, spontaneous, unconstrained, unconfined, not bound, fastened or attached". I like the word freedom, don't you? One of the first scriptures that I learned when I became a student of the word... Or two scriptures, John 8:31 and 32: "If you continue in my word, then are you my disciples indeed. And you will know the truth and the truth will make you free".

Now, when I first read that I was in more bondage than I would even have time to name here, tonight. And I can truly say that over the years it is a process and you do have to continue in the word. John 8:31 says, "If you continue in my word..." not if you just read it once, or... As I've continued in the word and applied the word to my life. Everybody say "Applied". Say, "Applied". Cuz, see, just reading it won't fix your problem. It's finding out what God says. And then, with the help of the Holy Spirit... Aren't you glad that Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to help us do everything he tells us to do? You can't do it without God's help.

Ginger Stache: That really helps open your mind to what freedom really is. It's so big. It's so important. And it's so much more than, like you said, we give it credit for.

Jai Williams: Yeah, yeah.

Ginger Stache: And God wants to instill that and help us with it. But we have steps that we need to take. So, what we wanna do is inspire you, all of our friends who are listening right now, we want to inspire them to fight, to claim that freedom, and to fight for it. Do whatever it takes, where God is leading you. And we're gonna start by introducing you to an amazing young woman, who I love so, so very much, who is fighting for her own freedom in a big way. Mercy is with us. Mercy and Yavey. And I met Mercy in Zambia. She's coming to us from Zambia. Hi, Mercy!

Mercy Nyambe: Hello!

Ladies: Hi!

Ginger Stache: This is like, the most fun for me because what I love is bringing my friends together! And then like... You guys have heard about mercy since I met her when she was 14 in Zambia.

Ladies: Wow!

Ginger Stache: She is a beautiful 18-year-old woman, now. And I just got to reconnect. And Mercy, I gotta tell you, again... I told you this before, when we were together in Zambia. But I am just so impressed with the young woman that you're becoming. You're so beautiful.

Mercy Nyambe: Thank you.

Erin Cluley: She's so cute! You're so cute!

Mercy Nyambe: Thank you.

Ginger Stache: Mercy and I spent a lot of time just giggling, basically, when we're together, and it's the best thing ever. But Mercy comes from an area in Zambia where young women really have to fight for their own freedom because they live in a culture where it's common to offer a young woman in marriage. And when I say, "Young woman," she's really a child. To offer a child in marriage as soon as she's old enough to bear children, and to usually polygamous marriages. And they're often very, very bad situations. And Mercy, you've seen your friends really suffer through situations like that, haven't you?

Mercy Nyambe: Yeah, I have. And it's really bad watching them not having a right to have a great future.

Ginger Stache: Yeah. And I've seen you, over these years, really work to grow and get that education that God wanted you to have, and to learn who he has made you to be, and to really fight for a bright future. So, Mercy's in what we call an imagine hope center. We have several of them, in this area, where we give girls the opportunity to get an education rather than being sold into a marriage at an early age. So, Mercy has worked really hard, graduated that program. And now, Mercy, you are in a leadership college. You are going to lead your nation, and who knows, probably the world, into a better place. I really believe that.

Mercy Nyambe: You know, like, when I go to translate to be part of the imagine hope center, I kind of think that I have a purpose, and it is my duty to kinda make... Work hard and also allow God to guide me throughout my purpose so that I can reach where he wants me to be. So, I want to become a preacher. I just want to travel all over the world preaching the gospel of Christ to those that don't know him and also to be able to help my community, to get to know more about Christ.

Jai Williams: I love that. I love that, Mercy. I have a question for you. Because you've seen so much, and you've experienced so much at such a young age, I'm interested to know what the word "Freedom" means to you.

Mercy Nyambe: I think, for me, freedom is just being free from a kind of thing where you're not allowed to become who you want to become. And it's also freedom just gives me a relief just to know that, you know that I'm free to become what I want to become. Because looking back at where I come from, where you just don't get that chance. So, it's like being free to get access to education, being free to just study and do everything, and also just being free to know more about Christ and everything that's freedom to me.

Jai Williams: I love that. Thank you.

Erin Cluley: I love the word that you used "Relief," because I think that truly captures what freedom feels like. Whether it is... Whatever kind of freedom we're experiencing, it does feel like relief because you can go from feeling stuck or whatever, to the ability to do something, to know what your purpose is in Christ. I think that's the whole point of freedom, in general, is who does God want you to be?

Mercy Nyambe: Yeah.

Ginger Stache: You know, how do you want to help... You said it's important for you to make a difference in your community for other young girls who are coming up and who are facing some of these difficult things, why is that so important for you and how do you want to do it?

Mercy Nyambe: So, it's really important because I want every girl to have a right to education, become their own person, you know? And it's not just like, "You know what? I just want to become a doctor". But if they have that kind of freedom saying that, "You know, after I'm done with this grade, I'm gonna go to the next, and then university, then I can work," like that kind of like view, there's happiness in that. And I just wanna help. I don't... Like, it's gonna be hard, understand, but I just want to be there for my community, and kind of tell them, like, that they can become whatever they want. And it doesn't matter whether you a girl or a boy, because we all have the freedom to become whatever we want.

Ginger Stache: Yeah, that's been something that you have really stood up in. And you've stood up, and said, "God has made me a girl. He's made me a strong woman, and he loves me as much as he does anybody else". I think that's so important of a message to share with the world, right now. So, you tell me, in your own words, how does God see you?

Mercy Nyambe: Yeah, I think, the Lord sees me as like, a beautiful princess, created for a purpose. And someone that is gonna be there for others that kind of went through... With what I went through. And someone that is gonna help and make a difference. Yeah.

Ginger Stache: And there you have it. That is why I love this young woman so very much.

Jai Williams: I love it.

Erin Cluley: We love you now, too, like Ginger does.

Jai Williams: Yeah, you are so great. You're so great. Hey, I have one more question for you, from me, at least is like, with all the things that you faced, and you have this beautiful, bright smile, how do you... When you go through tough times, how do you keep that smile? Like, how do you fight for that smile? Like, what keeps you going? Because you have such a beautiful smile. It radiates through the screen.

Mercy Nyambe: You know, I think when I am like in my hardest there's always one thing that I've come to know is that the Lord is gonna be always there for me and he's gonna bring in people that are gonna help me in that kind of time. And I say, "You know what? I'm not gonna give up on him. He's gonna fight my battles and he's gonna be there for me". So, no matter how... What I am going through, I just have always to put on a smile because you just never know what others go through. Maybe it's less than what you're going through or bigger like that. So, a smile can even help others, like you know, to smile better, yeah.

Jai Williams: I love it. Thank you.

Ginger Stache: She just spreads joy everywhere she goes.

Erin Cluley: She does.

Ginger Stache: She just does. So, Mercy, thank you. Thanks for talking it out with us. It's been so fun having you on the podcast with us. We're gonna see you, hopefully, again soon. I'm sure we'll be facetiming if nothing else. So, love you, friend.

Mercy Nyambe: Love you too. Thank you so much.

Ginger Stache: You guys! She just... Like you said, always has that joy. We laugh and we have the most fun together. But she can go deep in the Lord. She knows what God has brought her through, and the freedom that he's given her, and not to take it for granted like she is an inspiration to me.

Jai Williams: You can totally tell that she has a depth to her.

Erin Cluley: Yeah, that's what I was gonna say: rooted.

Jai Williams: It's rooted in her and it reflects in the smile, but it also reflects in the clarity that she has in expressing her purpose. It was beautiful.

Ginger Stache: Yeah. So, she's part of one of the most important things we do here, which is called Project GRL, where we're sharing just the truth with women and girls around the world. And where she lives is very, very rural on the Zambezi River in Zambia. And what you'll see is over the huts when a woman begins menstruating, when she's old enough to have a child, they'll put a flag up at that house. And that flag says, "We now have a woman. You can come make your bids". And it is just like...

Jai Williams: In 2022, that's still happening?

Ginger Stache: Exactly. It's changing though. And that's what's exciting. Like, we're not seeing it now as much as we used to since we've been working in this area.

Erin Cluley: That's awesome.

Ginger Stache: So, when I hear that, I think, "Ok, there are so many things that take our freedom away". You know, there's sin in our life. There's wrong mindsets: thinking that takes our freedom away. We need to be inspired to fight in the same way for ourselves. And for other people around the world. So, we're gonna check right back in with Joyce now and she's gonna help us stay on track by understanding what being free truly means. And then, we're gonna talk about some of those things that have maybe locked us up a little bit.

Joyce Meyer: Liberty means a state of being free from control or restrictions. John 8:36 says, "So, if the son liberates you and makes you free, then you are really and unquestionably free". Completely and totally free. Now, let's go on a little bit. I wanna talk to about being free from, free in, and free to. Free from, free in, and free to. Example: we can of course, be free in relationships, free to praise and worship God, free in unpleasant circumstances, free while we are waiting to be free from unpleasant circumstances, free from allowing our emotions to control us, free from jealousy, free from self pity, free from overeating, on and on and on. Here's an example: you can be free to confront and yet free to submit. This half of the room is getting it better. You can be free to confront somebody that you feel like is controlling you but you can also be free to submit to proper authority that God places over you.

So, the thing we can't do is just yell, "Well, I'm free! I'll do what I want to, I'm free"! Let me be clear, that is not freedom. That is stupidity. Nobody can do everything they want to do and expect to have any friends and a great life. Amen? You can be free to enjoy food and yet at the same time, free from overeating. Now, you know, it's just a little bit silly for somebody that's born again and full of the Holy Spirit to say, "If I eat one cookie, I have to eat the whole bag. If I eat one potato chip, I've got to eat the whole bag". I mean, did you even hear how silly that sounds? I mean, if you don't have authority over a cookie or a potato chip, we are in serious trouble.

Erin Cluley: Serious, serious trouble.

Jai Williams: But it's one of the taglines of some of my favorite potato chips.

Ginger Stache: That's true, that's true. I love how practical this is. You know, and her favorite line is like, "If you think that doing whatever you want is freedom, you're just being stupid".

Erin Cluley: She's so right.

Ginger Stache: She's so right. When we do whatever we want, that's often when we end up in the worst bondage.

Erin Cluley: That's true. I think it's interesting too. When she said, "Free from, free in, free to," that's like very all-encompassing of every part of our life. You can't... It's not just like you have freedom over here in this pocket, but not over here. That's like everything, from every angle, there's a way to find freedom in that situation.

Ginger Stache: I had that situation when I first got married. And I've told you a little bit about this, but I had to learn that I could have freedom in a relationship where we respected one another. So, in other words, it didn't have to be... Because I was kind of that strong woman that no one was gonna tell me what to do. And I still am that, you know? But anyway.

Erin Cluley: Balance.

Ginger Stache: Still working through. But you can have a godly relationship where you love and submit to one another, you know, and you have priorities where you understand how a relationship works, and yet, you still have the freedom to be who God wants you to be because you support one another in that. So, I really had to learn that it's like, freedom isn't, "Get away from me, I don't need any help".

Erin Cluley: Yeah.

Ginger Stache: Freedom is understanding how we're better together, in many ways. There was so much that I had to learn about what it meant to be a strong, free woman.

Jai Williams: Yeah. Yeah, there's so much... And like I said earlier, I'm just learning so much more about what freedom really, really is. And I had to first acknowledge how bound I was most of my life.

Erin Cluley: We probably, don't even realize it, do we?

Jai Williams: No, like, we were fortunate enough to be raised in a Christian home, but my dad was a pastor. And one of the things that, even the denomination we were in was like, don't bring a reproach on yourself, God, your family, or the church. And so, I lived a life just very afraid to even be me. Because I didn't wanna bring a reproach, or I didn't wanna make my family look bad, or make my church look bad or make... So, I put myself in this category of almost trying to be perfect. And I was very judgmental to those that didn't make the right decisions because it was like, it's a choice, like, "You didn't have to make that choice". And granted, we don't... There are choices that we can and can't make. But I said it in such a judgmental way, a religious way, that I didn't realize how bound I was until... Honestly, in my marriage, I was... I had pretty much freedom. Like we were kind to each other and, you know, we helped each other. That wasn't the problem. We didn't have a terrible marriage, you know. But it wasn't until I got the divorce when I realized that I knew in that phase of where I was with the divorce, I could not, in my own... Like, what I was accustomed to doing... Cuz I would never stop leading, I would never stop leading worship, I would never stop mentoring. Like, I just would... Just keep going, plowing through pain. But this particular test, I was like, "I cannot lead, right now". And the freedom to say, "I can't do this right now," felt so good. It was the first time I've ever done that in almost 40 years. It's like...

Ginger Stache: You had the freedom to take care of yourself when you needed to.

Jai Williams: I had the freedom to take care of me.

Ginger Stache: And God gave you that grace.

Jai Williams: Exactly, but I... All of my life, I was afraid to do that.

Erin Cluley: So, that was the first time you ever experienced that freedom to take care of yourself like that? Was it?

Jai Williams: Yeah.

Erin Cluley: Which is crazy.

Ginger Stache: So many people are in the same spot, I'm sure.

Erin Cluley: Especially in ministry.

Jai Williams: Yeah, I felt like that was the way that God knew that I loved him because I just kept going, kept going and kept going. I was... Even though I was burnt out. That was the first time I just said, "I cannot do this," if I want to stay connected to God like, I want to stay connected, if I wanna be healthy, if I wanna work on me and my daughter's relationship. That was the first time I feel like I experienced freedom because I was still worried about what people thought of me and what they would think of me. But I was kinda like, "It doesn't even matter". And that was the... I'm like, "Oh, wait, I think that's what freedom really is supposed feel like". All this time I haven't really felt free to make a decision that me and God were good with, but I was worried about what the church or what people would think.

Erin Cluley: Don't you wonder, like, how many people in the church feel that exact same way? In the name of ministry, how often do we bind ourselves up and put all these expectations on ourself because we are doing it for God or because the people expect it of us? I bet there's so many. Because I relate to that in different kinds of ways.

Jai Williams: Yeah, it's so many. And just even with like infidelity in churches, and things like that. Like, you think the pastors that don't feel free to even like... I think of my ex even, like, free to go to counseling because of your position in a church, you're so bound to that position, and religion that you don't even get the help that you need before you make, like a really bad decision, you know?

Ginger Stache: This talk about the prison of secrets.

Jai Williams: Exactly.

Ginger Stache: So many people bound in that.

Jai Williams: So many people are bound. Because, "Not me," like, "I can't go through that," like, so many peop... And I've seen, especially, like my parents' generation just really having a tough time now, seeing their kids that are willing to say, "I'm messed up, I need help". And go to counseling, seeing the freedom that we're experiencing not just through prayer and supplication, which is what we need, but also counseling and then, taking the medicine we need and accountability, things that my parents really didn't have but they see us, and they see the freedom we have, and it's almost like, they're somewhat envious of it. And it's like, "No, you too, can experience this freedom. It's free". You know, it's through Jesus, but it's also through being free, like, and doing the... Taking the steps to be free. It's just... This secret thing is so...

Ginger Stache: Yeah.

Erin Cluley: Oh, it's it makes you sick.

Jai Williams: Yeah, it's what binds you up.

Erin Cluley: The enemy knows where... I think, especially, as Christians, where to get like, that foothold. It's a Christian term, we say that a lot, footholds. But in the church...

Jai Williams: What's a foothold?

Erin Cluley: You just put your little beach toes in there.

Erin Cluley: We are so afraid of how we will look to other Christians: we won't say anything because we don't want, you know, expectations or whatever. And then, it just gets deeper and darker. And so, in your pain, you just sit and hold all these dark... This darkness.

Ginger Stache: And what did Jesus say? He said, "The truth will set you free". You know, he came to set the captives free. He didn't come to say, "This is sin, and this is sin. And because you're in it, you're never gonna get out of it". He came to say, "Yes, this is sin, but I've overcome it. And in me, you can walk in freedom". And unless we grab that and, honestly, are willing enough to say, "You know what? I really screwed up. I have been doing this," or "I have been thinking this," and if we can't freely do that, we may take steps toward freedom, but we'll never get all the way there. We'll never get all the way free of it. Let me ask this question, cuz I have found, personally, that this is a really important question, does your freedom depend on other people? Does it depend on what other people do to you, or keep from you?

Erin Cluley: She's asking me this question. Yes, it does impact you, but eventually, no. So, I would like to reanswer that question...

Ginger Stache: No, I know exactly...

Erin Cluley: In a different way.

Ginger Stache: I know exactly what you mean so far, yes.

Erin Cluley: So, I would like to share with you why... How I have felt this directly. I would like to not cry right away, but it will happen. So, I've shared with you guys before, that mike and I went through the past couple of years, really hard. Well... And I'm gonna say this with mike's blessing and lots of prayer, but he confessed to me a couple of years ago that he had been addicted to porn for... Since he was a teenager. And he had lied to me our whole marriage. So, so many things in that, that one day we'll talk about, but for today, in this topic of freedom, like, after he told me, I could see the weight lifted off of his shoulders. Like, it's like, God washed over him. And he was like, fresh, free from this thing he'd been hiding for all these years, talk about secrets. In that exact moment, I have never felt so buried under bondage, than I had, in my whole life. And so, he gets freedom and I get pain. For... I mean, I've just ever walked through anything like before. And so, now, I've got... I was feeling really good about myself at that point. Like, "I look good. I got two kids. I got my stuff together". Now, "I'm not pretty enough. I'm not good enough. I've been lied to for 11 years. And so, now, I have the weight of all this stuff to carry and you feel super free". So, yeah, I think people do impact how we... Or freedom. But I also know, that I know, that I know, that, that's not how you stay. Because of... That's why I love Project GRL so much, who I am in Christ is what defines my freedom, not because of what mike did or didn't do to me. So, yes and no.

Ginger Stache: I think that's the perfect answer, and it's so brave of you to share that. And, you know, obviously this is a very special place in my heart too, because you know, my husband and I have been through the same thing, and I know that pain and I know how hard it is. And yet, it's different for everyone. And I think that's really important is that we don't put other people in a box that binds them by telling them how they should feel or how they should deal with what it is that they're going through. But I do know what you mean by that point of release for him was the dump truck that backed up over me, and on the way dumped all of the crap down on top of me, and I was supposed to dig my way out. And there's so much that I've learned about that. That, yes, our freedom is absolutely impacted by what others do to us or around us. But there's something so miraculous in who God is and his love for us. That is the only thing that can overcome that stuff. And it took me a long time to dig out of that pile and to figure that out. That I... My freedom wasn't dependent on how I thought tim felt about me or saw me. Like you said, "I'm not good enough. I'm not what he wants. I'm not pretty enough. I'm not, whatever". All those things that go through your mind. And I remember doing an interview on death row, in a prison, with a prisoner, who I knew had more freedom, at that moment, than I did, because he was sharing what God had done for him and how he's free even behind bars. And you begin to realize that, yes, people can take your freedom, but God can set you free, wherever you are. And whatever it is that you're dealing with. And it sounds impossible. Like, it's just like, "I don't know. That doesn't really make sense". But I've seen it. I've seen it over, and over, and over. And this freedom that we're talking about is a supernatural freedom. It's not a physical freedom, always. It is a spiritual freedom that changes things.

Erin Cluley: It does. It was like an out-of-body experience when I found out, because I remember... Despite the hatred I felt and worked through for a while, I also, was so... Like from a... It was only the Lord. I could watch mike, and I could feel, like, empathetic. And like, "Wow, what does that feel like to feel that release of something you've carried for so long"? And despite my anger, like, for a moment, I was able to feel that spiritual freedom that you're talking about. That it isn't just about being physically bound. It's to be... Let go of something that you've been hiding for so long. You can't explain what that feels like until you've done it. And it's... That's so much bigger than the physical.

Ginger Stache: Yeah, and it's not instantaneous, either. Like...

Erin Cluley: Oh, no.

Ginger Stache: I know, you know, for all of the men who have been dealing with pornography, or all of the people who've been dealing with an addiction, or some sort of hidden thing that they didn't want anybody to know about, there is that first release when you start to work toward your freedom. But then, it's that constant, you know, working on it, and working on it, and giving it to God, and taking it back, and giving it to God, and taking it back. So, it's a long journey. But our journey always impacts somebody else.

Jai Williams: Yeah, and it's important to keep that in mind when you're shar... Like, anybody watching male or female, if you're watching and you have a secret that you need to tell someone, you need to find the courage to do it, but do it in love, you know, because it does affect other people. But I encourage you to, at least, do it. Because, I remember, my ex didn't tell me. And I felt like something... And that was binding me by feeling like he was keeping a secret from me. And I felt like I was going crazy, you know? And I'm like, "I know..." but then, when God finally revealed it to me, and then, I confronted him on it, he told... He was like, "No, no, no". Then, finally, I got proof of it. And then he couldn't deny it anymore. Then if... I still... I, too, remember him feel... Looking like he felt free. He felt free by me discovering. So, also, be careful. If you wanna find something about somebody and you start scrolling and investigating, are you prepared to handle what comes after that? Because I really... I thought that it was going to be a freedom, like he was gonna feel free to then confess and then we work on it. No, his freedom, his freedom. He packed his bags and left me on valentine's day, you know, so... I just... But what that still did for me was it still unlocked a level of freedom in me. Either way the truth will make us free, whether it hurts or not, it still will make us free. Because when I look back, I'm like, "Who wants to be in a marriage that's full of lies and deception"?

Erin Cluley: Yep, I said the same thing. Because I always... Like, I shared two years ago, how mike and I went through all that stuff in the beginning of our marriage, and what he had told me, how he was struggling. And I always knew something was there, and I... We couldn't... I couldn't figure out what it was. And so, I knew something was happening. So, even when I was so angry, I was so grateful because I felt like there's an answer. There's some freedom in knowing what...

Jai Williams: "I'm not crazy"!

Erin Cluley: Yes.

Jai Williams: "I'm not just this insecure person, dwelling on things in the past. There's something present that's there".

Erin Cluley: Yes. I was so grateful for the truth. And then, you know, you get to walk through all that. But, yeah, there's that light, when God sheds light on a situation that, that is where freedom is found, you find freedom in the light. Not in the darkness.

Ginger Stache: That's exactly right. And what the Bible tells us and what we're gonna listen to Joyce share a little bit more about this is we have to be so careful about who and what we give control over our life. And that's how we protect our freedom. So, let's hear what Joyce has to say about that.

Joyce Meyer: Now, here, we're gonna dive off the deep end and see what you guys can take. Romans 6:6 and 7, "We know that our old (unrenewed) self was nailed to the cross with him in order that [our] body [which is the instrument] of sin might be made ineffective and inactive for evil, and that we might not no longer be the slaves of sin". Now, it doesn't say you'll never sin. It says that you will no longer be a slave to sin. In other words, we should be at a point in our life where we can say, or at least we need to be heading toward this point, "There is nothing in my life that controls me. There is nothing in my life that controls me except the Holy Spirit". Amen?

You say, "Well, I sure wish I was free from sin". Well, you know what? You're never going to be until you first start believing that you are. That's okay, we'll go slow. I get it. "Well, if I'm not, how can I be? It says I am, but are you sure I am"? Yes, you have it legally. Jesus died to set you free from sin but experientially now, after you believe that you have it, experientially as you walk with God you'll manifest it little by little by little as you grow in him. You'll change, there will be some things in your life that will change from being here in this next 3 days, or 2 days, or 1, tonight, or however often you get to come. There will be things that will change, but it won't be the last thing that will change. There will be other things that will need to change. We're always growing in him. But still, you have been set free and I have been set free. Every born again person on the planet has been legally, by the blood of Christ, set free from bondage to sin.

Ginger Stache: There it is, right there. I mean, that's what we have to hold on to, and work toward, and trust in, and believe. It says in John 8:36, "Who the son sets free is free indeed". But there are so many things that keep us from that because we think one minute, "Yeah, yeah, I'm free," and the next minute, "But I'm not good enough". One minute, "Yeah, I'm going to be free of this". But in the next minute, "But I want this bad thing more than anything else," you know, because that's how this struggle works in our lives. So, we wanna leave people with some, I guess, a pathway maybe toward freedom. What are some of those steps that we can practically take to see this, not just be a scripture, but to be reality in our life?

Jai Williams: Well, some of my stuff is that's helped me is understanding, number one, that change is inevitable. Like, change is gonna happen. Because I allow things that change and pivot to bind me, like, because I like control. So, change is inevitable. And just really declaring that "I am free" and also declaring that "I'm not perfect".

Ginger Stache: That is such a big one, right there.

Jai Williams: I'm not perfect and like...

Ginger Stache: And don't have to be.

Jai Williams: And I don't have to be. God doesn't even require that of me. He doesn't expect that of me. And if I do make a mistake, that I can go to him without being afraid, and just... To like, "Hey, I messed up. Forgive me," you know. And knowing that he will, with all love, forgive me and lead me on the right path. And then, also, like to not live for people. Like, I can't be so concerned with how people feel about me that I live in bondage, and I live in fear of, like, making people think I look a certain way, like, caring what people think. And also, like, I have to accept that who I am right now. And that's just... That's mentally, spiritually, physically. And love, like, love who I am and where I am right now, as God had... Cuz God intended on me. He knows... Who... He knew how I was gonna look and be and act, at this very moment, in this day, and just have fun in this present moment.

Erin Cluley: Yeah, one thing, I think you said, or it was Joyce, one of the two of you, said this recently, like a couple of minutes ago, about like, the length of time it takes. And I think that, that's really important that it's not necessarily immediate. So, I know like, for mike and I, we were talking last night about all this, and it was just a really good conversation. And I thought, "Wow, we've come so far in two years". But that's not how I felt two years ago. I thought, "Oh, my gosh, I'm gonna feel the weight of this for the rest of my life. And I will forever be traumatized by how this happened". But I didn't get stuck there. So, I just, for me, it was pouring myself in the Bible. And like, it was one day at a time. It was like one minute at a time, I would look at verses on healing, or forgiveness, or anger, or whatever. "And even if I don't feel free, because I feel so rejected today, I'm gonna put one foot in front of the other and fight for that freedom because I know that's what God promised I could have". So, I think that's really important that you don't give up on it because it feels so far away. It is small steps.

Ginger Stache: That's really good. Because you're right, time can be such a gift from God. It can be such a healing salve that doesn't remove us from what happened, but it gives our heart time to heal. It gives the Holy Spirit the opportunity to work in our lives. And for me, one of those really important steps toward healing is realizing who and what I give power over my life. "Am I going to depend so much on what somebody else thinks of me that I don't have freedom? Am I going to depend so much on what position somebody else puts me in, or am I going to depend on who God says I am"? You know, it's really the cliche of knowing who you are in Jesus, who Jesus says you are. But it's a cliche because it works, right?

Erin Cluley: Yeah, it's true.

Ginger Stache: It is the most important thing there is. And realizing that freedom comes from, like you said, Jai, a decision every single day of "What am I going to focus on today? What am I going to think about today? Who do I know I am today? Or will I allow something that might knock me off my feet..." cuz it happens to all of us, "To continue". It's gonna have a little bit of power and it's gonna hurt. "But I won't allow it to continue to have power over me for the rest of my life".

Erin Cluley: One thing, I think, that's really important, and if... Like, if our friends hear nothing else today, I think it's so important that if you are the person who is struggling and you have a secret, like you said, tell somebody today, just... And we pray that it goes well for you and we pray that you're met with grace and love, but tell somebody cuz that... It's not healthy for you and God has so much more for you than to be all tight like that. Like, we wanna live like Mercy. We wanna live with that freedom and that grace. So, talk to somebody.

Ginger Stache: There's so many good examples in the Bible. Knowing who Jesus is, and how he dealt with things, of course, is always, you know, our guideline. "What would Jesus do"? But there are other great examples in the Bible. I think about, you know, Mary, when she was told that she was gonna have this baby out of nowhere and her life was blown out of the water, and she chose to say, "As you say it is, it shall be". And you know, she chose at that point to not freak out, but to see that God was blessing her. And, you know, there are just so many examples like that. When Daniel was thrown in the lion's den and worshiped through it. There are so many reasons that we should be freaking out because there are situations in our life that try to snatch away our freedom and who we are. But coming back to that, "No, my foundation is Christ. He has a hold on me tighter than anything else that I see. And I'm gonna to depend on that," is really encouraging.

Jai Williams: Super encouraging.

Ginger Stache: So, we wanna offer you something that I think you'll find is really, really helpful because this is the foundation of all of it. And it's the scripture, it's what God says about who you are in Jesus. We talked about Project GRL. If you go to there's a place on there that you can find about knowing who you are in Christ. And it's a wonderful list of scriptures for you to stand on, to declare, to hold on to when everything else seems different. It is the best way to freedom that you'll ever find. So, go there, and get that "Knowing who you are in Christ". You can always go to, watch our other episodes, make sure that you stay caught up. Subscribe wherever you like to listen to your podcasts. And we are so grateful. We just encourage you today, like Erin was saying, like Jai was saying, I don't know what it is in your life, but if there's something that's just come to the top of your mind as we've been talking about this, and you've said, "Yes, it's this. This is that thing that I haven't been able to let go of, it's that unforgiveness" or "It's that thing that I can't say 'no' to," or "It's that person who feels like they've impacted how I see myself," you can have freedom over all these things. Freedom is yours. God has it for you. So, fight for it. And we will see you right here next time as we talk it out together. And let me just say this. I am so proud of both of you. I'm so proud of both of you, of how you fought for who you are, and what God has for you and shared it to help others. It's a big deal. Thank you very much. We'll see you next time.
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