Joyce Meyer - The Power of Thoughts and Words - Part 1
Father, we thank you for the word tonight, and I pray that lives will be changed by the power of your word. Your word is anointed. And I believe that when we preach on something, that there's miracles for that thing. And I believe that people are going to get a revelation about their thoughts and how they can change 'em and their mouth and how important the words are that they speak. In Jesus' name. Amen.
All right, well, the Bible says that there's a mind of the spirit and a mind of the flesh. When you're born again, you get the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16 says that "We have the mind of Christ". In the Amplified Bible, it says we "Do hold the thoughts, intents, purposes of Christ". So, we have a lot of things, a lot of wonderful, wonderful things in us that are just like downloaded when you're born again. Jesus comes to live in you and so, everything that he is and has also comes to live in you and in me. But they come as seeds that have to be watered and developed. And, you know, the Bible refers to the word as the water of the word, which is interesting when you think about it, the water of the word.
Well, the Word of God is what renews your mind, because no matter what you have, no matter what I have in me, if I don't know that I've got it, if I don't really, and it's not just head knowledge, you have to have a revelation that it's yours and that only comes from studying the word. From hearing the word like you are tonight but studying on your own is very important. And a lot of people think they can't understand the Bible, they, you know, this, that, and something else. But there's so many different translations of the Bible now, if you can't find one you can understand, there's no excuse for it. And we have all kinds of Bible studies online. You can get the Bible studies.
You know, you listen to people that teach the word that can explain to you what the word means. But nothing is more important to a believer than the Word of God. It's not something that you can ignore. The mind has to be renewed in order for us to experience the good plan that God has for our life. No matter what you have, if you don't know you have it, then it's not gonna do you any good. Somebody could have an inheritance of a million dollars but if they don't know they have it, they can live in poverty. Amen? And so, believing, you know, I've been thinking about how wonderful it is that we can believe. You know, you should thank God every day for the faith that he's given you.
Do you know how many people there are that just for whatever reason, they can't believe in God? I heard the story of somebody recently that's an agnostic because of some things that happened to them in their childhood. And, you know, a lot of people, they have things happen to them that are unjust and unfair, and they don't understand and so they decide, "Well there can't possibly be a God or that wouldn't have happened". But that's exactly why we have him to help us in those times of need. God never promised us a trouble-free life. He just said, "Cheer up, I've overcome the world". Matter of fact, he promised us tribulation, "In the world there will be tribulation, but cheer up, I have overcome the world".
So, before you receive Christ, you can sin, it don't bother you one bit. Didn't bother me when I sinned before I received Christ. I was just sinning, didn't care. But once you're born again, a war begins. Amen? Anybody familiar with that war? We are soldiers in the army of God and "The weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but they're mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down wrong thoughts and imaginations". So, the biggest thing that we need to do is learn how to think like God thinks. And the only way you can do that is by knowing the Word of God. And see, it's a mistake to think that, "Well, I can't help what I think". Well, if you can't help it, nobody else is going to. And when the Bible says cast down wrong thoughts, it means when the Holy Spirit makes you aware that you're thinking something that is not according to the Word of God, then you just replace it with a good thought. Amen?
And what I have found to be the most effective is you can't think one thing and say something else. So, that's why speaking the word is so important, is because when you know the word, the Bible says, "Let him who has my word, speak my word faithfully". Okay. So, I had a very difficult time believing that God loved me unconditionally, because everybody who ever told me that they loved me hurt me. And so, I got to the point where I knew, I knew in my head that God loved me, but it wasn't down in here yet. And I'll tell you, once you get a hold of that, a whole lot of your problems are over. Because even when you have trouble, you know that God still loves you. You don't question his love.
And so, for a year, I had to confess "God loves me unconditionally". I would even go sometimes and look at myself in the mirror and say, "God loves you. You. God loves you". And when I would start to think junky thoughts about myself, I knew enough now to know that that was not the way I should be thinking. And so instead of getting condemned about it, when you're thinking wrong things, just say "No". Talk out loud. Talk back to the devil. He talks to you. Talk out loud and say, "No, I'm not gonna think that. God loves me". I had the same situation with believing that I was right with God. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 it says, "He that knew no sin became sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him".
Well, I carried a boatload of guilt till I was probably in my fifties, late forties, up to mid-fifties because of being abused by my dad and always feeling like there was something wrong with me. You have this little demon that sits on your shoulder, "Well what's wrong with you? What's wrong with you? What's wrong with you? What's wrong with you"? Makes you think you should be like everybody else, and you don't look right, and you're not this, and you're not that, you're not something else. And I came across the scripture the other day that, you know, sometimes we read over things, and we just don't pay enough attention to 'em. And in Philemon 1:6 it says that we should "Acknowledge all of the good things that are in us through Christ".
Wow. Well, we don't have any trouble acknowledging the junk that's in us. "I'm this, I'm that. I'm not this, I'm not that". But acknowledging the good things that are in you, through Christ. Through Christ, these things are not things that we earn or deserve, but they're through Christ. And I don't have to know this stuff to go to heaven. You receive Jesus as your Savior, you really believe that he died for you, you believe that, that's your salvation. That's a gift from God. It's got nothing to do with what you do. But if you want to enjoy your life here. Come on now. See, you can be a miserable Christian. Or you can be a happy, peaceful, joyful, fruitful Christian. And that is determined by learning how to think and talk right. And really believe, I mean, really believe what the Word of God says about you.
And so, I always thought, "What's wrong with me? What's wrong with me? What's wrong with me"? Somehow, I thought that what my father did to me had to be my fault. I didn't think that was happening to everybody else. And of course, you know, when you're a kid, I thought I was probably the only person on the planet that was happening to. And back in those days, nobody talked about anything like sexual abuse or incest. That was not anything you ever even heard. And my mom, my poor mother, she was so fearful of my dad because he was violent and mean and would come home drunk and beat her up. And she just didn't have a lot of confidence and didn't really think that she could take care of me and my brother if she left him. And so, she knew what he was doing because she caught him one time and another time I told her, but she didn't do anything about it.
So, I was abused by my dad, abandoned by my mother. And so, I always thought there was something wrong with me. Well, then I hear this teaching. I think Kenneth Copeland was the first person I heard teach on righteousness. And I mean, I thought, "Is there any possible way that, that can be true? Can I possibly be right with God, the righteousness of God in Christ"? Well, I read it, I agreed with it, but it wasn't in here. And the only way that it gets in here is through repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition, repetition. Your mind has to be renewed to the point where that old junk can't keep coming back in.
Now, I'm going to tell you a little story, and I don't mean to be scary when I say this, but how many of you know that there is a devil and that there are demons? He has little demonic helpers, just like there's God and angels that help him, there's devil and demons. Well, God was beginning to teach me this thing about being right with him and I didn't fully believe it yet. I was sitting at the kitchen table one morning, I was feeding my baby, who is now 42 years old, so that's how long ago this has been. And Dave and I had, had an argument. He had left for work, and we had an argument. And so, I was talking out loud, talking trash about myself, "That's right, I'm stupid. Never do anything right. Everything's my fault. I can't do anything right. I mess up every day".
How many of you ever talk bad about yourself? Well, I'll tell you what. One of the worst things that you can do is talk bad about yourself. There's plenty of other people maybe doing it, but you don't want to talk bad about your self. Jesus paid a tremendous price, an unbelievable price for us to have a good life. He's got a good plan for us. The Bible says in Ephesians 2:10 that he has "Prearranged, pre-planned a good life for us, that we might walk in it". He's done everything that he can do. We're not waiting for Jesus to do anything else in our life. He's waiting for us to believe what he has done and put it to work in our life. And so, and I'll just tell you this, until you can stop feeling bad about yourself and really start believing that God loves you unconditionally and that he has made you right with him. We do things wrong, but there's a difference in your who and your do.
See, we're not human doings, we're human beings. And so, I am the righteousness of God in Christ. I do things wrong, but I'm sorry for them. I love God. I don't want to do things wrong and I'm growing all the time and I'm changing. Do you know that you're growing sitting here tonight? Unless you just turn me out and don't pay any attention at all. And that's a little hard to do because I'm kinda of loud. You have to like yourself before you can like anybody else. You cannot give away what you do not have. So, God gives you everything you need. He puts his love in you so you can receive that love and then let it flow through you to other people. Why in the world would God tell us to do right things if he didn't put righteousness in us? I couldn't do anything right if I didn't have any righteousness in me. Amen?
All the Fruit of the Spirit is in us. How could I ever do anything good if I didn't have any goodness in me? So, you have to believe that these things are in you by the grace of God and the doing part is not what saves us, but it is what determines what kind of life you're gonna have here. And how many of you could use enjoying your life a whole lot more than you do? Amen? Okay. How many of you don't love yourself like you should? All right. Now, we're gonna go to work. Amen? Just believe. Once you really get it, it's simple. But this righteousness thing I have probably said and still, I don't know if it's still every day, but I don't miss very many days that I don't say out loud, "I am the righteousness of God in Christ. Set apart and made holy by the blood of the lamb. No weapon formed against me shall prosper. Every tongue that rises up against me in judgment, I will show to be in the wrong. I'm the head, not the tail. Above and not beneath".
I mean, you just take 3, 4 minutes a couple of times a day confessing the word and pretty soon you'll think, "You know what? I believe that". Now, you're not just hearing somebody else preach it, you're not just reading it out of a book, but it's like, "Yeah, I have been made right with God. I don't have to feel guilty all the time". When you sin, you repent. God forgives you. You go on about your business. In Isaiah, I think it's 43:25, it says that "God forgives us for his own sake". I love that. He does it for his own sake. And that's why he wants us to forgive other people for our own sake. It's not necessarily for them. They may not even care whether you forgive 'em or not, but you forgive 'em for your own sake, because God doesn't want you carrying that burden around with you and Messin' up your whole life because you're mad at somebody over what they did to you. Amen?
So, you've got the mind of the flesh already, before you're born again. That's what we're used to operating out of, which means we just do what we want, what we think and what we feel. Your soul is your mind, your will, and your emotions. So, you know, "I want, I think, I feel. I want, I think, I feel. I want, I think, I feel". And we're always telling everybody how we feel and what we want, and what we think. "Well, I think. I think. I think. I want. I want. I feel. I feel". But none of that tells us anything about God. And then when we're born again, we get this spiritual mind. But it has to be renewed. It has to be woken up and made alive and fed the Word of God on a regular basis.
And so, now, when you get this mind of Christ, and you get this new spirit, and God's spirit is in you, when you sin you can't be too comfortable with that. 'cause there's a little somethin' in you that just bugs you and bugs you and bugs you. And it's like, you may not even know why you've, it's like, "I just feel heavy inside and I feel down and I've lost my joy and I don't have any peace and I'm depressed". And half the time we don't even realize, it's because, do you know that you can make yourself miserable just by the way you talk? You go have a good gossip session about somebody and just see how you feel afterwards. We can't do that stuff and feel good. When you say good things about people, then you feel good. You say bad things about people, you reap what you sow. Amen?
So, the Amplified Bible in Romans 8:6 says that "The mind of the flesh is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit". Now, God doesn't expect us not to have any sense or not to ever reason anything or think about it. But he does not want us living in reasoning, our own fleshly, carnal reasoning. And in James, he talks about being a doer of the word. And he said, if you hear the word only and you don't do it, then you're deceived by reasoning that is contrary to the truth. I'm throwing a lot at you all at once here, but I want to focus a lot on reasoning tonight because it's that reasoning that gets us in so much trouble. So, I'll tell you why the dress is up here and then we can get it off the platform, so everybody can quit wonderin'. And this will help you understand what I'm talking about.
We had a girl that volunteered for us for years. I know some of you have heard me tell this story and you've seen it, but you can endure it again. Amen? How many of you have not heard it? All right. Well, I'm talking to you then. Okay. Pennie's heard it, I don't know how many times. She said, "I love it every time you tell it". So, this girl's name was Ruth Ann. And one morning I was getting ready to go to the meeting that I had weekly in my city where she volunteered. And so, I'm in my closet getting dressed and I'm praying for Ruth Ann, "Oh Lord, bless Ruth Ann. She's such a great volunteer. What can I do for Ruth Ann"?
Ladies, do not ever pray for somebody in your closet. Not unless you're ready to get rid of your favorite outfit. Amen? And so, I had bought this dress. Now, this dress is 40 years old. I had bought this dress, and I bought it actually one size too big for me because it was the only one, they had, and I liked it so much. And because it, you know, had a full skirt, you weren't gonna really be able to tell too much that it was too big. Had a plastic bag over it, bought a pair of red and silver earrings that I really liked to go with it. And I had, had it for maybe a month or six weeks, and I hadn't worn it yet. It was just there with the plastic bag in the closet. Earrings were in the drawer. And so, when I was asking God what I could do for Ruth Ann... I thought, "No. No".
Now, here's a lesson. I reasoned, because I didn't want to obey. So, I reasoned that God could not possibly be telling me to give her that dress because it was new. Now, if I woulda warn it 40 times and it had a hole in it somewhere, I wouldn't of cared. Come on. Are you with me? You understandin' this? And so, I mean, reasoning, operating in that mind of the flesh can cause you so much trouble. And here's the thing you gotta understand, God is never, ever, ever, ever trying to take anything away from you. Everything he asks you to do, even if it's something really hard for you to do, he's only trying to get you in a position where he can bless you more. But you cannot reap a harvest where you have not sown a seed. Amen?
And so, I mean, just that quick I reasoned, "Well, that can't be God, that dress is new. I haven't even worn it yet". And so, I just went right on about my business and forgot all about the dress. A month later, I'm back in the same closet, praying again for Ruth Ann. You know, we may forget but God doesn't. Don't you love it when God just keeps bringing up the same thing? Same thing. Same thing. Same thing. Same thing. That's one of the ways that I can tell when God is talking to me is when I just keep hearing it again and again and again. Only thank God, now it doesn't have to be a hundred times. Maybe it's only four or five.
And so, I'm praying for Ruth Ann again in the closet. Praying in the closet is not a good thing. And now, of course, I had a walk-in closet. I wasn't in like a little closet. And "Oh, God bless Ruth Ann. She is just so sweet and has volunteered for so long. And, you know, what can I do for Ruth Ann"? So, here's my next thing, I said, "But God, I bought those pretty red and silver earrings to go with that dress". And you know what I heard? "Well, I was gonna let you keep them, but if it's a problem, give them to her, too".