Joyce Meyer - What Do You Think?
Father we thank you for your word. I ask you to be with my mouth and help me say just what you want me to say. I pray that each person would receive what they need and that we would all be more and more convinced than ever about the power of our thoughts and how important it is to learn how to think according to your will and your word, in Jesus name, amen.
Well, turn to the person next to you and say, "What do you think"? Well, you know, the truth is, is most of us would not want somebody to know what we're thinking, would we? Wouldn't it be scary to think about your mind actually being a movie screen? Ooh, that would not be so good. But you know, what we think is extremely important. Especially what we think consistently. Now, I'm not saying that every little thought that floats through your mind becomes a reality in your life but certainly things that we think consistently. The Bible actually says in Proverbs 23:7, "As he thinks in his heart, so is he". Or as he thinks in his heart so does he become.
So I like to put it a different way, "Where the mind goes, the man follows". We all know that if you think about something long enough, like your favorite dessert, you're probably gonna go get it. Even if you have to get in your car and make a trip. It's amazing if we think about something long enough how it affects all of our emotions and all of our desires or if you think about what somebody did to you that hurt you for a long period of time, pretty soon you're gonna be upset, you're gonna feel knots in your stomach, you're gonna get tense in your neck. And so our thoughts affect us. I actually could call this, "Christianity 101", because our thoughts are really the foundation for so many things in our life. And certainly, they are the foundation for any kind of victory that we ever hope to have in our life.
Now, some of you came here this weekend looking for victory. You came looking for a breakthrough. You came looking to not just hear about the promises of God but you actually want to walk and live in those promises. And I can tell you that unless our thinking changes, nothing else in our life ever changes. Can anybody say, "Amen" to that? Do you agree that we probably have more trouble with our mind than anything else? Okay, but you can learn to do your own thinking. It is a process. Takes determination. It takes study. But we can learn to do our own thinking and we can actually come to the point where we pretty quickly recognize with the help of the Holy Spirit when we have stinkin' thinkin' and when we're actually thinking according to the will of God. We will become what we consistently think.
Romans 12:2 is a very wonderful and a foundational scripture in the Word of God. Let's look at it together. "Do not be conformed to this world". Don't be like the world. Don't act like the world, don't think like the world. There's many things that the world does that they think is fine, that we cannot and should not do. And I think that also this weekend we need to make some decisions about where we're gonna stand in these days that we live in. "Do not be conformed to this world (this age), fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial", I might as well say meaningless, "Customs, but be transformed", don't be conformed but be transformed, "(changed) by the entire renewal of your mind".
So, if I wanna be changed, if you wanna be changed, then my mind has to change before anything else in my life is going to change. And God will help me with that. God will help you with that. He will teach us how to think and the Holy Spirit is so wonderful that he comes to live inside of us and he will even remind us when we're not thinking right and then he will even remind us what we should be thinking if we have enough of the word in us to rise up and confront the wrong thing.
You know, I spent years judging other people. I can remember one of my favorite things to do was go out to the mall, sit on a bench, and just sit there and judge everybody as they walked by. I mean, I enjoyed it. It was, like, "Well, look at that stupid hairdo. Well, man, how could that girl get a guy like that"? And you know, it was just, like, I didn't know these people and I would just judge 'em and criticize 'em. C'mon, don't tell me none of you have ever done it. How many of you like to people watch? Ah, thank you.
And now honestly, when I have judgmental thoughts which I do because the devil offers all of us stinkin' thinkin'. All of us. And, get this, he always will. This is one area that's never gonna just get good and we're never gonna have another temptation or never have to stand against any kind of wrong thoughts. So if you've been a Christian 40 years and you're still having some problems with your mind here and there, or sometimes you find yourself saying, "I feel like I'm losing my mind", really, in a way we are losing our mind when we give the control of it over to the enemy and we don't resist wrong thoughts that are coming against us.
And the best way, the very best way to resist wrong thoughts is to open your mouth and speak out loud a portion of scripture that you have learned that you know confronts that wrong thought and the thought stops immediately because if you're speaking, that's going through your mind so the thing that the enemy's trying to put in your mind has to go away. So, some days I have to speak the word almost all day long. There are times when we have little attacks. There's times when we have major attacks. I mean, Satan is gonna use every opportunity to bombard your mind with every lie and every kind of negative thinking that you've ever heard of in your whole life, amen?
When I was writing the book, "The Mind Connection", I was sitting out of town at a place where I do some of my writing and I was having a physical issue and it was annoying and it wasn't going away. And then I got some kind of news from somebody that I didn't particularly care for and I'm trying to write this book on all this positive thinking, you know. And I'm telling you the truth, for two days I felt like my mind had been kidnapped. I mean, I actually felt like the enemy just came in and took it and I couldn't find it. I couldn't get it back, no matter what. And I'm gonna teach you tonight what to do during those times. I'm gonna teach you how to fight the devil and win. Actually, I'm gonna teach you how to fight like a Christian, amen.
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed and (changed) by the entire renewal of your mind by its new ideals and its new attitudes, so that you may prove for yourselves what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect in his sight for you". Now, I wish that I had the words to tell you and convince you what an amazingly good plan that God has for your life. I mean, the plan that God has for you is so awesome, none of us could believe the great plan that God has for us, if he were just to open it up all to us at once. But I think that if you compare all the Christians in the world to the number of people who actually really fulfill their destiny, I think it's probably pitifully few.
Now, I'm not saying that there aren't any. There's probably even a lot but compared to all the believers in the world, all the people who say, "I'm a Christian", around the world, the people who actually walk in victory, who actually spiritually mature and grow up and become what they're supposed to be in God, do all that God wants them to do, and have all that God wants them to have, I think let's just say at least there's not nearly as many as there should be. How many of you agree with that? There's not nearly as many as there should be.
The renewing of our mind according to the Word of God is one of the most important things that we need to deal with in our life. Every day, very few days go by that I don't say, "God, put a watch over my mouth lest I sin against you with my tongue. And let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight", and every day of my life I confess the Word of God out loud. It's part of meditating on the word to remind yourself over and over and over of what God's promises are for you. God has a good plan for your life. Perhaps you experience some victory but then back into bondage. And then a little more victory and then back into bondage. Or maybe you haven't had very much victory at all in your life.
Well, you know, that was certainly the case with me. For 8 years I went to church every single week with Dave and our children and I was a pitiful mess. And during those 8 years, I never one time heard a message about the power of my thoughts or the power of my words. And I wonder how many people go to church week after week after week, year after year after year, and never hear anything about what their own thoughts are doing to them. Many of you, that would be your testimony here tonight. I can't stand here and assume that all of you have heard messages like this over and over but because I know some of you have never heard these kinds of things.
And I remember how jaw-dropping it was to me when I began to hear these kinds of things and even began to learn that I actually could do my own thinking, that I didn't have to just sit and meditate on whatever fell in my head. That with the help of the Holy Spirit, I could actually say, "No, I'm not gonna think that because I know what that's gonna produce in my life and I will think this because this is what God tells me to think", amen? I talked about how I could sit and just judge people and judge 'em and judge 'em and never even be convicted by it at all. But now I know the Word of God that says, "Judge not lest you be judged".
And I've studied judging other people and I've read the scripture that says to mind your own business and I've studied about love and so now if I start to judge somebody, which I did just, you know, not that long ago. These judgmental thoughts. Matter of fact, I was actually sitting in a meeting somewhere and one of the people that was on the platform, I was having a little opinion about, but immediately the Holy Spirit rose up in me and I said, and this is what I do. I said to myself... See, I've learned to preach to myself. I said to myself, "Joyce, it's none of your business".
You need to talk to yourself, amen? What I've learned to do is talk myself off the ledge. How many of you can feel when, you know, like, if somebody's getting ready to jump and kill themselves, you know, or jump into trouble, they'll send in a negotiator to try to talk 'em off the ledge. Well, we've got the Holy Spirit and he is the negotiator that is always ready to talk us off the ledge, amen? And that's exactly the way that I stay sane. I have all the same temptations that everybody else does but I'm learning daily, more and more, how to listen to the Holy Spirit and I don't care what I think or what I feel or what the world says or who says what, he trumps everything else. And when he says, "It's wrong", then it's wrong. And if he says, "It's right", then it's right.
So, the more you study the word, the more you're gonna be convicted. How many of you know what conviction is? It's not condemnation. Conviction is not condemnation. Conviction is good news. It's the Holy Spirit saying, "Let me help you before you get in trouble", amen? And the more you study the word, the more you're gonna have conviction and you should thank God for it and the quicker you're gonna have it. And the minute that conviction comes, you don't need to feel bad that you were starting to have a bad thought. That's the temptation of Satan. He tries to put that on everybody. Just because you have bad thoughts fall in your head, that doesn't make you a sinful, terrible person. It just means that the devil is doing what the devil does. He is lying to you but you have great help living on the inside of you and if you will open your mouth and talk back to the devil... "Well, I would feel kind of dumb just walking around my house talking back to the devil".
Well, I'd rather feel dumb doing that than to have a dumb life. So that was my experience. I just had very little victory, if any. Maybe a little here and a little there but not much. Struggle, struggle, frustrated all the time. I'd never heard any teaching about the power of the Holy Spirit that could be mine. I'd never heard, I really was never taught to study the word. Can you imagine being in church 8 years and not being taught really to study the word for myself? And I was never taught a message about my thoughts. And I thank God that, that changed for me but, for so many people, it never does change.
And one of the things that I found out that was so wonderful is what the Bible says about us being new creatures in Christ. New creatures in Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:17. Everybody say, "In Christ". A woman wrote recently and she said, "I hear Joyce talk about being in Christ all the time and I don't know what she means". And I thought I was doing a good job explaining it. But either I wasn't explaining it good enough or she didn't watch the program where I explained it. Something was wrong. We were missing it somewhere. But that's one of the most important phrases in the Word of God, is to learn who we are in Christ and be able to distinguish that from who you are by yourself and in yourself.
"If any man be in Christ he is a new creature. He is a new creation altogether, the old previous moral and spiritual condition has passed away. Behold, the fresh and the new has come"! New creature. New beginning. New opportunities. New power. New desires. Everything becomes new. Now, it actually means that it's possible. Everything becomes possible when Christ comes to live on the inside of you. So, I thought I'd do a couple of examples maybe to help us understand.
So what does it mean to be in Christ? Well, you might spend 20, 30, 40, 50 years in the world. And boy, by then, you're pretty rooted in this mess, you know? I don't know that you could ever get yourself out of it. I don't think I could have gotten myself out of it. We need some Holy Ghost help to come along and get us out of this and put us in something else and to be saved by grace literally means that we don't have to do anything to be saved except believe that Jesus is who he says that he is and that he did what he said that he did. If you believe that he died for you, was raised from the dead, you truly believe that in your heart and you confess it with your mouth, the Bible says you will be saved. So, at the exact moment that you're saved, you get replanted in another life, amen? Just that quick. And that's just almost too good to be true.
Now, who in their right mind would wanna just keep jumping back and forth from pot to pot all the time? Once you get out of that, then you need to stay put in Christ. But there's something that has to happen for this to all work right. The moment that you're in Christ, all these things become possibilities. You're a new creature, new beginning. Everything's new. The past is gone. Brand new beginning. And then there's all these new creation realities. We're the righteousness of God in Christ. God will meet all of our needs. We're talented and gifted and we're anointed and, oh, it's just all so wonderful. And we hear about it in church and we get so excited. And then we go home. We can't seem to make any of it work. Amen?
Boy, we hear a message about how important our words are and so we make a decision we're gonna go home and we're gonna just say all good stuff. And it just never works. It just doesn't work. Until we've been in this long enough that we get rooted, c'mon, rooted and grounded in this new life. And getting roots takes time. Getting rooted in something means you gotta stick with it for a long time.
I'll never forget the woman that came to me, put her hands on her hips. Right down there at the altar. The stage wasn't this high so I was pretty level with her and she said, "I want my money back". That's what she said. "I want my money back". I said, "What do you mean, you want your money back"? She said, "Listen, I've been doing what you said to do for 2 weeks, and nothing has changed. I want my money back". I tell you what. It was all I could do to keep from laughing right in the woman's face. I thought, "Oh, honey. Honey, honey, honey. You been doing this for 2 weeks? Try 20 years, 25 years, 30 years. Try after 5 years not feeling like you've made any progress at all", but actually we are making progress but sometimes when you've got such a huge mess in your life like a 40-year mess.
I don't know why we get frustrated with God if he doesn't straighten out overnight what has taken us 40 years to do, amen? So, everything new is inside and it's gotta make its way from the inside to the outside. Now, I have a list here called, "Knowing who I am in Christ". And I actually wrote this list. And if you put into your little computer, "Knowing who I am in Christ", the first thing that will pop up is this list by Joyce Meyer. I think that's cool. I have made the internet, amen?
And you know, there's no way that I could sit here and read all this to you because you wouldn't focus long enough but it's three and a half pages worth and I think that you should get on the internet and get yourself a copy, "Knowing who I am in Christ". And it should come up first. But I'm just gonna read you a few of these things that the Bible says, if you're a believer... How many of you are believers in Christ? Okay, if you're a believer, all of these things are already yours. I don't care if you look like they're yours, I don't care if you act like they're yours. I don't care if you feel like they're yours or if anybody else believes they're yours. They are yours and, until you know they're yours, regardless of what it looks like...
See, in God's economy you believe it first and then you see it. You can't wait to see it and then believe it. You believe it first and then you see it. Your believing becomes your living. So as long as you believe you're a mess you're gonna continue to be a mess. But when you start waking up in the morning, you lay in your bed, and you think, "I'm anointed. I have gifts and talents. God loves me. I am the righteousness of God in Christ".
And then the devil kinda, you know, got that little demon sitting here on your shoulder, "Well, ha, you're the righteousness of God in Christ. Remember what you did yesterday"? C'mon, how many of you hear that? "Remember what you did yesterday? Yeah, you know what you did. Yeah, you know what you did". And you know, really you just need to learn to get to the point where you say, "Thank you for reminding me because now I just remember how good God is to forgive me and wash it all away".
And if you think that I'm just making up some weird story, I'm not. This is the way that I live. And unless you're willing to learn to live like this, you're not living according to the Bible and you're not ever gonna really experience the freedom that you wanna have. You've gotta learn how to fight like a Christian. And the way you fight like a Christian is you fight with the Word of God. Because the Word of God is the sword of the spirit, amen?
So, first one on my list is, "I'm complete in Christ". So, that means I'm complete if I'm single. I don't need to have a husband to be complete. I'm complete if I'm a widow. I can hang out with married people. I don't need to feel like everybody else feels. I'm complete if I don't have a college degree. Matter of fact, I'm complete if I didn't even graduate from high school. We are complete, not in the way we look or the job we have or who we know or the label in our clothes or what side of the tracks we live on. We are complete in Christ, amen? So now you're getting just a little bit taller. I can feel it.
See, when you start to know who you are in Christ, you go from this... everything, you've gotta get just... man, by the time you go outta here tonight, you're gonna be, like, "Don't mess with me, I'm God's kid". I'm alive with Christ. I like that one, whoo, I'm alive! I have the peace of God that passes understanding. I have the greater one living in me. Greater is he that is in me than he that's in the world. I am the righteousness of God in Christ. I am sanctified. I am redeemed. I am justified. I am holy. All of these things we are in Christ.