Joyce Meyer - How Is Your Mental Health?
I'm doing a series this weekend on wholeness, on being healthy spirit, soul, body, mind, will, emotions. Jesus came for all of us, there's nothing about you that God doesn't care about. I want you to get that. God cares about and is concerned about everything that concerns you. No matter what a small detail it is, God cares about that. And if you will invite him in, he will come in and begin to work a process of healing in every area of your life. It could be finances. It could be your social life. Maybe you're lonely, or maybe you've been hurt so bad in the past that you now isolate yourself and you're afraid of intimacy. God wants you to be healed in every area of your life. He came to make us whole. He doesn't want us to be born again and just have a bunch of problems in our life draining us all the time.
And so, let's start again in 1 Thessalonians 5:23 because it's just such a great scripture. "And may the God of peace himself sanctify you through and through separate you from profane things and make you pure and holy consecrated to God: and may your spirit and your soul and your body be preserved sound and complete and found blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ". When Jesus was asked what was the most important commandment, he said, "This is the most important, 'you shall love the Lord your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and all your strength'", and the second is like it. You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself.
The Lord doesn't want us just to love him on Sunday morning. He doesn't want to just save you, watch you live a miserable life and then let you go to heaven when you die. He came to give us life. And that word, "Life," is Zoe and it means life as God has it. Now, I don't know how good God's life is, but if I can have that, I sure want to keep pressing on until I have the kind of life that God wants me to have. I'll be honest with you, I think that we owe it to Jesus to have the best life that we can possibly have.
How many of you want your children to have good lives? I mean, we know nothing about parenting compared to what he does so if, you know, like, I like to surprise my kids and I was thinking the other day, God loves to surprise us. I mean, he, Jesus died so we could have an intimate relationship with the Father, not so we could all have some kind of our own little brand of religion and separate into all these little groups and fight with each other. That's just the silliest thing. And I love our conferences and other conferences like this because we have people here from every denomination that you could imagine. And I can tell you when we get to heaven there's not going to be a baptist group and a catholic group and a Lutheran group and a, the weird Pentecostals are not going to be over here in another group. Amen?
And so we need to learn what's important and the thing that's important is to learn to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and all your strength. You cannot have an obedient life without having an obedient thought life. So, I'm going to say that again, you're not going to have an obedient life without first having an obedient thought life. And, I mean I was a Christian for many, many, many years and loved God and couldn't figure out why I just kept having so many problems and I didn't understand this stuff about the mind. I just thought that I couldn't help what I thought. "Well, I can't help what I think". And I didn't have any idea that I could cast down wrong thoughts or I could shut my mind against thoughts. That I just didn't have to just receive everything that fell into my head and just take it as my own and roll it over and over and over in my mind.
You know, I share that my dad abused me when I was young and, you know, still after all these years sometimes, just out of nowhere, I'll find myself thinking about some of the things that he did to me. And you know the minute that I become aware of what I'm thinking, I just say, "No". And I shut my mind to it and I don't let it in there. See, the enemy will sneak up on you and try to put stuff in your mind, hoping that you'll take it as yours. And if we think about the wrong thing, it's going to affect our moods, it's going to affect our behavior, it's going to affect our relationships with other people.
"As the man thinks, so does he become," Proverbs 23:7. And no matter how many times we may or may have not heard teaching on the mind, this is something that we need to hear over and over and over and over and over. Between our thoughts and our words, those are two messages that we will never get tired of hearing. You can choose your own thoughts. You don't have to just think whatever falls in your head. I used to wake up in the morning and I would think, "Oh, I'm depressed". So, I would just get up and be depressed all day. Well, now if a thought like that comes into my head, I will probably say out loud, "I am not depressed and I'm not going to spend this day being depressed because the joy of the Lord is my strength".
Now, we have the Word of God so we can fight the enemy with the Word of God. The Word of God is not just a bunch of little black ink on white pages. It is full of power and it is your weapon against satan. "Let him who has my word speak my word faithfully". I liked it last night when John McFadden was up here and he talked about his childhood and all the pain he went through and then he talked about how he got ahold of "The battlefield of the mind" and he started renewing his mind with the word and he pulled this little book out of his back pocket. You got it right there with you again, right? Called, it's called, yeah, thank you, "Secret power of speaking God's word out loud".
I did write it, by the way. And it's called stammering and it's little enough, I mean, he carries it in his back pocket. And it just thrills me that a man will carry that around in his back pocket. You know why he carries it? Because satan will attack his mind and he'll begin to hear those old messages that he got from his parents. "You're nothing but trash. The people that you think love you are going to leave you. They're going to find out what you really are". Well, he knows now that when that happens he knows how to fight. And I want to help you remember tonight how to fight. And that is, he pulls that out and he opens it up to God loves him or who he is in Christ, and he confesses those scriptures out loud and the devil has to go away. I love it. And I don't know if we've got any of the little purple books left, but if we do, you need to go out and get them and if we're out of them you can order it online.
So, 2 Corinthians 10:4 and 5, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, they're not physical weapons of flesh and blood, but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and the destruction of strongholds". Now, a stronghold is a place where the enemy digs in and hides himself. So, he can attack without being seen. Well, this is talking about mental strongholds because verse 5 says, "Inasmuch as we refuse arguments and theories and reasonings," all processes of the mind, "Set itself up against the true knowledge of God and we lead every," what? "Every," what? "Every thought and purpose await captive unto the obedience of Christ (the Messiah)".
It is so plain. He's saying, Listen, we have mental strongholds in our minds, places where the enemy has lied to us and deceived us over a long period of time and he hides himself in there and then he begins to say things to you, never at a convenient time, he begins to say things to you that if you just take them as yours and you being to believe them it will derail the plan of God for your life and keep you from your destiny. His favorite thing is to tell you how no good you are. And how all you do is make mistakes and how your life is over and you're never going to get over your past and nobody cares about you and you're not going to get the job and you're not going to get the raise and you'll never have a new car.
Everything with the devil is ever and never. It's never going to change and it's always going to be that way. But with God everything can change when you put your faith in him. So the weapons that we have are first and foremost the Word of God. The name of Jesus and the blood of Jesus Christ. There's power in all of those: the word, the name, the blood. I think sometimes when you're under mental attack, you just open your mouth and say, "Jesus". Jesus! There's power in that name.
Now, I don't even want to tell you how long I was a Christian before I knew any of this. And I want to be sure that the people that I teach know that you can do your own thinking. You cannot have an obedient life with a disobedient thought life. If you don't want to overeat, don't sit around and think about food all day. Don't read cookbooks all day. Don't look at food magazines all day. Get your mind on something else, amen? If you want to walk in love with somebody that hurt you because you know that's what God wants you to do, don't sit around all day and think about what they did to you and how unfair it was and how you don't like them and then think you're going to get around them and treat them good. It just won't happen because what's in us comes out of us.
What we let roll around in our heart and mind comes out of our mouth and if you learn to listen to yourself you will learn a lot about yourself. A lot that you may not want to know. Everybody say, "We're having fun". The Bible says we are to bear in mind his commandments and then we will be able to practice them. So, I'm just going to throw this out. How much time do you spend thinking about the word? Do you spend anytime during the day just meditating on the word or do you ever take 5 or 10 minutes and just, when you're by yourself or taking a walk or whatever, just confess the word out loud? I confess the word every single day. I've done it for 40 years. It's life changing. It's the way you keep your mind renewed and then you know what to do. You recognize wrong thoughts and you recognize them pretty quick. You can't think junky stuff for 3 hours before you even realize what you're doing. You recognize it and you know right away what to do.
Joshua 1:8 is a great scripture. It's one of the first scriptures that I learned when I started really studying the Bible. It says, "This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth," and that doesn't mean you shouldn't speak it, but it actually means you keep it in your mouth all the time, "But you shall meditate on it, day and night that you may observe and do. See, we start with speaking it, thinking about it then we're able to do it. We can't do it unless it's first in our mind. And when you do all that's written in it then you make your way prosperous and then you'll deal wisely and then you'll have good success.
You know our thought life is like a bridge to get us from wrong behavior to good behavior. Some of you, you feel like you're in a trap of some kind. You maybe, let's just say you've got a bad temper. You've had a bad temper all your life and you don't even really know what you're angry about, you just don't seem to be able to control your temper. And so, you have thought and said, I don't know for maybe 20 years, "I lose my temper, I can't control my temper. I lose my temper. I can't control my temper. I lose my temper. I can't control my temper".
So the more you think it and say it, the more you do it. So now you love God, you've learned in the word that you shouldn't let the sun go down on your anger. You don't want to be angry. You want to do what's right and you just try and you try and you try and you try and it just doesn't work. Well, you know what, although the Bible does tell us to make a spirit-led effort, there's nothing in the Bible that tells us that we're going to change by just... Trying to change. We bear good fruit by abiding in Christ. The more you hang out with Jesus, the more you're going to become like him.
Now, Ephesians 4, 3 verses, we're going to look at verse 22 and 24 and we're going to skip 23 for just a minute. "Strip yourselves of your former nature put off and discard your old unrenewed self which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lust and desires that spring from delusion". So, we are new creatures in Christ. But now, he is saying, "Okay, this is what I've done for you now you put off that old life". And in verse 24 it says, "And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God's image Godlike in true righteousness and holiness".
Put off the old man, put on the new man. Stop living the old life. Start living the new life. Stop acting like you used to. Start acting like you should. "Well, God I want to, but how can I do it?"! Verse 23 is the bridge. "And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind. Be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude," every single day of your life. If I were you, I would take some time every morning whether it's one minute or five and I would make my mind up about some things. In Colossians 3 it says, "Set your mind and keep it set".
And I'm not ready to talk about this yet but before the night's over I want to talk to you about the power of a made up mind. I'm going to tell you what, when you make your mind up and you ask God to help you, it is like a steel trap coming down and you can do whatever you need to do through Christ who is your strength and no devil can stop you but you've got to keep your mind set in the right direction. You set your mind and you keep it set. You don't play around with it. You decide you're going to get out of debt. You go to the mall. Probably a mistake. They have a 75% off sale. Not the place where you want to be, amen? You got the plastic. The Holy Spirit is saying, "You need to get out of debt. You committed to getting out of debt". Your flesh is saying, "I want that, I want that". So you got this thing going on.
You know what, I don't care if you've got to take yourself by the ear and take yourself out of that mall. The Bible says, if your eye offends you, pluck it out. If your hand offends you, cut it off. Sometimes we gotta get a little bit violent with ourselves, sometimes I'll say to myself, "Joyce, just shut up. I mean, just shut up, you do not need to say one more word".
Some of you need to have a meeting with yourself. You need to have a chat with yourself several times a day. Don't make your mind up and then change it as soon as something tickles your flesh. Make your mind up, set your mind and keep it set and every day you keep it set, it will be a little, teeny, tiny bit easier the next day and a little bit easier the next day and a little bit easier the next day and pretty soon, you will wonder how you ever lived in the mess that you were in because now it will seem so natural to you. The time will come when it will be just as natural for you to automatically do what's right as it is right now to automatically do what's wrong.
Characteristics of a healthy mind. We've got some really good things to talk about. So, if you have a healthy mind, remember we're talking about being healthy in every area of your life. First of all, a healthy mind is a peaceful mind. People say, "Well, I just want some peace of mind". People take pills to get peace of mind. They drink alcohol excessively to get peace of mind. One mom told me about her son who was addicted to heroin that he said to her, "Taking the drugs is the only way I can get my mind to shut up".
Well, see he didn't understand these principles. He didn't even probably really know how to ask God to help him. I don't care how big of a mess your mind is, God can help you renew your mind but it will not happen overnight. You can't think the wrong thing for 40 years and then decide to have one right thought and wonder why everything's not different in your life. It takes time. I've been at this 40 years and I've got a lot of victory. Lots of victory. But I will never stop doing what I did to get me here. Did you hear what I said? I will never stop doing what I did to get me here. The Bible says you stand fast, Galatians 5:1, "You stand fast in the freedom wherewith Christ has made you free. And do not be ensnared again in a yoke of bondage since you have once put off".
Sometimes the mistake we make is we get a victory then we stop doing what we did to get the victory. You gain and you maintain. You gain and you maintain. And the Bible tells us to be vigilant because the devil roams about like a lion roaring in fierce hunger seeking whom he may devour. Having victory in your life is going to take more than 45 minutes on Sunday morning. A peaceful mind. "Well, I can't help it, I'm just a worrier". Well, we need to stop saying silly things. "I can't help it, I can't help it". I mean, anything that God tells us to do or not to do, he gives us the ability to obey him. So, saying, "I can't help it," is just a sneaky little way of not taking responsibility.
Okay, well what about worry? Why do we worry? Well, we worry because we think we can figure out what to do to fix our problem. And I'm not saying you never come up with a good idea but rarely. At least that's my experience. You know? Now, I can pray and God will give me a good idea but you get that from in here. It comes from here up to here. It doesn't come from out there, into here. Come on. You are a spirit, deepest part of your being. You have a soul. You live in a body. I guess we all at sometimes get into worrying about different things. But it's like sitting in a rocking chair and rocking all day. It keeps you busy but it gets you nowhere.
Worry, now listen to me, worry does absolutely no good at all. It does not solve your problems but it could actually increase your problems. Because we get what we believe. And so there's nothing wrong with thinking about something. I like to do what I call prayer thinking or thinking with God. Pray about it, roll a few things over in your mind. Does that feel right? Does that feel right? No, pray about it some more. Wait on God. When I have a serious situation, it doesn't do me any good at all to worry about it and let me tell you something if I can get to the point where I don't worry that much, anybody can get to the point where they don't worry that much. Because I was a professional worrier.
Does anybody know what I'm talking about. I mean, I would even worry about your problems. I mean, if I didn't have any of my own, I'd be happy to get involved in yours and worry about yours and try to solve yours. I could even create problems to worry about. If I told you all the things that I worried about when my kids were growing up and the different things that I worried about with each one of them and now they just all turned out great. And it just aggravates me that I wasted all that time. And Dave would try to tell me, "Cast your care. God will take care of it". I was, like, "Oh you".
You know, you know how we are. You don't like it if somebody else is right so you've got to find something wrong with them. You know, one of my daughters was just, like, super messy, and oh my gosh, I just thought, if this kid leaves home, she's not even going to know where her clothes are half the time. She won't know where her car keys are, she won't be able to find her shoes. I don't know how she can ever leave. And now, I actually, she works for me personally, not through the ministry and I pay her to help me keep my life organized.