Joyce Meyer - The Power Of Right Thinking
Well, hello and welcome to, "Enjoying Everyday Life". Are you bombarded with negative thoughts, or things like worry, confusion, anger, or even depression? You know, you don't have to be a slave to your thoughts any longer. God wants to bring peace to your mind. Let me take some time to encourage you and then I'll be back to answer some of the questions that you've sent in about this important subject.
Father, we thank you for the word tonight. We're so excited to receive from you. We love your word. Love it, love it, love it, and we appreciate it. And, we thank you for the power in it. In Jesus' name, amen.
We're talking this weekend about healthy living, spirit, soul, and body. How to be not a broken person that maybe has a little bit of healing in this area, but don't have any healing in a lot of other areas. How to be whole in your spirit. Spiritual health comes from, first of all, receiving Christ as your Savior. Jesus said, "Come to me", that's simple. We can do that.
Last night, at the close of the meeting, we had 588 souls come to Jesus. And so, that's great. And, tonight, I believe that we'll have just as many if not more people that just say, "I can't live this life on my own, I'm tired of trying to do it alone, and I'm just gonna come to Jesus and believe he'll take me just the way I am and help me be what he wants me to be". And, in addition then, to receiving Christ, spiritual wholeness continues as we learn to walk according to the Word of God, as we learn obedience to God.
And, we found out that we have to depend on the Holy Spirit for that to happen and that it doesn't happen all of a sudden, all at once. It happens little by little, from glory to glory, day by day. So, we gotta have a little bit of patience along the way. And, I've been teaching people for years to believe and say, "I'm not where I need to be but thank God I'm not where I used to be. I'm okay and I'm on my way. Even though I'm in the middle, I'm on my way to something great". Amen?
Then, this morning, we talked about physical wholeness. Had a lot of fun talking about taking care of your body and not abusing yourself and got a lot of good comments about that. And so, I think that not only did we have a good time, but some of you had a eye-opening word from God that it's time to stop being a gambler and start being an investor. Don't gamble that you can abuse yourself by not sleeping, not eating right, having too much stress in your life, being overworked, out of balance in every area and get by with it. We're not playing monopoly where you roll the dice and hope you get something good. And then, if you get in trouble, think you can get a get-out-of-jail-free card, and go on to the next thing. We want to be not gamblers but investors. You want to invest in yourself because you're worth it.
Now tonight, we're gonna talk about mental health. So, maybe, turn to somebody next to you and say, "How's your mental health"? Now, you know that sounds a lot funnier than what it really is. Would you agree that probably our mind gives us more trouble than anything? You know why that is? Because the mind is the battleground that satan comes and attacks us on. Thus, the book that I wrote, "The battlefield of the mind". If you can win the battle in your mind, then you can win the battle for life. Where the mind goes the man follows. So, an obedient mind will lead to an obedient life. A disobedient mind will lead to a disobedient life.
So, if you made a decision last night or at any time in your life, "I want to not just be a Christian, I want to be an obedient Christian. I want to be a child of God who wants to do what's right and does what's right and glorifies God. I don't want to be mediocre and compromising and just see what all I can get by with and hope I can still sneak in the back door of heaven. I want to love God with my whole heart and do it right". And, I'm sure that most of you have made that decision. But, a lot of times people make that decision but it never happens for them because although, they made a good decision and they have a good desire, they never change their mind. They still think junk. They have stinkin' thinkin' and anytime we have stinkin' thinkin' we're gonna have a stinkin' life, so... Amen. Is that right?
So, the devil constantly attacks our thoughts, but believe it or not, in the beginning, if you first start trying to cooperate with the Spirit of God to think right things you are gonna feel like you're in a battle from daylight till dark. And, you just get so tired of fighting the enemy all day, you don't hardly know what to do. But, I can tell you, if you stand your ground, it gets better, and better, and better, and better, and better. And, you know, although, my mind still gets attacked, there's always things that the enemy's suggesting to my mind, but after all these years now in practice, I mean, I recognize them really quickly and it's not that difficult at all to just say, "Nope, I'm not going there. I've been there, I've done that, I know what it produces, and I'm not gonna think like that".
There are certain thoughts that we can have that will cause a lot of strife. How many of you know what strife is? It's an angry undercurrent in your home. It can be bickering, arguing, outright fighting, yelling, screaming, but many times it's just like an angry undercurrent. It's like, everybody's kinda acting like... "Praise the Lord". And yet, you're seething mad inside because you don't like something that went on, you didn't get your way about something, or whatever the case might be. So, you have to learn how to shut your mind against strifeful thoughts. And, as soon as they come, you need to say, "This is going nowhere. I've been there, done that, and I'm gonna change my mind. Get in agreement with God and let God take care of the situation".
Let's look at 2 Timothy chapter 2, verse 23. It's funny how God is, I meant to end with this story, and here I am, starting with it. 2 Timothy 2:23, "But refuse," and I love this in the amplified Bible. How do you refuse? "You (shut your mind against, have nothing to do with)". Come on, "(Shut your mind against, have nothing to do with) trifling (ill-informed, unedifying, stupid) controversies over ignorant questions, for you know that they foster strife and breed quarrels". 2 Corinthians 10:4-5, "For the weapons of our warfare are not physical weapons of flesh and blood, but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and the destruction of strongholds".
See, if you have a selfish, self-centered stronghold in your mind then it's almost impossible not to get mad when you don't get your way. "But, inasmuch as we refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the true knowledge of God". Now watch this, "And we lead every thought and purpose away captive unto the obedience of Christ (the Messiah)". So, here's the way it goes. You learn the word. And the word becomes like a light on the inside of you. And when a wrong thought comes, one that's gonna lead you into trouble, the Holy Spirit will prompt you to remember what Jesus wants you to do. And, right there, you have a choice to make. You cannot keep thinking the wrong thing and do the right thing. Did you hear me? You cannot keep thinking the wrong thing and do the right thing. I said, "You cannot keep thinking the wrong thing and do the right thing".
Let's just say that somebody's addicted to pornography which there's lots of people today that are. Okay, you can't sit around and look at and imagine pornographic material and hope to not have that get you in trouble. Nobody just suddenly falls into adultery. There's been a lot of thinking that's gone on ahead of time. And, the place you need to stop the problem is when it first comes into your mind. You bring that thought into obedience to Jesus Christ, and you say, "God help me. I am not going to think like that. I'm not going there in my mind because if you go there in your mind, you're likely to go there in your life".
Come on, now. If you don't want to overeat, don't think about food all the time. Just that simple. If you want to workout and exercise, don't sit around and think about and talk about how hard it is. "It's so hard. Oh, this is just so hard. I don't think I can do this". Where the mind goes, the man follows. I got some interesting things to share with you tonight, I believe. We cannot have an obedient life and have a disobedient mind. Joshua 1:8. I don't think anybody ever gets tired of hearing messages about our thoughts, do we? A spiritual mind is a mind of peace not a mind that's full of turmoil, and worry, and anxiety, and judgement, and criticism and all kinds of stuff like that.
Now, God had a great life planned out for Joshua, and he wanted to use him in a great way. And at the very beginning of what God was calling him to do, this great thing God was calling him to do, he starts out and he says verse 7, "Only you be strong and very courageous, that you might do according to all the law which Moses my servant commanded you. Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go". So, he's saying, "Okay, here's my words to you. Now, you be obedient to this. Let it be the center of your life and do not turn from it to the right or to the left".
Can I tell you that I'm proud of you for being here tonight? Many of you, all weekend, I'm proud of those of you that are watching the TV program right now and many of you watch it day after day, after day. That tells me that you love the word. You're making an investment in the Word of God. And, I hope and pray that you're here hearing it because you intend to do it. Amen? And, I believe when we hear it, there's power inherent in it that energizes us to be able to do it. The only thing that's better than hearing the word is studying the word for yourself. And I think that if you put those two together, it becomes a powerhouse. He says, if you do this, "You will prosper everywhere you go". Verse eight, "This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth".
In other words, he's saying, "Speak it". I talk all the time about speaking the Word of God. I don't know if you've gotten the message yet or not, but you need to talk out loud when you're home by yourself, when you're in your car. One of the most powerful things that you can do is confess the Word of God out loud over your own mouth. The Bible says in Isaiah 55 that, "The words that come forth out of my mouth shall not return void". Well, I don't believe God's just talkin' about his mouth, he's talking about the mouth of those who belong to him. When you speak the Word of God out of your mouth, it helps renew your mind and it keeps it fresh in you and it energizes you to be able to do it.
Who's here tonight that's learned to confess the Word of God out loud, and you've seen a radical change in your life because of that? Isn't that amazing? Well, the rest of you that don't have your hand up, you ought to try it. "This book of the law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it," that means roll it over and over and over in your mind and mutter it under your breath. And don't tell me, ladies, that you don't know how to mutter, because I know that you do. "But you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that's written in it".
The way that we do the word is by meditating on the word and speaking the word. You speak the word, you meditate on the word, and it gives you the spiritual strength to do the word. "For then", then when? After you've done it, "For then you shall make your way prosperous, and you shall deal wisely and you shall have good success". How about learning how to use your mind to help you instead of letting it be a garbage dump for the enemy? You say, "Well, I can't help what I think". Well, you see, this is our problem right here, and I thought like that for a lot of years. I just, whatever I thought, that's what I thought.
If I woke up in the morning and I thought, "I feel depressed," then I would just go around all day and feel depressed. If I woke up in the morning and I had this thought, you know, "Dave doesn't pay any attention to me. He doesn't do anything special for me," then I'd just get madder and madder all day, and feel sorrier and sorrier for myself. If that ever happens now, which it rarely does ever happen, I just think, "That's a lie. Dave does all kinds of things for me. He's a great husband. He's this, he's this, he's that, and he's that", and maybe the devil will say, "Yeah, but he's not that", and I'll say, "Yeah, but he is this and this".
Let me tell you something. The devil's gonna talk to you. You might as well learn how to talk back to him. And I know there's people that think, probably people watching by TV, you think, "This lady is crazy. She is talking about talking back to the devil". Well, all you gotta read is Luke chapter 4. Jesus did it first, and I can do anything he did. The Bible says that, "The devil said unto him, and he said unto the devil". How many of you believe that there is an enemy, that you have an enemy that whispers things to your mind and to your soul that are lies from the pit of hell? They are not the truth, and if you believe them, you will be destroyed?
I don't know about you, but I am so glad that I found this out, because he had control of my mind for way too long. I was a born-again Christian, but nobody ever told me what I'm talking about here tonight. So I was born again, but my mind was full of junk all the time, and so therefore, I was mad all the time. I was upset all the time. I was jealous of people. I was greedy. I was selfish and self-centered, but I was saved. I would have gone to heaven. I believe that, because I really trusted Christ for my salvation. But nobody ever told me that my mind made one bit of difference to the outcome in my life.
And I'm asking you tonight to take an inventory of your thoughts. What's been on your mind lately? If you're depressed, what have you been thinking about? If you're angry, what have you been thinking about? If you're bitter, what have you been thinking about? Oh, you guys look too innocent. I must have the really super-saved group here tonight. I don't know. Maybe I'll just talk to these poor folks on television that maybe don't have it all together. Amen? We can have our mind renewed according to the Word of God.
Let's take just a second and look at Romans chapter 12, verse 2, and I know some of you, you know these scriptures, and you probably got 'em underlined in your Bible, and that doesn't make one bit of difference, because you need to hear 'em again, and I do too. "Do not be conformed to this world fashioned after and adapted to its external customs, but be transformed (changed) by the entire renewal of your mind", amen. So how are we changed? First, our mind has to change, and then our life changes. We don't think the way that we used to think, but we begin to actually believe this book and think like God thinks.
My goodness, do you know how many problems people have because of the junky thoughts they think about themselves? I tell you what. You're looking at a woman. I would be petrified anymore to think bad, junky thoughts about myself, because I know it so displeases and so dishonors God. He sent his only Son to die for you. He loved you enough to pay an awful price for you, and who do you think you are to have bad, terrible, junky thoughts about yourself? If God loves you, then you can love you. Amen? I said if God loves you, then you can love you.
You don't need to think, "I'm stupid". You think, "I have the mind of Christ". You don't need to think, "I can't do anything". You look at Romans 12, and you say, "I'm gifted and talented. There's something that I can do and it's important to the people in the body of Christ that I fulfill my part". Quit letting the devil drag you down through wrong thoughts that don't agree with the Word of God. "I have the mind of Christ. I'm gifted. I'm talented. I'm anointed". Learn how to talk like God talks. Learn how to see yourself the way he sees you, and your life will change radically.
Ephesians 4:22. Verse 22 in Ephesians 4 says, "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 lusts and desires that spring from delusion". Now, if you can discipline yourself for a minute, don't look at verse 23, look at verse 24, "And put on the new nature the regenerate self created in God's image, Godlike in true righteousness and holiness".
Now, if I just say to people, "Put off the old man and put on the new man. Stop acting the way you used to act, and act the way God wants you to act". People may say, "Yes, I want to do that, but how can I do it? Something's missing". The bridge is in verse 23. Verse 22 says, "Put off the old man, and be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind, having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude, and now you can put on the new man, recreated in Christ Jesus". I can't wear the new man if I'm gonna have old thoughts, amen? I have to have my mind renewed.
I believe that God wants to prosper us, so you need to have an image that God wants to bless you. I believe that God wants to use you, so you need to have an image that you're usable material, and the enemy will come along and whisper to you, "Well, don't you remember what you did"? Say, "Yes, and that makes it all the more exciting, that God could use somebody that was such a mess like me". I tell you something, he'll leave you alone if everything he tries to lie to you about, you turn it into something good. "Thank you for reminding me how much God has forgiven me for. That just makes me have even a better day than I was gonna have".
You know something I've been doing every day, for, well, now almost, going on 6 months? I believe that God wants us to aggressively believe that good things are gonna happen to us. I don't think we're gonna say, "Well, I hope something good... I wish something good would happen". Hope is a happy anticipation that something good is gonna happen.
Can you wake up in the morning and when the enemy whispers to you and says, "This is gonna be a lousy day," you say, "I'm so excited, God, because I believe that something good is gonna happen to me today. I believe that something good's gonna happen in the world. Something good's gonna happen in the government. Something good is gonna happen in my family. Something good's gonna happen to me at work. I am not gonna sit around and be a Christian sourpuss, believing for everything negative that the devil wants to throw at me. I am determined that I am gonna live the life that Jesus died to give me, and I believe that something good is going to happen in my life", amen?
I tell you what, if you can live with hope and be a prisoner of hope and refuse to get hopeless and negative, there is just absolutely nothing the devil can do with you. He has lost control when no matter what he does, you say, "God's gonna work this out for good. Something good is bound to happen to me any moment". And it doesn't matter how much bad stuff has happened in the past. You say, "Well, what if I believe something good's gonna happen today, and it don't"? Then get up tomorrow and believe again. "What if it don't happen tomorrow"? Then get up and believe again. And I tell you what, you can outlast the devil, and pretty soon, he'll cave in and you'll have the victory.
Characteristics of a healthy mind. First of all, a healthy mind is peaceful. Wow, can I suggest that we learn to love simplicity? We live in such a complicated world today, and there's not very much that's just sweet and plain and simple anymore. We need to learn to love simplicity and to purposely keep our lives as simple as we possibly can. Doesn't that sound good? Philippians 4, 6, and 7, "Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition definite requests with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God".
How awesome is that? Don't worry about anything. Just tell God what you want. Be thankful for what you got. Stay happy and watch God work. "And the peace that passes understanding shall keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus unto life everlasting". Now, I asked a couple of people back in the back before I came out here tonight, "What do you think the biggest problem that people have with their minds"? And we all came up with some version of worry, anxiety, worry, stress. And the Bible teaches us that, and I'm gonna take you to a scripture in just a minute, that really worry is actually pride of the human flesh thinking that, "Well, if I rotate my mind around this long enough, I'll figure out an answer".
Let's look at 1 Peter 5, 6, and 7. Philippians 4, 6 and 7. 1 Peter 5, 6 and 7, "Therefore humble yourselves demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation," and that doesn't mean to have a poor opinion of yourself. It just means to know yourself, and that apart from God, you are a weak human being that can't do anything. "Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God, that in due time he may exalt you," and lift you up. Now, how do we humble ourselves? Here it comes, verse 7, "Casting the whole of your care all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all on him, for he cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully".
Dave Meyer's answer to every dilemma in life is "Cast your care, cast your care, cast your care". Well, it's been hard for me, to be honest, because I wanted for a long time for him to sit around and worry with me, and he just wouldn't do it. "Cast your care. Cast your care". "Well, we gotta do something". "Well, do you know what to do"? "No, I don't know what to do". "Well, then, cast your care". You know, here's the thing we need to do. We need to do our responsibility and cast our care. Our responsibility is to pray, give it to God, be open to doing anything that God asks us to do, but not to feel the pressure of thinking we have to go do something when we have no idea what to do, and the more we try to do, the worse we make the situation, amen?
There's nothing wrong with you if you don't worry about your children. I said there's nothing wrong with you if you choose not to worry about your children. You know what? Not to be negative, because I really try to stay away from that, but you know, there's a semi-good chance that your kids are gonna make a few bad mistakes, a few wrong decisions, but hey, you're still here. Come on. You made it, and sometimes the only way people get it is to take the wrong path for a period of time to find out, "Well, this is not working. I don't want to do this anymore".
So instead of worrying ourselves sick over our kids and their decisions, we need to be a good example to them. We need to pray for them. We need to live the life in front of them, and we need to watch God work in their lives. "Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God". Don't even think that you can solve your problem. See, there would have been a time when I would have worn myself out trying to change Dave's mind about the car. Well, I don't know, I mean, I guess if I would have had a big enough fit, he would have maybe not bought the car, but it would have messed up the peace in our home. It would have put a rift between us, and that's not the way God wants us to live.
The Bible says we're called to peace. We're called to peace. So you know how I look at it now? "You know, what, God? If you don't want him to have that car, you can change his mind. If you do want him to have it, I'm not gonna change his mind. This is not my problem. It's between you and him. If he wants to be 74 and drive a race car up and down the street, praise the Lord. I'm not riding in it. I want a comfortable ride". Amen? I'm serious. Stop trying to make everybody else do what you want them to do. Stop trying to make everybody else do what you want 'em to do, and have some peace. Run your life and stop trying to run everybody else's.
You know how many times a week I have to say to myself, "Joyce, it's none of your business. It's none of your business. It's none of your business," 'cause I like to get into stuff. Come on, is there anybody here, you like to get into stuff? Okay, well, you better learn my secret, "It's none of your business. It's none of your business. Keep your peace, shut your mouth, stay out of it. It's none of your business".
And you know what? It works, and I've got so much peace now. I mean, when I first started getting peace, I was bored, because I'd never had any peace in my whole life. I'm telling you the truth. I was bored. I didn't know what to do with myself. It was like... Boy, now, I just love it. I'm like,"Thank you, Jesus, hallelujah". "Cast your care on him for he careth for you". You know, I believe that God wants to promise you tonight that he will always take care of you. But I also have to say that he won't do it if you're trying to take care of yourself. Now, obviously, you're gonna do the things that you need to be doing to take care of yourself, but I'm talking about worrying about everything. The only way that we get God's deal is if we stop trying to do it ourself.
"Cast your care on God. Humble yourself under the mighty hand of God. In due time," it may take a little time, so if you don't get a result right away, don't think God's not working. Matter of fact, every time the enemy tells you, "Well, God's not doing anything," you say, "God's not doing anything I can see yet, but he's working in the spiritual realm, and it is gonna happen. Something good is gonna happen to me today". You gotta do that. Just 'cause you don't see anything doesn't mean God's not working.
Matter of fact, what we see, suddenly we get a breakthrough, but we're seeing the result of what God's been doing, sometimes for years. And now all of a sudden, it's, "Oh, my gosh, that was God". Amen? I'm telling you, good things are on the horizon for you. Don't you quit and give up and think that they're not. You keep saying, "I'm expecting something good to happen in my life". And you wonder if that's okay to do that. Well, do you think God wants you to sit around and expect something bad? "Oh, I don't know. I'm just kind of waiting to see what's gonna happen".
Well, you know, if you're not expecting nothing, then nothing's what you're gonna get. Example, "A woman may worry about her children, her finances, her husband's faithfulness, what people think. It may contribute to her problem. It could even have created her problem, but one thing it won't do is solve her problem". Worry is useless. It's powerless. Here's the definition in webster's 1828 dictionary, which is a great dictionary. The word "Worry" means "Teasing, troubling, harassing, or tearing, to vex or persecute brutally, to fatigue".
And I wrote down here, "Worry equals ulcers and stress". There's nothing in this definition that says it's gonna do anything good. Trusting God is the only way to stop worrying, and I'll just tell you what I think after all these years of experience. I don't think that anybody is gonna stop worrying until they really come to the point where they know that they're not smart enough to fix their own problems, that only God is. You know, I'll be honest and tell you, I don't have what it takes to run this ministry. I mean, if it was based on me, I shouldn't be up here. But I don't worry about it. I don't know how to get the money we need to run this ministry. I can't even count that high. I don't know how to do that. But I've learned it's not my problem. It's God's deal. And you know what? He always comes through. We get ourselves in so much trouble worrying. What we need to do is cast our care on God and watch him do miracles in our lives.
Come on, I dare you to go to sleep tonight without worrying. Now, a healthy mind is not confused. It has clear direction or it's clear that direction's coming. Even though you don't maybe have that clear direction yet, you can be clear that that direction will be given to you at the moment that you need it. Even though you don't know what to do right this moment, you will know what to do when you have to do something, amen? Confusion in the webster's 1828 dictionary, "Lack of order, a mixture of several things, agitation, and distraction caused by conflicting ideas".
God is not the author of confusion. Stop living off the top of your mind and learn how to live by discernment. Discernment means you don't know what to do. You have this option, you have that option. You don't feel really good in here about this one, but when you think about this one, you got peace. This one doesn't even make as much sense. This one over here makes more sense mentally. It seems like it should be the thing to do. I mean, it's kind of what my friend said I should do, but something just don't feel right about that. But when I go over here to this more unreasonable one that doesn't seem to make much sense, that people aren't even advising me to do, man, I feel good about this one.
Well, you're gonna have to make a decision. Are you gonna learn to live by the discerning of the Holy Spirit, or are you gonna go with what your mind says to do? Can I tell you something? God sometimes asks us to do something really unreasonable things, and I'm not talking about just living goofy and doing stupid stuff. But I mean God doesn't work the way the world does. His ways are above our ways, and he does things differently. I mean, if you really think about it, the plan of salvation just makes no sense at all. I mean, how can you figure that out? But when you read it, it's like you know in here that something wonderful happened on that cross. Now, you try to explain it to somebody that's not spiritual? You try to explain tithing to somebody that doesn't have God in their life.
I remember an accountant doing my taxes one time, looked at me and he said, "Why are you giving all this money away?' I said, "Well, I believe what the Bible says, that if you give to God, he'll give back to you". "Well, you don't have to give this much. You could give a lot less". I said, "No, I really can't do that, 'cause that's not what God says". He didn't understand it all. I understood it because I understood it in the spirit. We have no idea how much God would tell us if we would just stop thinking things to death. You know, you can kill something. You can kill a creative idea from God thinking it over. I mean, you're like, "Whoa, man, God, that's a great idea". And then you go, "Now let me think about this". And I'm not suggesting that we just jump off and... Whoo do kinds of stuff without giving it any thought, but if we're gonna think about it, let's think about it with the mind of Christ, not the mind of the flesh. Is anybody with me tonight? How many of you know that discernment is so wonderful?
Well, there is so much power in thinking the way God wants us to think. It's a battle sometimes but the Lord will help you to live in victory. Many of you have questions about this topic and Ginger is here with some of those questions and by the grace of God, I hope and pray that I can answer them.
Ginger: Well, this is so helpful because you've taught us so much and the Bible says so much about the way that we think. And so, when we get into the practical situations of different things that are helping or that are impacting us in life, these real specific questions, I think, are very helpful and they often apply to so many of us. But, Jean from Texas is asking, "How do you turn off overthinking"? She says, "I've got it bad".
Joyce: Well, I had it bad too, so I know what she's talking about. First you pray. And, I think the more you study about thoughts and the mind, the more knowledgeable you become. And, you know, you just have to keep at it until you feel like you have a victory. I think one of our problems is, is we believe God wants us to do something, we start to try to form a new habit and then, before we know it, somethin' else comes along. I think one of our big problems, here in America, is that we have an overabundance of the word. And so, you can, I mean, in one week if you listen to podcasts, and you go to church, and you know, there's different things. I mean, you can be listening to 15 subjects in one week. And, I think we need to, especially, things we're having a problem with. I think we need to stick with it until we feel like we have the victory. And, I know that it sounds simple to just say, "Well, just don't think about it". But, to be honest, overthinking causes confusion. And so, maybe, she needs to have some kind of a little warning thing in her life. Like, for me, God showed me that frustration equaled works of the flesh. And so, any time that I would feel frustrated, I could say, "Okay, that's because I'm trying to make somethin' happen that only God can make happen".
Ginger: Yeah, that's really good.
Joyce: So, if she starts to feel confused, or her mind just feels overloaded, or you're giving... One of these things, it's just, you know, and we're not gonna fix our problems by thinking about 'em, and thinking about 'em, and thinking about 'em. So, I know it's not always easy, but God will give you victory if you sick with it.
Ginger: Yeah, that's good. Here's a question from Janica. She says, "People are treating me badly. I try to think positive but people are so negative that it's difficult for me to trust them. How can I stay positive"?
Joyce: Well, if she's around a lot of negative people, which it sounds like she is, then she definitely needs to put herself in a place where she can be around some positive people. I mean, you know, let's just say that somebody's married to somebody that's constantly tearing them down and tearing them down. And, you know, you're not gonna get a divorce, you wanna make the marriage work, but you can offset that by having positive friends, maybe getting in a group Bible study, you know, the people that are around us are very important. And especially, you know, if you need a lot of encouragement and you're around people that aren't giving you any, it can get pretty hard. But, you know, sometimes Ginger, we just have to do something for our self. And so, she probably needs to pray about it and purposely look for some people. Like, I like to laugh. You know, and so, I purposely have a few friends that are just funny simply because they just make me laugh. And so, introduce some people into your life that are gonna offset the negativity.
Ginger: Because you can't always control other people's negativity but you can add some positivity.
Ginger: Good idea. Joe asked this question. "I keep thinking sinful thoughts and I feel like I can't control it. How do I stop".
Joyce: You think about something else. I know that just sounds to people that are probably like...
Ginger: But you have to make yourself do that.
Joyce: God will help you, but, for example, if I'm thinking a bunch of bad thoughts about somebody, the Bible says, "Let him who has my word speak my word faithfully". So, I discovered a long time ago that you can't think one thing and talk about something else. And so, you can talk out loud. I don't suggest doing it when there's a bunch of people around that don't know what you're doing. But, if you're in your house by yourself. I mean, years and years ago when God first started teaching me this, if I would have bad thoughts about somebody, I would maybe open my mouth and say, "With God's help, I love everybody". You know, so you can always say the opposite of what those sinful thoughts are. And also, I think reminding yourself of who you are in Christ. He's no longer a slave to sin and he can think whatever he wants to think. You don't have to think everything that falls in your head. When you know it's something wrong, you can think something else. And, you can't think two things at once. So, if you're thinking something bad, start thinking about something good. And, good always overcomes evil.
Ginger: So, replacing those thoughts that he's fighting with something that's...
Joyce: Listen, my mind was a mess. I mean, I had every kinda problem you could have with your mind, from the way I was raised and the abuse, and bad first marriage, and I had a poor self-image, and I know that if anybody can have their thinking renewed, if I can do it, anybody can do it. But, I will say this, it's not gonna happen overnight. And so, you have to not give up and throw the towel in, so-to-speak, and just think, "Well, this is never gonna work". The Bible plainly says that we renew our mind through study of the Word of God.
Ginger: This is similar, but I think it continues to help, to talk more about it. Edie says, "I've struggled for years with racing thoughts looping over my past mistakes. Is it due to a lack of faith that my mind just never stops this"? That, she can't let it go.
Joyce: Nah, I think she needs a real, real, real good Bible study, or a book about new beginnings. I was doing some teaching just the other day, actually here in the studio, teaching about new beginning.
Joyce: And, you have to be determined. Paul said, "It's my determined purpose to know him and the power of his resurrection, and I press on to get to the place where I need to be". So, here again, it's not going to happen overnight, but the devil cannot control our thoughts if we don't let him. Now, I have times, we all have times when you're maybe like, in a, "season", you just feel like your mind is being bombarded and you just can't get it to stop. And, one of the things that I do in a time like that is just say, "God, I've done all I know to do, and so, I don't believe these lies and I'm just gonna wait for you to deliver me," and he will. And, you know, in saying all this about what we need to do, pray and ask God to help you. Pray, pray, pray and ask God to help you because he's the only one really that can make it happen.
Joyce: You know, "The mind is the battlefield", still my number one book. And, it's where satan tries to take us down. And, I really have found that speaking out loud, making confessions out loud, I'll never change my mind about that. It's not some kind of a, "name-it, claim-it doctrine", but we should speak what God speaks. And so, the more familiar you become with the scripture, I mean, this morning I was doing some of my physical therapy and I just kinda muttered under my breath, "Be anxious for nothing but in all things by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving"... So, when you know, the word meditating on the word keeps it fresh and it energizes you, and it keeps the bad junk out of your head.
Ginger: Yeah, yeah. I had a thing this morning that had I dwelled on it, it would have ruined my day.
Joyce: That's exactly right.
Ginger: And, instead, focusing on those things that are, so many wonderful blessings around us. And, what God's word says. And just really not allowing the the little drop-in thoughts to fester, to change it as soon as it gets there to something else.
Joyce: Like, the first time you hear in your head, "This is never gonna change," you open your mouth and say, "With God all things are possible".
Ginger: That's right.
Joyce: You know, that's how you do warfare with the enemy. It's the way Jesus did it. Anybody who cares to look at the first 11 verses of Luke chapter 4, you'll find very plainly, "The devil said to Jesus". "Jesus said to the devil," and he quoted a scripture. And he did that like, four times. And then, I love what it says. It says, "And the devil went away to wait for a more opportune time". So, this, to be honest, is something we'll deal with on and off throughout our life. It's not like, you know, "Oh, Joyce, what do I do about this"? And, I give you one sentence and that fixes it the rest of your life. You just have to do what I've done and what everybody wants to do that has victory, you know who you are and you realize that those thoughts are from the enemy, they're not your thoughts unless you take them and begin to meditate on 'em.
Ginger: Yeah, well, let's finish up with this one. Danielle says, I like this question. "How do I stop counting others' blessings and focus on my own"? Sometimes, you know, it's like, "Why do they get all the blessings"?
Joyce: Yeah, I remember Dave saying one time, and he's not the type very often that says, "I got a Word from God". So, when he does, you wanna listen. And, he said, "God just really showed me so clearly that as long as we're jealous of other people's blessings, we're not going to get our own". God will help us be happy for other people. And, you know, I can tell when I'm around somebody if they're genuinely happy for my success, or something that God blessed me with, or if it's just a fake, or you know. I used to have a friend and she'd say, "Well, I wish something like that would happen to me". And so, really, it was a statement of jealousy. And not only that, everybody has got so many blessings if they just start looking at 'em. Then if you want to really fight whenever you start thinking too much about other people's blessings, take some time, get a piece of paper, sit down and write out every blessing in your life that you can think of. And, just that exercise of taking the time to make like a college class out of it, and don't give up. If you have to do it 10 days in a row, listen, the devil keeps at it and we need to keep at it too until we have the victory.