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Joyce Meyer - Addictive Behavior

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So, the first thing you have to do if you're gonna break any addiction, is stop saying, "I can't control this". Come on, now. Don't look at me like that. See, that becomes an excuse. "Well, you know, I can't help it. This is just my problem. Just my bondage. I don't have any discipline". Yes you do. "I just can't control myself". Yes, you can. Maybe you haven't practiced it very much, but you could. A seed of everything that God is, comes into us, into our spirit the moment that we receive Christ. What does a seed need? Water.

What is the word called? The water of the word. So, the more we water that seed with the Word of God, the more our mind is renewed, the more we begin to believe. And the Bible says, "Be it unto you even as you believe". Once you fully, completely believe something, the devil might as well get out of the way because there's gonna be some changes in your life. Now, first thing we have to do is believe what we have, before we're gonna see it manifest in our life. You get it inside, then it comes to the outside. This is all inside-out.

Even if you have some kind of substance addiction, or an eating disorder, you should get up everyday and declare loudly, "Sin is not my master, according to Romans 6, and I will not be brought under the power of anything". Now, here's the mistake that we make. We wanna wait until we see that happening before we will declare that it's a truth. "Well, how can I say I'm free when I'm obviously, not"? Because God says you are. The devil says you're in bondage. God says you're free. If you agree with the devil, you'll keep getting more of what you got.

You know what? When I used to smoke cigarettes and I really wanted to quit, I would drive down the highway, smoking my cigarette saying, "I can't stand to smoke. Don't like to smoke. Don't wanna smoke. I quit smoking". And the thing that's very beautiful about this is I didn't know what I'm teaching you now. It was something I felt like God led me to do. And within two weeks, I had quit. And I had tried for years prior to that. I'm telling you, you gotta start agreeing with God.

Stop saying, "I'm in bondage", and start saying, "I am free. I am free. I am free. I am free. I am free". C'mon, that'll do ya a lot of good. Where the mind goes the man follows. Our emotions get all involved in this. And God doesn't want us to have broken hearts and wounded emotions and messed up personalities. He wants us to know who we are in Christ, to know that the Fruit of the Spirit it is, to know that God loves us unconditionally. And yes, we don't have it all together, and we are imperfect, but we are just the ones that Jesus died for.

Well, I can almost guarantee, if you're watching this today your life or the life of someone you love has been darkened by addiction. As a matter of fact, statistics say that addiction around the world is growing at an absolutely astounding rate. That's why we work together, with outreaches, here in the us and around the world that are helping to free those trapped by the grip of addictions. We believe in the life-transforming power of the Word of God. Part of the healing from any kind of struggle, comes from hearing stories of those who have gone through what you are going through and have made it to the other side. And I wanna share some of those stories with you, now. I know they will increase your hope, and faith, and strengthen you, give you resolve that you will never give up on your self or those you love. Then I'll be back to teach you what I call, "The trickle-down theory", and how you can use it to bring freedom from addiction. And remember, never give up because your sudden breakthrough is coming.

Ginger: There is so much beauty in the world around us. You see, our God specializes in creating magnificent beauty in nature and in the hearts of people. You see, we are created in his image. But when the weight of the world, when the dirt, and the hurts of the world pile up on us, it can be nearly impossible to see that beauty that he's put in us, to understand the love that he's created us with. Well, at Hand of Hope, the outreach arm of Joyce Meyer Ministries, we are honored to work alongside Teen Challenge to help people break the chains of addiction and to see all that God has created them to be. And here, in the nation of Chile, we are so honored to be doing something to help women, in particular, break away from addiction. You see, it's rare that there is a facility like this to help women. But these women are discovering the amazing beauty that God has put in them.

Magaly, Teen Challenge graduate
Ginger: Magaly, describe your life for me today. What is your life like now?

Magaly: First of all, my life isn't what it used to be. Best thing that's happened to me in these 35 years of life was knowing our father.

Ginger: You've been through some really difficult times. Tell me what led you down that path into addiction.

Magaly:[b][u] 'Cause I didn't have the same desire to live as another 13-year-old. My father was alcoholic and I just decided I preferred to be on the streets. And I took refuge in animals.

[b][u]Ginger:[b][u] What do you mean, when you say, you took refuge in animals?

[b][u]Magaly:[b][u] They were my friends. They were my refuge, my family, because I feared people. Those who would take advantage of those who were down. I was afraid.

Did you have good reason to be afraid? Were there things that happened that were very frightening for you?

Magaly: Many things. A lot of people.

Marcela, Teen Challenge graduate
Ginger: Marcela, tell me a little bit about your background. Tell me about your childhood.

Marcela: I found out that my father dealt drugs when I was 13. To see my mother working so hard, that's when I started understanding why my father wasn't working, now. And I'd see how he would hit her, sometimes. And I did the same thing with a partner I had for 10 years. He also, badly abused me, hit me, abused me sexually also. I started thinking that I was just ugly. That I wasn't worth much. I just wasn't good for anything. My face was ugly. I didn't like to look in the mirror. I tried to hang myself twice.

Patricia and Norbert Shenhals, regional director Teen Challenge
Ginger: Patricia and Norbert would you begin by telling us about the need for a home like this here in Chile.

Norbert: Well, we have the situation with the women growing up in atmospheres where men abuse them. And through that abuse, women are turning to drugs like never before. There are neighborhoods in which addicts live together in these small houses, and the women together with men...

Ginger: And I can't imagine the abuse they experience in a situation like that.

Norbert: The abuse is terrible. The men beat 'em up, they turn 'em into slaves. They make 'em do the drug runs. And so, the men abuse them in so many different ways, physically, as well as, through their gang activity. And so, they are afraid to step out. They are afraid to go back to their families because of the gang activity that controls them. But one of the things that we have found is that the girls that are in programs know where these girls are. And once they find hope here, they're trying to reach out to their friends that are really lost in these addicted homes like that. And so, also, this property here, is a model program for other ministries in Chile, and Argentina, and other parts of Latin America, and the Caribbean. We didn't think we would have a property as large as this one. But God provided the funds and all of a sudden, we were able to purchase a property like this because of Hand of Hope.

Patricia: Before we only had space for 10 or 12 people. But, right now we have space for 50. It's amazing. 50 souls know Jesus. That is amazing.

Norbert: It's a nine to twelve month program. We have a curriculum that gives them step-by-step discipleship in which they can grow in Christ. Once they're mature enough, they are reunited with their children. And when they live that dream of being free from drugs and being free from those things that caused them to turn to drugs, then they can be the mother that they need to be. And it all is because there's hope in Jesus Christ.

Pamala, Teen Challenge graduate
Ginger: Pamala, tell me what it was that brought you to Teen Challenge.

Pamala: I was an addict of coCaine for many years. My mother was always distant from us. I felt abandoned by her. Although, I always thought that I should be strong, I found out that I wasn't strong. Then I was 23, I met the man who led me to believe that he was protecting me. With time, I realized that he was just using me. He made me start prostituting myself. And he is the one who got me into drugs.

Ginger: What kept you from walking away from this lifestyle?

Pamala: Because I thought I was escaping something worse.

Ginger: What was that?

Pamala: The father of my older child, we were separated. He wanted to come back to me and I didn't want to because he mistreated me. I couldn't eat. I couldn't swallow. I was so nervous all the time.

Ginger: Because you were so afraid of what he might do?

Pamala: Yes, because every time I would go out, if he would see me on the street, he would come over. And at one time, he put a knife to my throat, or he would hit me, or he would grab me with my child in arms. And then, this other person I know called me. And I knew what he was doing, the whole drug scene, but it was just a way to escape.

Ginger: Tell me about the time that was most difficult for you, that you knew your life had to change.

Pamala: My daughter had been born and I just thought that she's going to end up an addict like me. I could not find any way out.

Ginger: What was your heart longing for? What did you really need in your life?

Pamala: I longed to be a good mother. And now, I think I'm doing it, because of Siquem.

Norbert: And here we are in the entrance of our new Women's Teen Challenge Ministry, and the sign here, the name of the ministry is Siquem and it comes from the Bible, Un Lugar de Refugio, which is a place of refuge. And so, the property is all about God helping us reach out to these women. And it was right about time that David and Shelly Meyer came down, and it was for sale, and the layout in the facility was a nice, large facility for us for a women's program. And so, it made a lot of sense. This is a perfect place that God has given them.

Ximena Salinas, Women's Center director
Ginger: Ximena, you are such an important part of all of these women's stories because of the way that you play a huge role in their healing. What are some of the particular troubles that women are dealing with?

Ximena: To just have somebody take them and hold them, hug them, that human touch, that embrace, that feeling of being part of a family, which has been so absent in their lives in which they so desire. It's those same arms of the Lord that embraced me, I can now use to embrace them. These are my children, my daughters, my spiritual daughters.

Ginger: How has this change in your life changed the lives of your daughters?

Pamala: Very much. They say they're very proud of me because I'm studying in the university. I'm studying to be a therapist in rehabilitation for addicts. I'm almost done. I just have one semester left to go.

Ginger: Congratulations, that's wonderful.

Pamala: I just want to thank God that he put this desire in my heart now, to serve in this area because it's just a way of thanking him for all that he's done in my life. He's always supplying everything I need.

Ginger: What happened to that desire for the drugs? What happened to that fear that you had been carrying and that desire for love that you had in your life?

Pamala: I found my only true, great love. Having the love of God in my heart made me forget everything else. I finally, truly know what love is.

Ginger: How long have you been graduated from the program?

Magaly: April 15th, 2015.

Ginger: What do you do when you come back? How do you help the women that are here now?

Magaly: I do exercise programs, routines with the women. And I also teach devotionals.

Ginger: Why is that aspect of exercise, physical activity so important?

Magaly: Because here, they don't have a routine of doing exercise or anything like that. And when they start loving themselves, they wanna change, they wanna feel beautiful and see themselves differently.

Ginger: Do you just have an overwhelming sense that God has always had a plan for you, even through all of this.

Magaly: I believe he was always with me. Because there are people who live on the streets from such a young age and end up dying.

Ginger: For someone who's watching right now, who is where you were when they're at that lowest point, what would you say to them? What should they do?

Magaly: They started teaching me to forgive myself and let go of all that, that I had bottled up in me. Then I could start seeing the world a little brighter.

Ginger: So, we know that there's a great deal to do here. There are many more women to help, many more women who need the Lord. And there are so many people out there, right now, that I know will commit to pray for you and these women.

Ximena: It's important to be able to share that burden, that weight, that I, as a director, have for these women. Be head of something is an honor, but it's also a responsibility. I wasn't really sure what was gonna happen because there wasn't a lot of support. We were always praying and believing that God had a place of our own. Norbert called me and told me that Joyce Meyer was gonna buy us a property in Chile. It was a miracle.

Ginger: Let's talk about how much more we can do when we do these things together than when we're standing apart. How important is this partnership between global Teen Challenge and Hand of Hope?

Norbert: Partnership with Hand of Hope has really brought life to global Teen Challenge in a sense. Here's another ministry, that's like-minded, who have a heart for the world. You know, that all souls should be saved. But specifically, David and Shelly have shared with us their heart for those who are addicted. And part because of mom, because of Joyce Meyer, her heart for that. And how she had her own struggles and yet, she found the Word of God to be the foundation for her to live her life. Not only that, but then share with the world what God has done.

Patricia: Many women still in the program say, "I read this". It's the "Battlefield of the Mind". Many girls read that and say, "That changed my life"! And another book that's a great book I read before is "Forgiveness".

Ginger: Forgiveness has to be such a huge part of recovery in situations like this.

Norbert: Once they begin to learn to forgive themselves and know that, and they begin to believe that God has forgiven them, it changes their whole outlook for the future.

Marcela: When I found out that he has forgiven me, even though I had done harm to other people selling drugs, it felt so good because somebody loved me just like I was, just like I am.

Ginger: You said before, that you couldn't even stand to look in a mirror because of how ugly you felt. What do you see now?

Marcela: When I'm working, sometimes people approach me and, "You have something so special about you". Special? Well, I don't know. But once I looked in the mirror and I looked at my eyes, and the Lord said, "It was beautiful". He made my face, and that's what I saw in the mirror.

Ginger: What an amazing privilege to see the way that these women are blooming. The way that the beauty that God has put in them is now coming out so that they can see it. And when you help a woman, it flows over into her children, into her family's and it changes so many lives. That is what, "ProjectGRL", is all about, sharing the beauty that God has put in women and girls all over the world. And you can do that with us, right here in Chile, as we've been talking about, and in many, many places all over the world. Reaching women through education, through water initiatives, and through just letting them know how very loved and valuable they are. And if you're wondering how you can be part of this, let me tell you, it's not hard at all. You can call the number on your screen. You can go to the website, right now, and join us. Your gift towards, "ProjectGRL", will change many lives.

Joyce: I mean, we see it on television, they got a whole program now about people who hoard things. There's another program about people who have excessive numbers of pets. There's gambling addictions and exercising addictions and just all kinds of things. Well, what are people trying to do? They're trying to feel good about themselves. But we need to know who we are in Christ, and we need to know that we have worth and value because Jesus died for us. And we need to be unwilling to spend one more night with the frogs. God called Moses to deliver the Israelites out of Egypt. Pharaoh who would represent the devil wouldn't let 'em go.

So, God brought plague after plague. The Nile turned to blood. It was blood, blood, blood everywhere. Then Pharaoh would say he'd let 'em go, then he'd change his mind. So, they got a curse of frogs. Exodus 8, says frogs everywhere. We have worry frogs, and drug frogs, and alcohol frogs, and rebellion frogs. C'mon, is anybody with me? Anger frogs, unforgiveness frogs, bitterness frogs. Well, Pharaoh got tired of the frogs and he said to Moses, "All right, I will let the people go. Pray for me, that God would take away the frogs". And Moses said to him, "You dictate to me, when you want me to pray and I will pray at that time and the frogs will be removed". And Pharaoh said, "Tomorrow".

Why did he wanna spend one more night with the frogs? Maybe he thought by tomorrow they'd go away on their own. I really think that's kind of what it was. You know, if I just wait till tomorrow, maybe these things will go away on their own and then I can still keep things the way they are. C'mon now. The trickle-down theory of conditional love. "Well, Jesus loves me, but he loves me conditionally. Therefore, his love is based on my performance. Therefore, I have to earn his love by pleasing him. Therefore, when I please him, I feel loved, and when I don't please him, I feel rejected".

Now, we gotta stop there for a minute because here's what happens. When I fail, God still loves me just as much as he did before I failed. But if I think that God's love for me is based on my performance, then when I fail, I suddenly, now, feel that he doesn't love me anymore. It has nothing to do with what God is, it has everything to do with my feelings. "Therefore, I cannot accept love from other people. I deflect it. And I try to prove to them that I'm right, that I am not lovable. Look and see how weird I am. I believe that they will eventually reject me and therefore, they do. So, therefore, I use the world's standards: money, position, power, status, clothes, to prove to myself and others that I am valuable. I'm valuable, I'm a doctor". Whoever says, "I'm valuable, I'm a janitor"?

But see, you are. You're just as valuable as the doctor. You are just as important to God as I am today. You are just as important as the people leading worship. You are just as important to God as anybody else on this planet. He loves you just as much because he loves you unconditionally. "Therefore, since I don't love who I am, I don't expect that others will love me either. Why would anyone want something to do with something that has no real value? Therefore, I try to earn their love by what I do. I don't give to people out of a desire to love them, but to be loved".

Now, if I had time, which I don't, I could go through the other one, the trickle-down theory of unconditional love, and it's just the absolute opposite. You can get it in the, "Beauty for Ashes", book. Alright, I'll do a few sentences. We'll go fast. "Jesus loves me, this I know, and he loves me unconditionally. Therefore, I have not earned his love, nor can I earn his love. Therefore, I cannot be separated from his love. When I obey him, he will bless me. When I disobey him, there will be consequences. He may not like my behavior, but he always loves me. Therefore, since I have experienced God's love, I know that I am lovable. Therefore, since I know that God loves me, I am able to believe that there are people who could love me, too. Therefore, I am able to trust people who love me. Therefore, I am able to accept the love that people give me".

Man, this makes you so confident. You can go out in the world and not be afraid of rejection because you feel good about yourself. And actually, if somebody does reject you, you know right away, they got a problem. "Therefore, since my most basic need for love and a sense of self-worth have been met by God, I don't need to be fixed by people". Hallelujah! And on, and on, and on, and therefore, and therefore. You get it. C'mon, get up on your feet and praise God.
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