Joyce Meyer - A Peaceful Mind
Now, tonight I want to talk to you about your mind. You cannot have an obedient life without having an obedient thought life. So, I'm gonna 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 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.
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. Well, what about worry, why do we worry? Well, we worry because we think that 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.
You know, I'm dealing with somebody right now that's trying to understand God. Who God is, all these different religions and all these different things and what about science and, you know, it's like, I mean, I don't even really know how to answer 'em. I'm not even that intelligent enough to get into it to start trying to answer it. And I'm glad I'm not, sometimes you can get so smart that you can't believe nothin'. And, amen? I mean, I don't even watch all those silly kinds of shows on TV that, you know, try to tell me who God is. I know who he is, I know what he's done in my life.
But here's the thought that God gave me that I want to share with this person, you cannot find God with your head. You gotta find him with your heart. You can't find God with your head and when you try to do that it's never going to work. And we can't find all the answers to our problems in life with just our brain. Now, we have a mind of the flesh and a mind of the spirit and I'm gonna talk to you tonight about learning how to use the mind of the spirit, but that's really letting God speak to you inwardly. Whether that's by peace or by wisdom or through the Word of God or some kind of confirmation or the still, small voice. But God wants to get involved in guiding our lives and showing us what to do. And sometimes you'll pray about what to do about something and you feel like you don't get any answer and then it'll just be like, you know, God speaking to us is not always this big, whoo, whoo, "God said".
You know, a lot of times you'll get answers and it sounds like your own voice, in your own head because God will cause our thoughts to become agreeable to his will, the Bible says. Did you know that? So, you can be thinking all wrong and pray and the next thing you know, maybe that day, maybe the next day, you get, it's like... And then we say, "I got a good idea". Well, not so much. "Boy, did I get a good idea". No, God caused your thoughts to become agreeable to his will and the thought that you had feels right because it came from God. When we get into this mental realm and we try to figure everything out, it gives you a headache. Makes you frown. You get confused. Nothing seems to work.
Now, 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 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. Can I give you a piece of advice tonight? Replace your worries with prayers. And so, we're gonna pray a little prayer right now. Father, I pray that every time we start to worry you will show us, just whisper, "You're wasting your time". And then help us turn that worry into a prayer so you can actually do something about our situation.
Now, Philippians 4:6 and 7, "Don't 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"... God does not get, he's not like, "Oh, is it you again wanting one more thing"? You can not pray too much. You can not ask God for too much. And when you do that, God's peace will be yours the Bible says. Now, the word "Worry" from Webster's 1828 Dictionary means, "To trouble, to harass, to tear, to vex, to persecute brutally, or to fatigue". Let me read it to you again. This is what worry means, "To trouble, to harass, to tear, to vex, to persecute brutally, or to fatigue".
So, notice that all that worry does is nothing good. Nothing good. A woman may worry about her children, her finances, her husband's faithfulness, what people think, it could contribute to the problem but it definitely won't solve the problem. What does the Bible say? "Cast all your cares on him". All your cares. All your concerns. Once and for all. On him. I'm sure none of you worry though, you probably don't even need this part. Now, a healthy mind is not confused. If I would've started out tonight and said, "How many of you are confused, right now, in your life"? You would have been amazed at how many hands would have went up in here. It would have probably been most everybody.
And one of the reasons, I think the main reason why people get confused, is because they try to figure too many things out. What is our fascination with needing to know everything? My older son said, "I finally learned," and he's 50 now, "That being right is highly overrated". You know, it's a terrible price that we pay sometimes just to try to prove that we're right in a situation and we just can't wait to tell people what we know. I mean, sometimes we can't even listen to what other people are saying because after they get one sentence out we're already thinking about what we know. Am I right? And we want to tell them what we know. Get comfortable not knowing. Get comfortable saying, "I don't know and I'm not gonna try to figure it out". I'm praying about it and God will show me at the right time.
Now, I'm not saying don't think about a situation. But I'm saying when you think about it to the point where it's starting to confuse you then how about just giving it up? Come on, how many of you spend a lot of time just trying to figure stuff out? Come on, don't give me one of these things, I wanna see... Now, my husband, don't ever try to figure anything out. He's just, Dave's just got that easy-going wonderful, I don't know why we don't all get that personality. But I didn't get it. I wasn't in that line. You weren't either, right? And how many of you are more like... And you're married to somebody that just couldn't care less? Don't they just drive you nuts? Oh, my gosh. It's a good thing one person in the relationship knows how to behave right.
"God is not the author of confusion". 1 Corinthians 14:33, "God is not the author of confusion". So, the minute that you start to feel confused, just be honest and say, "Okay, well I'm trying to figure out something that only God knows the answer to, and he's not telling me yet, so, that means he wants me to trust him". Uh-oh. Come on, we've all got stuff going on in our lives that we don't know the answer to. I mean, I had something come up today and, you know, it's not gonna happen for three months and I'm like... You know? Trying to get ready to teach you tonight, not to do that, and I'm going... I have to apply these same principles, you know? Just because we teach this doesn't mean that we're immune to being attacked, we all get attacked. But I'm trying to help you have some peace in your life, because a normal, healthy mind is a mind that's at peace. And if we want to hear from God, we have to keep our mind in a peaceful state. "I want some peace of mind".
Well, pay attention to your thoughts. You can't have peace and have wrong thoughts all the time. If you're confused, most of the time, it's because you're trying to figure out something that God has not given you the answer to. We're trying to get tomorrow's answer today. And God wants us to, what? Trust him one day at a time. "Well, when am I gonna get married? Oh, when are you going to change? God, when? When, God, when? Why, God, why"? And what he really wants to hear is, "I trust you, Lord. My times are in your hands".
Four things that cause confusion: lack of confidence to make decisions, listening to too many people... Oh my gosh, don't waste your time going around asking all your friends what they think you should do. Most of them don't even know what they're doing. "Well, what do you think I should do"? And then if you ever get this answer, you better run, "Well, off the top of my head, I would say"... I mean the last thing we need is something off the top of somebody else's head. I mean, at least if you're gonna ask somebody what you should do, go to somebody that's got some spiritual wisdom, that walks in some discernment, that's gonna take a little bit of effort to maybe pray before they pop off an answer. "Well, what do you think I should do? Well, what do you think I should do"?
Another thing that causes confusion is we don't make decisions because of the fear of making a mistake. And then excessive reasoning causes confusion. Four things: lack of confidence to make decisions, and you know, deciding not to make a decision is still a decision. Listening to too many people, the fear of making mistakes, and excessive reasoning. Sometimes you just need to turn your brain off for a few minutes and get quiet and see what's in your heart. Proverbs 3:5-8, is so good. "Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and don't rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will direct your path".
And I love the first sentence in verse 7, "Be not wise in your own eyes". So, not to be insulting but I'll just tell you the truth, we're not smart enough to solve our own problems. We need God's help and a lot of it. And then verse 8 says, "It will be health to your nerves and sinews, and marrow and moistening to your bone". So, your mind actually can affect your health. You can worry yourself into sickness. So many sicknesses and diseases are caused by anxiety, and Jesus said, "I came that you might have peace. I've left you my peace. My peace I leave with you. Stop allowing yourselves to be upset and disturbed," John 14:27.
Well, if he said stop letting yourself get upset, then I guess there must be something I could do about it, if I really wanted to. Okay, come on, it's Friday night. Sometimes we just think a thing to death. We think about it until we just are about to go mad. I love what it says in 1 Samuel 17:48, that David did when he faced Goliath. You know, David was small. Goliath was 10 feet tall. David went out to meet him with a slingshot and some stones. And he had every piece of armor you could possibly have. But David had the best armor because he went in the name of the Lord of hosts.
And 1 Samuel 17:48 says, "When the Philistine came forward to meet David"... Imagine a 10 foot man coming at you, "When he came forward to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine". You say, "Well, why do you like that so much"? I think that he would have been defeated if he had stood there and thought about how big he was. "Oh, my gosh, you are big. I mean, really big". See, sometimes you just need to run toward whatever it is you need to do, and just do it and you'll find that God will be with you and God will cause you to succeed.
"I'm so afraid, I'm so afraid, I'm so afraid, I'm so afraid". Well, do it afraid. Don't let fear stop you. Courage is action in the face of fear. "Oh, hallelujah". Maybe I'll stop and sing for a minute. Discernment is so wonderful. And reasoning, excessive reasoning, not only gets us confused but it prevents discernment. You know, in 1 Corinthians chapter 2, there's some great scriptures, verses 14-16 that, they're worth studying and looking at over, and over, and over. Because they talk about how the spiritual man, the truly spiritual man is a little bit different than everybody else.
You can't quite get a handle on somebody that's truly spiritual because he probably does more listening than talking or he could be talking to you and listening to God at the same time. But the truly spiritual man trains himself to always have one ear turned toward the master. So, they're not gonna have bad behavior for very long because they're gonna know right away that that's not what they should be doing. They're not gonna say things for very long. You know, if you're really tuned into the spirit you can't sit over the whole lunch and gossip with a friend of yours about somebody else. You can't do it, because you're gonna know. There's going to be an uncomfortable feeling in the pit of your gut and a knowing that, that's not what you should do.
Now, when I talked last night about following the guidance of the Holy Spirit, these are the kinds of things that I'm talking about. You know, I probably don't have to talk to you about, "Don't kill your neighbor. Don't rob a bank". I mean, probably those things are not temptations, but we do need to talk about not being judgmental, not being critical, not gossiping, not letting a bunch of junk come out of our mouth that's going to hurt our future and everybody around us. And, sad to say, many of those things have become acceptable sins. They're like things that people think don't really make that much difference anymore, but they do make a difference and they make a big difference.
And so, I'm not gonna take the time to read these scriptures but it says, "The spiritual man tries all things he examines, investigates, inquires into, questions, and discerns all things". I think the person who's truly spiritual and is operating from the mind of the spirit, takes time to think before he pops off an answer. A great example is found in John 8:1-11, when the woman was caught in adultery and they brought her to Jesus and said, "Now, the law says that she has to be stoned, but what do you have to say"? 'Cause see, he was teaching love and forgiveness, but he also had to keep the law, and so, they thought they had him in a trap.
Now, this woman's been caught in adultery. So, "Okay if you know so much, this is what the law says, what would you do with her"? And the Bible says that he bent down and wrote on the ground with his finger. Have you ever thought about that? What was he doing? What was he doing? You know what I think he was doing? This is my own opinion, I think he was waiting to hear what God wanted him to say. Come on, who's clapping? That one person over there, thank you. How much less trouble will we get into if we actually did some thinking before we just gave somebody, "Off the top of my head"? And they pressed him for an answer and he raised himself up, "I'll tell you what, whichever one of you has no sin, you throw the first stone". And it says, "One by one"...
And sometimes, when somebody's just being downright ridiculous and they say something really stupid to you, the Bible says that when we answer a fool, we become just like him. I'm kind of learning some situations you just think, "That does not even qualify for an answer. I'm not even gonna bother trying to give you an answer". And I think sometimes if we will just keep quiet then God can deal with people, instead of us always trying to convince everybody what we think they should do. Hmm... A healthy mind is positive, always positive. A healthy mind doesn't just think about what it doesn't have, it thinks about what it does have.
My gosh, I am so thankful. I start every day thanking God for my life, that I get to preach, that I've got a great family, that I can walk and talk and see and hear, that I've got a home, that I've got clean water. When you leave here tonight, go home and take five minutes and write down seven things you're thankful for. Be thankful. And you know what? I'm just gonna meddle here for minute. You know, if you're a woman here and you've got a husband and he does yadda, yadda, yadda that you don't like, God is not gonna change him while you nag him to death. Now, I know you guys are going right now, "I like this woman. Whoa, I like her".
Well, I got some things I can say to you, too. One woman told me one time that she just absolutely could not stand her husband and she wanted to love him, she just couldn't love him, she didn't like anything about him. And God finally showed her, and this is very interesting, that she could not love her husband because she spent all day watching soap operas. And she was always staring at tall, dark, and handsome, who came home with the roses and was so Romantic and did everything just right, and then her slightly overweight husband would come home at night after digging ditches, having dirt all over him, and sweaty and smelly. And she would, like, "I cannot stand you". She didn't say it, but that's what she thought.
So, see, what you fill your mind with is gonna affect your behavior and how you act. Don't look at someone else's man and say, "I wish he was my husband". He's not. And you're not gonna get him. How many of you are ready to dedicate your mind to the Lord? Now, you know what that means, whenever he's shows you, you're thinking something you shouldn't be thinking, then you gotta shut your mind against that. Get yourself some word, replace it. Where the mind goes, the man follows. If you think about something long enough, you're gonna end up doing it. And a lot of times we're gonna end up doing things that we don't want to do, amen? So, I pray for you, in Jesus' name, that as you make this commitment to dedicate your life to God, to dedicate your mind to him, that you would stick with it until you have complete freedom.