Joyce Meyer: Power Thoughts
By Beth Patch
CBN.com - Well-loved Christian author and Bible teacher Joyce Meyer has written a follow-up to her New York Times Bestseller Battlefield of the Mind titled Power Thoughts: 12 Strategies to Win the Battle of the Mind.
Meyer recently spoke with CBN.com about how her new book can help people understand how their thought process works and then purposefully inject God's Word into their everyday thinking.
CBN.com: Is this supposed to be a revised version or is it expounding on Battlefield of the Mind?
Joyce Meyer: I like to say Power Thoughts takes Battlefield of the Mind to a new level because it picks up where the first book left off. Back in 1995 when I wrote Battlefield of the Mind, I just had this passion to tell people they didn’t have to believe all the bad things they’d heard or thought about themselves all their life. I wanted them to learn the truth of God’s Word and really believe what it says about them. My goal for Power Thoughts is to help people understand how their thought process works and then purposefully inject God’s Word into their everyday thinking.
It’s so important that we learn to think in line with God’s Word. Proverbs 23:7 says as a man thinks in his heart, so is he. I want people to get a revelation about that scripture. We need to learn how to develop the kind of optimistic outlook that changes our lives for the better.
CBN.com: Let’s say Jane has spent her life looking at the glass half-empty and she wants to see it as half-full from now on. Where does she start?
Joyce Meyer: First of all, I want to encourage anybody who’s older and wants to change the way they’ve always thought—you can do it. It’s never too early or too late to start with God.
This year at our women’s conference, Dr. Caroline Leaf, who is a brain expert, explained that the human brain continues to mature until the day you die. That means you don’t have to be stuck in your old thought patterns. You can choose to change the way you think.
Just think of it this way: If you just go on seeing your glass half-empty, you’re expecting things to either remain the same or get worse and your outlook will be negative. But if you make the decision today to focus on the positive, you can look forward to greater enjoyment in every area of your life.
There’s another point I address in the book and it’s that God does not control us. We’re not like robots. God promises to guide us through the Holy Spirit, but He gives us the freedom to make our own decisions. Ultimately, we’re in control of our thoughts and we need to take responsibility for them.
CBN.com: What do you suggest in battling strongholds in life?
Joyce Meyer: What I refer to as “strongholds” are wrong mind-sets and thought patterns that are based on lies. In other words, it’s an area of our thinking that we’ve allowed the enemy to dominate over time. He’s worked on us and worn us down to think and act a certain way. That’s a stronghold.
The enemy knows if he can trap us in strongholds, he can work all kinds of destruction in our lives. But God’s given us the power to conquer those strongholds by “renewing our mind”, which is simply learning to think properly.
We’ve got to examine what we believe and why we believe it and keep filling our mind with the truth. It’s a process you have to go through again and again. But remember, each time you do, you’re making progress. And in Christ, you already have the victory.
CBN.com: How does a person really let go of worrying?
Joyce Meyer: Worry and reasoning are two of Satan’s most successful tools. He’ll get us started with one negative thought and then sit back and watch us finish ourselves off. If we want to be victorious in this life, we can’t be ignorant of his plans.
We all have “weak spots” and when we’re tempted in those areas we need to be able to recognize and resist the temptation. Normally, people don’t see things like worry as being sin, but according to Romans 14:23, whatever is not faith is a sin. Before we can overcome worry, we first need to acknowledge it as a sin, then turn away from it and fix our eyes on God.
I used to worry about every little thing, trying to figure out every problem. Well, I realize now how foolish that was. I was no more in control of my life than the man on the moon. When I learned to give control over to God, I started enjoying my life a lot more.
We have to make communication with God a priority in our daily schedules. He’s here to help us through our ups and downs and guide us through life, similar to what an air traffic controller does for an airline pilot. He can see the “big picture”. If we ever want to get to where we’re going, we need to depend on Him to guide us.
CBN.com: What strategies would you suggest for people to root themselves in the present and let go of the past?
Meyer: God has given us the fruit of self-control, which is great news. It means we don’t have to allow our thoughts to control us; we can control them. If you’ve gone through hard times, don’t let your mind stay there. You can’t change what happened in the past, so there’s no point in dragging it through your mind again. Instead, I encourage you to think about what you can do to make your current situation better.
I’ve dedicated a whole chapter to “on-purpose thinking” because I really think it can be life-changing. For example, a lot of people spend their lives starting and then stopping. They’ll start a diet and cave in as soon as the restaurant menu comes. Or they’ll start volunteering somewhere and then stop when it seems inconvenient or things get difficult. We need to decide what’s important to us and keep our minds set to follow through.
I like to talk to myself ahead of time so when temptation comes, I’ve already made up my mind that I have the victory. For example, I might say, “I’m not going to think bad thoughts about people and I am not going to gossip. When someone comes around to talk to me about someone else, I’m not going to get involved. I am not going to participate in any kind of activity that offends God.”
Another thing you can do is think right thoughts over and over again until they become rooted in your thinking—until right thoughts come to you more easily and naturally than wrong thoughts. It takes time and determination, but you will eventually come to a place where wrong thoughts actually make you feel uncomfortable. You’ll stop thinking them, just like you’ll stop wearing an old shirt that now seems ugly and out of style.
CBN.com: In the book, you include a segment about the importance of meditation. Can you describe Christ-centered meditation and why it’s important?
Meyer: To meditate simply means to roll a thought around in your mind, to mutter softly, or even speak it out loud. People do that all the time, but often they’re focusing on a thought that’s rooted in fear or doubt. We need to focus on thoughts that are good and pleasing to God.
I like to look at meditating on God’s Word as chewing my food. If I swallow something whole, without chewing it, I won’t get the full benefit of the nutrients inside it. But if I chew on it until I’ve broken it down, I get the full benefit. It’s the same with God’s Word. If we take the time to really chew on it, we can receive wisdom and revelation that we wouldn’t have if we’d simply skimmed over the words.
Beth Patch serves as the Global Ministries and Spiritual Life Devotions producer for CBN.com. For more articles and info, visit Beth's bio page.
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