Beliefnet

Are you standing in the way of your success? Are fears holding you back from a more intimate relationship with God? Roll up your sleeves and prepare to challenge yourself with author and evangelist Joyce Meyer, who talked candidly on ways to overcome these struggles in her book “Power Thoughts.” We asked Joyce how she copes with everyday issues from wrestling with the coffee maker in the morning to walking in love. How is she off the stage, you might ask? Decide for yourself. The out-spoken preacher explained that she practices what she preaches in her everyday life.

 

What do you want people to gain from “Power Thoughts” compared to your book “Battlefield of the Mind” that deals with thought patterns as well?

I think “Power Thoughts” takes you a little bit beyond the “Battlefield of the Mind.” “Battlefield of the Mind” talks a lot about right and wrong thinking, and mainly gets the point across to people that they actually can control their thinking. [In] “Power Thoughts” I kind of laid down that foundation in the first part of the book. But in the second part of the book, I go into 12 specific areas showing that if you really, you know, want to develop a habit in breaking wrong thinking in your life--you need to focus in that area of your thinking for a period of time until your mind is renewed. It also talks a lot about confessing scripture in the area you have a weakness over, where you want to build strength. So I really talk a lot more about confession in this book then I did in the “Battlefield of the Mind.”

What practical ways can new believers overcome years of negative thoughts?

For me, [it’s] understanding that negativity was displeasing to God, or even that it’s sin. So I think that before you can overcome anything, believe that you can. Just learn to take a little time before you start reacting, and just think now: “Is being negative going to do me any good here?” Nobody can ever say that being negative ever helped them at all--not in any way. So I think we need to get smart enough to do what’s going to help us and [not] just continue to do things that are going to hurt us. It’s pretty easy to read something or hear about it in a message, but it’s that personal application of that where it’s just you, God, and your problems, that are going to give you the power to get stronger and stronger.

How have you overcome this battle?

My father was negative person. He actually taught me to be negative, if that makes any sense. I remember him saying: ‘You know there’s no point in expecting anything good to happen because it won’t.’ I grew up in such a negative atmosphere. It was very difficult for me to make that turn. I had to really stand my ground and fight that battle for a good number of years. You know, sometimes if you got a problem deep rooted in your life, it takes a little bit of time to overcome it in that area.

You wrote that communication (Rule No. 4) with God, our “control tower,” is imperative to overcoming destructive thoughts. Why are people so afraid of approaching Him?

I think first of all that people need to understand that Jesus didn’t die for us so we all can have a religion and go to a building on Sunday and call it church. Jesus died so we can have an intimate relationship with God through him. Here’s the foundation for all victory in our lives. Jesus said very plainly in John 15 (verse 5) “…apart from Me you can do nothing.” We don’t just have victory because we try to have victory.

What advice would you give someone in trying to open up with God?

I always had a wrong fear of God. I always thought I had to be so careful to make Him mad. One day He put it on my heart saying: ‘I’m not as hard to get along with as you think I am.’ People need to really step out in faith and talk to God. We don’t need to talk to God about things that are just over our heads--actually everything is kind of over our heads. I talk to Him about everything like getting my hair done to working out at the gym to everything that I do. That’s what it means to be intimate [with God].

Rule No. 1 and No. 3 in your book challenges readers to stay calm in the storm and to maintain a right attitude under pressure. What scripture do you recommend when faced with such thoughts?

The Word of God is active, energizing, sharp and powerful like a two-edged sword. So I think when you approach the Word of God it’s not just a book—it’s more than ink on pages. His Word became flesh and dwelt among us. If I have a particular situation that comes up and causes me worry, to this day I will open up my Bible to certain scriptures that I am familiar with about worry. I will read, read it out loud, and trust the power of what’s in that word. I will go to Proverbs 3. [Proverbs 3:5,6]

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