Joel Osteen BlogTweet
Posted 6/26/12 at 10:04 AM | Joel Osteen
One time, I read about a small fish called the Moses sole. It’s a little flounder that’s found in the Red Sea. There are also large sharks in those waters that would typically eat these small fish; but back in the early 1970’s, a group of researchers noticed something amazing about the little Moses sole. All the other fish in that category, same size and same weight, would be eaten by the sharks. But for some reason, these sharks would not eat the Moses sole. They found out that this little Moses sole has a very unique defense system. Any time it senses some kind of danger, it naturally secretes poisonous toxins from its glands. These toxins literally cause the shark’s jaws to freeze. There was a picture of this little Moses sole inside a shark’s mouth. The shark had obviously come in for the kill. All it had to do was bite down and there was dinner. The only problem was that the shark couldn’t do it. God put something on this little fish to protect him, and as long as the shark was near that Moses Sole, his jaw was frozen. He would have to swim away for a few seconds before it would be released and go back to normal.
I believe that’s a picture of what the scripture means when it says, “The favor of God will keep my enemies from defeating me.” God has put something on you that will cause you to be victorious over your enemies. Who are your enemies? Scripture tells us that it isn’t the people in our lives; we don’t battle against flesh and blood, but against the forces of darkness in the spiritual realm. (See Ephesians 6:12). The way you release that protection and cause your enemy’s jaw to “freeze up” is by submitting yourself to God. James 4:7 tells us, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” When you put God first place in your life, you are walking in His divine protection, wisdom, favor and grace. When you acknowledge Him as Lord, when you declare His goodness and thank Him for His favor, you are causing the jaws of your enemy to lock up! Every time you say, “Lord, thank You that Your gracious hand is upon me. I bless You and praise You for Your goodness and faithfulness,” the enemy is paralyzed. However, if you go around talking about how big the problem is, how you’re never going to make it, that does just the opposite. That acts like bait. That attracts the enemy. That will make it more difficult. In essence, it paralyzes you! FULL POST
Posted 6/22/12 at 10:37 AM | Joel Osteen
Years ago, Victoria and I found two acres of property that we really wanted to buy so we could build a house on it. It was a beautiful, desirable piece of property close to the city. God has blessed us through our books and other avenues, so it was in our budget. We follow God’s principles with finances; we tithe, sow seed, and we’ve always made good investments through the years. But, I was praying and debating with myself about whether or not we should buy this property. I thought, “You know what? We don’t really need two acres to live on. We’re fine where we are.” But down deep inside I wanted it. It was a desire of my heart, but I kind of felt guilty, like it was more than we needed.
One day, I was on an airplane 35,000 feet up in the air. It was a clear, beautiful day, and I was sitting by the window looking out toward the ground. I sensed God speaking something to my heart. He said, “Joel, you wonder if it’s okay to buy that property. What do you think those two acres look like to Me? What do you think it looks like from My point of view, from My perspective?” Well, from where I was 35,000 feet in the air, two acres looked like a little dot, just like you took your pen and touched the earth. It was nothing. I felt God say, “Joel, I give you permission. It’s okay to have enough land the size of a pinhead to Me.” FULL POST
Posted 6/15/12 at 8:06 AM | Joel Osteen
My father grew up during the Great Depression. His family was very poor, and he developed a poverty mindset. In seminary, he was even taught that you had to be poor in order to show that you were really holy. The first church that he pastored made sure that he "stayed holy” by keeping him poor. He and my mother made $115 a week trying to raise five children! One time, they had a guest minister in the church. My parents hosted that man in our house for the whole week. After the Sunday service, a member of the congregation, a successful businessman, came up to my father and handed him a check for $1,000. A thousand dollars back then was like $10,000 today. He said, “Pastor, I want you to have this personally because you’ve had a lot of extra expenses keeping this man in your home.”
But my father had been so programmed with this poverty mentality, this false sense of humility, that he took that check by the very top corner like it was poisonous or something. He said, “Oh no, Brother, I could never keep this for myself. We must put this in the church offering.”
Daddy walked over toward the offering plate and with every step something on the inside said, “Don’t do it. Receive God’s blessings. Receive God’s goodness.” He ignored it and dropped the check into the offering plate. He said when he did, he felt sick to his stomach. He knew deep down inside that he was supposed to have that. Thank God, one day my father broke out of that poverty mindset. He read the scripture in the Psalms, "The Lord takes pleasure in the prosperity of His children.” He began to understand that it brings a smile to God’s face when we live an abundant life, when we prosper in our health, in our relationships and in our finances. He got a new vision. He quit feeling guilty for God’s blessings. He started learning how to receive all that God had for him! FULL POST
Posted 6/12/12 at 6:10 AM | Joel Osteen
A few years ago, I saw a report on the news about a teenage girl who had driven her car into some high water on a flooded street. She ended up stranded in her car. The water was rising unusually fast. In just two or three minutes, it was already up over her car hood. She couldn’t open the car doors because the water pressure was too strong. She couldn’t roll down her windows because they were electric. They were showing this Live on the news. As I watched, my heart was beating so fast. She was in there just praying and praying. A man jumped into the water and swam over to the car. He started beating on the window, trying to break it open with no success. The whole time, the car was floating down the road. I’ll never forget seeing this. At one point, the car tilted forward and then went totally underwater. My heart sunk. I thought, “Man, this is just the end.”
About that time, another man jumped into the water and swam toward the car like he was Superman! Somehow he found the car, dove underwater and disappeared for about 30 seconds. It seemed like an eternity. But in a few seconds, you saw the young girl’s arm come up out of the water. I thought, “My goodness! How did he get a window open or a door open under there?” A few seconds later, he pulled her whole body out and was able to help her get to the shore. She was perfectly fine and walked off on her own two feet! If that wasn’t amazing enough, when the wrecker pulled the car out of the water, they noticed that no windows had been broken, no windows were down, and there was no evidence that any doors had been open. The newscaster sat there dumbfounded. He said, “I don’t know. You figure that one out.” FULL POST
Posted 6/1/12 at 11:15 AM | Joel Osteen
My friend, Mark Shriver, has a new book coming out on Tuesday called, A Good Man. The book is about his father, Sargent Shriver, who was an American statesman and activist. Among his many accomplishments, he was the driving force behind the creation of the Peace Corps, the Job Corps, Head Start and other programs. The book is about Mark’s journey to discover what made his father so impactful and admired on this earth. What was the foundation for his faith, hope and love?
One thing that Mark recounts is how his father would write him letters on a regular basis. He’d slip the letter under Mark’s bedroom door sometime during the night so that when Mark woke in the morning, it would be the first thing that he would see and read.
On graduation day, his father wrote:
Happy Graduation Day, Mark, and Congratulations! Always remember, numero uno, that you are a unique, infinitely valuable person—your mother and I love you—so do your brothers and sisters and friends—but all our love and interest put together cannot compare to the passionate interest and love God himself showers on you. You are His! He wants you! And He will make you the perfect Man you are to be. Love, Dad FULL POST
Posted 5/25/12 at 10:06 AM | Joel Osteen
All through the scripture, there are examples of people who were in great need, but then the favor of God turned it around. For example, in Genesis 6, Noah was facing the greatest challenge of his life. The Earth was about to be destroyed with the flood. Things looked impossible, but scripture says, "Noah found favor in the sight of God." He was able to build that ark and save his family. The book of Ruth tells us how Ruth had just gone through the loss of her husband, a great disappointment. She was living in another city, barely making it financially. But Ruth found favor with a man named Boaz. He was very wealthy. They ended up getting married. Ruth went on to live a life of abundance and happiness. In Genesis 37, Joseph was betrayed by his brothers and sold into slavery, but Joseph found favor everywhere he went. He went through ups and downs, but he ultimately found favor with Pharaoh and was put in charge over all of Egypt.
Posted 5/18/12 at 11:19 AM | Joel Osteen
I have a friend who is a medical doctor. Late one night years ago, he was driving down the freeway on his way home. He came upon an accident and stopped to see if he could help. Sadly, it was a fatality. There was a young man on a stretcher, and the paramedics had worked on him for a long time. They had tried CPR and had IV's in him. As my friend walked up, they were pulling the sheet over his head. Since he was a doctor, they allowed him to take a look. The man leaned over the body and very quietly began to pray for the young man, "God, give him another chance. God, let his life come back into him. Let his heart begin to work. Let his lungs kick in." For a couple of minutes, very quietly, he prayed the prayer of faith. He wasn't a minister. He wasn't trained in theology. He simply believed that with God all things are possible. He believed what Jesus said, that we would see the greater works.
While he was still praying, all of the sudden, the young man began to cough. The paramedics nearly passed out! In a few seconds, he opened his eyes, and not long after that, he was able to sit up. Today, the young man is alive and healthy, totally recovered. But had my friend not believed that God can do astounding, remarkable and overwhelming things, I don't know if that young man would be alive today. Friends, God is looking for someone to believe for the greater works, greater power, greater anointing, greater influence, greater victory. He's looking for somebody to take the limits off of Him. FULL POST
Posted 5/11/12 at 10:36 AM | Joel Osteen
Scripture tells us that the fervent prayers of the righteous avail much. Fervent prayer is heart-filled, it's faith-filled, and it's love-filled. I believe that a praying mother gives us a wonderful example of what it means to pray fervently.
I know a mother who was praying intensely for her son. He had gotten involved in an outlaw motorcycle gang and was way off course and constantly in and out of jail. Year after year, he continued to spiral downward, breaking his mother's heart. She prayed. She believed. She did everything she could, but nothing seemed to be changing. He had all kinds of addictions. He got to the point where he practically lived stoned. He was never in his right mind.
One day in his early twenties, he was so depressed and so messed up in his mind that he decided to end his life. He had a big bottle of pills that he was going to take. Standing in front of a mirror he thought, "When I looked at myself in that mirror, I saw a dead man staring back at me." Just as he was about to take the pills, he heard something say so strongly, "Don't do it." There was a supernatural force holding him back and keeping him from taking those pills. He didn't really know what he was doing, but he thought, "If I'm going to kill myself, I need to go to church first." FULL POST
Posted 5/4/12 at 10:50 AM | Joel Osteen
There's a young man I know with a beautiful family. He was working at his job, being his best each day and always keeping a good attitude, but there wasn't any room for growth at that company and no opportunity for advancement. One day, another friend told him about a position that was opening up at his company. My friend read the qualifications, and although he didn't have the experience and all the education they wanted, he felt like he should apply for the job. After he was interviewed, they said they would get back with him in about a week.
Well, a week went by and he didn't hear anything. The negative thoughts started coming. "You're not going to get it. You're not qualified. You're going to be stuck at your same position for the rest of your life."
His wife could tell something was bothering him. She said, "Honey, quit worrying about it. God is in control. It's in His hands, and if He wants you to have the job, you're going to get the job." So instead of worrying about it, every day they started declaring Ephesians 3:20. "God, You said You would do exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond." They were speaking unprecedented favor and releasing their faith for God to do something awesome in their lives. FULL POST
Posted 4/30/12 at 10:50 AM | Joel Osteen
A couple of years ago, I was watching the news when Captain Sullenberger successfully landed a jet airplane in the Hudson River. All 155 passengers survived. It's known as "The Miracle on the Hudson." A reporter asked one of the passengers, a man who had just been rescued, what he thought about it all. He was soaking wet, freezing cold and a little bit frazzled, but he had this incredible glow about him and an excitement in his voice. I'll never forget what he said. He told the reporter, "I was alive before, but now I'm really alive."
My question to you today is, "Are you really alive?" Are you passionate about the life God has given you? Do you get up every morning with enthusiasm, pursuing your dreams? Or are you stuck in a rut, going through the motions, letting the pressures of life weigh you down? No, God doesn't want you to just be alive, just exist or just endure. He wants you to be really alive. You have seeds of greatness on the inside. There is something more for you to accomplish. The day you quit being excited about your future is the day you quit living. The day you quit being passionate about what's in front of you is the day you go from living to merely existing. FULL POST