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Watch 2022 online sermons » Joel Osteen » Joel Osteen - Receive When You Believe

Joel Osteen - Receive When You Believe


Joel Osteen - Receive When You Believe
TOPICS: Faith

I want to talk to you today about Receive When You Believe. We all have things we're believing for: one day we're going to get well, one day we're going to break the addiction, one day we're going to meet the right person. We prayed, we're standing in faith waiting for it to happen. But Jesus gives us an important principle in Mark 11:24, he said "Whatever you ask for when you pray, believe that you have received it, and you will have it". He didn't say "Believe that it's going to happen", "Believe that you're going to see things turn around". He said," believe that you receive when you pray". Believe that it happened right then, not in a week, not in a month, but right when you prayed things changed in your favor, God set the miracle into motion. If you're facing an illness, "God I'm asking you to heal my body, and Lord, I receive my healing right now". "Joel, how can I believe that I'm healed when I don't feel any different"? This is what faith is all about. When there's no evidence, when the medical report hasn't improved, no sign of things getting better, yet your report is "I am healed. I am healthy".

When you not only pray, but you take it one step further and you receive your healing in the unseen realm things begin to happen. But if the healing, the freedom, the promotion, the breakthrough is always in your future, then you haven't received it into your spirit. What God is going to bring to pass is not what you ask for, but what you believe you receive when you pray. Are you receiving when you're believing? Not just, "God, I'm asking you to help me break this addiction, help me get free from this bad habit". That's good, but by itself it's not enough. Follow it up with "Lord, I receive your freedom, I receive your wholeness. Thank you that I am free. Not that I'm going to be free, I'm hoping one day to break this addiction, I'm really struggling in this area... No it's already happened". When you prayed, you not only believed it, but you received it. Now change your report from "I'm hoping to" to "It's already done". It's just a matter of time before what happened in the unseen realm shows up in the natural realm.

See, you have to be healed in your spirit, before you're healed in your body. You have to be prosperous in your spirit before you'll be prosperous in the natural. Have to be free in your spirit before you'll be free in the physical. If you believe that it's going to happen sometimes in the future, then there's no promise that it's going to happen. You have to receive it when you believe, when you pray. Even though nothing has changed, even though every circumstance looks just the same, your faith says "It happened. Things have changed in my favor".

This is what my mother did. She was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer in 1981. There was no treatment the doctors could give her. My father brought her home from the hospital, they were devastated, they laid down on the bedroom floor, they prayed and asked God to heal her. My mother believed that day that she received her healing. Not that she was going to be healed, but that it had already happened. She wrote it down, "December 11, 1981, when we prayed, healing came into my body". Now she didn't look any different, she didn't feel any different, but she didn't go by what she saw. We have to walk by faith and not by sight. From that time on I never heard her praying, "God, please heal me. God please let me live. God please turn this around". If you received it when you prayed, then instead of begging God you'll thank him, "Lord, thank you that I'm healed. Thank you that with long life you'll satisfy me".

If you're always asking God for the same thing over and over, pleading with him, "God, turn my child around. God, help me in my finances. God, these people at work, they're against me, you got to do something". The problem is: you're not receiving what you're asking for. Try a different approach and believe that it happened.

For months my mother didn't look any better. She was frail, her skin was yellow, she weighed 89 pounds, but I would hear her going through the house saying "Father, thank you that on December 11th, when we prayed healing came into my body. Lord, I believe that day the tide of the battle turned in my health". She never went around saying, "I hope I get well. I know God's still on the throne, but it's not looking good". She had a different mindset. She was convinced the day she prayed she was healed. Her mind was made up. She was no longer trying to get healed, she was already healed, she was just waiting for the manifestation to show up. That's different than hoping something will happen. When you pray according to God's word, and you receive what you're believing for, then there's a certainty, it's already happened. You don't have to live worried, trying to convince God to do something, working up all this belief. You can rest, knowing that it's already done. At the right time God will bring it from the unseen to the seen. This is a much better way to live, this takes all the pressure off. If you're praying and then worrying, asking God again and again, stressed out, then you didn't really receive it.

The scripture (Hebrews 4:3) says, "Those who have believed enter into rest". When you've received it by faith you don't live up tight, it's in God's hands. My mother kept thanking God for her healing. Over time what she received in her spirit became a reality in the natural. She began to get better and better, today 41 year later she's healthy and strong. I believe one key is she received her healing when she prayed. She believed she was healed when there was no sign of it. Jesus didn't say "Believe you receive it when you see it, when your health turns around, when the breakthrough comes". He said, "Believe you receive when you pray, when nothing looks any different, when it seems like the sickness is winning, when your finances aren't changing".

See, if it happened instantly, it wouldn't take faith. This is where you show God what you're made of. "God, I'm asking for your healing, asking you to help me in my finances. Lord, give me this scholarship so I can go to college. Lord, send the right person in my life to marry". You put your request before God, that's what the scripture says. You ask in faith, now believe that it happened. Not that it's going to one day, believe that God granted that request, believe that he set the answer on the way. We don't know when, may not happen our way, but for it to become a reality you have to believe that you receive it when you pray.

When it's something important, when it's significant, like my mother did you should set a date. Mark that time that you prayed, let that be a reminder "That's when it happened". When doubt comes, discouraging thoughts try to talk you out of it, you can go back to that day, "No, I know, when I prayed on may 22nd my healing came, my breakthrough came, my child's turn around came, my spouse was set in motion headed toward me". Now the test is when we don't see anything changing, thoughts whisper "Nothing happened. You didn't get healed on December 11, you're just the same. You prayed, but you'll never meet the right person. Your business is not going to make it. Something would have improved by now", don't believe those lies. The enemy would love to talk you out of what God put in your spirit. You received it by faith, now you have to walk by faith. Just because you don't see anything happening doesn't mean that God is not working. In the unseen realm what you received in your spirit became a reality. Just a matter of time before you see it show up.

Jesus was leaving the city of Bethany, saw a fig tree off in the distance, and he was hungry so he walked over to it, but it didn't have any figs on it. He said to the tree "May no person ever eat fruit from you again". But when he said it nothing on the outside looked any different. The tree was just as healthy and green as can be. I can hear the disciples whispering, "What happened? Didn't work this time"? They had seen him speak to a blind man, and his eyes were healed. They had heard him speak to a storm and calm the waters. But when he spoke to this tree, nothing changed, there was no evidence that what he said had happened. They went on their way puzzled, wondering what went wrong. The next morning as they were passing by, the disciples saw the tree, it was all withered up. Peter was so amazed, he said, "Look Jesus, the tree you cursed is dying". They didn't think anything happened, none of the outside circumstances looked any different, but when Jesus spoke it in the unseen realm things changed.

Two verses later Jesus told them this principle: when you pray believe that you receive it and you will have it. He was showing us through the fig tree: you may not see anything changing, all the evidence may look the same, your health is the same, your finances, your children, nothing improving. You could think, "God, I receive my healing. I receive what you promised, but I don't feel any different, still struggling in my career, still waiting for the right person, maybe I'm not healed? Maybe I'm not prosperous? Maybe I won't meet the right person"? No, don't be fooled by the outside. God is working behind the scenes. In that realm that you can't see things have shifted. The moment you receive what you believe for, things started lining up in your favor, good breaks, the right people, healing, abundance started heading your way.

The scripture says, "The roots of the fig tree begin to wither". Something underground, unseen begin to take place. Right now there are things in the unseen realm changing in your favor. Chains that have held you back are being broken. Bad habits that have hindered your children are being loosed, strongholds are coming down, new doors are about to open, dreams you've been believing for are about to show up. Don't get discouraged by what's not happening, you can't see in this unseen realm, this is where faith kicks in. I don't see any evidence, nothing looks like it's improving, but God I know what I received in my spirit is about to show up in the natural.

Jesus started this passage off by saying "Have faith in God". It's not faith in your circumstances, not faith in what you can do, not even faith in your boss, your banker, your parents, your doctors, your pastor. That's all good, but they don't control the universe, they didn't speak worlds into existence, they didn't part Red Seas, they didn't raise Lazarus from the dead. Our God is all powerful, nothing can stand against him. When he speaks angels go to work, forces of darkness are broken, good breaks come chasing you down. What you've received in your spirit may look impossible, the odds are against you, but it's nothing for our God. One touch of his favor will catapult you ahead, free you from the addiction, heal you from that cancer, cause you to come out of lack into abundance, out of struggle into overflow, out of loneliness into great relationships.

Now you may be looking at that fig tree today, "Joel, I received my healing, but nothing happened. I believe I'm blessed, I'm prosperous, but there's no sign of it", stay in faith your time is coming. God is faithful. He sees you doing the right thing. He sees you believing when you're not seeing, praising when you could be complaining, thanking him when it's not improving. It's just a matter of time before you see the breakthrough, the promotion, the healing, the victory. Don't get talked out of it, don't let what's not happening convince you that God is not working. There is an unseen realm that our physical eyes cannot see, yet everything starts in the unseen. Through our faith we can bring it into the seen.

When I first started ministering I was so nervous, I was intimidated, insecure, every thought told me that I couldn't get up in front of people, I'd never ministered. And my dad passed in 1999, I knew I was supposed to step up and pastor the church. I prayed and asked God to help me, asked for confidence, asked for strength, but I didn't understand this principle that you have to receive it when you ask. I was waiting to feel confident, feel anointed, the problem is it never came. I kept asking God again and again. One day I realize what I'm telling you: I have to receive it by faith. Instead of saying, "God, help me to be confident, help me to be strong, I'm asking for your anointing", I started believing "I am anointed, I am confident, I am strong, I am well able". When I was saying that, none of it was true, felt just the opposite, like that fig tree, "God, you said it, you promised it, but I don't see any evidence". I just kept saying it, kept believing it, kept declaring it, and before long it became a reality. I pulled it out of the unseen into the seen.

See, once you ask God for something, you don't have to keep asking. The key is to receive it, believe that it happened, and instead of asking over and over, start thanking him. I quit asking God for his anointing and I started saying, "Father, thank you that I am anointed". I don't ask him to bless me every day, I've already received the blessing. I say, "Father, thank you that I am blessed, thank you that I am prosperous, thank you that I am healthy". If you continue to ask for the same thing over and over, I know you're sincere, but that's not really showing God that you trust him.

If our daughter Alexandra came up and asked me for something, said "Yes, Alexandra, I'll do it", then she came back an hour later and ask again, "Yes, yes, I told you I'd do it". She came back the next day with the same request, and again and again. As a father that would make me feel bad. I would think "Don't you trust me? I said I would do it. You don't have to keep begging me". It's the same way with our Heavenly Father: when you ask that's fine, but Jesus said "Don't stop there, believe that you received what you asked for. Believe that your father loves you so much, that he's so good, so kind that he granted your request, that he said yes to what you're asking for, yes to the healing, yes to the favor, yes to the breakthrough, yes to the wisdom".

1 John 5:14-15 says, "This is the confidence we have in God, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And we know that he will give us whatever we ask". If you're asking according to God's will, you can be confident "Yes" is the answer. You don't have to beg, you don't have to wonder, accept his "Yes" by faith. You can find his will in the scripture. He said in 1 John, "I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health". He said in Psalms that he's crowned you with favor, that you will lend and not borrow, that your seed, your children are mighty in the land. He said that you will leave your mark, that you are a mighty hero. His will is found in his word, it's full of promises.

When you pray, "Father, I'm asking that my children will be mighty in the land", then receive it by faith, believe that it happened, from now on "Lord, thank you that my children are mighty in the land". Not "Please, God, I want you to do something with them". Receive what you're believing for. "Father, you said that whatever I touch will prosper and succeed. Lord, I'm asking for your blessing on my business. Lord, let my gifts and talents come out to the full, cause me to shine brightly". Now, don't stop there, pray the same thing every day, take the next step, "Father, I receive what you promised. I want to thank you that I am blessed, that I am prosperous, that I'm a difference maker, that I will set a new standard for my family". The way you pull it out of the unseen into the seen is by faith, it's by receiving what you're asking for.

Now, here's another key: it doesn't do any good to pray for something and then go talk about how it's probably not going to happen. Don't cancel out your prayer with negative talk. "We prayed for my finances, I don't know though, do you see the news? The economy is rough, pandemic set me back, I don't see how I can get ahead", you just nullified the prayer. You can't pray for victory and talk defeat. When you believe that you received what you asked for, that it already happened, then it's a different mindse.T it's not "I hope it's going to work out", there's a knowing. Your attitude is: it's already done, things have shifted in my favor. This is the confidence we can have in our God. He's called El Shaddai, the God of more than enough. He's called Jehovah Jireh, the Lord our provider. Jehovah Rapha, the Lord our healer, the great I am, the all-sufficient one. When we ask in faith, when we receive it into our spirit, we can be confident that in the unseen realm something shifts, favor is set into motion, angels are dispatched, forces or darkness are broken. It's not I wonder "If it's going to happen", no, it's "When is it going to happen". I am confident in the God we serve that he is faithful, that what he started he will bring to pass.

May look like the fig tree right now, nothing has improved, but you know a secret: in the unseen realm things have changed, it's just a matter of time before you see what you received into your spirit. While back a lady came down for prayer down front here for her teenage daughter, and she told how she was off course, running with the wrong crowd, not being respectful, she was so concerned. We prayed that this young lady would turn around, start making good decisions. The next week she came down with the same request, and she went on longer, telling how it wasn't getting any better. Of course my heart went out to her and we prayed again. The next week she was back. I told her what I'm telling you, "We don't have to keep praying and begging God for the same thing. We either believe that he answered the first time, that he set the miracle in motion or that he didn't". At this point it's not up to God it's up to us. Jesus said "Whatever you ask for, believe that you receive it when you pray". Not when you see it manifest, not when it turns around. The test is: are you receiving what you're believing for?

We can pray all day long, but if we go out and talk defeat and call our friends, "I don't see how it's going to happen", you're canceling out the prayer. The problem is: you didn't receive it when you believed, because when you receive it you have a different mindset, you're confident that it's already done. You're not walking by sight, you're walking by faith. You're not moved by what you don't see. You know, in the unseen realm things are happening. When doubt comes, discouraging thoughts whisper "Nothing happened. Look at the tree, it's still the same". Instead of getting discouraged, speaking defeat, switch over into praise "Father, thank you that I am healed. Thank you that my son is mighty in the land. Thank you that my business is blessed". Not going to be, not hoping so, not maybe one day in the future, "Lord, I thank you that it's already done".

The scripture says in James 1:5-8, "If you need wisdom, ask God and he will gladly tell you. But when you ask, be sure you really expect him to answer. For a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea. People like that should not expect to receive anything from God". This is talking about wisdom, but the principle is true. When you ask God it says "Be sure you really expect him to answer". Sometimes we go to God hoping, wishing, maybe we'll get lucky this time. How about going to God with confidence, knowing that when you ask in faith he will answer you? I love how it says "God will gladly give you wisdom". He's not up in the heavens upset, like you're bothering him, "What do you need again? I'm tired of dealing with you". God loves for you to come to him. He's longing to be good to you. But if you're going to see things happen, there are some requirements: come to him expecting an answer, expecting him to be good to you. And number two: when you ask believe that you receive it. By faith believe that it happened.

This says when you're double-minded you can't expect to receive anything from God. One verse (1 Kings 18:21) says "How long will you waver between two opinions"? You have to make up your mind: are you going to believe what God promised you? Or are you going to let the doubt, negative voices convince you that it's not going to happen? "Well, you saw the medical report, you can't get well. You'll never break that addiction, you'll never be successful". Do yourself a favor: tune that out. Don't let doubt keep you from your destiny. Have an unwavering mind, that means "My mind is made up. I believe that I received it when I prayed, now my mind is set. I'm not moved by what I don't see, I'm not going to let people talk me out of it. I'm not going to let time convince me it's not going to happen. I'm not going to let the fig tree cause me to waver. I believe it's already done".

See, doubt comes to us all. You have to guard your mind. You control the doorway to your thoughts. When those negative thoughts come, have a "No vacancy" sign, "Sorry, no room for you. My mind is filled with faith, I am healthy, I am blessed, I am anointed, I am victorious". Don't give any energy to the negative. When you dwell on those thoughts, start going down the road of all the things that are not going to work out, you're giving it life, you're allowing it to grow. Start starving your doubts and feeding your faith. Like the scripture says, maybe you've been wavering between two opinions, going back and forth, "One day I believe it's going to happen", the next day, "It's never going to work out". You've been unsettled, that's okay, today can be a new day. You can set your mind, you can make that decision: when I pray I'm not just going to believe it will happen, I'm going to believe that it did happen, I'm going to receive it when I believe.

I know many of you have been doing this. Like my mother, you've been standing in faith when nothing is improving, believing when you're not seeing, thanking God when there's no sign of it. Thoughts to tell you "God's forgotten about you, it's never going to change", no, you need to get ready: your time is coming. I believe and declare: what's in the unseen realm is about to become a reality in your life. Healing is coming, promotion, restoration, spouses, breakthroughs, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name. And if you receive it, can you say amen today? Amen.
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