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Watch 2022 online sermons » Joel Osteen » Joel Osteen - Reverse The Order

Joel Osteen - Reverse The Order


Joel Osteen - Reverse The Order

I want to talk to you today about Reverse The Order. We all face times where we feel like we're at a disadvantage, others have more experience, more qualifications, more resources. Seems like they get the good breaks, the best positions. It's easy to feel overlooked and left out. A friend told how at work people take everyone's opinion except his. They see him as secondary, too young, not much to offer. But Jesus said in Matthew 20:16, "The last shall be first". God knows how to reverse the order. He loves to promote people who are not next in line, to take those who are overlooked, discounted and push them into their destiny. One shift, one good break, and you'll go from being overlooked to being in charge, from being left out to leading, from being disrespected to being honored.

Don't get discouraged if you feel like you're the last so to speak, you're in perfect position for God to show out in your life. The last is a setup. Being discounted, left out is not how your story ends - a reversal is coming. What looks permanent is only temporary. Looks like they have the upper hand, they have the advantage, but what God has purpose for you cannot be stopped. He didn't create you to live at a disadvantage. He didn't breathe life into you to go around being overlooked. He didn't crown you with favor for you to be discounted.

Yes, we all go through seasons where these things happen, but don't think it's permanent. There's going to be a reversal, a shift, a suddenly, where God catapults you from the back to the front, from borrowing to lending, from business slow to business booming, from no customers to "Get in line we're in overflow". Don't judge your situation too soon, a reversal is coming, something uncommon. You couldn't have made it happen, people that were against you are now suddenly for you. They wouldn't give you the time of day, now they look up to you. Your marriage looked too far gone, you had given up, but suddenly a reversal. You thought your business was done, the pandemic set you back, then one shift and suddenly things are stronger than ever.

Now, get in agreement with God. No more "I'll never get ahead", "Nobody gives me the time of day", "How can I break out, Joel, look how I was raised". No, turn it around, "Father, thank you that a reversal is coming. Thank you that you are shifting things in my favor. That what was meant for my harm you're turning to my advantage. That I'll come out stronger, healthier, promoted, honored". Don't live with a victim mentality, a lack mindset, "I'm overlooked, I'm at a disadvantage, this is just my lot in life". No, your lot in life is to excel, to be the head and not the tail. You may be the tail now, but that's temporary, a reversal is coming. To be above and not beneath. You may be beneath now, but above is on the way: good breaks, divine connections, favor that will catapult you from the last to the front.

Now you don't have to make this happen. You don't have to strive, manipulate people, force doors to open. You just keep honoring God, doing the right thing when it's hard, being good to people that are not being good to you, keep smiling, praising, thanking God. You do your part, and God will do his part. Promotion doesn't come from people, it comes from the Lord. He lifts up one, and sets down another. He sees you being overlooked. He sees when you're discounted, not treated fairly, gone through bad breaks. Thoughts tell you "You'll never get ahead, never accomplish your dream, never have respect and honor". Don't believe those lies. The God we serve knows how to reverse the order. You should have been defeated, you should have lived struggling, but a reversal took place. You went from the back to the front, from being overlooked to being honored, from struggling to succeeding. It may not have happened yet, but your time is coming. Your reversal is already on the schedule.

This is what happened with David. He was the youngest of eight brothers. His father Jesse saw him as the least, not up to par, he didn't have the size, the talent, the experience of these other brothers. He discounted him, left him out. When the prophet Samuel came to Jesse's house to anoint one of the sons as the next king, Jesse didn't bother to call David in. He thought, "There's no way it's David". If our destiny only depended on people, who likes us, who believes in us, who thinks we're talented, we'd get stuck. Because there will always be people that discount you, leave you out. Sometimes they're intimidated, they don't want you to pass them up, they're jealous, they don't want your gifts to come out. They'll try to push you down. The good news is: they don't control your destiny. The Most High God is ordering your steps. He's working out his plan for your life.

David was the last son, the youngest. All the other brothers were ahead of him. But notice what God did: Samuel looked at the seven sons and said to Jesse, "It's none of these seven. Do you have any more sons"? Even when people try to lead you out, even when they overlook you, God doesn't overlook you. Jesse had David come in from the shepherds fields. Samuel said, "That's the next king". I'm sure Jesse, the other sons thought, "How could that be? He's not next in line, he's not the biggest, strongest, more talented". But God doesn't choose the way we choose. David went from being left out in the shepherd's fields by himself, nobody thinking he'd ever do anything great, then God showed up and said, "David, don't worry, I'm about to reverse the order. I'm about to take you from the back to the front, from the least to the leader, from being discounted to being looked up to".

Like David's father, you may have family members that don't believe in you, relatives that look down on you, co-workers that don't give you the time of day. It's easy to be offended, want to get in there and fight with them, try to prove to them who you are, and prove that you have something to offer. That's not your battle. You keep doing the right thing, and Samuel will show up. When it's your time, promotion will come looking for you, vindication, honor, respect will come knocking on your door. David didn't go looking for Samuel, he didn't say, "Samuel, come anoint me, man, I'm talented". He didn't start a campaign "Elect me as the next king", he didn't go debate three other candidates. He knew God was ordering his steps, and ordering the steps of the people he needed.

God has already lined up your Samuels, things you couldn't make happen that will take you from the last to the first, from the background to the foreground. The good breaks, the right people, the ideas: there are shifts that will suddenly cause people to see you in a new light. Suddenly a door opens, suddenly things turn in your favor.

After David was anointed to be king, he went back to the shepherds fields. I'm sure now he felt valuable, approved, vindicated. Finally someone pointed out to his father that he was talented, that he had great things to offer. If that wasn't enough, not long after that king Saul needed someone at the palace that could play the harp for him, one of the assistants knew David was great at it. The scripture says Saul sent messengers to Jesse saying, "Send me your son David who is with the sheep". Imagine how Jesse must have felt: first this prophet randomly showed up and chose the son he thought was the least likely, now the king is saying "Send me your son to the palace". What am I saying? God knows how to take you from the back to the front. He knows how to send people who will use their influence to honor you, to give you new levels of respect and credibility.

A few months earlier Jesse didn't think enough of David to even bring him in when Samuel showed up. David was overlooked, discounted, but look at how God works: now the king of the whole nation is calling for David. Friends, God knows how to reverse the order. You may feel like you're at a disadvantage, limited by your environment, how you were raised, by what you didn't get, by who's not for you. Stay encouraged: a reversal is coming. God loves to take the overlooked and cause them to shine, to take those who have been discounted, and put them in positions of honor, respect, influence. The last will be first. The discounted will be celebrated. The ignored will be admired.

Now, one thing about David is he kept a good attitude when he wasn't being treated right. Didn't get bitter, "God, why does everybody leave me out? This isn't fair". He just kept doing the right thing. Deep down he understood this principle, "I may be the last son, I may be discounted, seen as not talented, but I know a shift is coming, I know a reversal is on the way, that what God put in my heart will come to pass". Stay faithful in the silent seasons. Stay faithful when you're in the shepherds fields, being your best, nobody's giving you credit, you're being overlooked. People may not see you, but God sees you. He's the one that matters. He controls the universe. He speaks to the Samuels. He talks to the kings. He opens doors no person can shout. One shift and you'll go from being overlooked to being celebrated, from no one paying attention to the king calling for you.

A friend of mine graduated from high school. She was planning to go to college, but she got engaged and things moved very fast, she ended up getting married, having a baby, now college was put on hold, then she had another child. She loved being a mother, loved raising her children, but she had this dream of doing something professionally, maybe working in the medical field or some kind of sales. 20 years had passed since high school. She saw this job opportunity online for a marketing executive at this prestigious firm. The problem is: it required a college degree, years of experience, all these references which she had none of. Despite that, she applied anyway. She did a phone interview with them, had a short conversation. They really liked her, but they immediately told her no because she didn't have the qualifications. There were people applying that not only had college degrees, but they had their masters, all these impressive credentials from Ivy League Schools. She knew in one sense she didn't measure up. All she had was a high school diploma.

But God is not limited by what you don't have. He's not limited by what you didn't get. The dream he put in your heart is not dependent on you having all the qualifications, the experience, the people being for you. Sometimes on purpose God will let the odds be against you, he'll let you be over your head, at the back of the line, people discounting you. That's a setup. That's a sign that a reversal is coming. The scripture says (1 Corinthians 1:27), "God chooses the foolish to confound the wise". He loves to take the unqualified and cause them to excel, to take those that people disregard and cause them to shine.

My friend was passed over for the position. While she was disappointed, she understood that on paper she didn't have what was required. Companies have standards, they have policies, but when God is ready to promote you, he'll cause rules to bend, policies to change, people to make an exception. He's not bound by natural laws, by policies, he can change people's minds, he can cause them to want to be good to you. They don't even know why: it's God shining his favor on you, pushing you into your purpose.

Three months later the company called back, said "After doing all of our research, interviewing all these other candidates with more experience, more degrees, more credentials, we've changed our mind: we want to offer you the position". That's God reversing the order. That's God taking you from the back to the front, from being overlooked to being in charge. I believe there are some reversals coming for you. You may think you could never accomplish your dream, never meet the right person, never break the addiction. You tried, didn't happen, you don't have the qualifications, now you've accepted being in the back, getting by in life. God is saying, "I'm about to take the last and make them the first. I'm going to take those that are overlooked and cause them to be seen. Those that had bad breaks, that are a disadvantage, and put them in a position of influence, honor, with resources, with abundance" things are about to shift, it's going to happen suddenly, it's going to be out of the ordinary, divine reversals. A reversal in that sickness: suddenly your health improves. A reversal in that relationship: it was falling apart, suddenly it gets better. Or how about a reversal in your finances? Suddenly new clients, new opportunities, blessings chasing you down.

When we put our program on television each Sunday, we have to pay for that air time we purchase it. When we first started the only time we could get was early Sunday morning, before 6am, and very few people were watching. Over time God's given us favor, and now we have good air times all across the nation. Many people watch, but it's very expensive, takes a big portion of our budget. Well, eight years ago a large network called and said they wanted to air our program. Was a very influential, popular network. I thought, "Man, that's crazy, that's God's favor, they're calling us"? After I got over the excitement, I came back to reality, I said to my media director, "How much is it going to cost? They may want us, but we couldn't afford it". He said, "No, Joel, this deal is different. We don't have to pay anything. They're asking if they can pay us to put the program on". He's been in the media business over 40 years, bought air time for all these major TV ministries, he said, "I have never seen anything like this happen".

God is doing a new thing: from borrowing to lending, from hoping to get on to "Can we pay you for the content", from being down at the bottom, overlooked, to being promoted, honored, given a position of influence. Get ready for some reversals. "Joel, I'm just hoping to make it through this year, man, gas prices, inflation, the pandemic", not me, I'm expecting an abundant year, a bountiful year, a favor filed year. God is about to shift some things, it's going to be something you've never seen, something that will make your mind go tilt-tilt-tilt, I didn't see that coming. Instead of paying rent owning your property, instead of working for others owning your business, instead of struggling to make ends meet having and abundance. "Well, Joel, I don't see how that can happen". You don't have to see how. All you have to do is believe. "Father, thank you that you're a God who reverses the order. A God who can make the last first. Lord, I thank you for doing what only you can do. Taking me where I can't go on my own".

Second kings chapter 7, the Syrian army had surrounded the city of Samaria, cut off the Israelites food supply. They clogged up their waterways so they couldn't get any water. The Israelites were so distraught, looked like that was the end. The prophet Elijah showed up and said (2 Kings 7:1), "By this time tomorrow there will be so much food that bread will be a penny, a loaf and five quarts of flour will be just ten cents". They looked at Elisha like he had lost his mind. They were surrounded by the enemy, out of supplies, starving. One of the main leaders said, "Elisha, that's impossible. Even if God opened the windows of heaven, that couldn't happen". Elijah said in effect to him, "Because you didn't believe, it's not going to happen for you. Everyone else is going to see it, but your doubt is going to keep you from seeing it".

Now, you may not see how your situation could ever change, how God could reverse the trouble, the marriage, the finances. Doesn't look possible in the natural, but God is supernatural. He has ways we've never thought of. Don't do like this man and talk yourself out of your miracle. Be a believer and not a doubter. There were four lepers sitting outside the gates of Samaria. They decided to walk toward the enemy's camp and see what the Syrians were doing. God multiplied the sound of their footsteps, the Syrians thought they were being attacked by a huge army. They panicked and took off running for their lives, where they left all their food, their supplies, their equipment. The leopards went back and told the Israelites. They all came and gathered up the spoils. Just like Elisha promised, in less than 24 hours they had more food, more supplies than they ever imagined.

God knows how to reverse things. What you're up against may look permanent. Thoughts will tell you, "You'll always struggle, never get ahead, never be healthy, never meet the right person". No, there's about to be a divine reversal, a supernatural shift in your finances, in your children, in your health, in your relationships.

I received an email from a woman that had been separated from her husband for over a year. He moved out of the house, they hadn't spoken to each other, looked like it was over. She saw that we were coming to Yankee Stadium, she reached out to her husband and asked if he would come. Against all odds he said "Yes". They saw each other for the first time in a year, and sat together. At the end with tears running down their cheeks, they both stood up to recommit their life to Christ for a new beginning, for a fresh start. That night he went back home with her and the children, now they're together as a family. She said, "I didn't think this would ever happen, we had been through so much". But God knows how to reverse things. What looks permanent, what seems unlikely, one touch of God's favor and suddenly things shift, suddenly your child turns around, suddenly your health improves, suddenly your dreams come to pass.

When we acquired the Compaq Center, this place, we signed a 60-year lease with the city of Houston. We always wanted to own the building, but the lease was the best way to get the facility at the time. And while we were thrilled to have it, it always bothered me a little bit that in 60 years the building would go back to the city. I was 42 years old when we signed the lease. I thought, "Man, when I'm 102 I don't want to be down at the city negotiating another lease. Especially, when I'll be taking care of my brother Paul, he'll be 144". But I always prayed, "God, I don't know how this can happen, but I know you can make a way where we can purchase the building, so generations to come will have Lakewood as a lighthouse of hope".

Well seven years after we signed the lease, the mayor called and said the city was low on tax revenue, and asked if we were interested in purchasing the building. I knew that was God opening the door, but I didn't know what it was going to cost. To build this facility today would cost a half a billion dollars. We're on one of the busiest freeways, millions of people have been in this building, the rockets have won world championships, it's very prestigious. I told her we'd love to buy it, we just need to see if we can make it work financially. She said they would run the appraisal and get back with us.

Well, they had to appraise the building based on us having a 60-year lease, meaning whoever bought it wouldn't get it for over 50 years. They came back in a few weeks and said they would sell it to us not for 300 million, not 100 million, not 50, not 25... They said you can purchase it for 7 million dollars. My mind was going tilt-tilt-tilt... I didn't see that coming. What was that? A divine reversal. A 60-year lease suddenly shifted to an unbelievable purchase price.

God is about to reverse some things in your life, things that look like they'll never change, "You'll never own your house, never get married, never break the addiction, never start that ministry". No, get ready for a reversal. Things are going to suddenly shift in your favor, Samuel is going to show up looking for you, the mayor's going to call so to speak, the people you need to open the right doors, to move you into your destiny.

Sometimes what's limiting us are negative things in our family line, that keep getting passed down: addictions, low self-esteem, divorce, lack, compromise. We get used to it, think it's just part of who we are. But part of this reversal is God is going to put an end to these negative cycles that keep going from generation to generation. This is a new day. God is doing a new thing. It may have been in your family for years, but every force that's trying to stop you is being broken. You're the one that's going to see the reversal. You're going to set new standards. You're going to step into new levels. You're going to go places that no one in your family has gone.

This is what happened with Rahab in the scripture. She was a good woman that got off course, she came from a family that worshiped idols, that were very poor and they lived right inside the walls of the city of Jericho. She ended up as a prostitute. She never dreamed she lived this kind of life, she didn't like who she was, she knew she was made for more, but it was like she couldn't get out of this negative cycle. She'd heard about the God of Israel, how he had parted the Red Sea and protected the Israelites. I can see her at night, looking up at the stars and saying "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, if you're real help me get out of this trouble, deliver me from this dysfunction". She wanted to change, but it seemed impossible.

One day Joshua sent two men to spy off the city of Jericho. Word got out that they were there, they knocked on Rahab's door looking for a place to hide. She could have called the authorities, turned them in, but she sensed this was a destiny moment. She hid them, and later helped them escape. In return the Israelites spared Rahab, and all of her family. Now, Rahab is listed as one of the heroes of faith. She's in the family line of Jesus Christ. But out of all the places the spies could have knocked, somehow they chose Rahab's door. God has not forgotten about you: you may have been pushed down, left out, feel like you're at the very back, if Rahab were here she would tell you "Stay encouraged, God knows how to reverse things". She went from being looked down on, despised, not valuable, to being honored, respected, influential.

Maybe there's negative baggage in your past: things you've done you're not proud of, dysfunction in your family line that keeps getting passed down. Don't believe that lie that it's always going to be that way, a reversal is coming. God is about to reverse the dysfunction, reverse the shame, reverse the compromise. You wouldn't be hearing this if he wasn't about to shift some things. And I believe and declare: like with Rahab, like with David, God's going to take you from the background to the foreground, from being overlooked to being in charge, left out to leading. New doors are about to open, promotion is coming, healing is coming, breakthroughs are coming, in Jesus name. And if you receive it, can you say amen today? Amen.
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