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Joel Osteen - Tongue Trouble


Joel Osteen - Tongue Trouble
TOPICS: Power of Words

I want to talk to you today about Tongue Trouble. One thing that can keep us from our destiny is our mouth. If we go around saying negative things about ourself, our family, our future, it will limit how high we can go. Things like, "I'll never be successful. I'm not that talented. I can't break this addiction. It's flu season, I'll probably get it. I've been through so much in the past, I don't think I'll ever be happy again". Everything you're saying you're giving it the right to come to pass. You are prophesying your future. It's just like you're inviting that into your life. Before you say it, make sure you want it.

"I'm so lonely, I don't think I'll ever meet the right person" - you just invited more loneliness. Imagine you're sending an invitation, "Loneliness, please come". "I'm so old, so wrinkled, I'll never get back in shape" - you're inviting more wrinkles, more fatigue. Sending out that invitation, "Oldness, you're welcome here". "It's going to be a rough year, Joel, with inflation, trouble at work I'm having, raising these children" - you're inviting difficulties, hardships. Do yourself a favor, change your invitations. Start sending out some new words, "It's going to be a great year. I'm surrounded by favor. I'm strong in the Lord. Goodness and mercy are chasing me. The right people are tracking me down. The best part of my life is still in front of me".

Get your words going in the right direction. You can't talk negative and have a positive life. You can't talk defeat, and live victoriously. You can't talk lack, and have abundance. Your words are setting the course for your life. If you want to know what you're going to be like five years from now, listen to what you're saying about yourselves. "I can't accomplish my dreams, I don't have the connections. I'll never get well, the medical report's not improving. I can't break this addiction, I'll never meet the right person, Joel. My children will never get back on course". You know what's limiting you? Tongue trouble. If you have a negative mouth, you're going to have a negative life. Quit speaking defeat over your future.

I know people that are always saying negative things about themselves, what they don't like, what they wish they had. I played basketball for years with a young man up at the YMCA. And when I would see him, I just, you know, nonchAlantly ask how he was doing, he would always say, "I'm fine, I'm just getting old, and fat, and bald". I must have heard him say that hundreds of times, and every time we would laugh, not think much about it. But I hadn't seen him in 20 years, ran into him at the mall, I didn't recognized him. He said, "Don't you remember me? I'm so and so, we used to play basketball together". I couldn't believe it: he was old, and fat, and bald. He did not look like the same person. He had prophesied it all those years.

Be careful what you're inviting in! I don't know about you, but I am good looking, I have plenty of hair, I am healthy, strong, I am vibrant. My mind is alert, my youth is being renewed like the eagles. Prophesy victory over your life. If you're going to talk about yourself, talk about the way you want to be. Speak hell, speak vitality, speak abundance. Most of us would never say to another person, we would never go up to them and criticize them, most of us. You wouldn't say to that person on your left and your right, "Man, you don't look good today. You're getting old. That hairstyle's done. Your personality is kind of dull. What were you thinking when you put that on today"? We may think some things, but we wouldn't say it. We're not going to put them down, we're not going to make them feel bad.

Sometimes we're better to other people than we are to ourselves. Why are you criticizing yourselves? Why are you talking so badly about you? Why do you think it's okay to put yourself down, find fault, verbalize all the things you don't like? Why don't you be as respectful to you, as you are to others? Let me encourage you: don't say another negative word about yourself. You may think it, but don't verbalize it. If you don't speak it out, the thought will die stillborn. You won't give it life, it won't become a reality. When you go around putting yourself down, "I'm unattractive, I'm not that talented, I don't have a good personality", that's pushing down all the good things that God put in you. That will keep your personality from blossoming, your beauty from shining, your gifts from flourishing.

The scripture (Proverbs 18:21) says, "The tongue can nourish and the tongue can kill". Don't let the tongue kill your dreams, kill your personality, kill your self-esteem, kill your value. Let it nourish your life. You should be your best encourager, you should compliment yourself more than you compliment anyone else. You should speak better of you, than you do to others. I don't mean be selfish or arrogant, but if you're not positive towards yourself, you're not going to be your best for the other people God put in your life. The scripture says, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself". You can't love others the way you're supposed to, if you don't first love yourselves. It's not humility to put yourself down, to speak less of you, to say things that diminish, devalue, lessen who you are.

I know some people, they're always complimenting others, always talking about how beautiful their friend is, what a great personality their brother has, how talented their co-worker is. And that's good. We should be generous with our compliments, but when was the last time you complimented yourselves? You thought about how great you are, how talented you are, how kind you are? You don't have to do this in front of others, but in your private time, "Lord, thank you that I'm gifted, I'm talented, I'm smart, I'm attractive, I'm favored, I'm anointed, I have a good personality, I am fearfully and wonderfully made".

In the scripture, God told Jeremiah that he was going to become a prophet, that he would speak to nations, that he'd make a great difference with his life. The Jeremiah was very young, he didn't have the training, the experience. No one in his family had done anything significant. All these doubts and insecurities started to fill his mind. He said, "God, I can't speak to nations. I'm too young, I wouldn't know what to say. You must have the wrong person". God answered him back saying (Jeremiah 1:7), "Jeremiah, say not that you're too young". He didn't say, "Don't think you're too young. Don't believe you're too young". He said, "Don't speak it out. Don't say negative things about yourself, Jeremiah".

God was giving us this principle: don't give life to those doubts, those weaknesses, those insecurities. God knew: if Jeremiah would have gone around saying, "I'm too young, I don't have the experience, I'm not tall enough, I'm not attractive enough", if he would have been negative toward himself, he would have missed his destiny. When you start to criticize yourself, tell God what you're not, what you don't have, what you can't do, God says to you what he said to Jeremiah, "Say not. Zip that up. Quit telling me what you think you're lacking, quit talking about how you're at a disadvantage".

Listen, when God created you, he put in you everything you need to fulfill your destiny. He gave you the right looks, the right height, the right personality. You have the gifts, the confidence, the wisdom, the favor. Now, say not that you're too young. Say not that you're not attractive enough. Say not that you don't have the talent. Say not that you come from the wrong family. Zip that up, and say what God says about you, "I am well able. I'm a masterpiece. I'm valuable. I'm attractive. I'm confident. I'm creative. I can do what God's called me to do".

Don't go through life cursing your future by speaking negative words over yourselves. You have enough people in life against you, don't be against yourself. The enemy would love for you to go around feeling wrong on the inside, like you're not up to par, you're at a disadvantage. Too many people swallow that bait, and go around speaking defeat, "I don't have a good personality. I'm overweight. I don't like my nose. I wish I had more here less there". No, you've been made in the image of God. When you criticize yourself, you are criticizing God's creation. You're saying, "God, you didn't do very good on me". No, God wasn't having an off day when he created you. He calls you a masterpiece. He put his DNA in you. You have royal blood flowing through your veins. Don't let tongue trouble keep you from becoming who you were created to be.

Proverbs 6:2 says, "We are snared by the words of our mouth". Snared means trapped. It doesn't say we're trapped by our thinking, trapped by our circumstances, trapped by this giant we're facing. What traps us is what we're saying. Negative thoughts come to us all, we can't stop them from coming. The mistake we make is when we verbalize them, when we start speaking defeat, lack, how "This obstacle is too big, and I don't see how it can turn around". You just gave life to the negative. If you continue to speak it, it'll become a reality. The key is: when these negative thoughts come, don't verbalize them, don't speak them out, and those thoughts will die stillborn. They need words to come to life.

When David went out to face Goliath, you can imagine the thoughts that came to his mind, "He's too big. He's twice my size. I don't have any armor, this is impossible". All these negative thoughts bombarded his mind. One thing that made David a champion is he didn't speak them out. He would have had tongue trouble, we wouldn't be talking about him. I know negative thoughts are going to come, but the scripture (Psalm 141:3) says, "Put a watch over your mouth". When you're in difficulties, up against giants, things that look impossible, that's when it's easy to start talking defeat, how it's not going to work out, "Oh, man, the pandemic, gas prices, inflation, I don't see how I'm going to get ahead". Zip that up! God's on the throne! He makes streams in the desert, he said even in famine the righteous will have more than enough. There's not a giant in your path he can't bring you down. He has armed you with strength for every battle.

One of the best ways to change negative thinking is to start talking positive. When every thought is telling you, "It's too big. You don't have a chance. It's been too long", your report should be, "I am well able. I will defeat this giant. I will accomplish my dreams. God being for me is more than the world being against me". When you go around speaking faith, speaking victory, speaking healing, speaking abundance, negative thoughts cannot stay in your mind. Your words will override your thinking. But the enemy would love for us to verbalize the negative. He knows when you speak it, he can bring it to pass. But when you turn it around and speak victory in the face of defeat, health in the face of sickness, abundance in the face of lack, angels go to work, forces of darkness are broken, favor is released. God will do what only he can do.

This is what David did: he looked at Goliath, this giant twice his size, and said (1 Samuel 17:45-46), "You come against me with a sword and a shield, but I come against you in the name of the Lord God of Israel. This day I will defeat you and feed your head to the birds of the air". In the midst of all those negative thoughts, negative circumstances, he could have verbalized doubt, uncertainty, "This is not possible", but David knew this secret: he spoke victory, he said, "I am well able. I will defeat you. I will fulfill my destiny". In the face of difficulties, that's what needs to be coming out of our mouth, "I will overcome this sickness. I will break this addiction. I will see my family restored. I will have a bountiful year".

When we were trying to acquire this place, the former Compaq Center, there were many times I would wake up in the middle of the night, and thoughts would say, "You're never going to get it. That company that's against you is way too big, the city is never going to give it to a church. Besides, Joel, you don't have the funds, the experience, the influence". We can't stop negative thoughts from coming, but when you don't speak them out, they'll die stillborn. You're not giving them life. Now, I learned from David: if I'm going to prophesy anything, I'm going to prophesy victory.

See, the enemy doesn't know what you're thinking. He can't read your mind, he only knows what you're saying. What's coming out of your mouth is telling him what you believe. "I felt doubt, I felt outnumbered, I felt over my head, but I knew better than to let any of that come out of my mouth". If you can't say anything good, zip it up. Don't speak defeat over your life. Don't come into agreement with the negative. Use your words to give life to your faith, and not your doubt. When those negative thoughts came, they roar, "It's never going to happen", the words that came out of my mouth, "Well, Lord, thank you that you are fighting my battles. Thank you that you're making ways where we don't see a way. That you're causing the right people to be for us. That you're opening doors that no person can shut".

It was a three-year battle, but God caused things to fall into place, here we are today. I don't believe it would have happened with negative words. It's easy to talk about how big the problem is, but how about talking about how big our God is? How about prophesying victory, prophesying favor, prophesying abundance? Don't be snared by the words of your mouth. Don't let a negative report keep you from your destiny. There are dreams God will put in your heart that seem impossible. There will be giants on the way to your destiny that are too big for you. A test that we all have to pass is what are we saying? "It's never going to work out. Man, these giants are too big, this sickness too great, this addiction too powerful"? Or are we going to say like David, "I will defeat them. I will get healthy. I will break this addiction. I will set new standards for my family"?

Don't be snared by your words, be propelled by your words. The key is to not say what you feel, not what you think, not say what it looks like. Say what God says about you. Pay attention to what you're speaking. Are you suffering from tongue trouble? Are you talking about the problem, what you don't have, what's not going to work out? Your words are setting the direction for your life.

Ask yourself: is what I'm about to say what I want to come into my life? "I don't see how I can ever get out of debt, Joel" - zip that up. You don't want lack and struggle, that's inviting the wrong things. How about, "I will lend and not borrow. I live under the open windows of heaven. Father, thank you that my cup runs over"? "It looks like this sickness is going to be the end of me, I'm not improving at all" - zip that up. That tongue trouble will keep you from your healing. Turn it around, "Father, thank you that you're restoring health back into me. Thank you that I'm getting better every day. That with long life you will satisfy me". "Well, Joel, we tried to have children, but it didn't work out. I guess it's just not meant to be" - no, zip that up. "Father, you said in Psalms you would make the barren woman a happy mother of children. So, Lord, I thank you that my baby is on the way".

See, before you see promises come to pass, there will always be these tests. Before you go into your Promised Land, there will be giants, things that look impossible. One way our faith is released is in what we're saying. If we're speaking negative, doubtful, it's going to limit what God will do. Your mind will tell you all the reasons it's not going to happen. A lot of people start speaking negative, they get snared by their words. Don't let that be you. You may think the negative, but don't give it life. Speak what God says about you. Let your words of faith override the doubt.

It's one of the best things you can do: speak faith when every thought is telling you it's never going to work out. "You've been through too much, you've seen your best days", you can complain, talk about how bad it's been, or you can say, "Father, thank you that you have beauty for these ashes. Father, thank you what was meant for harm you turn into my advantage. You said you'd pay me back double for these unfair things. Lord, I'm excited about my future". That's what causes God to go to work. That's when you'll defeat giants, see Compaq Centers, beat that cancer, the right people suddenly show up.

In the book of numbers Moses had led the Israelites out of slavery through the desert. Now they were camped next door to the Promised Land. He sent 12 men to spout the land. God had already promised he would give them the victory. After 40 days, 10 of the spies came back with a negative report. They said, "Moses, we don't have a chance. There are giants in the land. The people are too big, we'll never defeat them". There were two other spies, Joshua and Caleb. They saw the same giants, the same opposition, but they had a different report. They said, "Moses, we are well able. Yes, the people are big, but we know our God is bigger. Let us go in at once and take the land". There were two reports: one a victory, one of defeat. What's interesting is the negative report spread like wildfire throughout the rest of the camp. Before long, all two million of the Israelites were afraid, intimidated. They started complaining, "Moses, why did you bring us out here to die? We're never going to make it in. Let's just go back to Egypt. Let's just go back to being slaves".

Here God had told them they were going to go into this land, they were going to defeat these enemies, live in houses that they didn't build, eat from vineyards that they didn't plant. They had this great report of victory, then this other report, "You're not going to make it. There's no way. Look at how big these people are". They could have come into agreement with Joshua and Caleb, said, "Yes, let's go in. We know we are well able". Instead they let the doubt, the fear, the negativity dominate their thoughts. They made the mistake of speaking it, "We'll never get in. We're going to die out here in the desert". God answered them back something very significant in numbers 14:28. He said, "I will do exactly what I heard you say. You will all die in the desert".

They didn't realize: they were prophesying their future. Unfortunately they prophesied defeat. If God were to do exactly what you're saying, would it be what you want? Are you speaking victory, speaking health, speaking abundance, freedom, new levels? Or are you talking about how big the giants are? What you've been through in the past, how you can't accomplish that dream, how you can't get out of that dysfunction? No, don't be like the ten spies, be like the two. The majority are always going to complain, talk about the economy, what they can't do. You have to be in the minority. Be one of the 20% that say, "Yes, there's inflation, prices are high, but I know I'm gonna have a bountiful year. God is supplying all of my needs". "Yes, there are some giants on my land, I'm dealing with this illness, this addiction, this trouble at work, but I know I am well able, breakthroughs are coming, favors headed my way. What God started in my life he's going to finish". Don't let tongue trouble keep you out of your Promised Land.

In the 1990s, there was a star baseball player for the Astros named Jose Lima. He was one of the best pitchers in the league. One year he won 20 games. His future looked very bright. But in March of 2000, the Astros moved from the Astrodome to their new ballpark downtown. Defense in left field was much closer than in the Astrodome. Of course that favors the hitters, and makes it more difficult on the pitchers. The first time Jose went to the new ballpark, he stood on the pitcher's mound and looked around. When he saw how close the outfield fence was, the first words out of his mouth were: "I'll never be able to pitch in here. The fence is way too close". The next year he went from a 20-game winner, to a 16-game loser. He prophesied his future.

I wonder, how many times we've been snared by our words? "I'll never get in that college, Joel. I can't break this addiction. My husband will never change. I don't think we'll ever get out of debt". You have to zip that up. You're looking at it in the natural, God is supernatural. Don't cancel out the blessing, the favor, the abundance by speaking defeat. He's going to do what he hears you say.

In the scripture have you ever heard of a man named Sethur, a man named Gaddi, a man named Shaphat? You've never heard of them. You know why? They were one of the ten spies. They were called to be history makers, they had seeds of greatness. Deep down they knew they could take the land, but instead of overriding the fear, the doubt, the intimidation like Joshua and Caleb, speaking faith speaking victory, they chose to speak defeat, they chose to verbalize the negative, talk about how it could never happen. They didn't know, God was listening to what they were saying. That he was going to do exactly what they said. My challenge: don't be a Sethur, don't be a Gaddi, don't be a Shaphat. Be a Joshua, be a Caleb. They said they would go into the Promised Land, they were the only two out of all that group that made it in. God did exactly what they said.

Don't go around talking defeat, about the problem, how impossible it is. Have that Joshua spirit. Learn to speak victory. You are prophesying your future: prophesy healing, prophesy abundance, prophesy new levels. God is listening. What he's hearing you say, he's going to do. "Father, thank you that this will be a bountiful year". God says "Angels, did you hear that? Go to work: bring some good breaks, bring some abundance, bring some increase". "Lord, thank you that is for me and my house we will serve the Lord. That my children will be mighty in the land". God says, "All right, let me go get that child off course, bring him back. Let me help break that addiction, let me free them from that dysfunction". "Father, thank you that I am healed, that I am whole, that this sickness is not how my story ends". God says, "All right, let me send healing, let me send restoration, let me do what medicine cannot do".

Is tongue trouble keeping you from your destiny? Are your words helping you or your words is hindering you? Pay attention to what you're saying. Don't let negative words keep you wondering in the desert. The Promised Land belongs to you. If you'll put a watch over your mouth, zip up the negative, and only speak positive, faith-filled words, I believe and declare: like Joshua and Caleb, you will go into your Promised Land, see favor that you've never seen. Like David you will defeat giants that are much bigger. Negative situations are about to turn around, healing, breakthroughs, the right people, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name. And if you receive it, can you say amen today? Amen! I receive it as well!
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