Joel Osteen — The God Who Overrules
I want to talk to you today about "The God who overrules". In the legal system, a court will rule on a case and give its verdict, but just because you have the verdict doesn't mean it's final. You can appeal that verdict to a higher court. If they see it differently, because they have more authority, they can overrule what the lower court decided. There can be a ruling from a local court, a regional court, a state court, they all see it one way, but if the supreme court sees it another way, then all the lower court's rulings are nullified, of no affect. The supreme court is the highest authority. They can overrule any decision.
In the same way, we all have things come against us that look like they're permanent, it looks like it's the final decision, you'll always be addicted, it runs in your family. You'll never get well, you saw the medical report. You're not going to meet the right person, you've been single so long.
Here's the key, that's the lower court's ruling, that's no the final say. There is a higher court that has more authority. Our God is called the Most High God. He's the supreme court all by himself. He can overrule any decision. When the lower court tells you you'll never get well, God says, "Overruled, I'm restoring health back into you". You've made too many mistakes, you'll never fulfill your destiny. Overruled, my mercy is bigger than any mistake. You'll never get out of debt. Overruled, you will lend and not borrow. You won't break that addiction. Overruled, freedom is coming, wholeness is coming. He's the God who overrules.
Now, don't let what the lower court decided become permanent in your thinking. Don't let it discourage you to where you quit believing. It's only temporary. That may be the way it is now, but your case is under appeal. It's being reviewed, and the good news is, the judge in your case, the highest authority, the one that makes the final decision, it just so happens you're related to him. He's not a distant cousin, a long-lost relative that you've never met, he's your Heavenly Father. You have an advantage, the judge is on your side.
The Psalmist said, "My enemies turned in retreat. They were defeated before me, for you have judged in my favor," and those enemies that have come against you, the enemy of sickness, enemy of addiction, fear, struggle, lack, God is about to judge in your favor. He's about to overrule some things. What you're dealing with is not permanent. You're about to get a new verdict. You're going to see a breakthrough in your health. Doors are going to open bigger than you've imagined. God's going to bring divine connections, the right people, across your path.
I look back over my life, and I can see the God who overrules. My father was born into poverty. During the great depression, he had no money, no education, his family told him, "John, you better just stay here on the farm with us and pick cotton, that's all you know how to do". He could have believed those lies, but in his spirit, he could hear God saying, "Overruled, I have a destiny for you. You weren't created for mediocrity, you have seeds of greatness," and daddy rose up and broke the curse of poverty. He set a new standard for our family, and it would have never happened if he had not believed in the God who overrules
And you may not be in a good place right now, but where you are is not who you are, and what you come from doesn't have to limit where you're going to. How you start is not important, how you finish is what matters, and the same God that overruled for my father, brought him into a life of victory and abundance, is going to overrule for you. You're the one to set a new standard. You're the one to break out of the mold. You can be the first one in your family to get a degree, the first one to own your own business, the first one to break the addiction, the first one to raise your children in church. Don't settle for what the lower court is telling you.
Nineteen-eighty-one, my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, given a few weeks to live. God said, "Overruled, I don't agree with that verdict, with long life I'll satisfy you," and she's here, 83 years old, still going strong.
The critics told us we would never get this facility. The city would never give it to a church, Joel, you're wasting your time. God said, "Overruled," he made things happen that we could never make happen.
When my father went to be with the Lord, my own thoughts told me, "Joel, you're not a minister, nobody's going to listen to you. You can't get up in front of people". God said, "Overruled," he's taken me places I've never dreamed.
When I walked in a jewelry store and met Victoria for the first time, every voice said, "She'll never go out with you". God said, "Overruled," I said, "Thank you, Jesus".
You may be facing challenges that look permanent, dreams that seem impossible, you don't see a way. Don't worry, God has a way. He knows how to overrule. He controls the whole universe.
In my 20s, I was driving on the freeway, it's raining really hard, and I lost control of my car, and I started spinning around and around. I hit the inside guardrail and spun back across four lanes of traffic. At one point, I looked up, I could see the front grill of an 18-wheeler right before me. I was going the wrong direction. I felt like could reach out and touch his bumper, we were so close, and I thought, "You know what, that's it, I'm done".
Somehow, he missed me, the next thing I knew, I was over on the shoulder, the truck driver pulled over and said, "Boy, you must be living right. I don't know how I missed you, but right when I braced to hit you, I felt a big gust of wind blow me into the other lane". That's the God who overrules.
The scripture says, "You rescued me from deep waters and delivered me from powerful enemies, enemies that were too strong for me". I couldn't have stopped that truck, it was too powerful for me, but it wasn't too powerful for our God, and you may not be able to beat the cancer on your own, but you're not on your own, the Most High God is ruling in your favor. He's going to rescue you from deep waters. He's going to deliver you from powerful enemies.
The lower court may tell you, "Oh, no, I don't think so. Just accept it, the sickness, the legal problem is too big, those people are too strong, too powerful," God is saying, "It's no match for me. I'm about to turn things in your favor. I'm about to overrule what looked permanent". Instead of dwelling on how big your enemies are, start dwelling on how big your God is. All through the day, "Lord, thank you that you're the God who overrules. Thank you that you are judging in my favor".
I read about a young man, he was at home working on his truck. He had it up on jacks, and while he was underneath, something shifted and the truck fell on him. He was lying there, being crushed, nobody to help him, not able to move, but when the truck hit his chest, it knocked his cellphone out, and somehow pushed the button where Siri came on, and said, "How can I help you"? Barely conscious, with a truck lying on his chest, he said, "Siri, call 911". She called, the paramedics arrived two minutes later, saved his life.
The doctor said another five minutes, he would have been crushed to death. The lower court said, "Too bad, an accident, you're done". The higher court said, "Overruled, it's not your time to go". God can even use Siri to save your life. The scripture says, "The number of your days, God will fulfill". The enemy is not in control of your life. He can't stop your purpose. An accident can't stop you. A bad break, a sickness, God has the final say, and if it's not your time to go, if he hasn't fulfilled your days, then you're not going to go, he's going to overrule.
You remember in the scripture when Satan wanted to test Job, he had to ask God for permission. He couldn't just go in there and do whatever he wanted. That's why we don't have to live worried, upset, afraid, we are in a controlled environment. Our father is on the throne, he is the judge, he has you in the palm of his hand, noting can snatch you away.
But sometimes we think it's God verse the enemy, but the enemy is not an equal opposite of God. We have hot, cold, light, darkness, good, evil, those are equal opposites, but it's not God and the enemy, God created the enemy. God is the Creator, Satan is a created being. He is a fallen angel. He wasn't made in the image of God, you were made in the image of God. But if you see the enemy as being this powerful force that can stop you, control you, determine your destiny, then you are giving him power over you that he doesn't have.
When Jesus came out of the grave, he took away the keys of death and hell. He said, "All power has been given unto me, now I'm giving it to you". You are more powerful than any force that's trying to stop you. The enemy has already been defeated, we're in a fixed fight. We know the final outcome, God says he always causes you to triumph. He says he's going to judge in your favor.
During the civil war, Ulysses Grant was a respected general, and one day he climbed up over a mountain, looked down in the valley below, and much to his surprise, he saw Harrison's army quickly approaching. Grant was overcome with fear, seeing thousands of troops and horses waiting to attack. As he stood there with his heart beating so fast, trying to figure out what he was going to do, he noticed when Harrison's army saw him, they turned around and started to retreat. His heart quit beating so fast, he calmed down as he watched the army ride off into the distance.
Grant said he learned something that day that he would never forget. That every adversary I have knows my name, and they are more afraid of me than I am of them. The scripture says, "Greater is he that's in you than he that comes against you". You don't have to be afraid of the enemy, he's afraid of you. When he looks at you, he doesn't just see you, he sees who you belong to. You remind him of his defeat, of that day 2,000 years ago when Christ conquered him. You remind him how he is powerless.
He can rule over you all day long, the good news is, he's the lower court. What he does is temporary. When God says, "Overruled," every force of darkness is broken. You need to get ready, God's about to overrule some things in your life. He's going to overrule the addictions, overrule the depression, God's going to overrule the injustice, the unfair situations. That's not your destiny, God has a life of victory for you.
This is what he did for the Israelites. They had been in slavery for 430 years. Now, I'm sure they had accepted it, thought this is our lot in life, going to work, being mistreated, taken advantage of. Most of them were born into it, it wasn't their fault. But one day, God had enough. He said, "I have seen the afflictions of my people. I have heard their cries, and I have come down to deliver them".
The lower court said they were stuck, but God said, "Overruled, this is a new day, no more injustice". Their captors were bigger, stronger, had more equipment, but God delivered them from powerful enemies. God caused the Pharaoh not just to let them go, but on their way out, Pharaoh's people gave them their gold, their silver, their jewelry. They could have left empty-handed, that would have been a great victory just to be free, but God said, "No, it's payback time, I'm going to compensate you for what you've been through".
God knows what you're owed. He knows every person that's done you wrong, every injustice, every bad break, and he's not just going to bring you out, but he's going to pay you back. When he settles your case, you're going to come out fully compensated, blessed, prosperous, vindicated, honored. People will know that God has ruled in your favor.
I know a young lady, she came out of a very difficult environment. Her father died when she was six, and not long after that, her mother had to go on dialysis. They were very poor. Most other kids were out playing in the neighborhood, she was at home taking care of her mother. Twelve years old, she'd walk up to the store and buy groceries, cook for the family. She'd get her little brother dressed, ready for school every day.
Being at such a disadvantage, it looked like she would miss her purpose, but despite these hardships, she kept being her best. She didn't have a victim mentality, she believed in the God who overrules, and she excelled in school. She got a full scholarship to a prestigious university. She got her degree, then went on to get her master's. Today, she owns a very successful business. She's happily married, has three beautiful children. She said, "Joel, I never dreamed I would be here. I'm the first one in my family to get a degree, the first one to own our own business, and the first one to raise my children in church".
All the odds were against her. She could have become a statistic, what happened? God said, "Overruled". He didn't just bring her out, he compensated her.
You may have situations that put you at a disadvantage. God sees it, he knows what you've been through. He knows what you didn't get. He knows you left you, and where you are is not your final destination. That's the lower court's verdict. The good news is, our God is in the overruling business. Your time is coming. Vindication is coming. Promotion is coming. Abundance is coming. Keep being your best, keep honoring God, and like with her, there is favor in your future that's going to amaze you.
But many of the things we struggle with have been passed down in our family line. It's not a coincidence that we're tempted in certain areas, having to deal with an addiction, depression, a hot temper. Those are spirits that keep getting passed down from generation to generation. Just like we can pass down physical traits, our looks, our size, our hair color, we can pass down attitudes, dysfunction, depression. The enemy didn't start with you, he started way back in your family line.
In the scripture, Isaac's wife, Rebecca, was dishonest. She manipulated her children, she deceived her husband to try to get her way, well, her son, Jacob, was just like her. He was a deceiver, he tricked his brother out of his birthright. Jacob's uncle, Laban, had the same problem, he was dishonest. He told Jacob, "If you'll work for me for seven years, I'll give you one of my daughters as your wife". He did that, and Laban said, "Oh, I changed my mind. I didn't mean seven years, I meant 14 years".
There was a spirit of deception in their family line. Looked like it would be passed from generation to generation, but one day, God, in his mercy, said, "Enough is enough. I'm putting an end to this generational curse". Jacob humbled himself, he admitted he was wrong, and God changed him. That was the turning point. Jacob's son, Joseph, was just the opposite. He was a man of great integrity. You won't read one negative thing in the scripture about Joseph. Up to him, there was deception, dishonesty, manipulation, but when it came to Joseph, everything stopped.
What happened? God said, "Overruled, this curse is broken," and some of the things that you're dealing with, things that have been passed down, it didn't start with you, but I believe it's going to end with you. God is saying, "I'm about to overrule negative baggage in your family line. I'm going to overrule the dysfunction, the addictions, the lack and struggle. This is a new day. Freedom is coming to your house. Wholeness is coming to your family line. You're the difference maker". Because you're honoring God, you're going to see the God who overrules put a stop to it. Like with Jacob, that generational curse is being broken, the generational blessing is beginning.
I talked to a man recently, he had struggled with alcohol for over 40 years. That's all he had known. His dad was an alcoholic, his grandfather, it was normal to him, and he had tried to stop many times with no success. But one day, he was in his car listening to a message, and I was talking about being free, and how that's not your destiny. He said he felt something like warm oil being poured all over him. From that day forward, he never touched the alcohol. That spirit that had been in his family line for generations was suddenly broken.
You were created to be free, to live healthy, whole, secure. Don't get comfortable with dysfunction. Don't settle for things that are less than God's best. That's not who you are. Put your faith out there. Father, thank you that you're overruling every negative thing that's holding me back. God not only overrules what comes against us, sometimes he overrules our wrong choices. Without his mercy, we wouldn't fulfill our destiny.
God told Jonah to go to the city of Nineveh. He didn't want to go there, he wanted to go to Tarsus, the other direction, and what's interesting is, God didn't stop him from going the wrong way. He didn't stop him from getting on a boat headed toward Tarsus. God respects our free will. He allowed all that to happen, but when the huge storm arose, and the crew threw Jonah overboard, he should have drowned, that should have been the end, that's when God stepped in and said, "Overruled". He had the fish there to swallow him, take him to dry ground. God didn't stop all of Jonah's mistakes, but he did stop him from missing his destiny.
How many of us would not be here if God had not overruled our wrong choices? You could have married the wrong person, but God said, "Overruled," he shut that door. That addiction could have taken your life, God said, "Overruled, I have a destiny for you". You lost your temper and were about to tell your boss off, God said, "Overruled". He closed your mouth, for some reason, you couldn't do it. You wouldn't still have that job if he wasn't the God who overrules. You may be headed down the wrong path today, making decisions you know are not the best.
Don't be surprised if you encounter the God who overrules. He loves you too much to let you miss your purpose, and the scripture talks about the mercies of God, not singular, plural, mercies. Again, and again, God shows us mercy. Friends you had growing up, you used to party with, some of them may not still be here, they didn't make it. That could have been you, but the God who overrules stepped in. Here you are, free, clean, healthy. You could have had a nervous breakdown, buckled under all the pressure, but when you thought you couldn't take it anymore, the God who overrules put a stop to it. Now you're stronger than ever, and some of the people you grew up with, if they could see you now, in church, honoring God, clean, free, blessed, kind, generous, they'd be so shocked, you'd have to pick them up off the floor. It's all because of the God who overrules.
Jesus said to Peter, "Satan has come to sift you like wheat, but Peter, I have prayed for you to strengthen you so your faith will not fail". Jesus was saying, "Peter, the enemy's coming against you, to try to distract you, discourage you, get you off course, but don't worry, Peter, I'm praying for you. I'm going to strengthen you. I'm not going to let you be defeated, I'm the God who overrules".
When life gets tough, things come against you, you're not on your own, you have an advantage. The scripture says Jesus is at the right hand of the Father, right now, praying for you". Now, it's one thing to have people pray for you, friends stand in faith, but when you have the risen Savior praying, you cannot be defeated.
Two thousand years ago, Jesus hung on the cross. He was beaten by soldiers, mocked, ridiculed, it looked like it was over. All of hell was rejoicing, but in the heavens, God didn't panic, he didn't say, "What happened? My plan didn't work out". He simply said, "Overruled". The lower court said Jesus was done, defeated, the higher court said, "I don't think so". On the third day, Jesus came out of the grave. He said, "I am he that lives. I was dead, but now I am alive forevermore".
If God can overrule death, the grave, forces of darkness, don't you think he can overrule what's holding you back? Those obstacles may look permanent, but in your spirit, you need to hear God saying, "Overruled". That dysfunction may have been in your family line for generations, this is a new day. The God who overrules is about to put a stop to it. Now, I believe and declare, God is delivering you from powerful enemies. Right now, he is judging in your favor. What stopped you in the past will stop you no more. You are coming into freedom, wholeness, abundance, victory, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus's name.