Joel Osteen - A Receiving Mindset
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I want to talk to today about A Receiving Mindset. God has great things in store for all of us, but too often we don't think we deserve it, we've made too many mistakes, and we don't see how it can happen. Instead of receiving the mercy, receiving the approval, receiving the abundance, we come up with excuses: "I can't get well, you saw the medical report. I can't be blessed, I've had a rough past. I'll never have abundance, I don't have the training". We don't realize we're self-sabotaging our future. We want to be blessed, we're praying for favor, but because of how we feel about ourselves, we're pushing away the very thing that we want.
Paul said in Romans 5:17, "The gift of righteousness is for all who will receive it". God has gifts for you. He has mercy, wisdom, favor, abundance. You don't earn it, you don't work for it, it's not based on your education, your background, it's a gift. But these gifts won't do you any good if you don't receive them. The enemy will work overtime to try to keep you condemned, feeling unworthy, not good enough, smart enough, attractive enough. Instead of believing those lies, try a different approach, have a receiving mindset. "God, I've made a lot of mistakes, but I received your forgiveness. My dream looks impossible, but I receive your favor. I don't see how ever get out of debt, but I receive your abundance. I've been fighting this sickness a long time, Lord, I receive your healing".
Quit rejecting the good things God has for you, and learn to receive the gift. You don't have to force it, you don't have to talk God into it, you don't have to perform good enough, just be a receiver. "God, you promised whom the son sets free is free indeed. So, Lord, I receive your freedom today. Lord, you said my latter days would be better than my former days, so Lord, I receive a bright future". Thoughts whisper, "Not you, you've had too many bad breaks. You'll always struggle. No one in your family is successful". You have a choice: you can let the gift sit there, "Yeah, you're probably right. I want to be blessed, but it's never going to happen". That's self-sabotaging. Do yourself a favor and take the gift, "Lord, I receive your abundance. I receive your favor. I receive your blessing on my life".
When our children were small, three years old and six, I would take them up to the toy store. No special occasion, just during the week, I love being good to them. I say, "Hey, guys, you want to go to the toy store"? Do you know, they never once said, "No, dad, we don't deserve it. We're not worthy. We didn't clean our room. I bit my brother, I threw food at my sister". As children they knew how to receive. They didn't start debating whether or not they deserved it, they didn't question me as their father: was I telling them the truth? Did I really mean it? They just received the gift.
The scripture says you have to have faith as a little child. Children have no problem receiving. They haven't been contaminated with all the inferiority, lies about how they don't measure up, what they can't become. But as adults we can start reasoning things out, "I didn't perform up to par, God's not going to bless me. My family all struggles, I'm sure all struggle too. I'm not attractive, I don't feel valuable, there's nothing special about me". But why don't you receiving the gift? God said, "You are fearfully and wonderfully made". He calls you a masterpiece. He knew you before you were formed in your mother's womb, and approved you. He approved you before you could do anything good. He didn't approve you based on your performance, he approved you based on the fact that you're his child, created in his image, crowned with his favor. Now you have to receive that approval, receive that validation. Not ordinary, but a child of the Most High God, handpicked by the Creator of the universe.
Now, you may not get this from people, but your Heavenly Father says, "You're one of a kind. A prize possession". Don't go through life feeling inferior, not up to par, not attractive. Have a receiving mindset, "God, I receive your approval. I receive your love. I thank you that you have accepted me, that I am worthy, I am valuable, I am a masterpiece". The scripture (Luke 12:32) says, "It is the father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom". That means it makes God happy, it gives him great joy to bless you, to forgive you, to show you favor. But there's a condition: will you receive the gift? Will you believe that you're worthy, you're approved, you're valuable, you're blessed, you're favored? Or are you pushing away all the gifts, the love, the mercy, thinking you don't deserve it, you could never get well, never have abundance, never feel attractive. No, if you want to bring God great joy, if you want to make him smile, have a receiving mindset. Start accepting the gifts. Start accepting those promises. He said, you haven't seen, heard or imagined what he has in store for you.
Your mind will tell you just the opposite, "You've seen your best days, nothing good is in your future". No, tune that out, "Father, I receive a future greater than I've imagined. I receive your far and beyond favor". Your thoughts will you, "Your children will never get back on course. They'll never fulfill their purpose", but God says, "Your children will be mighty in the land". He said, "The seed of the righteous is blessed". Instead of receiving the doubt, discouragement, how about receiving the faith, receiving the promises? "Father, I thank you that my children will become all you've created them to be. I see them serving you, doing great things, leaving their mark". What you're receiving is what's going to come to pass. If you're receiving doubt, negativity, "I can't get well, never break this addiction, always be lonely", you're receiving the wrong things. Start receiving the gifts, the promises, receive the abundance, receive great relationships, receive a long healthy life, receive a productive, bountiful, abundant year.
One time Jesus was in Galilee, teaching the people. There were so many gathered that he asked Peter if he could borrow his boat. He never met Peter, but Peter agreed, and let him use it. And Jesus pushed out from the shore and taught the people. When he finished, he wanted to thank Peter. He told him to launch out into the deep, and he would catch a great haul of fish. Well, Peter had fished all night and caught nothing. He was tired, he didn't feel like it, but he said to Jesus, "Nevertheless, at your word I will do it". He went out and caught so many fish that his nets begin to break. He had to call another boat over to help. Him when they loaded up all the fish, both boats begin to sink. It was a net-breaking, boat-sinking blessing, something Peter had never experienced.
But when Peter got to the shore, the scripture says, "He fell down at Jesus' feet, and said 'Lord, please depart from me, I'm too big of a sinner to be around you'". He was saying, "I don't deserve this blessing. I'm not worthy of this favor. I've lived a rough life, have a problem with my temper, I use bad language". He came up with all these reasons why this shouldn't have happened. But God was in us: his blessings are not based on our performance. His favor, his healing, his freedom, his mercy it's the gift of God, something that we don't deserve. We don't earn it, we couldn't work for it, we couldn't make it happen in our own strength, it's simply his goodness.
Like Peter, it's easy to find all the reasons not to accept it. But I love what Jesus did. He didn't say, "Peter, you're right. I made a mistake. I chose the wrong person. I didn't realize how unworthy you are, how you have all these weaknesses and shortcomings". No, he said (Luke 5:10), "Peter, don't be afraid. From now on, you're going to be fishing for people". I'm going to make you one of my disciples. You're going to impact the world, upon this rock, upon you Peter, I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.
Can you imagine Peter standing there in amazement, looking around, thinking "Does he know who I am? I'm not a history maker, I'm a fisherman. He can't build anything on me, I'm not a leader, I don't have any influence". All these excuses flooded his mind, telling him what he was not, how he didn't deserve it, how it would never happen. Something rose up in Peter. Despite all the doubt, all the fear, all the insecurity, the scripture (Luke 5:11) says, "Peter left everything and followed Jesus". His attitude was, "I may be a little crazy, but I'm going to accept this gift. Seems far out, more than I can imagine, I don't have the training, the background, I've made mistakes, but I believe that I'm forgiven. I believe that I'm worthy. I believe I'm a history maker, a barrier breaker, a world changer".
Peter had every reason to push away the gift, not receive the blessing, the abundance, the purpose. By the grace of God he had this childlike faith, faith that went beyond the natural reasoning, and accepted the gift. The scripture (Luke 5:9) says that, "Peter was awestruck at the size of his catch". He could've gone out and caught a few fish, and he would have been grateful. He could have caught a net full of fish, that would have been amazing, he would have been so impressed. But God on purpose did something out of the ordinary, something that boggled his mind. He was awestruck. He didn't know what to think. No wonder he fell down and said, "I'm not worthy. This gift is something that I can't comprehend. This blessing is bigger, greater than I've ever imagined".
Like Peter God is going to bring gifts across your path that you've never seen. Things that are going to leave you awestruck, net-breaking, boat-sinking blessings. You'll be tempted to dismiss it, "I'm not worthy, I don't deserve it, how could this be possible"? No, dare to receive the gift. Let that seed take root. Let that promise get down in your spirit, abundance, overflow, healing, freedom. "Well, Joel, I don't deserve it". None of us deserve it, it's the gift of God. He wants to show out in your life. He wants to trust you with more resources, more influence, more favor. When these moments come across your path, don't push away the gift, don't talk yourself out of it, "I'm not qualified, it's never happened in my family, that's way over my head". God will on purpose put you in those situations so you have to trust him. It may be over your head, but it's not over his head.
When we were trying to buy land to build a new auditorium, twice the doors closed. I was discouraged, and kind of thinking that we were stuck. There was no way that we could keep growing over the other location, we didn't have the room. A friend called that I hadn't spoken to in a long time, he said, "I want to take you to lunch, it's important". We met the next week, and he said, "Joel, I know you're looking for land to build an auditorium, but there's something better. The rockets basketball team is moving out of the Compaq Center, you should get that building for your church". When he said that, something came alive on the inside. It was like an explosion went off in my spirit. I was awestruck at the thought of it. I couldn't even imagine something that amazing.
But like Peter my mind started coming up with all the excuses, "That's impossible. They're never going to let a church have it. Even if they did, Joel, it'd be too expensive, you won't have the fund buy it". I had to make a decision: was I going to receive the gift, let the promise take root, believe that God could do exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond what I could imagine? Or was it going to push it away, "This is too good to be true, I don't deserve it, I've only been ministering for three years, never been to cemetery... I mean seminary. How could I handle that favor, that influence"? On one hand I was praying, "God, do something awesome, let me impact the world", then when the opportunity comes, we're tempted to push it away. Now don't self sabotage the greatness God has for your life. Don't let fear, unworthiness, doubt, not feeling qualified keep you from stepping in to levels you've never dreamed.
Peter didn't feel qualified, he felt unworthy, he had weaknesses, he was unstable, inconsistent, yet God said, "You're going to become a rock. I'm going to build church on you". God wouldn't have given you the gift if you couldn't handle it. You may not feel qualified, but he's going to train you. You're not a finished product, he's making you, molding you, bringing out talent that you didn't know you had. Now you have to do your part, and receive the approval, receive the confidence, receive the abundance. Yes, we had some big obstacles, but God fought our battles, brought down the giants and gave us the Compaq Center. But here's what I want you see: this would have never happened had I not had a receiving mindset. You have to receive it in your spirit, before it will come to pass.
But too often we're good at receiving the negative, receiving the discouragement, "You'll never get well, never pay your house off, never get back on course, you've seen your best days". We think, "Yeah, you're right, looks impossible, I've made so many mistakes, inflation is so bad". You're receiving the wrong things. Start receiving what God says about you, "You will lend and not borrow", I receive the abundance. "You can do all things through Christ", I receive that strength.
"A thousand may fall at your side, 10000 at your right hand, but it will not come near you", I receive that protection. "You have the mind of Christ, you know the right decision every time", I receive the wisdom. "God will make you the happy mother of children, he will give you the desires of your heart", I receive that baby we've been believing for. "God will do exceedingly, above and beyond what you could ever ask or imagine", I receive the favor, I receive my Compaq Centers, I receive the business, I receive the influence, I receive that victory.
It's interesting how people can put things on the internet that are not true. A staff member sent me this screenshot that talked about my net worth, it was like a zillion dollars, many many times exaggerated. I just trying to start things up, and this friend says, "Does that bother you? Should we try to have them take it down"? I said, "No, leave it up. I receive it. They are prophesying my future. They mean it for harm, they don't realize God's going to use it for good". My attitude is, "God, let it happen. Show out in my life". See, I have everything I need, but I'll use it to build the kingdom, to get the message of hope out, to build orphanages, to feed them hungry. Why don't you have that receiving mindset?
Don't push away all the good things you're believing for. Dare to receive it. You may not see how, looks unlikely. You don't have to figure it out, all you have to do is believe. When you believe all things are possible. When you believe angels go to work, chains are broken, favor is released, good breaks are set in motion. The scripture (Psalm 31:19) says, "God has blessings stored up for the righteous". There are blessings stored up for you, blessings that have your name on them, businesses, houses, ministries, inventions, healing, freedom, children, spouses. They already belong to you. At the right time God's going to release them.
Now, the question is: will you receive those blessings? You can't have an I'm-unworthy mindset, I don't deserve it, it's too big, I couldn't handle it. That's pushing away what's stored up. Live with a receiving mentality. Every morning, "Lord, I receive your love today. I'mma love myself and I'mma love others. Lord, I receive your peace. I'm not going to live worried and stressed out. God, I receive your mercy fresh and new every morning. Lord, thank you that you've approved me, accepted me and anointed me. God, I receive your healing. Thank you that I am healthy, whole, full of vitality. That my youth is being renewed like the eagle". Or how about, "God, I receive your favor. Thank you that blessings are chasing me down. Goodness and mercy are following me, that my latter days will be better than my former days".
Friend of mine is really great at encouraging people. You can't be around him 5 minutes without him complimenting you, and telling you how great you are. Always makes you feel so blessed, and so uplifted. But what's interesting is for years he could never receive a compliment. He always had some reason to downplay it, it's like he had trained himself to not feel good about who he was, to push away any kind of thoughts that would build him up. He would speak in front of people, and I'd call and say, "Man, you did great today, that was so strong". "Yeah, but I've got distracted, and I should have said this, and I left this part out".
He didn't realize, he was self sabotaging. He was letting this inner recording keep playing, "You're not worthy. You're not good enough. You don't deserve to be happy". You have to turn that recording off, and start receiving the approval, receive the honor, receive the blessing. You can't love others the way you should without loving yourself. You're supposed to feel good about who you are. You compliment others, why don't you receive the compliments? Why don't you receive that love? It's not honoring God to go around down on yourself, being an unworthy like you don't measure up. The scripture says God has crowned you with his favor. You want to honor God? Put your crown on, put your shoulders back, hold your head up high, and receive the honor.
This friend went with me to an interview I was doing on television, it's a big deal, an hour-long live program nationwide. And I was kind of nervous. When I got finished, we got in the car, and the first thing I said was, "I did really good. I felt relieved, I thought I did great". I didn't think anything about saying that, but he said that moment changed his life. He realized he had never complimented himself. He never once said, "I did good". That wasn't how he was raised, he was taught, you know, to show you humility, you need to be kind of down on yourself, feeling like you're less than, don't think too good about who you are. But you can't reach your destiny feeling inferior, inadequate. You have enough people in life against you, don't be against yourself.
You're supposed to feel good about who you are. You're supposed to not only receive compliments, but how about learning to compliment yourself? You build others up, build yourself up. You tell your friends how great they are, tell yourself how great you are. That's not being selfish, that's receiving the approval, receiving the honor. Think about this: when God created the universe, during creation, at the end of each day God stopped and said, "That was good". He complimented himself. Nobody else was around, but he said, "You know what? I did good today". He was showing us a principle. Have you ever said to yourself, "I did good today. I look good today. I worked hard today. I was good to others today"?
Some people, all they do is find the negative. "Didn't get enough done, didn't stay on the diet, should've spent more time with my children, shouldn't have said that to my coworker". They focus on all their faults, their weaknesses. It's not doing anything productive to beat yourself up. Being critical toward yourself is not going to help you do better. You're receiving the wrong things: the guilt, condemnation, discouragement. Do yourself a favor and start being for yourself, and not against yourself.
The scriptures (Philemon 1:6) says, "Our faith is made effective when we acknowledge everything good". Your faith is not effective when you're pointing out your flaws, focused on your shortcomings, down on yourself. Peter would have never left his mark if he had kept that unworthy, don't deserve it mentality. He learned to receive the approval, receive the mercy, receive the honor that came from his Heavenly Father. When the church was first starting, back in the Book of Acts, they needed someone to speak at the inaugural address, the inaugural service, a very prestigious position. They could have chosen one of the apostles, the religious leaders, an esteemed scholar. But out of all the people they chose Peter. Look at how his mentality had shifted from, "I'm unworthy, go away from me Jesus", to "Let me step up and start the church. I'm well able, I'm strong in the Lord, I am anointed".
It all depends on what you're receiving. Start receiving God's approval. "Lord, I thank it I'm a masterpiece". Receive his mercy, "Father, thank you that your mercy is bigger than my mistakes. Thank you that I'm redeemed, restored, and forgiven". Receive his favor, "Lord, thank you that you're shining down on my life, taking me where I've never dreamed". How about receiving those net-breaking blessings, blessings that will leave you awestruck, you're Compaq Centers? "Lord, this seems too good to be true, but I'm a believer and not a doubter. God show out in my life".
That's what a teenage girl named Mary did. An angel appeared to her and said she was going to have a baby without knowing a man, that he would be the Messiah. You can imagine what went through her mind, "That's impossible. That defies the laws of nature". She could have dismissed it, walked away. But she asked the angel, "How can this be"? The angel said, "The Spirit of God will come on you and cause you to conceive". Despite all the doubt, all the uncertainty, she looked at the angel and said (Luke 1:38), "Be it unto me even as you have said". She was saying, "This doesn't make sense to me, it's never been done, but God, I receive what you promised. Let it happen". She gave birth to the Messiah.
You're going to have these times like Mary, it's not going to make sense. The odds are against you, your mind is telling you, "There's no way, don't get your hopes up. You can't get well, you saw the report. You can't get that Compaq Center, it's out of your league. You'll never move into house, never have that baby". No, dare to do like Mary and say, "God, let it happen. I receive the abundance, I receive the healing, I receive the freedom, I receive this baby we've been dreaming about". Let that take root in your spirit, that's what allows God to do amazing things. But I wonder, how many blessings we're pushing away? How many good things God has for us we're not receiving? We don't feel worthy, we don't deserve it.
Don't go through life self-sabotaging, receiving the wrong things, the guilt, the insecurity, defeating yourself. Every day receive what God says about you, "I'm loved, I'm valuable, I'm approved, I'm worthy, I'm a masterpiece, I'm blessed, I'm favored, I'm victorious". Friends, it's the father's pleasure to give you the kingdom. He has all these gifts for you, all these promise that he spoken, dreams that he's whispered in the night. Instead of dismissing it, have this receiving mindset. "With that child-like faith, God I'm in agreement, I know you can do it, let it happen". If you'll do this, I believe and declare: like with Peter, God's going to do things that leave you awestruck. New doors are about to open, the right people tracking you down, promotions coming, healing is coming, breakthroughs are coming, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name. And if you receive it, can you say amen? Amen.