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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joel Osteen » Joel Osteen - A Sound Mind

Joel Osteen - A Sound Mind

Joel Osteen - A Sound Mind
TOPICS: Mind, Mindset, Thoughts

I want to talk to you today about A Sound Mind. There are so many opportunities to live worried, afraid, wondering what's going to happen. You watch the news and see all the violence, suffering, division. Someone texted me last week and said, "This is such a scary time to be alive". People are on edge, thinking, "What if the economy goes down? What if the medical report doesn't improve? How can I accomplish my dreams, I don't have the connections"? It's easy to let our mind be filled with negativity, doubt, fear. That's the enemy's favorite area to work in. He knows if he can control your thoughts, he can control your life. But Paul said in 2 Timothy 1:7, "God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind".

A sound mind is a positive mind, a hopeful mind. It's a mind that's at peace, a mind that knows that God's in control, that he's ordering your steps. A sound mind is not focused on the problems, it's focused on the promises. It's not looking at how big the challenge is, it's looking at how big our God is. A sound mind is not discouraged over the bad break, it's expecting God to open a new door. It's not bitter over who walked away, it's knowing: God has someone better coming. That's the way God created us to live: positive, peaceful, trusting. But so many people go around with a troubled mind, "I don't see how this problem is going to work out". A worried mind, "What if my company has layoffs". Doubting mind, "I'll never meet the right person". A negative mind, "I can't break this addiction, I've had it for years".

What kind of mind do you have? What are you thinking about all through the day? Your life is going to follow your thoughts. The scripture (Philippians 2:5) says, "Let this same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus". This is an amazing promise: you can have the same mind, the same thinking patterns as Jesus did. He had all kinds of problems, but he didn't have a worried mind. He had people betray him, he didn't have a bitter mind. He was misunderstood, made fun of, but he didn't have an offended mind. He stood before Lazarus, a man that had been dead four days and called him back to life, he didn't have a doubting mind. He trusted that his father was in control. He believed that he was called, equipped and empowered. He had a sound mind. He would have never fulfilled his destiny with the wrong thoughts playing all day long.

Pay attention to what's playing in your mind. The enemy would love for us to go through life with a doubting mind, a fearful mind, a worried mind. Don't fall into that trap: you control the doorway to your mind. You can't stop negative thoughts from coming, but you can decide whether or not you're going to dwell on them. God is not going to do this for us, this is something we all have to do. Take control of your thought life. Be selective in what you're dwelling on. If the thought is negative, discouraging, bringing fear, doubt, confusion, dismiss it, don't give it the time of day. Replace that thought with a positive thought. Replace it with what God says about you.

"You've seen your best days. It's all downhill from here" - "No, thanks, my latter days will be better than my former days. God, I thank you that you're taking me from glory to glory, that my path gets brighter and brighter". "You're never going to accomplish your dreams, you don't have the funding, the connections, the experience" - "Father, thank you that you're opening doors that no person can shut. Thank you that the right people are tracking me down, that good breaks are headed my way". This is our choice: a doubting mind or a faith-filled mind. Thoughts will whisper, "This sickness is permanent. Your health is going to keep getting worse, you saw the medical report".

If you dwell on that, it's going to create fear, negativity, drain your energy, take your joy. Why don't you dismiss those thoughts? You're in control of what you think about. Turn it around and dwell on what God says about you, "Father, you said that you're restoring health back into me. You said the number of my days you will fulfill. That with long life you will satisfy me". That's how you have a sound mind, by being selective in what you think about. The scripture (2 Corinthians 10:5) says to take every thought captive that goes against what God says. Get a picture of that - a negative thought comes: fear, worry doubt. You can't be passive, complacent, you have to arrest that thought. It's an intruder, it has no right to stay. You need to get your handcuffs out so to speak, lock it up and send it away.

"Take it captive" indicates force, aggressive, being on the offensive. Could have said, "Just don't think about it. Don't pay it any attention", but God was showing us how important it is that we be proactive, that if we're going to have a sound mind, it's not going to happen automatically. We're going to have to start locking up some things. The apostle Paul said, "Give no place to the enemy". Are there some intruders in your mind that you're allowing to stay? Are you giving place to negative, discouraging thoughts?

Imagine that worry, that doubt, that fear sitting on your couch, feet up in the air, making themselves at home. How would you feel if a burglar came into your house and started eating your food, and sleeping in your bed, sitting on your back porch watching your television? He wouldn't be there 5 seconds before you would say, "Excuse me, you are not welcome here. This is my house, you have to leave right now". If he didn't leave on his own, you'd call your wife, I mean you'd call 911.

That's how you need to see these negative thoughts, they're intruders, they're trying to keep you from your destiny. Worry, fear, doubt, that's going to limit your vision, cause you to give up on dreams, live stressed out where you don't enjoy your life. It's time to make some arrest, lock up some negative thoughts, get those intruders out of your mind. They're not going to go on their own, you have to force them out. Refuse to dwell on them, refuse to let the negative play.

It's interesting, when God says that we don't have a spirit of fear, that word fear in the original language is only used one time in the scripture. All the other times it says fear that word is talking about not dreading something bad that's coming, it's referring to what we think, not anticipating the negative. But when God said "You don't have a spirit of fear", that word for fear implies being passive, complacent, not putting forth effort that's required. A sound mind in several versions is translated "A disciplined mind". It refers to self-control and self-discipline. God is saying, "If you're going to have this sound mind that I'm giving you, if you're going to stay in peace, full of faith, expecting my favor, then you can't be passive, complacent, and just think whatever comes into your mind. You have to be disciplined, you have to exercise self-control".

God has already provided us a sound mind, a peaceful mind, a believing mind, the question is: are you going to keep the intruders out and think about what he's promised? Are you going to lock up those destructive thoughts, and not give the enemy any place? Some people are allowing way too much worry. Those worrisome thoughts have their own bedroom in your mind so to speak. They eat dinner with you, every night, they greet you first thing in the morning, they ride to work with you, go on vacation with you. Why don't you send them an eviction notice? "I'm sorry, but your time here is up. I've let you stay way too long, now you're going to have to leave".

No more waking up with worry, try a different approach and wake up with hope, wake up with faith, wake up with gratitude. You get up in the morning, instead of letting those worry thoughts play, "Father, thank you for another beautiful day. Thank you that I'm alive. Thank you for my family. Thank you for good health. Lord, I'm excited about this day". Worry can't stay in a house full of faith. Discouragement can't stay in a house full of gratitude. Negativity can't stay in a house full of hope. Maybe you've allowed doubt a place in your mind, it's been there so long, it's taking up residence. You don't think that you can accomplish your dreams, the obstacles are too big, you're not talented enough. That doubt is causing you to settle for mediocrity, and quit believing for what God put in your heart. It's time to serve doubt an eviction notice. Start locking up those thoughts.

Your mind is the enemy's playground. He's going to feed you all kinds of defeat, lack, "Can't do it, you're the wrong nationality, you' made too many mistakes, you've missed your chance". Quit giving him a place. Take control of your thought life, program it with what God says, "I am blessed. I am talented. Am a forgiven. I have a bright future". When you think like that, you're evicting doubt, fear, worry. You're giving a room for faith, for hope, for victory. Make sure you have the right tenants living in your mind. "I don't know, Joel, I never get any good breaks. I'm not good in math. I'll never pass this course. I can't pay my house off. I'm so worried about my children". And I know those are valid concerns, and I'm not making light at them, but I also know that giving a place to fear, doubt and worry doesn't do anything productive. It'll cause you to get stuck and not see the great things God has in store for you.

And I know people that are so disciplined when it comes to their career, they're productive, excellent and on time. I know people that are disciplined when it comes to parenting, they're always there for their children, making sure they have everything they need, at their ball games, great supporters. I know people that are so disciplined when it comes to their physical health. They eat right, exercise, they're always at the gym. We can be so disciplined in all these other areas, which is great, but when it comes to our thought life, sometimes we're undisciplined. We let any thought in. We end up living worried, insecure, troubled. What if you had that same discipline in your thinking? You're so responsible in your career, your parenting, your health, be responsible in your thought life. Quit giving space to thoughts that are limiting you, causing you to live worried, afraid and intimidated.

When my father passed and I stepped up to pastor the church, I had never ministered before. I'd spent those 17 years behind the scenes, but deep down I knew I was supposed to do it. But all these thoughts flooded my mind, "You're not qualified. You don't have the training. Nobody's going to listen to you, Joel. You're not like your father, you don't have that big personality". The enemy is not going to let you move forward, take new ground without opposition. His main battlefield is the mind. He'll whisper lies, hoping that you'll take the the bate and start dwelling on them. I had to make a decision: was I going to give those thoughts access to my mind? Was I going to keep dwelling on them, let them take up residence and limit my future? Or was I going to lock them up? Was I going to see them as an intruder, and not give them the right to stay?

And I did what I'm asking us to do: instead of believing those lies, I said, "No, thanks, you're not welcome here. You say I'm weak, unqualified, not enough, but I know who I am: I am strong in the Lord, I can do all things through Christ, I'm equipped, empowered and anointed. I have royal blood flowing through my veins. I've been crowned with favor. The Most High God is breathing on my life". When you think like that, doubt can't stay, inferiority has to go, fear has no place. But had I allowed those lies, I wouldn't be up here today. Don't miss your destiny because you're giving place to the wrong things.

Our mind is like a house, it has all these different rooms in it, something is occupying each room. Imagine there are four bedrooms: one has fear living in it, it moved in during the pandemic. Another has guilt living in it, it's been there since you made that mistake, so down on yourself. Another has doubt living in it, another room there's inferiority, it's been there since you were a child, when people made you feel less than, told you how you weren't attractive, you would never do anything significant.

What would happen if you would start evicting those wrong tenants? How much higher will you go, if you'll evict the doubt, those thoughts telling you that you'll never get well, never break the addiction, never see your family restored? Those are lies! You have to lock them up. They're intruders, they have no right to stay. How much more will you accomplish if you'll evict the unworthiness, thinking you don't deserve to be blessed, you've made too many mistakes? What could you become if you'll evict the not qualified thoughts, not talented enough, "I don't have what it takes"? Get those thoughts out of your house. Your mind is valuable real estate. It's time to send the eviction notice, "I'm sorry, but you're done here, I have some new tenants moving in immediately: it's faith, it's hope, it's victory".

See, here's the key: you will go no further than you think you can go. You will be no more valuable, you will live no more secure, no more confident than how valuable you think you are. The truth is: you are made in the image of Almighty God, he calls you a masterpiece, one of a kind, a prized possession. But if you let the wrong intruders in your mind, if you let inferiority, not good enough, not attractive, if that occupies a room you won't discover who you really are.

When we believe a lie for a long time, the scripture calls it a stronghold, it's a thinking pattern that's keeping us from our destiny. You have to pull down the stronghold, you have to evict the intruder. And it's good to ask yourself, "Why do I feel this way? Why do I feel like I'm inferior, not up to par, not qualified"? Maybe it's because the enemy told you what he told me, but you let the lie take root. You gave the intruder permission to stay. Now he has a room in your house. The good news is: you're the landLord. You get to decide who stays: inferiority or confidence, not good enough or a masterpiece, unqualified or well able.

Maybe you need to ask yourself, "Why am I so worried? Why am I so afraid, and on edge, thinking something bad is about to happen? Why is there this underlying feeling that I'm on the verge of things falling apart, and can't even really enjoy my life"? That's a room you've let the enemy occupy in your mind. The problem with letting fear and worry in, it's not only taking your peace, but you draw in what you constantly think about. Faith works in the negative just as it does the positive. That negative frame of mind is going to draw in defeat, bad breaks, disappointments. Why don't you evict that tenant? God has you in the palm of his hand, nothing can snatch you away. A thousand may fall at your side, 10,000 at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You can say with David, "The Lord is my light in my salvation, I will not fear. The Lord is the strength of my life". He's fighting your battles right now. His angels are surrounding you, he holds victory in store for the upright.

When you let those thoughts occupy a room, you're going to be peaceful, calm, secure you're going to enjoy your life. Take inventory of what's occupying your house. Some of us have faith, hope, trust, that's good, but we still have that one room of worry. Worry doesn't want to leave, he's stubborn. We know God's on the throne, but we're still a little on edge, "What if my business goes down? This medical reports not changing. I thought I'd have the promotion by now". Can I encourage you? God has never failed you in the past, and he's not going to start now. All that worry is doing is causing you to be uptight, not sleep well, run your immune system down. It's time to serve worry an eviction notice. Let peace in, let faith in.

Every time worry comes back, use that as a reminder to thank God that he's working on what you're concerned about. You'll hear that knock on the door, "Hey it's me again, worry. What about that child? They're still off course, what are you going to do?" "Father, thank you that as for me in my house we will serve the Lord. Thank you that my children will fulfill their purposes". When worry knocks, enter back with faith. "What if the there's a recession, man? What if you don't get that contract? What if your company downsizes, how you going to make it"? "Sorry, fear, you're not welcome here. Father, thank you that you're Jehovah Jireh, the Lord my provider. Thank you that you're supplying all of my needs, that I will lend and not borrow". See, Philippians 4:7 says, "The peace of God, which passes understanding, will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus". Peace should be one of the rooms in our mind. When you have peace, it's guarding you, it's keeping you from fear, worry and doubt.

One time in the scripture Peter was arrested and put in prison for sharing his faith. King Agrippa had already killed James, one of the apostles. When he saw how that pleased the people, he had Peter arrested. He was in the deepest part of the dungeon, hands and feet in chains. The next day he was going to be brought to trial. Peter knew his life could be over in 24 hours. He saw what they had done to James, now he was next in line. You would think he would be so worried, panicked, pacing the floor, but Peter understood this principle: fear came knocking at the door, he said, "No, thanks, I'm going to stay in peace. I know God is still in control".

God won't let you get in a problem that he can't bring you out of. The scripture says while Peter was sleeping, an angel came and woke him up. How could he be sleeping knowing the next day he could lose his life? That's peace that passes understanding. That's what happens when you take control of your thought life. You'll have peace in the midst of the storm. When you stay calm when you could be worried, stressed out, can't sleep, you're showing God that you trust him. That's when he'll make things happen that you couldn't make happen. The angel opened up the prison doors, chains fell off his feet, Peter walked out a free man.

But when you're in a difficult situation, your health, your finances, a relationship, you can be sure worry will come knocking at the door, panic, fear, "What are you going to do? This is bad, there's no way out". If you let fear in, if you give place to the enemy, he'll tell you all the worst case scenarios. "That sickness is going to be be fatal. That contrast you lost is going to sink you. You'll never recover from this breakup". In those challenging times more than ever you have to be disciplined in what you allow in. Don't let the negative play, don't start envisioning everything that could go wrong. Don't spend four hours Googling that sickness, finding all the bad reports. You don't need that negativity in you. Keep the door closed. You need your mind filled with faith, with hope, "Father, thank you that you're fighting this battle. That you being for me is more than the world being against me. Thank you that what you have purpose for my life will come to pass".

I talked to a young couple, they had been trying to have a baby for many years, but she couldn't conceive. They had been to several doctors, and everything seemed fine. The doctors were puzzled as to why she couldn't get pregnant. She was so discouraged, she said, "Joel, my mother had a terrible time conceiving, my grandmother had the same problem. From the time I was a little girl I was always afraid that I wouldn't be able to have a child". Job said, "The thing I feared came upon me". When we give fear a room in our mind, when we let those destructive thoughts become strongholds, what we're fearing can become a reality.

That thought "I'll never have a child" was an intruder, that's the enemy doing what he does the best, trying to plant lies, doubts, fears, hoping that you'll give it a place in your mind. Victory is won or lost in our thinking. You may have negative things in your family line, but you have to say, "Father, thank you that I'm the exception. Thank you that this barrenness is not staying in my family. This addiction, this lack, this depression. Father, thank you that I'm a difference maker, that I'm a barrier breaker, that you're doing a new thing, that I will live whole, free, victorious". Clear out those negative rooms. Get those intruders out of your mind. Put some new tenants in: faith, hope and victory.

That's what I told this young woman. She had to get rid of that stronghold, and to quit believing that lie that thinking she could never have children. Instead she tried a different approach, she started dwelling on what God said about her, "Father, you said the fruit of my womb is blessed. You said you'd make me the happy mother of children. You said that no good thing would you withhold because I walk uprightly. So, Lord, thank you that our baby is on the way".

Just as fear can draw negative things in, faith can draw positive things in. About a year later she walked into the lobby up there, holding this beautiful baby girl in her arms, beaming from ear ear to ear. Are there some intruders occupying your mind? Are there tenants you need to evict? Don't let a stronghold, a lie that's taking root keep you from your destiny. Pay attention to what you're giving room to. And when negative thoughts come, don't be passive, be disciplined in what you think about. Start locking up those thoughts. You have a destiny to fulfill, there's a calling on your life. God has an assignment for you to accomplish.

The enemy wouldn't be fighting you if he didn't know there is greatness in you. He's going to do his best to get you worried, doubting, fearful, discouraged. That may be the way it's been, but this is a new day. Some rooms are being cleaned out right now in our mind. Strongholds are coming down. Wrong tenants are being evicted. I believe and declare: you have a sound mind. Like Peter, you're going to sleep through the storms. Like this young woman, things that have hindered your family line are being broken. You're about to see promises come to pass, healing, favor, breakthroughs, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name. And if you receive it, can you say amen? Amen, I receive it as well!
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