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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joel Osteen » Joel Osteen - Unclutter Your Mind

Joel Osteen - Unclutter Your Mind

Joel Osteen - Unclutter Your Mind
TOPICS: 15 Ways to Live Longer and Healthier, Mind, Thoughts

Have you ever been so preoccupied that you couldn't enjoy the moment or so overwhelmed you couldn't sleep at night? We're all tempted to live feeling guilty about past mistakes, bitter over what didn't work out, upset about the person who did us wrong. When we struggle to find peace, joy, and passion, it's possible that our mind has become cluttered. While back, I watched a documentary on hoarders, people who don't throw anything away. And there was one lady that lived by herself in a two story house. The house was pile full of old newspapers, empty cereal boxes, cans from food that she had eaten 30 years ago. There was so much junk filling every space available that she had no way of getting upstairs. Only a small path that you could walk to the kitchen bathroom and her bed. You can imagine how it must have smelled and how unhealthy it was. It was so bad the authorities came to do an intervention. But when they knocked on the front door, she couldn't open it. They had to squeeze through a small door on the side of the house.

At one point, one of the authorities picked up one of the thousands of popsicle wrappers in the corner of a room. He asked if they could get rid of them to make some more space. She told him that those were from her children, that they meant something to her and he should put them back. Well, her children were in their 40s. It was obvious to everyone else, all she was doing was keeping trash, but she couldn't see it. She was so focused on holding on to everything from the past, she didn't realize how it was keeping her from living a full life in the present. How many of us are hoarders in our own minds? We're so tied to things that have happened in the past that we can't let those negative thoughts go. There's so much clutter that we can't enjoy our life. May be time for an intervention.

When something doesn't work out, go through disappointments, you have a choice you can hold onto it, let that disappointment take up space in your mind, or you can let it go and say, "God, I know you have something better. I know your plans for me are for good, and I know you're directing my steps". When the medical report is not good, a contract doesn't go through, you're facing a legal situation, you could live worried stressed. What am I gonna do? Or you can say, "God, I know that you're fighting my battles. I know what was meant for harm, you're turning to my advantage. I don't see a way, but I know you have a way". You can clear out that clutter. Not only can you get rid of negative thoughts that are stealing your peace, taking your joy and draining your energy, but you can be proactive about what you led in your thought life in the first place.

That's why the scripture tells us to guard our mind. All through the day, there's clutter, there's noise, there's drama, stress, worry, jealousy. Those things may come, but you don't have to take them in and hold onto them. Those things are limiting your life. The authorities couldn't make the lady hoarding all the junk, throw things away, it was her choice. It wasn't easy. Everything in her mind said, "Hold on to the trash". And that's all she had known for years. Living cluttered had become normal to her. She didn't think anything was wrong with having the trash piled up in her house, and sometimes we've been living with things so long we don't remember what it was like without it. Maybe you've been worried for so many years that it's become normal to you. You can't remember what it was like to be free from that anxiety. Maybe you've lived far too long in a state of guilt and anger, past mistakes playing in your mind.

Negative thoughts have a way of piling up until we can't see past them. Thoughts that we don't measure up, that we're not talented, we're not attractive, we don't have a good personality. Those lies can pile up for years, cluttering our mind. It's time to clear out that clutter. God is not going to do this for you, this is a choice that you have to make. You need to say to those thoughts that are telling you, you're not good enough, "No thanks. You're not welcome here. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I have royal blood flowing through my veins. I'm wearing a crown of favor". It's time to clear out the negative. You were created in the image of Almighty God. He doesn't make any mistakes. Don't say another negative word about yourself. This hoarder lady had a beautiful house, but she couldn't enjoy it. She couldn't go upstairs because of the trash.

In the same way, if you don't clear out the clutter, it'll keep you from going to new levels. Worry will keep you from rising higher. Bitterness will keep you from new opportunities. Living stressed will cause you to have health problems. Going around feeling guilty will keep you from pursuing your dreams. I'm challenging you today to unclutter your mind. Let it go. But Joel, these people hurt me. They did me wrong. That's why I'm bitter. That's why I'm upset. That happened years ago. Why are you still holding onto it? Why are you still sour over the person that walked away or still bitter over how you were raised? Still upset over that company that did you wrong? Don't be a hoarder. Don't let them poison your future. They hurt you once. Don't let them continue to hurt you. Recognize that's cluttering your mind. That's limiting your vision. That's stopping the new things that God has in store.

I'm not saying what they did wasn't hurtful. I'm not making excuses for their behavior, but as long as you hold onto it, you're giving them your power. You're letting them control you. You only have so much emotional energy each day. Do you know how much energy it takes to hold a grudge, to be bitter, to think about how you can pay someone back? That's wasting valuable energy that you need for your dreams, for your family, for your destiny. God said that he would give you beauty for the ashes. Here's the key, you have to let go of the ashes before you can receive the beauty. You can't hold onto the hurts, live offended and bitter, and see the new things God has in store. You have to clear out that clutter and allow God to replace it with his peace, his joy and his beauty.

I found that I'm at my happiest and healthiest when I'm with people who inspire me to pursue God's best. My wife, Victoria, is an incredible voice of wisdom and encouragement in my life and in the lives of so many others. I wanted to sit down with her and discuss some of these strategies that have helped our church, our family, and our relationships grow stronger and healthier over the years.

Joel Osteen: We're talking about uncluttering your mind, and I think it's so important 'cause it's easy just to carry around, you know, hurts, guilt, disappointments, even worry. But it's so important to me, every morning, when you start the day, let go of the disappointments from yesterday. Let go of what somebody said, let go of mistakes that you've made. You can't carry negative baggage from yesterday into today and expect to live in victory.

Victoria Osteen: No, it's like anything else, it's like when your house is cluttered or your car is all messed up, you go in and you've got old wrappers or something, you know, you, you don't feel healthy, your soul doesn't feel healthy, it steals your creativity.

Joel Osteen: I think that's what gets our mind cluttered. And you know, to me, whether it happened 20 minutes ago or 20 years ago, it's important to let it go. I think this is one of the biggest things that keeps people from fulfilling their destiny. They're just carrying all this weight around that we were never meant to carry. And I'm not saying, you know, some of it can be valid, you know, it's disappointments, it's hurts, it's mistakes, it's guilt. I mean, some of that can be, you know, things that feels very strong, but your destiny is too important to try to carry that all through life. I love that scripture, it says, "God will give you beauty for ashes". I always think of this, unless you let go of the ashes, you can't receive the beauty. I think too many times we're not seeing God's best 'cause our our mind is, you know, just focused on the hurts and, you know, worry and stress. But we gotta let that stuff go so we can step into the, you know, today and see the awesome future God has in store.

Victoria Osteen: You know, you think about how much energy just to get around the junk instead of just, you know, being free to have such a creative mind. I know that sometimes when I get over, when I overthink, and that can be a problem for people, they overthink things, you know, that you overthink, that can clutter your mind, not only holding onto the past.

Joel Osteen: Yeah, yeah.

Victoria Osteen: But just overthinking everything. And, you know, sometimes if I find myself overthinking and worried, I've learned this, I'll just stop and I just, I act like there's a balloon in front of me, a helium balloon, and I just put some of those thoughts in there, some of those worries and troubles in there. And, literally, I have done this before, I just imagine myself holding it out and just releasing it up to the heavens, just give it to God and just let it float up. And just let that worry, just float up to God, you know? And just because it's like you said, you get so heavy. Now the truth is, I've had to let a bouquet of balloons go before, but you know, when I take that time to just recognize that it's my creativity, my energy, my attitude is so affected by all the stuff that you carry on in your mind. So I think that if you can find an exercise that lets you release it, whether it's the night before you go to bed, release that day, you know, whatever it takes. If you have a ritual, take a bath, you know, just do something where you stop everything and just say, "I am gonna let go of everything that didn't work out today, and I'm gonna wake up in peace". I think that's a great way to just help yourself unclutter your mind.

Joel Osteen: Yeah, I think that's so good, Victoria 'cause a place of peace is a place of power. A place of peace is where you can hear from God and when your soul is at rest, and I used to watch the news a lot, and I still do some, but I used to watch it, you know, a lot, regularly, especially at night, we'd lay in bed, flip on the news before we go to bed. But, you know, it got to the point where it's so negative and it's just, you know, how many times can you watch killings and this and that and all the terrible stuff that's happening in the world. I don't mean hide your head in the sand, but, you know, you're not gonna keep your peace and your strength and your joy if you're taking in all that negativity. And sometimes I think our mind is cluttered and, you know, we're the culprit, we could weed some stuff out. I mean, it even says in the scripture to think on things that are wholesome and pure and things that are of a good report.

So now I've learned to just, you know, I like to watch the news or get the news, but I don't do it near as much 'cause, you know, you can't take in all that negativity and stay positive and stay upbeat and keep your joy. So I think it's important if you can just take inventory what's in your mind all day. Is it worry, stress, guilt, wondering, "What I gotta do in the future"? If you can just come back and just on a regular basis, like you said, I like that Victoria, before you go to bed, empty it all out. When you get up in the morning, empty it all out and start the day off in faith, in praise with that grateful attitude. 'cause your life's gonna follow your thoughts. And if your thoughts are negative and worried, that's not the direction that you want to go.

Victoria, I remember when Jonathan was in his junior or senior year, and we were believing for him to get into college and he was homeschooled. And so, I don't wanna say you're at a disadvantage, but if you're in a public school and you're the top 10%, at least in Texas, you automatically get into one of the schools. And so we didn't have that and the schools are very difficult to get into, and I know we were both concerned, but you probably as a mother were even more concerned. But what hit me is this, it seemed like there was a 90% chance that, most schools would not open up. But I remember just thinking this came into my spirit. You know what? There's 100% chance that Jonathan's gonna get in the right school 'cause God is ordering his steps. And so we as parents had to come back to a place of peace to think, "What's gonna happen here? Is he gonna get in the right place? What if he doesn't get in"?

You know what? He got into the perfect school, actually the one we wanted him to go to. And it all worked out. But I do think we had that moment where we had to come back to a place of peace as parents. 'cause we don't know how it's all gonna work out. We don't know all the future. But you gotta know that God has your children in the palm of his hands. He has you in the palm of his hand. He's ordering your steps. And all that time, we could have spent worrying, you can use that same energy to believe, to say, "Father, I thank you that my children are blessed, that their steps are ordered, that they'll become who you've created them to be". So you clear out that clutter. If anything's gonna take up space in your mind, let it be praise and thanksgiving and hope and faith and victory. That's how you can really fulfill your destiny.

When my father went to be with the Lord and I stepped up to pastor the church, I was very insecure about moving into that position. I had never ministered before. One Sunday morning right after I'd finished ministering, I was walking through the lobby and overheard two older ladies talking. One said, "He's not as good as his father". The other answered, "Yeah, I don't think he's gonna make it". That was the last thing I needed to hear is like my worst nightmare. I was already tempted to shrink back and think, "I can't do this. I don't have the training. Nobody's gonna want to hear me". But I felt something rise up in me so strongly. I thought, "Who are they to tell me what I can't do? They don't determine my destiny. They didn't breathe life into me. They didn't know me before I was formed in my mother's womb. They didn't call me, equip me, empower me. They don't have to be for me. I don't need their approval".

I did what I'm asking you to do. I cleared out the clutter. Every time their voices came to my thoughts. I said, "No thanks, I'm well able. I'm strong in the Lord. God being for me is more than the world being against me". Anyone can stay in faith, have a good attitude when everything's going their way. The test comes when the medical report is not good or a coworker criticizes you. The loan doesn't go through. Your child is off course. In that moment, you could easily let all that clutter in. That's the time to show God that you trust him, not only with your words, but with your actions. The enemy's main target is our mind. Our mind is the control center of our life. He wants to get it cluttered and filled with doubt. What if this doesn't work out? What if my health doesn't improve? What if I don't get that contract?

As long as our mind is cluttered, it keeps God from turning things around. God works where there's faith. 2 Chronicles 32, the king of Assyria invaded Judah with a huge army laid siege to their large fortified cities, breaking through their walls and capturing the people. The City of Jerusalem was next in line. Word quickly spread through the city. No doubt the people were worried, panicked, thinking, "What are we gonna do, they're so much bigger than us"? King Hezekiah gathered the people in the city square. He said, "Don't be afraid of this mighty army. There is a power far greater on our side. He may have a great army, but they're just men. We have the Lord our God, to fight our battle for us".

When you're facing a big enemy, you have to remind yourself that our God is bigger than any cancer, bigger than the people trying to stop you. Bigger than the addiction, bigger than a financial problem. The way to stay in peace is to not talk about how big the enemy is, but talk about how big your God is. Sometimes I just stop and remind myself, he flung stars into space. He spoke worlds into existence. He parted the Red Sea. He breathed breath into my lungs. He healed my mother of terminal cancer. He's done great things, and the good news is he's breathing in your direction right now. He's pushing back forces of darkness.

Don't let fear clutter your mind. Don't let doubt keep you from your miracle. Don't let what people say talk you out of your dream. The king of Assyria sent a letter to the Israelites trying to intimidate king Hezekiah and all the people of Judah. It read, "We've captured all these cities along the way, overtaken all these people. None of their Gods saved them. What makes you think your God is going to save you"? The enemy will always try to defeat you in your thoughts. "Joel, you can't get up in front of those people. You don't have the training, the experience". Thoughts will whisper. "You're not gonna get well. Your grandmother died of that same thing. You'll never break that addiction. You'll never meet the right person".

Don't believe those lies. Do like Hezekiah, this problem may be big, but I know a secret. My God is bigger, he's on the throne. He has the final say. What he started, he's going to finish. Had Hezekiah not been proactive to guard his mind and to speak victory, they would've all panicked, acted on their fears, instead they stayed in peace. And after Hezekiah and the prophet Isaiah prayed, it says, God sent an angel who destroyed the whole army. All the commanders and officials, the Assyrian king retreated in defeat. God knows how to vindicate you. He knows how to turn that problem around. One angel took care of the whole bunch. Stay in faith. When you're tempted to worry, turn it into worship. Lord, thank you that you're fighting my battles. Thank you that no weapon formed against me will prosper. Thank you that nothing is impossible for you.

An abundant life starts on the inside and works its way out. You should be your biggest encourager because your happy, healthy life can't happen without you. Here are some words to live by. Every day, I choose joy. God has me in the palm of his hand. I never have to worry. As a child of God, I am unoffendable and quick to forgive. I forgive because I am forgiven. As the scripture says:

I am strong in the Lord and the power of his might.

in all circumstances, I will bless the Lord, for this is the day he has made.

God is on the throne. He is ordering my steps. He is providing for my every need.

I can surrender my worries, my burdens, and all my cares into his hands.

I look forward to tomorrow, but embrace the present.

I have grace for today, and God will give me grace for tomorrow when tomorrow comes.

I'll fight for those who cannot fight for themselves because my God fights for me.

my rest comes from God. He is the one who restores my soul.

I am who God says I am, and I will reach my full God-given potential no matter what comes my way. I have everything I need to live an abundant life.

There's a lot of noise these days. Drama, worry, doubt, jealousy, that clutter may be all around us, but it doesn't have to get in us. Pay attention to what you're allowing in your spirit. Just because there's strife in your family or division in the workplace doesn't mean it has to get in you. Just because the situation or a person made you feel angry, insecure, or fearful, doesn't mean you have to hold onto it. Don't let it take up any more space in your mind. It's time to clear out all the clutter and fill it with the promises of God. Program your mind with what God says about you. You do this, I believe, and declare you're not only going to enjoy life more, but you're going to give birth to your dreams, see favor and breakthroughs and healing. Without all that extra clutter, God's going to take you further than you could have ever imagined. Hope you'll join me next time as we explore more ways to live longer and healthier. My prayer is that these strategies will help you make a change that last, not just a week or a month, but for the rest of your life.
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