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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joel Osteen » Joel Osteen - Live In The Present

Joel Osteen - Live In The Present

Joel Osteen - Live In The Present
TOPICS: 15 Ways to Live Longer and Healthier

I have a question for you. Where has your mind been lately? So often our mind is either in the past focused on what didn't work out or who did us wrong, mistakes we've made, or it's in the future, thinking about our goals, worried about our finances, or concerned about our health. The problem with being in the past or being in the future is you will miss the important moments of the present. David said, this is the day the Lord has made. We can rejoice and be glad in it. Today is a gift from God. So often our mind is somewhere else. You're at home playing with your child, but your thoughts are in tomorrow, thinking about what you're going to accomplish, a goal or a deadline you have to meet. When you go to the office, your body is there, but your mind is in yesterday, thinking about an assignment you should have done better, that conversation that you should have had.

If you're going to be fulfilled, you have to show up for life. You have to be there when you get there. Don't show up and be in the future worried about how everything's going to work out. Don't show up and be in the past, living in regrets, dwelling on disappointments. Come in to today. Yes, it's good to have goals, good to have vision, but you can't be so focused on what's next that you miss what you have right now. I know people who lost what they had while going after what they wanted. They were so intent on reaching their goal, doing great things that they took their family for granted. They came home, but they weren't there. They were distracted thinking about what was next, planning for the future. They never came into the present.

Victoria and I used to travel to India with my father. After we'd been married for a couple of years, on the way home from one of our trips, we were going to stop in Paris where my father was going to minister for a few days. We were so excited thinking about being in Paris together for our first time. But before we left home, we put an offer in for a house that we really wanted to buy. We sold our town home and we found this place that we loved, had a nice yard, big trees, and the house was so open and full of light. It was perfect. When we arrived in Paris, first thing we did was call our realtor, ask if she had heard anything. She said, no, nothing. Next morning we woke up, called the realtor. Any news? Still nothing. We walked the streets of Paris.

We took pictures of things we wanted to do to our new house. We were in Paris, but we weren't really there. We could have been making the most of those moments, join the sights, taking in the beautiful city, but because we were so focused on what we wanted, we missed what we had. If I could go back in time, I would say, Joel, enjoy where you are. Be present. At the right time, the doors will open, the opportunities will come, but while you are waiting, stay in the now. What's funny is when we arrived home, the agent called and said the house had been sold to someone else. I thought you mean I wasted all that time in Paris focused on that house, dreaming about that house, decorating that house. We didn't even get it. Don't lose what you have by going after what you want. I charged my cell phone by my bed each night. If I wake up and it's not working, it's usually because I forgot to plug it in. It was present but not connected. Sometimes that's the way we are.

Victoria and I were present in Paris, but we weren't connected. Our minds were somewhere else. You can miss your children grow up while you're focused on chasing your dreams. You can miss beautiful moments with your spouse preoccupied with climbing the ladder of success. You can overlook the joys of today, worried about the problems of tomorrow. At home, are you present, eating dinner with the family but not connected? Are you engaged making the most of the small moments, or are you in tomorrow hoping you'll get the contract, worried about your business, wondering how your finances are going to work out? Or are you in yesterday upset over the disappointment, bitter over who hurt you? Thinking about what they said, the dreams will come to pass in due season.

The problems will resolve in God's timing. Don't take for granted all the good things in your life right now. When you come home, don't just show up. Connect. Enjoy where you are. Take time for the people that God has given you, and it's especially easy to go on autopilot with our spouse. How was work? Fine. What'd you do today? Nothing. You used to be connected, but you've been through challenges, had disagreement, worn out from the pressures of working and raising children, paying bills. Now maybe you're showing up but you're not really there. Too many people live in the same house, but they're not really home. They sleep in the same bed, but they're not there. Your home should be a place of peace, a place of joy.

One great thing about Victoria is she loves to laugh. She loves to have fun. She keeps the atmosphere of our home joyful. Both of us have a lot of challenges and plenty of things to do, but we do our best to stay in the now to enjoy each other, to not just be present, but to be connected. Sometimes you can find yourself disconnected with your spouse or family members because of a past offense, hurts, failures, what was said. As long as you're in the past, you'll stay disconnected. You have to let it go. This is a new day. God's mercy is fresh and new every morning. Come into the present.

Life is too short to hold on to hurts, to live, upset, focus on what they did wrong. Give that person the room to be human. Show them some mercy. Focus on their good qualities. Focus on the reasons you love them, the blessing that they bring to your life. You haven't discovered all the treasures in the people God gave you to love. You've seen one stage with your spouse, one stage with your kids, but they're going to blossom into new stages. Be present. Take time to laugh together. Spend time as a family. Go on dates with your wife. Don't wait until the people in your life are gone to recognize what you have. Get plugged back in. Be kind, generous. Treat them like a gift. Show them mercy when they make mistakes. Reconnect. Experience the beauty and the blessing that comes when you live in the present.

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 living in the present and sometimes that can be difficult to do as well, and we all have different personalities. And one thing about your personality, Victoria, it's very futuristic. Victoria's always looking out what's coming and what goes with that is sometimes Victoria, you have a tendency to want to solve a problem that hasn't happened yet.

Victoria Osteen: Well, in case it happens, I want to make sure that I'm on top of it.

Joel Osteen: Always kidding. We're going through all this emotion and then some of this strategy and I think we don't even know what's going to happen and it's...

Victoria Osteen: It's all about strategy.

Joel Osteen: I think it's good too to plan and to be smart with all that, but I do think that we have to enjoy this day.

Victoria Osteen: I have the thought where I'm always trying to look out in the future and solve things that haven't happened yet. And that's not healthy. It's really not healthy because you're worried something that hadn't happened that probably never will happen. I think a lot of people live in the past though, past regrets, and they think, well, if I would've only done this or if I would've been raised differently or I could have had more education, I'd have more resources. And I think those are just, that's a waste of time. It really is a waste of time because you can't do anything about your past, but you can do it about today. You can go from today forward, and I think that's so important to live that way and be in the present.

Joel Osteen: Yeah, think about this and nobody does, but what if you only had a month to live? I would hate to think that I wasn't enjoying my life. I wasn't making the most of each day. And I even pray now, this is a funny prayer, but I say, God, let the day go long. Let me live it to the full because it seems like days go so fast because we're busy. We have things to do. You guys are busy. But I just made up my mind that if you're going to live in the present, you have to make it intentional. You have to say, you know what? I'm going to enjoy my family today. I'm going to take time making these programs today and enjoy it, not just try to rush through it. Just enjoying your family, even enjoying going to work. I think sometimes it's, you know what, I dread this traffic and I dread going to work and I got to clean the house tonight, or I got to go work out and I like to think we don't have to do anything. I get to be alive today. It's another day that God's given me. And so I think that changes the perspective of, we've talked about before, tomorrow's going to have enough worries of its own. Jesus said, but live today. You have grace for today.

Victoria Osteen: And sometimes it's simply being intentional to do it. When you're with your family, don't be thinking about your project at work, or put the phone down. I know these are so simple, but to be intentional about living in the present is really what it takes because we have so many things that are trying to distract us and pull our attention away from what we're actually doing. And there's nothing worse than trying to even talk to your child or talk to your spouse and they're looking at their phone or they're doing an email and you feel like, okay, well, I'll put myself on hold over here.

Joel Osteen: I think, the scripture teaches us that nothing you've lost is what you need for your destiny. You can start today and become who God's created you to be. And even thinking about, talking about enjoying each day and not dreading it, not just trying to hurry through it. My brother Paul tells a story about he was, my brother's a surgeon and when he was in medical school and life's busy and they work you hard, I think they had a matt, his son was a year old or something, still in the crib or maybe a 2-year-old, but one night and he needs to sleep, and he hears little matt coming down the stairs at night. So matt's awake, his little child, he thought, oh man, I got to get up in the morning, get up at five in the morning and I got to get my child back to sleep and just, he went and put him back to bed.

So he gets to work the next day and he was with an elderly patient. She said, Paul, why do you look stressed out today? And he said, well, I hardly got any sleep. And told her how his little boy got up, and she said, she was like in her seventies or something, and she said, oh man, Paul, what would I give to hear the pitter-patter of my kid's feet coming down the stairs again? And he just totally changed his perspective because like she was longing to have that day back, to see her kids at that age. It goes so fast. And really Paul realized, you know what? I'm rushing through this, but these are great days to be alive now. And you always hear me say, Victoria, I always say, these are the good old days because 20 years we're going to look back and think, man, that 2023, 2024, that was a great time in my life. But sometimes we see it in retrospect, but I always tell myself, we are living in the good old days. Don't miss today waiting to get to tomorrow.

In the scripture, God gave Joseph a dream at 17 years old that he was going to lead a nation. His brothers were jealous of him and they threw him into a pit to die. Then they sold him into slavery. Joseph worked in Egypt as a slave for a high ranking military official. He was lied about, falsely accused of a crime and put in prison. Joseph had plenty of opportunities to live in the past. How could my brothers treat me like this? I'm going to get revenge. You just wait. He could have lived in the future. God, you said I was going to lead a nation. What happened? But you never read that Joseph complained. As a slave, he so excelled that his owner put him in charge of his whole household. In prison, he was not only not bitter, but the warden put him in charge of all that was done there. He helped another inmate interpreting his dream.

How could he keep such a good attitude after all he had been through? He made the most of the present. He didn't focus on looking back, I think this is so unfair. He didn't focus on looking ahead saying, God, I'm in prison. When am I going to lead this nation? He chose to thrive in the present, serving in his season as unto God. His attitude was, this is where God has me now. I know he's ordering my steps. I'm not going to live upset about the bad breaks. I'm not going to live worried about my future. I know God still has a plan. I'm going to make the most of this day. It's easy to always be focused on the destination, the dream coming to pass, the problem turning around. You have to do like Joseph and learn to thrive where you are while you're on the way to where you're going. Life is not about the destination. It's about the journey. That's where you'll grow. That's where your see fulfillment and the favor of God. You have to remember that after we reach this goal, there'll be another goal. Always be another challenge. If we're not careful, we'll rush through the day trying to get to the destination. Slow down and enjoy the journey.

Yes, there will be bumps in the road, disappointments, things you don't understand. That's when you have to say, I'm not looking back. I'm not getting bitter and letting that sour my life. I'm not going to live worried, wondering how it's going to work out. I'm going to live in the present. I'm going to enjoy where God has me right now. Knowing that he will get me to where I'm supposed to be. Takes maturity to enjoy where you are even though you have challenges, even though there are things that you don't understand. 13 years after Joseph was thrown into that pit, he was made the prime minister of Egypt. He saw vindication, promotion, influence greater than he ever imagined. What a shame if Joseph had spent those years in between, discouraged, worried, frustrated. What God promised you is going to come to pass. The question is, how are you spending the time while you're waiting? Are you looking back with regrets, upset? Are you looking forward wondering why it's not happening?

Stay in the present. Take it one day at a time. God gives you the grace for today. If you're trying to figure out the past 20 years or the next 20 years, you're going to be frustrated. You have grace for this day. When you get to tomorrow, there will be grace for that day. Don't fight where you are. Embrace where you are. Make the most of each day. Yes, you may need a job, but don't get so focused on the future that you miss the beauty of this day. Yes, you may be believing for a spouse, but God has great plans for you in this season. Sometimes we don't understand and it's not comfortable, but like with Joseph, God is going to get you to your destiny. He's going to work all things for your good. While you're waiting, when you don't see anything happening, things aren't turning around, trust him enough to enjoy your life. See the good in each day. Be grateful for what you have.

If Joseph had been bitter, focused on the wrongs of the past, and preoccupied, worried about reaching his potential, he may have never noticed a man with him in the cell who had been the chief butler to the Pharaoh. Instead, he was present and did what he could in that moment. He helped the butler. In the end, it was that very butler who helped open the door for Joseph. God worked all things for his good. The scripture says, make the most of this day. Doesn't say make the most of yesterday or make the most of tomorrow. What are you doing with today? Are you embracing where you are or are you fighting where you are? Are you present and connected, or are you present and disengaged? When life called the role today, did you show up passionate, enjoying your family, looking forward to another great day?

Well, Joel, I would have, but I've had disappointments. People have done me wrong. My dream hasn't worked out. How do you know those things are not leading you to your destiny? Don't get 20 years down the road and see it all come together and have to say, wow, I spent so much of my life worried, not enjoying my family, mad at the people who did me wrong. Let it go. That's all a part of the process. I'm asking you to live in the present one day at a time. Yes, it's good to have goals. Keep your vision in front of you, but don't let what hasn't happened yet frustrate you. Make up your mind that you're going to enjoy each day. Enjoy your family. Enjoy the people you work with. Enjoy the beauty of creation. All through the day, it's good to take a few deep breaths and just breathe in God's goodness. Breathe in where you are. Take time to enjoy the present.

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 song that says, "It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away". Once we live this day, we can't get it back. Are you living in yesterday focused on what didn't work out? Are you living in tomorrow focused on your dreams? All the while God has you at this place for a reason. Make a decision today that you're going to be present, that you're going to tap into God's purpose in your current season. You're going to connect with the people he's put in your life. Your joy and happiness are not dependent on your past, nor based on your future. Say with David, this is the day the Lord has made. I'm not just going to drag through it. I'm going to rejoice and be glad in it. I'm not going to just be present. I'm going to be connected. I'm going to make the most of it. If you'll do this, I believe and declare you're going to have better relationships. You're going to have more joy and fulfillment. Like with Joseph, negative situations are about to turn around. Promotion is coming, healing is coming. Breakthroughs are coming, the fullness of your destiny. I hope you'll join me next time as we explore more ways to live longer and healthier. My prayer is these strategies will help you make a real change that lasts not just for a week nor for a month, but for the rest of your life.
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