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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joel Osteen » Joel Osteen - Something's Cooking

Joel Osteen - Something's Cooking

Joel Osteen - Something's Cooking
TOPICS: Trust, God’s Timing

I want to talk to you today about Something's Cooking. We all have things that we're waiting on. It's easy easy to be frustrated: "Why is this taking so long? I thought I'd be married by now. I thought I'd be over this illness. I thought I'd be further in my career". When we don't see anything happening, it's tempting to take matters into our own hands, and try to force doors to open, manipulate a situation, live striving and straining. But the scripture (Hebrew 6:12) says, "Through faith and patience we inherit the promises". It's good to have faith, but without patience you can miss God's best. One of the most important things I've learned is to trust God's timing. Sometimes the reason it's taking longer is because what God has in store is much better than what we have in mind. We think we're falling behind, and everyone's passing us up and, "I should be further along", but God has blessings that will catapult you ahead.

Jesus told his disciples (John 14:2), "I'm going away to prepare a place for you". God has some prepared blessings for you, things he's already lined up: good breaks, the right people, healing. At the appointed time you'll come into blessings, favor, greater than you've ever imagine. Isaiah 40:31 said, "They that wait on the Lord will renew their strength, they will mount up with wings like eagles". Waiting on the Lord is waiting in faith. "I don't see anything happening, but God, I believe you're working behind the scenes". It's waiting in peace. You could be frustrated over your job, worried about your health, but your attitude is, "God, I trust you. I know you're in control. You already have a solution. I'm going to be still and know that you are God". It's waiting from a place of rest. You could be trying to force things, make that door open, manipulate that coworker, but you step back and let God fights your battles. You trust him to open the doors, to bring the right people, to vindicate you. You do your best and then rest. You know he's already prepared what you need, so you stay in peace, knowing that at the right time you'll step in to a prepared blessing.

John 21, Peter was very discouraged. Jesus had been crucified, and now he and the other disciples were without their leader. They believed Jesus was the Messiah, they gave up their life to follow him, they never dreamed it would turn out this way. They were so disappointed, wondering what they were going to do next. Well, Peter went back to what he had done before he met Jesus, to fishing. He was at the Sea of Galilee, and he and a few disciples got in a boat and fished all night. They didn't catch anything. They were already disappointed, now on top of that they were frustrated, they had worked, strained, throw out the net again and again, "Surely this time we'll catch something", once again, the net was empty. Early the next morning they were close to the shore, and Jesus was standing on the beach. They couldn't tell who he was. He asked them if they had caught anything, they told him "No". He said (John 21:6) "Throw your nets on the other side of the boat and you'll catch plenty of fish".

When they did, they caught so many fish that they couldn't put them all in. At that moment John recognized Jesus. He said to Peter, "It's the Lord". Well, Peter jumped out of the water and swam to the shore. Jesus had a charcoal fire burning and fish grilling on it. He said in verse 12, "Come and have some breakfast with me". There's a principle here: what they couldn't catch, Jesus was already cooking. What they were so frustrated over, working all night, toiling, straining, no fish, God already had on the grill. This was a prepared blessing. Not raw fish, not "I'll help you find what you're looking for". No, I'm going to cook the fish for you, it's going to be better than you've imagined.

Like these disciples, you may have worked hard, done your best, but you hadn't caught anything. You haven't caught your healing so to speak, caught the right person, caught the good break in your business. You fished all night, but your nets are empty. Can I encourage you? What you didn't catch, God is already cooking. He not only knows where all the fish are, but he's grilling your fish. While you're stressed thinking it's never going to happen, he's seasoning your fish. While the medical report says, "You're not going to get well", he's putting more charcoal on the fire. While thoughts are telling you, "You'll never get out of debt, never break that addiction, never see your family restored", hang on a minute, I smell something. I smell fire burning, I smell some fish grilling, something's cooking. You're about to taste and see that the Lord is good. You're going to come into a prepared blessing. You've been working, straining, striving, but what you're laboring over, God is already grilling. It may be taking longer than you thought, you don't see anything happening, my encouragement is: let him cook. God knows what he's doing. When the fish are ready, when it's just right, he'll call you.

See, God is a master chef. He doesn't use a microwave. He wasn't on the beach microwaving some frozen fish. "Come on in, disciples, I've cooked you a cheap version of what you're trying to catch. 12 fish filets for $1.99, they've been frozen 14 years, I'm going to microwave it right out of them". No, God doesn't cook like Victoria... I mean, he doesn't use a microwave. I couldn't resist, but I'm not going to look at her... God doesn't use a microwave, God doesn't cut any corners, he's not going to give you a microwave blessing, a lesser version, an imitation, that's good enough. God uses the real thing: the charcoal, the fire, that takes longer than a microwave, it seems like a delay to us, but if you could see behind the scenes, God seasoning your blessing, he's flavoring your promise, he's making sure it's the exact right temperature.

Don't be in a hurry - let him cook, he's up to something. You haven't met the right person - let him cook. Your health hasn't turned around - let him cook. Your business seems stuck - let him cook. God has not forgotten about you, he sees you doing the right thing, working hard, praying, believing, you're passing the test. You can't see it yet, but something's cooking. What you're believing for has already been caught, cleaned, seasoned, it's on the grill.

Remember, when we were trying to buy property to build a new sanctuary, twice that property was sold out from under us. I was fishing, doing my best, taking steps of faith. I thought I caught a 100 acres, I had a big fish on the line, but twice that fish got away. Like Peter, I caught nothing. I was disappointed, I didn't see how we could grow. All that time I was worried the Compaq Center was sitting right here waiting for us. God had already caught the fish, he was in the process of cleaning it, moving out the old tenants, lining up the council members to support us. My nets were empty, what I couldn't see was God was already grilling the fish. All I had to do was let him cook, stay in peace, and at the appointed time he called our name, "Joel, come have some breakfast, I've got what you're looking for". Wasn't just a piece of property, but a prepared blessing, a facility already built. You know what this building is? Grilled fish.

But there were plenty of times, you know, I couldn't sleep, "We're never going to find a place", I didn't realize God was seasoning the fish. "What if it doesn't work out? We're going to be stuck". God was putting more charcoal on the fire, making sure it was just the right temperature. Now, when my nets come up empty, and things aren't happening on my timetable, I've learned this principle: let him cook. God's up to something. You don't have to strain, strive, try to manipulate. All that's going to do is wear you out. Do your best, take steps of faith, but don't try to force things to work out. If it's not the right time, all your effort can't make it happen. It's going to frustrate you. You can't open a door that God is closed. In the same way, when it's the right time, all the forces of darkness cannot stop what God has for you.

Peter had fished all night and caught nothing. He was a professional fisherman. They had huge nets they were throwing out. You would have thought they caught something, at least a couple fish here and there. But God was making a point: all of our own efforts, striving, straining, toiling, that doesn't bring the blessing. And yes, we can reach a certain level by working hard, and that's good, but what God has for you is much greater than you can accomplish on your own.

There will be times that your nets are empty. You're doing the right thing, not catching anything. You haven't caught a good break, caught a promotion, caught a divine connection. That's a test: are you going to get discouraged, try to make it happen all in your own effort? Or are you going to recognize: something's cooking. God is doing something you can't see. He has some fish on the grill. He's already caught what you're believing for. Instead of being frustrated on "Why is this taking so long", let him cook. Our attitude should be, "God, I trust you. I trust your timing, I trust your ways. I don't have to understand what you're doing, I'm going to stay in faith, knowing that my fish are on the grill, knowing that you have prepared blessings in store for me".

There's a young woman in the scripture named Rachel. She and her sister leah were married to Jacob, to the same man. When Jacob saw Rachel, it was love at first sight. She was very beautiful, but their father tricked Jacob into marrying leah first, the oldest daughter. Jacob had to work seven more years to marry Rachel. She had already been through this long delay, disappappointments, finally she got married. She always wanted children, that was her dream, but for some reason she couldn't conceive. Year after year went by, she was still barren. Her sister leah was just the opposite, she had one son after another, four boys, strong, handsome. Rachel was so upset, she became jealous of leah. She tried to manipulate things, and take matters into her own hands.

Leah's son had some mandrakes, that was a plant believed to help with fertility. They would make this potion to aid in conception. Rachel ask her sister leah for her son's mandrakes, but leah wouldn't have anything to do with it. There was strife and division, because Jacob loved Rachel more than leah. She said in verse 15, "You've already taken my husband, I'm not going to give you my son's mandrakes", this was like an episode of Love Island. Rachel said, "If you'll give me the mandrakes, I'll let Jacob be with you tonight". Leah wanted the baby so badly, she agreed. That evening, when she saw Jacob coming in from harvesting grain after a long day of work, she ran out to meet him, said in verse 16, "You have to come with me, I've hired you with my son's mandrakes". That night leah conceived, and gave birth to a fifth son. She went on to have two more children. Seven children in seven years.

The whole time Rachel was barren, her nets were empty. She strived, manipulated, deceived, none of that worked. What she couldn't see was God had the fire on, there were fish on the grill. What she was trying to catch, God was already cooking. He had a son in her future. The reason it was taking so long was it was no ordinary child. The scripture (Genesis 30:22:24) says, "God remembered Rachel. She conceived and gave birth to a son that she named Joseph". Joseph was the one that would save the Israelites during the famine. He was the one that God raised up to become the prime minister of Egypt, to control all the food supply in the most powerful nation of that day, so he could be good to his family, and continue on what God started. The principle is: when it's taking longer than it should, it's because God has something bigger, something better.

I was trying to catch a 100 acres, God gave me a whole building on the main freeway. Rachel was just hoping to have a baby, but she gave birth to a deliverer, to someone we'd be talking about thousands of years later. One thing we can learn from Rachel is: you don't have to connive, and manipulate, be jealous of people, try to force things to work out. You don't need their mandrakes, you don't need what someone else has. God has your fish already on the grill. It may be taking longer than you thought, it's because God's seasoning it, he's flavoring it, Marinating it, removing the bones, getting it exactly like he wants. Yes, it's been a long time, but I smell something: I smell fire burning, I smell charcoal in the air, I smell some fish grilling. Do you hear that? I hear God calling your name. He's saying, "You're about to come into a prepared blessing. Doors opening you never dreamed would open. The right person showing up. Healing, restoration".

Don't get discouraged because your net was empty, what you didn't catch what you hoped to catch, you didn't get that promotion, the medical report hasn't changed, like Rachel, you haven't conceived yet. Can I tell you? Something's cooking! The scripture says, "God remembered Rachel". God has not forgotten you. He has seen every unfair situation, every lonely night, every heartache. That is not how your story ends. There are prepared blessings that you're going to walk into. Now, in the meantime, let him cook.

Psalm 37:34 says, "Don't be impatient for the Lord to act. Keep traveling steadily along his path and in due season, he will honor you with every blessing". If you'll keep traveling steadily, everything that has your name on it is coming in: the spouse, the baby, the healing, the business, the contract, the freedom. When thoughts whisper, "You'll never get out of debt, everyone in your family struggles". No, thanks, I can smell the fish, something's cooking. "You'll never meet the right person". Yes, my net was empty, but I know God's already caught him. "You had this sickness a long time, I don't see how you'll ever get well". No, I know a secret: while I'm waiting, God is cooking. The scripture says healing is the children's bread. Healing is in the oven, freedom is in the oven, promotion is in the oven. Don't fight the wait, let him cook. Wait knowing that God is working on what you're concerned about. He's already caught what you thought you missed. Trust his timing. If it hasn't happened happened yet, it wasn't supposed to happen. God has an appointed time to bring the promise to pass.

Rachel was baren all those years. If Joseph would have been born earlier, he wouldn't have fulfilled his divine purpose. God is strategic. He does everything for a reason, there's nothing random, halfhazard, he knows what you need, and when you're going to need it. It's interesting, two years before we needed a larger auditorium, the rockets basketball team tried to move out of this facility, but the city voted "No". They didn't approve the construction of a new facility, and wouldn't let them out of their lease. If that vote would have passed at that time, we wouldn't have been in position to try to acquire the building, we didn't need it then. But God controls everything. And sometimes he'll delay things, close a door, cause someone to walk away. We may not recognize that then, but it's all serving his plan. You can stay in peace, knowing that he's ordering your steps.

David said (Psalm 31:15) it this way, "God, my times are in your hands". He was saying, "I'm not going to be frustrated by the delays, I'm not going to be sour when my nets are empty, not going to live discouraged because I'm not further along. I know something's cooking, I know fish are already on the grill, that there are prepared blessings". In effect he was saying, "There are Compaq Centers, God, that you have waiting for me". There are Josephs, there is healing, abundance, ideas, there are books, songs, ministries that God is already destined for you. When you know that God's in control, that your times are in his hands, when your nets come up empty, he's already caught what you need. This takes all the pressure off.

You don't have to strive and strain, "Got to make this door open, convince these people to like me, and work hard to earn their approval, I got to manipulate this situation at work to get the upper hand", that's going to wear you out. That's being a Rachel, conniving, deceiving, jealous. Life's too short to live that way. Come back to a place of peace. You don't have to catch everything, you don't have to make it happen all in your own strength. God has exactly what you need for each season that you're in. Jesus said (Matthew 6:33), "Seek first the Kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you". You keep God first place, and he'll add everything you need. You honor him, and he'll grill your fish, he'll catch what you can't catch. The Psalmist said, "No good thing will he withhold when you walk uprightly". The key is: don't seek the blessing, seek the blesser. Keep him first place, and the the blessings will seek you.

When Peter recognized it was Jesus on the shore, he immediately jumped into the water and swim to the beach. They were in the middle of gathering a net breaking load of fish, so many fish they couldn't pull it all in. But Peter showed by his actions he was more interested in the Savior, than success. He wasn't focused on the blessing, he was focused on the blesser. He knew where the source of all good things come from: our father in heaven. He left the boat, and went to Jesus. I've seen from the time I was a little boy, when you honor God, he will always honor you. The grilled fish is not the goal, the goal is to fulfill your purpose, to end your life hearing "Well done, good and faithful servant".

But Rachel was barren for all those years, the seven years and plus she had to wait another seven years to get married, cuz her father was dishonest. All these delays, detours, disappointments, they come to us all. We work hard, but our nets were empty. Did the right thing, but other people were unfair. Now, we've caught nothing. That's not the end of your story, those are test: through faith and patience you inherit the promises. You have the faith, my question is: do you have the patience? Psalm 106:13 says, "The Israelites did not wait for God's plan to unfold". It's taken longer than they thought, they got discouraged, gave up on their dreams. Don't let that be you. Keep traveling steadily, believing, trusting, knowing that something's cooking. It's taking longer because it's going to be better than you imagine.

Ruth chapter 4 says that Rachel is the one from whom the whole nation of Israel descended. Think about it: this barren woman, jealous of her sister, thinking she was at a disadvantage, that God had forgotten about her, when in fact she would be the one that would birth the nation. Her son would be the one who would save the nation. Who knows what God is cooking for you? Who knows what's on that grill right now? Things you couldn't catch, you never thought it would happen, it's been too long, like Rachel you're barren in your business, barren in relationships, barren in your health. That barrenness is not the end, your baby is coming, your healing is coming, your breakthrough is coming. Not something ordinary, not something average, but a Joseph, uncommon, unusual, grilled fish, a prepared blessing that catapult you into your destiny.

Back in the 1980s, my father wanted to build a new sanctuary. We needed a larger building, but every time he tried to proceed, he didn't feel good about it, something would come come up and delay it. He'd get his faith back up, and announce to the congregation, then he'd change his mind. This happened again and again. He saw these other pastors that were much younger than him, building these beautiful sanctuaries. Thoughts told him, "You're getting too old, you'll never build again, just not meant to be". It seemed like it was the truth, years went by, no building, no plans, nothing had changed. When it's not the right time, you're not going to feel a peace. There will be an unrest. No matter how hard you try, the door is not going to open. Timing is critical. You can do the right thing at the wrong time, and it not work out. The reason your nets may be empty is not because there aren't any fish, but it's not the right time. The fish are there, Jesus told Peter to throw his nets on the other side of the boat, they caught so many fish that the nets begin to break, they couldn't handle it. God not only knows where all the fish are, but he controls the fish. You may have fished all night and caught nothing, but at the right time the fish will find you. You won't have to go after them, they'll come to you.

In 1986 Houston was in the worst recession our city had ever seen, there was that big oil bust, and the price of oil dropped so low, there were more bankruptcies and foreclosures than ever. People going out of business, left and right. That's when my father felt peace to build. He knew it was the right time. Logically speaking it was the worst time, but God's ways are not our ways. And sometimes God will let the odds be against you in a greater way on purpose, so when he does it, it will be a bigger miracle. My father announced to the congregation that we were going to build this new 8,000 seat sanctuary. Should have cost $30 million back then, but things were so depressed, the price of steel, concrete, electrical, we built the sanctuary debt-free for $6 million. The reason God had that delay was because he had something better in store.

What am I saying? God can see things that we can't see. He knows what's coming, what you're going to need, where you need to be, and when you need to be there. Trust his timing. Don't fight the delays, let him cook. He knows what's best for you, and he has some of these prepared blessings in store. You may have been waiting for a long time, you haven't caught anything, your nets came up empty. Can I encourage you again? Something's cooking. God's already grilling what you couldn't catch. He already has what you need. It's just a matter of time before you hear him calling your name, opening the door, bringing the healing, the right person, the breakthrough. Now, do your part and wait for his plan to unfold. The reason it's taking longer is it's grilled fish, it's better than you've imagined. If you'll do this, I believe and declare: you're about to come into a prepared blessing, favor, healing, promotion that catapult you ahead. Like Rachel, your baby is coming. Like Peter, abundance is coming. Like my father, your dream is coming, in Jesus name. And if you receive it, can you say amen?
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