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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Joel Osteen » Joel Osteen - Programmed for Greatness

Joel Osteen - Programmed for Greatness

Joel Osteen - Programmed for Greatness

I want to talk to you today about Programmed for Greatness. There are gifts and talents God has put in you that you haven't tapped into yet. Abilities and potential that at the right time, just like a gene that's been lying dormant, it will open and you'll discover things you never knew you had. But it's easy to think that we've reached our limits, and "This is the family I come from, this is my education, this is what I'm good at".

We look at what we've seen in the past, but what you can't see is what God put in you that hasn't been released. Destiny genes that haven't opened yet. When you come into opportunity that looks over your head, that management position, to start the business, to teach the class, thoughts will tell you, "You can't do that. You're not qualified, it's too much". But God wouldn't have given you the opportunity if he had not already equipped you for what you need. The reason it feels over your head is because there's talent, courage, favor that you haven't seen yet. It's in you. As you take that step of faith, you'll discover that you've already been programmed to do what God's asking you to do.

God told Jeremiah that he was going to be a great prophet, that he would speak to nations. Well, Jeremiah was young and insecure, he didn't come from a family of prophets, didn't have any background of faith. He said, "God, I can't do that, I'm a teenager. Nobody's going to listen to me. I don't have the training, the confidence, the personality". He made all these excuses telling God how he was inadequate, unqualified, not enough. God didn't say, "I understand, Jeremiah. I must have chosen the wrong person". You can sit back, I'll find someone else. God wouldn't have asked you to do it if you weren't well able. God answered back something very insightful. He said (Jeremiah 1:5), "Jeremiah, before you were formed in the womb I knew you. Before you were born I ordained you to be a prophet to the nations". He was saying, "Jeremiah, before you ever got here, I already put in you what you needed to accomplish your assignment. Already gave you that gift to be a prophet to the nations, that gene is already programmed to open at the right time".

Before you showed up on planet earth God decided his purpose for you, what he destined for you to accomplish, the dreams you to achieve, the obstacles you'd overcome, the legacy you would leave. You're not here by accident. Your parents didn't just randomly decide to have a baby, God's been thinking about you long before you showed up. Before you were even in the womb, before you were a thought in your parent mind, God not only knew you, but he put in you everything you need to succeed, to rise higher, to leave your mark. He programmed in your DNA not to be average, get by, settle for mediocrity. He programmed you for greatness. He ordained you to break limitations, to set new standards, to go where no one in your family has gone.

Like Jeremiah, opportunities will come across our path that seem too big, we're not qualified, it's never happened in our family. Yet deep down you'll feel a stir, a passion, a faith, telling you that you can do it, you can speak to nations, you can start the business, you can beat the cancer, you can write that book. Those are destiny genes that have been programmed by your Creator that are about to open. There is greatness in you, there are new levels, gifts you haven't tapped into, books, songs, movies, ideas, creativity that are lying dormant. At the right time they're going to come to life.

When you feel that nudging, you hear that still small voice, dare to take that step of faith, dare to go further than what's comfortable, dare to say "No" to the fear and "Yes" to what God is telling you. Press past the insecurity, all the negative thoughts, people trying to hold you back. You won't reach your highest potential by staying comfortable, knowing how it's all going to work out, having all the fun, everyone cheering you on. It's normal at times to feel unqualified, not able, afraid. Those emotions come to us all, but the people that step into their greatness do it afraid, they do it feeling inadequate, they do it without the confidence, they do it despite the negative chatter. As you make a move, then what God put in you will get stronger, you'll begin to feel more qualified, more confidence, more ability.

God told Jeremiah, "You must go where I send you and say what I tell you. And do not be afraid of the people". Out of all the things God could have told Jeremiah in this moment of uncertainty, when he was trying to decide if he would believe he could do something great. God didn't say "Don't worry about the funds, I'll provide. Don't worry about the strategy, how it's going to happen, I'll show you. Don't worry about the talent, your ability, I'll help you". No, God said, "Here's the one you need to focus on: do not fear the people". One version says "Do not be afraid of their faces". What people think can keep you from your destiny if you allow it. "Will they accept me? Will they before me? Will they understand me? Will they criticize me"?

If you're focused on that, you'll never get off a dead center, because the enemy will make sure there are people who are not for you, relatives that say, "You really think you can start that business"? Co-workers, "I don't see how you can teach that class". People to speak doubt, bring fear and uncertainty. Tune all that out. They don't know what God put in you. They weren't there before you were formed in your mother's womb. They can't feel what you're feeling, they didn't hear what God whispered to you in the night. Don't be surprised if they say, "You? A prophet to the nations? I don't think so". "You build that orphanage? You live in that nice neighborhood? You lead your department in sales? Start that business? Break that dysfunction? I don't see how". They don't have to see, it's not up to them, this is between you and God. This is the purpose that he placed in you before you showed up.

God went on to say (Jeremiah 1:8), "For I will be with you and I will take care of you". When you take these steps of faith, you're not going alone: the Most High God is with you. He will fight your battles, he will give you wisdom to know what to do, he will bring talent out that you didn't know you had, he will make ways where you don't see a way. You and God are a majority. One angel in the Old Testament defeated 186,000 of the enemies of Hezekiah. Who can withstand our God? Who can stop what he has purposed for your life? When you do what he's asking you to do, there is a force behind you that you can't explain, a power that causes you to overcome what should hold you back, a favor that opens doors, brings the right people, that propels you into your destiny.

Jeremiah felt this faith rising up, and instead of talking himself out of it and staying focused on his insecurities, he made the decision to speak to nations. When he did, the scripture (Jeremiah 1:9) says, "God touched his mouth, and said, 'from now on, I'm giving you the words to speak. Today I'm appointing you as a prophet to the nations'". That was a destiny moment. That calling that God put in Jeremiah before he was born had laid dormant. It was there, but when he pressed past his doubt and took this step of faith, that destiny gene opened. That's when God touched his mouth. When he made a move, God made a move.

There are destiny genes in you right now, things that God has ordained you to accomplish from before you were born. He's already put the talent, the wisdom, the favor, the courage, it's already in you. What you're facing may seem impossible, too much, but the way you know it's from God is its way over your head. If you can accomplish it in your own strength, then it's not a destiny gene. What I'm talking about are things that are too big for you, you don't think you have the talent, the courage, the funds, the connections. Every thought will tell you, "Play it safe, you better stay in that boat, don't stretch, don't believe, don't get your hopes up, that's for people that have more talent, more beauty, more courage". No, that's something God has already programmed you to become.

Now, let's get in agreement with God, "God, I believe there is greatness in me. I believe I can do what you've called me to do. I can speak to nations. I can lead my company. I can write that book you put in my spirit. I can break this dysfunction. I can set a new standard for my family". When you believe, that activates supernatural power. That's when God God will touch your mouth so to speak, and you'll discover new talent, new courage, new ideas, doors opening that you couldn't open, people being good to you and they don't even know why. It's the hand of God bringing about what he purposed for your life before you were born.

The greatness is already in you, the success, the talent, the dreams, the legacy, God has already programmed it into your destiny. But too often, like Jeremiah, when we feel something stirring, something that seems over our head, we discount who we are. We look at everything we don't have, and we talk ourselves out of it. Jeremiah said, "God, I'm too young. I don't have the experience, the training. I don't come from the right family". God knew all that when he called Jeremiah. We look at where we are, but God knows what he put in us. We can't see the genes that are about to open. We don't know the talent, the ability that's about to come out. This what takes faith.

You have to believe not only that God can do anything, but that he's put in you everything you need to fulfill your purpose. It may feel like at times that you're lacking, it's over your head, that's a sign that a destiny gene is about to open. God will never ask you to do something and then not give you the ability to do it. If it seems like too much, that means greater ability is coming, greater wisdom, greater resources, greater favor. God's about to touch your mouth so to speak, and cause you to excel and go where you've never gone.

I heard about this minister, before the service he handed a man a $100 bill and asked him to put it secretly in his wife's Bible. During his message the minister asked the woman to stand up. He said, "Do you trust me"? She said, "Yes, I do". He said, "Will you do what I ask"? She said, "Yes, I will". He said, "Would you please open your Bible and give me a $100 bill"? She said, "I'm so sorry, pastor, I don't have a $100 bill". He said it again, "Do you trust me"? "Yes, I trust you". "Then please, open your Bible and give me a $100 bill".

Frustrated she opened her Bible, and much to her surprise she saw the $100. She looked puzzled and said, "How did it get here"? He smiled and said, "I put it there". That's the way God is: he'll never ask you for something without first putting it in you. When you feel that calling, you hear that still small voice whispering something that seems over your head, you may not think you have the wisdom, the strength, the skill, the talent, but if you'll take that step you'll discover that God has put things in you that you never knew you had. He's already ordained you before you were formed in your mother's womb to accomplish much more than you think.

See, I never thought there was a minister in me. I didn't think I could get up here and pastor. I was satisfied behind the scenes, and felt fulfilled doing the television production, making my father look good. He asked me many times during those 17 years if I'd get up and speak for him, and that was always so odd to me, I thought "I wouldn't know what to say. I'm quiet and reserved, I like being in the background", always told him "No". But when my father passed, suddenly I had the desire to pastor the church, this faith rose up in me. And I knew I was supposed to do it, but like Jeremiah, I thought of all the reasons I shouldn't, "I'm not qualified, I don't have the training, I don't have a dynamic personality like my father", but all those things I thought I didn't have, like that $100 bill, I discovered God had already put in me.

I had the talent, I had the courage, the wisdom, the favor, the right personality. And for 36 years that gene was lying dormant. God had put it in me before I was formed in my mother's womb, there was a specific time for it to open, and when it did, I discovered there was a minister in me, there was an author in me, an encourager in me, a leader in me. I thought I'd do television production the rest of my life, and be at that same level, and that was all fine, but God had greater things he had already destined me to do.

You may think that you've reached your limits, and you're satisfied where you are. Can I encourage you? God has put things in you that you can't even imagine right now. There are gifts you haven't tapped into, talent, ideas, business, ministry. It's lying dormant, but when you come into one of these destiny moments, that gene is going to open and you're going to step into levels you've never dreamed. If you would have told me back in my 20s that one day I'd be a minister, and on television, and I would write books, and we would have church in the former Compaq Center where I used to have season tickets to watch the rockets play basketball, I would have said "You're on the wrong planet. I couldn't see it". This was more than I could imagine.

You have no idea what God has already programmed for you. Here's the beauty: this is not something you have to strive, and manipulate, force to happen, step on people to get ahead. No, just keep honoring God, being your best each day, you will come into these destiny moments where what he's ordained for you from before you were born will thrust you further than you ever thought possible.

Jeremiah went on to say, "Your word oh Lord, is like fire shut up in my bones". Here a little earlier he was saying, "I'm too young, I can't speak, I'm unqualified", now he's saying, "I've got fire shut up in me. I've got talent, anointing, power that I never realized". I wonder what shut up in you right now? What has God already programmed you with that you have no idea? Books shut up in you, talent shut up in you, a business shut up in you, resources, leadership, courage, wealth shut up in you. God has already ordained it to happen. You've been faithful, you've done the right thing when it was hard, I believe God is about to release what's been shut up, release the talent in you, release the courage, release the success. You're going to step into resources that you never dreamed you would handle, doors you never expected to open, talent you didn't know was in you. It's not going to be ordinary, it's not going to be common, it's going to be something your family has never seen, something that'll cause you to stand out, to impact the community, to leave your mark.

Friend of mine came here from another country when he was a little boy with his family. They didn't speak English, and his family, the parents, they did their best to provide, but they were very poor and had little education. As a young man he got a job at a restaurant as a dishwasher, making minimum wage. And look like that would be his lot in life, that he was at a disadvantage, he shouldn't expect anything more. But you don't know what God has shut up in. You you can't judge your future based on what you've seen in the past, there are some destiny genes already scheduled to open.

This young man worked faithfully in the restaurant for 14 years. The owner decided that he wanted to retire and he asked my friend if he wanted to buy the restaurant. He was so puzzled, he thought, "I can't buy it, I'm working in the kitchen. My family doesn't have any funds, and I don't have any credit". The owner said, "You don't need any of that, I'm going to loan you the money. You can pay me back over time". He sold him the restaurant at half the value. It should have taken him 10 years to pay off the loan, but business was so good, he paid it off in 6 months. He now owns it free and clear. He decided to expand, today he has a dozen restaurants all over town. He never dreamed working as a dishwasher that one day he'd be that successful, that blessed. But you don't know what God has shut up in you: there are some businesses that are going to take off, some books, movies, charities that are going to come out of you. The scripture says "Out of your belly shall flow rivers of living water". Not out of your neighbor, your cousin, your boss, your pastor, that's all good, but God has talent, potential, ideas favor that's going to come out of you.

Paul said in Ephesians 3:20, "God is able to do exceeding, abundantly, above all we can ask or imagine", here's the key, "According to the power that works in you". It's already in you! God has already programmed you to leave your mark, programmed you to set a new level, programmed you to excel in business, programmed you to impact your community. That fire shut up in your bones is about to be released.

God told Abraham and Sarah that they were going to have a baby, but they were both way too old. Sarah had already gone through the change of life, and there was no way logically speaking. But sometimes God will put things in your spirit that don't make sense to your mind, he'll give you a promise that defies the odds. When Sarah first heard it, it was so far out, she laughed. She said, "How could a old woman like me and a worn-out man like Abraham have a child"? (she could have left Abraham out of that). In the natural it was impossible, but God is supernatural. What he's already programmed for your life is not going to happen just by talent, your education, determination, by ordinary means. That's all good, but what God has for you is going to take supernatural power, supernatural favor, and supernatural healing. It's not going to be ordinary, not what people expect, it's going to be uncommon, God doing what only he can do.

And God said in Genesis 17:16, "I will give Sarah a son. She will be the mother of nations. Kings of people will come out of her". Here Sarah was doubting, discouraged, thinking there was no way. She had been bearing her whole life. In those days if you didn't give your husband a child, you were looked down on. She felt shame like she wasn't good enough. God showed up and said, "Sarah, I'm not just going to give you a child, you have kings in you, you have nations in you. I put royalty on the inside". He was saying, "Sarah, you have something you can't see right now, something bigger than you can imagine. Yes, you've been through disappointments, you weren't able to have children, but if you only knew what I programmed for you, there's a destiny gene about to open, nations are going to come out of you, royalty is shut up in your bones".

But like Sarah, we look at the circumstances, the bank account, the medical report, "My education, my position at work, Joel, I don't see how I can rise any higher, ever be anything more than I am right now". How do you know there are not kings in you? How do you know what God has programmed you for? When he formed you before you were in your mother's womb, there are things he has shut up in you that you cannot comprehend right now, things that don't make sense. "You can't own a restaurants, you're working as a dist dishwasher. You can't pastor the church, you're too quiet. Jeremiah, you can't speak to nations, you're too young. Sarah, you can't have a child, you're 90 years old". God has put things in you that are going to defy the odds, that people can't explain.

God loves to do things far and beyond what we can accomplish, that way he gets all the credit. All we can say is, "Look what the Lord has done". Worshiping in the former Compaq Center, this was programmed to be ours before the building was ever built. My mother healthy 43 years after being diagnosed with terminal cancer, that doesn't make sense. God stepped in says "There's healing shut up in your bones, let me do what medicine cannot do". 90 years old Sarah had a son, she became the mother of nations and kings came out of her. You may have gone through some barren years, things haven't worked out, now thoughts tell you that you'll never accomplish the dream, never meet the right person, never get well. Don't believe those lies, there are kings in you, there are things you can't see right now that are shut up in your destiny: healing, promotion, spouses, children, books, business, abundance. At the right time, like she did, you're going to step into that destiny moment where God releases what's been shut up.

The scripture (Ecclesiastes 9:11) says, "Time and chance come together for every person". God causes his purpose to collide with your destiny. When it does, supernatural things happen, a baby when you were told you couldn't have children, your business takes off, the right people track you down. You're having church in the former basketball arena.

"Well, Joel, I don't think it's going to happen for me. I've had a lot of disappointments, a lot of bad breaks". Sarah was barren for 90 years, it's not too late, what God started he's going to finish. Sometimes we let our mistakes, guilt, "Man, I should have done better, I missed my chance", it didn't go away. God's calling on your life is irrevocable. He didn't change his mind. What he programmed into you before you were born is still going to happen. Those destiny genes are already scheduled to open. Now, when opportunities come that seem over your head, like Jeremiah, you'll be tempted to make excuses and shrink back. Like Sarah, it's easy to laugh and discount it.

Why don't you get in agreement with God? "God, I believe you programmed me for greatness. That before I showed up you put purpose and destiny in me, things so big that I can't accomplish on my own, but God I believe you will make it happen". Stay in this attitude of faith. If you do this, I believe and declare: the fire shut up in your bones is about to be released. Dreams coming to pass that looked impossible. Gifts coming out that you didn't know you had. Favor that catapult you ahead. Healing when the medical report says "There's no way". Divine connections, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name. And if you receive it, can you say amen today? I receive it as well.
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