Joel Osteen — Feed Your Destiny
I wanna talk to you today about feeding your destiny. We may not realize it, but we're always feeding ourselves: what we watch and listen to, the people we're around, the thoughts we're dwelling on. That's feeding our inner man. If you go to lunch with people that talk bad about the boss, make fun of a coworker, put down a friend, they're feeding you gossip, feeding you jealousy, feeding you disrespect.
Here's the key: whatever you feed is going to grow. You may not like what they're feeding you. You're a nice person. But if you continue to hang around them, before long, you'll be gossiping. You'll be critical. You'll be disrespectful. Why? Because you kept feeding the wrong things. If you're always feeding negative thoughts, thinking, "I'll never get well," "I'll never meet the right person," you're feeding doubt, feeding mediocrity, feeding fear.
A man told me how he spent years of his life on drugs and alcohol, and it had ruined his marriage. He wasn't there for his children. Now he was so down on himself, so discouraged. What was he doing? The regret, feeding the blame. If you feed guilt, it's going to get bigger. If you feed fear, it's going to become larger. What if you spent that same energy feeding your faith, your dreams? Yes, I've made mistakes, but, Father, thank you that your mercy is bigger than any mistake. Thank you that I am forgiven.
Quit feeding the negative and start feeding your faith. What are you allowing in your spirit? The people you're spending time with, the thoughts you're dwelling on, all day, is that inspiring you, building your faith, pushing you toward your dreams, or is it junk food, feeding you guilt, mediocrity, negativity, causing you to compromise?
A friend of mine was diagnosed with a serious illness. The doctor put him on a very strict diet. He couldn't eat any sugar, any flour, any meat. It was only raw vegetables, nuts, grains. Now, I asked him if he was going to do it. He said, "What do you mean, am I going to do it? My life depends on it".
Today, I'm putting you on a new diet. Not physically, but for your inner man. No more junk food. No more dwellin' on thoughts of worry, fear, "I don't have what it takes". No more hangin' around people that are feeding you negativity, causin' you to compromise. No more guilt, condemnation, "I'm all washed up". Your prescription is for faith food. Feed your hopes, feed your dreams, feed your confidence, feed your destiny.
"Well, Joel, I'm not that talented". "I don't have a good personality". "I'm not as attractive as my friend". That's not on your diet. Your diet is what God says "I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am one of a kind, a masterpiece made in the image of God". When you feed your value, your value will get stronger. If you're dealing with an illness, "Well, I don't think I'll get well. I've had it so long. The medical report doesn't look good," you're feeding the wrong things. That's allowing the sickness to grow. Turn it around: "Father, thank you that you're restoring health back unto me. Thank you that the number of my days, you will fulfill". You feed your faith like that, and what's happening is the doubt is getting weaker and weaker. Before long, you'll starve the doubt.
I have some flowers in my backyard, and one summer, it was very dry, and, of course, very hot here in houston. And the sprinkler system couldn't keep up, so every afternoon, I'd go out and water those flowers with my hose. About 40 feet away, over in the corner, there were a bunch of weeds, couple feet tall. And I noticed, a few weeks later, all those weeds had died off. They didn't have any water. My flowers were just as beautiful as can be.
What you don't feed will eventually die. You may have some weeds in your life today. Weeds of guilt, weeds of negativity. Don't be alarmed by the weeds. Of watering the weeds. If you came over to my backyard and saw me out there watering the weeds, you would think, "What is wrong with that man? That doesn't make sense. He's waterin' somethin' he doesn't want". Are you watering what you don't want?
The enemy's main tool is deception. He would love for you to go through life watering the weeds, spending your energy dwelling on fear, doubt, insecurity, mistakes of the past. Don't fall into that trap. When thoughts tell you, "Nothing good is in your future," "It's all downhill from here," instead of watering that weed, feeding the discouragement, turn the hose the other way. Water what God says about "Father, thank you that the path of the righteous, my path, gets brighter and brighter. Thank you that you've surrounded me with your favor".
When you're in a tough time, instead of feeding the doubt, "I'm stuck here," "Nothing's ever gonna change," feed your faith. "I'm coming out. God always causes me to triumph. This too shall pass". Whatever you're feeding is getting stronger. Don't feed what you don't want. Maybe you've had bad breaks in life, and things haven't turned out the way you had hoped. You could easily be discouraged. Don't feed the self-pity. Don't water what didn't work out. Quit reliving the hurts.
You can't feed your history and feed your destiny at the same time. And if you're using all your energy to feed your past, you're not gonna have the energy you need to feed your future. What's happened to you is over and done: how you were raised, what you didn't get, who hurt you, who you lost. I say it respectfully: that's history. That's behind you. You cannot go into a new season if you're always looking back at the old. Those doors are closed. It may not have been fair, but God is fair. He knows how to make it up to you, but you have to let go of what didn't work out.
Quit putting energy into negative things of the past. If you're feeding the hurts, feeding the offense, feeding the betrayal, it's just like you're watering resentment, watering bitterness, watering discouragement. The way to get past it is you have to starve it. Quit dwelling on it. Quit thinking about what you didn't get, who hurt you, how you can prove to them that they shouldn't have left you. If you will put that same energy into your destiny, believing for new beginnings, expecting God's favor, then God will give you beauty for those ashes. God will make up for the wrongs. You don't have to pay anybody back. God will be your vindicator. But we all go through things in life that are not fair.
The scripture says offenses will come, betrayals will come, bad breaks, loss, things we don't understand. It's painful enough when they happen, but if you make the mistake of feeding the fear, feeding the offense, feeding the hurt, then it's going to continue to be painful. You cannot get well if you're always reopening the wounds, reliving the negative. That's making it worse. Yes, it can feel good to our flesh to hold onto hurt, hold onto self-pity.
You may have a valid reason to feel that way: somebody did you wrong, you came down with an illness, the company laid you off. But when you're feeding the past, you are putting energy into something that's takin' you backwards. It's tempting to hold on. Sometimes you wake up. It's on the forefront of your mind. You have to ask yourself, "Am I going to keep watering these weeds? Am I going to keep putting energy into something that's taking me the wrong direction"?
In the scripture, the prophet Samuel went through a great disappointment. He had chosen a young man named Saul to be the next king of Israel. He took Saul under his wing like he was his own son and trained him and mentored him. And Saul did well as a king for a few years. Then he got off course, made mistakes. He wouldn't obey. Finally, God rejected Saul as the king. He lost the throne. And Samuel was so discouraged. He had invested years of his life trying to help Saul.
Now it looked like it was a waste of time. As Samuel was sitting around, heartbroken, feeding the self-pity, feeding the discouragement, God said to him, "Samuel, how long are you going to mourn over Saul"? He was saying, "How long are you going to feed your history? How long are you going to put energy into something that's taking you the wrong direction"?
And, yes, there's a season of mourning. When you go through a loss, a disappointment, you don't have to be superhuman where you never feel anything, you never have a down moment, but you can't let a season of mourning turn into a lifetime of mourning. At some point, you have to say, "Yes, I'm disappointed. Yes, I'm hurt. My prayer didn't get answered the way I'd hoped, but this is a new day. I'm not feeding my history anymore. I'm letting go of what didn't work out. I'm not dwelling on my disappointments. I'm not reliving my hurts. I'm putting my energy into my destiny. I'm getting ready for the new things God has in store".
God went on to tell Samuel, "Fill your horn with oil, and be on your way. I'm sending you to the house of Jesse. I have chosen one of his sons to be the king". If you'll quit looking backwards, quit mourning over what didn't work out, God is going to send you to the house of Jesse. He has a new beginning, a new relationship, a new dream. Just because Saul didn't work out doesn't mean that it's over. God has a David. He has another plan, not something secondary: "This is all that I have. Too bad, just take this".
David was the greatest king that ever lived. You may have gone through an unfair situation, something that took the wind out of you. It wasn't a surprise to God. He knew every setback, every disappointment. He has a David already lined up for you. Your greatest joy, your greatest victories, your greatest accomplishments are still in your future.
But suppose Samuel would've continued mourning, putting energy into his past, feeding that disappointment. Maybe he wouldn't have anointed David. Maybe God would've chosen someone else to go to the house of Jesse. Maybe Samuel would've faded off into the sunset, defeated, discouraged.
Are you putting energy into your past? Are you feeding your history? God is saying, fill your horn with oil, and be on your way". That means, "Get your passion back. Put a smile on your face. Start moving forward. You're about to come to the house of Jesse". You thought it was over and done. God still has a David. God still has something more rewarding than you've ever imagined.
I talked to a lady that had been married for over 20 years. Her husband met another woman and suddenly decided he didn't wanna be married to her anymore. And without any warning, he moved out and ended the marriage. And this lady was so heartbroken. She couldn't understand why that happened. Two years later, she was still so upset. I told her what I'm telling you. You can't keep feeding your history. Don't feed the betrayal. Don't feed the hurt. It's taking you in the wrong direction.
If somebody left you, you have to recognize their part in your story is over. If they walked away, you don't need them to fulfill your purpose. If you needed them, God wouldn't have let them leave. But if you live thinking that you can't be happy now because they're remarried, they moved on, then you're going to miss the new things God has in store. Why don't you accept it as God closing the door.
God rejected king Saul. Sometimes God puts an end to things that we don't understand. Don't put a question mark where God has put a period. Don't keep mourning over something that you cannot change, always thinking about it, wondering why it didn't work out. "Why did this door close"? "Why did I lose my loved one"? I can't tell you why, but I can tell you, if you will fill your horn with oil and be on your way, there's a house of Jesse that God has ordained for you. You're gonna come into a new season of joy and fulfillment like you've never seen.
I saw this lady several years after we had talked. In fact, she came right here to the altar for prayer. She had this handsome man by her side. She looked so beautiful, so radiant, like a different person. She told how they had recently gotten married, and she was happier than she had ever been. She went on and on, telling me what an amazing man this was. What happened? She quit mourning, and God sent her to the house of Jesse.
And when you quit putting energy into your history and you start putting it into your destiny, God will give you beauty for those ashes. God will pay you back for the unfair situation. And that person that left you, no offense to them, but they're a weed. Quit watering the weed. Quit thinking about the weed. This is a new season. God has divine connections lined up for you. Instead of feeding the hurt, feed your faith. "Father, thank you that my latter days will be better than my former days. Thank you that what was meant for my harm, you're using to my advantage". If you'll feed your destiny, God will make up for the wrongs.
Isaiah said, "Because you got a double dose of trouble, your inheritance in the land will be double, and your joy will go on forever". That's my prayer for you, that you'll not only see double restored back to you, but you'll be happier and more fulfilled than you've ever been.
In acts chapter 1, the apostles came together to choose a replacement for Judas who had betrayed Jesus. It came down to two men, Matthias and Barsabbas. The apostles prayed, asked for wisdom. They finally chose Matthias. But imagine how Barsabbas must've felt. This was an incredible opportunity. The 12 apostles would have their names written on the foundation of the New Jerusalem. They would forever be esteemed and respected.
Barsabbas got so close. He almost became one of the honored apostles. He could've gotten discouraged, bitter, dropped out, but instead of feeding his history, instead of dwelling on what didn't work out, he let it go and kept feeding his destiny.
In acts chapter 2, it says, "They were all together in one accord in one place". That means he wasn't there with a bad attitude. He didn't have a chip on his shoulder. He kept moving forward.
When you go through a disappointment, something doesn't work out, do like him. Don't feed the negative. Don't sit around thinking, "Oh, man, I missed my big opportunity". God knows what he's doing. Sometimes he will close doors that we think should be open. Maybe you didn't get the promotion that you worked so hard for. You didn't qualify for that loan for the new house. The relationship didn't work out. That's in the past. God put a period. That's history. Now keep moving forward. Keep feeding your faith, feeding your dreams.
At the right time, God will open a better door for you. If you're going to feed your destiny, you have to be careful who you spend time with. If you associate with the wrong people, they can feed you doubt, feed you negativity, feed you gossip. You're going to become like the people you hang around. Make sure that they have what you want. If they're negative, critical, they compromise, they don't have integrity, they're feeding you the wrong things. That's not on your diet.
Life is too short to hang around people that are causing you to compromise, pulling you down. Your time is too valuable to waste it with people that don't have a dream, people that aren't going anywhere. And you don't have to make some big announcement, but little by little, you should spend less and less time with them.
"Well, Joel, what if I hurt their feelings? What if they get upset"? What if you miss your destiny? What if they're keeping you from going to the next level? When you come to the end of life, you won't stand before people. You will stand before God, and he has entrusted you with a gift. You have an assignment. There's something for you to accomplish. You have a responsibility to become who God's created you to be. You have to take bold steps to protect what you're feeding.
Those coworkers that are negative and critical, instead of going to lunch with them every day, the right attitude is, "I love you, but I'm not gonna hang around you 'cause you're feeding me doubt, feeding me negativity, feeding me gossip, and that's not on my diet".
Sometimes we don't wanna rock the boat. We think, if we make changes, we won't have any friends. The truth is you may be lonely for a season, but God will give you new friends, better friends, people that will push you up and not pull you down, but if you don't get rid of the wrong people, you will never meet the right people. You should surround yourself with people that inspire you, people that challenge you, people that make ya better.