Joel Osteen — Be Confident In What You Have
I want to talk to you today about being confident in what you have. It's easy to focus on what we don't have. "I don't have the talent. I don't have the education. I don't have the right personality". But as long as you think you're lacking, it will keep you from God's best.
It's not enough to just have faith in God. That's important, but you've got to take it one step further and have faith in what God has given you. You have to believe you are equipped, you are empowered, you are the right size, the right nationality. You have the talent, the resources, the personality, everything you need to fulfill your destiny.
I have people tell me, "Joel, I don't have a lot of talent". Here's the key, you don't need a lot of talent. You have exactly what you need. If you'll use what God has given you, he'll get you to where you're supposed to be. I've learned it's not necessarily the amount of talent, the amount of education, the amount of money.
What makes the difference is God's anointing on your life. Because you can have average talent, when God breathes in your direction, you'll go further than someone that has exceptional talent. You can have an extraordinary problem, but with the favor of God, he can take an ordinary solution and cause you to be victorious.
That's what happened with Samson, he was surrounded by a huge army. He had no weapons, no protection. All the odds were against him. He began to look around to try to find something to defend himself. All he could find was the jawbone of a donkey. He could've thought, "Oh great, just my luck. I need a sword, I need a shield, and all I have is this jawbone".
It was small, it was ordinary, but he didn't dismiss it. He was smart enough to realize that was a part of his divine destiny. He picked it up and used it to defeat the entire army. That jawbone, even though it was ordinary, when God breathed on it, it became extraordinary.
What am I saying? You don't have to be bigger, stronger, tougher to overcome your obstacles. You don't have to have great talent in order to do something great. When you honor God with your life, you have the most powerful force in the universe breathing in your direction. God knows how to take something ordinary and make it extraordinary. Now, get in agreement with him and be confident that you have exactly what you need.
Don't ever say, "I don't have the strength. I don't have the looks. I'm too tall, too short. I'm too young, too old". Zip that up and start declaring, "I am anointed, I am equipped, I am empowered. I am the right size, the right nationality. I know the right people, I have the right amount of talent. Plus I'm good looking as well," might as well throw that in there too.
One time, Jesus had been teaching thousands of people, started to get late in the day, and the people were hungry. Jesus turned to his disciples and said, "I want you to give them something to eat". They were out in the middle of nowhere. There were no grocery stores, no food. It seemed like on the surface what Jesus asked was impossible. But here's a key. God will never ask you to do something and then not give you the ability to do it.
I hear people say, "I know I need to forgive, but I just can't do it, it's too hard. I know I should take that management position, but I don't feel qualified". That's saying what the disciples said. "It's impossible. We don't see a way," and Jesus heard all their excuses, he finally said, "You've told me all about what you don't have. All I want to know is, what do you have"?
He said, "Jesus, we just have five loaves of bread and two fish, but what is that among so many"? They looked at what they had and dismissed it. "It's not enough. Joel, I'd believe if I had more talent, more education, more going for me". No, God is saying to you what he said to them, "Give me what you have".
Don't make excuses. Don't sit on the sidelines of life intimidated, thinking that you're unqualified. Put your life, your dreams, your goals, your talent into God's hands. Jesus took the five loaves, two fish, prayed over it. You know the story, it multiplied and somehow it fed nearly 15,000 people. That's what happens when you give God what you have, he'll multiply it.
Now, what you have may seem small compared to what you're facing, compared to the financial difficulty, the medical problem, or the size of your dreams. You could easily be intimidated. But God is saying, "If you'll give me what you have," that means if you'll be the best you can be right where you are, living with confidence, believing that God's breathing in your direction, then God will do for you what he did for them. He'll take the little and he'll turn it into much.
"Well, Joel, I got a big problem, but I don't have big resources". That's okay, God does. He owns it all, and he's got you in the palm of his hand. Your obstacle may be high, but our God is the most high. That enemy may be powerful, but God is all powerful. He has the final say, and here's what I've learned, God is not looking for super-talented people. He's looking for ordinary people who will take the limits off of him so he can show his goodness in extraordinary ways.
Be confident in what you have. When David went out to face Goliath, all he had was a slingshot and five smooth stones. Didn't look like much. Goliath was nearly twice his size. Goliath had been trained in the military. He was wearing a full set of armor, had a lot of experience, extremely powerful. Here, David was a teenager. He had no formal training, no equipment, no experience. He was a shepherd, and when Goliath saw David and how small he was, he began to laugh.
Goliath said, in effect, "David, have you looked in the mirror lately? You are no match for me. I am bigger, stronger, tougher". But David understood this principle. Even though it was small, he realized that slingshot was given to him by God, a part of his divine destiny. The scripture says that David ran toward Goliath.
You would think if you're half his size, you would sneak up, you'd try to surprise him. No, when you know you're equipped, you're empowered, God's given you what you need, you will not shrink back in fear, you will run towards your enemies. God used a simple slingshot to thrust David to a new level of his destiny.
My question today is, are you overlooking something small, something ordinary that God has given you? Are you sitting back thinking, "I don't have the talent, the education. I don't know the right people"? No, you have exactly what you need. It may seem small, but when you take these steps of faith, God will do for you what he did for David. He'll breathe on your life, and what was ordinary will become extraordinary.
When my father went to be with the Lord in 1999, I knew I was supposed to step up and pastor the church, but I had never ministered before, and I thought of all the reasons I couldn't do it. I don't have the experience, I don't have the training, I don't have the booming voice, I don't have the dynamic personality.
On and on, I came up with all these excuses, and one day, I heard God say something to me, not out loud, but just down in here. He said, "Joel, you've told me all about what you don't have. I'm not interested in that. All I'm asking you to do is use what you do have," and I stepped out with a little talent, a little ability, a little experience, a little confidence. I didn't have much to give, but I realize now I had exactly what I needed. It looks small, it seemed ordinary, but when you give God what you have, he'll take the small and he'll turn it into much.
Now, quit telling God what you don't have, and what you can't do, and how if you just had a better personality. No, be confident that you have exactly what you need. It may not be as much as somebody else, that's okay, you're not running their race. Don't envy their talent. Don't covet what they have, wishing you had their looks, their personality, their opportunities.
No, listen, if God gave that to you, it wouldn't help you, it would hinder you. You're not anointed to be them; you're anointed to be you, and when God breathed his life into you, he equipped you with everything you need to fulfill your destiny. You have the talent, the confidence, the strength, the creativity to fulfill your purpose.
Now, it may seem small. When I started, I felt unqualified, intimidated. But as you take these steps of faith, believing that you're equipped, confident in what God's given you, God will take the small and he will multiply it, and one day, you'll look up and say, like me, "How in the world did I get to where I am"? That's the goodness, the favor of God.
Here's how the scripture puts it, "It's not by might, not by power, but by his spirit". That's saying it's not just talent, not just education, not just what family we come from. What causes us to excel, what causes us to go places we've never dreamed of is when the most high God breathes on our life, and sometimes, like David, we feel like all I have is a slingshot. You're up against a huge giant. They've got a machine-gun, so to speak, no comparison, but you can stay in faith. You don't have to lose any sleep. Your slingshot with God's anointing is more powerful than a machine-gun with no anointing.
Now, I know some of you are up against a major challenge in your health, your finances, a relationship. You say, "Joel, I've got this big problem, but I have just little faith". Let me encourage you, that's okay. You don't have to have great faith, just use what you have. Jesus said if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to a mountain, "Be removed". Nothing is impossible to you.
When you use even small faith, God can move mountains. When you say, "God, I don't know how this is going to work out. I don't know how my dreams could come to pass. I don't know how I could get over this medical situation, but God, I trust you. My life is in your hands". Even if it's small faith, that's what allows the Creator of the universe to go to work.
One time in the scripture, there were four lepers sitting outside the city gates. They were contagious, so they had to stay away from people. To make matters worse, their city was surrounded by an army. They had cut off the water supply, and they were waiting for the people to get so weak, then they would go in and attack them.
These lepers had nothing going for them, no future to speak of. But one of the lepers said to his three friends, "If we just sit here, we're going to die for sure. Why don't we take a chance and march toward the enemy's camp and see what happens"? Notice they didn't have great faith. They didn't say, "We know God 's going to protect us, deliver us, save us". Their attitude was, "We are 99% sure we're going to die. What do we have to lose"?
They had small faith. They started marching toward the enemy's camp. Don't you know God saw them take that journey of faith? They could've been sitting outside the city gates, depressed, bitter, complaining, blaming God. Instead, they're using what they have. Not much, just a little faith, a little effort, a little strength.
The scripture says as they marched toward the enemy, God multiplied the sound of their footsteps and caused them to sound like a vast army. When the enemy army heard it, they thought they were going to be attacked by thousands of troops, they panicked and took off running for their lives, scared to death. They left in such a hurry, they didn't even gather up their belongings. They left behind all their treasures, their livestock, their food, and when these lepers got to the camp, nobody was there, they were amazed. They went back home and told their families. They all came back and gathered up the spoils.
God not only saved their lives, but God used them to spare the entire city. That's what happens when you use what you have. It doesn't have to be great faith. Even little faith, just doing something small, just showing God that you're trusting him, that's when supernatural things can begin to happen. God can cause people to hear what he wants them to hear.
One time, years ago, when I worked in the television department here at Lakewood, I was meeting with this salesman about buying a large amount of television equipment. He had flown in from another state. We had a good meeting. He called back in a few days and mentioned that he was going to be able to give us the discount that we had requested. He made the statement, it was the largest discount he had ever given. He'd been with a company over 30 years.
I said, "That's great, what amount of discount is it"? He seemed kind of confused. He said, "What do you mean, Joel? You told me the exact price. You gave me the amount that you had to buy this equipment for". I thought, "I never told him that. That's not even my personality. That was God causing him to hear what he wanted him to hear".
Here's what I found. God can cause you to be seen the way he wants you to be seen. You may not feel very powerful, very influential, but the good news is it's not how you feel that matters, it's how God causes you to be seen.
Now, get in agreement with God. You may not feel it, but part of faith is acting like it. Act like you're strong, anointed, confident, secure, empowered, blessed. You've heard that saying, you got to fake it till you make it.
Now, don't ever say, "I don't have the strength. I don't have enough money. My company could never compete with this other business. They've been going for years". No, you don't know how God is causing you to be seen. You may feel weak, but because of God's favor on your life, everyone you encounter thinks you're as strong, as confident, as successful as can be. What is that? God causing you to be seen the way he wants you to be seen.
Now, do yourself a favor, don't go around telling everyone how you feel. Just put your shoulders back, stand up tall, not weak, intimidated, but like a child of the most high God. When you stay in faith like this, God can do for you what he did for these four lepers. He will multiply what you have. He'll multiply your talent, multiply your resources, multiply your influence.
God is a God of multiplication, and what you have may be small right now, but you need to get ready, it's not going to stay small. You're going to come into increase, to good breaks, to the right people, to healing, to restoration, to new opportunities, to favor like you've not seen before.