Joel Osteen — It's a Simple Thing
I want to talk to you today about, "It's a simple thing". We all face situations that look impossible, and it's easy to get discouraged, and thing about how it's never going to work out. But we need to keep the right perspective. God already has the solution. Nothing you're facing is a surprise to God. It may look complicated to you, but to him it's a simple thing. It's no big deal. He spoke worlds into existence. He flung stars into space. He knows how to get you to your destiny.
Think about David when he faced Goliath, a huge giant nearly twice his size. It looked impossible. Goliath was the navy seal of that day, the biggest, strongest, most experienced. David was a teenager taking care of his father's sheep. He didn't have any military training. But it's interesting, God didn't need the latest weapon for David. He didn't need a full set of armor, years of training, troops backing him up. All God needed was a slingshot, a simple thing, and that slingshot helped David to not only defeat Goliath, but it eventually put him on the throne of Israel.
When four lepers were surrounded by an army, locked outside their city's gates, they didn't have a chance. All the odds were against them. They had nothing to lose. So they started walking toward the enemy's camp, and God calls the sound of their footsteps to be multiplied to where it sounded like a huge army was approaching, and when the enemy heard it, they panicked and took off running. Those lepers not only saved their lives, they saved the entire city of Samaria. The sound of their footsteps, a simple thing.
When thousands of people were out on the beach late one evening, hungry, no food, no grocery stores, Jesus took five loaves of bread, two fish. A simple thing, a little boy's lunch, he prayed over it, it multiplied and fed the thousands. When Peter needed money for taxes, Jesus told him to, "Go to the lake, and the first fish you catch will have money for both yours and my taxes". Catching a fish, a simple thing. We think, "How am I ever going to get out of doubt? How will I send my kids to college? It's so expensive". Let me tell you how, a simple thing, one good break, one idea, one phone call, one slingshot, one little boy's lunch.
God has some simple things in your future. You don't have to have the most talent, the most experience, the most qualifications. One touch of God's favor, one simple thing can thrust you to a new level. One simple thing and you'll defeat your giants. One simple thing and your health will turn around. The problem will resolve. The legal situation will solve.
Now, quit telling yourself, "It's too big. It's too hard. It's never going to work out". Our attitude should be, "This may look impossible to me, but God, I know to you it's a simple thing. All power is in your hands. You control the universe. So I'm not going to go around worried, upset, wondering if it's going to work out. I'm going to stay in faith, knowing that you have some simple things coming my way".
See, too many people go through life thinking of all the reasons why they can't be successful, why they can't overcome the challenge, why they'll never get well. "Joel, I've had this sickness so long". Or "Everybody in my family struggles with these same addictions". "I don't have the talent, the personality. It's not going to work out". No, get rid of that defeated mind-set. Let these words sink down into your spirit. It's a simple thing for God to bring your dreams to pass. It's a simple thing for you to live healthy and whole. It's a simple thing for you to meet the right person, for you to live debt free.
God is not up in the heavens scratching his head, thinking, "Man, this is so complicated. They got me stumped". God already has the solution. He's already lined up the right people, the right breaks, the right opportunities. They are already in your future, just waiting for you to walk into them, and if you'll keep moving forward in faith, honoring God, being your best, you will come in to some of these simple things that God has already lined up for you.
I talked to a young lady that wanted to attend a certain college, and she applied for a scholarship, and they called her in for an interview, but the man she was talking with was very unfriendly, just matter of fact. She could tell he wasn't for her. In a few days she received an email saying there were no scholarships available, but she could check back in a month or so. She went back and met with the man, same thing, very curt, "I told you there are no scholarships available". It's almost like she was bothering the man. She decided to go back and check one last time. She made an appointment, but this time the man had to unexpectedly be out of town, and his supervisor was filling in for him that day.
This lady was totally different. She was kind, friendly, very helpful, and as she was looking over her records and personal information, she noticed that the young lady attends Lakewood. She smiled real big and said, "You got the right person today. I've been attending Lakewood for over 20 years". This supervisor went to her office, came back in a half hour, not only awarded her a full 4-year scholarship, but she included all of her books, everything she needed.
What was that? A simple thing. God moved the wrong person out and put the right person in. She may have never been able to win over that other man, but that didn't matter. God said, in effect, "Don't worry about it. He doesn't have to help you. I control the universe. I have the final say. I can either change his mind and cause him to want to help you, or I can move him out and put somebody in there that will help you".
We all face times where somebody is not for us. At the office, playing politics, trying to push you down. At school, leaving you out, trying to make you look bad. It's easy to get frustrated and think, "Man, I'm never going to get ahead. These people don't like me". No, don't worry, God has some simple things. God can cause them to be on vacation when you need a good break. He can cause them to get transferred to a different department. Or if God doesn't move them out of the way, God can cause you to go over them. The scripture says, "You can run through a troop or leap over a wall". Bottom line is God will get you to where you're supposed to be.
A man told how his neighbor, lived next door, was very hard to get along with. They were always having these loud parties way into the night, and all the neighbors complained, but these people didn't care. They were very disrespectful and continued to cause trouble. This had gone on year after year, and didn't look like it would ever change. But one day this man came home from work and noticed a big moving truck in front of his next-door neighbor's house loading up all their furniture. He went over to see what was going on. Come to find out the house was filled with termites. The people moved out. They never moved back in. He said, "Joel, I had never thanked God for termites until that day". A simple thing, termites.
Well, you say, "Joel, you really think God used those little bugs"? God used locusts to change Pharaoh's mind. God used frogs and lizards in the Bible. Now, I'm not saying to pray termites on your neighbors. But the point is, sometimes we think, "Ah, it's never going to change. I'm going to have to put up with it the rest of my life". No, stay in faith. God has some simple things coming your way.
This is what happened in the scripture to Mordecai. Mordecai was a good man, loved God, lived with excellence and integrity. But there was a man named Haman that worked for the king. Haman didn't like Mordecai, and he had this prestigious position, influential at the palace, and he was always trying to push Mordecai down, trying to make him look bad, and in the natural, it seemed like Haman had an advantage. He had the king's ear. What could Mordecai do? But one night, the king couldn't sleep, and he asked his assistant to bring one of the books that had the city's history recorded in it. The assistant randomly grabbed a book and gave it to the king. The king opened it to a page that talked about a good deed that Mordecai had done for the city.
Out of all the books the assistant could have chosen, just so happened he chose this particular book. Out of all the pages the king could have turned to, just so happened he turned to this particular page. The next day he called Haman in, said, "Haman, what do you think we should to honor a person that's done a great deed for the city and served the king with excellence"?
Well, Haman was so caught up in himself he thought the king was talking about him. So he played it up real big. He said, "King, I think we should put a royal robe on that person, have a big parade, march him up and down the city streets announcing what a great person he is". The king said, "I like that, good idea. Now, go find Mordecai and do just what you said. Haman, you put the royal robe on him. You go up and down the streets announcing to everyone how honored he is by the king".
A simple thing, the king reading the right thing about Mordecai. One person putting in a good word for you can take you where you could never go on your own. One comment, one phone call, one email, "Hey, I really like them. They're talented, you're blessed to have them". A simple thing can cause your boss, your clients, your co-workers to see you in a whole new light. Quit worrying about who's trying to hold you back, the credit you're not getting, that person trying to make you look bad. You don't have to fight those battles. God is your vindicator. God will cause them to see you the way he wants you to be seen. He'll cause them to hear what they need to hear. God's already lined up the right people to put in a good word for you.
2 Kings 3, Jehoshaphat and his army met up with 2 other friendly armies, and they had been traveling through the desert for 7 days on their way to fight another enemy when they ran out of water. They didn't realize all the streams and wells had dried up. Now they had no water for their men, for their animals. It looked like they would be an easy target for the enemy that was approaching, and king Jehoshaphat told his men to go check with the prophet Elisha to see what was going to happen, and Elisha said in verse 17: "You will see neither wind nor rain but these valleys will be filled with water. You will have plenty for yourselves and for your animals. But this is only a simple thing for the Lord, he will cause you to be victorious over all of the enemies".
It goes on to tell how the next day it didn't rain. There wasn't a storm, but water filled the valley, and king Jehoshaphat and his men ended up defeating the enemy, went on to conquer those cities. But what's interesting is this valley suddenly filled up with water. Came out of nowhere. Middle of the desert, and water starts flowing. To me, that seems like a big deal, a great miracle. Yet Elisha said, "This is a simple thing for our God".
I've learned what's simple to me and what's simple to God are two different things. What God calls, "Simple," we would call, "Supernatural, extraordinary, far and beyond," and your situation may look impossible. You don't see how you could accomplish a dream, or how you could get well, how your marriage could be restored. There's no water in your valley. But God is saying, "It's not going to happen a normal way. You're not going to see clouds. You're not going to have any rain. But that valley is going to suddenly fill up with water". In other words, out of nowhere you get a good break. Your health improves. The business takes off. You meet the right person. The situation turns around. That's God giving you water without rain.
You weren't the most qualified, didn't have the most experience, but suddenly you were promoted. Suddenly you find you find yourself where you could not go on your own. We're thrilled, we're on cloud nine. But God says, "Hey, it's no big deal. It's just a simple thing for me". Maybe in your health the medical report said you'd never get well. The odds were against you, but you look up, like my mother, 30 years later, you're still healthy, whole, still going strong. That's what God calls, "A simple thing".
In your finances you didn't see how you could get out of debt. Didn't look good on paper, but that valley began to fill up with water. Not a normal way. Not rain, not something you could take credit for. This was the hand of God promoting you, giving you wisdom, putting you at the right place, opening doors that no man can shut, and if we're going to become everything we were created to be, if we're going to reach our highest potential, we can't go around thinking, "This is too big. It's never going to work out. I never get any good breaks". No, have a new perspective. It's a simple thing for our God, and he's saying to you what he said to Jehoshaphat, "Don't worry, don't panic, don't turn around and go back home. I'm going to fill those dry places with water. It's going to happen suddenly. It's going to be unusual, not what you were expecting, water without rain".
That means God can heal you without the treatment. God can promote you even though you weren't the most qualified. God can increase you beyond your salary, bring you out of debt, put you into overflow without the company, without normal means. God has explosive blessings. Well, you say, "Joel, I feel like I'm in a drought today. I hadn't had any good breaks in a long time". That's just where Jehoshaphat was. Don't complain, get ready for a simple thing, something out of the ordinary, not what you were expecting, something that you could not make happen on your own.
I read about a 29-year-old young man. He was a minor-league baseball player, and a few years back he bought a 50-acre plot of land from his great-aunt so she could afford to move into a senior's home. He paid $1,000 an acre, $50,000 for the property, and it really wasn't valued that high. It was way out in the country, the middle of nowhere. He just did it as a favor to his loved one, and one day he was out with some equipment digging around on the property, clearing a couple of acres, and he kept hitting this flat stone.
Everywhere he went, right under the surface there was this certain kind of rock. He called an expert out, and they discovered that his property is filled with something called, "Goshen stone". It's some of the most beautiful and sought after landscaping stone around. Geologists estimate there are 24 million tons of goshen stone on his property. It sells for a little over $100 a ton. That calculates out to be a little over $2 billion worth of stone.
You know what that is? Water without rain, God increasing you in unusual ways, beyond your salary, beyond what was expected. Why don't you take the limits off of God? You may not see how this can happen, but that's not our job. Our job is to believe. Our job is to say, "God, I know you have some simple things in my future. God, I know you can fill my valleys in ways that I've never imagined. So, Lord, I want to thank you for the surpassing greatness of your favor". Your faith is what activates God's power, and when you're in a drought, when you're in a valley, that's when you'll be the most tempted to get discouraged, to complain.
And if you're not careful, you'll settle there, think, "Ah, this is my lot in life. It's never going to change. Joel, I don't see any clouds in the sky". Neither did Jehoshaphat, yet God said the valley was going to be filled with water. It would have been hard enough to believe if God would have said it was going to rain. They were out in the desert. It never rains out there. Yet Elisha took it a step further and said, "It's not going to rain. You're not going to see any clouds, any normal sign of this happening, but these valleys are going to fill up with water".
Jehoshaphat stood at a crossroads. Was he going to believe that God could do something unusual, unprecedented, out of the ordinary? Or was he just going to look at it in the natural, reason it out and think, "Ah, it's not going to happen for me. I never get any good breaks. I'll never get well. I'll never meet the right person. I'm in a desert". No, you've gotta do what Jehoshaphat did and say, "Even though I don't see any sign of this happening, even though it doesn't make sense in the natural, even though every voice is telling me it's impossible, I'm going to choose to believe what God said. That he can bring me water without rain. That he can turn this desert into a stream. That he can make a way where there is no way".
When you believe all things are possible, quit telling yourself, "It's too big. It's too hard. It's not going to work out". You can talk yourself out of God's goodness. It may look impossible in the natural, but remember, we serve a supernatural God. All it takes is one touch of his favor.
This is what happened with the Israelites. They were in the desert headed toward the Promised Land, and they got tired of eating manna every day. Manna was something like bread, and they complained to Moses that they didn't have any meat to eat, and God heard the complaining and told Moses that he was going to give them meat. Not for 1 day, not for 5 days, not for 20 days, but for a whole month. Moses said, "God, that's impossible. We're in the desert. There are 2 million people out here. Even if we butchered all of our flocks and all of our herds, we wouldn't have that much meat".
God said, "Moses, is there any limit to my power? Moses, did you forget that I parted the red sea? Don't you realize I can bring water without rain? I can bring meat without a grocery store. I can guide you through the desert without a gps system, using a cloud by day, a pillar of fire by night. There's no limit to my power". The scripture says, "God shifted the direction of the wind and brought in quail from the sea and caused it to fall into the camp". God simply breathed in their direction, and suddenly, millions of quail were at their front door. They didn't have to go looking for it, hunting, fishing. The quail came to them.
God thought of home delivery but sometimes we think, "Joel, this situation's never going to change". God is asking you what he asked Moses, "Is there any limit to my power? I make streets out of gold. I can bring your dreams to pass. I breathed life into your body. I can correct what's wrong. I control the whole universe. I can cause things to suddenly fall into place". Imagine that scene. Every night for 30 days, 2 million people sitting down in the desert having a steak dinner. You know what that was? A simple thing. God just breathed on them, no big deal.
Now, you may not need steak in the desert. But you need healing from an illness. You need freedom from an addiction. You need a child to come back home. You need a good break to accomplish your dream. Why don't you say, "God, you did it for them. Do it for me. God, breathe in my direction. Show me one of those simple things. God, let me have water without rain".
This is what happened to a man in the scripture. He was a captain in the army. He had a young man that lived with him that was just like his son that had become very sick and was close to death. The whole family was distraught and upset. They didn't know what to do, and this captain heard that Jesus was in town, and he went to him and said, "Jesus, my loved one is so sick. Would you please help me"? Jesus said, "Yes, I'll come to your house right now and heal him". The man said, "Jesus, I'm a captain in the army. I have a lot of authority. When I speak, people obey me. You're busy, you don't need to come to my house. Just speak the word and I know my loved one will be made whole".
Jesus was amazed. Everyone else would have loved for Jesus to come to their house. They were all pulling on him, begging him. But not this man. His attitude was, "It's a simple thing for you. It's a big deal to me, but it's nothing for you. You spoke worlds into existence". Jesus said, "I haven't seen this great of faith in all of Israel. You can go home. Your loved one has been healed".
Here's my point. When you face a situation that looks impossible, you don't see how it could work out, but deep down you know for our God it's a simple thing, God calls that, "Great faith". It may seem like you could never get out of debt, never pay your house off, never build that orphanage you're dreaming about. But deep down, you know God takes pleasure in prospering you. You know he's supplying all of your needs. You know you will lend and not borrow. That's great faith.
The medical report may say, "Nothing more we can do. The odds are against you". But deep down, you know Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord our healer, is restoring health back into you. God calls that, "Great faith". The child that's off course, the legal trouble, the problem at work, looks like it may never turn around, and you could easily live depressed, discouraged, stressed out. But instead, you have the attitude, "God, I know for you it's a simple thing. All power is in your hands. God, you did it for Moses. You did it for Jehoshaphat. You did it for the army captain. God, I know you can do it for me".
That's what allows the creator of the universe to show up and do amazing things, and whatever you're up against, whatever you're dreaming about, keep the right perspective. It's a simple thing for our God. He can bring water without rain, and you may be in a desert, in a dry place. My encouragement is: get ready, those valleys are about to be filled. It's going to happen suddenly. Not a normal way, not something you were expecting, something out of the ordinary. Suddenly, the wind shifts in your direction. Like the Israelites, your camp is filled with quail.
In other words, you meet the right person, like the young lady with the scholarship. Or somebody puts in a good word for you, like Mordecai. Suddenly, you're vindicated, you're promoted. The problem turns around. God's done it in the past. He's going to do it again in the future, and I believe and declare simple things are coming your way, supernatural breaks, opportunities, provision, healing, restoration. The winds of God's favor have shifted in your direction. Like Jehoshaphat, you're going to see water without rain. Your valleys are going to be filled to overflowing. Plenty for yourself, plenty left over to be a blessing to others. In Jesus' name, I declare it.