Joel Osteen — It's Already Set Up
I want to talk to you today about "It's already set up". It's easy to go through life worried about how we're going to accomplish a dream, or how we're going to get out of a problem, how we're going to meet the right person. We look at all the reasons why it's not going to work out, but when God laid out the plan for your life, he lined up everything you need to fulfill your destiny, every good break, every person, every solution. He's not trying to figure out how to do it.
It's already set up. He's already set up the promotion. He's already set up the healing. That problem you don't think will turn around, he's already set up the answer. It's not a surprise to him. He had the solution before you had the problem. Those things that you're dreaming about, the desires God's put in your heart that seem so unlikely. God wouldn't have given you the dream and not made a way to bring it to pass. It's already in your future waiting for you, and if you will stay in faith and not let negative voices talk you out of it, you'll come in to what God has already set up.
In Luke 22, Jesus was about to be crucified. He told Peter and John to go ahead of him to Jerusalem and make arrangements for the passover meal, now known as the last supper. They asked him where to go. He told them as soon as they entered the city, a man would meet them carrying a pitcher of water. He would lead them to a certain house, and they were to ask the owner where the guest room was where they could have the passover meal.
Verse 12 says: "'The owner will take you upstairs to a large room that is already set up.'" He didn't say, "Go to the house, tell them Jesus wants to have dinner. Quick, get it set up. Get the food. Get the table". He said, "It's already set up". What God has planned for you, he's not thinking about doing. Maybe one day it'll happen. One day he'll bring it together. It's already in place, and the good news is, God knows how to get you there.
Notice how detailed Jesus was. He said, "As soon as you enter the city, you'll meet a man. Not just any man, a man carrying a pitcher of water. He will lead you to a house. You tell the owner what I need. He'll take you upstairs". It was like a movie. All these details had to come together at the exact right time. If the man would have been late in the city, the disciples would have missed him. If he hadn't been carrying a pitcher of water, they wouldn't have known who to follow. If he'd led them to the wrong house, nothing would have been prepared. It was the right person, the right house, the right timing. Everything fell precisely into place.
What am I saying? God is not only strategically directing your steps, but he's orchestrating everything around you. He has the people you need that will be there not just to meet you, but they will lead you to your blessing, lead you to a promotion, lead you to the next level. They didn't have to convince the owner to be good to them. "Please do us a favor. Jesus really wants to come have dinner here tonight". The owner was expecting them. He already knew they were coming. He had the table already set up. God has some of these waiting for you. He's already spoken to the right people to be good to you. He's lined up divine connections, people that will go out of their way to show you favor. You don't have to try to manipulate people, force a door to open. The people God has ordained to help you, he's already prepared their hearts. They'll have the table already set up.
A man I know went to a government office to get some paperwork so that his business could grow. The clerk behind the counter was very unhelpful, very he took the man's information, but told him that they were so backed up, it could take 5 years for the paperwork to go through, and the man was very disappointed, and he said nicely, "Is there anything you can do to speed it up"? The clerk practically yelled back at him, "Sir, I told you, we're backed up. It's going to take 5 years".
He left there discouraged. Two weeks later, the clerk called and said his paperwork had gone through, and the man was excited, and went down and saw the clerk, thanked him. He said, "I thought you said it was going to take 5 years". The clerk said to him, "It should have, but ever since I met you, I can't get you off my mind. I wake up thinking about you. I eat dinner thinking about you. I go to bed thinking about you. I'm sick of thinking about you. Take the paperwork and leave".
When God has ordained someone to help you, they don't have to like you. Quit being frustrated by who's not for you. If they're supposed to be for you, they'll be good to you even though they don't like you. They can't help it. God controls the universe. If he needs them to play a part in what he's already set up for you, they won't have a choice.
The scripture says, "God has purposed it. Who can annul it"? This is saying, "What God has already set up, who can stop it"? People can't stop it. Bad breaks can't stop it. Injustice can't stop it. It's already set up. You are right on schedule. You keep honoring God, and what he's already set up is going to find you. You're not going to have to go after it. It's going to come to you.
When we needed land to build a new sanctuary, twice the property that we really wanted was sold out from under us. I was disappointed. I thought, "God, where are you"? I didn't realize the Compaq Center was already set up. When it doesn't work out your way, it's because God has something better. Don't live frustrated. The closed doors are God doing us a favor.
Six months later, a friend of mine called out of the blue, said, "Joel, let's go to lunch. I have an idea". He told me how the rockets were moving out of the Compaq Center and how this would be a great home for Lakewood. In one sense, I didn't go after the Compaq Center. The Compaq Center came after me. God used that man to lead me to what he already had prepared. He was a divine connection, part of the plan that God had already set up. That's why you don't have to live worried.
How are you going to accomplish the dream? Worried about how you're going to get the breaks you need. God has it all figured out. He's already lined up the right people to come across your path, and what God has in store is bigger than you can imagine. It's more rewarding, more fulfilling, and instead of going around discouraged because of what didn't work out, turn it around. "Father, thank you for the blessings that you've already set up. Thank you for the good breaks, the healing, the promotion, the right people that you've already ordained to come across my path".
In Mark chapter 11, Jesus was on the mount of olives. He told his disciples to go into the nearby village, and they would find a colt tied up that had never been ridden. He said, "Untie it and bring it to me. If anyone asks what you're doing, tell them the Lord needs it and will return it soon". They went in the village, and just like he said, they found the colt. They started to untie it. Somebody stopped them, "What are you doing? That's not your animal". They said, "The Lord needs it". They gave them permission to take it.
Jesus got on the colt and rode it into Jerusalem, and when people saw him coming, they put palm branches down on the ground and laid out their coats. As he passed by, they shouted, "Hosanna, blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord". This was all prophesied many years earlier by Isaiah, that Jerusalem would receive their king coming on a colt that had never been ridden. But when the disciples went to get the colt that day, they didn't realize the significance of what they were doing. They thought they were just running an errand. Jesus needs a ride, no big deal. They didn't know the colt they were untying was fulfilling prophesy.
It seemed routine to them, but there was nothing ordinary about that moment. They couldn't see it, but it was a part of a plan that the creator of the universe had already set up, and like them, there are times we're going through the day, doing our normal routine, going to lunch with an old friend that called, no big deal. We can't see it, but those are destiny moments. God is orchestrating what he ordained for your life to come together.
Like Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would come riding on a colt, your life has been prophesied. God has written every day of your life in his book. You are not at the mercy of people, luck, "I hope I get some breaks". Before you were formed in your mother's womb, God knew you and planned out all of your days. He has these destiny moments where he'll make things happen that you couldn't make happen. He's already set up the colt. He's already set up the table. He's already set up the right people, the breaks you need. Not only are your steps being divinely orchestrated, he's orchestrating the steps of people and circumstances around you.
If he knew where that colt was, if that animal was put there by the creator, how much more does God know where you are? How much more is he lining up what you need? This colt had never been ridden. It was to fulfill Isaiah's prophecy. I can imagine, when the owner tried to ride him like he did his other animals, he got halfway on, and that colt bucked him off. He thought, "I'll show you," had four or five strong men hold the colt, but when he tried to get on, it was like the colt had supernatural strength, bucked him off again. He final thought, "I'm leaving that colt alone. Something's wrong with him".
There wasn't anything wrong. That colt had been Marked by destiny. But one thing this shows us is what God has ordained for you will not go to anyone else. Don't worry about somebody getting your promotion, your contract, your blessing. If it's yours, that colt will buck them off. What God has prophesied for your life cannot be taken by other people. Now, quit being frustrated because somebody got what you wanted. If it was supposed to be yours, it wouldn't have happened. Be happy for them, knowing that God has something better for you. When we tried to buy that property, that colt bucked us off twice, and I did my best to make it happen, but you can't override what God has ordained.
When the prophet Samuel went to Jesse's house to anoint one of his sons as the next king of Israel, seven of the sons were in the house. David was still out in the shepherd's fields. Jesse didn't bother bringing his youngest son David in. He thought, "He's not king material. He's too young, too small, doesn't have the talent, the experience". People will judge you by the outside. They'll try to write you off, but they don't know what God put in you. They can't see your seeds of greatness. They didn't prophesy your life. They didn't choose you before you were formed in your mother's womb. They don't know what God has already set up for you.
God loves to take people that other's discount, others discredit, say, "It couldn't be them. They're not king material. They've made too many mistakes. They come from the wrong family". That's the kind of people God chooses to show out in their lives. Samuel called each son forward one by one, and he tried to pour the oil to anoint them, turned the bottle upside down, but the oil wouldn't come out. He came to the last son. I can see him hitting the bottom of the bottle, but the oil defied gravity because it was not ordained to go to those seven sons.
The oil that belongs to you will not go to anyone else. Nobody got your promotion. Nobody got your contract, your girlfriend, your house. That was a good one. The oil that belongs to you cannot go to other people. Jesse finally brought David in, the youngest son. Samuel went to anoint him, and the oil freely flowed. I could see his father, Jesse, standing there with his eyes, his mouth wide open, thinking, "David, I never dreamed it would be him".
What God has already set up for you is going to cause people to stand there like Jesse in total disbelief. They never dreamed you could be that blessed, that successful, that healthy, that free, they saw you with all your limitations, what you can't do, what you don't have. They didn't realize God had already set up blessings that would catapult you to the next level. The scripture says, "No person has seen, heard, or imagined what God has prepared for those that love him". God has some things prepared that are going to amaze you, promotion that you didn't see coming, favor that you didn't deserve, increase that takes your family to a new level. If you've seen it, heard it, or imagined it, that's not what this is talking about. What God has prepared, what he's already set up is something that you've never seen.
Two thousand and seven, we received a phone call from a young lady that worked for the New York Yankees. We'd never met her, but she likes our ministry. The Yankees were building a new baseball stadium. She wanted us to come and hold a night of hope for the first event in the new baseball stadium. When the staff told me, I thought they were joking. "You mean, they want a minister from Texas to come"? They could've had a big rock-and-roll band, a big production, but she wanted us. This young lady was in charge of special events. She could've liked us, but worked in accounting, or on the grounds crew.
Nothing wrong with that, but she wouldn't have had the authority to invite us. Two thousand and nine, we went and held the first non-baseball event in the New Yankee Stadium. What am I saying? God has the right people in the right positions for you. You don't have to have favor with everyone, just favor with the right one. A dozen people may not like you, but they can't stop you. God has already set up the right people that will open doors to promotion, to opportunity, to favor. You're going to say like me, "Wow, I didn't see that coming. I didn't have the connections, the talent, the experience".
That's one of those prepared blessings that you have not seen, heard, or imagined. But sometimes, there's a blessing already set up, but people will try to talk you out of it. People will tell you all the reasons why it's not going to happen. The problem is, God didn't put the dream in them, he put the dream in you. They can't see what you see. They can't feel what you feel. They're looking at it in the ordinary, the natural, but God puts things in your spirit that are bigger than you can accomplish on your own, and you may not see how it can happen, but God wouldn't have given you the dream.
He wouldn't have put the promise in you if he had not already set up how to bring it to pass. He's a supernatural God. He knows how to bring it all together. He has the colt set up. He has the staff members in the right position that like you. He has the table already prepared.
When I was growing up, my mother always wanted a swimming pool in our backyard, and my father was very generous with my mother. He would give her anything, except a swimming pool. He said, "Dodie, I don't want a pool. It's too much money, too much maintenance. We have enough to take care of already". He gave her all these good reasons. My mother no more paid attention to that. She let that go in one ear and out the other. Every day, she went around talking about it, "I can't wait till we get our swimming pool". She got all of us five kids excited, "We're getting a swimming pool". We even went out and bought my brother Paul some floaties.
My father said, "Dodie, you are wasting your time. I've already made up my mind. We are not getting a swimming pool". One day, my mom was in the backyard with a tape measure. My dad went out, "Dodie, what are you doing"? She said, "I'm measuring where we're going to put our swimming pool". She tried to wear him down. He wouldn't budge. About a year later, during our thanksgiving conference at the church, a couple asked to see my parents after the service. They introduced themselves. The man said, "I build swimming pools for a living". My mother gave him a big hug and said, "I've been waiting for you". He went on to say, "I would like to build you a swimming pool".
My father said, "That's so nice. You're very kind, but we really can't afford it right now". He said, "What do you mean? I don't want you to pay. I want to do it for free. Won't you let me give you a swimming pool"? My mother looked at my father like, "If you say, 'NO,' you're going to heaven today". That man built us a beautiful swimming pool in our backyard. That was one of those blessings God had already set up. My father couldn't see it, but God didn't put it in his heart.
Don't let people talk you out of what God put in you. Just because they don't believe doesn't mean that it's not going to happen. God has lined up the right people for you, and you keep honoring him, being your best, and these blessings are going to find you. Don't seek the blessing, seek God. Keep him first place, and the blessing will seek you. Jesus said, "Seek first the kingdom, and all these things will be added unto you". These things are what God has already prepared. He wants to not only meet your needs, he wants to give you the desires of your heart. He wants you to enjoy life and be able to bless your family, have fun together.
"Well, Joel, it's great your mom got her swimming pool, but I'm fighting cancer". "I'm struggling with an addiction". "I have a child that's off course". The same God that had a swimming pool already set up for my mother, the same God that had the Compaq Center already set up for us, the same God that had a colt already set up to bring Jesus, that same God has the healing already set up for you. He has the vindication, the freedom, the breakthrough. It's already in your future.
When Joseph's brothers were jealous of him, they threw him into the pit and were going to leave him there to die, but they looked up and saw a caravan of ishmaelites coming their way. They changed their mind and sold Joseph as a slave. What's interesting is that caravan had been traveling for months to get to Egypt. Before Joseph was thrown into the pit, God had the answer already on the way. Before he had the problem, the solution was already en route.
God said in Isaiah, "Before you call, I will answer you". I saw a report on the news about this mother. She was in the car driving with her two small children over this very high bridge. An 18-wheeler lost control of his truck and started a chain reaction, slamming into cars. This lady's car was not only crushed, but it was pushed through the guardrail, halfway off the bridge. Now it was dangling, rocking back and forth. When the officers arrived, they didn't think anyone could have survived. The car was so mangled.
They radioed that they had fatalities when they heard something coming from the car, a little bit of noise. Somehow, the people were still alive. The problem was, the car was so unstable. They tried for about 10 minutes to cut through the metal to get them out, but they had to stop. It was too risky. Every time the wind blew, it looked like the car was going to fall. The officers knew they didn't have long, but didn't know what to do. About that time, a man came walking up in a navy uniform. He said, "I'm the head of the navy engineering team, and we have a one-of-a-kind forklift that can extend out, tilt, rotate in any direction, and lift 11,000 pounds".
The officer said, "How quickly could you get it here"? While they were talking, it was pulling up. There were only three of these type forklifts in the world. They were able to reach out, pick up the car, save the three lives. After they rescued the people, the navy engineer told the police officers how earlier that day, they had been delayed for 3 hours. They were supposed to already be at their location, but something caused them to be late, and it just so happened, they were coming by when all this was taking place.
What are the chances of this one-of-a-kind piece of equipment being at that place at the right time? That wasn't a lucky break. It wasn't a coincidence. It was one of those blessings that God had already set up. God knows what you need, when you need it, and how to get it to you. That problem you're concerned about, God has the answer already en route.
Instead of worrying all through the day, "Father, thank you that you've already set up the breakthrough, already set up the promotion". Everything you need to fulfill your destiny is already lined up. It may not have happened yet, but if you'll stay in faith, what God has ordained is on the way, and I believe and declare, you're about to come in to some of these already-set-up blessings. You're not going to have to go after it. It's going to come after you, in Jesus' name.