Joel Osteen — It's Under Your Feet
I want to talk to you about "It's under your feet". How we see our difficulties very often will determine whether or not we get out of them. When we face challenges it's easy to get overwhelmed and start thinking, "This is never going to work out". I'll just have to learn to live with it. Many people settle for mediocrity, but 1 Corinthians 15 says God has put all things under our feet.
If you're going to live in victory, you have to see every sickness, every obstacle, every temptation as being under your feet. It's no match for you. It's not going to keep you from your destiny. It's already defeated. It's just a matter of time before you walk it out, but if you see it being too big, "I'll never break this addiction," "My child will never straighten up," "This sickness is going to be the end of me," that's going to cause you to feel weak, discouraged, intimidated. It's going to attract fear, worry, and doubt. That kind of thinking not only pushes you down, but it stops God from working. You've got to change that addiction is not going to dog you your whole life.
It's under your feet. That depression that's been in your family for years, it's not going to get passed to the next generation. It's under your feet. You're going to put a stop to it. That struggle, lack, barely keep you from being blessed. It's under your feet. It's just a matter of time before you break through to a new level. Now, you've got to shake off the lies that are telling you, "It's too big," "It's been this way too long," it's never going to change". No, this is a new day. God is saying, "Every enemy, every sickness, every obstacle, it's not going to defeat you. It's going to promote you". It was meant to be a stumbling block to keep you down. God's going to use it as a stepping stone to take you higher.
Keep the right perspective. This is what David did. He faced all kinds of enemies, and he said in Psalm 59, "I will look down in triumph on all of my enemies". Notice, not "SOME" of my enemies, "ALL" of my enemies. What am I going to do? Look down, why? Because they're under my feet.
Now, you may be facing situations that don't feel like they're under your feet. The sickness looks big. The financial difficulty seems impossible. Perhaps you've struggled with the addiction for years, but you can't go by what you see. You've got to go by what you know. We walk by faith and not by sight. In the natural, it may look huge, but when you talk to those obstacles, like David, by faith, you need to look down.
See, when you talk to God, we should look up. You look up to give God praise. You look up to ask God for help, but when you talk to sickness, look down. It's under your feet. Look down you look down to talk to fear. I've heard it said, "If you want to say something to the enemy, write it on the bottom of your shoe because he's under your feet".
Sometimes when there's a big boxing match, the day before, the two fighters will come out at a press conference, and they'll stand toe to toe with their faces just and they'll look each other in the eye and just stand there and stare and stare, trying to intimidate each other. They're saying, "I'm bigger, stronger, tougher, meaner. You're not going to defeat me".
Well, when you face an enemy, something that's trying to keep you from your destiny — a sickness, a bad habit, an unfair situation — unlike those two fighters, you don't stand toe to toe to look that enemy in the eye. That enemy is not at your level. It may have a big bark, it may seem tough and big like you can't defeat it. No, the truth is, it's no match for you. For you to look that enemy in the eye, you need to look down under your feet.
You are more than a conqueror. Greater is he that's in you than he that comes against you. God has all power, and if God be for you, who dare be against you? Quit telling yourself, "I'll always struggle in this area," "I'll never lose this weight," "I'll never get out of debt". No, change your perspective. You are not weak, you are full of can-do power. The same spirit that raised Christ from the dead, lives on the inside of you.
Now, some of you need to start putting some things under your feet. God said, "I have given you power to tread on all the power of the enemy". Think of that word, "Tread". One translation says, "To trample". If you will see these obstacles as being under your feet, as being already defeated, then a new boldness will rise up. Your faith will activate God's power in a new way.
I know this lady. She was diagnosed with cancer, and she's in her early 30s and has always been as healthy as can be, and when she got this news, was such a shock to her. Normally she's very outgoing and happy, but her whole personality had changed. All she thought about was how bad it was and how she might not make it. Instead of looking down at the cancer, she was looking up to it. She had made it huge in her mind.
The first place we lose the victory is in our own thinking. If you see the obstacle as being too big, it will keep you defeated. That's why, even though Goliath was practically twice his size, much bigger, stronger, had more experience, more equipment, the first David said was "Hey, Goliath, I will defeat you and feed your head to the birds of the air". That's one of those enemies David looked down on. By faith, if David would've just looked at in the natural and thought about how much bigger, how much more experience, he would've never had the courage to face Goliath. David understood this principle: he knew how to see his enemies as being under his feet.
I told this young lady, "You've got to change your perspective. You've got to start looking down at that cancer. In the natural, it may be huge, but switch over to your eyes of faith. You and God are a majority. It was never meant to be a stumbling block. It was meant to be a stepping stone, and you've got to shake off the self-pity, and like David, put on a new attitude, 'cancer, you will not defeat me. You are under my feet. I will fulfill my destiny. I will live out my days in good health. I am a victor, and not a victim.'"
She changed her outlook. She got her fire back, her passion back, and she started fighting the good fight of faith. Today she is four years cancer-free. She's so happy. A couple years ago, she got married. It wasn't a stumbling block. It ended up being a stepping stone, but had she not seen the obstacle as being under her feet, I don't believe it would've turned out that way, because if we let life overwhelm us, we go around worried, stressed out, in self-pity, that not only affects us mentally, it affects us physically. It won't fight off sickness and disease the way God created it to.
The scripture says, "The joy of the Lord is your strength". Joy is an emotion, and yet it creates something physical. It creates strength. When you're in tough times, you've got to shake off the worry, shake off the self-pity, shake off the disappointment. Get your joy back. Have the right perspective. That enemy, that sickness, that obstacle, it is under your feet. It's not going to defeat you. It's going to promote you. 2 Samuel 22:40, says, "You have armed me with strength for the battle. You have put my enemies under my feet".
Friends, God knows every battle that you will ever face, every temptation, every obstacle. He has not only put it under your feet, but he's armed you with strength for that battle. He's already equipped you. Quit telling yourself, "This is too much. I can't handle it". No, the greatest force in the universe is breathing in your direction. Tap into that power. Start declaring, "I am well able. I can do all things through Christ. I am strong in the Lord". When you do that, something's happening on the inside. You're getting stronger. Your immune system will work better. You'll have more energy. You'll make better decisions.
We've all been to the post office before and seen the sign on the wall of the ten most wanted. Under their pictures, it says, "Armed and dangerous". Let me tell you, if the enemy had a post office, your picture you are not a weakling. You are bad to the bone. You are child of the most high God. He has infused can-do power into you. You've got to start seeing yourself as being armed and dangerous. When we get out of bed we should do is power up, get our minds going in the right direction.
Remind yourself, "I'm ready for this day. I'm equipped, I'm empowered, I've got my armor on, got my shoes of peace. Not going to get upset, not going to let people steal my joy, not going to fight battles that aren't between me and my destiny. Got my helmet of salvation. I know I'm forgiven. I'm redeemed. I'm approved by almighty God. I've been handpicked by the creator of the universe. Got my shield of faith. I'm expecting great things. I'm expecting to have an amazing 2018. Got my sword of the spirit, speaking God's word. I know every enemy is under my feet. I've been armed with strength for this battle".
What are we doing? Powering up, getting prepared for a blessed, victorious, faith-filled day. Now, I know some of you are up against things that could easily steal your joy, maybe a challenge in a relationship, child not doing right, unfair situation at work. You could live stressed, uptight, not sleep at night. No, all through the day, especially when you're tempted to worry, you need to remind yourself, "This is under my feet. God is in control. It is not going to keep me from my destiny".
Come back to that place of peace. Psalm 110 says God will make your enemies your footstool. What do you do with a footstool? It indicates a position of rest. When we face difficulties, too often we take matters into our own hands. We get all worked up. We think, "They did me wrong. I'm going to pay them back. I'm going to straighten them out". "Well, the medical report's not good, and we can't sleep at night. We're so uptight, so stressed out".
No, if you want God to make your enemy your footstool, you have to be still and know that he is God. When you're living upset and trying to force things to happen, let you do it on your own. It takes faith to say, "God, I know you're fighting my battles. I know you'll make my wrongs right. You promised it would work out for my good, so I'm going to keep my joy and stay in peace".
When you put your feet up, so to speak, and rest, God will take those things that seem like they're over you, those things that are holding you back, and he'll bring them under your feet. He'll turn them around and make that enemy when something's a footstool, you could say it serves you. It makes life easier. That's the way God is. When you stay in peace, God will take what's meant for harm, and he'll use it to your advantage. Let's make it practical. Maybe at work this week or at the job site, somebody is not playing politics, not giving you the credit you deserve. Don't get upset. Just keep being your best each day. Stay on that high road. Your job is not to straighten people out. Your job is to stay in peace. When you're in peace, God's fighting your battles. When you're at rest, God will make your enemies your footstool.
This is what happened with Joseph. He was betrayed by his brothers, falsely accused by Potiphar's wife, went to prison for something that he didn't do. Joseph didn't get upset. He didn't try to pay people he stayed in peace, stayed on the high road, and God turned it all around. The people that did Joseph wrong ended up working for him. His brothers, the same ones and bowed low before him. Because he stayed in peace, God made his enemies his footstool.
Here's what I've learned. God can vindicate you better than you can vindicate yourself. If you will let God do it his way, it'll be bigger, sweeter, more rewarding, more honoring. God can take the very people that are trying to push you down, the people that are trying to make you look bad, he can use them to promote you.
In the scripture, Haman tried to push down Mordecai, tried to make Mordecai look bad, disrespected him, didn't give him the time the king told Haman to get a royal robe and put it on Mordecai and march him up and down through the streets, announcing to everyone Mordecai was. Think about it. Of all the people the king could've chosen to do that, it just so happened he chose Haman to honor Mordecai, the very one that was trying to make him look bad. That's what happens when you let God do it his way.
That boss at the office that's not giving you credit, don't worry about it. You're not working unto people. You're working unto God. God is keeping all the records. You don't know. Instead of you working for that boss, one day that boss may be working for you. Stay in peace. God can make your enemies now, your footstool that all of our staff members, ignore what you just heard!
I have a friend. He worked for this company for many, many years, and he always gave it his best, but for some reason, the owner of the company didn't like him. Even though the young man he wouldn't take his opinion, wouldn't really give him the time of day, but this young man, like Joseph, he didn't get bitter. He didn't try to prove to everyone who he was. He just stayed on the high road, kept being his best, day after day.
Eventually, this boss let him go. He fired him, and this young man went out and started his own real estate company and became extremely successful. He never thought much more about his former boss. Didn't have any ill will toward him at all, but God is a God of justice. He doesn't forget what you're owed. You may let it go, but God doesn't let it go. He's going to make sure you get exactly what you deserve.
Several years later, his former boss was downsizing the company and needed a new building to move into. It just so happened the building that the boss really wanted was owned by this young man. When he walked in there and saw the young man he fired and knew that he was the owner and had to negotiate with him, he nearly passed out. Now this boss treated him with the utmost respect. He listened to every word that he said. Long story short, today that former boss is paying rent to the young man he once fired. That's God bringing justice. That's God making your enemies your footstool.
Stay in peace. God's got your back. David said it this way, psalm 23: God will prepare a table of your enemies. That means God will not only make your wrongs right, but God will bless you in front of your enemies. God could promote you anywhere, but he'll give you honor, recognition, favor, in front of the people that tried to pull you down. That person that's lying about you, tried to keep you from rising higher, don't worry about it. One day, they will see you receiving when people are talking about you, maybe somebody's spreading gossip, just imagine the angels just went to the grocery store.
God just turned the oven on. He's getting your dinner prepared. It's not going to be just you. There's going to be some onlookers. Those people that tried to push you down, they're watching you get promoted. They said you don't have what it takes. They're watching you accomplish your dreams. They wouldn't give you the time of day.
Now they're trying to rent a facility from you. Stay in peace. God's got you covered. All these things that come against us to try to get us upset, people talking, gossip, spreading rumors, not giving you respect, those are all distractions. That's the enemy trying to lure us off course, get us bent out of shape, waste valuable time and energy on something that doesn't really matter. Don't give that the time of day. That's not a battle you're supposed to fight. Stay on the high road, and God will bring it under your feet. He'll make those enemies your footstool.
When you're tempted to worry, you're tempted to get upset, just imagine yourself leaning back in a big, comfortable chair, putting your feet up, and resting them on top of that problem. You're saying, "God, it's under my feet. I know you're in control". When you're in peace, it's a position of power. When you're at rest, God's fighting your battles.
I know a man that was trying to get his wife he's an American citizen, but his wife is not. She lives in Europe. He's been trying to get this visa and the proper paperwork lined up. He went to the government office, and the man working behind the counter was very rude to him, wouldn't give him any help at all. It made it very confusing, several weeks later, this man had his paperwork filled out and notarized, and he went back, and the man was just as rude.
The other authorities had told him it'd probably take 6 months to get this visa. This man said, "No, no, it's going to take at least 5 years. We're all backed up. We're not going to get to your paperwork for a long time". This man was very frustrated. He's even tempted to give him a piece of his mind, but instead, he just kept his cool, reminded himself that it was under his feet. Setting the dinner table.
Several weeks later, he got a call back from this man, telling him that his visa was ready. He was so shocked. He was amazed. It was a miracle. He went to him and said, "I thought you said it would be 5 years". The man said, "It should've been, but ever since I met you, I can't get you off my mind. I eat lunch thinking about you. I go to bed thinking about you. You're making my life miserable. Take this visa and go"!
Friends, God knows how to apply pressure. God knows how to make somebody uncomfortable. You don't have to fight the battle. You stay on the high road and watch God make your enemies your footstool. Isaiah put it this way: "No weapon formed against you will prosper". Doesn't say that we won't have difficulties, never have a problem. That's not reality. It says challenges will come. People may talk. You may get a negative medical report. A family member may get off course. God said the problem may form, but you can stay in peace, knowing that it's not going to prosper against you. Because you're his child, because you're in the secret place of the most high, God has a hedge of protection around you that the enemy cannot cross, a hedge of mercy, a hedge of favor.
No person, no sickness, no trouble, no disability can stop God's plan for your life. All the forces of darkness cannot keep you from your destiny, and when you face these challenges you need to remind yourself, "This problem may have formed, but I have a promise from almighty God, it is not going to prosper". In other words, "They may be talking about me, trying to make me look bad. I'm not worried about it. I know God's my vindicator". "My child may be running with the wrong crowd. That's all right. I know it's not permanent. It's temporary. As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord". "This medical report may not look good, but I know God made my body. He's got me in the palm of his hand. Nothing can snatch me away".
I was reading about these researchers that were studying Alzheimer's disease. They took these older people that had died, and they studied their brains, both people that had the disease and people that didn't have it. They found that many people had lesions on their brains that technically qualified them as having Alzheimer's. What was interesting is, when they were alive, they never showed any signs of it. Their mind was clear. Their reasoning was good. Their memory was sharp.
In other words, scientifically, they had Alzheimer's, but the symptoms never showed up. The common denominator is they were positive, they were hopeful, and they stayed productive. That's what Isaiah said. Just because the problem forms don't mean it has to prosper. We may have things come of genetics, things that have been passed down. The good news is God has the final say. God can override it, so stay in faith.
That's what happened with our friend Ramiro. He was born with no ears. The doctors told his parents he's never going to be able to hear, never going to be able to speak. In the natural, it didn't look good, but thank God, we serve a supernatural God. Ramiro has parents that believe it doesn't have to prosper. They didn't sit around in self-pity, thinking, no, they knew they were armed with strength for that battle. They knew that situation was under their feet. They prayed, they believed, they declared God's favor.
When he was just a few months old, the doctors discovered that he had a very tiny start of an eardrum. Doctors performed surgery. They created new ears and helped to correct the problem. One of his main doctors is here today, Dr. Aguilar. He's a member of Lakewood church. He's one of the ones that performed that surgery. Ramiro got better, had more surgeries, got better and better. Today Ramiro can not only hear, not only speak, but he can sing. He helps to lead worship for our young adults. You heard him on "American idol," singing "Amazing grace, my chains are gone," in front of millions and millions of people.
Friends, whatever you're facing, it is under your feet. It is not permanent. It's temporary. The power that is for you is greater than any power that comes against you. Keep the right perspective. You and God are a majority. You are armed and dangerous. The problem may have formed, but it is not going to prosper.
Now, some of you today need to start putting things under your feet. You're letting that problem worry you and keep you up at night. God is saying, "I'll fight your battles, but you've got to give them to me". Come back to that place of peace. Don't let people, circumstances, get you upset. Somebody may not be doing you right. Let God be your vindicator. He knows how to make your wrongs right.
Remember, when you talk to that sickness, that obstacle, that depression, as an act of faith, do like David and look down. It's no match for you, and if you will see these obstacles as being under your feet, God promises he'll make your enemies your footstool. Instead of being a stumbling block, it'll be a stepping stone, and I believe and declare, like Ramiro, nothing will keep you from your destiny. You will overcome every obstacle, defeat every enemy, and become everything God's created you to be.