Joel Osteen — Keep Your Crown
I want to talk to you today about keep your crown. When God breathed his life into you, he put a crown on your head. The psalmist called it a crown of glory and honor. This crown represents your authority. It represents God's blessing and favor on your life. It's a reminder that you're not average, not mediocre, but you are royalty.
When you're wearing your crown, you'll feel a sense of entitlement thinking, "I have a right to be blessed. I have a right to live in victory. I have a right to overcome these challenges, not because I'm so great, so strong, so talented, but because I'm wearing a crown of honor put there by my creator". Your perception of yourself will determine what kind of life you live. If you see yourself as being average, and you feel less than because of what somebody said, and you live guilty because of past mistakes, that's going to limit your potential. What's happening? You're not wearing your crown.
Jesus said in revelation 3, "Hold fast to what you have so that no one can take your crown". Throughout life, there will always be someone or something trying to take your crown, people talking about you, trying to make you look bad, push you down, what they're really doing is trying to get your crown. Do yourself a favor, don't let them have it.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, "No one can make you feel inferior without your permission". Nobody can take your crown, you have to let go of it. Somebody may say to you, "Well, you're not that talented. You'll never be successful. You can't start your own business". Too often we think, "Yeah, you're right. I don't really have what it takes. Look how long it's been. I'm not as smart as my cousin". What's happening? You're letting go of your crown. When those thoughts tell you you're not attractive enough, just say, "No thanks, you're not taking my crown. I know I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I know I am one of a kind". "Well, you'll never get out of debt. You'll never send your children to college". "No thanks, I will lend and not borrow. Whatever I touch will prosper and succeed".
You're not just being positive, you're holding on to your crown. Thoughts say, "Well, look at where you are in life. You should be ashamed of yourself, the mistakes you've made, the times you've failed". "No, you're not having my crown. I may have fallen, but look at me now. I didn't stay down. I got back up again. I made mistakes, that didn't change my name. I'm still a child of the most high God". If you're going to keep your crown, you have to dig your heels in and say, "I'm not going to let what somebody said, or who walked away, or what didn't work out steal my sense of value. I know I have been crowned with honor," and when somebody tries to make you feel small, they say something derogatory, instead of being upset and believing it, just reach up and straighten your crown.
They can't change who you are unless you allow them to. They don't control your destiny. They don't determine your value. They didn't breathe life into you, God did and he calls you a masterpiece. He says you're a king, a Queen, you're supposed to reign in life, that's why he put the crown of honor on your head, it's to remind you who you are. But the mistake we make too many times is we believe the lies. Somebody says, "You're not that talented". Instead of saying, "No thanks," we say, "Oh yeah, you're right. Let me take off my crown. I thought I was". "You're not royalty. You come from the wrong family. You'll never do anything great". Instead of ignoring it, not giving it the time of day, we think, "Yeah, you're right. What was I thinking? Let me take off my crown".
The enemy's main tool is deception. There's nothing he would love any more than for you to go through life not wearing your crown, letting people and circumstances convince you that you don't deserve to be blessed, you don't have what it takes, you've been through too much, you can't feel good about yourself. Don't you dare give away your crown. It belongs to you, it was put there by your Creator, it has nothing to do with how you feel, how you look, what other people said. It's based solely on the fact that you are a child of almighty God. He has crowned you with glory and honor.
I know a young man that loved to play baseball, that was his passion growing up. But when he tried out for the school team, the coach didn't give him a chance. He said, "I'm sorry, son, you can be the try out. You're too small. You would never make this team," and the coach wasn't trying to be rude, he was just looking at it in the natural. But just because somebody doesn't believe in you, that doesn't mean that has to stop your dream.
The reason people don't always encourage you and cheer you on is because they can't feel what you feel. God didn't put the dream in them, he put the dream in you. Don't let their discouragement steal your enthusiasm. They may be the experts, but the experts can be wrong. Keep your crown on, keep believing, keep hoping, keep pursuing. You don't need everyone to be for you, you and God are a majority.
When you're wearing your crown, God will open doors that no man can shut. He'll help you accomplish what you could not accomplish on your own. He wouldn't have put the dream in you if he didn't already have a way to bring it to pass.
This young man went home from school that day very discouraged. His heart was set on playing baseball. But instead of sitting around defeated, thinking he wasn't good enough, he kept his crown on. His attitude was, "The coach may say I'm too small, but I know I'm not a mistake. I'm the right size. I have what I need to fulfill my destiny". A couple of weeks later, the school announced that because so many boys tried out, they were forming a second team, he tried out and made that team.
He was excited about playing even though he knew he was on the lesser talented team. Those two teams played in the same division. There was about 12 teams, they ended up playing for the championship playing each other. This young man was the pitcher on his team. Although he was told he was too small, he struck out batter after batter after batter. They went on to beat the "Quote," more talented team and win the championship.
What am I saying? People don't determine your destiny. They don't know what's in you. Don't take off your crown because somebody judged you by the outside, somebody told you you're not talented enough, not attractive enough, not tall enough, not smart enough. You don't have to have them cheering you on. Keep your crown on, keep being your best, honoring God, and he will get you to where you're supposed to be.
Jesus said in the book of John, "Your approval or disapproval means nothing to me". That's a powerful way to live. He was saying, "I know who I am and nothing you do or don't do is going to change it. You can celebrate me or you can crucify me, but I'm keeping my crown". See, people can be funny. One moment they can be cheering for you and another moment they can be putting you down, trying to make you look bad.
One moment Jesus was riding a donkey into town, people were waving palm branches, celebrating his arrival like a king. In a few days, those same people were hollering, "Crucify him. He doesn't deserve to live". If you base wearing your crown on whether people like you or don't, whether they believe in you or don't believe in you, you're going to taking your crown on and off your whole life.
You don't need other people's approval, you have almighty God's approval. Our attitude should be, "You can be for me or against me. You can celebrate me or criticize me, but one thing for certain, I'm not giving you my crown. I know who I am. I am loyalty. I am accepted. I am approved. I am valuable".
In the scripture, Isaac said to his son Esau, "Your brother has carried away your blessing". Sometimes we let other people carry away our blessing. We let what they say about us, their disapproval, their discouraging words keep us from who we were meant to be. You have to put your foot down and say, "I am not going to let people talk me out of my dreams. I'm not going to let a co-worker make me feel inferior like I'm not good enough, not going to let a coach, a teacher, a counselor talk me into living an average, mediocre, get-by life".
You have seeds of greatness. You are destined to leave your mark on this generation. Don't let anyone carry away your blessing. When we look back, the enemy's been trying to get our crown from the beginning of time. In the garden of eden, Adam and eve were living confident, secure. They were at peace with God, at peace with themselves. They were wearing their crowns. They knew they had God's blessing and favor. But one day, the enemy deceived them into eating the forbidden fruit. When they did, immediately they were afraid. They ran and hid. In effect, they gave the enemy their crown, and that's what happens when we're not wearing our crown. It opens the door to fear, to insecurity, to shame.
We focus on what we're not, the mistakes we made, what other people have said about us. Where there's no crown, there's no covering. There's no reminder of who we are. We believe those lies that can push us down, and God came looking for Adam and eve, couldn't find him. Said, "Adam, where are you"? Adam said, "We're hiding because we're naked". God said, "Adam, who told you you were naked"? God knew he had taken off his crown.
God is asking us today, "Who told you there's something wrong with you? Who told you you're just average, that you can't accomplish your dreams, that you're too small, that you come from the wrong family, that you're not good enough"? I can assure you, that didn't come from our God. You need to put your crown back on. You may have let some person, some event take it, the good news is you can get it back. It's not too late, you have control over your crown. It starts in your thinking.
No more, "I'm just a C student. I'm just average". No, "I am an A student. I am full of wisdom. I will excel in school". No more, "I've been through too much, Joel. I lost a loved one. I'll never be happy again". No, "God has given me beauty for these ashes. What he's started in my life, he will finish". Don't sit around feeling sorry for yourself, put your crown back on. No more, "I come from the wrong family, nothing special about me". No, "I've been made in the image of almighty God. I'm a masterpiece, one of a kind, prized possession". "Well, Joel, I could never do anything great in life. All the odds are against me". No, "I have the favor of God. I am equipped, empowered, and anointed".
If you're going to reach your highest potential, you have to keep your crown on. Doesn't happen automatically. That's why the scripture says to hold fast to what you have so that no one takes it away. Have you allowed something to get your crown, a disappointment, a bad break, a divorce, you're not passionate about life anymore? Your crown is waiting for you. Have you let a mistake, a failure, bankruptcy, convince you to settle for second best? You need to go get your crown. You wouldn't be alive unless God had another victory in front of you. Start dreaming again, start believing again, start hoping again.
Talked to a young lady in the lobby recently, she was very discouraged because her marriage didn't make it. Her husband left her for someone else. She was a beautiful girl, but now she was convinced that she wasn't attractive enough, not talented enough, not smart enough. She had taken her crown off. She told me all the things she should have done better. "If I'd only done this, if I'd only done that".
In her mind, it was all her fault, but when somebody leaves your life, doesn't necessarily mean there's something wrong with you. It could be the other person is the problem. Have you ever thought about maybe they have some issues? If they left you, they'll leave the next person. But the accuser will work overtime trying to convince you how you don't measure up, how you're not valuable, how there's nothing good in your future. He's trying to take your crown.
The scripture says, God will never leave us or forsake us. If they left you and you needed them, that would mean God was forsaking you so you can conclude if they left, you didn't need them. If they walked away, they weren't a part of your destiny. Isaiah said, "God will give you double for the unfair things that have happened". You may not realize it, but when they left, in a sense, they did you a favor. They set you up for what God really wants to do. He has somebody amazing in your future, a divine connection, somebody better than you imagined, somebody that will treat you like the king, the Queen, you were meant to, be but you have to do your part and put your crown back on.
It's not going to happen if you go around negative, discouraged, feeling unattractive. If you're unattractive on the inside, you'll be unattractive on the outside. You carry yourself the way you feel about yourself. I've seen ladies that were not necessarily that attractive. They didn't have a lot of natural beauty, but on the inside, they have it going on. When you're wearing your crown, you're confident, secure, you know you're a masterpiece, one of a kind, a prized possession. You're not dwelling on all the negative chatter, what you're not, what you don't have, what other people are saying. You go through the day with a smile on your face, a spring in your step, you know you're royalty, that you've been crowned with glory and honor.
When you live this way, you're going to come into some divine connections. You won't have to go after them, God will cause the right people to track you down. Maybe today you've been through a disappointment, a loss, something didn't work out. It would be easy for you to feel, not attractive, not valuable, not excited about life. Get your crown back. That crown is what gives you the favor. The crown is what causes you to stand out. Nothing that's happened has lessened your value. You are still the prized possession, the apple of God's eye. Don't let a disappointment, a loss, carry away your blessing. It's not the end, it's a new beginning.
This is what a lady in the scripture had to do named Naomi. She lost her husband, later lost two sons in a battle. She was so discouraged, she didn't think she could go on. She took off her crown. She used to be a happy woman, full of joy, fun to be around. Now, she was bitter. She thought, "I'm done. I'll never be happy again". She even changed her name from Naomi, which means my joy, to Mara, which means bitter. When people called her Naomi, she was so heartbroken she would say, "Don't call me that, I'm too depressed. Call me Mara". She was saying, "Call me bitter".
The problem is, when you take off your crown, you take off the favor, the honor, the glory, that's what you need for God to pay you back. In those tough times, more than ever, you have to keep reminding yourself, "I am a child of the most high God. I am extremely valuable. God has beauty for these ashes, double is coming my way". Naomi thought she was finished.
She moved back to her hometown, planning on fading off into the sunset, but when she saw some old friends and tried to convince them to call her Mara, they said, "Naomi, what are you talking about? That's not who you are. You're not bitter. We're calling you my joy". They kept calling her Naomi. Every time they did, they were prophesying her future. She was trying to stay in defeat, they said, "No, you're coming into victory". She kept taking her crown off, they kept putting it back on.
What am I saying? You need people around you that will remind you who you are, not people that will get bitter with you, people agree with a defeat, the mediocrity, that people who will call you blessed call you victorious, call you royalty, people that will remind you your best days are still yet to come, that what's meant for harm, God's going to use to your advantage. People that will help you keep your crown on. That's why every week I tell you you're blessed, you're prosperous, redeemed, forgiven, talented, confident, strong, valuable, a masterpiece. What am I doing? Making sure that you're wearing your crown. Life will try to take it off, my goal is to help you keep it on.
Naomi went back to her hometown, her daughter-in-law, Ruth, came with her. Ruth had lost her husband and she met a man named Boaz, and Ruth and Boaz got married. One day, they had this little baby boy. At this time, Naomi was way up there in years, didn't look like she had any reason to live, but when she saw that little baby, something came alive on the inside.
The scripture says the women in the town rejoiced saying, "Naomi, God has given you a son. This baby will restore your youth". She felt this new sense of purpose. She took care of that little baby like it was her own. She didn't think she'd ever be happy again, but now she is more fulfilled than ever. That was God paying her back for the unfair things that have happened.
Are you wearing your crown today or have you let a disappointment, a loss, a bad break convince you to take it off? Nothing that's happened to you has stopped God's plan. He knows how to give beauty for ashes, how to turn mourning into dancing. Like Naomi, you may have taken your crown off thinking that you've seen your best days, but you need to get ready, the latter part of your life is going to be better than the former part. God still has a purpose for you to fulfill. He still has something amazing in your future. Put your crown back on.
I heard a story about Helen of Troy. She was an extremely beautiful Queen, a young woman born into royalty, loved and admired by all the people. But one day, she was kidnapped and taken away to a foreign country. With all the confusion, she was stricken with amnesia. She couldn't remember her name or where she was from. She ended up living on the streets homeless, being taken advantage of. Here she had royalty in her blood. She was a respected and admired Queen in her hometown, but nobody knows where she is and she doesn't know who she is.
Back at home, all of her friends and family never gave up on her. Even though it had been years and years, they still believed she was alive. This one man that loved her dearly, he'd taken care of her growing up. He set out to try to find her again and while he was searching the streets of this faraway country, he saw this pitiful looking woman sitting by the water, clothes were raggedy, hair was matted, face was battered and bruised.
He was about to pass on by, but something looked strangely familiar. He asked her what her name was and she mumbled something, wouldn't really talk and he looked closer and became even more intrigued. He asked if he could see her hands. He remembered the line prints on her hands. She showed them. When he saw them, he was astonished. He couldn't believe it. He whispered, "Helen". She looked at him confused. He said, "You are Helen of Troy. You are the Queen. Helen, don't you remember"?
Suddenly, it was like a light turned on. Her face brightened up, the fog lifted. She rediscovered who she really was. She hugged her friend, they went back to her hometown and once again, she became the Queen that she was meant to be.
Like Helen, too many people today are suffering from amnesia. They were born into royalty, created to reign in life. God crowned them with honor and glory, but they'd forgotten who they are. Because of bad breaks, disappointments, mistakes they've made, they're living far below their privileges thinking that they're average, that... beaten down by life. Like this man did for Helen, I'm here to remind you who you are. You are a child of the most high God. You have royal blood flowing through your veins. There is a crown of honor that belongs to you. Your mind may be in a fog, but I believe in your spirit, something is coming alive. Strongholds that have held you back are being broken. Defeated thinking, negative mentality, those chains are being loosed. You're going to rediscover who you really are, not average, not mediocre, but royalty, a king, a Queen. Now, do your part and put your crown back on.
I read about a 6-year-old boy, he was born during the French Revolution. His father was King Louis XVI. In all the uprising, both his mother and father were condemned to death. They brought them out on the public square and had them beheaded. The crowds were so against them, they began to call for this little boy saying, "Bring out the prince. Let's get rid of all royalty".
Just before they did, someone said, "No, don't kill him. That's too easy. His soul will go to heaven. Let's turn him over to the evil woman named Meg. She'll teach him how to do wrong, how to lie, to cheat, to say bad things. Then when he dies, he won't go to heaven".
They agreed and turned this little boy over to the evil woman, and she'd began to teach him how to say profane things, but every time she tried to get him to say something bad, he would put his foot down and say, "No, I'm not going to do it. I was born to be a king. I will not talk that way". When she tried to get him to lie, to cheat, to compromise, the same thing, "I'm a king, I will not do it".
When the enemy tries to reprogram your thinking, telling you that you're average, you're ordinary, just say, "No thanks, I'm a king. I will not think that way". When he tries to convince you to live mediocre, a defeated life, do like this little boy. "No thanks, I know I am royalty. I will not live beneath my privileges. I know who I am, a child of the most high God".
Friends, I'm asking you to keep your crown on. You may have been through disappointments, loss, life will always try to take it. You have to hold fast to what God has given you. Don't let anyone or anything carry away your blessing. If you'll make this decision with me that you're going to keep your crown, I believe and declare you will reign in life, you will rise higher, accomplish your dreams, and reach the fullness of your destiny.