Joel Osteen — Know Who You Are
I want to talk to you today about knowing who you are. It's easy to go through life thinking that we're average. We're ordinary. "There's nothing special about me. I'm just one of the six billion people on earth". No, when God created you, he put a part of himself in you. You could say you have the DNA of almighty God. You are destined to do great things, destined to leave your mark on this generation.
The truth is there is nothing average about you. But too many times, we don't realize who we are. We focus on our weaknesses, what we don't have, the mistakes we've made, the family we come from. We end up settling for mediocrity when we were created for greatness. If you're going to break out of average, every day, you need to remind yourself, "I have the DNA of the most high God. Greatness is in my genes. I come from a bloodline of champions".
I grew up watching Archie Manning play football. He's a great quarterback, incredibly talented. Now, two of his sons, Peyton and Eli, are both great quarterbacks as well. How could that be? Out of the millions of young men that play football, how can these two stand out? It's not a coincidence. It's in their blood. They have their father's DNA. That's in the natural.
Switch over to the spiritual. Your Heavenly Father spoke worlds into existence. He flung stars into space. He painted every sunrise. He designed every flower. He made man out of dust and breathed life into him. Now, here's the key. He's not just the creator of the universe. He's not just the all powerful God. He's your Heavenly Father. You have his DNA.
Imagine what you can do. And when you realize who you are, you won't go around intimidated, insecure, thinking, "I'm lacking. I'm not that talented. I come from the wrong family". No, you come from the right family. Your father created it all. And when you know who you are, it changes your thinking from, "I'm unlucky. I never get any good breaks," to, "I have the favor of God. Blessings are chasing me down;" from, "This obstacle's too big. I'll never overcome it," to, "I can do all things through Christ;" from, "I'm an average student. All I can make are C's," to, "I'm an A student. I have the mind of Christ;" from, "I don't have a good personality. I'm not that attractive," to, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am one of a kind".
When you know who you are, you'll start thinking like a winner, talking like a winner, carrying yourself like you were a winner. There used to be a billboard that asked the question, "Who's the father"? It was advertising DNA testing, and they can take a child's DNA and test another person's DNA and see if it matches. If it does, it proves those two people are scientifically related. Out of the Billions of people on earth, the chances of your DNA matching someone that's not your family is so small that it's inconceivable.
When you gave your life to Christ, the scripture talks about how you became a new creation. You were born into a new family. You entered into a new bloodline. Now, imagine that, somehow, we can do spiritual DNA testing. They took a sample DNA from your Heavenly Father, then a sample DNA from you. They ran all the tests. The good news is it would come back a perfect match, proving beyond all doubt you are his child. You have his DNA. You come from a royal bloodline.
Now, don't you dare go around thinking that you're average. "I could never accomplish my dreams. I'll never get out of debt". Are you kidding? Do you know who your father is? You have his DNA. He created worlds. There's nothing too much for you. You can overcome that sickness. You can run that company. You can build, support that orphanage. You can take your family to a new level. Quit believing those lies, "You've reached your limits. You've gone as far as you can go". No, start talking to yourself like a winner. "It's in your blood. You're expected to succeed. You're expected to get well. You're expected to live debt free". Why? Because of who your father is.
See, in one sense, it's no big deal for me to be up here today. My father was a minister for over 50 years. This is all I'd seen growing up. It's in my genes. It's no big deal to see Archie Manning's sons play football. Archie was a great quarterback. In the same way, it's no big deal for you to accomplish your dreams. It's no big deal for you to live healthy and whole. It's no big deal for you to lead the company in sales. Why? Like father, like son.
I saw a documentary on these championship race horses, the kind you see running the Kentucky Derby. It's not a coincidence that those horses end up the fastest horses in the world. They had been carefully studied and carefully bred it can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to breed a race horse with a champion stallion. It's very expensive. Before breeding, the owners will go back 50 or 60 years and study the bloodline of a particular stallion. They'll research his father, his grandfather, and study how long their stride was, how tall their legs are, their takeoff speed, their endurance; and, with all this information, they'll choose what they believe to be the perfect match.
They understand winners don't just randomly happen. It's in their DNA. That's what sets these horses apart. They have generation after generation of champions now, when the little colt is born, his legs may be wobbly. He can barely stand up. He doesn't look different than any other colt that's born. The owners could think, "Oh, man. We have wasted our money. This colt is not a thoroughbred. Look at him". No, they're not concerned they're not worried about what color he is, how pretty he is, or even how muscular he is. They are totally confident knowing that on the inside of that little colt, he has the blood of a champion.
That's how it is with you and me. You didn't come from ordinary stock. You came from the best of the best. It doesn't matter what we look like on the outside, what color we are, how tall or short, how attractive or unattractive, doesn't matter how many weaknesses we have. You may struggle with an addiction. You may have made some mistakes. What supersedes all of that is, on the inside, you have the DNA of a champion. You come from a long list of winners. You look back and study your spiritual bloodline, you will see your elder brother defeated the enemy.
There's victory in your bloodline. You'll see your ancestor, Moses, parted the Red Sea. There's great faith in your bloodline. David, a shepherd boy, defeated a giant. There's favor in your bloodline. Samson pushed down the walls of a huge building. There's supernatural strength Nehemiah rebuilt the walls of Jerusalem when all the odds were against him. There's increase, promotion, a young lady named Esther stepped up and saved her people from a certain death.
There's courage in your bloodline. Now don't go around thinking, "I could never break this addiction. I could never afford college. I'll never see my family restored". No, you come from a bloodline of champions. It's in your DNA. You were born to win, born to overcome, born to live in victory. Listen, it doesn't matter what your present circumstances look like. That addiction didn't come to stay. Freedom is in your DNA. That sickness is not permanent. Health and wholeness is in your DNA. That family problem, strife, division; it's not going to last forever. Restoration is in your DNA. Lack, struggle, barely getting by; that is not your destiny. Abundance, increase, opportunity, good breaks; that's what's in your DNA.
Now, when thoughts tell you that it's never going to happen, just go back and check your spiritual birth certificate. That thought says, "You'll never accomplish your dreams. You'll never get well". Just say, "No, thanks. You've got the wrong person". I've already checked my birth certificate. I know who I am. Now, let me verify what's in my DNA. That's found in God's word. Am I supposed to live average, lonely, struggling, always getting the short end of the stick? No, it says right there in psalms, God's favor surrounds me like a shield. Against me will prosper. It says the number of my days, he will fulfill. It says, as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. It says I will lend and not borrow. Goodness and mercy are following us. Good breaks are chasing us down. That's what's in your DNA. When thoughts tell you otherwise, don't get discouraged. Just keep checking your spiritual birth certificate.
I Keep reminding my brother Paul and his beautiful wife Jennifer have a son named Jackson. When Jackson was a little boy, every night, when Jennifer would take him to bed, after she would pray with him, she would go through this long list of superheroes, telling Jackson who he was. That was her way of speaking faith into him, letting him know he was going to do great things. She would say, "All right, Jackson. Let me remind you who you are. You're my superman. You're my Buzz Lightyear. You're my Power Ranger. You're my Rescue Hero. You're my Lighting McQueen," on and on.
Little Jackson would lie there, big smile on his face, taking it all in. One night, they got home late, and she wasn't able to go through that same routine. She put him in bed in a hurry. A few minutes, she heard this little voice hollering out of his room, "Mama, mama". She rushed in, says, "Jackson, what's wrong"? He said, "Mama, you forgot to tell me who I am".
A lot of people in life have never been told who they are. They've had negative voices playing over and over, "You're not talented. You're not going to ever get married. You'll never get out of debt. You come from the wrong family". As long as those voices are playing, it will keep you from your destiny. Maybe nobody told you who you are. Let me help you out. You're a child of the most high God. You are strong. You are talented. You are beautiful. You are wise. You are courageous. You have seeds of greatness. You can do all things through Christ. You didn't come from ordinary stock. You're a thoroughbred. You have winning in your DNA. You are destined to do great things. That's who almighty God says you are.
In the old testament, people understood the power of the bloodline more than we do today. God started the first covenant with a Jewish man back in those days, if you weren't Jewish, you didn't have a right to God's blessings and favor. It was limited to one bloodline, in Luke 13, Jesus saw a woman that had been bent over with a sickness for 18 years. He made an interesting statement. He said, "Should not this woman be loosed from this sickness, seeing that's she is a daughter of Abraham"? He was saying, "She comes from the right family. Healing is in her DNA. She has a right to be well". Jesus went over and made her whole. Another place, just the opposite happened. A gentile woman came up and begged Jesus to heal her daughter. Jesus said, in effect, "I can't do it. You come from the wrong family". It doesn't seem fair, but that's how powerful the bloodline was.
Now, here's the beauty. When Jesus died and rose again, he made a way for all people to come to him, both Jews and gentiles. Galatians says, "If you're in Christ, you're the seed of Abraham and heirs according to the promise".
Now, don't go through life believing the lies that you come from the wrong family. You're mother was depressed; you'll always be depressed. Your dad was an alcoholic; you'll be an alcoholic. No, you have entered into a new bloodline. If God was standing before you today, he would say the same thing he said to that first lady. "Should not this man be free from this addiction, seeing that he is a son of Abraham? Should not this woman be healthy and whole, seeing that she is a daughter of Abraham"? Friends, you have a right to be blessed, to be free, to be healthy, to be happy, to be whole.
Now, your natural bloodline may have some negative things in it, but the spiritual bloodline will always overpower your natural bloodline. The spiritual is greater than the natural. "Well, Joel, I've got a lot of dysfunction in my family. I've got a lot coming against me". No, your spiritual bloodline says you can overcome you can break that addiction. You can beat that sickness. You can set a new level for your family. Why? You come from the right bloodline. You have the DNA of a champion.
Judges chapter 6, the midianites had overtaken the people of Israel. They were making their lives miserable. When the Israelites' crops would come up, the midianites would go take them. They were bigger and stronger. It looked like they would eventually drive the Israelites away. There was a man named Gideon that was hiding in the fields, an angel appeared unto him and said, "Mighty hero, the Lord is with you". I can imagine Gideon looked around and thought, "Who's he talking about? Gideon wasn't strong and courageous. He was just the opposite, afraid and intimidated. Yet, God called him a mighty hero.
Like Gideon, you may feel weak, but God calls you strong. You may feel intimidated. God calls you courageous. You may feel inadequate. God calls you well able. You may think you're average, but God calls you a mighty hero. Now, when you get up in the morning and the negative thoughts come, reminding you of what you're not, telling you all your flaws, your weaknesses, put your shoulders back. Hold your head up high. Dare to look in the mirror and say, "Good morning, you mighty hero". Let these thoughts play all through the day. "I am strong. I'm courageous. I have the DNA of a champion. I am who God says I am. I can do what God says I can do". You've got to remind yourself who you are, not weak, defeated.
The angel went on to say, "Gideon, you are to deliver God's people from the midianites". Gideon said, "How can I do that? I come from the poorest family. I am the least one in my father's house". What was the problem? Gideon didn't know who he was. God had just called him a mighty hero. Now, a couple of chapters later, Gideon was talking with his enemies. He asked them what did the men look like that you saw? They said, "Gideon, they looked like you, like a king's son". Here, Gideon felt like he was the least, inadequate, not able to, but even his enemy said, "You look like a king's son".
If you allow the wrong thoughts to play in your mind, you can have the talent, the opportunity, the strength, the looks, but like Gideon, you'll make excuses and talk yourself out of it. And I love the fact that God not only calls you a mighty hero, but even the enemy sees you as a king's son, a king's daughter. He knows who you are. Now, make sure you know who you are. Carry yourself like a king, like a queen, like a mighty hero. You come from the right family.
It's interesting, when God called Gideon a mighty hero, up to that point, Gideon had not done anything significant. He had not parted a Red Sea like Moses. He had not defeated a giant like David. He had not brought somebody back to life like the prophet Elijah. I can understand God calling him that if he'd have done something amazing, but it seemed like he's just ordinary, insignificant, nothing special about him. But God saw something in Gideon that other people did not see. God saw his potential. God saw what he could become.
You may feel like you're average. You may think you're ordinary, but God sees the mighty hero in you. God sees the DNA of a champion. He sees the king's son, the king's daughter. Now, do yourself a favor. Turn off the negative recording that's reminding you of what you're not, and get in agreement with God. Start seeing yourself as that mighty hero.
When God told Moses to go speak to Pharaoh and tell him to let the people go, the first thing Moses said was, "Who am I"? He was saying, "God, I'm ordinary. Pharaoh's the leader of a nation. He's not going to listen to me". Moses forgot who he was. He didn't see himself as a king's son but as inadequate. He focused on his weaknesses, his limitations, started making excuses. He said, "God, I can't go talk to Pharaoh. I stutter. I've got a problem with my speech".
God said, "Moses, who made your tongue? Who makes the deaf to hear? Who makes the blind to see"? God was saying, "Moses, I breathed my life into you. I put my DNA on the inside. You may feel weak, inaccurate, insecure, but Moses, I don't want to hear your excuses. Quit telling me what you're not. I have the final say, and I say you're a king's son. I say you're a mighty hero. I say you can do all things through Christ". That's what God is saying to each one of us today.
I heard a story about an eagle that was born in a chicken coop and raised with a bunch of chickens. For years he pecked like a chicken, bawked like a chicken, ate like a chicken. That's all he'd ever seen. But one day, he looked up and saw an eagle and something deep on the inside said, "That's what you were created to do". His DNA was calling out to him. When he looked around, all of his circumstances said, "You're just a chicken".
He got his courage up. He told his chicken buddies that he was going to soar like that eagle. They laughed, like you are. They said, "Are you kidding? You can't soar. You're just a chicken". All he'd ever heard was chicken. Chicken had become ingrained in his thinking; but deep down, something said, "This is not who I am. I wasn't made to be average, to live in this limited environment. I may be in a chicken coop, but I don't feel like a chicken. I don't think like a chicken. I don't look like a chicken. This is not my destiny. I have the DNA of an eagle".
He got to noticing that his wings were not like the others. They were bigger, he decided to try to fly. He flapped them back and forth as fast as he could, barely lifted off the ground, crashed into the side of the chicken coop. His chicken friends laughed, said, "We told you. You're no different than us. You're wasting your time. You're a chicken". He didn't let that failure nor what other people said nor disappointments every day, he kept trying, being his best. Sure enough, one day, he lifted up out of that chicken coop and began to soar way up in the sky. With every breath, he said, "This is what I was created for. This is who I really am. I knew I was an eagle".
Some of you have been in that chicken coop way too long. Let me tell you what you already know. You're not a chicken. You're an eagle. Don't let that limited environment rub off on you. Don't let how you were raised or what somebody said keep you from knowing who you really are. Check your spiritual birth certificate. You will find you've been made in the image of almighty God. He's crowned you with favor. You have royal blood flowing through your veins. You were never created to be average, to be mediocre. You were created to soar. Abundance, opportunity, good breaks, that's in your DNA. Now, get rid of a chicken mentality and start having an eagle mentality.
I know a young lady that was raised in a single parent home in government housing. Her mother wasn't around much growing up. There were very poor, and, at 16 years old, she got pregnant and had to drop out of school. At one time, she had a big dream for her life. She knew she was going to be something great, but now, it looked like this cycle of lack and defeat would be passed she moved into a tiny apartment to try to raise her son, but she couldn't make ends meet. She had to go on welfare.
She found a job at the school cafeteria punching the meal tickets. She was making minimum wage, barely making it through, but something down in here said, "You were made for more. You're not a chicken. You're an eagle". She decided to go back to school. In two years, she got her GED. That was good, but she wasn't satisfied. She enrolled in college. She would work during the day and go to class at night.
In four years, she graduated from college with honors. She still wasn't satisfied. She went back and got her master's degree. Today, she's the assistant principal at the same school where she used to punch meal tickets. She said, "I used to be doing fair and well". That's what happens when you know who you are.
Now, you may work around a bunch of chickens. You may live by some chickens. You may have relatives that still think they're chickens. You've got to do like she did. Draw that line in the sand and say, "I may be in a limited environment, but I am not settling here. I'm an eagle. I'm a king's son. I'm a mighty hero. I'm a thoroughbred. I've got winning in my DNA".
Friends, you come from a bloodline of champions. Get up every morning and check your spiritual birth certificate. Remind yourself who you are. If you do this, I believe and declare, you're going to soar to new heights. You're going to rise above every obstacle. You're got to set new levels for your family and become everything God's created you to be, in Jesus' name.