Joel Osteen — Room Enough
I want to talk to you today about "Room enough". That come against us, situations that aren't fair, people that do us wrong. It's easy to get discouraged and think that's the way it's always going to be, but just because you have opposition doesn't mean you're not in God's will.
Paul said in Corinthians, "A wide door of opportunity is open, and there are many adversaries". Any time you're going to move forward, any time you're about to take new ground, there will be opposition, people trying to discourage you, things you don't understand, and the people that reach their destiny aren't moved by what's not working out. They know God is in control, that he's directing their steps, that what was meant for harm, he's going to turn to their advantage. They know the setback is really a setup for God to do something greater.
The opposition is a sign that promotion is coming, healing the way. When God was going to promote David, take him from the shepherds' fields, and give him the respect and influence of the whole nation, he didn't send David a friend. He did have king Saul say, "I see potential in this young man. Let's give him a chance". He sent him a giant. David could've thought, "God, I don't understand it. Samuel said I'd be the next king. He anointed me in front of my anything about this giant".
No, David understood this principle: with the opportunity, there would be opposition. When he defeated Goliath, he became an overnight hero. Not because Samuel anointed him. Nobody celebrated David when the prophet poured oil on his head and said he would be the next king. They thought, "No big deal. It's just David. Pour all the oil you want. Doesn't change anything". David even went back to the shepherds' fields after he was anointed. It didn't look any different, but when he defeated Goliath, that one victory gave him instant respect from all of Israel.
The giants you face weren't sent to defeat you, but to show people the anointing on your life. It's one thing to say you're anointed, but God is going to prove you're anointed. When you defeat that giant, when you break the addiction, when you beat the cancer, when you pay your house off, when your business takes off, there won't be any doubt: people will see the favor of God on your life. They're going to have a new respect for you. They may have dismissed you in the past, not paid much attention: "Oh it's just David, a teenager. He doesn't have much to offer". No, get ready. God is about to show out.
That giant may be bigger, stronger, more powerful, but it is no match for our God. Don't run away from the giant. Run to the giant. The giant is not going to defeat you. It's going to establish you. The giant is going to give you a new level of influence. It's going to cause people to see that you're favored. They may not like you, they may never be for you, but they won't be able to deny God put on your life. After David defeated Goliath, you don't read any more about Goliath. Goliath's whole purpose was to establish David.
Don't complain about your giants. Without that giant, you couldn't take your throne, so to speak. Wouldn't see the fullness of your destiny, and none of us, of course, like difficulties, but keep the right perspective: on the other side is a new level. God didn't bring you this far to leave you. He knows what's happening. He sees the medical report. He sees who's not treating you right. If you'll stay in faith, like David, you'll not only come out, you'll come out better, destiny.
This is what happened with Isaac. In Genesis chapter 26, he faced all kinds of opposition. Isaac was very successful. His crops had produced record amounts that year, and he was honoring God, doing the right thing, but his neighbors, the philistines, when they saw how blessed he was and how his crops had taken off, instead of being happy for him, they were jealous. They didn't want him there anymore.
Don't be surprised when God blesses you, if some people can't handle your success. They're fine as long as you stay at their level. They'll be for you, but when God takes you to the next level, when he shows out in your life, they may not be happy for you. Instead of getting discouraged, remember that opposition is a sign that promotion is coming. You're blessed now, but God has something greater, something that you haven't seen.
The philistines were so jealous, they clogged up Isaac's wells with dirt. He didn't have any water for his animals or any way to water his crops. The king told Isaac that he was too blessed, too powerful. He had to leave that area. Thought, "No, this is where God blessed me," "I'm staying here," but after he prayed, Isaac knew he was supposed to leave, and I'm sure he was disappointed. He never dreamed he'd have to do the right thing when the wrong thing is happening, you're sowing a seed for God to bless you.
It may look like somebody's getting the best of you. It was unfair. Like Isaac, you did what was right, but it put you at a disadvantage. Don't worry. Your time is coming. They think they're pushing you down. Really, they're pushing you up. Isaac took the high road and moved to the valley of Gerar. It looked like he was going the wrong direction. He'd been up on the high places, so blessed.
Now he was going down to the valley, but the blessing is not on your location. The blessing is on you. Wherever you go, the blessing goes, and when you take the high road and make adjustments to keep the peace, it may look like you're going backwards, having to start all over, but when you do the right thing, you will never end up with less, less resources, less influence, less joy.
There may be a season of less, but increase is coming, promotion is coming, Isaac moved to the valley and had his men re-dig the wells that belonged to his father. He was on his old property. The local shepherds came up and said, "What're you doing? They belong to us". They started arguing with Isaac's men. Isaac could've made a big deal about it. After all, it was his property. It belonged to his father. Instead, Isaac told his men to stop digging and let them have it. Another disappointment.
Verse 20 says, "Isaac named those wells 'argument.'" He knew if he'd have stayed, it would start a big fight. Even if he won, it would be an ongoing battle with strife and conflict, and yes, sometimes you need to stay and fight the good fight, take what belongs to you, but there are times, like with Isaac, you need to walk away and let God make it up to you. He moved to a different place and dug some new wells. Same thing happened. The local people came up and opposed him. Isaac named those wells "Opposition".
He could've thought, "God, I'm done. I've been faithful. I got kicked out of my own land. I re-dug the wells of my father's. That didn't work out. It's never going to happen". He knew on the other side of the adversity was a new level. He found a different place, dug some more wells. This time, the water not only freely flowed, but the people left him alone. The scripture says, Isaac named these wells "Room enough". One translation says, "It was a wide-open, abundant place".
Notice the principle: if you'll pass these tests and go through the well of argument, through the well of opposition, then you will come to the well of room places, the well of abundance. The mistake we make too often is we get stuck at the well of argument, trying to prove our point, convince somebody that we're right. Those first set of wells, they belonged to Isaac's family. He had a right to them, but there are some battles that when you're a peacemaker and you let somebody else be right, even though you know they're wrong, everything in your mind will say, "You're weak," "You're letting them get the best of you," "You're going to have to go down to the valley," but in the valley is where room enough is. That's where the place of abundance is.
Don't get stuck at the well of argument: "Well, Joel, it's not right. They did me wrong". Why don't you let God fight your battles? Why don't you let God be your vindicator? I can assure you, God will vindicate you better than you can vindicate yourself. We're not called to straighten everyone out. They may be wrong, you know you're right, but you have to ask yourself, if you win the argument, what is it going to accomplish? Is it going to move you forward, or is it just going to make you feel good?
You could win, but in the big picture, it took your time, your energy, your focus, things you should be using. Jesus said in Luke 6, "Ignore insults. Don't bother to retaliate. Maintain your dignity". We would go a lot further, we would enjoy a lot more if we would simply ignore things. Somebody is talking about you. Don't try to straighten them out. Ignore it. Somebody did you wrong. Don't retaliate. Let God fight your battles. Ignore it and keep moving forward.
I've been speaking in public now about 17 years since my father died, and of course, the more people you're in front of, the more critics you have, but I've found a critic has never been able to stop me. Somebody that doesn't like me that may try to discredit me or even say things that are not true, they've never been able to keep me from rising higher. I didn't try to prove to them who I am, answer my critics, convince them to like me. I found something more effective: ignore it. Don't pay it any attention. Don't try to retaliate. Don't sink down to their level. Maintain your dignity. Be an eagle and rise above it.
See, an eagle can fly at heights that a crow cannot reach, and there will always be some crows in your life pecking at you, trying to bait you into conflict. You probably have some crows at the office. One of your relatives may be a crow. Your spouse may be a... I'm just kidding! The only way to argue with a crow is to sink down to their level, and if you find yourself in conflict, upset, trying to prove your point, that's a sign you've come down too low. You need to go back up where you belong. You're an eagle.
Quit wasting time with that crow. The crows cannot go where you're going. Don't waste any emotional energy on that. Rise above it. God sees what's happening. He'll take care of your crows. The scripture says, "God opposes the people that oppose you," but if you go in and try to do God's work, "God, let me oppose them," "Let me straighten them out," "I got a good insult for them," God will step back and say, "Okay, you do it on your own," "You can handle it," but if you'll make a better decision and turn it over to God, he'll oppose who's opposing you, and when the most high God, the creator of the universe opposes, nothing can stand against him.
But when you're an eagle, when you take the high road, some people will mistake that for weakness. The truth is it's a sign of strength. It takes a strong person to overlook an insult. It takes maturity to not get in an argument. Some people will try to bait you. They feed off of arguing. On purpose, they'll do things to try to get you riled up. If you take that bait, if you'll give in, you're allowing them to control you. They know if they push this button, you'll get upset, if they push that button, you'll start arguing. Do yourself a favor. Turn those buttons off. Quit taking the bait. The next time that happens, just smile and keep moving forward. You have a destiny to fulfill.
I know a man playing those games. One time, this man came up to me, and he was very uptight, very stressed out, and he asked me what I believed about a certain scripture. I could tell he was ready to argue. I was young, and I didn't understand what everything meant back then, still don't today, but he read this scripture. I wasn't familiar with it. I asked him what he believed it meant. He started telling me very intensely, going on and on. It sounded right. I said, "I believe what you believe". He no more heard that. It went in one ear and out the other. Up, all over, getting more riled up, trying to convince me.
When he paused, I said it again: "I believe what you believe". He looked at me puzzled, started up all over. Here, he had won the argument three times. The problem was he didn't want to have peace. He wanted to argue. Your time is too valuable to waste it with people that don't want to have peace. Don't argue doctrine with people. Don't argue politics, things you're never going to agree on.
For the sake of peace, let somebody else be right. Proverbs 20 says, "Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor. Only a fool insists on arguing". It doesn't say, "Winning a fight is a mark of honor, proving your point, straightening somebody out". No, avoiding a fight, being an eagle, overlooking some things, letting somebody else be right for the sake of peace, that's a mark of honor.
In our homes. It's easy to argue over petty things, things that really don't matter. I've seen people get a divorce, not over something big. They're great people. They loved each other, but they argued over small things. Where there's strife and into big things. That's when our families can be torn apart. When you live with someone, you're not going to see eye to eye all the time. They're going to do things that get on your nerves, but you do things that get on their nerves. You have to make this decision: "I'm not going to allow strife in. I'm going to do what I can to keep the peace".
That means you're going to have to overlook some things. What normally would upset you, the next time that happens, why don't you be an eagle and rise above it? "Well, Joel, I'm waiting for her to change". God is waiting for you to change. "Well, if he'll quit aggravating me, then I'll quit arguing". Why don't you be the peacemaker and rise above it?
Years ago, Victoria and I were leaving the astros' ball game, their stadium downtown, and when I pulled out, I asked Victoria which way I needed to go, right or left. She looked around and said, "We need to go right". I looked and said, "No, Victoria, we need to go left". She said, "Joel, I'm positive we need to go right". I said, "Victoria, our house is this way". She said, "You're going to see you're going the wrong way".
I zigzagged all over downtown. I had no idea where I was going, but I didn't tell her. I drove so confidently, I could've won an academy award! She said, "Joel, we are just driving in circles". I said, "We're not driving in circles. I was saying it by faith, but my faith wasn't working! About 10 minutes later, I made a right turn, and we were right back at the stadium. I couldn't believe it!
What am I saying? I thought I was right, but I found out later, I was wrong, and sometimes, even when you think you're right, you need to swallow your pride and let somebody else be right. I would rather let the other person be right and have peace than for me to be right and not have peace.
Now when I'm going somewhere, I just say, "Honey, darling, sweetheart, which way would you like me to go"? I don't ask questions. I don't check my GPS. If you're going to get to the well of room enough, you have to go through the well of argument, where you're tempted to get into strife and conflict, through the well of opposition, where things come against you, you may be at a difficult place now.
Something is happening that's not fair. Don't get discouraged. You're right where Isaac was. That's all a part of the process. You're at well number one, maybe well number two. The good news is well number three is coming. The well of room enough, the well of abundance. Now, don't get stuck at the first two wells. We all have opposition. We all have people that come against us, and if you'll keep moving forward, like Isaac, you'll see God vindicate you, promote you. He'll take you where you're supposed to be.
This is what happened with Job. Everything was going great, then the bottom fell out. He lost his health, his family, his business. He was at the well of opposition. He didn't understand it. He was doing the right thing, but the wrong thing was happening. His friends told him that it was his fault. His wife said, "Job, just curse God and die".
He came to the well of argument, the well of strife. Job looked around and said, "I could not find God. I went forward, and he wasn't there. I went backwards, and he wasn't there".
In life, you can't see what God is doing. You're praying, but it's not working out. Like Isaac, it was your land, but they asked you to leave. It's easy to make a judgment based on one season, to look at one period of your life and think, "That's the way it's always going to be". That determines the rest of your future. No, that's just one well. You can't see where God is taking you. All those clogged up wells, those wells of opposition, they are leading you to the well of room enough.
Don't make a judgment based on a moment. Where you are, is not your final destination. Job understood this. He didn't get discouraged. He didn't give up. He could've stopped at well number one, could've stayed at well number two. Instead, he kept moving forward. He stayed on the high road, overlooked some things. He came to well number three, he not only saw his health restored, but he came out with twice what he had before.
A man told me recently how God had failed him. He prayed and believed, but his business didn't make it. He was judging his future on that one bad break. I told him what I'm telling you: "God didn't fail you. That's just well number one. Room enough is up ahead. Abundance is in your future, but you'll never see it if you stop where you are".
Like him, you may have had some clogged-up wells. You did the right thing. You worked hard, but you had a setback, a disappointment. God is saying, "Keep digging. Those clogged-up wells are not the end".
When we were trying to buy property for a new sanctuary, we found this large tract of land that we really liked. It seemed perfect. We were making plans. Then the owner sold it out from under us. He didn't keep his word. It was like he clogged up our well. I was so disappointed. Another large piece of property. It seemed better than the one before. We knew God was saving that for us, but the same thing happened. It was sold out from under us. It was like the enemy clogged up another well.
We could've made a judgment based on those two bad breaks. Instead, we believed that God was still in control, that he was directing our steps, so we kept digging. We kept believing, thanking God that the right doors would open. Six months later, we received word that this place, the former Compaq Center was coming available. Things began to fall into place. Here we are today in room enough, in a wide-open space, in an abundant place. The first two wells were discouraging, but well number three was the charm.
What am I saying? Stopped-up wells. You can't pray away all the opposition, pray away all the people that do you wrong. That's all a part of the process. You may have dug a well, and it didn't work out. You dug another well, and something clogged it up, a person walked away. Stay in faith. Well, number three is coming. The third well is when opportunity freely flows. It's when good breaks chase you down, when the right people come looking for you. Well, number three is more than you can ask or think. It's where God will pay you back. He'll make up for those two wells that didn't work out.
Now, you may be at well number one, a difficult place. Maybe you're at well number two. Life hasn't made sense. My challenge is keep digging. Don't make a judgment based on that moment. That opposition was never sent to stop you. It was sent, like David, to it's going to prove the anointing on your life. If you'll do this, I believe and declare you're coming into room enough, to a place of an abundance, to health, wholeness, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus' name.