Joel Osteen — Unlock Your Destiny Genes
I want to talk to you today about unlocking your destiny genes. A friend of mine in high school had real thick, curly hair. After basketball practice, we'd take a shower, he'd have to use this big brush to comb it. I'll never forget how long it took him, how he had to struggle to get that brush through it.
We graduated from high school, and about 10 years later, I ran into him at the mall and almost didn't recognize him. He no longer had thick, curly hair. He had no hair. He was completely bald, and I was so shocked. If there was ever a person I thought would have hair the rest of his life, it would have been him.
What happened? There was a gene in his DNA that had been locked up. The name of that gene was a four-letter word, b-a-l-d. It had been passed down by his parents, by his relatives. That gene was programmed on a certain date to open up. It had been lying dormant there year after year, locked up in his genetic code, and when the pre-programmed time its one purpose was to release the hair, and I must say it did a great job.
In the same way, there are genes locked up in your genetic code right now, not from your physical relatives, but from your Heavenly Father. Before you were formed in your mother's womb, God not only knew you, but he put in you these destiny genes. The apostle Paul talks about how God has pre-arranged us to live a blessed life. God has already pre-programmed in your DNA opportunity. Those genes are lying there dormant. You might not even know that they're in you. The scripture says you haven't seen, heard, or imagined the amazing things God has in your future.
Locked up in your DNA: ideas, inventions, books, songs, movies, businesses, contracts. When that pre-programmed time comes, set by the Creator of the universe, nothing can stop it. People can't stop it. How you were raised can't stop it. A bad break, an addiction, poverty, lack, nothing can stop what the most high God has already put in your DNA.
Now, don't just look at it in the natural, at what you don't have, "Well, Joel, I don't have the connections, I don't have the resources. My family, we've always had these addictions". No, you need to get ready, there are destiny genes about to open up in your life. Just like that bald gene went to work and released my friend's hair, what God has locked up in your DNA is about to kick in and thrust you to a new level. Suddenly, you get promoted, a good break, the business takes off, your health improves, you break the addiction. You didn't see it coming. You didn't even know it was in you, what was that? A destiny gene.
A man I know has worked in law enforcement for many years. He's a police officer. One day, out of the blue, he had this idea about a small safety device. He's not an engineer, didn't have any formal training in that area. Nobody in his family has ever invented or designed anything. He thought, "This is a great idea," and he drew it out on the paper. He took that drawing to a company and had a prototype made of it. It worked so well, he decided to have it patented. He attended a national conference, showed it to this large company.
These engineers looked at it, started scratching their heads. They said, "This is amazing. How come we didn't think of this"? That company bought his patent for $8 million. Later, he was awarded the inventor of the year in his category. He laughed and said, "Joel, I never considered myself an inventor, but look what happened". That was a destiny seed locked up in his DNA. At the right time, it opened up.
You may not see how you could ever get out of debt, ever get well, ever accomplish a dream. What you can't see is what's already in your DNA, what's already been pre-programmed to open up, favor genes, idea genes, abundance genes, health genes. If you will keep honoring God, helping others, expecting good things, at the right time, you'll step into your moment. Suddenly, it will come to pass.
For 35 years, there was a minister in me, but I didn't know it. This gene was lying dormant. It had been pre-programmed to open up at the right time. And when I worked behind the scenes here at Lakewood all those years, doing the television production, many times my dad would try to get me up here to minister. I never thought I could do it. I would tell him, "Daddy, I'm not a minister. That's just not in me". Not only that, I didn't have the desire. I liked being in the background.
I knew that's where I was supposed to be at the time, I was fulfilled. But when my father had a died, suddenly I had the desire to step up and pastor the church. It wasn't like I was forced to do it; I wanted to do it. Overnight, that changed. What was that? A destiny gene opened up. It had been locked up in my DNA.
When I was in high school, I never liked to write. In fact, writing was my least favorite subject. But in the last 11 years, I've written 8 books. There was an author lying just like with me, there are destiny genes in your future that are going to open up and thrust you to a new level. You're going to discover talent that you didn't know you had. You're going to find yourself doing things you never thought you could do: writing, inventing, singing, developing, exceeding your expectations, living bigger, more generous, more fulfilled.
Well, you say, "Joel, this sounds good, but I think you've got the wrong person. I'm not that talented. I never get any good breaks. I come from the wrong family". No, you come from the right family. Who spoke worlds into existence, the One who flung stars into space, he not only breathed life into you, he put a part of himself in you. You have the DNA of Almighty God. He didn't create you to be average, to be mediocre, to endure, to get by. He created you to excel, to prosper, to set a new standard for your family, to leave your Mark on this generation.
You are not limited by your environment, by what family you come from, by what you did or didn't get. Your destiny genes will override every negative circumstance, and you may have had some unfair situations, some disappointments.
A young man told me one time how, as a child, he was passed from family to family, from foster home to foster home. Nobody wanted him. He said, "Joel, I feel like my future has been cursed". But here's the beauty. Before anyone could put a curse on you, God put a blessing on you. Before you were born, before you showed up on planet earth, God put in your DNA these destiny genes.
God saw every disappointment, he didn't say, "Ah, too bad, look what they're going to go through. No use me putting anything good in their future". Just the opposite. God saw the bad break, and said, "You know what? I'm going to put something special right there. I'm going to make the enemy pay for bringing that trouble".
God saw the unfair situation, the lack, the poverty. God said, "I'm going to put a destiny gene of increase, of favor. I'm going to take them to a new level".
Maybe you struggle with an addiction, something that's been passed down, been in your family for a long time. God saw that. He's already put a destiny gene of freedom, of nothing you're facing is a surprise to God. You may have had a setback, but stay in faith, a comeback is on the way. It's just a matter of time before that destiny gene that's already in your DNA opens up and takes you to a new level.
There was a little boy in Puerto Rico named Juan Rodriguez. He was born in extreme poverty. Growing up, his family hardly had enough to eat. The place they were living was no more than a shack. And at 7 years old, he was working in the sugar cane fields, plowing behind the oxen. It looked like that would be his lot in life, to live poor, defeated, limited by his environment. But even as a small boy, Juan knew he was made for more. He could feel his destiny calling, seeds of greatness on the inside.
There was an old, run-down golf course close to where they lived. Juan was so fascinated with golf, he made his own golf club out of a stick. He used bottle caps as balls. And out in the sugar cane fields, he would play golf on his imaginary course. One day, a man noticed how interested he was in golf, got him a job at the course making 35 cents an hour.
When he was 21 years old, after being in the military for 2 years, he was hired as a full-time caddy there in Puerto Rico at a golf course. One day, a professional golfer came through and noticed how talented Juan was. He took him under his wing, started teaching him, training him. Today, Juan Rodriguez is better known as chichi Rodriguez, the famous golfer. He went on to win eight times on the PGA tour, at one point was named the senior player of the year.
Like Juan, you may be in an environment that feels limited, you don't think you could ever get out. What you can't see are the destiny genes that are put on the inside of you. You probably can't see right now a professional golfer, a successful business person, an entrepreneur, a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher. Those genes are lying dormant. But don't be fooled, at the right time, they will activate and take you where you could not go on your own.
Ecclesiastes says time and chance come together for every person. That means there are moments of favor, moments of increase, moments of blessing that are already in your future: good breaks, the right people, ideas, healing. Against all odds, like Juan, you'll rise out of where you thought possible.
That man that gave Juan a job making 35 cents an hour, he wasn't just being nice. He was a divine connection. He was put there by the Creator, a part of the destiny genes. The other man that took him under his wing and trained him, that wasn't just a lucky break. That was the hand of God, a moment of favor ordained before the friends, God has already lined up your good breaks, the right people to help you. Those moments of favor have already been established.
Quit worrying about how it's going to happen. That's not your job. Your job is to believe. All through the day, "Lord, I want to thank you that you put destiny genes in me. Where I am is not where I'm staying. I may not see how it can happen, but God, I believe you have it all figured out". Listen, one touch of God's favor can put you 50 years down the road. One destiny gene opening up, and you'll pay your house off, you'll break the addiction, you'll get healthy again, you'll accomplish I can sense in my spirit some of those destiny genes that have already been pre-programmed to take you to the next level, they're about to be released in your life.
You're about to see divine opportunity and influence to help you go further. What you couldn't make happen on your own is going to suddenly fall into place. Like I did, you're going to discover gifts you didn't know you had, ability to do things you never thought you could do: starting your own company, running that business, building an orphanage, paying your house off. What happened? A destiny gene opened up. It was already in your DNA, but you stepped into your moment. Time and chance came together. And you may feel like you're blessed, God's been good to you, but what God is about to do, when this next destiny gene opens up, it's going to seen in the past.
God said in exodus, "I will do great things that I've never done before anywhere on earth. I will do an awesome thing for you". You know what's in your destiny, you know what's in pre-programmed to come to pass? Something awesome, something that you've never seen. Don't believe those lies, "You're stuck, you've reached your limits. Not talented enough, not smart enough". No, when your next destiny gene opens up, you're going to see new ability, new talent, new strength, new friendships, a new level of your destiny.
You may wonder why, when you hear this, something comes alive on the inside. Your head may tell you it's never going to happen, but in your heart, something is saying, "Yes, this is for me. I know something amazing is in my future". You can feel an excitement, an expectancy. That's your spirit coming into agreement with what God put in you. That's your destiny genes beginning to activate.
If you will live with this expectancy, your faith can cause those genes to open up. In the natural, there's something called epigenetics. That word literally means on top of the gene. Researchers have found, with certain genes, just because they've been passed down doesn't mean they have to be activated. They can be affected by our decisions, by our attitude, and by our environment.
While we can't deactivate what color of hair we have, or our size and shape, there are certain genes we can either turn on or turn off. Even though the gene is there, with our decisions, we can help control it. For instance, you may be predisposed to alcohol. That runs in your family. Toward that. Research shows if you'll stay out of that environment, not give in to the temptation, you can literally deactivate that gene.
In the same way, God has destiny genes. He has amazing things waiting to open up. But if you go around with the wrong attitude, in the wrong environment, thinking that it's never going to happen, even though those genes are in you, you are deactivating them. You're turning them off. The way you turn on your destiny genes is to get in a good environment. Surround yourself with people of faith, people of joy, people of victory.
You know what's happening every time you come to Lakewood, every time you watch and listen? Your destiny genes are beginning to activate. When you hear me tell you each week that you're strong, talented, prosperous, blessed, anointed, that you can do all things through Christ, that you're more than a conqueror, that you are a history maker, a world changer, one of a kind, a masterpiece? I'm not just saying that to make you feel good. I'm calling out your seeds of greatness.
Genes put in you by your Creator, activating what's already in your DNA. I'm helping us to turn off the defeat genes. We're turning on the victory genes. We're turning off the lack, poverty, not enough genes. We're turning on the abundance, overflow, more than enough genes. We're turning off the badly genes. We're turning on the beauty for ashes genes, the favor genes, the something good is going to happen to us genes.
Here's my point. The external environment will impact the internal gene. That's why you can't hang out your whole life with people who are negative and critical, and expect your destiny genes to activate. If you have people always pushing you down, telling you what you can't become, and you'll never get out of debt, you'll never break that addiction, you'll never get well, you won't reach your highest potential. You're turning the gene off. You have to get in an environment of faith so those destiny genes can activate.
When Mary the mother of Christ was pregnant with Jesus, she went to visit her cousin Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John the baptist. When Elizabeth answered the door and saw Mary, the scripture says the baby leaped in Elizabeth's womb. Something came alive on the inside. When you get around people who are pregnant with destiny, people who are full of vision, excellence, integrity, the destiny genes in them will help activate the destiny genes in you. Get around people who make your baby leap.
Sometimes, we don't want to hurt people's feelings, "And Joel, I know they're not good for me, and they pull me down, they're negative. But Joel, we've been eating lunch together every day for the last 30 years at the office. I don't want to rock the boat". Listen, that boat's already sinking, and you need to see deactivating your destiny genes. That is turning off the amazing future God has in store.
Life is too short, your destiny too great, your assignment too important to spend it with people that always pull you down. It's not only affecting you, it's affecting the next generation. God is counting on you to set a new standard, to raise the bar. Make sure you surround yourself with people of faith, hope, and victory. And I understand we all have to be around people that are negative and critical. God will give us the grace for that. I'm talking about when you do have a choice.
All through the day, feed your spirit, your mind with good things. Put on uplifting music, not something that's going to drag you down, something that's going to inspire you and build you up. I got in my car one time, and turned on the radio, and the first song I heard said, "You're no good, you're no..." That already made me depressed. Then she sang, "Baby, you're no good". Flipped over to another station, I heard that song, "Shake it off, shake it off, shake it off".
At your house, at the office, put up scripture verses, inspirational sayings, things that motivate you. Driving to work now, if you have it, you can turn on Sirius XM 128, hear these messages all the time. Or you can download these podcasts on iTunes every week free of charge, listen to it whenever you want. Bottom line, the environment either activating or deactivating your destiny genes.
This is what my father had to do. He grew up very poor. His parents were cotton farmers, and they lost everything during the great depression. They were good people, hardworking, kind people, but they were very limited in their thinking. At 17 years of age, my father gave his life to Christ, the first one in the family. God called him to be a minister. Didn't have any training, any experience, any money.
All the odds said he would have to stay there and pick cotton the rest of his life, never amount to anything. But my father could feel his destiny stirring, saying, "No, you were made for more. This is not your lot in life". When most people saw my father back then, they saw a poor country boy with no future. What they couldn't see is before my father was formed in his mother's womb, before he ever showed up on planet earth, the most high God minister who would touch the world. Those destiny genes had already been set: talent, favor, good breaks, the right people.
When he felt his destiny pulling him, he did something critical to seeing those genes being activated. He didn't stay in that limited environment. He loved his family, of course. He always treated them with respect. He knew how to do was pick cotton. He could never become a minister. If he would have stayed in that environment and let those negative words take root, even though God had put destiny genes that would take him to a new level, they would have stayed dormant, locked up in his DNA.
Maybe, like my father, because of a limited environment, people pushing you down, wrong thinking, your destiny genes are still locked up in your DNA. The good news is those genes are still alive. It's not too late to be activated. You can still become who you were created to be. One good break can make up for all the bad breaks. One moment of favor can thrust you to a new level. Do your part, get in the right environment not only physically, but in your mind. Put on a new attitude. Start dwelling on thoughts of faith, favor, hope, victory, vision. There are destiny genes in you that have not yet opened up. They're still waiting to be activated.
A friend of mine told a story when she was a little girl, this mother-in-law always had a desire to sing. Her dream was to one day be in the opera. She was extremely talented junior high and high school. She always played the lead role in the plays. But when it came time to go to college, her parents told her that she would never make a living as an opera singer, and she needed to get a normal degree.
She got her business degree, and went on to have a successful career working with a company. But deep down, she always regretted not following that dream of singing. She could still feel her destiny pulling her toward that. She was close to 90 years old, her husband had died, and she moved into a seniors' home. Her mind wasn't quite as clear and sharp as it used to be, and something interesting happened.
Every day in that seniors' front of all the people, uninhibited, and sing the most beautiful opera you could ever imagine. She sounded like an angel. People started coming from all over to hear this 90-year-old woman sing. That was a destiny gene locked up in her DNA. For nearly 90 years, it had laid there dormant, still waiting to be activated.
Friends, there are destiny genes locked up in you right now. My challenge today, don't die with the music still in you. Don't let people talk you out of it. Like my father, don't let circumstances convince you that it's never going to happen. God has already pre-programmed it, he has the final say. Now, get in agreement with him. All through the day, "Lord, I want to thank you that the destiny genes you placed in me will come to pass, that I will become everything you've created me to be". If you'll keep activating the right genes, staying in the right environment both physically and mentally, I believe and declare destiny genes are about to open up for you. God is going to take you further than you imagined. You're going to discover talent that you didn't know you had. Something awesome is coming your way, in Jesus' name.