Joel Osteen — You Are a No Lack Person
I want to talk to you today about how you are a no-lack person. When God created you he put in you everything you need to fulfill your destiny. You have the talent, the creativity, the ideas. You are full of discipline, focus, self-control. You have strength, determination, resolve. The Creator of the universe has crowned you with his favor.
If you're going to live a victorious life you have to see yourself as a no lack person. How you see yourself will determine what kind of life you live. If you go around thinking, "I'll never get out of debt. I'll never have enough," what you're really saying is, "I'm lacking talent. I'm lacking ability". Or, "I'll never lose this weight. I'll never break this bad habit". You're saying, "I'm lacking discipline. I'm lacking self-control. I don't have enough". If you see yourself lacking it will set the limits for your life.
Psalm 34:10 says, "Those who trust in the Lord will never lack any good thing". Deep down you have to know that you know because you trust in the Lord you are a no lack person. Almighty God breathed his life into you. He has already equipped and empowered you. You may have difficulties but it's not a surprise to God. That dream is not too big. You have the talent, the strength, the determination, the focus. You are well able to fulfill your destiny.
It's so important how you see yourself. You may be dealing with a sickness but understand you are not a sick person trying to get well. You are a well person fighting off sickness. Health is your normal state. You may be struggling in your finances but you're not a poor person trying to get ahead. You're a successful person fighting off poverty. Abundance is your normal state. You may be struggling with an addiction. You've had it many years. Don't see yourself as an addict. Don't let that image become ingrained on the inside. You are not an addicted person trying to get free. You are a free person fighting off an addiction. Freedom is your normal state.
Let me tell you, God didn't make anyone addicted, insecure, depressed, mediocre. That's not who you are. God made you as a masterpiece. Get a new image. Start seeing yourself strong, healthy, accomplishing your dreams, living his abundant life. This is what the people of Israel had to do. They had spent years in slavery being mistreated. All they had known was struggle, lack, oppression, defeat. But when God brought them out, as they were leaving, God caused their captors to give them their gold, their silver, their jewels. They didn't leave empty-handed. They left loaded down.
What was God doing? Why did he want them to leave with all this treasure? They were going out into the wilderness. There was no place to spend it out there, no grocery stores, no malls. God was wanting to develop a new image on the inside. God had these parents to put the gold and the silver on their little children.
These children, all they had ever seen was defeat. It was ingrained in their thinking, "We're poor. We're second class. We'll never have enough". One by one the parents would call their little daughter over and put a beautiful gold necklace around her neck. The little girl would brighten up. A new sparkle would come into her eye. She would see herself valuable, important, like a queen. The parents would call their little boy over and put a gold ring on his finger. The little boy would stare at that ring in amazement.
I can imagine for the first time these children put their shoulders back. They stood up tall, carried themselves with a new confidence, a new sense of value. They had been pushed down for years and years, told they would never amount to anything. But now that image was beginning to change. They got rid of a slave mentality, a barely get by mindset and they started seeing themselves as the head and not the tail, as above and not beneath.
What's interesting is these parents, they never did make it into their Promised Land. They thought their giants were too big. They didn't think they could overcome their obstacles. But these children, the ones that had a different mindset, the ones that knew they were no lack people destined to do great things, they were the ones that went into the Promised Land.
Some of you today, if you would just change the way you see yourself you would rise to a new level. Maybe like them you come from a family of struggle, lack, addictions, depression. All you've seen modeled growing up was mediocrity. But if you could just change that image and start seeing yourself as a no lack person, strong, valuable, confident, talented, successful, then like these children, because you have an image of victory, an image of abundance, God will take you places that you've never dreamed of. I've learned you will never rise any higher than the image you have of yourself. Start seeing yourself as a no lack person.
When I was a little boy my father went out and bought a brand new car. We were so excited. We couldn't wait for him to get home so we could see it. We were all standing at the end of the driveway looking down the road, waiting for my father. We finally saw him driving up in this new car. As little kids we all jumped in the car. We "Ooh'd" and "Ahh'd". My dad drove us around the neighborhood. Daddy was so proud of this new car. He was just beaming with joy.
Later that night my father was watching television and a commercial for a car came on the screen but the camera only showed very tight shots so you didn't know what kind of car it was advertising. It showed a close-up of the engine, talked about how it had the most powerful, efficient engine made. Showed a close-up of the shocks, the suspension, talked about how it had the latest, greatest shocks, a smoother ride than any other car. The more my father watched the more depressed he got. He thought, "I bought the wrong stinking car. This car can run circles around my car".
Just when he was about to get sick to his stomach the camera pulled out wide and the car they were advertising was the exact car my father had just bought. It was sitting in our driveway.
What's my point? Sometimes we don't realize what we have. You're not average. You're not ordinary. Your maker is the Creator of the universe. He didn't give you a weak engine, a cheap transmission, a rough suspension, a second-class paint job. He put in you everything you need to perform at your highest level. You have the talent, the looks, the determination, the favor to overcome any obstacle, to accomplish every God-given dream. Now don't be like my father and not realize what you have.
You're not lacking. You're not limited. You have everything you need to live an overcoming life, a blessed, prosperous, faith-filled, abundant life. And yes, you may have some obstacles in your path but the good news is the power that is for you is greater than any power that is trying to stop you. Now we've got to rise up and say, "I'm not settling here. I know who I am a child of the Most High God. I'm going to become everything that God has created me to be".
This is what David did. When he saw Goliath taunting the people of Israel something rose up on the inside and said, "David, this is your time. You were born to defeat Goliath". He heard his destiny calling out. But David could have thought of a thousand reasons why he couldn't fight Goliath. "God, I'm lacking the experience. I don't have the military training that Goliath does. God, I'm lacking the size. He's four feet taller than me. God, I'm lacking the equipment. He's got a full set of armor, a big shield, a big sword".
David could have talked himself out of it and missed his destiny. No, David understood this principle. He had the right image on the inside. He is the one that said, "The Lord is my shepherd. I shall not want". He was saying in effect, "I know I'm a no lack person". Even though Goliath was much bigger, in the natural he didn't have a chance, yet the scripture says, "David ran toward Goliath". Most of us would have said, "Alright, God. I'll do it. But give me a couple weeks to think about it". "God, let me come up with a strategy at least to sneak up on him and surprise him".
No, when you really understand you're a no lack person and the greatest power in the universe is backing you up you won't run from your enemies you will run to your enemies. In other words, you won't run away from college thinking it's too hard. You'll run to it knowing that you are well able. You won't run away from that management position thinking you're not qualified. You'll run to it knowing that you are equipped.
This is what David did. He ran toward Goliath. I can imagine the other soldiers were thinking, "Where is David going in such a hurry? What's the big rush"? They see David running straight toward Goliath. They think, "Boy, David has lost his mind. He has been watching too much Hawaii 5.0. He's going to get crushed". No, when you dare take steps of faith and you do what you know God is asking you to do you don't go in your own strength. You don't go by yourself. The Creator of the universe is right there beside you.
When Goliath saw how small David was he began to laugh. He said, "Am I a dog that you would come at me with a stick"? David said, "That's fine, Goliath. You can laugh now but you're not going to be laughing in a moment. I'm going to feed your head to the birds of the air". This young teenager boy, David, with no experience defeated this huge giant named Goliath.
Maybe today, like David, you're up against some big obstacles: a legal battle, financial difficulty, an addiction, a sickness. It looks so much bigger, so much more powerful. In the natural you don't have a chance. But you've got to do like David and remind yourself that you are a no lack person. You have the talent, the wisdom, the favor, the determination to take down any enemy. When you make a move and say, "No, this battle is not going to defeat me. This sickness is not going to steal my joy". When you run toward the enemy almighty God will be right there to make a way where it looks like there is no way. He will help you accomplish what you could not accomplish on your own.
Now in the tough times don't have a weak, defeated mentality. Be a warrior. You've been armed with strength for every battle. The size of your battle is an indication of the size of your future. If you have a big problem don't get all upset. That just means you have a big future. You know what made David king? Goliath. Goliath was strategically placed in David's path not to defeat him but to promote him. Quit saying, "I can't take this anymore. It's just too hard. I don't know how I'm going to make it". No, instead of falling apart, do like Clint Eastwood, when you face difficulties, "Go ahead. Make my day". "I know what's on the other side of this is promotion, increase, new levels of God's favor".
Listen to how Paul put it. "I am ready for and equal to anything through Christ who infuses strength into me". That should be our attitude. Anything that comes our way, "I'm ready for it. I'm up to it". Any dream God puts in your heart, it may look impossible but you are equal to it. There is no obstacle too big for you, no dream too great. Get this down in your spirit. You are a no lack person. Victory is in your DNA. You have the genes of a winner. Almighty God has infused strength, talent, value, confidence into each one of you.
I have a friend that is taking chemotherapy for the third time. He's lost most of his hair and he's a little bit thinner but he is not a complainer. He is a warrior. His attitude is, "This sickness is not going to get the best of me. I am ready for and equal to anything that comes my way". I love his attitude. It says in Corinthians, "These light afflictions are but for a moment". Every adversity we face we should see it as only being light.
Now it may not feel light. It may have been a big disappointment, a major setback, but when you look that trouble in the eye and by faith say, "Hey, it's no big deal. That person leaving me, that person that did me wrong, is not going to ruin the rest of my life. It's only a light affliction". When you do that all of heaven comes to attention. Because most people get down, discouraged, they live with a chip on their shoulder. But when you shake it off and say, "No big deal. It's just a bump in the road. I know God still has something awesome in my future," then like David you'll not only come out but you'll come out promoted. You'll come out better off than you were before.
See every adversity as being light. And then number two, see it as being temporary. The scripture says, "It's but for a moment". You may have had that same addiction for the last 20 years. But don't make the mistake of accepting it as the way it's always going to be. When you get used to it you quit stretching. You quit trying to change and that's what keeps us from God's best.
I know this couple. They were believing to buy a new house. They found one that they really liked but for some reason the financing didn't go through and they got turned down. This happened three different times. Each time it was something very odd but it stopped the whole deal. They had been in their apartment year after year. They have three children. They were tempted to think, "It's never going to change. What's the use of even trying? This is just our lot in life". No, deep down they knew that it was only temporary. They stayed in faith.
Last week they brought me a picture of their brand new beautiful home that they just moved into. They said, "Joel, this is God doing more than we could ever ask or think". Along the way you may hit some setbacks but don't believe the lies that are telling you, "It's never going to change. You're never going to get the house you want. You're never going to get well. Never going to see that breakthrough". No, every day remind yourself, "It's only temporary. It's not going to last forever".
In fact, there is a scripture that says, "The things that we see are subject to change". You may have been turned down a dozen times but the good news is it's subject to change. God is still on the throne. The next time you apply could be the time it all works out. The next time you resist and don't give in to that addiction could be the time you break totally free. The next person you meet could be the person of your dreams. Keep believing. It's not permanent.
It's interesting. In the scripture many times when Jesus prayed for people he asked how long they had been that way. He said to the man, he was crippled, laying at the pool of Bethesda, "How long have you been here"? The man replied, "Thirty-eight years". Jesus asked a woman that was all bent over how long she had been sick. She replied, "Eighteen years". These parents brought their grown son to Jesus. He was blind. Jesus said, "How long has your son not been able to see"? They said, "Since his birth".
Why was Jesus so interested in the length of time? Why didn't he just heal them and move on? It's because Jesus wanted us to see how nothing is permanent. He wanted it to be forever recorded for generations to come so that we would know it's never too late. You may be facing situations right now that have been the same way year after year. It looks like it's never going to change. No, God is saying, "I can still turn it around. I can still bring that dream to pass. I can still bring the right people across your path. I can still heal your body, restore the relationship".
I know a young lady that got off to a rough start in life. She came from a very dysfunctional family. All she had ever seen was poverty, addictions, and depression. At sixteen years old she had a baby and had to drop out of high school. It looked like that same negative cycle in her family was permanent; it would continue on for another generation. She found a little place to live and try to raise her son. But she didn't have any money, any family supporting her.
She ended up on welfare. Barely making it. Living in poverty. She would attend our services here at Lakewood each week and she would hear again and again how you have seeds of greatness on the inside, how you have the DNA of a winner and where you are is not where you have to stay. She began to change the way she saw herself. She created an image of success, an image of victory and those seeds of greatness began to take root.
She didn't just sit back and accept the Status Quo. She went out and got a job at a local high school cafeteria punching lunch tickets, making minimum wage. She wasn't satisfied. She went back to school and got her G.E.D. She still wasn't satisfied. She decided to go to college. She would work during the day and go to college at night and in four years she graduated from college with honors. She still wasn't satisfied. She went back to college and got her master's degree. Today she's not on welfare anymore. She is the principal at the same school where she started off working in the cafeteria punching those lunch tickets.
What happened? She saw that poverty, lack, mediocrity, not as permanent but only temporary. Like David, she ran toward the enemy. She rose up in faith and almighty God breathed in her direction. I love what she says, "I used to be on welfare but now I'm fair and well". Have a big vision for your life. Don't get stuck in a rut and accept that where you are is the way it's always going to be. Do like her: break out of your box. Believe that you can rise higher. God wants you to set a new standard for your family. But too many people have a narrow, limited vision.
I was at the mall years ago with a friend of mine and every other word he would say, "I can't afford it". We were looking at some sporting good equipment and he said, "I can't afford it". Looked at tennis shoes, "I can't afford it". Looked at this shirt, "I can't afford it". I finally said, "If you keep saying that you're never going to be able to afford anything". He was setting the limits for his life with his own thinking.
The truth is I couldn't afford half the stuff we were looking at either, but I've learned you don't have to announce it to the world. If you're going to use that phrase at least follow it up with two simple words, "I can't afford it right now". In other words, "It's just a matter of time. I know I'm a no lack person". "At some point I will come into my abundance".
Be careful what comes out of your mouth. Don't go around talking about how high prices are and how you're never going to make it. If you talk lack you're going to have lack. The right attitude is, "Prices may be high but God always supplies my needs". "Business may be a little off but I'm not going under. I'm going over. God always causes me to triumph". Have that report of victory.
I had this young couple one time. They asked me if I would pray that this furniture that they liked would go on sale. They had been watching it a long time and they knew if it went on sale they would be able to buy it. After I thought about it a moment I said, "Instead of praying that it will go on sale I would rather pray that God will bless you in such a way that even if it doesn't go on sale you'll still be able to buy it".
See, God owns it all. It's not about us trying to make things come down so we can afford it. It's about us believing to come up higher to where we're supposed to be. The same God that can cause it to go on sale can bless you in such a way that you don't have to sit around and wait for some kind of discount. I'm all for getting good deals and getting things on sale but don't have a cheap, narrow, vision. That will limit what God can do in your life.
When I was eight years old I went to a department store with my father where he was buying a suit. The man waiting on us found out that my dad was a minister. And he said in a very demeaning way, like we were second-class, "Well, you know. If you can't afford it we can give you a minister's discount". Well, my father was raised in extreme poverty. He came out of the great depression. They didn't have enough food to eat growing up. Daddy had to put cardboard in his shoes as a little boy because they had holes in them.
When this man said, sarcastically, "We can give you this discount," it rubbed my father the wrong way. I could see it in his eyes. Daddy thought to himself, "I am not a beggar. I don't need a handout. I'm a child of the Most High God". It wasn't out of arrogance. It wasn't out of pride but more out of a confidence of who he was and who he represented. He looked at that salesman in the eyes and he said, "No, sir. I don't take a minister's discount. Do you know who my father is"?
That man stepped back like daddy came from some kind of influential, well-to-do family. He didn't know daddy wasn't talking about his earthly father. He was talking about his Heavenly Father. He was saying in effect, "This is a new day. I've stepped out of poverty and lack. The God I serve doesn't need a discount. He is well able to take care of me. He is El Shaddai: the God who is more than enough".
Friends, God doesn't want you to be dependent on a handout, a discount, a blue light special, black Friday, Cyber Monday, left-over bread. Hoping that things will come down so you'll be able to afford it. That's not who you are. Have a bigger vision. God has an abundance in front of each one of you. He is the God of more than enough. You may not be there just yet but what I'm asking you to do is to not settle where you are.
It says in Deuteronomy that God gives you the power to get wealth. There are seeds in you right now that can bring an abundance: gifts, talents, skills, ideas, creativity, favor. God didn't leave anybody out. You've got to remind yourself you are a no lack person. You are blessed. You are prosperous. You are well able. And yes, you may be having to have some kind of assistance right now but if you'll have this attitude before long instead of taking a handout you'll be giving a handout. Instead of borrowing you'll be the lender.
Now I know today I am looking at no-lack people. You are full of talent, creativity, courage, strength, ability. You have been anointed, accepted and approved by the Creator of the universe. Now get up every morning and remind yourself, "I am a no lack person". See yourself strong, healthy, accomplishing your dreams, living the abundant life.
Keep the right image in front of you. When you face difficulties, remember, you are ready for and equal to anything that comes your way. It's temporary. It's light. Almighty God has infused strength into each one of you. If you will see yourself as this no lack-person, then like David, you will defeat every giant. You will overcome every obstacle, you will accomplish every God-given dream. I believe and declare you're going to live that life of abundance that God has in store. Amen?