Joel Osteen — You Have Hidden Treasure
I want to talk to you today about how you have hidden treasure. It's easy to get stuck in life to where we think we've reached our limits. "I've gone as far as I can go. I'm not that talented. I could never accomplish my dreams". No, God wouldn't have given you the dream and then not given you the ability to do it.
You have what you need. The problem many times is it's buried on the inside. It's hidden treasure. You have gifts and talents that you've not yet tapped into. There is potential that is waiting to be released. When God laid out the plan for your life he deposited in you the skill, the wisdom, the creativity; everything you need to fulfill your destiny.
Now here's the key. It's not what you have in you that matters. It's what you get out. If you're going to reach your highest potential you have to tap in to that hidden treasure.
I read where the continent of Africa has more natural resources than any other continent. They have more gold, more diamonds, than north America, than Europe, than Asia. But isn't it interesting, they're one of the poorest continents? Europe and north America have these big cities, wealth, prosperity. What's the problem? It's not what's in you. It's what you're getting out. Buried on the inside of you right now is hidden treasure. You are full of resources.
There are books, movies, songs, ideas, inventions, businesses, put in you by the Creator of the universe. Now my challenge is, "Don't die with the treasure still on the inside". You have something to offer this world that nobody else can offer. You are unique; one of a kind. When God made you he threw away the mold. Don't go around wishing you had somebody else's gift. If you had their gift it wouldn't help you. It would hinder you. You're not anointed to be them. You're anointed to be you. If God wanted you to look like them, have their personality and do what they can do, then he would have made you that way.
You have exactly what you need. You're tall enough. You're smart enough. You're attractive enough. You're talented enough. Quit comparing yourself to somebody else. You've been fearfully and wonderfully made. When you walk in your anointing, confident in who God made you to be, knowing that you've got what it takes, then your hidden treasure, your gifts, your talents, that potential is going to be released. You'll step in to the fullness of your destiny.
It says in Ephesians 3:20 that, "God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask or think". Here's the key, "...According to the power that works in you".
Notice it's not according to the power that's in your neighbor, or your boss, your pastor, your priest, the bank, the stock market. It's according to the power that works in you. In other words, it depends on what you're believing. You go around telling yourself, "I'm just average. I'm not that talented. I come from the wrong family," then the exceeding greatness of God's power is not going to work in you. That treasure is going to stay buried. Do yourself a favor. Quit discounting yourself. Quit belittling yourself.
When God created you he wasn't having a bad day. He didn't make any mistakes. You're not lacking. You're not at a disadvantage. You didn't get short-changed. You've been created in the image of almighty God. You have treasure on the inside.
If that treasure is going to come out you have to have the attitude, "I've got what it takes. I'm not waiting on it. I'm not hoping to get it one day. I'm not begging somebody to give me a break. I'm not wishing I looked like a friend. No, I realize it's already on the inside. I'm equipped, empowered, talented, creative, well able". You live like that and you'll see the exceeding greatness of God's favor.
This is where Sarah in the scripture almost missed it. God gave her a promise that she would have a baby but she was well beyond the childbearing years. She thought the promise would come through somebody else. That made more sense. She was too old. So she got her husband, Abraham, together with a young maid and they had a baby.
Sarah said, "Thank you, Lord. The promise came to pass". But God said, "No, Sarah. I didn't put the promise in them. I put the promise in you. You have hidden treasure that is still buried in your womb". But as long as Sarah thought, "I'm too old. I'm at a disadvantage. I don't look like these younger women," she was talking herself out of what God wanted to do.
How many times do we do the same thing? "I could never be in management". "I could never write that book". "I could never build that house". No, God is saying to you what he said to Sarah. "I didn't put the promise in somebody else. I put the promise in you". The treasure is on the inside. Now, it may be buried under doubt and fear. Buried under disappointments and what didn't work out. Perhaps buried under low self-esteem, intimidation. But the good news is the treasure is still in you. You may have talked yourself out of it but you didn't talk God out of it. God does not abort dreams.
If you will get back in agreement with God then what he promised you he will bring to pass. Sarah was almost 100 years old when she gave birth to a baby boy named Isaac. The treasure came out. Not through somebody else. It wasn't according to the power in her maid or in her husband. The greatness of God's power was released when she chose to believe. She rose up and said, "Hey, wait a minute. This is my time. This is my destiny. I am not going to sit on the sidelines. I've got something kicking on the inside. I've got potential, dreams, gifts, promises that are waiting to be released".
I want to light that same fire under you today. Some of you have been sitting on the sidelines, celebrating everybody else, content to see the promises come to pass in their life. And that's good but God wants to do something amazing in your life. He wants you to be celebrated. You don't have to sit on the sidelines. You have buried treasure. There are promises that God has spoken over you, dreams that he wants you to give birth to. It's not too late. You're not too old. It may look impossible but our God can do the impossible. When you believe favor is released. When you believe hidden treasure comes forth. When you believe, like Sarah, you're going to give birth to those promises.
It's interesting, when Sarah first heard the news that she was going to have a baby the scripture says it was so far out she began to laugh. I can hear her saying, "Abraham, a baby? Are you kidding? I've gone through the change of life. That defies the laws of nature". She was saying, "I'm at a disadvantage. I don't have what it takes," belittling herself, discounting herself. That's going to keep the treasure buried.
I've learned it's just as easy to talk yourself into it as it is to talk yourself out of it. Instead of thinking of all the reasons why you can't get well, why you can't accomplish a dream, why your marriage is not going to last, "It's too late. I've made too many mistakes". No, zip that up and instead of talking yourself out of it start talking yourself into it. "I can do all things through Christ. God is making a way even though I don't see a way. I'm anointed, equipped, talented, more than a conqueror".
"Well, Joel. This sounds good but I don't see how I could get well. This sickness has been in my family line for five generations. My grandmother died of the same thing". If you keep talking like that it's going to be six generations. Why don't you start talking yourself into it? "God is restoring health back unto me. The number of my days he will fulfill. The tide of this battle is turning. I will live and not die".
In the scripture God gave a promise to Jeremiah that he would become a great prophet and speak to the nations. But Jeremiah was young and afraid. He didn't see how it could happen. He started telling God all the reasons why it wouldn't work out. He said, "God, when I get up to speak people mock me and make fun of me. I'm young. I'm tired. I'm intimidated," on and on. Just when you thought he was going to talk himself out of it, he said in Jeremiah 20:9, "Your word in my heart is like fire shut up in my bones". He was saying, "God, I may not see how it can happen. All the odds are against me but this promise you put in me will not go away. It's like a fire. It's alive. I can't get away from it".
You may be at a place right now where you could easily give up on what God has put in your heart. But I believe like Jeremiah there is fire shut up in your bones. What God promised you will not die. You can ignore it. You can try to talk yourself out of it. Your mind may tell you that it's never going to happen but deep down you're going to feel a stirring, a burning, a restlessness. That's the promise God put in you. He loves you too much to let you be average. He is going to push you into greatness. Your hidden treasure is about to come out. You need to get ready. The gifts, the talents, the skills, the ideas, the untapped potential is about to come forth. You're going to step into a new season. You're going to feel a boldness to do things that you've never done. It's going to be a supernatural strength.
God is going to open doors that no man can shut. Now don't shrink back intimidated. The Creator of the universe has not only equipped and empowered you but he is breathing in your direction right now. He is breathing favor, breathing healing, confidence, restoration. See, a lot of times we hear about what we can't do but I want to tell you what you can do. You can accomplish your God-given dreams. You can live healthy and whole. You can overcome every obstacle. You can set a new standard for your family. You are not average. You're not ordinary. You have treasure on the inside.
When I was a little boy growing up our next door neighbors had a big German shepherd dog in their backyard. Even though their yard was fenced off they always kept the dog on a leash. One day when I was about nine years old, I was playing baseball in the backyard with some friends and the ball went over into the neighbor's yard. I didn't think much about it. I had been over there many times. I got my ladder and I climbed over our six foot fence.
When I got to the ball the dog was about 50 yards away. When he saw me he took off running toward me 90 miles an hour. My heart sunk. For some reason he wasn't on a leash that day. I knew I was as good as dead. I turned around and took off running toward my fence as fast as I could. The whole time under my breath saying, "Lord, forgive me of my sins. I'm about to come meet you".
When I got to the fence, all in one motion, I grabbed it with one hand and I jumped as high as I could and somehow I got over that fence right before the dog got to me. I was just a little boy. I had practically jumped over a six foot fence. And you know the saying, "White men can't jump". That day I jumped.
Here's my point. That dog helped me to discover potential that I didn't know I had. That dog helped me to find some hidden treasure. I had never jumped that high before. And the truth is, I have never jumped that high since. You don't really know what's on the inside until you put a demand on your potential.
Some of you are going to be offered a position that you think is way over your head. You're going to be tempted to shrink back. "I can't do that. I'm not qualified. I don't have the experience". No, it may be over your head but it is not over God's head. He has already deposited in you everything that you need. God wouldn't have given you the opportunity nor put the desire in you if you didn't already have everything you need. When you rise up with boldness, with confidence, then you're going to see new gifts, new talents, new strengths, new confidence. All these things are going to come up out of you. They're on the inside. You just have to work with God to get them out.
Some of you are going to have an opportunity to go back and finish school, or to change careers, or maybe to start your own business. The easy thing to do is to play it safe and stay where you're comfortable. But if you're going to see this hidden treasure come out you've got to be willing to do something that you've never done. If you're going to walk on water you've got to get out of the boat. You can't play it safe your whole life and expect to reach your highest potential. You've got to be willing to take some risk.
I want you to feel this new sense of confidence, new boldness. You are full of possibility. Don't sit around thinking about what you can't do. "I could never be in management". "I could never speak in front of people like you, Joel". "I could never jump over that six foot fence". I bet you could if you saw that German shepherd chasing you. You would discover things in you that you never knew you had.
Paul told Timothy in the scripture, "Stir up your gifts". God is saying, "I'm about to take you someplace that you've never been. I'm about to show you new ways to increase. I'm about to open new doors of opportunity". "Well, Joel. I'm not that talented. I could never lead my company in sales". Who told you that? The Creator of the universe says you have everything you need to excel. You are equipped. You are empowered. You are anointed. This is your season to come up higher. God is about to release hidden treasure that's been buried on the inside. Get ready to do something that you've never done. Get ready to go places that you've never been.
I love the story of Susan Boyle, our special guest today. Many of you have seen Susan singing on "Britain's got talent" when she surprised the judges and the world with her incredible voice. What you may not realize was Susan had not had an easy life. She was the youngest of nine children. Her father was a miner struggling to keep the family going. When she was born her mother had trouble with the delivery. Susan went without oxygen during the childbirth. While the doctors were pleased that she survived they told her parents, "Don't expect anything from Susan. She's at a disadvantage. She's had this problem during birth. She'll never amount to that much".
But what they didn't know was what almighty God had placed on the inside. The doctors gave information from a medical point of view. They did their part but there was hidden treasure that nobody could see. Medical science said, "Birth injury. Slow learner. At a disadvantage". God said, "Masterpiece. One of a kind. Equipped. Empowered".
Now Susan, she could have let the experts talk her in to settling for an average ordinary life and thought, "Hey, I'm at a disadvantage. It's not my fault I've had this trouble during birth". No, she had this attitude, "There is a treasure on the inside of me. I'm not going to go through life in self-pity, focused on what I don't have. I know there is something that I do have. I've been fearfully and wonderfully made".
At the age of 48 her parents had both passed away. Susan was living alone. It looked like the odds were against her and didn't know how she was going to make ends meet. She could have gotten discouraged but early one morning she took a bus headed toward a singing competition in another city. She had never traveled that far alone. She accidentally got on the wrong bus and ended up taking six busses to get to the venue. When she walked on the stage, you've seen the show, most of the contestants were very young, real hip, really super cool.
When she went out it seemed like quite a contrast. The lead judge, Simon Cowell, asked what she wanted to do. She said, "Sing". Some in the audience began to snicker and laugh. They thought, "Here's another performance that we're going to have to endure". But when Susan opened her mouth and started singing the whole world listened to her. That clip was viewed over 300 million times on Youtube, the most ever. News organizations from around the globe carried the story with the headline, "The voice that stunned the world".
Here's my point. There is a treasure on the inside of every person. God did not leave anybody out. It doesn't matter what people have spoken over you. It doesn't matter how many disadvantages you've had or how many odds are against you. If you will just keep doing like Susan, not get discouraged, not let people talk you out of it, not let your own thoughts tell you, "You're just average. You're ordinary. Nothing special about you". No, just keep taking those steps of faith, honoring God, being your best, talking yourself into it instead of talking yourself out of it. You do that and your treasure is going to be released. Like God did for her, God will take you places that you've never dreamed of.
I read a story about a five year old boy that loved the piano. The only song he really knew how to plays was "Chopsticks". It's just a very simple tune. One day his father surprised him with tickets to the symphony to hear this world-renowned Italian pianist. This man was one of the greatest piano players that had ever lived.
That night, on the way to their seats, the little boy noticed the beautiful grand piano up on the stage. When no one was watching he snuck over and sat down and began to play his elementary version of chopsticks. About that time the curtain began to rise. Everyone was expecting to see this world-renowned pianist. Instead they saw this little five-year-old boy. He was so caught up in his world he didn't realize what was happening.
When he finally looked up he was petrified. Just as he was about to take off running toward his seats he felt two big arms reaching around him. It was the world-renowned pianist. He whispered in the little boy's ears, "Keep playing". As that little boy kept playing that simple rendition of chopsticks, this world renowned pianist started playing a Beethoven symphony piece that was scored in the same cadence and the same key.
Under the direction of the master, he brought the rest of the orchestra in. First, the woodwinds, then the percussion, then the brass. The father sat there in the audience with tears. He never dreamed that simple tune that he had heard in his home so many times would no longer sound like "Chopsticks" but it would become a beautifully inspired, fully perfected, Beethoven symphony.
What happened? The master stepped in. Sometimes in life you may not feel like you have the talent, the strength, the ability, but the good news is God does. When you use what you have the master will show up. God will put his hands over your hands. He will take what you think is very average: average talent, average skills, average education. But when the master steps in he will mix his super with your average and amazing things will begin to happen.
When I first started ministering fourteen years ago after my father went to be with the Lord my sermons were very elementary, very basic. And don't you say, "Amen". Kind of like that little boy, it was like I was playing "Chopsticks". I was doing the best that I could, using what God had given me. The thoughts told me, "Joel, you're not a minister. You don't have what it takes". I would replace those thoughts with, "I can do all things through Christ. I'm equipped, anointed, empowered".
Instead of talking myself out of it I talked myself into it. What happened? The master stepped in. God put his hands on my hands. He brought ability out of me that I didn't know I had. The treasure began to be released.
You may feel like you could never accomplish what God has put in your heart. You don't have the resources, the education, the talent. You may not but God does. When you make a move God makes a move. I would still be sitting on the sidelines if I had not taken that step of faith. Every voice told me not to do it. I was nervous. I felt unqualified, inexperienced, but when I got out of my safe zone and over into the faith zone the master stepped in. God will bring things out of you that you didn't know you had.
In the coming days, as you stretch your faith, you're going to discover confidence and abilities that you didn't know was in you. Instead of just playing "Chopsticks" you're going to hear the woodwinds join in. Supernatural breaks are going to come your way. Just when you think it can't get any better the brass, the percussion will join in, the right people, the right opportunities. Before long it's going to sound like a beautiful symphony. You'll know like I do, "This is not just my talent, my ability. This is the master stepping in; God taking my ordinary and making it extraordinary".
Let me ask you today. If your time on earth was up this week is there something that we're missing out on? Is your treasure buried under doubt, fear, under what somebody said? You owe it to yourself and you owe it to the world to tap into that hidden treasure. It's not too late. You're not too old. Like Jeremiah, there is fire shut up in your bones. God has spoken promises over your life, dreams that the Creator of the universe put in you.
Now don't do like Sarah and talk yourself out of it. Start talking yourself into it. Get up every morning knowing that you have exactly what you need. If you do this you need to get ready. Your hidden treasure is going to come out. The master is going to step in and mix his super with your natural. I believe and declare, before you leave this earth, you will release all of your potential, all of your gifts will come forth and you will become everything God has created you to be. In Jesus' name.