Joel Osteen — You Have Resurrection Power
I want to talk to you today about how you have resurrection power. When you gave your life to Christ, God put a power in you greater than any power that you'll ever face. We're not supposed to go through life backing down, in fear, intimidated, like we're at a disadvantage. "This problem is so big". "The medical report is so bad". Or, "Joel, these people coming against me, they're so much more influential than me. I'm no match for them". No, romans 8:11 says, "The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives on the inside of you".
Most of us believe that Jesus has incredible power but God turned it around and said, "I'm putting the same power in you". It's a power so strong that death couldn't keep him in the grave. A power so strong that all the forces of darkness couldn't stop it. Here's the key. The only way to activate the power is to believe. You can't go through life thinking, "This situation is impossible. I'll never accomplish my dreams. I've been through too much". That will keep you from your destiny.
Have a new perspective. You are not weak. You are full of resurrection power. You may have had some bad breaks but you are not a victim; you are a victor. You are not supposed to back down from life, run from difficulties, run from things that are hard. No, stand your ground and fight the good fight of faith. The reason it's called a good fight is because the enemy has already been defeated. The keys to death and hell have already been taken away.
Jesus said, "The prince of this world comes..". Talking about Satan, "...And he has no power over Me". You can say the same thing. The enemy has no power over you. That sickness cannot stop you. That bad break can't hold you back. Those people can't keep you from your destiny. There is a power in you that is no match for any power that tries to stop you. All through the day this should be playing in our mind. "I am powerful. I am strong. I am well able. I will not fear. I will not back down. I will not run and hide. I am not intimidated. I am not a victim. I am not at a disadvantage. I am full of resurrection power".
Well, you say, "Joel, I don't feel very powerful. I don't feel very strong". But you can't go by what you feel. You've got to go by what you know. Your feelings may change every other hour. What you're up against may look bigger, stronger, more influential, more powerful. That's okay. The bigger they are the harder they fall.
You have an advantage. It's called resurrection power. Even though you may not feel powerful, you've got to put your shoulders back and start acting like you're powerful. Fake it till you make it. Act like you're strong. Act like you're well able. Act like you're more than a conqueror. Don't go through life intimidated when you have the most powerful force in the universe on the inside.
One time in the scripture, the Syrian army was trying to overtake the Israelites but every time they made a move the Israelites knew exactly where they were going, what they were going to do and they would be there, prepared, ready for the attack. The Syrian commander got so frustrated. He thought one of his men was a spy. He called them all together. "Men, somebody is leaking this inside top secret information. Who is it"? Captain spoke up and said, "Sir, it's none of us. There's a prophet in Israel named Elisha. What you whisper to us in secret he tells to the Israelites".
The commander was furious. He decided to go get Elisha. Now, Elisha wasn't in the military. He didn't have any protection. He was a civilian. You would think the commander would take four or five people with him, maybe a dozen at the most. No, this commander was so afraid of Elisha that he took his whole army, thousands of troops, chariots, horses, all to capture one man filled with the Spirit of God.
That's the way you need to see yourself. You and God are a majority. When the enemy looks at you it's like this Syrian commander looked at Elisha. He thinks, "I can't defeat them. They're not weak. They have an advantage". It's resurrection power.
Elisha's assistant went out early one morning and he saw all these troops, these chariots, the Syrian army surroundings, their house. He ran back inside panicked, so afraid. He said, "Elisha, get up! We're doomed. We're surrounded by the Syrians". Elisha didn't get upset. He said, "Son, don't worry about it. There are more for us than there are against us". The young man was confused. He thought, "No, no. We're totally outnumbered". Elisha prayed, "God, open his eyes that he may see". He went out and looked again but this time he could see into the unseen spiritual realm. He didn't just see the Syrian army but he saw a vast host of the heavenly armies all across the mountainside, hundreds of thousands of these powerful, huge, warring angels dressed and ready for battle.
Now, you may not always feel powerful but you've got to know God's got your back. The Creator of the universe has got you covered. No matter what comes against you keep the right perspective. There are more for you than there are against you. When the enemy looks at you he doesn't see you as weak, intimidated, at a disadvantage; just the opposite. He sees you as powerful, equipped and anointed. When he sees you it reminds him of that day 2,000 years ago when Jesus crushed his head. Don't be afraid of the enemy. He is scared to death of you.
Whether you've been a believer five days or 50 years, he has to send a whole army just to try to slow you down. It's good to see ourselves as God sees us. That's important. But I want you to see yourself the way the enemy sees you. When you know who you are and whose you are, when you realize you're full of resurrection power, you won't live intimidated, thinking, "Oh, this problem is too big". No, you'll put your shoulders back knowing that the same power that raised Christ from the dead lives on the inside of you. If death couldn't keep Christ in the grave that bad break can't hold you back. That sickness cannot stop you. That addiction cannot defeat you. There is a power in you greater than any power that comes against you.
When I was growing up we knew this man that lived in Alaska. For several generations his family had been heavily involved in the occult and witchcraft. In fact, his father was the head warlock in that whole area. Later he gave his life to Christ and got out of all of that. But he told something interesting. He said his father could leave his physical body and travel into the spirit world. They called it "Astroflight".
One night he went to this home to cast a spell on a person and to put a curse on that house but when he got there for some reason he couldn't penetrate the house. Normally he would go right in through the walls. He thought, "That's strange. Why can't I get in"? He went over and looked in the window. He saw this man he was looking for. He described him as being very, very dark but sitting all around him were these people that were lit up like bright, bright light bulbs. He said, "It was the most brilliant light you could ever imagine".
Come to find out, it was a group of young people that had come over there for a Bible study. As long as they were there he could not penetrate that house. He told his son later, "If believers only knew the power they had in the spirit world they would never be afraid again".
You may not feel powerful but you've got to know in this unseen world you are glowing with God's glory. You are radiating like a brilliant light. You are protected. You are set apart. It's resurrection power. How do we activate it? By believing, not giving into fear. No, "I'm powerful. I'm strong. I'm glowing with God's glory".
We may not see it with our physical eyes but in this unseen realm you are shining so brightly that you blind the darkness. The enemy cannot penetrate your house, your life, your future, your finances. God has put a hedge of protection around you. You have nothing to worry about. And listen, nobody can put a curse on you. They can say all they want. It bounces right off of you. God has already put a blessing on you and the blessing always overrides a curse.
Years ago there was a missionary in Africa. He was traveling by horseback down a narrow winding path. It was a hot Sunday afternoon. He was headed to one of the small villages. As he approached a sharp curve in the path the horse stopped and refused to go any further. It evidently sensed there was something wrong around the curve. The man couldn't make the horse go. He finally had to get off and he looked around the corner. Sure enough, there was a huge snake about ten feet long, very thick, curled up right in the middle of the path, basking in the sun. It had its head hidden underneath a small flat stone.
The man's heart was gripped with fear. He had been warned about how dangerous and poisonous the snakes were over there. He didn't really know what to do. He didn't have a weapon. There was no way around the path. There was brush and thick trees on each side. After about fifteen minutes he got his nerve up and decided to find the biggest rock he could possibly find. He was going to throw it on top of that flat stone where the snake was hiding his head and hopefully kill the snake.
He moved toward it very cautiously, trembling with fear, back of his mind thinking, "What if I miss? What if I just make him mad and he comes over here and he bites me"? Amid all the fear, with the adrenalin flowing, he hurled that rock as hard as he could. Much to his surprise the snake didn't move. He walked up a little closer and suddenly realized the snake was already dead. Somebody passing that way before him had crushed the snake's head and just left it lying there in the path.
The good news today is somebody has already gone down our path and cleared it of everything that could harm us. We have nothing to fear. A little over 2,000 years ago Jesus came to the earth and went about healing, teaching, forgiving, showing love, but the religious leaders didn't like him. They got jealous, critical, found fault. Even though he had done no wrong they unjustly had him beaten with a lead whip. They put a crown of thorns on his head. They forced him to carry his own cross to be crucified. The soldiers mocked him, ridiculed him, even spit upon him. They put him on the cross and nailed the spikes into his hands, into his feet. He had all power.
He could have called 10,000 angels. He could have ended it in a split second. The angels were standing at attention ready to come but he didn't do it. The nails didn't hold him on the cross. Love held him on the cross. He did it for you. He did it for me. Hanging on that cross, the earth he spoke into existence got nervous and began to tremble. It sensed something was wrong. There was a great earthquake. The sun he created turned its back and refused to look. It got dark in the middle of the day. When the soldiers saw the very earth revolting they said to one another, "Surely, he was the Son of God".
When Jesus breathed his last breath on this earth the veil in the temple, this big thick curtain, was ripped from the top to the bottom. Behind that veil was the holy of holies. That's where the Ark of the Covenant was, where God lived. Nobody could go in there except the priest and then only once a year. When that veil was ripped it wasn't to let God out. It was to let you and I in. Now, we can all come boldly to the throne of grace. You don't need anybody to go to God for you. You don't need a pastor, a priest, a rabbi, a Sunday school teacher. You can go to God for yourself.
God wants to talk to you. He wants to be your friend. It doesn't matter how religious you are or you aren't. It doesn't matter the mistakes you've made, what you've done in the past, or even what you're doing right now. He took your sins. He paid the price for every mistake, every wrong. His blood covered it once and for all. The veil is open. He is waiting to hear from you. People tell me all the time, "Well, Joel. I'm not a religious person. I wasn't raised in church like you were". I'm not talking about being religious. Jesus didn't come to start a religion. He came to have a relationship with you. He has a purpose and a destiny for your life. He is the one who created you. He knows the reason that you are here. When you come into agreement with him, your life will be more rewarding, more fulfilling.
At one of our events on the road, "A night of hope," a young man came up to me afterwards. I could tell he had been smoking pot. You could smell it so strongly. At first I thought, "Man, this is a "Night of hope" not "A night of dope"". After talking with him for a little while I started feeling really, really good. He told me how he had never been to church a day in his life. He said, "Joel, I've never been to any kind of religious event but I've been watching you on teLevision and something is drawing me. There's something I know I need".
I told him what I'm telling you. That's your Heavenly Father wanting to be in relationship with you. There is a void on the inside that only God can fill. We are living in the day where the veil is open. God's mercy is available to whomever will accept it. They put Jesus in the tomb on Friday thinking that it was over. I'm sure Satan and all of his forces were having a big party celebrating their victory. But I could imagine in the midst of their celebration they hear some footsteps starting to get closer and closer. They see this person coming, can't figure out who it is. Everyone is accounted for.
He walks with an authority like they've never seen before. His eyes are like fire. His hair as white as wool. His face radiates with a brilliance so bright that it forces them to turn away. Jesus crashes their party, says, "I've got a big announcement to make. I'm back". He said, "You thought you got rid of me but it was all a part of my plan to redeem mankind. You didn't take my life. I gave it away". The battle of the ages took place; Right vs. Wrong, Light vs. Darkness, Jesus vs. Satan. It was no match. Jesus crushed Satan's head and totally defeated him. The scripture says, "He paralyzed him and rendered him powerless".
It looked dark on Friday. It looked like it was over but on Sunday morning it was a different story. The grave couldn't hold Jesus in. He came bursting out and he said, "I am he that lives. I was dead but I'm alive forevermore. By the way, one more thing. I've got the keys to death and hell". He came out with all power and then he turned right around in Luke 10:19 and said, "I give you power over all the power of the enemy". The same power he had, he gave to us. Now you and I have all power. It's resurrection power. One scripture says that, "Jesus brought Satan to naught". Another word for naught is zero.
When thoughts of fear, worry, intimidation come, instead of dwelling on them, getting worried, discouraged, just give the enemy the zero sign. Remind him that he has no power over you. When you do it learn to look down. That's where he is: under your feet. The thought says, "You'll never get out of that problem". "Zero sign. God always causes me to triumph". "You'll never accomplish your dreams". "Zero sign. I can do all things through Christ". "Your family will never get back on the right track". "Zero sign. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord". "You'll never get married. You're too old". "Zero sign. No good thing will God withhold because I walk uprightly". Here's one we all hear. "You've made too many mistakes". "Zero sign. God's mercy is bigger than any mistake".
Remind the enemy of his defeat. John, chapter 20, Peter went to the empty tomb. He saw the burial cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus' head folded up neatly placed over to the side. It was away from the other burial cloths.
Why did Jesus think it necessary to fold that cloth? He was sending a message to the Jewish people. In that day, if you went to dinner at a Jewish home and you enjoyed the dinner, enjoyed the company, the food was good, the people were nice, the tradition was to take that cloth napkin, crumple it up and leave it on the seat. That sent a message that you appreciated the dinner and you would be back again. But if in any way you felt insulted, disrespected, the people weren't courteous, the food wasn't good, you would take that cloth napkin, carefully fold it up and neatly place it back on the dinner table.
When Jesus arose from the grave he knew many Jews would come to the tomb looking for him. He took time to fulfill this very common and well understood tradition. He took that cloth that was wrapped around his head. He very carefully folded it up and placed it over to the side. He was saying, "I wasn't treated right. I was disrespected, put to shame, humiliated and I will never come back to this tomb again. I defeated the enemy once and for all. I died for the sins of the world once and for all". He was saying, "It is finished. The price has been paid. The sacrifice has been made. Our enemy has been eternally defeated. We have nothing to fear".
Paul said in Ephesians 6 to, "Put on the whole armor of God". It goes on to list all the different pieces of the armor. It talks about the breastplate of righteousness, the belt of truth, the shoes of peace, the helmet of salvation, the shield of faith, the sword of the spirit.
What's interesting is there is not one piece of armor that is designed for our backside. It's all designed for our front. Why is that? God never intended for us to be running from the enemy. If you live in fear, backing down from life, feeling like you're at a disadvantage, then you're leaving yourself wide open. It's like a hospital gown. They're great in the front but they don't have much going on in the back.
No matter what life throws your way stand your ground. Look that challenge in the eye. Say, "You will not defeat me. I am a child of the Most High God. I am full of resurrection power".
A minister I know told about a dream that he had. In this dream he saw himself standing in a large room about as big as this platform. At the other end of the room, Satan himself was standing there staring at him very evilly. This terrible gaze was holding him captive. He tried again and again to break free and get out of the room but he couldn't move. He was totally paralyzed. The more he tried, the more he struggled, the more Satan would sarcastically laugh. In the dream, he was so afraid that he couldn't pray, he couldn't quote a scripture, couldn't remember anything. He was frozen stiff, held hostage by these evil glaring eyes.
Then all of a sudden, Jesus stepped into the room and walked right between the two men. Jesus was facing Satan with his back to this man. Jesus started backing up. The man thought, "No, Jesus. Don't back up. You're not afraid of Satan". But he kept backing up and backing up until he got right in front of this man. There was nowhere else to go. But in this dream Jesus took another step backwards and he stepped into the man. Jesus' arms went into his arms. Jesus' legs into his legs. Jesus' torso into his torso.
When Jesus completely disappeared into him, he saw himself lift his hand and point at Satan and Satan immediately fell to the ground and he was able to walk out of that room.
Now you may not feel powerful but you've got to know the most powerful force in the universe is on the inside of you. At the name of Jesus, the scripture says, everything has to bow. We don't have anything to be afraid of. We don't have to fear the past. Some people say, "Oh, I've made so many mistakes. Joel, I've got all these skeletons in my closet". No, when you gave your life to Christ, he cleaned your closet. Your sins have already been forgiven. God doesn't have a big hard drive, a big computer up in heaven keeping a list of everything that you've done wrong.
When you repented he totally erased them. He doesn't remember that anymore. We don't have to fear the present. "Well, Joel. Prices are so high. My neighborhood is kind of dangerous. I don't know if I'm going to make it". No, God has you in the palm of his hand. Nothing can snatch you away. If God takes care of the birds of the air how much more is God going to take care of you? We don't even have to fear the future. We don't have to fear death.
The scripture says, "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord". When it comes your time to go you'll breathe one final breath but that's not the end. Your next breath, you'll be more alive than ever, breathing heavenly air, at a place where there is no pain, no sickness, no sorrow. We can say with the apostle Paul, "Oh death, where is your victory? Oh grave, where is your sting"? We're not afraid of the past, the present, the future. Why? We know we have resurrection power. We know those that are for us are greater than those that are against us. We know our enemy has been eternally defeated.
My challenge to us today; put your shoulders back. Hold your head up high. You are not weak, intimidated, at a disadvantage. The same power that raised Christ from the dead lives on the inside of you. If you'll rise up and tap into this power, I believe and declare; because he lives you too will live an abundant, overcoming, faith-filled, victorious life. In Jesus' name.