Joel Osteen — You Have What You Need
I want to talk to you today about how "You have what you need". It's easy to think, "If I had more money, I could accomplish my dreams, if I had a bigger house, then I'd be happy, if I had more talent, better personality, if I knew the right people, then I could do something great," but as long as you feel like you're lacking, you don't have enough, you were shortchanged, then you'll make excuses you've got to have a new perspective.
God is giving you exactly what you need for the season that you're in. You have the talent, the friends, the connections, the resources, the experience you need for right now. Doesn't mean that's all you're ever going to have. You may need more next month or next year. When that time comes, God will make sure that you have more there.
Psalm 34 says, "Those who trust in the Lord will never lack any good thing". Because your trust is in the Lord, you not have to worry, whatever you need, God will make sure you have it when you need it. You won't lack any good thing. This means, if you don't have it right now, don't fight it. Don't be discouraged. You don't need it right now. Our attitude should be, "I'm equipped, empowered, and anointed for this moment. I am not lacking, shortchanged, inadequate, missing out, less than. I have what I need for today".
This approach is so much better than thinking, "If I just had the finances, if the loan would've gone through. If they would've been my friend, if I had a better personality". Listen, if you needed a better personality, God would've given you a better personality. God wasn't having a bad day when he created you. If you needed more talent, God would've given you more talent. If you needed more friends, you would have more friends. Take what you have and make the most of it. It's what you need for right now.
Years ago, I used to think, if we have bigger building, if we had more members, if I could minister better, if I had more experience..." there was always something I didn't have or I couldn't do, some reason I couldn't feel good about myself. One day, I realized what I'm telling you. I have what I need for the season that I live right now. I have the strength that I need for today. It may not be enough strength for tomorrow, but that's okay. When that day comes, God will give me strength for tomorrow. I have the talent, the qualifications, the experience I need for right now. It may not be as much as somebody else has, but that's okay. I'm not competing with them. I'm competing with myself to become the best me that I can possibly be.
Someone wrote an article one time that talked about how I haven't been to seminary, and how I wasn't qualified to lead a large ministry. First, that kind of bothered me. Then I read in Galatians 1, where the apostle Paul, who wrote over half of the New Testament, said, "I was not appointed by any group or by human authority. My call is from God, who raised Jesus from the dead".
Listen, people may not approve you. Don't worry about it. God approves you. People didn't call you. People don't determine your destiny. People can't stop God's plan for your life. God called you. God equipped you. God anointed you. When you come to the end of your life, you don't have to answer to people. You'll answer to Almighty God. Don't let what some person says or does make you feel less than, unqualified. You've been handpicked by the Creator of the universe. You are lacking nothing for the season that you're in right now.
Quit thinking about all the things that you don't have, all the things that you wish were different: "Joel, all I have is this old car. I'm depressed". No, have a new attitude: "This old car is all I need right now. God is on the throne, directing my steps. When I need more, he'll give me more". "All I have is this one friend". No, turn it around. "This one friend is all I need for this season. I'm not going to sit around in self-pity. When I need more friends, God will give me more friends". "All I have is this low-level job". No, "That's all I need right now. When it's my time to be promoted, nothing can stand against my God. I will be promoted, but in the meantime, I'm going to keep being my best, right where I am".
This is an empowering way to live, not making excuses, feeling shortchanged: "If I just had more money..." Listen, if you needed more money to fulfill your destiny right now and God withholds it, he wouldn't be a just God. The truth is, God has already lined up the right people, the right opportunities, the finances, the wisdom, the good breaks, the protection you need. It's in your future. As long as you keep honoring God, he will give you what you need when you need it. That means, if you don't have it right now, you don't need it right now.
My question is, will you trust him? Will you keep a good attitude and be your best, even though it's taking longer than you thought, even though the problem hasn't turned around, even though a dream hasn't come to pass? If you will be faithful right where you are, knowing that you have exactly what you need for the season that you're in, God will get you to where you're supposed to be.
In 2 Samuel chapter 12, David had gotten off course. The prophet Nathan was correcting him. In doing so, he reminded David of what God had brought him through. David had seen God's goodness, favor, protection, finances, healing, down through the years, and in verse 8, Nathan made an interesting statement. He said, "David, if that had not been enough, God would've given you much, much more". In other words, "David, looking back over your life, if you were ever lacking, if you ever needed more wisdom, more favor, more protection, more finances, God would've given it to you".
That tells me what I have right now is what I need to fulfill my destiny. The moment it becomes not enough is the moment God will give you more. The moment something starts to keep you from your destiny, the moment it begins to stop God's plan for your life is the moment God will show up, the moment God will intervene. So, if it haven't happen yet, don't be discouraged, thinking that it's never going to work out. If it hasn't happened, you haven't needed it. When you need it, it won't be one second late. The moment you need a new friend, the moment you need a good break, the moment you need an idea, it will show up.
Friends, God is closing watching your life. You are his most prized possession. He's saying to you what he said to David: "If it's ever not enough, you can count on me. I will always be there to give you more".
In 1959, my father was the pastor of a large denominational church. They had nearly a thousand members. Back then, that was a big deal, and they'd just built a beautiful new sanctuary, and my father's future looked very bright, but one day, through a series of events, he knew he was supposed to leave that church and start Lakewood. In the natural, he didn't have a building, didn't have any organization backing him up. Most of his friends thought he was making a mistake and didn't support him. He could've made a list of all the things that he didn't have. If he'd have stayed focused on that, he would've never moved off of dead center, but my father took this step of faith, and he started Lakewood with 90 people in an old, run-down feed store.
But instead of thinking, "All I have are these 90 people," his attitude was, "this 90 people is all I need". Instead of thinking, "All I have is this old feed store," his attitude was, "This old feed store is all I need".
See, when you realize that the Creator of the universe is directing your steps, giving you what you need, and the moment it becomes not enough, God promises to show up and give you more, then you won't go around discouraged, thinking, "Oh, it's not fair. Why don't I get any good breaks? When is this ever going to change"? No, you'll just keep being your best, honoring God.
That's what my father did. Here we are today, 54 years later. Lakewood's still going strong, but some of you today are maybe a little discouraged because of what has not happened. You're wondering when the problem's going to turn around, when you're going to get that good break. No, quit being stressed over it. God has you in the palm of his hand. He has written every day of your life in his book. God knows what you need, when you need it, and he knows how to get it to you. If you don't have something right now, you didn't miss it. You didn't get shortchanged. God didn't forget about you. As long as you're honoring him, at the right time, when you need it, the right people will show up. When you need it, the finances will come. When you need it, the healing, the restoration, the vindication will find you. If it hasn't happened yet, don't sit around sour. Have the attitude, "I don't need it. When I need it, God promises it won't be 1 second late".
In John chapter 4, Jesus meet a Samaritan women at a well. He asked her for something to drink. She was a little surprised because, in those days, the Jews didn't have anything to do with the Samaritans. She said, "How can you ask me for something to drink?" Jesus said, "If you knew who I am, you would ask of me, and I would give you living water". She immediately began to look in the natural. She said, "But sir, you don't have anything to draw water with. You don't have any kind of bucket, any kind of pail. How can you give me living water"?
I wonder how many times we do the same thing. God tells us he's going to do something great in our lives. Down deep, he puts a dream on the inside that we're going to rise higher. We're going to see our marriage restored. We're going to get healthy again. We feel it so strongly, but like her, we start looking at what we don't have: the way we were raised, the obstacles in our path. Before long, we talk ourselves out of it.
"Joel, I can't do anything great. I don't have the talent". "My marriage is too far gone". "The medical report is too bad," No. You're just looking in the natural, but we serve a supernatural God. He can take something that's ordinary, breathe on it, and turn it into something that's extraordinary. You can have average talent, but when God breathes on your life, you will go further than people that have great talent. Don't talk yourself out of it.
All David had was a slingshot and five smooth stones. It looked insignificant, ordinary, nothing special, but God breathed on it, and he defeated Goliath, become a King of Israel. Samson was surrounded by a huge army. Everywhere he looked, there were horses, chariots, weapons. All he had was the jawbone of a donkey, no weapon, no armor, nobody backing him up, but he picked up that jawbone. God breathed on it, and he defeated 1,000 men, the whole army. All Moses had was an ordinary stick, something he found on the ground, yet when he picked it up, held that rod in the air, the Red Sea supernaturally parted. All my father had were 90 people and an abandoned, run-down feed store, yet God breathed on them and did something extraordinary.
Don't underestimate what you have. It may look small, insignificant. Compared to what you're facing, it seems impossible. All the odds are against you, but when God breathes on your life, the odds dramatically change. You and God are a majority. God can open doors that should've never opened. God can take you beyond where your talent, your education, says you should go.
God can make a way, even when you don't see a way, and it's not enough to just have faith in God. That's important, but you've got to have faith in what God has given you. You are not lacking. You are not shortchanged. You are not at a disadvantage. The Creator of the universe is breathing on your life. He's breathing on your health, breathing on your finances, breathing on your marriage. And if you will be confident in what God has given you, he can take what looks like little, and turn it into much.
The scripture even says, "Don't despise the day of small beginnings". In other words, don't look at what you have and say, "Oh, Joel, I can't do anything great. I don't have a lot of talent". "A feed store? God, I need a big building". "A low-level job? God, I wanted to be in management". No, what God has given you right now may seem small, but don't let that fool you. When you use what you have, God will multiply it. You'll see an explosion of his goodness.
One time, Jesus had been teaching thousands of people. It was getting late in the day, and everyone was hungry. Jesus turned to his disciples and said, "I want you to feed all the people". They didn't have any food out there in the wilderness. There was no grocery stores. On the surface, it seemed like what Jesus asked was impossible, but here's the key: God will never ask you to do something and then not give you the ability to do it.
"Well, Joel, I can't raise this child. He's too difficult". No, God wouldn't have given you the child, if you aren't able to raise him. "Well, these people at work, they're driving me crazy". No, when God gave you that job, he gave you the ability to be there with a good attitude. "Well, I couldn't accomplish my dreams. I don't know the right people". No, the moment God put the dream in your heart, he lined up everything you need to bring it to pass.
The disciples said to Jesus, "We can't feed all these people. It's impossible. We don't have any food," and Jesus heard all their excuses. He finally said to them, "You've told me all about what you don't have. All I want to know is what do you have". They said, "We just have five loaves of bread, two small fish, but what is this among so many"? They looked at it and dismissed it: it's not enough.
"Joel, I believe I could do something great if I had more going for me, if I had more talent, more friends, more money". No, you're just looking at the natural. Get rid of that "I don't have enough" mentality. God controls the whole universe. He's saying to you today what Jesus said to the disciples: "Give me what you have. Don't make excuses. Don't sit on the sidelines of life, feeling intimidated, shortchanged. Put your life, your goals, your dreams into my hands".
Jesus took the five loaves, the two fish, prayed over it, and it supernaturally multiplied. It ended up feeding probably 15,000 people, plus there were baskets full left over. That's what happens when you give God what you have. He'll multiply it. Let me ask you: are you talking yourself out of something God has putting in your heart?
I read a story about a young lady named Mary Bethune. She was the youngest of 17 children, born in south Carolina in the early 1800s. Her parents were slaves. In spite of the odds being against her, she was able to get a good education, even go to college. From the time she was a little girl, her dream was always to teach young people. She was a straight-A student. You couldn't meet she graduated from college. She turned her application in to teach at a school.
Several months later, she got word back that she was turned down. For some reason, she wasn't accepted, but instead of sitting around thinking about how bad life was treating her, she had the attitude, "I didn't get that position. I must not have needed it. If it was going to keep me from my destiny, God would've never allowed it". She decided to start her own school. She didn't have any money, no building, no supplies, no equipment. She found some old cardboard boxes and used them for desks. She would get red berries each day, drained the juice out of them so her students could use that for ink in their pens.
A few years later, a local college noticed what was happening and asked her to join forces with them. It became known as the Bethune-Cookman college. 1932, president Franklin Roosevelt appointed her as an adviser to his cabinet, making her the first African American woman ever to become a presidential adviser!
What am I saying? What you have may seem small, but don't dismiss it. If you'll use what God has given you, he'll multiply it. He'll not only bring your dreams to pass, but he'll do more than you can ask or think.
In the scripture, there were four lepers marching toward the enemy's camp. These four men had nothing: no supplies, no food, no protection, not even their health. In the natural, they didn't have a chance. They could've been sitting around depressed, focused on what they didn't have. No, these men must've been coming to Lakewood. They were using what God had given them. As they were marching toward the enemy's camp, God multiplied the sound of their footsteps. Sounded like a huge army was attacking. Those enemies took off, running for their lives.
"Well, Joel, I don't have a lot of talent". Maybe not, but do you have any footsteps? "I don't have much money". Maybe not, but do you have any red berries? "I don't have a big building for my new business". Maybe not, but do you have an old, run-down feed store? If you'll use what God has given you, he'll multiply it. He'll multiply your talent, multiply your resources, multiply your influence.
Listen, God is not into addition. What you have today may seem small, but if you'll keep honoring God, it's not going to stay small. You're going to come into supernatural increase, good breaks, divine connections, opportunities that you've never seen before. Friends you have exactly what you need to fulfill your destiny.
Now, here's a key: it may not be as much as a family member, a co-worker, a friend, but that's okay. You're not running their race. You're running your race. If God gave you what they have, it wouldn't help you. It would hinder you. You're not anointed to be them. You're anointed to be you.
When David went out to face Goliath, king Saul tried to get David to wear his armor. David didn't have any protection, just that slingshot. Saul had good intentions. He said, "David, at least wear my armor. You're going to get out there and get killed". The problem was David was much smaller than king Saul. When he put that armor on, it swallowed him. It didn't help him. It weighed him down.
That's because what God has given other people is not going to work for you. Don't try to be like somebody else: "I wish I had their talent, their looks, their personality". No, if you put that armor on, just like with David, you would be uncomfortable. It would slow you down, why? It wasn't designed for you. You are unique. You are one of a kind. God custom-made your armor. You are wearing designer armor. Nobody has what you have.
When you go out today, you need to walk with some swag as you live. I don't know what swag is, but it sounds good! I'm too white to have any swag! David took that armor off and said, "No, thanks, this is not for me. I can't be who God created me to be, wearing somebody else's armor. I have what I need". It may not be as much as somebody else, but if you'll walk if you'll use what God's given you, you can have less talent, less resources, less friends, but because God's breathing on your life, you will go further than people that have more talent, more resources.
That's what happened with David. He defeated Goliath with less equipment. Goliath was wearing a full set of armor. All David had was the slingshot. The difference was that slingshot was a part of David's divine destiny. If he would've looked at it and thought, "It's nothing," "It's small," if he would've dismissed it, he would've missed his destiny.
Don't dismiss what God has given you. It may not be as impressive as somebody else has. You may not have the talent and the looks, the personality, the income, the influence as they do, but when you realize what God has given you has been custom-made, he specifically gave you your gifts, your talents, your look, your personality, it wasn't a random happening. God didn't close his eyes and say, "Here, just take this". No, God matched you for your world. He put in you exactly what you need to fulfill his plan for your life.
A few years ago, I was speaking to several hundred pastors, and afterwards we had a time for questions. This one pastor stood up. He must've been 6 foot 5, 300 pounds, a very large man. I'm 5 foot, 9 inches tall. Television makes you look bigger than you really are, and they were surprised at how small I was. He said very dramatically, how much do you weigh"? I smiled and said, "I'm 150 pounds of pure steel".
You've got to be confident in who God made you to be. You're not too short. You're not too tall. You have the right personality. You're the right nationality. You've been custom-made by the Creator of the universe. Put your shoulders back. Hold your head up high. You are not lacking. You haven't been shortchanged. You're not at a disadvantage. You have exactly what you need for where you are.
Get up every morning and remind yourself, "I have the strength, the talent, the friends, the resources, the qualifications I need for today". If you'll do that, because your trust is in the Lord, I believe and declare you will never lack any good thing. God is going to take small, turn it into much. He's going to multiply what you have. You will become everything he created you to be, and you will have everything he intended for you to have, in Jesus' name.