Joel Osteen — Release the Full You
I want to talk to you today about releasing the full you. On the inside of each one of us is a blessed, prosperous, victorious person. This person is free from addictions and bad habits. They're confident and secure, talented and creative, disciplined and focused. But just because they're in you doesn't mean they're automatically going to come out. They have to be released.
The apostle Paul gives us the secret in Romans 12:2. He said, "Be transformed by the renewing of your mind". That word "Transformed" in the original language is "Metamorpho". It's where we get our word "Metamorphous". We know how a caterpillar metamorphoses into a butterfly. This is saying if you'll get your thoughts going in the right direction and not dwell on negative, condemning, not able to thoughts, but program your mind with what God says about you, then a transformation will take place.
Think about the little caterpillar; the little worm. It starts off as one of the most unattractive insects. It's very plain, nothing really special about it. But God predestined it to go through a transformation. At a certain point it forms a cocoon. This metamorphous starts to take place. It's a process. Little by little it changes. One day it begins to push out of the cocoon. A leg comes out, then a wing comes out. A little later his head comes out. Before long, it's totally free from the cocoon. It goes from being one of the most plain insects to being one of the most beautiful, colorful, graceful insects. Instead of having to crawl on the ground, squirm around, now it can fly wherever it wants to go.
In the same way, we all start off as worms, so to speak. Our thoughts, without being retrained, naturally gravitate toward the negative. We think, "I can't take that promotion. I'm not qualified". "I'll never rise much higher, Joel. I come from the wrong family". Or, "I've made too many mistakes. God could never bless me". You know what those are? Wormy thoughts. But just because we start that way doesn't mean that we're supposed to finish that way. God has predestined us to go through a transformation. From a worm that crawls and barely gets by to a beautiful butterfly that soars.
But here's the key. It's not up to God. It's up to us. The only way to release your butterfly is to get your thinking in line with God's word. What will keep you in your cocoon? "I'll never lose this weight". "My business isn't going to get off the ground". "I'm not a good parent". Those thoughts will keep the full you from coming out. You have to realize there is a great parent already in you just waiting to be released. If you're going to see your metamorphous take place you've got to be convinced, "In me right now is a great father, a great mother. I'm going to renew my mind to get them out".
You may be struggling with an addiction but in you right now is a person that's totally free. You may be down in your finances. Business is slow. But in you right now is a person that lends and not borrows, the head and not the tail. If you will just keep renewing your mind, agreeing with what God says about you, it's just a matter of time before that person comes out. When the thoughts tell you, "You're never going to change. It's never going to get any better". No, just remind yourself, "I'm being transformed. My metamorphous has already begun". That's how you release the full you.
I know people, they have incredible talent. They have so much to offer. The problem is they've never gone through their transformation. They're allowing the same negative recording to play in their mind all day long. Your life is going to follow your thoughts. If you think you've reached your limits then you have. If you don't think you can break that addiction then you won't. You have to change your thinking.
Some of you have been in your cocoon way too long. God is ready to take you to a new level. He's ready to release a new wave of his favor. Now you've got to rise up and say, "That's it. I'm done thinking these wormy thoughts. It's my time to be transformed. I know I am forgiven. I am redeemed, talented, creative, disciplined. I am well able".
Listen, that's not just being positive. That's renewing your mind. When you do that I can see part of your wing coming out. I can see that leg breaking through the cocoon. You keep that up and before long you'll release the full you. You'll be transformed into a beautiful butterfly soaring to places that you've never dreamed of.
This is what my father had to do. Daddy grew up in a very poor family. His parents were cotton farmers. They lost everything during the great depression. They were good people but they had very little vision. When my father gave his life to Christ at seventeen years of age, he felt something stirring on the inside. A still small voice started telling him, "John, you were made for more. Break out of the mold. Rise out of this. Set a new standard for your family".
What was that? The butterfly trying to come out. His parents, every voice said, "John, you'd better not leave the farm. You better play it safe and stay here and pick cotton with us the rest of your life". No offense to them but those were wormy thoughts. People will try to keep you in your cocoon. People will tell you what you can't do, what you can't become.
My father had to reprogram his thinking from a barely get by mentality, poverty mindset, to "I am the head and not the tail. I will lend and not borrow. The favor of God surrounds me. Where I am is not where I'm staying". He broke out of that cocoon and he released the butterfly on the inside. But some people, like that worm, they're still kind of squirming around but God has destined you to soar.
There is a butterfly in you. There is victory, freedom, excellence. It's all on the inside. But you've got to do your part and go through the transformation. A lot of us, like my father, we were programmed by the people that raised us or by what somebody has spoken over us. Maybe they were good people but now that programming is limiting us. As long as you think that you've gone as far as you can then you'll stay in your cocoon.
If you think, "I can't break this addiction. I've had it too long". "I'll never get well". "I'm not that good of a parent". That's going to keep your butterfly from being released. The transformation takes place when you renew your mind. Program your thinking with what God says about you. God says, "The path of the righteous gets brighter and brighter". All through the day, "I'm rising higher. I haven't seen my best days. Something good is going to happen to me". As you meditate on that day in and day out you're breaking out of that cocoon. A wing is starting to come out. People may have spoken negative things over you but the good news is people don't determine your destiny. You are not who people say you are. You are who God says you are.
I know this gentleman named Robert. He grew up with a step-father that was always putting him down. He was told again and again how he was slow, couldn't do anything right. "Why can't you be more like your brother"? He was young. He didn't know any better. He let those negative thoughts program his thinking. He was very insecure, intimidated, no dream for his life. When he graduated from high school he got a job as a janitor at a small office complex.
One day his mother remarried. This new step-father was just the opposite. He was constantly telling Robert what he could become, how talented he was and how there was a bright future in front on him, speaking faith into him, reprogramming his thinking. He asked Robert what he wanted to do with his life, what his dream was. Robert said, "I just want to work as a janitor. I just want to stay at this small office complex". He'd had years of wormy thoughts put into him. They don't go away overnight.
The step-father said, "Listen, Robert. You have so much more in you. I'll make a deal with you. If you'll go to college, I'll pay for every book, every course, every meal, every degree". When Robert heard that something came alive on the inside. Nobody had ever invested in him. Nobody had ever called out his seeds of greatness. He went to college and in four years he got his bachelor's degree with honors. He decided to go on and get his masters. He went after that and got a doctorate. He wasn't finished. He went to seminary and got another degree. After four degrees his step-father said, "I'm done, Robert. You're on your own".
Today, Robert is doing great things, living a life of victory, helping others. But it would have never happened if he had not renewed his mind. He had to get rid of the wrong programming that had been put into him. When he started dwelling on the right thoughts, thoughts of faith, victory, favor, can do thoughts, that's when the transformation took place. He released his butterfly, so to speak.
Now maybe some of you have had negative things spoken over you like Robert. People have told you what you can't do, what you're not going to become. No, let me tell you who you really are. God says you are blessed. You are talented. You are valuable. You are confident. You have been handpicked by the Creator of the universe. Now quit dwelling on what people say you are and program your mind with who God says you are.
On the inside of you right now is a victorious, successful, not average, not mediocre, world changer, history maker, just waiting to break out. I'm asking you to release the full you. You are destined to leave your Mark on our generation. There is no limit to what God can do in you and through you when you reprogram your thinking and start believing that you're blessed, valuable, one of a kind, more than a conqueror. When you renew your mind, transformations take place.
When I first started ministering back in 1999 I was so nervous. I didn't think I could do this. Every voice told me, "Joel, you better not get up there in front of people. You're going to make a fool of yourself. You're not going to know what to say. Nobody is going to listen to you". I've learned, the enemy doesn't fight you for where you are. He fights you for where you're going. He would love to keep you in your cocoon thinking these wormy thoughts. He doesn't want you to break out and soar and live an overcoming life. He wants you to struggle, be insecure, be burdened by addictions and bad habits.
It all starts in our mind. If he can control your thoughts he can control your whole life. I had to do what I'm asking you to do. All through the day, "I can do all things through Christ. I am strong in the Lord. If God be for me who dare be against me"? I did that month after month. Little by little I started breaking out of my cocoon. A wing started to come out.
The first couple of years I was so insecure. If I heard one negative comment I would get discouraged. I would try to change and make sure everybody liked me. But as I continued to renew my mind, I realized I didn't need people's approval. I have Almighty God's approval. What was happening? More of my wing was coming out. A little bit of my leg pushed through that cocoon.
The truth is, today, I'm not totally transformed yet but at least I'm not still in that cocoon. At least I'm not still crawling around thinking those wormy thoughts. When I compare myself now to when I started fourteen years ago, in one sense, I'm not the same person. I'm not nervous. I'm not insecure. I'm confident in who God made me to be. If somebody doesn't like me it doesn't bother me the least bit. I'm happy. I'm blessed. That's what it means to be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Now, maybe you're not totally out yet either but don't get discouraged. God is still working on you. Every day you think the right thoughts you are breaking out of that cocoon a little bit more. At the right time you're going to take off and God is going to take you places that you could never go on your own.
A man in the scripture by the name of Gideon. God wanted him to lead the people of Israel against an opposing army. But Gideon had all these wormy thoughts. He was stuck in his cocoon. One day the angel of the Lord appeared unto him and said, "Hello Gideon, you mighty man of fearless courage". I can imagine Gideon looking around thinking, "Who is he talking about? I am not a mighty man of fearless courage".
Gideon was afraid, intimidated, insecure, just the opposite. But notice, God didn't call him what he was. God called him what he could become. God sees your potential. God knows what you're capable of. You may feel weak but God calls you strong. You may be intimidated today but God calls you confident. You may feel less than. God calls you well able.
If the angel of the Lord were to appear to you today he would say the same thing he said to Gideon. "Hello Mary, you mighty woman of fearless courage". "Hello Frank, you mighty man of fearless courage". "Hello people of Lakewood, you mighty people of fearless courage". Why don't you get in agreement with God and start believing what he says about you?
Gideon answered the angel back in verse fifteen. He said, "How am I supposed to save Israel? I come from the poorest family in all of Manasseh and I am the least one in my father's house". Notice those wormy thoughts. A lot of times, like Gideon, we do the same thing. "I can't do anything great. I'm not that talented. If I was a different nationality. If I had a better personality, Joel. If I hadn't made so many mistakes". Get rid of the excuses. You are equipped. You are empowered. You already have everything you need to fulfill your destiny. It's in you right now. Now you've got to do your part to bring it out.
I read about an older gentleman. He lived in a small hut on an island out in the south pacific. He was a well-known sculptor. He had spent his whole life working with wood and carving different items, very talented. One day he was walking by this beautiful plantation. The wealthiest man on the island lived there. He saw these big tree trunks that had been cut down and were piled up in a big stack. He asked the owner what they were going to do with them. The owner said, "Oh, they're trash. They're useless. We're just going to haul them away". He said, "Do you mind if I could have one of those"? The owner looked at him kind of strange and said, "You want an old dead piece of useless wood? Go ahead and take it".
He hauled it away on his wagon and got it to his hut and stood it up on the inside. He began to walk around it very slowly, carefully, analyzing it, thinking about it. It's as if he was trying to release something that was trapped on the inside. A couple of hours later he started carving away, whittling with precision, day after day. Two weeks after that he had carved the most beautiful eagle you could ever imagine. It was majestic looking, had its wings out, head back, soaring through the air. He put it on the front porch of his little hut.
One day it just so happened that plantation owner was walking by, saw the eagle, and was so impressed. He walked up to it and began to marvel at the detail and how magnificent it was. He said to the man, "Where in the world did you get this? I'd like to buy this from you". The sculptor kind of laughed and said, "No, sir. It's not for sale". He was insistent. He said, "Name your price. I'll pay you whatever you want". The sculptor finally said, "Alright. How about $500"?
The man paid him and as they were walking away with it the sculptor said, "Sir, I don't know if you realize this but you just bought back the piece of useless wood that you gave me several weeks ago". The next day the sculptor walked by the plantation. There was a sign out front. It said, "Tree trunks for sale. $500 dollars each". He learned his lesson.
But here's my point. The sculptor saw something in that discarded piece of wood that other people could not see. The plantation owner saw it as trash, useless, as of no value, but the sculptor was able to look beyond the outside, beyond the flaws and he saw it's potential. He knew what it could become. It's the same way with our God. Your Creator can see things in you that other people cannot see.
Sometimes people will try to push you down, make you feel insignificant. Sometimes our own thoughts will try to convince us that we don't measure up. But God looks beyond the surface, beyond the mistakes we've made, beyond what somebody said about you and God sees your incredible value. You may think, "Joel, I've messed up. I have blown it. I have failed. I'm all washed up". No, God still sees the eagle in you. God doesn't just see what you are. He sees what you can become. Now you've got to do your part. Get rid of those condemning thoughts. Get rid of what somebody has spoken over you and start renewing your mind. Down deep start believing that you are redeemed, restored, talented, valuable. Even if you have made mistakes believe that you can still release the full you. Let me tell you, God can still get you to where he wants you to be.
I think about Jacob. He didn't have a lot of character. He was dishonest. He cheated people. He even tricked his own brother out of his own birthright. He had a lot of flaws. He would be somebody we would compare to that discarded piece of wood. "Surely, God wouldn't have anything to do with him. Surely, God would find somebody more perfect". No, God doesn't judge the way we judge. God doesn't look on the outside. God looks at the heart.
Even when we make mistakes God doesn't write us off. He doesn't say, "You had your shot. You're done". No, God always gives us another chance. Why? Because God can see the eagle in the wood. He can see the butterfly in the worm. He can even see a champion in a failure. But it's up to us. The only way the transformation will take place is you have to believe that you are forgiven. Believe that there is mercy for every mistake. Believe that you are who God says you are.
One time in the old testament an army invaded Jerusalem, kidnapped some of the people and killed their king. For the first time the people of Israel were without a leader. They were discouraged, didn't know what to do. As they sat there thinking that it was over, the prophet Micah rose up and said, "Hey, why are you crying? Why are you discouraged? Is there not a king in you"?
I believe God is saying the same thing to each one of us. "There's a king in you". You may have made mistakes but the king is still in you. You may have gone through disappointments. People may have treated you unfairly. You missed good opportunities. But let these words sink deep down into your spirit. "The king is still in you". "The queen is still in you". You need to put your shoulders back. Hold your head up high. Carry yourself with confidence. You have royal blood flowing through your veins. You are wearing a crown of favor. I'm not looking at ordinary people. I'm looking at royalty. I can see kings. I can see queens. I can see your crown of favor. I can see your robe of honor. I'm looking at children of the Most High God.
Now you've got to start calling out that king, calling out that queen. You've got to release what God put on the inside. Well, you say, "Joel, this is not for me today. I've made lots of mistakes. I've lived a rough life". No, that didn't change what God put in you. You couldn't be any worse than Jacob. He failed again and again but God's mercy is from everlasting to everlasting. It never runs out. God will never give up on you. God kept working on Jacob, making him and molding him.
One day God said, "Jacob, I'm going to change your name". His name literally meant, "Deceiver". God said, "I don't want you to be called that anymore. You've gone from a worm to a butterfly, from a discarded piece of wood to a beautiful eagle. Your new name is going to be Israel". Israel means, "Prince with God". He went from being called a cheater to being called a king.
Now when somebody said, "Hello, Israel," they were saying, "Hello, king". They were calling out his seeds of greatness. They were prophesying, reminding him who he really was. No doubt he started thinking, "I'm not a cheater. I'm not a deceiver. I'm not a trickster. I'm a prince. I'm a king. I've been chosen by God. I've got a destiny to fulfill. I've got an assignment to accomplish". He renewed his mind and that's when the transformation took place.
Some of you, the only thing that's holding you back is your thoughts toward yourself. You're focused on your mistakes, how you blew it, how you didn't measure up. You've got to reprogram your thinking. Get rid of those wormy thoughts. All through the day, "I'm redeemed, restored. I am royalty. I am more than a conqueror". I believe today is going to be the start of some transformations.
Some metamorphoses are about to take place. You need to get ready. Talent is going to come out of you that you didn't know you had. Strongholds of inferiority are being broken. You're going to feel a new boldness, a new confidence to step into the fullness of your destiny. Some of you have one wing out. And that's good. But God doesn't want you to stay in your cocoon. He didn't create you to squirm. He created you to soar. It's time to get the other wing out.
If you will start renewing your mind, programming it with what God says about you, then you're going to release the full you. I'm calling out the confident you. I'm calling out the successful you, the blessed you, the talented you, the disciplined you, the excellent you. I believe and declare the king in you is coming out. The eagle in you is coming out. The butterfly in you is coming out. You're not going to stay where you are. You're being transformed. You're going to soar and go places that you could have never gotten to on your own. In Jesus's name.