Joel Osteen — What's On Your Throne?
I want to talk to you today about, "What's on your throne". We all face situations where we don't see how they're going to work out. The medical report wasn't good, our child got off course, we had a setback in our finances. If we're not careful, we'll let that problem consume us. That's all we think about. We go around worried, stressed out. We can't sleep at night. The whole time, God is in control but the mistake we make too often is we take God off the throne and we put our problem on the throne.
What you constantly think about, what you're giving all your attention to, you're putting it on the throne. When you're always thinking about the goodness of God and you go through the day thanking him, knowing that he's fighting your battles, you're worshiping God. It's the same principle if you go around worried about your problem, wondering how it's going to work out, stressed out over your health, reliving an offense, you are worshiping the problem. Your whole outlook would change if you would simply take the problem off the throne and put God back up on the throne.
You may be facing an illness. It's easy to go around letting the medical report play over and over, thinking of all the reasons why you're not going to get well. The more you dwell on it, the more discouraged you're going to become. You have to take the medical report off the throne. You may be fighting cancer. Don't let cancer get on the throne. Don't let that sickness become bigger than our God.
When David faced Goliath, he never called him a giant. He never said, "Look how big he is. He's so strong, I don't have a chance". He called him "An uncircumcised Philistine". He downplayed his size. The truth is Goliath was giant. He was twice David's size. But David understood this principle: he didn't put Goliath on the throne, he kept his God on the throne. He said to Goliath: "You come against me with a sword and a spear but I come against you in the name of the Lord God of Israel". Cancer has a name but there is a name that's higher. That sickness may be big but it's no match for our God. Keep him on the throne.
Quit thinking about how big the problem is and start thinking about how big your God is. Medical science doesn't have the final say. People have limitations. God is limitless. We are natural, God is supernatural. He has all power. He can do what medicine cannot do. But here's the key. If he's not on the throne you're not giving him permission. God works where there's an attitude of faith. You can't have the medical report on the throne, living worried, stressed, afraid, and have God on the throne at the same time. There's just room for one.
What's on your throne? Cancer would love to get on the throne. The past, a mistake you made, your insecurities, an offense. It's time to dethrone those things. It's time to put the Most High God back where he belongs on your throne. He's in control, he has you in the palm of his hand. Nothing you're facing is too much for him, and instead of dwelling on all the negative, the worry, the past, the problem, the addiction, start dwelling on the greatness of our God. David said, "I don't look to the mountains for help. I look to the God who made the mountains," and it's a powerful thing when you can say, "God, you created the universe. You spoke worlds into existence. You flung stars into space and, God, I know you're bigger than this sickness, greater than this addiction, more powerful than this problem". What are you doing? Putting God on the throne.
My grandmother on my father's side of the family was a very feisty woman. She lived out in the country and didn't have much education. She only stood 5 feet tall but she would fight a tiger, and later in life she went to the doctor for a check-up. He ran some tests and said, "Miss Osteen, I'm sorry, but you have the beginning stages of Parkinson's disease". My grandmother didn't know what Parkinson's was but she knew she didn't want any part of it. She bristled back and said very sternly, "Sir, I do not have it. I refuse to have it. I'm too old to have it".
Grandmother went home and lived another 15 years and never did have Parkinson's Disease, and I realize we can't just wish something away but there's a spiritual principle. If you allow something to become big in your mind, if you let it consume you, you are giving it permission to happen. Be careful what you put on your throne. Don't give sickness permission. Don't give debt, lack, struggle, permission. Don't give hurt and offense permission. We can't stop these things from coming but we can keep them from getting on the throne. We don't have to let them consume us.
If my grandmother would have gone around worried, thinking about having Parkinson's, expecting to go downhill, she probably would have. In the scripture, Job said, "The thing I feared came upon me". He was saying, "What I gave permission to, what I made big in my mind, came to pass". Don't make the problem big. Do like David, downplay it. Keep it off the throne. Maybe you've been through an unfair situation. Somebody did you wrong, they cheated you in a business deal, they walked out of a relationship. Instead of letting it go, trusting God to be your vindicator, you held on to it.
Now you're living offended, no passion, replaying the hurt. The problem is you have the offense on the throne. As long as you think about it, replay what didn't work out, it's going to sour your life. You have to take that hurt off the throne. Nothing that's happened to you has to keep you from your destiny. God wouldn't have allowed it if it was going to stop your purpose. But it's easy to focus on what didn't work out, live offended, try to pay people back, prove to them that we can make it without them.
Quit letting that consume you. They hurt you once. Don't let them continue to hurt you by holding on to it. That's over and done. This is a new day. If you will take the hurt off the throne and put God back on the throne, he'll be your vindicator. He'll take what was meant for harm and use it to your advantage. He said he would pay you back double for the unfair things that have happened. But you have to do your part. Take the disappointment off the throne. Take the bad break off, the offense. God knows what happened. He's a God of justice. He wants to make up for the wrongs. He said, "Your latter days will be greater than your former days".
What's on your throne? The hurt, the offense, the bad break? It's time to dethrone those things. The truth is, we all go through unfair situations and things we don't understand. God is sovereign. It's interesting, the word "Sovereign" has the word "Reign" in it, R-E-I-G-N. God was showing us even when things happen that don't make sense, he's still in control. He's still directing our steps when the medical report wasn't good, when somebody did us wrong, when we lost our main client. God is sovereign, he reigns over those circumstances. It's easy to go around bitter and discouraged but if you'll put God back on the throne, he'll start reigning. He'll give you beauty for those ashes. He'll bring you through the difficulty better than you were before.
This is what Joseph did. He went through one bad break after another. Didn't make sense. He was doing the right thing but he was betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused, put in prison. He could have been discouraged, thought, "This isn't fair". But he understood that God is sovereign, that things are going to happen that we don't understand. He kept being his best and, despite all the people trying to push him down, God caused him to rise up.
People don't determine your destiny. They cannot stop God's plan for your life unless you allow them to, and God gave Joseph favor. The Pharaoh liked him so much that he brought Joseph out of prison and made him the prime minister of Egypt. Joseph went from being a slave to being in the palace. That's the sovereignty of God. He reigns when life isn't fair, and you may be in a situation now that doesn't make sense. You were doing the right thing but the wrong thing has happened. Are you going to let bitterness get on the throne, self-pity, discouragement? Or are you going to be a Joseph and keep God on the throne, knowing that he is sovereign and that it is all working for your good?
It takes faith to believe that God is in control when things seem out of control. You have to dig down deep and say, "God, I don't understand it, I don't like it, but I trust you. I believe that you're directing my steps". Psalm 47 says: "God reigns over the nations". The right attitude is, "God, you not only reign over the world but you reign over my circumstances. You reign over my health, over my finances, over my children, over my enemies". That opposition may look like it's bigger, more powerful, they have more resources, more influence, but when you have God on the throne, he is more powerful than anything that's trying to stop you.
One angel in the Old Testament defeated 185,000 of the enemies of God. The forces that are for you are greater than the forces that are against you. Now, keep doing the right thing. The battle may be taking longer than you thought. Joseph went through 13 years of injustice before he saw vindication and promotion. Keep being your best where you are. God sees what's happening. He's collected every tear that you've shed. Your time is coming. Your due season is on the way. Like Joseph, you're not going to just come through the difficulty, you're going to come out promoted, vindicated, to a new level of your destiny.
Perhaps you have a child that's off course. You could worry, lose sleep, believe the lies that he's never going to change. Or you can say, "God, you reign over my child. You have a hedge of protection around him. Thank you that my seed will be mighty in the land". Let God reign over your circumstances. Keep him on the throne. Your finances may be down, business is slow. Instead of complaining, turn it around: "God, you reign over my finances. Thank you for bringing customers, ideas, creativity, promotion. God, you said no good thing would you withhold because I walk uprightly. You said whatever I touch would prosper and succeed".
That's not just being positive: that's putting God on the throne. That's letting him reign. Or with your dreams, your goals. You may not see how you can accomplish them. You don't have the experience, the connections, the funding. Instead of giving up on it, "God, you reign over my dreams. Thank you for taking me where I can't go on my own, that you're opening doors that no man can shut, that you're bringing divine connections, people that will want to help me".
If you want God to reign you have to keep him on the throne, and sometimes the reason we're not seeing favor is we have doubt on the throne, thinking of all the reasons it's not going to happen: discouragement, what people have told us: self-pity, we've had bad breaks. Take all the negative off the throne. God wants to reign in your life in a new way. What he has in your future is going to boggle your mind. It is bigger, more exciting, more rewarding than you've ever imagined. He's saying to us today, "Take the worry off the throne. Take the bad break off the throne, the disappointment, the offense, and put me back on the throne".
He's bigger than what you're facing. He's more powerful than those enemies. He's a deliverer, he's a provider, he's a healer, he's a waymaker, he is sovereign. He reigns over everything that comes into your life. He may not have sent it, but if he allowed it he's in control. He knows how to bring good out of it, and if you'll put him on the throne and let him reign, he'll start raining down blessings, raining down favor, raining down healing, raining down vindication.
Friends, rain is in your forecast. I can see through my eyes of faith on that radar, rain is headed your way. God is about to turn situations around that looked permanent. You didn't think it'd ever change. No, get ready, rain is coming. Breakthroughs are coming, new levels are coming. That addiction, that sickness that you've been dealing with for years, things are about to turn in your favor. Freedom is coming, healing is coming. Not able to get ahead, the debt, the lack, good breaks are coming, increase is coming, abundance is coming. You may not see how this can happen. Don't worry, God is sovereign. He reigns. He has ways to do it you've never thought of.
Now do your part and keep him on the throne, and when you're tempted to worry, thoughts tell you, "Oh, this isn't going to happen for you. You'll never get well, never accomplish that dream," recognize what's happening: the doubt, the worry, the offense, it's trying to get back on the throne. You have to put your foot down and say, "No thanks. You are not welcome here. My throne is reserved for one, the Most High God".
But here's the key: every morning the problem will try to get back up on the throne. You don't take it off once and then you're done. You have to keep it off. All through the day, worry will try to creep back in, discouragement, self-pity. There's always something trying to get on the throne, and God said in Isaiah, "If you'll keep your mind stayed on me, I will keep you in perfect peace". He was saying, in effect, "If you'll keep me on the throne, if you'll say no to the worry, no to the doubt, no to the offense, then you will live a peaceful, victorious life".
I talked to a lady that had worked for this company for many years. Her supervisor resigned and she applied for the position. Out of all the candidates, some from other states, she was the most qualified, plus she had the advantage of knowing the company and knowing all the people. She was well-liked. Everyone was certain she would get the position. Much to her surprise, she was turned down. She could have gotten bitter, felt slighted, thought, "That's not fair". But she understood this principle: she didn't let bitterness get on the throne. She knew God was directing her steps and that he had closed those doors on purpose.
A few weeks later, out of the blue, she received a phone call from a company that she had never met. They asked if she was interested in a position. The pay was the same as the promotion at her company and she didn't really want to leave because she knew everyone there but she applied anyway. They called back and said, "We'd love to have you and if you'll accept we're not going to pay what was listed. We're going to pay 25% more". She took the job and said, "Joel, I've never been happier. It's been a perfect fit".
When you go through disappointments, closed doors, you'll be tempted to put the offense on the throne, the self-pity, the bitterness. Don't fall into that trap. God is ordering your steps. He can see things that you can't see. The disappointment, the closed doors, they are a test. God is seeing what are you going to do? If you'll keep your mind stayed on him, you'll pass that test and, like her, you'll come into promotion, healing, vindication, that you didn't see coming.
What's on your throne? Are you living offended, discouraged, upset? I wonder how much higher we would go, how much more favor we would see, if we would simply keep God on the throne. Sometimes, we're putting ourselves on the throne. We're stressed out, trying to fix everybody in our life and make a dream come to pass, make our house sell, make ourselves get well. You need to take yourself off the throne. You don't have to make everything happen in your own strength, and too often we're frustrated by things that only God can change. We're worried about something we have no control over.
Take the pressure off and live from a place of rest. His yoke is easy, his burden is light. You can't make yourself get well. Use commonsense but don't live stressed out, thinking you have to do a thousand things perfectly right before you can get better. God is the healer. Your intentions are good but you need to come down off the throne. Quit putting so much pressure on yourself. You will get well sooner if you will live in peace knowing that God is in control. He reigns over your health. That tells me if it's not your time to go, when you're in faith then that sickness cannot take your life.
The scripture says nothing can snatch you out of God's hands. Do your part but don't live frustrated, trying to make things happen that only God can make happen. We can't make people do what's right. We can pray for them, we can encourage them, but we can't control them. They have their own free will. Come down off that throne and say, "God, you reign over my loved one. You reign over my child. Thank you that he will fulfill his destiny". You have to turn them over to God. As long as you're on the throne, worrying, upset, then God will step back. But when you put him back on the throne, not only will you live more peacefully, but God will fight your battles.
2 Chronicles chapter 20, king Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah were surrounded by three major armies. They were outnumbered ten to one. They could have panicked, fallen apart, but Jehoshaphat called everyone together to pray. He said, "God, we have no power to stand against these vast armies in our own strength". He didn't deny the problem, he didn't act like it didn't exist. He admitted they were outnumbered but he didn't stop there.
He went on to say, "We don't know what to do but our eyes are upon you," and there's nothing wrong with saying, "God, this problem is bigger than me. These enemies are more powerful," but don't stop there. Follow it up with, "But, God, my eyes are upon you. I may not have the power but, God, I know you are all-powerful," and when you keep God on the throne, you'll be in peace when you could be panicked. You'll be praising when you could be complaining.
God told Jehoshaphat to put the singers and the praisers out in front and to march toward those three enemy armies. When they heard all the commotion, they got confused and began to fight among themselves. They ended up killing each other. When the people of Judah arrived, they didn't even have to fight. They just went in and gathered up the spoils. It took them three days to bring the supplies, the treasures, back home.
Like with them, on your own the problem may look too big. On your own you can't beat the cancer. On your own you'll never break the addiction. The good news is you're not on your own. You have the most powerful force in the universe on your side. What are you worrying about? What are you losing sleep over? What have you given up on? It's time to put God back on the throne. He's bigger than what you're facing. He has ways to turn it around that you've never thought of. You may not know what to do but when your eyes are upon him, he'll make a way where you don't see a way. He'll help you defeat enemies that are bigger and more powerful.
The other day I was at the airport, trying to download something on my phone before we took off. The little icon in the center kept going around and around, buffering, trying to load. I kept watching it, waiting and waiting. All it was doing was going in circles. Finally, it stopped buffering after about three minutes and it said, "Lost internet connection". When we worry, it's like we're buffering. Our mind is going around in circles: what are we going to do? What if it doesn't work out? This obstacle is too big.
Like my phone, the problem is you've lost your connection. You need to reconnect back to your source. God is saying, "Put me back on the throne. I'm in control of your life, I'm directing your steps, I already have the solutions". God has answers but when we worry, our mind is so cluttered we can't hear what he's saying. The scripture says be still and know that he is God. Take the worry off the throne. Worry drains your energy, takes your creativity, steals your joy. Quit thinking about the problem and start thanking God that he's working.
Instead of buffering: what if I don't make budget? What if my health doesn't improve? What if my child gets off course? Here's the difference: father, thank you that you're restoring health back into me. Thank you that my seed will be mighty in the land. Thank you that I will lend and not borrow. What are you doing? Reconnecting back to your source.
The Psalmist said, "God inhabits our praises". One version says: "He's enthroned in our praise". When you give God praise, you're putting him on the throne. Friends, life is too short to live worried, overwhelmed by problems, upset because somebody hurt us. I'm asking you to take that off the throne and put God back on the throne. Quit buffering and start praising. If you'll keep your mind stayed on him, I believe and declare, like Jehoshaphat, you're not only going to defeat enemies that are bigger, but you're going to gather up the spoils. God is about to increase you in unusual ways. You're going to rise higher, accomplish dreams, and reach the fullness of your destiny in Jesus's name.