Joel Osteen - A Public Display
I want to talk to you today about A Public Display. What God is going to do in your life is not just going to be in private, where nobody sees it, in the background, hidden. God is going to do something in public. He's going to show out, to where you not only see his power, but people around you see his power. It's one thing when God does something in secret, he turns a problem around, nobody knows about it, shows you a favor in private, but when God brings you out in public, it's a different story. When people were trying to discredit you, push you down, but God opened the door, you couldn't open, promoted you, when you didn't have the qualifications, put you in a position of influence.
When he gives you a public display, you don't have to enter your critics - God does. When it looked like you had reached your limits, relatives laughed when you told them you were going to pay your house off, they shook their heads, thinking you're kind of far out, but when you come into an explosive blessing, blessings that catapult you ahead, they won't be shaking their heads in disapproval, they'll be shaking their heads in amazement. God is going to show out not only to take you into your destiny, but to prove to other people: the Lord is on your side. What he's about to do in your life publicly, is not going to leave any doubt. It's one thing to say the Lord is on your side, it's another to see the Lord is on your side. You've been saying it, you've been faithful, believing, expecting, get ready, you're about to see it. God is going to do something so big, so unusual, there won't be any doubt to you and to people around you, that his favor is on your life..
God said in Exodus 34:10, I will perform wonders never done before anywhere on earth. All the people around you will see the awesome power I display through you. God is about to display through you awesome power. He could display it through anything: through nature, through creation, through the weather, but he said: I'm gonna display it through you. He's about to do something unprecedented something, that causes you to stand out, where there's no explanation. That sickness should have been the end, the medical report said you were done, but you defied the odds, you overcame it - God displayed his awesome power. Or some of the people you grew up with, they're still struggling, can't get ahead, in dysfunction, look at you: blessed, prosperous, living at a different level. Or maybe you weren't the most qualified, you didn't have the experience, but your business took off. You didn't have to find clients, they found you. That's God displaying his awesome power.
Awesome means it's not going to be ordinary, it's going to be unusual, not natural, supernatural. That's what this building is, the former Compaq Center an awesome display of God's power. We were up against opponents, that were bigger, stronger, had more resources. Critics laughed people, made fun, said we were wasting our time. But sometimes God will let you get in a situation, where there's no possible way out, so when he turns it around, everyone will know, it was him: there won't be any doubt it was the hand of God. Now, your situation may seem impossible, it's no way you can accomplish your dream, no way you'll get well, no way you can pay your house off, you're so in debt. It's a setup, God is about to display his awesome power, not just so you can see it, but so other people can see it.
David said: God prepares a table before for me in the presence of my enemies. Not private, not hidden, God is going to show out, so your enemies, the opposition, the critics, will all see you promoted, honored, in a position of influence - a public display. That's why you don't have to prove to people who you are, you don't have to try to convince them to like you. You don't have time to waste worried about people that are not for you, keep running your race, honoring God, and at some point he's going to show out in such a way, that your critics can't deny the favor on you. They may not like you, but they will respect you. The same people, that didn't want us to have that building, every time they drive by on the freeway, they may not like it, but they can't deny: the Lord was on our side. God has some of these public displays for you. Not a secret sign, not in private, he's going to show out, to prove to people who you are.
David said in Psalm 86:17, God make a show of how much you love me, so the bullies that hate me will stand there slack-jawed. That means in astonishment. David knew what it was like to have opposition, people slandering him, people that didn't believe in him, his brothers made fun of him, his father discounted him. When he told king Saul, he wanted to fight Goliath, Saul thought he was kidding. David was a teenager, didn't have any training. When Goliath saw David and how small he was, he thought it was a joke. What's interesting, is David could have defeated Goliath in private, they could have been alone in a deserted part of the valley, nobody around, still would have been a great miracle, but God knows, there are times, where he has to bring you out in public, so all your friends and your enemies, those that are for you and against you will see firsthand the favor on your life.
When David faced Goliath, all the Philistine army was on the mountainside watching, the Israeli army on the other side, king Saul was out there, other leaders, people from the town. They all heard about this big fight, it was like the superbowl, everyone came out to see. And the odds were so against David, it was almost comical. Goliath stood over nine feet tall, he was their most experienced fighter. David was a teenager, no armor, no training. When he ran out to face Goliath, all the eyes were on him, was the moment, they were waiting for. He slung that rock, it hit Goliath in the forehead, knocked him to the ground unconscious. David went over and took Goliath own sword and cut his head off.
Everyone stood there in astonishment, slack-jawed. They couldn't believe what they had just seen. Instantly David had influence, credibility, honor, respect. Instead of making fun of him, dismissing him, now when they talked to David it was: "Yes sir", "No sir", "Whatever you say, sir", everything changed. His family never treated him the same way. His father now recognized the anointing on his life. Even the Philistines, the opposition, they didn't like him, but they couldn't deny: the Lord was on David's side.
Like David, God has some of these times, where he's going to prove to people who you are, he's going to open doors, you couldn't open, help you accomplished, what you couldn't accomplish on your own, help you defeat giants, that look much bigger. Everyone will see his hand on your life. He is not going to do it in secret, it's going to be a public display.
A gentleman was in town several years ago for treatment at the medical center, he had a rare form of cancer. The physician treating him was a specialist in that area, a very well-known in the medical field, one of the best in the world. Even with the treatment, he'd given the man only three years to live. This man told the doctor, that he was going to pray, he believed that God could heal him. Well, the doctor came from overseas, he doesn't have any kind of faith, he's a nice man, but he smiled and said: unfortunately, this type of cancer doesn't respond to prayer, he had never seen anyone recover from it. And he was respectful, he just saw it from a scientific point of view.
Several months later the man went back to see how the treatment was working. The doctor came in, looked at his chart and seemed puzzled, thought it was the wrong one. Went out, came back in a little later, he showed the men the old chart compared it to the new, and said: in 40 years of practice, I have never seen this, but I don't see the cancer anymore. The doctors stood there in astonishment, he asked the man, if he would write down what he prayed, how long he prayed, everything he did, so he could include it in his research. What was that? A public display. God showed his awesome power through this man, not just to heal him, but so other people would see the hand of God. That doctor will never be the same. He may not be a believer yet, but a seed was planted in his heart.
And it's significant that David prayed: God, make a show of how much you love me. He was releasing his faith, saying God, I believe, you can take me where I can't go on my own. I wonder what would happen, if we would start praying: God, make a show of how much you love me. Display your awesome power through me. Let me not only see your goodness, but use me to show other people, how great you are. First kings 18, 450 false prophets that worship the god Baal, came against Elijah. Didn't look like he had a chance, it was all of them against him. They agreed to settle their feud by having a contest, they would both make an altar and put wood on it, and the God who started the fire, started the wood on fire, would be the true God.
And sometimes like Elijah you find yourself in a situation, where you feel outnumbered. The sickness seems bigger, the opposition stronger, the addiction to powerful: it's easy to get discouraged and shrink back. You have to do like him, don't be intimidated by what's against you, the battle is not yours, the battle is the Lord's. God did not bring you this far to leave you, he allowed that situation, so he could display his awesome power through you. In every circumstance may say: you'll never get out, never get well, the obstacles too big - stay in faith, God has your back. It was 450 against one, but what the prophets of Baal didn't realize, is Elijah had the Most High God on his side.
They built their altar, put the wood on it, started praying, dancing, begging, shouting hour after hour. Everyone watching, nothing happened. Finally Elijah said: it's my turn. He put the rocks down, put the wood on top of it. Then he told them to pour water on the wood: not once, not twice, but three times. He wanted to make sure, that when it caught fire, they would know, it wasn't a coincidence, it wasn't just an act of nature, it was the hand of God. Verse 36, Elijah prayed: God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob prove today that you are the Lord and that I am your servant. Answer me so these people will know you are God. Think of the boldness that took. You know, it's one thing to pray and believe, and God doesn't answer our prayer, no big deal, we'll pray again tomorrow, we'll keep believing it. Elijah didn't have this option. His life was on the line. It was: God either show up or I'm done. Soon as he finished praying, fire flashed down from heaven, burned it all up. Everyone fell on their face and said: Elijah, your God is the true God.
God is going to do some things in your life, where he doesn't just bring you out, he gives you a public sign. People around you may not believe yet, but when God displays his awesome power through you, when he promotes you, when other we're trying to push you down, when he takes you the levels you've never dreamed, they won't be able to deny it, they're going to know - he is God. Elijah prayed: God, prove that you are the Lord and prove that I am your child. Now God doesn't have to prove anything, he's God, whether we believe it or not, but sometimes he will prove to other people, that you are his child. When you face difficult situations, you feel outnumbered, the giant seems too big, if you do like Elijah and say in humility: God, proved that I'm your child, free me from this addiction, turn my marriage around, restore my health, bring this dream to pass, if you'll ask big, God will show out big. He'll prove not only to you, but the people around you, that you are his child and he is on your side.
What's interesting is, when the fire hit it not only burned up the wood, fire is supposed to do that, not only evaporated the water, that's normal, but the scripture says, the rocks were burned up, it was all gone. Rocks don't normally burn, but when God shows out in your life, he's going to change what looks permanently. Maybe your child has been off course for years, you don't think you could break the addiction, you feel stuck in your career, have big obstacles in your path, don't worry, God knows how to burn up the rocks. When he shows out, the baby will be conceived, the loan will go through, your child will fulfill his destiny, your health will turn around, he's a supernatural God. Get ready, he's about to burn up some rocks, he's about to move what looks permanent. It's not just going to surprise you, it's going to surprise the people around you.
Growing up we knew a man, that owned a company, that moved houses. He was an unusual man, full of faith, he would believe for anything. One day he had traveled for hours down these country roads, moving a house. They finally made it to their location. When they started to unload the house, the man realized, he forgot to bring his main chain. Without that chain, he couldn't finish. He was so disappointed, they were way out in the country, a couple of hours from the nearest town, looked like he'd have to come back the next day. He was about to leave, when he decided to pray. He told the people around him, they kind of laughed and what are you gonna pray about? He said: I'm gonna pray, that God will give me a chain. Now they really laughed. One of them said: what do you think, God's gonna rain down a chain from heaven? They were all making fun, laughs. And he said: I don't know, but the scripture says, you have not because you ask not.
What has he said: Lord, you can do anything, you control the universe, I'm asking you to give me a chain, so we don't have to waste a day and come back tomorrow. They were standing on the side of this country road, there was a big curve right in front of them. About that time this old pickup truck came speeding down the road, it had its tailgate down. When it took that turn going way too fast, a chain slung out of the back of the pickup bed, slid across the road, ended up right at the man's feet. He picked it up, said: I got my chain man, let's go to work. Sometimes God will show out in your life not so much for your sake, but to show other people that the Lord is on your side. Those men stood there in astonishment. When they prayed, no more making fun, they listen.
Where are the people, that will do like this man and believe: God wants to display awesome power through you, people that believe, God wants to make it an example of his goodness. It's good to read about God's power, it's good to talk about it, good to remember it, but God wants you to experience it. He wants to show out in your life in a new way. When you do like David: God, make a show of your favor, that's when God will make things happen, that not only amaze you, but amaze the people around you.
A lady I know was on a flight a while back. A friend of hers on that same flight became ill, her heart started racing, blood pressure went up, she thought, she's gonna pass out. This lady heard about it and rushed back to her seat and kind of knelt down this beside her in the aisle and started praying for her. Everyone was watching, all this commotion. As she prayed, the young lady's heart rate begin to go back down, and the dizziness begin to go away. The man in the seat behind them was so impressed, he said to the lady: what was it about your prayer, that did that? All of the sudden, turbulence hit the plane, started going up and down, everybody holding on for dear life. This was making, that young lady's heart start racing again. For about ten or fifteen seconds this lady prayed: Lord, let these winds calm down. Right when she said it, the plane went back to normal, all the turbulence stopped. That man's eyes got this big. He said, lady where did you get this kind of power? She said it's not me, it's my God. When you believe that God wants to show out in your life, and you have the boldness to ask, God will display awesome power through you and other people will notice.
When the three Hebrew teenagers wouldn't bow down to the king Nebuchadnezzar's golden idol, he was so furious, he had them thrown into a fiery furnace. When the guard opened the door, it was so hot, he was instantly killed. Those teenagers shouldn't have made it anytime, but in a few minutes, the king went over to the furnace looked in the window, didn't see three people he saw four, and one looked like the son of God. It's a great miracle, that they weren't hurt. But that's not the only reason God did it, it was so other people would be changed. He's going to display power through you, so people around you will know: he is God. After the teenagers came out unharmed, king Nebuchadnezzar said: praise be to the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. A few hours earlier he didn't believe in their God, he was against them and everything they stood for. Now he's giving God praise. Why? God displayed awesome power through those teenagers.
That's what God is going to do for you: he's going to open doors you couldn't open, thrust you to new levels, cause you to overcome what looked impossible. The king went on to issue a decree, it said: if anyone said against the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, they will be destroyed, for no other God can save like their God. But words don't always affect people. You can try to convince them, debate with them, but when they see you go to levels you couldn't reach on your own, when they see you come out of the fiery furnace, beat the cancer, break the addiction, when they see the chain curling up at your feet, opportunities chasing you down, they will know, the Lord is on your side. Like Nebuchadnezzar they will want what you have. God is not going to do this all in private, in hidden, he's going to give you a public sign. Something so amazing, that people notice.
Before Paul was the apostle, that wrote almost half of the New Testament, his name was Saul. He was the greatest enemy of the church. He had believers arrested and put in prison. But on the road to Damascus, a bright light shine down, knocked him off his animal. At that moment God revealed himself to him, he became a believer. It was big news, a complete turnaround. Paul saw amazing things happen in like. One time he was on an island, he'd been shipwrecked, he went to pick up firewood a poisonous snake bit his wrist. He should have swollen up and died, he just shook it off, went about his business - never affected him. Another time at midnight in prison, in the deepest dungeon, as he and silas were singing praises, there was a great earthquake, the prison doors flung open, chains fell off their feet, they walked out his free man. When the jailer, the one in charge of making sure they didn't escape realized what happened, he went and found them and said?: what must I do to be saved?
Paul's life was full of miracles and awesome displays of God's power. In verse 26 he had been arrested and brought to the city of Caesarea, he was on trial, defending himself before king agrippa and the rest of the council. As he told them about the events of his life and what brought him there. In verse 26 he said: I'm sure, these events are familiar to you, because they were not done in a corner. What God is about to do in your life, is not going to be done in a corner, in hidden, where nobody notices, people are going to see the favor, see the protection, the promotion, the abundance. Some people think you've reached your limits, that you'll never get out of that problem, never get well, that you don't have the talent. They're going to see God take you to levels, you've never dreamed. They're going to see you accomplish things that bigger than you've ever imagined. It's not only going to amaze you, it's going to amaze them. It's not going to be done in a corner. God is not going to do all this in private, it's going to be a public display.
Now, you may have some obstacles in your path, feels like you're stuck - it's a setup. God allowed it, so he can show out in your life. He's about to do something unprecedented. Get ready for new ground, get ready to go where you couldn't go on your own. Every morning get up and say like David: God, make a show of how much you love me. If you'll do this, I believe and declare, God is about to display his awesome power through you, new doors are going to open, new opportunities, healing, favor, breakthroughs. People are going to know, the Lord is on your side, in Jesus name.