Joel Osteen - You Are Fully Loaded
I want to talk to you today about "You are fully loaded". When God created you, he put in you everything you need to fulfill your destiny. God is a strategic God. He's not random. He didn't just create you and say, "Let's see what they can do. Let's see what happens". God is precise. He's intentional, down to the smallest detail, and when he laid out the plan for your life, he carefully studied it. He thought about what you would need, what it would take to get you there, then he matched you with your world. He gave you the talent you need, the creativity, the strength. You're the right size, you have the right looks, the right personality, the right family. You didn't get shortchanged. You are fully loaded and completely equipped for the race that's been designed for you.
Now quit wishing you were something different: "If I had a better personality, then I could do something great," "If I came from a different family," "If I wasn't so small, Joel..". Have a new perspective. If you needed to be taller, God would've made you taller. If you needed a different personality, he would've given you one. If you needed to be another nationality, you would be another nationality. God doesn't make mistakes. You're not faulty. You have been fearfully and wonderfully made. When God created the universe, when he flung stars into space, he said, "That was good". When he created mountains, oceans, sunsets, he said, "That was good". When he made animals, lions, eagles, butterflies, he said, "That was good". But when God created you, when he saw how magnificent you are, how strong, how attractive, how talented, God looked at you and said, "That was very good".
He didn't say the solar system was very good. He didn't say the rocky mountains were very good. The only time he used "Very good" is when he created you. In Ephesians, he calls you "A masterpiece". When the Creator of the universe says, "You are very good," that means you are bad to the bone! Now, don't go around feeling shortchanged, like somehow you're lacking, you didn't get enough, you can't do what they can do. If you didn't get what somebody else has, that means you don't need it. Quit comparing yourself and run your race. Be who God created you to be. You are an original. You have something to offer the world that nobody else has.
Let your gifts shine. Show your talent, your personality, your style. We don't need an imitation. We don't need a copy. We need the original you, but when we want what somebody else has, we wish we had their looks, their talent, their personality, the truth is, if you had it, it wouldn't be a blessing. It would be a burden. It wasn't designed for you. The reason it works for them is because it fits them. They're walking in their anointing. You are not anointed to be somebody else. As long as you're trying to be like them, you'll be frustrated. The anointing on your life is to be who God called you to be. Be confident in what you have. You have the right looks, the right talent, the right personality. It may not be what somebody else has, but you're not running their race.
When my father went to be with the Lord, he had pastored Lakewood for 40 years. I had been behind the scenes, doing the television production, and when he died, I'd only ministered one time, but I knew I was supposed to step up and pastor the church, but I thought I needed to be like my dad. After all, people had come to hear him for years, and I knew that's what they were expecting. The first few months, I tried to preach like my dad and lead like my dad, but it was a struggle. I had good intentions. I wanted to honor my father, but there's no grace on your life to be somebody else. One day, I read a scripture. It says in Acts, "David fulfilled his purpose for his generation". I heard something down in here say, "Joel, your father fulfilled his purpose. Now quit trying to be like him, and go out and fulfill your purpose". It was like a stronghold was broken in my mind. I realized I'm free to be me. I quit trying to imitate my father, and I stepped into my own anointing. That's when the ministry began to grow.
See, I've learned it's easy to be me. I don't have to pretend. I don't have to perform. Takes all the pressure off. I can relax and just be myself. When you're comfortable with who you are, when you're not trying to impress people, you're not trying to be something that you're not, then your own uniqueness will come out. You'll be more creative. Your talent will come out in greater ways. The right people will show up. Why? Because you've stepped into the anointing on your life. Be you. You are powerful when you're you. Here's a key: nobody can beat you at being you. You can be a better you than anybody in the world. You have an advantage. You've been anointed to be you.
When I minister, I'm more conversational, and I don't get real loud and real excited. But growing up, I used to think to be an effective minister, you had to be loud and forceful and dynamic, and I have minister friends that are that way, and they are very powerful. That's who they are. But I've learned when you're who you are, you can be quiet and be powerful. You can be small and be powerful. You can be behind the scenes and be powerful. The whole key is to be you because when you're you, you activate your anointing.
There's a favor, a blessing, a grace that is unique to your life. But too often, when we see someone that's more talented, more successful, more blessed, there's a tendency to be envious and think, "Why can't I do that? I want what they have". If we're not careful, before long, we'll be competing with them, trying to outperform them, out-dress them, outdrive them, out-work them. The problem is you're competing with someone that's not in your race. Your race is specifically for you. You're not in competition with your friends, your neighbors, your co-workers, your siblings. The only competition you have is with yourself, to be the best that you can be.
I realize I can't preach like Bishop Jakes, I can't sing like Steve Crawford, I can't do surgery like my brother Paul, but I can encourage someone. I can inspire a few people. I can smile. I'm good at that! Don't get distracted trying to keep up with someone you were never supposed to keep up with. When you understand you are fully loaded for the race that's been designed for you, instead of competing with people, you'll celebrate them. The right attitude is "They may have something that I don't, but that's okay. I'm not running their race. I'm equipped for my destiny".
This is why king Saul lost the throne. When he saw David rising higher than him, gaining more influence, instead of celebrating David, he became jealous. People started singing, "Saul has defeated thousands..". He was happy. "People are celebrating me. I've done something great"! But then the song continued, "And David has defeated tens of thousands". Saul couldn't handle anybody being in front of him. He didn't realize they weren't in the same race. He wasn't competing with David. If he would've been happy for him, he wouldn't have missed his destiny. When we start competing with people, we get distracted, we lose focus, and before long, we're wasting time on things that are not moving us toward our purpose.
I heard a quote: "Successful people are so focused on their own goals, they don't have time to look around to see what everybody else is doing". Run your race, and when somebody passes you by, don't be intimidated. Be inspired. If God did it for them, he can do it for you, but if you can't celebrate people that are further along than you, then you'll never get to where they are. You have to pass the test of being happy for people that have passed you up because there will be the tendency to be jealous, start finding fault, being critical: "Well, they don't deserve it. They're not that talented anyway. Let me tell you some bad things I heard about them". Don't fall into that trap. God showing them favor doesn't mean he's not going to show you favor. Be happy for them.
And when you see someone that's blessed, they're rising higher, it's easy to think, "Well, they've just had a lot of good breaks". What you may not realize is the favor on their life didn't come without pain. The promotion didn't come without struggles, without them fighting off discouragement, without them pressing forward when they felt like giving up. You don't know what it took for them to get where they are. Sometimes we come in at the end of the movie. We see everything working out. They're happy, blessed, successful. What we didn't see was the middle: the tears, the lonely nights, the struggles. Be big enough to celebrate what God's doing in their life. Don't be a Saul. Don't miss your destiny because you're sour that somebody passed you up. Their success is not stopping what God wants to do in your life. God didn't use up all of his favor on them.
It's a test. Are you going to compete with them and spend all your energy, trying to keep up, or are you going to celebrate what God has done? You can tell who your true friends are, not by who comes when you fall, when you make a mistake. People will feel sorry. They'll show up to help you. Your true friends are the ones that show up when you succeed. They celebrate when you're promoted. They're happy when God blesses you. They're high-fiving you when you move into that new house. You've heard the saying: "It's lonely at the top". It's because not everybody can handle your success, and too often people get envious, jealous, critical. Let's pass this test. When somebody passes you by, give them a high five and keeping running your race. Don't look to the left nor to the right. Keep being who God's made you to be.
One time I was out running through my neighborhood, and I saw this man in front of me about a quarter of a mile, and he was running too. I thought, "I'm going to catch him". I had about a mile to go before I needed to turn off and go down my path. I picked up the pace and started gaining on him and gaining on him, and I was feeling better, "Look what I'm doing"! Getting closer and closer, and I finally passed him up. I beat him! He didn't know we were racing, but I felt good about it! About that time, I realized I was so focused on catching him, I missed my turn. I had to turn around and go back about six blocks to where I was supposed to turn. That's what happens when we start competing with people. It's a distraction. We're running in a race we're not supposed to be in, competing with people that, many times, don't even know it. If that man knew we were racing, I'd probably still be trying to catch him. He would've sped up! Don't get distracted. Run your race.
In the scripture, John the baptist was baptizing people and gaining a lot of attention. One point, the Jewish leaders came and wondered if he was the Christ. Without missing a beat, John said, "I am not the Messiah". It's important to know not only who you are but to know who you're not. If you don't know this, you can spend your life trying to be something that you're not. John had no problem saying, "I am not the Messiah". He was saying, "I don't have to be the Messiah to feel good about myself. I'm content with who God made me to be". If you're trying to be something you're not, you'll be frustrated. There's no grace for it. It'll be a constant struggle, always like it's uphill. If Saul would've understood this, he could've kept the throne. If he would've accepted, "I am not David," "He's defeated tens of thousands," "He's done great things," "I've defeated a thousand," "God, you've blessed me," it would've been a different story.
Most of the time we're happy until we start comparing. When Saul heard the numbers, "David, tens of thousands," I can imagine him asking someone, "How many did they say David has defeated"? When they answered, "Tens of thousands," Saul's whole perspective changed. He was no longer content with his success. Now he was envious, jealous. He basically spent the rest of his life trying to be David. All he had to do was realize "I am not David. God has blessed him in a different way". We have to understand the sovereignty of God. May not seem fair to us, doesn't always make sense, but God's ways are not our ways, and the scripture talks about how God has given to every person different gifts, different talents, according to our own ability. Everyone doesn't get the same, but what he gave you is what you need to fulfill your destiny, and whether you're a Saul and you can defeat a thousand, or you're a David and you can defeat ten thousand, the right attitude is "I'm going to take what God's given me and make the most of it". Don't compete, don't compare, just run your race.
In the parable Jesus told of the talents, the owner gave one man one talent, another man two talents, and another man five talents. It seems like if God was fair, he would've given them all the same number, but God is sovereign. He may give you five talents and give me two talents. He's God. I can complain about the two, try to compete with you and outperform you, but that doesn't change the fact that you still have five, and I still have two. A better approach is to say, "God, I recognize you are sovereign, and before you gave me these two talents, I didn't have any. So instead of complaining about the two and competing with the five, I'm going to take these two talents and be the best that I can be". It takes a mature person to recognize what you're not, but knowing what you're not will help you stay focused on becoming who you are because there will always be pressures to be this, to be that, to be the other. Everyone will have opinions about you, but down in your heart, you know who you are. You can't let the outside pressures and other people squeeze you into becoming something that you're not.
When I first started ministering, I was young and didn't have much experience, and I had a lot of people giving me opinions. They told me how to lead the church, how to minister, what I should speak on, and sometimes it wasn't what they said, just what they inferred. I could feel the pressure to be who they wanted me to be, and they were good people, but people didn't breathe life into you. People didn't lay out your plan and purpose. People didn't put gifts and talents on the inside. I was always respectful, but I was firm. A lot of their advice, when I heard it, I knew it wasn't what God put in my heart, and I had to be bold and say, "I am not that. I am not that. I am not that. This is who I am". You have to be strong. It's your destiny. When you come to the end of life, you're not going to answer to people. You're going to answer to God, and people may mean well, they may love you, but if it doesn't bear witness in your spirit, you have to bold and say like, John, "That is not who I am".
Here's the key: you don't have to have a great gift for God to use you in a great way. You know what took David to the throne? It wasn't his leadership skills, his ability to write music, his personality, his size. What promoted David was his gift of slinging a rock. He was good with a slingshot. Out in the shepherds' fields, he had spent hours practicing as a teenager while he was taking care of his father's sheep. He could've thought, "God, why didn't you give me an impressive gift? Why did you just give me one talent? I'm an expert with a slingshot. Big deal. That's never going to take me any place, but if you'll be faithful with the gifts you have, if you'll develop it, grow, learn, get better, that gift will open doors to places you've never dreamed.
Don't discount your gift. It may seem small to you. Compared to others, it feels insignificant, but there is nothing ordinary about you. You have the fingerprints of God all over you. God made you in his own image. He crowned you with favor. You have royal blood flowing through your veins. Don't believe those lies: "There's nothing special about you," "You're not as talented as your brother," "You don't have a big personality like your friend," "You don't have the design skills like your co-worker". Maybe not, but you do have a slingshot. There's something God has given you, and that slingshot may seem ordinary, but when God breathes on it, you'll defeat a giant twice your size, you'll be promoted beyond your talent, you'll go places where you didn't have the experience. You weren't next in line, but suddenly the door opened, suddenly the Compaq Center is yours, suddenly people are celebrating you.
But too often, we look at others and think about how great they are. We put them on a pedestal, but God has put greatness in you. He's given you gifts, creativity, dreams. He created you to leave your mark on this generation. You're not supposed to live and die and nobody knew you were here. There is something significant about you, something that will cause you to stand out where, years from now, people will look back and say, "You made the world a better place". Stir up those gifts. Stir up that faith. Don't get so caught up in celebrating others that you don't recognize there's something in you to be celebrated.
Jeremiah said, "Your word, o Lord, is like fire shut up in my bones". There is something shut up in you, something big that's about to be released: dreams, books, movies, inventions, businesses, ministries, potential that you haven't tapped into, gifts and talents that you didn't know were there. You haven't seen them yet because it hasn't been the right time, but your season is coming: the good break, the promotion, the opportunity, it's on the way. Now, don't be surprised if there's opposition. That promotion may be disguised as Goliath. That giant looks like it's there to stop you, but it's a setup. It's going to thrust you to a new level. You're going to discover what the slingshot was all about.
It was a test. You proved your faithfulness: you did the right thing when nobody was watching, you kept a good attitude when it wasn't fair, you celebrated others when you could've been jealous. Now your time is coming. What's been shut up in your spirit is about to be released. It's going to be bigger, more rewarding, more fulfilling than you ever imagined. It's not going to come through your neighbor, through your cousin, through your boss, through your pastor. It's going to come through you. It's your baby. It's your time to be celebrated.
This is what happened in the scripture with Sarah. She and her husband Abraham were very old. Sarah had been barren her whole life and not able to have children, but in Genesis 17, God said to Abraham, "I will give Sarah a son. She will be the mother of nations. Kings of people will come out of her". Every circumstance said it was impossible: she was out in the desert, no fertility treatments, no medical procedures, 80 years old, yet God said, "You have kings in you". You have nations in you. He was saying, "Sarah, what I put in you is more than you can imagine". God is saying the same thing to you: "There are kings in you," "There is greatness in you," "It's much bigger than what you think". Don't let circumstances talk you out of it. You may not see how it could work out. God has ways to do it that you've never thought of. One touch of God's favor will catapult you to the next level.
When Sarah heard this, it was so unbelievable, she laughed. She said, "Me, have a baby? I don't think so"! She loved the idea, but since she was so old, she thought the baby would have to come through somebody else, so she tried to help God out. She had Abraham sleep with her maid, and they had a son. She was so excited. She said, "God, you did what you said"! God said, "Sarah, that is not the promised child. I didn't put the promise in somebody else. I put the promise in you". At 90 years old, against all odds, she became pregnant and gave birth to a son named Isaac.
What God put in you, he's still going to bring to pass. You are pregnant with destiny. You are pregnant with greatness. It's not going to come through others. You're going to shine. You're going to excel. You're going to be promoted. You're going to be celebrated. Friends, you are fully loaded. You're not at a deficit. You're not lacking. You're full of potential, full of favor. Like Sarah, you may have been barren for a long time. You don't see how it could happen, but get ready. This is a new day. Things are changing in your favor. I believe and declare what's been shut up in your spirit is being released. Dreams are being released, potential, promotion, healing, abundance, vindication, breakthroughs, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus' name, and if you receive it, can you say, amen today?