Joel Osteen - God Is Your Source
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I want to talk to you today about God is Your Source. It's easy to look to people as our source or look to our job as our source. And yes, God uses people, he uses job, he uses contracts, but they are not the source, they are simply a resource, that the Source uses. And if you're seeing other things then God is your source, the problem is, if something happens to them, you'll think: what am I going to do? The source has been cut off. No, the Source is just fine, God is still on the throne. And the scripture says, that every good gift comes from our father in heaven above. That good gift may come through people, but it came from God.
Your salary may come through your company, but it came from your Heavenly Father, he's the one that caused them to hire you, he's the one that calls you to stand out, he's using them as a resource. Or that contract may come through a friend, through a connection, but it came from God. That's why you don't have to play up to people, compromise to get a good break. People are not your provider, God is your provider. That job is simply the resource God chose to bless you. And if you don't understand this, you can make people your God.
"If this supervisor doesn't like me, if this contract doesn't last, if these clients are not good to me, how am I going to make it"? Take people off the throne: people are not your source, God is your source. Yes, it's good, when people are nice to you, it's nice when they recognize your value, but don't become so dependent on them, that you start seeing them as your provider. Recognize behind the resource is the Source, behind the salary, behind the opportunity, behind the favor is the Most High God, causing people to be good to you, causing doors to open, causing clients to seek you out. Be grateful for the resource, but keep your eyes on the Source.
When Peter didn't have money to pay his taxes, Jesus told him to go to the lake and catch a fish. The first fish he caught had a gold coin in it, enough to pay his taxes. God was showing us how he can use different resources. If a contract at work comes to an end, looks like you're going to be set back, don't be discouraged, God has another fish, he has ways that we've never thought of. As long as you're keeping him first place, you are connected to a supply line, that will never run dry. You are not at the mercy of the economy or your boss or who likes you, God has all kinds of resources he can use.
I talked to a man, after 32 years the company he worked for it was sold. He was without a job, and he was so discouraged, he never dreamed at his age he would have to be starting over. I told him what I'm telling you: that job was simply the resource, that God chose to bless you. It is not the source, the Source is fine. I saw him about six months later, he was so happy. He said: Joel, I not only got another job, I got my dream job: had better benefits, better income, closer to his house. When a door closes, you go through a setback, you have to remind yourself: it's not the resource blessing you, it's the Source.
The scripture says you will prosper even in the desert. Your leaf will not wither, even in famine you will have more than enough. It's showing us, that even though the circumstances may change, the Source never changes. Because you're connected to that Source, you will be blessed in the famine, you will increase when others are decreasing. All through the day: Lord, I recognize, you're the Source of my life. Yes, this job gives me a paycheck, but You're the Source of the income. Yes, this company gave me a good position, but You're the Source of the favor.
In the scripture and her mother-in-law were both widows, they were very poor, struggling to survive. Ruth would go out into the fields each morning and pick up the leftover wheat, that the workers had missed. One day the owner of the field, a man named Boaz noticed Ruth, and for some reason he decided to be good to her. He told his workers to leave handfuls of wheat on purpose for Ruth. Eventually Ruth found out it was him. I can hear her telling her mother-in-law: this man Boaz, this owner he's being so good to me, he's leaving me so much weed. Ruth thought it was Boaz being good to her, the truth is, it was God being good to her. Boaz was the resource, but God was the source. God was the one speaking to Boaz, giving him that desire to be good to her.
How many times has God spoken to people to be good to us and we didn't even know him? For no reason they decided to help us, they opened the door, they gave us a position, they introduced us to a friend. They were a resource that the Source was using. And the longer I live the more I recognize God's goodness in my life. Things that I thought were a coincidence, I thought were people just wanting to be good to me, I realize now: it was the Source. Doors that opened, that you couldn't open, somebody decided to give you a good break, you were at the right place at the right time, met that person and fell in love - that wasn't a coincidence, that was the Source. That person that put in a good word for you and you got the promotion, you weren't lucky, that was God speaking to them, like he spoke to Boaz.
Every good thing comes from our father above. They may not have even known it was God speaking to them, they just suddenly had a desire to be good to you, to stay late and introduce you to the client, to waive the policy and put the loan through. Are you recognizing the Source? Are you thanking God for every good gift? Do you realize, you wouldn't have waken up this morning without the Source? You wouldn't have air to breathe without the Source. Your eyes wouldn't see without the Source. You wouldn't have that person to love without the Source.
Don't get so caught up in the resources, that you forget: it's the Most High God working in your life, it's God protecting you from that accident, it was God healing you from the cancer. Not just the medicine, it was the Source. It was God causing them to conceive those children, that you love. When you look back over your life, nothing was a coincidence, there were no lucky breaks. What you thought was just Boaz being good to you, leaving you handfuls on purpose, that was the hand of God. The Source working behind the scenes, telling them to be good to you.
When we were trying to acquire this facility, the former Compaq Center, it was owned by the city, so we had to get the city council members to vote, to approve it. I had never been involved in any kind of politics and convincing council members, this was way out of my expertise. Someone randomly introduced us to a man, that had been in city politics his whole life. He had worked for different mayor's for many years. He wasn't the typical white-collar professional that you might envision, he was kind of rough: he liked to party, he liked to drink, didn't always use good language, but for some reason he really liked us, he really wanted us to get the building.
He went overboard to make things happen. He used his favor, his influence to sway people. Early on there was a council member, that was against us, he said: Joel, don't worry, he'll vote for us, he owes me. I didn't ask for any details, I just said: thank you, Jesus. Here this man had not been in church his whole life, but he was doing all he could to help Lakewood get the building. I realize now, that wasn't just him deciding to help us, him just deciding to do a good deed, he was a resource that the Source was using, he may not have even known that was God speaking to him.
After we got the building, he came to a service. Years later he was being interviewed about the process and about why he had helped us, he said: I don't go to church, I went to Lakewood one time and I don't like the circus, he referred to us as the circus, and yes, our services are fun and exciting, and in a few minutes the elephants will be coming out. And at the end Victoria is going to walk the high wire, followed by my brother Paul being shot out of a cannon, so stay for that.
None of that bothered me, but he went on to say, and I'm not telling you this to brag on me, just to make the point, he said: "I helped them, because I've never met anyone like Joel. I would walk through a fire for that man". I would love to think that I'm that charming, I'm that dynamic. Can I tell you? I'm not. I hardly even knew him, that was the Source, that was God putting the right people in our path, causing them to want to be good to us.
2 Kings chapter 4, there's a story about a lady. She and her husband were friends with the prophet Elijah, but the husband had died. Years had passed, now this lady didn't have any money to pay her bills. It was so bad, the creditors were coming to take her two sons as payment. You can imagine how distraught she was. The prophet Elijah came by and asked what she had in her house. Her first answer was: nothing at all. She was saying: Elisha, I'm done, it's too late, the odds are against me.
Sometimes, when we look at what we have, compared to what we need, we think like her: I'll never accomplish my dreams, I don't have what I need, I'll never get well, I'll never get out of debt. We look at the circumstances, at the resources: the medical report, the bank account. Here's the key: the resource may have dried up, but the Source is still alive and well. She finally said: Elijah, I do have one thing in my house, but really it's nothing, just a little bottle of olive oil. She thought it's really not worth mentioning, I have this huge debt and all I have is something worth a few dollars.
Don't discount the small things you have, don't discount small opportunities, small gifts, small income. May seem small to you, but God knows how to multiply. The scripture says, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, that's one of the smallest seeds, you could say to this mountain: be removed and it will move. God doesn't expect us to have great faith all the time. It's nice when we do, but God is so merciful, he knew, there would be times like this lady, we would think this is impossible. If you'll just say: God, all I have is this little bit of oil, all I have is mustard seed faith, watch what God will do.
Elijah told her to go out and borrow as many large containers as she could find. I can see this lady knocking on door after door, carrying those empty containers back to her house. Don't you know, God saw her faith, God saw her being obedient, doing what she could? When you're in difficult times, don't sit around in self-pity, do something where God can see your faith. Make plans to get well, make plans to come out of debt. Are you gathering up any containers? Are you taking steps of faith to show God that you're ready for favor?
Neighbors started asking: why do you even need these empty containers? You don't have anything to put in it, just a little bit of olive oil. She answered: I may not have it yet, but I know, it's on the way. I know, the prophet wouldn't have asked me to do it, if God wasn't up to something. Faith started to rise in her heart. All the circumstances were against her, friends trying to talk her out of it, her own thoughts telling her: no way. Her attitude was: I may not see how this can happen, but I know a secret - God is my source, he's my provider, I'm connected to that supply line, that won't run dry.
Elijah said to her: pour the little bit of oil into the first container. That didn't make sense. What good was it going to do to transfer oil from one container to the other? What God asked us to do, many times is more about the obedience than the actual thing, that we're doing. It's a test: if you'll obey, you'll see God's favor. In the scripture Naaman was an army captain, but he had leprosy. God told him to go wash in the Jordan river seven times and he would be healed. Naaman didn't want to do that, he came up with all these excuses: God, the waters too dirty, we have better rivers back at home, on and on. He almost talked himself out of it. The last moment, he decided to do it. When he came up the seventh time, his skin was perfectly normal. The healing wasn't in the water, the healing was in the obedience.
Are you doing what God is asking you to do? Are you gathering the containers? Are you pouring the oil? This lady could have said: Elisha, I'm not going to do that, it's gonna be a waste of time - she would have missed her miracle. When she poured the little oil into the first container, the oil never stopped flowing. She filled the first one up, then the second, then the third - that doesn't make sense. Where was the oil coming from? The Source. When you do what God asks you to do, that doesn't make sense, God will do things for you that don't make sense, he'll show out in your life.
This lady can't pour in oil, until all the contain were full, then she went out and sold it. She was able to pay all of her bills, she had plenty left over to live on. That little bit of oil should have run out, but God has supernatural provision. He knows how to not only sustain you, but to increase you to where you defied the odds. You may have areas in your life that are dry now, you haven't seen much good brakes, seen any favor, any increase, seems like it's permanent. No, get ready, the flow is coming - flow is coming, God is about to do something unusual. You couldn't have made it happen, the odds were against you, but the Source is going to send a supernatural flow.
It may look like your dream has died up, favor is about to flow, finances are about to flow, good brakes are about to flow, the right people are going to flow. You're not going to have to find them, they're going to find you. The medical report may not look good, you feel stuck in your health, receive this into your spirit: healing is flowing, restoration is flowing, strength is flowing. You haven't been able to get ahead in your career, people have held you back, left you out, don't get discouraged, the flow is coming, promotion is going to flow, ideas are about to flow, creativity is going to flow.
Everything that has stopped your flow, I believe right now, those forces have been broken. You are coming into supernatural provision, supernatural healing, supernatural connections. You've heard the saying: "It's Showtime", God is saying: "It's Flowtime". He's about to open the windows of heaven, pour out blessings, that you could not contain. One touch of God's favor will take you from famine to flourishing, from barely enough to more than enough. And get in agreement with God: Father, thank you, that this job is not my source, but You are my Source. Lord, I'm grateful for the medicine, but I know You're my healer. Lord, I don't see how I can accomplish my dreams, but I know, You have a way, where I don't see away.
I talked to a couple that wanted to buy a house in another state, and they were looking in this one certain neighborhood and they had found this one house that they really liked, but every time they tried to move forward, they didn't feel peace about it. After several months they found a much larger piece of property right on the outskirts of the neighborhood. In the natural, being in the subdivision, would have been a better investment, the property values were higher, but even though they could afford it, because they didn't have peace about it, they bought this property right outside the neighborhood.
Several months later two men knocked on their door, they were geologists. They told how they had been study in that area for years, they had discovered a massive amount of oil under the subdivision. The problem was, the houses were too close together for them to drill. They said: if you'll let us least part of your property, so we can drill into the neighborhood, we'll give you a commission not only off your land, but off of all the properties in the neighborhood. There were 1,200 homes in that subdivision.
Isaiah said God knows where the hidden riches are found. You know why? He's the one that put them there, he's the source, the Creator of the universe, the Most High God. And things may not be flowing in your life right now, but God knows where all the treasures are, he knows how to put you at the right place at the right time. He may not have you strike oil, but he can give you one idea, that will catapult you ahead. He can cause one person to come across your path, like he did for us, you'll accomplish a dream that seems impossible. He knows not only what you need, but he knows when you're going to need it.
1997 I was walking through the lobby before service one Sunday morning, a men stopped me and said, that his cousin had a construction permit for the last full-power commercial television station in Houston. We bought the permit and put the station on the air. I thought, that's what I would do with my life, I love production, cameras and editing, and having a station seemed like a perfect fit. But two years later my father went to be with the Lord. I never dreamed that I would become the pastor, now, my focus had changed.
2003 we acquired the Compaq Center and we need a hundred million dollars to renovate. So, we decided to sell the station. We listed it at a certain price, all the experts said, that we would never get that much. One man had sold more television stations in the us, than anyone else, he said: we were wasting our time, asking that amount. A year later we sold it for more than we were asking, over five times what we purchase it for. We use those funds to renovate this facility. What am I saying? God has already lined up everything you're going to need, he's the source, he's the provider.
The scripture says no good thing will he withhold, because you walk uprightly. He's not gonna withhold the finances, the health, the ideas, the connections. Quit worrying about how it's going to happen, God has it figured out, he knows how to get you to your destiny. Now, maybe you've been trying to do this only in your own strength, you put forth your best effort, you've tried to get people to help you - it's time to go to the Source. "God, I can't do it on my own, I'm asking you to bring this dream to pass. God, I'm asking you to turn my health around, I'm asking you to help me to conceive to have this baby".
The scripture says: call on the name of the Lord and he will answer you. Sometimes we call on people, we call on friends, we call on our spouse - they can only do so much, but when you call on the Source, the Creator of the Universe, that's when things will happen, that you couldn't make happen.
God wants us to depend on him. When we recognize we can't do it on our own, we are limited, we have restrictions. By ourselves we'll get stuck, but when you ask God to help you, when you call on your Creator, supernatural things will happen. God is unlimited, he controls the universe. The good news is: he wants to help you, he wants to heal you, to increase you, to take you where you couldn't go on your own. He's longing to be good to you - look to Him as your source.
John chapter 21, Peter was out fishing with some of the disciples, Jesus had been crucified and just risen from the dead. You can imagine how discouraged Peter must have been, and even confused now, that Jesus was not there. Peter went back to doing what he knew how to do, and that was fishing, he had done that his whole life. Well they had fished all night and caught nothing, early the next morning Jesus appeared to them, he came walking up on the beach and said: have you caught anything? They said: no. He said: throw your nets on the right side of the boat and you'll catch some fish.
When they did, they caught a whole net full of fish. Instantly Peter recognized that it was Jesus. He jumped out of the boat and swam to the shore. Jesus had fish cooking over a fire, he gave Peter some to eat. What Peter was trying to catch, Jesus not only had waiting for him, but he had it cooked and ready to eat. God is saying: what you're trying to accomplish on your own, if you look to Me, if you'll recognize I'm the Source, you'll see - I have it cooked and already prepared, I have it already waiting for you.
Like Peter, you may have done it in the past, you were good at it, but there are times that God will not let what worked in the past continue to work, because he knows, we'll think we're doing it in our own strength, our own ability. God wants us to see him as the source, to recognize his blessings. But too often we're striving to make it happen, trying to beat down a door, discouraged because it's taken too long. God is saying: come to Me, ask Me for help, acknowledge Me every day as your source.
Peter worked all night trying to catch fish, while Jesus was sitting on the shore with a fish dinner, waiting for him. What you're believing for, God has already prepared. The fish is already caught, the spouse has already picked out, the dream is already lined up, the healing has already been purchased, the fire is lit, the fish is on the grill, you're about to come in to a prepared blessing. What you couldn't do on your own, God is about to make happen.
Now do your part: recognize him as the source. Every morning: Lord, thank you, that you are my provider. I recognize, you are the giver of every good thing in my life. If you'll do this, I believe and declare, God is about to bring you some cooked fish, some prepared blessings, you're going to come into increase, promotion, healing the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name.