Joel Osteen - God Has The Final Say
I want to talk to you today about God has the final say. We all face situations that look permanent, like they're never going to work out. And it's easy to get discouraged and accept that it wasn't meant to be, but it's not over until God says it's over. The medical report may not look good, but that sickness doesn't have the last word, God has the final say. You may have struggled with an addiction for years, but the addiction doesn't have the final say. People may be against you, you have opposition, but people don't have the final say. No disrespect, but the doctor, the banker, the lawyer, the expert, the judge, they may be good people, but they're not on the throne, God is on the throne. Him being for you is more than the world being against you.
God won't let you get in a problem, that he can't get you out of. He wouldn't have let the three Hebrew teenagers be thrown into a furnace, if he didn't know the fire wasn't going to harm them. King Nebuchadnezzar thought he was in control, he thought he had the final say, that the fire would finish them off, that's what always happened. But this time he wasn't dealing with ordinary people, he was dealing with children of the Most High God, they came out without the smell of smoke. There's something about, you that makes you unstoppable. You have an advantage. God not only breathed life into you, but he put a hedge of protection around you: nothing can touch you without his permission. You're not at the mercy of bad breaks, sicknesses, accidents, people against you, none of that can stop your destiny.
"Well, if I can get this supervisor to like me, maybe I'll get the promotion". Now, you don't have to play up to people. When you go to work be your best, let your talent shine, then when it's time for you to be promoted all the forces of darkness cannot hold you back. "Well, my boss doesn't like me". Your boss doesn't have the final say, they are a pawn in the hands of God. You are not doing life by yourself, God is behind the scenes orchestrating things in your favor, at the right time God will either cause that person to like you or move them out of the way, but they cannot stop your purpose. When you know that God has the final say, you don't live frustrated, trying to manipulate people, worried about your children, you stay in peace knowing that nothing can stop God's plan.
When the prophet Samuel came to Jesse's house to choose one of his sons as the next king of Israel, Jesse lined up seven of his sons, said: "All right, Samuel, take your pick". He didn't bother to bring his youngest son David in from the shepherd's fields. He had already ruled him out, thought he's too young, too small, not talented, David's not king material. If people had the final say, this would be a problem. If people determined our destiny, we would have never heard of David. But when people leave you out, it may hurt, but that doesn't stop your purpose. Samuel said: "Jesse, I don't see a king in these sons. Do you have any other sons"?
This shows us that what God has for you won't go to anyone else. People may try to manipulate things, discredit you, leave you out - don't worry, God is on the throne, he's pulling the strings. He knew who wasn't going to like you, who was going to try to push you down. You don't have to try to get even, stay on the high road and what has your name on it will come to you. Jesse sent word for David to come into the house. When Samuel saw him, first thing he said" "There's the next king of Israel". God doesn't choose the way we choose. We look on the outside, the size, the talent, the personality - God looks at the heart. People may have counted you out, but God has already counted you in. He overrides what people say, he overrides the injustice.
"Well, Joel, I'm in a unfair situation, but nothing's changing". It's not over yet, that's not how your story ends, your time is coming. Like with David, you're going to be called into the house, God has not forgotten about you. What he's promised is still on the way: bad brakes didn't stop it, people didn't cancel it, delays doesn't mean it's not going to happen, what God started he's going to finish, he has the final say. And don't go around talking about how it's not going to happen, this illness is going to be the end of me, and I'll never accomplish my dreams. You know what you're doing? You're putting your circumstances on the throne, you're saying" "They have the final say, they control my destiny". you need to take the problem off the throne and put God back on the throne. God is sovereign over your circumstances, that means God reigns over everything in your life. Not just over the universe he reigns over the sickness, he reigns over your children, over your finances.
1 Peter 3 says, Jesus has the last word on everything and everyone, from angels to armies, he's standing right alongside God and what he says goes. Now, you may be dealing with the sickness, the medical report says you're not going to make it, that's one word, but God has the last word. The sovereign God, the God who reigns says: I am restoring health back unto you. Now, keep God on the throne. When thoughts tell you you'll never get well, just say: "No, thanks, I know a secret, my God has the last say. Sickness you may have a say, injustice you may have a say, but I have bad news: what you say is subject to the God, who created me. What you say is overruled by the Most High. He has the final say on everyone and everything".
God promised Abraham and Sarah, that they were going to have a baby, but they were both way too old: Abraham was in his 80s, Sarah had gone through the change of life, there was no way in the natural for them to have a child. Sometimes God will put things in our heart, that don't make sense to our mind. It's easy to dismiss it and think well that'll never happen, but the scripture says: Abraham considered not the weakness of his own body nor the deadness of Sarah's womb. He didn't deny that Sarah's womb was dead, he didn't ignore the facts, he just chose not to dwell on them. He didn't go around talking about how impossible it was. If you're going to stay in faith you have to do like Abraham and not consider what looks dead, don't dwell on what seems impossible. Are you spending more time thinking about the problem or the promises? Are you talking more about how big the challenge is or about how big your God is?
When we received word that the rockets basketball team was moving out of this building, the former Compaq Center and it was going to be for sale, something came alive on the inside. I knew, God put that promise in my heart, but like Abraham all the odds were against us. We didn't have the finances, didn't have the experience necessarily. The people that wanted the building were a huge real estate company, one of the largest tax payers in Texas. But instead of focusing on how impossible it was, Victoria and I would come up at night, when the rockets weren't playing, nobody was around, we would walk around the outside of the building and thank God that it was ours and thank him that he was fighting our battles, thank him that he was making a way where we didn't see a way.
Instead of considering the circumstances we chose to consider the greatness of our God. I've learned: the bigger you make God, the smaller problems become, the more faith rises in your heart. As we walked around the building, we were saying: "Lord, we know, you can open doors that no man can shut. We know, you can take us where we can't go on our own". When you get an agreement with God, he will make things happen that you could have never made happen. If Sarah would have gone for a check-up, the doctor would have said: "I'm sorry ma'am. You're too old, you waited too late. Plus your husband is an old man. Even if your womb was somehow fertile, he doesn't have the seed". No doctor would have given them a chance, medically speaking it was impossible, but don't let people talk you out of what God put in your heart, don't let the experts convince you that it's not going to happen. Remember, experts built the titanic and it sink. Amateurs built the ark and it floated.
No disrespect, but sometimes the experts can be wrong, they don't know what God put in you, they can't see your seeds of greatness. On your own what they're saying about you may be true, but you're not on your own, you have the most powerful force in the universe breathing in your direction. He has the final say over your dreams. People may have discouraged you, but what he promised is on the way. He has the final say over your health, may not have happened yet, but healing is coming. He has the final say over your children, that child that's off course, God knows how to get their attention, he says as for you and your house you will serve the Lord.
When Abraham was a hundred years old, Sarah was 80, this was twenty years after the promise, they came into a final word, Sarah gave birth to a son. God overrode the laws of nature, he overrode what the experts said, he even overrode mistakes that they had made. If Abraham were here today, he would tell you: "Don't let circumstances talk you out of what God put in you. It may look dead, seemed impossible, the experts say no way, but I can tell you firsthand, God has the final say".
Think about Joseph: his brothers had a say, they were jealous of him, betrayed him, sold him into slavery. Potiphar's wife, the man Joseph worked for, she had a say, she lied about him, Joseph was put in prison. He had all these negative voices, negative circumstances in Joseph's life. He could have lived bitter, but he understood this principle: after all the bad breaks, he was suddenly brought out of prison and made the prime minister of Egypt, second-in-command. What am I saying? When God has the final say it will make up for all the injustice, all the delays, you are not falling behind, you're not losing ground, one touch of God's favor we'll put you 50 years down the road, not in age, but in influence, in position, in opportunity.
I believe, like Joseph you're about to see God step in and override what's been hindering you. You're about to come into a final word in your health, in your relationship, in your finances. That struggle may seem permanent like you'll never get ahead, God is about to override the lack, the limitations, the people that have held you back and release you into new levels of influence, increase, abundance. The final word is: you will lend and not borrow, you are above and not beneath. Or maybe you were raised in dysfunction, depression, addictions - the final word is coming, God is about to break those yokes that have held you back, so you can step up to who you were created to be. The final word is: freedom, wholeness, abundance and victory.
In the scripture two sisters Mary and Martha and their brother Lazarus were close friends with Jesus. Lazarus became very sick, Jesus was in another city, so Martha sent word for Jesus to come pray for their brother. They had seen Jesus heal people, open the eyes of the blind, turn water into wine, they knew he could do miracles. Jesus got the word, but he stayed in that city for a day, two days, three days, then their worst nightmare came true - Lazarus died. They were devastated. Four days later Jesus showed up. Has it ever felt like God came too late? You prayed, you believed, you asked, but the problem didn't turn around?
Martha said: Jesus, if you would have been here, if you to just come when we asked, my brother wouldn't have died. She could have turned away, live bitter, angry, that would be the end of the story. But she went on to say: Lord, even now I know whatever you ask God would do it for you. She was saying: yes, it looks bad, it seems impossible, but I know, you have the final say. Jesus said to them: take me to where you buried Lazarus, take me to the tomb. He was saying: take me to the place, where you quit believing, take me to where you decided you're not going to get well, you'll never meet the right person. Unless you go back to that place and stir your faith up, it will limit what God can do.
They went to the tomb and Jesus told them to roll away the stone. Martha said: Lord, he's been dead for four days, he's going to stink. The stone represents what you've given up on, you think it's been too long, too late, it's never going to happen, so you put the stone on the promise, the stone on the dream. You have to do your part and roll away the stone, you have to start believing again, get your passion back. They removed the stone, but Jesus didn't go in the tomb and lay hands on Lazarus, like he did the blind man and some other people that he healed. This time he spoke, said: Lazarus, come forth. Instantly Lazarus woke up, he came out of the tomb on a word from the Lord.
Now Jesus may not be here in person today, but we have what Lazarus had, you can come out on a word from God. God says: you will live and not die, let that take root, you can come out on that word. "God says whatever you touch will prosper and succeed", there's a word you can come out on. Or "Whom the son sets free is free indeed", there's a word that breaks bondages. What God says in the scripture is the final word.
It's significant that Jesus waited four days to pray for Lazarus, he could have healed him the first daym he knew he was sick or at least the second day and not made them go through so much, but there's always a reason for a delay. We may not understand it, but God knows what he's doing. And while you're waiting for a situation to turn around, waiting for your health to improve, waiting for your child to get on the right track, that's a critical time, you have to pass the test of waiting. If Martha would have stayed negative, bitter, complaining, she could have stopped the miracle. Will you stay in faith, when heaven is silent? Will you wait with a good attitude and keep thanking God, that he has the final saym when you don't see anything improving? How you wait will determine whether or not the situation changes.
Back in those days, the Sadducees, these were the people that were very against Jesus, they believed that the spirit left the body three days after the person died. It wasn't a coincidence, that Jesus waited to the fourth day. He did it, so that when he raised Lazarus, there wouldn't be any doubt about it. And sometimes God will wait on purpose, so you not only know it's his favor, but so all of your critics, your neighbors, your relatives, your co-workers, they won't be able to deny the goodness of God in your life.
I talked to this lady, her son was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy when he was six years old. He got to the point where he couldn't walk. When he was 12 he had to have surgery on his feet and heels, it was a routine procedure, but something went wrong, he ended up in ICU on a ventilator, couldn't breathe on his own. His other organs started to shut down, his heart, his liver, his kidneys, he had to go on dialysis. The doctors told this mother, that they didn't think he was going to make it. She kept praying and believing, but everything went downhill, got so bad, they needed to put him on a machine to bypass his heart and lungs, basically he would be on life support, just waiting to pass.
They went to get the paperwork for the mother to sign to give them permission. While she was waiting, the doctors came running in, they said hang on, you don't need to sign, there's been a sudden change. They couldn't explain it, but his heart started working, his blood pressure stabilized, his lungs begin to function. They couldn't understand how one moment he was dying and the next moment he was coming back to life. Friends God has the final say, if it's not your time to go, you're not going to go. The scripture says the number of your days God will fulfill, you don't have to fulfill it God's going to fulfill it. Nothing can snatch you out of his hands. Cancer can't take one day that God has planned for you. That sickness cannot take you before your time.
"Well, Joel, my loved one didn't make it". Then their time was up, they fulfilled the days that God planned for them. They didn't show up in heaven unannounced, they didn't get there and God say: "Wow, I didn't know you were coming". God was the one beckoning them to come, he was the one receiving them with open arms. We may not always understand it or like it, but you can rest assured, God has the final say. He planned all of your days before you were born and he's promised to fulfill the number of your days.
This young man totally recovered, it's no longer on dialysis, his heart is fine, his lungs are fine, he's fulfilling his purpose. But you may be in a situation like the mother, doesn't seem like it'll ever turn around, dream that looks impossible, an addiction that seems permanent, I believe you're going to hear what she heard: "There's been a sudden change, something has happened that we can't explain". You thought you had reached your limits, suddenly you're promoted, the company wants you to run the department. You thought you'd always struggle with the illness, the diction, get ready for a sudden change. Forces of darkness are being broken, any area where you're not living in victory is not permanent, its temporary, God has the final say.
My brother-in-law Don graduated from Texas A&M University, he's a huge Aggie football fan. Last year he was watching a big game on television with one of their main rivals. The score was going back and forth, came down to the final possession, the aggies had the ball, few seconds left to go they needed to score in order to tie the game, but the aggie quarterback threw an interception. The other team got the ball looked, like the game was over. They poured Gatorade on the coach, the team members came on the field celebrating, the opposing fans were going wild. Don was so frustrated, he not only turned the television off, he deleted the recording from his dvr. He didn't even want that game in his files.
Half an hour later a friend texted him saying, "Wow, this game is unbelievable". He thought the friend had recorded it and was watching it late, he checked Twitter and saw the other comments, come to find out: before the Attic Aggie quarterback threw the interception, his knee touched the ground, so the play was dead. The referees reviewed it and gave the ball back to the aggies, they went on to score and tie the game. The game went into overtime: first overtime, still tied, second tied, third, fourth, in the seventh overtime the aggies won the game. It was one of the greatest games in college football history.
But sometimes we do like Don, we turn the game off too soon. We think we'll never get well, we'll never meet the right person, we'll never accomplished the dream. We tried, it didn't work out, feels like the opposing team is on, they're celebrating, they poured Gatorade on the coach. Can I tell you: it's not over until God says it's over. You better go back and look again, your story doesn't end to defeat, it ends in victory. As long as you're breathing, the game is still going. Yes, there will be times it looks like it's too late, it's impossible, God has ways you've never thought of. Get your passion back, start believing again, the game is still on.
This is what happened 2,000 years ago, satan and all the forces of darkness were celebrating, they already shot the confetti, poured the Gatorade and started their victory party: they finally defeated Jesus, nailed him to a cross. What they didn't realize was Jesus prophesied not only his death, but his resurrection. They got the first part of the information, but they didn't get the final word. Jesus said: destroy this temple and in three days God will raise it up. Jesus asked to borrow Joseph's tomb, he was saying I don't need to buy it, I'm only going to be there three days. Satan had selective hearing. While they were partying, having their celebration, Jesus came walking in, took away the keys of death and hell, said: "I am he that lives, I was dead, but I'm alive forevermore".
Now the enemy may be celebrating over you, thinking that you're done, you've seen your best days, you'll always be lonely, struggling, addicted, mediocre. You need to let him know: "You didn't hear the last word. I may be down, but I will arise. I may be facing this illness, but healing is coming. This setback in my finances is not permanent, abundance is in my future". The final word says: your latter days will be better than your former days. Now get in agreement with God, go back to those places where you quit believing and roll away the tomb. Who told you it was over? That wasn't the final word. Like with Lazarus it look dead, but I believe and declare: it's about to come back to life, there's a sudden change coming, sudden healing, sudden promotion, sudden opportunity, what you thought was permanent is about to suddenly change in your favor, in Jesus name.