Joel Osteen - Make The Switch
I want to talk to you today about Make the Switch. One prayer we're taught to pray is: God, not my will, but let your will be done. Many times we don't know what's best for us. When it comes to guidance and direction, it's important to ask God to show us his will. "God, if it's your, will let me get this position if it's your will, cause this relationship to move forward". That's honoring God, showing our dependency on him. But there are some things we don't have to pray "God, if it be your will", we can look in the scripture and find out what the will is. When it comes to healing, you don't have to pray, "God, if it's your will, you can heal me". All through the scripture we can see, it is God's will.
Matthew 15 says they brought the sick, the lame, the blind to Jesus and he healed them all. 14 times in the scripture it says he healed all that were sick. I can't find one time, where Jesus turns someone away and wouldn't heal them. He didn't do it the same way, but he healed them all. You don't have to pray: "Lord, if it's your will, you can bless me". Jesus said, he came that we might live an abundant life, to the full, 'till it overflows. "Well, God, if it's your will you can free me from this addiction. Otherwise I'll endure it, I'll take up my cross and follow you". Carrying the cross isn't living addicted, sick, defeated, that means not giving in to carnal desires, not compromising.
But as long as you think, "God, if it be your will to heal me, to bless me, to free me", it will limit what God does. You have to make the switch from "God, if you want to heal me" to "God, I know, you want to heal me". From "God, if you want to bless me" to "God, I know, you want to bless me". "Well, Joel, if God wants me to carry this sickness, if he wants me to endure it, to show that I trust him, I'll gladly do it". You don't have to carry it, God's already carried it. Isaiah 53:4 said, "Jesus took our infirmities and carried our diseases". It is not faith to say "If it be your will". You have to have the boldness to say "God, I know it is your will". That verse goes on to say, "By his stripes you were healed". Jesus took 39 lashes on his back before he was crucified. Studies tell us, there are 39 major categories of disease, he took one for each one, he didn't leave anything out.
"By his stripes you were healed", it's past tense, he's already done it. Our attitude should be "Lord, I receive your healing, I receive what you've already done". You don't have to beg God to do it, try to talk him into it, wonder what the will is. Make the switch "God, you carried this sickness, so I don't have to carry it. So, Lord, thank you that healing is flowing into me, thank you that I'm getting better, thank you that the number of my days you will fulfill".
When the Israelites were in the desert, headed toward the Promised Land, there were 2 million people out there, they wandered around for 40 years. It says in Psalm 105:37, "God brought them out and there was not one sick or feeble one among them". They had been in slavery for years, mistreated, you would think somebody would be sick. Out in the desert they didn't have pharmacies, hospitals, modern medicine. Surely somebody would have a migraine, somebody would come down with the flu, with dizziness, with kidney stones, but not one of them were sick. God was showing us his will. Yes, we have to fight illnesses, things come against us, but if in the back of your mind you think this sickness must be God's will for me, it must be his plan for my life, that will keep you from getting well.
God works with us faith, you have to know, it is his will for you to be healthy, whole and energetic. You may be dealing with an illness, let me encourage you, it didn't come to stay, it came to pass. It is not permanent, it's temporary. Healing is flowing into you even now, you're getting better as you're listening. The same God that brought them out without one sick or feeble one is in the process of bringing you out right now. One of the names of God in the scripture is Jehovah Rapha, that means "The Lord our Healer". You may know God as a Savior, that's important, but he wants you to know him as a healer as well.
I talked to a man that was diagnosed with hodgkin's lymphoma. He'd taken different treatments, tried various different procedures, but none of them didn't have any effect. His doctors were somewhat puzzled: this cancer is treatable, most people go into remission within six months. He was 2 years down the road and not seeing any improvement, he'd had a stem cell transplant, chemotherapy, radiation - nothing was helping. He told how his prayer was "Lord, if it's my time to die,, I'm ready to go I'll endure it and I'll honor you to the end. But if it be your will, you can heal me". He was waiting to see what God's will was.
One night he was flipping through the channels, he heard me talking about how God wants us to be well, how he wants us to live an abundant victorious life. Something came alive on the inside, fade was ignited in his heart. Instead of praying "Lord, if it be your will" he started playing "Lord, thank you that you have already healed me, that I will live and not die". He prayed from a place of faith, a place of victory. Two months ago he went back for a check-up. For the first time in two years he got a clean bill of health. Today he is 100% cancer-free.
Amazing things happen when you make the switch from "God, if it be your will" to "God, I know, it is you will". That boldness is your faith being released, that's what allows God to bring healing, favor, blessings. And this man loved God, he was ready to endure to the end to carry that sickness, but he found out he didn't have to carry it, that was the turning point, when he made the switch. There's a big difference between praying "God, if it be your will, you can heal me" to praying "God, I know it is your will, I know the price has already been paid, I know you're Jehovah Rapha, the Lord my healer, so thank you that healing is flowing into me".
It's difficult to have faith, if you don't think it's something God wants to do. You have to be convinced, it is God's will for you to be healthy, it is his will for you to be blessed, to live an abundant life. When you know this, you'll do like him and you'll live out of a place of faith not doubt, not wondering. The scripture tells us to come boldly to the throne, to find help in our time of need. It's not boldness to say "God, if it be your will, you can take away this sickness, this cancer, this chronic pain".
That's not coming boldly, that's coming with doubts, that's coming unsure, not knowing if it's supposed to happen. You have to make the switch. Some things we already know are God's will. And one of the best things we can do is remind God what he said. If you want to pray with confidence, bring the will to him, pray what he promised, "God, you said you would restore health back unto me, you said you took my infirmities, carried my sicknesses. You said, by your stripes I was healed". When you pray the promises, you won't say "If it be your will", because you know the will.
Imagine Jesus sitting at the right hand of the Father, he hears the prayer "Lord, if it be your will you can heal me". He turns to the Father and says "You mean, after all the stripes I took, after all the pain I endure, after I sacrificed to carry their sicknesses, they're still wondering if it's my will"? It doesn't honor God to say "If it be your will". After all God has done, after the price he paid, the way to honor him is to say "Lord, I know, you want to heal me".
Mark chapter one, this leper saw Jesus walking down the road, he ran up to him, fell at his feet and said "Jesus, if you want to, you can heal me". Jesus had never seen this man, had no relationship, he could have kept walking "Don't bother me". Instead, he reached out in compassion, touched the man and said three simple words "I want to". Instantly he was healed. There are 19 miracles Jesus performed that are recorded in the scripture. He did many more, so many the scripture says, they couldn't be contained in one book. It's significant that this one was chosen to be recorded. God wanted to make sure we understood what his will is, when it comes to healing.
The man asked "If you want to, you can heal me". Jesus said as clear as can be "I want to". God is saying that to you today "I want to heal you, I want to take away the cancer, I want to free you from the pain, I want to break the depression". When you know he's an "I want to" God, you'll pray bold prayers, you'll live out of a place of faith, not doubt, not wondering.
What's interesting is leprosy is contagious. That man shouldn't have come to Jesus in the first place. They were supposed to shout "Unclean" so people would know not to get close. When he came to Jesus, Jesus could have moved away quickly, like everyone else or he could have healed the leper by simply speaking to him from a distance, he healed others that way. But on purpose Jesus reached out and touched the leper, he broke protocol, he went against the norm. I can imagine people thinking, "Oh, no, now he's going to contract leprosy, now he's going to get infected". God did this to show us, he will break the rules to heal you, he'll do things out of the ordinary, things that have never been done. He's not intimidated by what you're facing, by how bad it looks, by how rare it is, others may have to stay away, but he'll come right in. He's a very present help in times of trouble.
This leper never doubted Jesus ability, he didn't say "If you can heal me", he said "If you want to heal me". Most of us like him, we believe God can turn it around, he can heal us. We don't doubt his power, we believe he created the universe. The question we have is: does he want to? This story should forever settle it, God is saying "I want to heal you, I want to bless you, I want to free you". But sometimes religion tells us that God puts sickness on us to teach us something. Yes, you may learn something, God may use the sickness, but he does not send the sickness, he doesn't send afflictions, addictions to teach you.
The scripture says "If you be in an earthly father, give good things to your children, how much more will your Heavenly Father give good things to those that ask"? I can't imagine one father that's in their right mind saying "I'm gonna put this sickness on my children to teach them something, to teach them to obey, to teach them to be grateful". No sickness does not come from our God, there are forces of darkness trying to keep us from our destiny.
The good news is: what the enemy put on you, God wants to take off of you. His power is greater than any cancer, any heart trouble, diabetes, migraines, back pain, leukemia. Those are in the process of leaving you right now. Every day thank God that you're getting better, say to that sickness "You will not defeat me, you will not keep me from my purpose. Greater is he that's in me, than he that's trying to stop me".
A lady told me that God put cancer on her, so her daughter wouldn't have to have it. They thought her daughter had breast cancer, but the tests came back and fine. This lady meant well, but the truth is, God doesn't have cancer to put on you. There's not any cancer up in heaven, God's not going around saying "Let me zap this one with cancer and zap this with diabetes, zap this one with heart trouble". As long as you think it's coming from God, you won't have the faith to get well. You need to see every sickness, every addiction, every pain, as the work of the enemy. Don't take possession of it, don't say "My cancer, my diabetes, my arthritis is acting up". No, it doesn't belong to you, it's old foreign territory. Your body is a temple of the Most High God.
You are not a sick person trying to get well, you are a well person fighting all sickness. You are not an addicted person trying to get free, you're a free person fighting in addiction. The scripture says: resist the enemy and he will flee. You have to resist the sickness, resist the cancer, resist the heart trouble. And I don't mean live uptight and on edge, but don't accept it as the norm, don't learn to live with it. See it as foreign, it doesn't belong to you.
In Luke 13 Jesus saw a woman that had been sick for 18 years, she was all bent over and not able to stand up. He said in verse 16 "Should not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom satan has bound be loosed from her sickness". Notice where the sickness came from, "Whom the enemy has bound". Jesus touched this lady, after being bent over for 18 years, after trying many different doctors. No doubt she thought it was permanent, but God showed up and said, "This is your day, I'm here to take off of you what the enemy put on you". Instantly she too was healed.
No matter how long you've had that sickness, no matter what you tried and didn't work out. Like this woman your time is coming, God is going to make things happen that the medication couldn't make happen, he's going to do what the treatment couldn't do. The doctors, the experts, they did their best, but when they run out of options, God steps in, he's supernatural, he made your body, he breathed life into you. What the enemy meant for your harm, he's about to turn to your advantage. Jesus called this woman "A daughter of Abraham", that was significant, that meant she was in covenant with God, she had rights and privileges, because of her family line.
In the same way, because you're a child of the Most High God, because you are honoring him, God is going to make things happen for you, that may not happen for others. Like her, it may not look good, it may have been a long time, get ready, God is about to loose you from that sickness, loose you from the depression, loose you from the pain. It is his will that you be free. Now make sure you're in agreement with him, "Lord, I recognize, this sickness didn't come from you, you put good things on your children. I believe you want me to be well. So, Lord, thank you that healing is coming, freedom is coming, victory is coming".
That's how Lakewood got started my sister Lisa was born with a birth injury, similar to cerebral palsy. The doctors told my parents she'd never be able to walk, never be able to feed herself. For the first year she had no sucking reflexes, she couldn't lift her head up off the ground. Well, my father had been taught, that sickness was God's will, that was our cross to bear, that kind of suffering was to keep us humble. But, when he looked at his little baby, everything in him said "This is not God's plan for my daughter". It went against all that he had been taught. On the inside this battle was taking place over what he believed.
He went to a hotel down town, he spent the week by himself, searching the scriptures. As he studied the life of Jesus, he saw how he went around healing the sick again and again. He was taught that the day of miracles is over: "Yes, Jesus did that back then, but he can't do it today". Then he read the verse in Hebrews 13:18, "Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever". He realized, there never was a day of miracles, there's a God of miracles and he's still alive and well. What happened, he made the switch from "Lord if it be your will" to the "Lord, we know, it is your will".
He and my mother prayed the prayer of faith over Lisa, not "Lord, help us to endure, help us to manage this hardship", they pray "Lord, we believe, you want to heal our daughter. We know you're bigger than this disease. We know, that you carried this sickness, that by your stripes she is healed". And it didn't happen overnight, but little by little Lisa got better and better. Around a year and a half she was able to lift her head off the ground, and today, at 78 years old, Lisa is perfectly healthy at home. Have you made the switch from "God, if it be your will" to "God, I know, it is your will to bless me, to heal me, to free me"?
My father had a younger sister named Mary that lived in Fort Worth. In her forties she became very very sick. The doctors finally sent her home, nothing more they could do. His mother called and told him that Mary wasn't going to make it much longer. He drove from Houston to Fort Worth and when he walked in and saw how bad Mary was, she was lying in a dark room, her hair was matted, unconscious, he didn't recognize her. My father felt this holy anger rise up on the inside, he said very forcefully "Don't tell me God did this to my sister". He took her by the hand and said "Mary, in the name of Jesus, be healed". It was like somebody pulled puppet strings.
Suddenly Mary sat up in the bed, opened her eyes and started talking to my father. That day she walked for the first time in months. She went to the table and fed herself for the first time in over a year. She was able to get up all the medication, perfectly well. She told my father later, "When you said 'don't tell me God did this to my sister', it was like a bomb exploded on the inside". She had always believed that that sickness was God's plan for her life, that it was his will. When she found out otherwise, that stronghold was broken. Once she made the switch, God stepped in, made her perfectly whole.
"Well, Joel, does everyone get healed who believes"? Yes, but let me explain. Some people get healed like my mother, a divine touch, where there's nothing medically speaking the doctors could do. Other people get healed with the medication, with the help of doctors and experts. Ultimately God is the healer. Medicine may help you get well, but only God can heal. It's not God or the medicine, it's God and the medicine. "Well, my loved one prayed and believed, but they didn't make it, they went to heaven at an early age". The truth is, they did get healed. The moment they took their last breath, there was no more cancer in their new body, there was no more trouble breathing, no more pain. They were healed, maybe not the way you thought, it might not have manifested here, but when God says "I am the Lord your healer", you can rest assured, healing is coming.
My mother was healed from terminal cancer at 46 years old. Today almost 40 years later, she's still healthy and whole. My father at 77 got his healing a different way, he went to heaven, but I can tell you he doesn't have kidney failure now, he doesn't have high blood pressure. I've made up my mind, I'm going to die in faith. We all face illnesses, we all have things against us, but least I believing that healing is coming, not "If it be your will", but "Lord, I know, it is your will that I'll be healthy and whole". And yes, we're gonna die of something, but I don't believe we have to go all frail, we can't see, can't move, defeated.
When Moses was a hundred and twenty years old, it was his time to die. God told him in Deuteronomy 33 to climb to the top of mount nebo, that's where he was going to pass. But you would think at a hundred and twenty, Moses would be weak, frail, knees hurt, can't see, grumpy "God, I can't climb that mountain", but Moses was still strong, still healthy, still energetic, still sharp, still good-looking, still had his hair. I know, I saw the movie. The scripture says, "His eyesight was not dim and his strength was as strong as ever". He was like a young man still healthy, when God took him.
Get rid of this notion, that when it's your time, you're going to be frail, overcome with sickness, can't move. No, thanks, God take us like Moses: still climbing mountains, still taking new ground, still making the world a better place. I believe we can go at an old age in our sleep, go to bed one night strong and healthy, wake up the next morning in heaven. I'm asking you to make the switch from "God, if it be your will" to "God, I know it is your will to heal me, to free me, to bless me". Give God something to work with. If you'll do this, I believe and declare, right now God is loosing you from sickness, loosing you from pain, loosing you from addictions. Healing is coming, freedom is coming, blessings are coming, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name.