Joel Osteen - The God Who Goes Before You
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I want to talk to you today аbout: The God who goes before you. We all face situations where we don’t see a way out - the obstacles look too big, we’ve had the problem for so long, our dream seems impossible.
This is the way the Israelites felt. They were headed towards the Promised Land, had all kinds of people coming against them, opposition from every direction. The felt overwhelmed, outnumbered, inadequate. In the natural, they didn’t have a chance. But God said to them in Isaiah (45:2-3): “I will go before you, and level the mountains; I will break down gates of bronze, and cut through bars of iron, so that you will know, that I am the Lord your God, the One who summons you by name.”
And you may have big obstacles in your path, situations in your health, your finances, a relationship, you don’t see how it could work out, the odds are against you - but God is saying to you what He said to them, “I’m going to go before you and level those mountains.”
Whatever’s trying to stop you, a mountain of sickness, a mountain of addictions, a mountain of depression - it may look insurmountable to you, but it is no match for our God. One touch of His favor - He’ll turn that mountain into level ground.
That means, you won’t even have to climb over it. It’s going to be easier than you think; you’re not going to have to struggle, work, worry, fight – God’s going to smooth it all out.
It may be a mountain now. It may look intimidating, but don’t worry, it’s about to become “level ground.”
In the scripture, the word used for God’s power, in the original language(Greek) is “dunamis” - that’s where we get our word “dynamite.” And you know what dynamite does – it brings down buildings, clears out anything that’s in it’s path.
Those obstacles in your life, those mountains that are holding you back – I can see right now, God putting the dynamite in. He’s about to light that fuse. You’ve been faithful, you’ve given, you’ve served - get ready for some explosions. God’s about to level some things.
An explosion of good breaks, an explosion of healing, an explosion of freedom. Those obstacles that have held you back, are about to be blown away. God says He will level your mountains - not make a tunnel through them, not make a path around them, not even give you the strength to go over them. God is going to do something unprecedented, something out of the ordinary. The scripture (in Isaiah 45:3) says: “...so that you will know, He is the Lord your God. God wants you to know that He is all-powerful. He’s going to do some things in your life, where you have no doubt, that was the hand of God – you will not only know, but the people around you are going to know.
When God parted the Red Sea, and the Israelites went through on dry ground, Pharaoh and all of his men knew, that was the Lord their God. When Lazarus was raised from the dead, everywhere he went, people stood in awe of the Lord his God.
God wants to give you some evidence, something that can’t be disputed - you couldn’t have made it happen, you didn’t have the talent, the medical report said you shouldn’t be here, or maybe all your relatives are addicted, you should be the same way, but the Lord your God summoned you by name. He went ahead of you and leveled those mountains.
Now, everyone can look at you and see the blessing of God on your life. God wants to make you an example, of His goodness. And you may have seen His favor in the past, but you haven’t seen anything yet. God has some explosive blessings that are going to catapult you to the next level.
And it’s good to remember the great things God has done, but God doesn’t want you to live on past victories - always talking about what happened when I was growing up, what happened thirty years ago - that’s fine, but God’s about to give you something new to talk about. He’s about to give you some fresh victories.
Isaiah (45:2) said: “God will break down gates of bronze, and cut through bars of iron...” That means, things that have held you back for years, addictions, lack, depression, insecurity – this may be in your family line for generations. Looks like that’s you lot in life. Thoughts will tell you ‘...just accept it that’s who you are...’
God is saying: “I’m about to break some generational curses, I’m about to put an end to what’s been held you back. That depression is not staying in your family line, that addiction is not going to be passed to the next generation. That struggle and lack is not your destiny.”
This is a new day. The God who spoke worlds into existence, is breaking chains - chains of defeat, chains of mediocrity, chains of depression.
It’s not going to be the way that it used to be. You’re stepping into a new season, you’re going to have a strength that you didn’t have, things are going to fall into place. You’re not going to have to fight - God is cutting through the bars of iron. That means, He’s going to make things happen, that you couldn’t make happen. You didn’t have the talent to do it on your own. You didn’t have the connections, the odds were against you, but it’s suddenly going to turn around.
You’re suddenly going to step into a new level, you’re suddenly going to break that addiction.
How could this be? The God that goes before you, is breaking the chains, cutting through bars of iron.
I talked to a gentleman last week. He had been an alcoholic for thirty years. This is all he had known. Growing up he watched his father, grandfather, struggle with alcohol. It looked like this addiction would get passed from generation to generation. He had tried to stop, but wasn’t able to, and now he was accepting it.
One day he was so miserable – he said: “God, I can’t do this anymore, please send somebody to help me.” he specifically prayed: “...God send me a counsellor...”
It just so happened he flipped on our SiriusXM channel… he would listen for hours and hours every day. He said, with tears running down his cheeks, “Joel, you became my counsellor. You were the answer to my prayer.” For the first time in thirty years, he’s been sober for eight months. He couldn’t do it on his own, but God broke the chains. God cut through the bars of iron.
There may be things that have held you back for a long time. Every voice tells you that it’s never going to change, you’re never going to break it, never get well, never meet the right person, never get out of debt.
On your own, that may be true. The good news though - you’re not on your own. The most high God is going before you. He’s going to break the chains.
And, it may not have happened yet, but don’t worry, your time is coming. This is your year of “yes” – yes to break the addiction, yes to healing, yes to meeting the right people, yes to seeing new doors open.
Joshua 24 - the Israelites were up against seven nations that were bigger, and stronger, they had more equipment, more training – the Israelites on their own didn’t have a chance. They could have retreated and thought: “Hey, it was not meant to be. We’ll never take this land.” There was no way in the natural – but God’s ways are not our ways. He said to them in verse 12: “...I will send hornets ahead of you, to drive out the inhabitants. You don't have to do it with your own sword and shield. I will give you the land, that you didn’t work for, and cities that you didn’t build.”
How did God get rid of these seven powerful nations? Did He send in Tanks, Navy Seals, did He call down angels from heaven, “Gabriel go take care of them”…?
No, He sent an insect. He sent hornets, ahead of them, so they didn’t have to fight.
You may not see how your situation could ever work out, but don’t worry - God has plenty of insects. He has ways to do it that you never thought of. He may not do it a traditional manner. Quit trying to figure everything out and trust Him. He’s in control of your life. He knows how to get you to where you’re supposed to be.
The Israelites could’ve reasoned it out, and thought: “God, they have the latest equipment. They have chariots, they’re trained soldiers - we’re former slaves, we don’t have a chance, this is not our field.”
God said: “Don’t worry, you’re not going to have to fight - I’m going ahead of you, I’m going to level your mountains.”
God is saying the same thing to you: “Put down your shields, put down your swords. You’re not going to have to worry, struggle, try to force it to happen.” God is going ahead of you. He is going to drive out the inhabitants that are on your land.
That means - whatever’s keeping you from your health, your joy, your abundance, your victory – that’s your land. That’s what God promised you. I believe, right now, He’s beginning to drive them out. You’re going to come into your land of health and wholeness, God is driving out sickness and disease. You’re coming into your land of increase and promotion; He’s driving out struggle and lack.
You’re going to come into your land of unprecedented favor, where God takes you where you could not go on your own.
If God showed you all He had in store, you would think: “Aah, that’s not for me, God you’ve got the wrong person - I don’t have the training, the experience, the talent...” You may not, but God who goes before you, is going to give you land that you didn’t work for, cities that you didn’t build.
The Houston Rockets basketball team played in this facility for nearly thirty years. In 1999 they wanted to move out and build a new arena. The citizens were going to have to pay for most of the construction, so they had to put it up for vote. The citizens voted “No.” They didn’t wanna pay. The Rockets couldn’t move out. A year and a halve later it was put on the ballot again – this time the citizens voted “yes.” The Rockets were cleared to move, and they built the new arena.
What’s interesting, is that if the vote would have passed the first time, Lakewood wouldn’t have been ready for this facility - my father had just died, we were working through changes, trying to keep everything going, not sure what was going to happen.
I believe God put the building on hold, caused it to not pass, because He knew it was suppose to be ours - we weren’t ready for it yet. If it had gone through the first time, most likely it would have been sold to a developer, and we wouldn’t be here. But a year and a halve later, after everything calmed down after my father’s death, and we saw incredible growth, it was like God said: “Alright, let me ‘drive the inhabitants out of your land.’ Let me move the basket ball team, so I can give you the arena, that I’ve destined for you to have.”
God gave us a facility that we didn’t have to build. This was more than we could imagine. We couldn’t have done it in our own strength – a professional basket ball team – they were bigger, stronger, more powerful. But God has the final say.
What He has destined for you, no person can stop… no organization, no group. He knows when the right time is. If it hasn’t happened yet, you didn’t miss your opportunity - God is holding what belongs to you. Whatever’s on your land, when it’s your time, it’s no match for our God. He knows how to move them away. He knows how to make things happen that you couldn’t make happen.
I talked to a lady that has a son that’s in the Military. He’s stationed in Hawaii. They live in Tennessee. He started competing in different Military events – he won ‘Soldier of the year’ for his brigade. His parents were so proud of him. They hadn’t seen him in a long time. He kept winning these competitions.
His mother said to his father: “I feel bad that he is over there by himself, and we can not be there to support him.” His father said: “Well, the next time he competes get on a plane and go see him.” She was so excited. She flew to Hawaii to surprise her son. When she pulled up on the base, he couldn’t believe his eyes. He came running out, gave her a bid hug, had tears coming down his cheeks. He said: Mom, I was out walking in the woods this morning, and I prayed: ‘God, I need my family. Please make a way, that I could see them.’”
This mother had already flown ten hours from Tennessee. She had already landed, before he prayed. God said in Isaiah (65:24): “Before you call I will answer you.”
Before the words ever came out of his mouth, days earlier, God already had the answer on the way.
That’s the God, who goes before us.
Things you haven’t even prayed about – He’s already lined up the answer.
My brother Paul was in Haiti several years ago, right after the big earthquake. He and a team of surgeons, were operating on all the injured people. At one point, the main monitor they were using during surgery, to monitor the patient’s vital signs, went out. Without that monitor they couldn’t do anymore surgeries – it was too dangerous.
They looked all over the little make-shift hospital – couldn’t find another one. Paul and the team made phone calls with no success. It looked like it would be several days, having a monitor flown in from the United States. It was very frustrating to have all the surgeons, the talent, the ability, but one small thing was keeping them from helping so many people.
A few hours later, the Hospital Administrator came up, a local Haitian man, carrying a brand new monitor, still in the box, the exact one that they needed. Paul and the team were amazed that he would have that monitor!
Paul asked him where he got it – he explained how two years earlier, he’d been at a Hospital Administrator’s meeting in the United States. Everyone that attended, had their name entered into a contest for a “door price.” It just so happened that out of several thousand people, he was chosen for this monitor. He had no need for it at the time - it was in storage. But God knows what you’re going to need in the future. He knows, who you’re going to need in the future.
The good news is, He’s going ahead of you right now, lining up the right people, the right supplies, the right opportunities. He has solutions to problems you haven’t had. Before you call, He will answer.
He’s a strategic God - nothing happens by accident. He’s already planned out your days, from the end to the beginning. He knows what you need today, and what you’re going to need ten years from now.
Why don’t you trust Him?
A young couple in Los Angeles, were moving out of their apartment complex, and as they were going down the elevator with their mattress, the elevator quit working. They were stuck. They called the front desk and waited, and waited. An hour later, they were finally able to get out. They were carrying the mattress toward their truck, they heard some commotion up above. They looked up, and a three year old boy was playing on the balcony railing on the third story. Very dangerous.
They tried to to get his attention to go back in, but he wouldn't listen. They were so alarmed, they rushed over with their mattress, and put it underneath where the boy was playing. In a few seconds, this little boy, fell off the third story balcony, landed right in their mattress, unharmed. He was autistic and couldn’t hear what they were saying.
The scripture (Matthew 10:29) says: “A sparrow doesn’t fall to the ground, without God knowing about it.” A little bird. How much more is God concerned about you, about your family! You’re His most priced possession.
“Well Joel, that’s a lucky break – that’s some coincidence.”
No that was the God who goes before us, causing things to fall into place. That elevator, not working properly, that was a divine delay. That was God causing it to malfunction, to put those people at the right place at the right time. You can be assured, God will be there to watch over you, and your children. He’ll even be there when you make mistakes, when you get off course. He doesn’t say: “I’ll go before you, I’ll protect you, I’ll level your mountains, if you perform perfectly, if you never get in that third story balcony, do something foolish...” God loves you unconditionally.
He knows we’re going to make mistakes. In His great mercy, He’ll be right there to help you get back on course.
This is what happened with Jonah (Jonah 1:1-4) God told him to go to the city of Nineveh. He had clear instructions, he knew exactly what he was suppose to do. But Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh – he went the opposite direction. God said go left, he went right.
You would think God would say: “Alright Jonah, you’re on your own. I’ll go before you if you go to Nineveh, but good luck if you go the other way.”
Jonah got on a boat headed in the wrong direction, and a huge storm arose. Yes, there are consequences for going the wrong way, but that doesn’t mean, God is not going to help you - He’s going to give you another chance, and another chance, and another.
The boat was about to capsize, they were all about to die. Jonah finally admitted he was the cause – they didn’t think twice, they threw him over board. Jonah was out in the middle of the ocean, in a huge storm, no life jacket, no chance of survival. This should have been the end – Jonah died doing his own thing, don’t feel sorry for him.
But God doesn’t abandon us when we make mistakes. God had already gone before Jonah, in the wrong direction - He had that big fish waiting, to swallow him up, and spare his life.
Like Jonah, many of us would not be here, if God had not gone before us, in the wrong direction. We brought the trouble on ourselves, it was nobody’s fault except our own. But God, in His mercy, was there to help get us out. I want you to have this assurance that you’re not doing life by yourself.
The Creator of the universe is going before you. He has you covered. You can lie down at night in peace. Not just when you do everything bright, but even when you make mistakes.
You may think that you have blown it too many times, you’ve gotten too far off course - you wouldn’t be hearing this, if God was finished with you. You can try to outrun God, but you’ll never be successful. God knows you’re next move. When you show up, He’ll be right there – not to condemn you, but to help restore you. To give you another chance. To help you get back on the best path.
You can still become, all God’s created you to be.
Years ago, there was a pastor of a large church in America. He was very successful, but he made poor choices and he got off course, and he ended up loosing his family, and had to resign from the ministry. It’s very sad. He was living very down on himself, guilty, condemned, feeling all washed up.
Several years later, he was in South America – a local pastor that he knew there, invited him to come to his church. He was sitting on the platform, during the service. This man came up, looked him in the eyes, almost in amazement, and begin weeping. This pastor didn’t know what was going on – the man started praying for him.
All of a sudden he felt a warmth come over him, like nothing he had ever felt. He said it was like this love was purging him, of all the guilt, the shame, the hurt – for the first time he was able to forgive himself. That night was a turning point. He left there feeling restored, knowing that God still had a purpose for him.
After the service, he asked that man why he prayed form him like that. This man explained, how twenty years earlier, he was praying, and out of nowhere he saw this man’s face. In his heart, God said to him – ‘one day you’re going to see this man, face to face, and you’re to help bring healing and restoration to him.’
What’s interesting, is twenty years earlier, this US pastor wasn’t in the ministry, he wasn’t even married yet, yet God had already lined up the right person to help him.
God knows the end from the beginning. He has solutions to problems you haven’t had. He’s going before you, not to just level mountains, but to help lift you when you fall. To help restore you when you make mistakes. He’ll have the right people there to help you bring healing and wholeness.
Maybe God is using me, to help get you back on the right course. We didn’t meet by accident. God caused our paths to cross. You may have made mistakes, but that didn’t cancel your destiny. God has already forgiven you. His mercy is bigger than any mistake. He already has a new beginning waiting for you.
Why don’t you get back in the game. Quit living guilty, condemned. You wouldn’t be alive unless God had something amazing up in front of you.
Friends, you’re not doing life on your own. You have an advantage. The God who goes before you, is fighting your battles. Are you living worried, stressed out, wondering how it’s going to work out? God is saying: “Trust me. I have you covered. I know where you are, and I know where you’re going.”
Those obstacles that look like they’re never going to change, you need to get ready - this is a new day. I believe and declare, God is breaking chains that have held you back, He’s driving the inhabitants out of your land, you’re going to see increase, restoration, healing, breakthroughs, the fullness of your destiny.
You will know it is the God who goes before you. In Jesus’ name.
If you receive it today, can you say amen?