Joel Osteen - Unclutter Your Mind
I want to talk to you today аbout: "Unclutter Your Mind". It's easy to go around worried about our future, stressed over our finances, frustrated with our boss. We're tempted to live guilty because of past mistakes and bitter over what didn't work out. And we wonder: "Why we don't enjoy life? Why we're not passionate about dreams? Why we can't sleep at night"? It's because our mind is cluttered. You weren't created to live worried, guilty, bitter, upset. If you're going to reach your destiny, you have to clear out the clutter. You can't stop negative things from coming, but you can keep them from stay. You don't have to hold on to it.
When we make mistakes guilt will come, condemnation telling us how we don't measure up. You can hold on to it, go around down on yourself or you can let it go and say "Father, thank you that I am forgiven. Thank you, that I am redeemed. The past is over, this is a new day, I'm moving forward". When you go through a disappointment, something doesn't work out, you can hold on to it, live discouraged or you can let it go and say, "God, I know you have something better. I know your plans for me are for good. I know you're directing my steps". When the medical report is not good, when the contract doesn't go through, when you're in a legal situation, you can hold on to it, live worried, thinking "What am I going to do?" or you can let it go and say, "God, I know you're fighting my battles, I know what's meant for harm you're turning to my advantage. I may not see a way, but God, I know you have a way".
You can clear out the clutter, you can get rid of the negative things that are stealing your peace, taking your joy, draining your energy. The scripture tells us to guard our minds. You have to be proactive when it comes to keeping your mind in peace, because all through the day there's clutter, there's noise there's jealousy, there's hurts, there's a offenses. They may come, but you don't have to hold on to it.
I saw a documentary about hoarders, these are people that never throw anything away. And this one lady lived by herself in a two-story house, but you couldn't get upstairs, she had it so piled full of trash: old newspapers, empty cereal boxes, cans from food that she had eaten 30 years ago. There was a small path to the kitchen to the bathroom and to a little place to sleep. Big walls of trash on each side. You can imagine how it smelled, how unhealthy it was. It got so bad, the authorities came to do an intervention. They knocked on the front door, but she couldn't open it. They went around to the side door, barely squeezed in. At one point this man picked up an old popsicle wrapper, looked like there were thousands piled up in the corner, he asked if he could get rid of it. The lady told how that belonged to her children, that admits something to her and to put it back.
It seemed obvious to everyone, all she was doing was keeping trash, but she couldn't see it. She was so focused on holding on to everything, she didn't realize it was limiting her life. And I wonder how many of us are hoarders in our minds, we're not letting anything go, there's so much clutter, we can't enjoy our life. God has you hearing this, because he wants to do an intervention, he wants to help you clear out the worry, the offense, the guilt, the bitterness, those things that are cluttering your life. What's interesting is, the authorities didn't make her throw away the trash, it was her choice and eventually she decided to do it, but it wasn't easy. Everything in her said to hold on to it, that's all she had known for years, living cluttered had become normal to her.
Sometimes living worried has become normal to us, we've done it for years. Living guilty is what we used to, we've gone around thinking: we don't deserve to be blessed, we've made too many mistakes. We've let that recording place so long, that we've accepted it. Or maybe living inferior, feeling less than, perhaps that's how you were raised, thoughts have always told you "You're not that talented, you're not attractive, you don't have a good personality". We didn't know any better, we believe those lies and now our mind is cluttered. The good news is: this is your day for an intervention. It is time to clear out the clutter, those thoughts that are telling you "You're not up to par", you need to say, "No, thank you, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I have royal blood flowing through my veins, I'm wearing a crown of favor".
Clear out the negative. You have enough people in life against you, don't be against yourself. You've been made in the image of Almighty God. God doesn't make any mistakes, he didn't make you faulty, he calls you a masterpiece, a prized possession. My challenge don't say another negative word about yourself. Quit dwelling on those thoughts, telling you what you're not: you are exactly how you're supposed to be, you have been wonderfully made. Now, get an agreement with God, all through the day this recording should be playing in our mind, "I'm a masterpiece, I'm one of a kind, I'm talented, I'm attractive, I'm favored, I'm empowered, I have seeds of greatness". When you dwell on what God says about you, it will automatically clear out the clutter. Fear can't stay where faith is, discouragement can't stay where hope is, guilt can't stay where forgiveness is, mediocrity can't stay where greatness is. Program your mind with what God says about you.
But, this lady had a beautiful house, she couldn't enjoy it, she couldn't get upstairs because of the trash. In the same way, if you don't clear out the clutter, it will keep you from going to new levels. Worry will keep you from rising higher, living guilty will keep you from pursuing dreams, going around defended, bitter will help keep you from new opportunities. "Well, Joel, these people hurt me. They did me wrong, that's why I'm bitter, that's why I'm upset". That happened 27 years ago, why are you still holding on to it? Why are you still sour over the person that walked away, still upset over how you were raised, still bitter over that company that lets you go? Don't be a hoarder, don't let that poison your future. They hurt you once, don't let them continue to hurt you by holding onto it.
Recognize that's cluttering your mind, that's limiting your vision. I'm not saying what they did wasn't hurtful, I'm not making excuses for their behavior, but as long as you hold on to it, you're giving them your power, you're letting them control you. We only have so much emotional energy each day, do you know how much energy it takes to hold a grudge, to be bitter, to go around trying to pay people back? That is valuable energy you need for your dreams, for your goals, for your children. God said he will give you beauty for ashes, but here's the key: you have to let go of the ashes before you receive the beauty. You can't go around hurt, living offended, upset and see the new things God has in store. You have to clear out the clutter, that's what makes room for God to give you the beauty.
The mistake we make sometimes is: we think we have to get even, we have to pay people back. No, that's not your job, if you'll turn it over to God, he'll be your vindicator, he'll bring justice into like. He saw every hurt, every wrong, every person that took advantage of you. I've learned, God will vindicate you better than you can vindicate yourself. David said, "God will prepare a table before you in the presence of your enemies". That means, when God brings you out, those people that did you wrong, the people that tried to hold you back, they will see you promoted, honored, in a position of influence. God is not going to vindicate you in private, he's going to do it in public, so your enemies see you blessed, favored, successful.
When my dad went to be with the Lord and I stepped up to pastor the church, I was very insecure, I had never ministered before. One Sunday, right after I first started speaking, I was walking through the front lobby and I overheard these two older ladies talking. One said, "He's not as good as his father", the other answered "Yeah, I don't think he's going to make it". That was the last thing I needed to hear, it was like my worst nightmare. I was tempted to swing back, "I think, I can't do this. Nobody's gonna listen to me".
But I felt something rise up in me so strongly, I thought "Who are they to tell me what I can't do? They didn't breathe life into me. They don't determine my destiny, they didn't know me before I was formed in my mother's womb. I don't need their approval, I don't have to have them to be for me". I did what I'm asking you to do, I cleared out the clutter. And every time their voices came to my mind, I said "No, thanks, I am well able, I am strong in the Lord. God being for me it's more than the world being against me". They still may not like me, but that's okay. When they turn on the television, they probably see me. When they're flipping through SiriusXM, they might hear me. What was that? God preparing a table in the presence of my enemies.
When we were trying to acquire this building, the former Compaq Center, a well known business leader in Houston told a friend of mine, that it would be a cold day in hell before Lakewood got the Compaq Center, he was very against us. The company we were up against was much bigger, had many more resources, but God stepped in and made things happen that we never could make happen and here we are today. But I can imagine, every time that man drives down the freeway, sees our building with the big Lakewood sign, he must think: it's a cold day in hell, because here we are. What was that? God honoring us in front of the opposition.
And I'm not gloating over it, not too much anyway, but here's my point: God knows how to vindicate you. It would be one thing if he did it in private, we would be grateful, but God is going to do it in public, he's preparing a table in the presence of your enemies. That means, when you have opposition, and you have trouble and things come against you, God has a table there. The key is: don't fight with the opposition, don't live worried, upset, stressed out. No, take a seat at the table God has prepared. If you will stay in rest, then God will go to work, but when you work - God rest. As long as you're uptight, worried, trying to make it happen only in your own strength, it will limit what God will do. The Psalmist said, "Be still and know that he is God".
Clear out the worry, clear out the negativity, live from a place of faith, a place of peace. God has you in the palm of his hand. Nothing you're facing is a surprise to him. He said to the Israelites: "Stand still and you will see the deliverance of the Lord". He wasn't just talking about physically, he was talking about in their mind, in their attitude, in their spirit. You may have plenty of good reasons to live upset, worried, not able to sleep at night, but when you're in peace, that's a position of power, when you're in peace you're showing God, that you trusting him.
Anyone can stay in faith when everything's going our way, the test comes when the contract doesn't go through, when your child is off-course, when the medical report is not good. It's easy to let the clutter in. No, be still, that's the time to show God that you trust him, not just with your words, but with your actions. See the enemy's main target is our mind, that's the control center for our life. If he can keep it cluttered, filled with doubt, "What if it doesn't work out, Joel? What if my health doesn't improve? What if I don't meet the right person?". As long as our mind is cluttered it keeps God from turning it around. God works where there's faith.
In 2 Chronicles 32, the king of Syria had a huge army, they had invaded that whole region, conquering all these large fortified cities by tearing down the walls and capturing the people. The City of Jerusalem was next in line, word quickly spread throughout the Israelite camp, the people begin to panic, so worried, thinking "What are we gonna do? They're so much bigger than us". King Hezekiah said to the Israelites in verse 7, "Don't be afraid of this mighty army. For there is a power far greater on our side. They may have a great army, but they are just men. We have the Lord our God to fight our battles for us".
When you face big enemies, big oppositions, you have to remind yourself: our God is bigger than the cancer, he's bigger than the addiction, he's bigger than the people that are trying to stop you. The way to stay in faith is: don't talk about how big the problem is, talk about how big your God is. He flung stars into space, he spoke words into existence, he healed my mother of terminal cancer, he gave us the Compaq Center. The good news is: right now he's breathing in your direction, he's pushing back forces of darkness, he's lining up the breaks that you need. Don't let fear clutter your mind, don't let doubt keep you from your miracle, don't let people talk you out of your dreams.
The king of Syria sent a letter to the Israelites, threatening them. It said, "We've conquered all these cities, we've captured all these people, none of their Gods saved them. What makes you think your God is going to save you"? The enemy will always try to defeat you first in your thoughts: things like you'll never get well, your grandmother died of the same thing, you'll never break the addiction, that problem will never turn around. Don't believe those lies, he wouldn't be telling you that, unless he knew it was on the way. Do like Hezekiah: "Yes, this problem may be big, but I know a secret, my God is much bigger, he's on the throne, he has the final say, what he started in my life he will finish".
Had Hezekiah not been proactive to guard his mind and to speak victory to the people, they would have all panicked, lived in fear, instead they stayed in peace. Verse 21 says, "God sent an angel that destroyed the whole enemy army. That king went home in disgrace returned to his land". God knows how to vindicate you, he knows how to turn the problem around: one angel wiped out the whole bunch. Now, stay in faith, when you're tempted to worry, turn it into worship: "Father, thank you that your angels are working in my life. Thank you, that no weapon formed against me will prosper. Thank you, that the trap the enemy set from me, they will fall in themselves".
If we're going to keep the clutter out, we have to know what's our job and what's God's job. Sometimes we're frustrated, because we're trying to do what only God can do. You can't make yourself get well, make somebody do what's right, make a door open. Our part is to believe, our part is to stay in faith, and then let God do his part, trust him to work it out. Hezekiah could thought, "I know, God's on my side, I'm going to go attack this army, show them who they're dealing with", we wouldn't be reading about it. I'm not saying to always sit back and be passive, but there are some battles you're not supposed to fight. Let God fight them for you.
Even with the Compaq Center, we had a three-year legal battle. And yes we did what we could, but we recognize: "God, this is too big for us, only you can make this happen, so we're going to be still and know that you are God". Like with Hezekiah, God stepped in and made things happen, that we could have never made happen. But while you're waiting for things to change, that's a test, it's easy to live worried, focused on your problem, thinking about how it's never going to work out - go, clear out that clutter. Isaiah said, "If you'll keep your mind stayed on him, God will keep you in perfect peace". Our part is to keep our mind on him, "God, thank you that you're in control, thank you that you are for me, thank you that your destiny for my life will come to pass". If we do our part, God will do his part. He'll not only keep you in peace, but he'll get you to where you're supposed to be.
In the scripture there were three Hebrew teenagers that we're about to be thrown into a fiery furnace, because they wouldn't bow down to the kings golden idol. The king threatened them one last time, they said: "King we're still not going to bow down. We know, our God will deliver us". They had this attitude of faith, but what they said next was the real key: they went on to say, "Even if he doesn't deliver us, we're still not going to bow down". That's a powerful position. When you can say, "I'm going to stay in peace if it works out my way, and I'm going to stay in peace if it doesn't work out my way", then you take away all the power of the enemy.
If you're only going to be happy if it happens your way, you're setting yourself up for disappointment. Why don't you take this next step: "God, this is what I'm believing for, this is what I want, but God, you know what's best for me. And if it doesn't happen my way, I'm still going to stay in peace, I'm still gonna have a song of praise, I'm still going to be good to people". That's what allows God to do amazing things. But there's a lot of noise these days, there's a lot of drama, things that we can get pulled in to, worry, conflict, jealousy - that may be all around us, but it doesn't have to get in us.
Pay attention to what you're allowing in your spirit. Just because there's conflict with your relatives does it mean it has to get in you, don't take that bait stay on the high road. Maybe at the office you could be frustrated, people are playing politics, not tweeting you're right. It's easy to let that sour your day, come home negative. No, clear out that clutter. Your time is too valuable to live it upset, bitter, this day is a gift from God, once we live it, we can never get it back. And sometimes we've become so hooked on drama, so used to living uptight, worrying about this situation, putting out this fire, fighting with this relative. We've forgotten what is like to be in peace, to not have all that clutter. That is not the way God created us.
In the Garden of Eden before they ate the forbidden fruit, there wasn't any noise, any drama, any jealousy, backstabbing politics, it was peaceful, joyful. And no, it's not like that now, but you can choose to live from a place of peace, you don't have to let the outside get on the inside. Maybe you become comfortable with the clutter, like this lady, you don't recognize that it's limiting your vision, that is blocking your potential. Not only that, it doesn't smell good, worry doesn't look good on you. Leaving guilty, bitter, offended and angry, that is not your style. Clear out that clutter and you'll step into new levels.
I read, where a sheep won't give birth in a noisy place. When it's about to go into labor, it will leave the flock and get away from all the commotion, all the busyness, and find a quiet place. In that peaceful atmosphere it will give birth. In the same way, you won't give birth to your dreams in a noisy place. You won't give birth to that breakthrough you're believing for, if you're worried, if your mind is stressed. You won't give birth to your potential, if your mind is full of hurts, regrets, bitterness. You may wonder: why God is not doing anything? Perhaps he's waiting for you to find a quiet place. It may be noisy all around you, but in your mind you can be in peace. When you know God is in control, when you know he's directing your steps, when you know nothing can stand against him, then you can live out of a quiet place.
David said, "God makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me by the steel waters". You could think David had an easy life, everything must have gone his way, he lived in the green pastures - it was just the opposite. David's life was full of difficulties, people trying to stop him, armies trying to defeat him, his own family didn't believe in him. Yet, he said, "I lied down in green pastures by still waters". He wasn't just talking about physically, he was talking about in his mind. Despite all that came against him, he chose to live in a place of peace. God is saying to you, "Come into the green pastures, come by the still waters". You don't have to carry all that clutter, it's time to get rid of the offense, the hurts, the guilt, the anger, there are some new things God wants you to birth. You know where you're going to birth them? By the still waters.
If you'll be still, you will know he is God, you will see him show out in your life. I'm asking us to unclutter our minds. Living guilty is not your destiny, going around down on yourself, thinking problems are too big - it's not who you were created to be. Empty out the negative and program your mind with what God says about you. If you'll do this, I believe and declare: you're going to give birth to dreams, to promotion, to healing, to breakthroughs. God is going to defeat enemies much bigger, open doors that you couldn't open and take you to the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name.