Joel Osteen - How Bad Do You Want It?
I want to talk to you today about "How bad do you want it"? The dreams God has placed in your heart, the promises he spoken to you are not going to come to pass without opposition, without delays, without people trying to talk you out of it. There will be plenty of opportunities to get discouraged, to lose your passion and think that it's not meant to be. But if you're going to reach your destiny, you have to have a made-up mind. If you give up after the first time or the fifth time or the 30th time, what that really means is you didn't want it bad enough.
There should be something you're believing for that you are relentless. You are not moved by how impossible it looks, you're not discouraged by how long it's taking, you don't give up because people told you no, you're attitude is, "If I have to believe my whole life, I am not going to stop believing, I am not going to take no for an answer, I'm not going to settle for mediocrity, I'm going to keep pursuing what God put in my heart". You can't be passive and indifferent, you have to have a holy determination. It's more than just your will, it's a fire on the inside, a knowing that it's supposed to be yours. And when everything says it's not going to happen, instead of getting discouraged, you kick in to a new gear. Normal people would give up, normal people would settle, but you're not normal. You want it on another level.
When David was 17 years old, the prophet Samuel anointed him as the next King of Israel, but David didn't go to the palace, he went back to the shepherd's fields where it was lonely. He was overlooked, mistreated by his family. When he finally did go to the palace to serve King Saul, Saul became jealous of David and tried to kill him. David had done no wrong, yet he had to live on the run, hiding in caves, spending months out in the desert. He could've been discouraged, thought, "God, this isn't fair. You anointed me to be king. Nothing is working out".
But David didn't have a give-up spirit. He didn't feel sorry for himself. He didn't let circumstances talk him out of it. He had a warrior mentality. His attitude was, "I am not quitting, I am not settling for mediocrity, I know there is greatness in me, I'm going to become who God says I am". One reason he took the throne is he wanted it bad enough.
How bad do you want what God has put in your heart? Bad enough to outlast the opposition? Bad enough to overlook some insults? Bad enough to do the right thing when the wrong thing is happening? Do you want it bad enough to keep pursuing even when circumstances say it's not going to happen? Many of the difficulties we face, the delays, the times it's not fair, that's simply a test. God is seeing how bad do you want it. This is what weeds people out. If you're overcome by problems, you let circumstances push you down, people talk you out of it, you're not going to have the strength or the courage to sustain where God is taking you.
You have to be like David, don't have a weak mentality, have a warrior mentality. You have to be more determined than the opposition. If you give up every time things don't go your way, you didn't want it bad enough. You have to dig your heels in and say, "I am in this for the long haul. I know what God has spoken to me. I will get well. I will accomplish my dream. I will meet the right person". You're not moved by what's not working out, by how long it's taking, or by who's not for you, you know who is for you, the Most High God.
In Mark Chapter 10, Jesus was leaving Jericho, a great crowd was following him. There was a blind beggar on the side of the road named Bartimaeus. When he heard all the commotion, he started shouting, "Jesus, son of David, have Mercy on me". The people around him told him to be quiet. "You're creating a scene, he's going to get upset". They saw Bartimaeus as insignificant. "You're just a beggar. This man Jesus, he's not going to be interested in you. He's the hottest celebrity around. He's on TMZ every night".
The more they tried to quiet him, the scripture says the louder he shouted. About that time, Jesus stopped, turned, and looked at him. I can imagine they thought, "We told ya. You should've been quiet, he's annoyed. He's going to let you have it". Jesus smiled and said, "Tell him to come to me". They were amazed. They said, "Bartimaeus, he's not upset, he's calling you". They brought him to Jesus. Jesus said to him: what is it that you want me to do for you? Bartimaeus said, "I want to see". Jesus told him, "Go your way. Your faith has made you whole". Instantly he could see.
Here's my point: there were other blind men on the road that day. There were other sick people in the crowd, yet Bartimaeus was the only one that was healed, why? He wanted it more than they did. He wanted it so bad he didn't let people talk him out of it. When they tried to push him down, discourage him, he shouted even louder. If he would've listened to them, he would've missed his miracle. Are you letting people talk you out of what God put in your heart? "You can't get well, you saw the report, you'll never get out of debt, you've reached your limits, you can't start that business, you won't accomplish your dreams, you have too much opposition".
Do like him, let that go in one ear and out the other. Ignore what they're saying. They don't determine your destiny, God does. But if Bartimaeus would've been passive and indifferent and thought, "Hey, I'm blind. It's just a bad break". He wouldn't have received his sight. He had this passion, this fire on the inside that said, "This is your day. This is your time". He rose up and took that step of faith. And if you're going to see what you're believing for, you have to be willing to do what other people won't do. Other people may not believe when it looks impossible, other people may settle where they are, they may get discouraged, tell ya don't bother praying, don't bother believing, no use getting your hopes up, you're wasting your time. You have to do like Bartimaeus and say, "God, this looks impossible, but I know you can do the impossible. The odds are against me, but God, I know, you are for me".
"Well, I put in three applications, all three companies turned me down. I don't think I'll ever find a job". I say this respectfully: you don't want it bad enough. "Well, I dated two girls, both of them told me I wasn't their type. I don't think I'll ever get married". You don't want it bad enough. There are several million other girls out there. "Well, I want to get well, but the medical report says I'm not going to make it".
When the odds are against you, you have to want it on a new level. How bad do you want to get out of debt? Bad enough to not buy things you can't afford? Bad enough to not try to keep up with your friends? Bad enough to honor God by tithing your income? How bad do you want that promotion? Bad enough to get to work early? Bad enough to do more than what's required? Bad enough to take that online course to sharpen your skills? "I don't want to take another course, I don't want more work, I just want the promotion". You don't want it bad enough. You have to stand out in the crowd.
The Scripture says Daniel distinguished himself. He was so excellent in his work, so sharp, had such a great attitude that he stood out among all the other young men. The king put him in a position of great leadership. But it doesn't say God distinguished him, God made him excel, God made him stand out, it says he distinguished himself. He was willing to do what the other young men wouldn't do. It wasn't so much that he had more talent, more skill, it was the fact that he wanted it more than they did. How bad do you want your children to stay on the right course? Bad enough to bring them to church each week? Bad enough to get them up and dressed on your day off and have them in children's classes?
We don't think twice about having to get our children up for school, have them dressed, fed, ready sometimes by seven in the morning. Their schooling is incredibly important, but I could argue that their spiritual life is even more important. When they grow up learning to honor God, as a person of excellence and integrity, knowing that they are fearfully and wonderfully made, knowing that they are surrounded by favor, those seeds planted in them will affect them for the rest of their life. Every time you bring them, you are showing them by example to put God first place. How bad do you want your marriage, your relationships to work out? Bad enough to bite your tongue when you feel like telling them off? Bad enough to clean up a mess that you didn't make? There are new levels in front of us, but much of it depends on how bad we want it. God is not going to do everything for us, we have to do our part.
When Lazarus died, Jesus told his family, "Roll away the stone, and I'll raise Lazarus". Jesus could've moved the stone, he's God. He wanted to see how bad they wanted it. You can pray, "God, help me to feel better. I don't have any energy. God I'm always so tired". Are you eating right? Are you exercising? Are you getting enough sleep? Are you living stressed and worried? If you'll roll away the stone, then God will do what you're asking. But you can't override natural laws and expect to live a blessed healthy life. Do you want to get well bad enough to not drink 43 colas a day and sleep three hours a night? Let me move on. Do you want to break that addiction bad enough to not hang around those people that are pulling you down, causing you to compromise?
"Well, Joel, I know these friends aren't good for me, but I like being around them". You don't want it bad enough. God is not going to free you until you roll away the stone. When he sees you doing all you can, then he'll make things happen that you can't. But if you're not willing to do the natural, he's not going to do the supernatural, and your destiny is too important to spend it with people that are not making you better. Who are you allowing to influence you? Are they challenging you, inspiring you, pushing you forward? You don't have time to waste with people that bring out the worst in you? Life is flying by, we don't get a do-over. This is it.
"Well, what if I hurt their feelings"? What if you miss your destiny? What if they keep you from becoming who you were created to be. They may not want it bad enough, they may be okay with mediocrity and compromise and barely getting by in life. That's their choice, but that's not who you are. You have seeds of greatness, you're destined to leave your mark. You weren't created to fit in, to be average, to live with addictions, dysfunction, lack, struggle, you were created to stand out in the crowd, to be a cut above. Now, do your part and distinguish yourself, be willing to do what others won't do. Yes, it takes discipline, yes, you have to say no to carnal desires, but the pain of discipline is less than the pain of regret.
It's hard to bite your tongue, not say what you feel, but that pain is less than the pain of having someone you love walk away. It's hard to lay off the junk food, things that are not good for you, that pain is less than pain of not being healthy. It's hard to break away from a friend that's pulling you down, but that pain is less than not reaching your dreams. And one of the saddest things is to come to the end of life and wonder what I could have become. What if I wouldn't have let those people talk me out of my miracle? What if I would've broken away from those friends that were causing me to compromise, where would I be? What if I would've treated my spouse with respect? What if I would've taken that step of faith in my career and not played it safe all the time.
You don't have to wonder, you can start right now. It is not too late to become who God's created you to be. The question is: do you want it bad enough? Stir your passion up. Make this decision: I am not going to live complacent, accepting mediocrity, passive, I'm going to pursue what God put in my heart. I'm going to take steps to grow. I'm going come up higher in my relationships.
There was a young man that was raised in a small town in Pennsylvania. Nobody in his family had ever left that area. They all stayed and worked there locally, but this young man had a dream to go to college. He knew he had more in him, but he came from a limited income. He didn't have the funds or the connections, but instead of giving up and accepting that as his destiny, he went to the local phone company, and he got the phone directory for New York City. That's where he wanted to go to school, but he had to find a job.
He found a company that had 393 locations in the New York area. He decided to write each one of them a letter asking them for a job. He didn't have a computer or a typewriter, but for the next month he wrote about 15 letters a week, telling the company that he would do anything from sweep the floors to clean out the warehouses. A month went by, and he didn't hear anything. Three months nothing, six months still nothing. He was kinda discouraged.
When he turned 18 he convinced his parents to let him take the train to New York City to follow up with that company. He arrived in Manhattan, and he went to one of their largest locations in Times Square. He told the person in charge who he was and how he had applied for a job and was wondering if they were interested. The person informed him that all the hiring took place at the corporate headquarters a few blocks down the street. That's where all the applications went. He walked into this big skyscraper, this huge building. He told the receptionist his name and asked if he could see the person in charge of hiring.
She called upstairs, and much to her surprise they said, "Yes, send him up". He stepped off the elevator, they brought him to this large executive office with big beautiful windows, looking out. He was so nervous, so out of his element. He told the executive, "My name is so-and-so, and I was wondering if you received the letter I wrote asking for a job". The executive turned to his side desk, put his hand on a big stack of papers, said, "Yes, we received your letter, all 393 of them. We knew you would be coming. You can start tomorrow". This young men not only work his way through college, but when he graduated he became a manager for a whole region of their stores. How bad do you want it?
"Well, I put in four applications, they all turned me down". You have 389 left to go. The difference between a dream and a wish is a wish is something you just hope it happens, but a dream you put actions behind. The Scripture says faith without works is dead. He could've wished he could get a job, wish somebody would hire him, wished he could go to school. Wishing isn't going to get you anywhere. He was willing to do what others wouldn't do. The people that succeed don't always have the most talent, the most education, the most opportunity. Many times they simply want it more than others. You have to pursue what God put in you. Being passive and indifferent will keep you from your destiny.
Jesus said, "Those who hunger and thirst after righteousness will be filled". Here's the principle, if you're not hungering after anything, you're not going to be filled. Are you hungry to get well? Hungry to accomplish the dream? Hungry to meet the right person? You can teach people to have faith, you can encourage them to believe, but you can't make people be hungry. This has to come from the inside. You have to know you are a person of destiny, that there is something bigger in front of you. Do you want it bad enough, or are you coasting? Have you let people talk you out of it, bad breaks, disappointments, steal your passion, cause you to settle?
"Well, my business didn't make it, that's why I'm down". How do you know your next business is not going to make it? "The medical report says I'm not going to get well". There's another report, it says God is restoring health back unto you. Are you hungry for it? You may have had some setbacks, but you have to be relentless when it comes to what God put in your heart. If you let people talk you out of it, delays, disappointments, then you didn't want it bad enough. And sometimes we talk ourselves out of it. "It's too hard, I can't write that many letters, I don't have a computer". It's amazing what we'll do when we want something bad enough.
When I met Victoria, I was madly in love. I thought this girl is one of a kind. I am not going to let her get away. I would do anything she wanted. I would go to the mall with her, follow her around, hold her purse while she tried things on. I don't even like to shop. I didn't mind it one bit. I was with her. One time when we were first dating, she asked if I wanted to go work out at 5:30, in the morning. I thought, "No, I don't want to go work at 5:30, I want to sleep". Without missing a beat, I smiled real big and said, "I'd love to go work out at 5:30. I'll be at your house at 5:15". I was lying, but I was in love.
Here I was driving down the road, 4:45 in the morning as happy as can be, never complained one time. I was about to see the girl of my dreams. When you want something bad enough, you'll do things that you normally wouldn't do. If you think I wanted her that bad, you should've seen how bad she wanted me. I made myself laugh. I can't think of any examples, but I know she did. What am I saying? Quit telling yourself it's too hard, it's too early, I've had too many setbacks, you can do what you want to do. Don't miss your destiny because you didn't want it bad enough. What God put in you is worth fighting for, it's worth being uncomfortable for a season, it's worth having to stretch, to get up early, to try to again, to do what others aren't wiling to do.
My grandmother on my father's side of the family was a very feisty woman. She was a real character. She grew up way out in the country, and she and my grandfather were very poor. They didn't have much education, but they were really great people. But latter in life my grandmother took up chewing tobacco. She liked to dip snuff. You didn't know I came from such a sophisticated background. One time someone asked my father if you could chew tobacco and go to Heaven. He said, "Yes, but you'll have to go to hell to spit". My grandfather couldn't stand it. He begged her and begged her to stop.
She said, "Jack, I just can't do it. I've tried everything, I'm hooked". This went on year after year, and nothing seemed to help, and my grandfather was desperate. He finally told her, Ellie May, I will give you $1.000 if you will stop dipping snuff. Back then in the '40s, $1.000 was like $25.000 today. She wanted the money so badly, she tried everything she could, she still couldn't stop. Well, eventually my grandfather died. He went to be with the Lord, but my grandmother didn't like being single. Ellie May wanted to find herself a man. She met this man that was 12 years younger than her. She was so excited. He was handsome, had a great personality, more than she could imagine, but she started thinking, "If he finds out I dip snuff, he will never even ask me out on a date, much less marry me".
Do you know how long it took Ellie May to quit dipping snuff? That long. She did it instantly. She didn't go to snuff dippers anonymous, she didn't have any withdrawals. What she couldn't do in years, she did in a split second all because her want to got big enough. Like my grandmother, you can do whatever you want to do. The question is: how big is your "want to"? You can break that addiction if you really want to. You can forgive that person that hurt you. You can make your marriage work. You can write that book. You can accomplish your dream if you want to bad enough.
Your will is one of the most powerful things you have, and when you make up your mind to do something, God will breathe on your efforts and give you strength that goes beyond your natural ability. It's not just willpower, it's the blessing of God helping you, but it kicks in when God sees you doing all you can do, taking steps to come up higher, forgiving the person that did you wrong, trying again after a disappointment. That's when you'll see God make things happen that you couldn't make happen. But I wonder if you've convinced yourself you can't do something that you really can do?
"I don't have the discipline, I don't have the talent". God is saying, "You can do it, it's in you, but you're going to have to dig down deep and put forth the effort". It may not be easy, but your destiny is calling. You have greatness in you. Don't let people talk you out of it, don't let circumstances convince you that you can't, there are new levels in front of you. There are great relationships, healing, promotion, abundance, my question is how bad do you want it. I believe I'm looking at hungry people today. I'm looking at people that have a made-up mind, people that are relentless. I believe and declare because your want-to is big enough, like Bartimaeus, you're going to see God suddenly turns thing around. Like David, you're going to outlast the opposition and take your throne. And like my grandmother, you're going to break barriers that have held you back and step into a new level of your destiny in Jesus' name.