Joel Osteen - You Are Enough
I want to talk to you today about You Are Enough. It's easy to go through life thinking that we're lacking in some area: if we had more talent then we could do something great. If we had a better personality, if we were more confident, more attractive, then we could reach our dreams. But as long as you're discounting yourself, thinking you're at a disadvantage, it's going to keep you from rising higher. When God laid out the plan for your life, he carefully studied it, he thought about what you would need and what it would take to get you there, then he matched you with your world. He gave you the talent you need, the creativity, the strength, you're the right size, you have the right personality, you come from the right family. You didn't get shortchanged, you're not at a deficit, you are good enough, you are talented enough, you are attractive enough, you have been fearfully and wonderfully made.
But sometimes life will try to push us down, thoughts will whisper for everything that we're not: you're not as talented as your friend, you're not as attractive as your co-worker, you're not as smart as your cousin. That's okay, you're not running their race, you don't need what they have. If you needed it God, would have given it to you. If you needed to be taller, you would be taller. If you needed a different personality, you would have one. If you needed to come from another family, that would have happened. God doesn't make mistakes. When he created you he wasn't having a bad day, he didn't accidentally leave something out and now you're at a disadvantage. He calls you a masterpiece, he's crowned you with this favor, you have royal blood flowing through your veins. You're not lacking, you didn't get shortchanged, you have everything you need to fulfill your destiny.
Now quit comparing your looks, your gifts, your success with someone else and be you. You are powerful, you are anointed, you are gifted, you are amazing. Nobody can do you, like you can do you. "Well, I wish I had her looks, I wish I had his talent, I wish I came from their family". Well, if you had what they have, it wouldn't help you, it would hinder you. It wouldn't be a blessing, it would be a burden. Why? It was designed for them. The reason it works for them is because it fits. You don't want what doesn't fit you. What fits you is what you have. Now, quit wishing you were them and recognize: you are enough.
And yes, it's good to admire people, it's good to celebrate their gifts, but don't get so caught up in who they are, that you forget who you are. You are gifted, you are talented, you are one-of-a-kind. If you don't realize you are enough, then you'll always be dependent on other people to make you feel good about yourself. When you live thinking that you're at a deficit, you'll undersell yourself, you'll play up to people, you'll let them control you, that's where you're getting your validation. But when you know you are enough by yourself, you don't rely on people to approve you, you get your approval from your Heavenly Father.
The problem with relying on people is people can change. One minute people were saying to Jesus hosanna, blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord, they were laying down palm branches, celebrating his arrival. Three days later, those same people were saying "Crucify him". If you only feel good about yourself when people are telling you you're great, then if they leave, you'll forget who you are. If you're relying on them to make you feel valuable, attractive, talented, you're letting them control your self-worth. But when you realize, you're enough all by yourself, when you're not living from a deficit mentality, doesn't matter what people do or don't do, you know you're a masterpiece, you know you are one-of-a-kind.
David said in Psalm 23:1, "The Lord is my shepherd, I have everything I need". It's very powerful when you can say, "I have the talent I need, I have the personality, I need I have the looks I need, I have the family that I need". But David had plenty of opportunities to live from a deficit mentality. We know him as the greatest king that ever lived, but before that he was discounted by his father, left out in the shepherd's fields when the prophet Samuel came to choose the next king of Israel. David's father made him feel like he was not good enough, unqualified, too small. When David took lunch to his brothers, when they were in the army, one of his brothers made fun of him said, "What did you do with those few sheep you're supposed to be taking care of"? He's saying, "David, you're not talented, you didn't get what we got". If David would have relied on people to get his approval, he would have never stepped into his destiny.
Now, maybe someone is trying to discount you, make you feel like you're not talented enough, not attractive enough, not up to par. Do yourself a favor, let that go in one ear and out the other. They didn't breathe the life into you, they didn't know you before you were formed in your mother's womb, they don't control your destiny. Do like David, "Father, thank you that I have everything that I need. Thank you, that I am enough all by myself". You don't need people's approval, you don't need their validation, the Most High God has approved you, he's the one that matters. Now, get rid of a deficit mindset and step up to who you were created to be.
While back one afternoon I was at home, riding my stationary bike, exercising. I had my earphones in, hooked up to my cell phone, I was listening to a podcast. I put my phone at the front of the bike by the handlebars. At one point I started riding really fast, the bike began to shake and my cell phone fell off. When it did, it jerked my earphones out. I stopped and went down to picked him up, but the little white rubber tip came off of one of the earphones. I looked around for it everywhere and couldn't find it, was the strangest thing. I looked under the treadmill, I moved other equipment, I checked up on the windowsill, thought maybe it popped up there, I looked all over the bike on and on, it was nowhere to be found. Later that evening I was watching television, went to scratch my ear, felt something funny, it was the white rubber tip. I had it the whole time, but didn't realize it.
I wonder, if you're looking for something, that you already have. You're looking around you, but God is saying: look in you, you have the talent, you have the creativity, you have the confidence. Psalm 34:10 says, "Those who trust in the Lord will never lack any good thing". You need to see yourself as a no-lack person: you're not lacking the strength you need, you're not lacking the favor. "Well, Joel, I never get any good breaks. I don't see how it could accomplish my dreams. I don't think I'll ever meet the right person". That's a deficit mindset, that thinking will keep you from your destiny. You have to turn it around, "Father, thank you, that your favor surrounds me like a shield. Thank you, that goodness and mercy are chasing me down. Thank you, that divine connections, the right people are headed my way". What you need is in you, but you have to stir it up. As long as you think you're at a disadvantage, you were shortchanged, that will limit your life.
2 kings chapter 4, there was a widow, her husband was friends with the prophet Elisha. She came up to Elisha very discouraged and told him, how her husband had died and how now she was in such debt, that the creditors were coming to take her two sons as payment. Elisha asked her: what do you have in your house? She didn't have to think twice, she said, "Elijah, I have nothing at all, except a small jar of oil". She was saying, "I'm at a deficit, I don't have enough, I'm limited". And sometimes like this lady, we're discounting what God has given us. We have some talent, but "Joel, it's not enough. I have my degree, but it's not enough education".
This lady was about to miss her miracle, because she didn't recognize what she had. She was looking outside the house, but Elijah said, "What's in your house"? God will always have what you need, within reach. It's not something far off, it's close to you. One time Sampson was surrounded by the Philistine army. He didn't have any weapons, looked like he would be captured. He looked down and saw the jawbone of a donkey, just so happened to be at his feet. He picked it up and used that to defeat a thousand men. That wasn't a coincidence, that was the hand of God. What you need will be close to you.
Elijah told this woman to go out and borrow as many large empty containers that she could find. She went from neighbor to neighbor asking for them. She came back to the house, Elisha said, "Now, I want you to pour that little bit of oil that you have into another container". That didn't make sense. What good was it going to do to transfer the oil from one container to the other? The lady poured the oil and the oil kept flowing out, it kept coming. She filled up one container, then another and another, the oil never stopped flowing, until all the containers were full. She took that oil and sold it and had plenty to pay her debts.
When God asks you to do something that doesn't make sense, many times the act of obedience is what brings the miracle. God could have filled those containers without her pour in the oil, he could have had somebody show up with a bunch of full containers, but the miracle was dependent on the lady doing her part. Is God asking you to do something, that you don't want to do? To forgive that person that did you wrong. You're thinking: God that's not fair, they don't deserve it, they hurt me. Is he asking you to take care of that elderly neighbor or to give that friend a ride to work each day? And you're thinking, "Man, that's out of my way. God, I'm busy". The blessing is in the obedience.
There was a man in the scripture named Naaman. He was a captain in the Syrian army, but he had leprosy. God told him to go wash in the Jordan river and he would be healed. God could have healed him like Jesus healed people by speaking to them or by having someone lay hands on him, but God asked Naaman to do something unusual, something that he didn't understand. At first he wouldn't do it, he came up with all these excuses, he said, "I'm not gonna go wash in the Jordan, that river is dirty. We have much cleaner rivers where I live back home". He almost talked himself out of it, but he finally decided to do it. When he came up the seventh time, his skin was perfectly healed. The healing wasn't in the water or everyone that touched the water wouldn't been healed. The healing was in the obedience. Don't miss your miracle because you won't do what God's asking you to do.
What's interesting is Elijah didn't take anything to the widow's house. He didn't bring her a check, he didn't have a friend come plant her a garden, he simply showed her what was in the house. The principle is: you already have what you need, you're not waiting for it, maybe one day it will show up, there are miracles in your house. Sometimes we're looking on the outside, but you have to start looking on the inside. God is saying, "I've equipped you, I've empowered you, I've anointed you, you have seeds of greatness". Are you discounting what God has given you? Are you overlooking what you have? It may seem small, that gift may look like not enough, but when you use what you have, God will multiply it. When you pour the little bit of oil, that act of obedience is what will cause the oil to keep flowing.
This lady said, "I have nothing except a small jar of oil". God is going to use what comes after the except. "I have nothing except a little training, I have nothing except a few connections", he's going to take what you think is insignificant and turn it into something extraordinary. When we come to the end of our ability, that's when God steps in. If you can accomplish your dreams all on your own, you don't really need God's help. If you can overcome that obstacle by yourself, doesn't really take faith. Don't be discouraged when what you're up against looks too big, you don't have the resources, the opposition is stronger. You're in perfect position for God to show out in your lives. It looks like a setback, really it's a setup. God is about to make things happen that you couldn't make happen.
When my father went to be with the Lord back in 1999, I knew I was supposed to step up to pastor the church, but I didn't think I was enough, I didn't have the training, I had never been to seminary, I'm more quiet and reserved, I didn't want to get up in front of people. I told God all the things I didn't have and all the reasons why I couldn't do it. It was like God said, "Joel, what else do you have in your house"? I said, "God, I have nothing except a little training, a little confidence, a little faith, just this small jar of oil". God said, "That's all I need, use what you have and watch what I'll do". God took that little bit of oil and turned it into more than I ever imagined.
What am I saying quit discounting yourself, quit talking yourself out of your greatness. God is not limited by what family you come from, by your education, by what you think that you don't have. All he's asking you to do is use what comes after the accept. "I have nothing, Joel, except this high school diploma. How can I do something great? I don't have a extensive education". Neither did Bill Gates, neither did steve jobs, they did okay. Use what you have and God will multiply, he'll turn it into something extraordinary.
Jesus had been out teaching all day and he told the disciples that he wanted them to feed the 5,000 people that had gathered. They said, "Jesus, that's impossible, we're out in the desert, we have no food except five loaves of bread and two fish". God will never ask you for something, that you don't have. If he ask and you don't think you can do it, it's because you have it and don't know it. Go back and see what else is in your house, what can you use after the accept. Jesus prayed over the fish, over the loaves, they multiplied, they were able to feed all 5,000 plus they have 12 baskets full of food leftover.
But when you look at what you have - your resources, your training, your experience it may not be enough: it's just five loaves, it's just a small jar of oil, what good would that do? Now, get ready, God's about to multiply what you have, he's going to do something unusual, something that you didn't see coming. Doors open that you couldn't open, opportunity where you weren't qualified, the right people tracking you down. He's going to take what looks insignificant and turn it into something extraordinary. He's going to multiply what comes after the except.
This is what happened to my father. He was raised very poor, his parents were farmers, they lost everything during the great depression. As a little boy he barely had enough food, went to school with holes in his clothes, she was so worn out that he had to keep putting cardboard in the bottom. Didn't look like he had much of a future. Nobody in his family knew anything about God. They were good people, but they didn't have any kind of faith. But at 17 my father went to church with the friend of his, that was very persistent. That day daddy gave his life to Christ, the first one in the family.
He begin to feel God telling him to become a pastor. He told his parents that he was going to leave and go out and start ministering. His parents said, "John, you better stay here with us, all you know how to do is work on the farm". He had no training, no experience, no funding, but somehow he recognized, he had a little cup of oil, he had five loaves. It wasn't much, but he could feel those seeds of greatness. Every circumstance said he was unqualified, he was at a disadvantage, he was shortchanged, but God doesn't create anyone without putting something significant on the inside.
That's why the enemy works overtime, trying to convince you, that you're not enough: "You're not good enough, you've made too many mistakes. You're not attractive enough, you're not important enough". Don't let those lies keep you from your destiny. He wouldn't be trying to discourage you, if he didn't know, there was something amazing in you. It may be a little now, but if you'll keep pouring that oil, taking those steps of faith, God is going to take you where you've never dreamed.
My father left the farm at 17 years of age, didn't have a car he had to hitchhike. He started ministering in the prisons and in the senior citizens homes. God began to open door after door and he went on to start Lakewood and impact the world. And I think about where I would be today, if my father would have believed he was not enough. You can be the one like my father to affect generations to come, you can be the one to set your family on a different course. You wouldn't be hearing this, if there wasn't something greater in front of you. Quit looking at what you don't have, what you can't do, what you didn't get: you have everything that you need.
All David had was a slingshot and five smooth stones. It looked like it was not enough. Goliath was almost twice his size, he was a skilled warrior, had been trained in the military, were in a full set of armor, extremely powerful. Here David was a shepherd boy, he was a teenager, he had no formal training, no experience. He could have said, "God, I have nothing, except this slingshot". God is going to use what comes after the except. When Goliath saw how small David was, he began to laugh, he said, "Am I a dog, that you had come at me with a stick"?
I'm sure, David was tempted to think, "Am I crazy? I'm gonna fight this giant with only a slingshot"? But the scripture says, David ran toward Goliath. You would think he would try to sneak up on him, try to surprise him, to gain the maximum advantage, but when you know who you are, when you know you've been equipped and empower, when you know God being four here is more than the world being against you, you won't run from your giants, you'll run to your giants. David swung that rock, hit Goliath in the forehead, knocked him unconscious. He went over and took Goliath own sword and finished him off. What you have may look like not enough, it may seem ordinary, but when God breathes on it, it will become more than enough.
A friend of mine's father pastored a large church. As a young man he always looked forward to working there. During college he got a job at this business, where he would go into the different offices and clean and repair the equipment. So they gave him keys to all the offices in the building. He carried it around this big key ring, made him feel very important, this was years ago. After he graduated from college he came back home to work at his father's church, so excited, but his father only gave him one key, the key to his office. He said, "Dad, I want all the keys. I want to be able to get in anywhere". His father said, "No, this is the key I want you to have".
He was disappointed, felt like my dad doesn't even trust me. Few years later his dad became ill and wasn't expected to make it. This friend would go to the church at night and pray for his father. He liked to pray in the main sanctuary. Since it was after hours he would always have to get somebody to let him in. He'd called the security guard or you'd see somebody through the glass doors and have to knock, but it bothered him, that he didn't have a key. One night he went up to pray for his father and couldn't get in, called the security guard. The guard said he was out and wouldn't be back for a couple of hours. My friend went around the building, trying to see if any doors were unlocked, jiggling on them, but nothing was open. He was so frustrated.
Just when he was about to leave, he decided to put his key in and see if he could jiggle it around and somehow get the door open. He put that the key win in so smoothly, he turned it and the door opened. He was surprised, he walked through the lobby to the main sanctuary door, put the key in, turned it and it opened. Went to the choir room, put the key and turned it and it opened. He didn't realize his father had given him the master key. All that time he had what he needed, it wasn't that the father didn't trust him, it was that the son didn't know what he had.
Do you know what your Father has given you? Do you know you have the key to unlock every door to your destiny? You didn't get shortchanged, your Father didn't say, "I can't trust you". God has great confidence in you, he believes in you more than you believe in yourself. Why don't you start using that key, believing that you have what you need? Don't go through life thinking that you're locked out, you can't reach your dreams, you can't overcome that obstacle, you'll never meet the right person. No, you have the key. Your Heavenly Father has given you everything you need to fulfill your purpose.
Now do your part, get rid of a deficit mentality. Every morning get up and say, "Father, thank you, that I am enough. I am strong enough, I am talented enough, I am attractive enough". If you'll do this, I believe and declare, like that widow abundance is about to flow, God is about to multiply what you have. Your gifts are going to come out in greater ways, new doors are about to open, breakthroughs, promotion, favor, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name.