Joel Osteen - It's Going to Happen Quickly
I want to talk to you today about It's Going to Happen Quickly. We all have things that we're believing for. We've been waiting patiently, praying, thanking God, but we don't see anything improving. It's easy to get discouraged and accept that it's going to be this way a long time, we just have to endure it. But God said in Isaiah 60, "I am the Lord, when the time comes, I will do it quickly". God has ordained certain moments in your life, where he's going to do a quick work, it's going to happen much faster than you thought. You may not see anything changing, does it look like you're any closer to what you were believing for, then you were at this time last year? But, when you come into your time, God is going to do it quickly. It's not going to be a long drawn-out process, you're going to see a rapid turn around, a sudden breakthrough, a speedy recovery.
It may look like it's going to take a long time for you to get well, to break the addiction, to meet the right person. Now get ready, it's going to happen sooner than it looks, it's going to be unusual, out of the ordinary - you're going to know, it was the hand of God. Should take years to get out of debt, years to accomplish that dream. In the natural that's true, but when you come into one of these destiny moments, it's going to happen in a fraction of the time. Every thought may tell you, "It's permanent, it's never going to change". Now, God is saying to you today, "I'm going to do it quickly, it's going to happen suddenly". Now, get in agreement with God. Instead of thinking of all the reasons it's not going to work out, turn it around, "Father, thank you for a quick work. Thank you for a sudden breakthrough. Thank you for a rapid recovery".
When God brought the Israelites out of slavery, they headed toward the Promised Land, that the Pharaoh who had just let them go changed his mind and decided he wanted them back. So he send 600 of his fastest chariots, some of his strongest warriors to try to recapture them. The Israelites, these two million people were at a dead end at the Red Sea, they had nowhere to go. It looked like they would be recaptured, until Moses held up his rod and the waters parted, the Israelites went through on dry ground. When Pharaoh's men came chasing, the waters closed up and they all were drowned.
Psalm 1:14 gives us insight into what happened. Verse 3 says, "The Red Sea saw the Israelites coming and hurried out of their way". When it's your time, don't worry, enemies are going to hurry out of your way. That addiction, that depression, the anxiety, it is not permanent, it's about to hurry out of your way. It's going to happen quickly, you didn't see any sign of things changing, nothing looked any different, then suddenly the waters part, suddenly your health turns around, suddenly the door opens. God knows how to take things that look permanent and quickly change them.
When God told Moses to hold up the rod and those waters would part, I'm sure Moses was tempted to reason it out, "God, what do you mean? These waters have been like this for years". You would think, if the Israelites were going to somehow get across, it would take months for the waters to slowly recede, become less and less, maybe God would send a big drought. But when God spoke to Moses nothing looked any different, everything in his mind said, "It's impossible. It would take months, maybe years of a drought. God, we only have a few hours, before we're going to be recaptured". But God doesn't always do things on a normal timetable, he specializes in doing a quick work, he knows how to speed things up. What could have taken years, in one moment God caused the wind to blow the waters back, they hurried out of the Israelites way.
Maybe you have obstacles in your path that look permanent, God is about to have them hurry out of your way. It's not going to happen gradually, on a normal schedule, like you were expecting, it's going to happen quickly, you didn't see it coming. Things you've been struggling with: fear, anxiety, a challenge in your health, that child that's off course, like Moses, those waters don't look any different. You know, God is telling you a breakthrough is coming, but you don't see any sign of it. You want to believe, but your mind is telling you, "There's no way". But just like those waters hurried out of the Israelites way, those obstacles are about to hurry out of your way. You may have had that sickness or long time, the prognosis doesn't look good, receive this into your spirit, it's about to hurry out of your way. That legal situation looks permanent, the trouble at work, the financial difficulty, seems like there's no end in sight. No, get ready, God's about to do a quick work. Lack, struggle, debt is about to hurry out of your way. It's going to happen suddenly, it's going to be a rapid turnaround.
That's what happened for us here at Lakewood, when we acquired the Compaq Center. A company filed a lawsuit to try to keep us from moving in. They said, that we violated the deed restrictions. Our attorneys told us, it could be tied up in the courts for many years. When we looked at the waters, like with Moses, it didn't look any different. A year had gone by, the other side wasn't about to budge, they had no contact with us. Looked like it could be that way for another ten years. But one day, out of the blue, the other side contacted us and said they wanted to meet. Our attorneys said, "It was probably a ploy, just to distract us". We met with them, and in a couple of hours they agreed to drop the lawsuit and let us have the building.
When it's your time, God knows how to have enemies hurry out of your way. And is one thing if we would have won the lawsuit after ten years, we would have been grateful, but God is not one to let the opposition delay you from your destiny, he has already scheduled these destiny moments for you. It may feel like you're falling behind, the opposition is holding you back - stay encouraged, at the right time that adversity is going to hurry out of your way. Red Seas can't stop your purpose, God knows how to part the waters. Legal situations, companies that are bigger and stronger cannot stop God's plan for your life.
It may feel like you're stuck, you don't see anything improving - don't worry, God knows how to do a quick work, it can happen suddenly. The scripture says (Jeremiah 1:12), "God hastens his word to perform it". That word "Hasten" means quickly, speedily, in a hurry. I'm not saying that we don't have to wait, there are things that take time. What I'm saying is: when you don't see anything happening, it looks like what you're up against it's never going to change, when you step in to this destiny moment, God will do it speedily, quicker, than you think, you'll accomplish a dream in a fraction of the time. The obstacle looks permanent and it suddenly turns around, that's God hastening his word.
2nd kings chapter 7, the Israelites were surrounded by the Syrian army. They had cut off the Israelites food supply, now the people were starving, just a matter of time before they would die. Every circumstance said, "It was permanent. The enemy army was much bigger, they had more weapons". All the odds were against the Israelites, but there were four lepers sitting outside the city gates. They thought, "We have nothing to lose, we're going to die anyway, let's go down to the Syrians camp and see what they're doing". While they were walking toward the enemy, the scripture says, "God caused the Syrians to hear the sound of speeding chariots, galloping horses and the footsteps of a vast army approaching". The Syrian king thought that the Israelites had hired several armies to come attack them. Verse 7 says, "The Syrians panicked and fled into the night leaving their horses, tents and all of their belongings".
What was that? God causing their enemies to hurry out of their way. It looked impossible, the Israelites didn't have a chance, they didn't have the food, the experience, the strength, the weapons - but God is not limited by what you don't have, he is not intimidated by how big the opposition is, by how bad that medical report looks, by what the financial statement says. God multiplied the sound of these lepers footsteps, caused this huge army to flee for their lives. They left in such a hurry, they didn't even get their belongings, they didn't even stop and grab their tents.
God knows how to quickly get rid of the opposition. Now, don't be discouraged by how permanent the obstacle looks or by how much bigger than you it seems, you have an advantage, the Most High God is on your side, he knows how to cause your enemies to hurry out of your way. Not gradually, not over some months, you're going to see some things quickly turn around, problems suddenly resolves, enemies rapidly defeated.
What's interesting is while the lepers were walking, they didn't know what God was doing, they couldn't hear what the enemy was hearing. Everything seemed normal to them, but God was doing something supernatural. You don't know what God is up to right now, while you're believing, while you're doing the right thing, everything may seem the same, but God is talking to your enemies, he's causing them to hear what he wants them to hear.
The Syrians didn't say to the lepers, "Okay, we'll leave, just give us a few months to pack up our belongings. Give us some time to relocate, we need to go find some more property". They left suddenly in a panic, they were so afraid they fled for their lives. And some of the obstacles that you're up against may seem like they have the upper hand, that sickness feels bigger, you've had the addiction a long time, the trouble at work feels like it has you surrounded. But when it's your time, like with them, it's not going to leave gradually, it's not going to improve a little here, a little there, it's going to leave suddenly, like it's in a panic, like it's fleeing for its life.
"Well, Joel this is encouraging today, but I don't believe that it's going to happen quickly for me. I've been dealing with this a long time", then you're right, it won't happen for you, this is for believers, this is for people that will let the seed take root, people that will dare say, "God, I agree with what you said, that you will hasten your word to perform it. Lord, I believe for a quick word. I believe enemies are hurrying out of my way. I believe I'm gonna see a rapid turnaround".
A friend of mine worked for this company, where his supervisor wasn't treating him right, he was jealous of him. My friend had a great attitude, never heard him complain, he kept doing the right thing, even though this supervisor would try to discredit him and make him look bad. This went on for several years, the supervisor was in his early 40s and he'd been with the company for almost 20 years. It looked like my friend would always have to deal with this, but one Monday he went to work, the owner of the company called him in and said, that the supervisor was leaving and this owner wanted him to have the positions. My friend asked when it was going to happen, when the man was going to leave, the owner said, "He left last Friday, you're the supervisor starting right now".
God knows how to cause people to hurry out of your way, to do things quickly, things you didn't see coming. That supervisor could have been there another 30 years, but he suddenly left. Quit worrying about who's in front of you, how it's not going to work out, God can quickly change things, quickly promote you, quickly heal you, quickly free you. And yes, there are times we have to wait, we have to outlast what's coming against us, but you're going to come in to these moments, where God is going to do a quick work. Instead of complaining, "Joel, is taking so long for me. I don't think I'll ever get well. I'll never meet the right person", turn it around, "Father, thank you that my health is about to suddenly improve. Thank you, that this addiction is not permanent, that it's about to quickly turn around. Thank you, that this depression is not how my story ends, it's about to hurry out of my way". That's not just being positive, that's releasing your faith, that's what allows God to speed things up.
This is what Joseph did in the scripture, he spent 13 years being mistreated, betrayed by his brothers, sold as a slave, put in prison for something that he didn't do. It wasn't easy, but he kept the right attitude, kept being his best. One morning, sitting in prison, seemed like another ordinary day, the guard came in and said, "Joseph, the Pharaoh wants to see you". I can imagine, Joseph thought, "He wants to see me. I've never met him, I don't have an appointment, I'm a slave, a foreigner. I'm in prison and the Pharaoh is calling for me"? God knows how to have the right people come looking for you. You may feel like you had a disadvantage, people tried to discredit you, it seems like you're overlooked. No, the one who matters has his eyes on you, the one who controls the universe, the Most High God is watching after you. He's working out his plan for your life.
Joseph walked in, he was standing in the presence of one of the most powerful people of that day. Joseph interpreted the Pharaohs dream, he was so impressed, that he made Joseph the prime minister of egyp,t second in command. It happened quickly, Joseph didn't have to run for office, the king or the Pharaoh didn't hold a vote, he didn't interview people for six months - right on the spot he made Joseph prime minister. God knows how to do a quick work. The trouble, the injustice, the betrayal hurried out of Joseph's way.
He woke up that morning a slave in prison, he went to bed that night the prime minister, promoted, vindicated. Now, don't be discouraged by what's not changing. Maybe like Joseph's you're doing the right thing, but the wrong thing is happening - your time is coming, God has these destiny moments, where he's going to suddenly catapult you to a new level. It's not going to be a long process, it's going to happen quickly, out of the ordinary. The right people are going to come looking for you, the promotion, the opportunity, the vindication is going to track you down.
After the Israelites came through the Red Sea, they wandered in the desert for forty years, they thought their enemies were too big, their obstacles too great, that kept them from ever going into the Promised Land. Now, years later, their children and grandchildren were about to cross the Jordan river and go into the land, that God promised. The problem was, the land was occupied with these incredibly strong, powerful people called the anakites, they were descendants of giants.
You can imagine how intimidated the Israelites must have felt, standing at the Jordan, no doubt contemplating whether or not they should go in. God gave them a promise, that helped push them over. He said in Deuteronomy 9, "Today you are about to face people that are much stronger and more powerful. But the Lord your God will cross over ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will subdue them so you can quickly conquer". Unlike their parents that talk themselves out of it, this new generation had the boldness to go in. Just like God promised, they'd quickly conquer the land.
Now you may be facing a situation like them, that seems impossible in your health, your finances, a relationship. God is saying to you, what he said to them, "I'm going to cross over ahead of you and take care of those enemies, so you can quickly conquer them". You are not fighting those battles on your own, the Most High God is going before you. You're going to come out of that difficulty quicker than you think. Now, get this down in your spirit, you're going to quickly conquer the sickness, quickly conquer the addiction, quickly conquer the trouble at work. Behind the scenes, right now, God is changing things in your favor. He's crossing over ahead of you to take care of the sickness, to take care of that trouble. If you'll stay in faith it's going to happen sooner than it looks, you didn't see any sign of it, everything looked permanent, then suddenly it changed. God is going to hasten his word, he's going to speed things up.
I talked to a man that had had a stroke. He was in his early fifties, he attends Lakewood and his family brought him up to prayer after a service. He was now in a wheelchair, he had lost control over the left side of his body and his face was all drawn. He was told that with therapy in three to five years he might regain some control of his left arm and leg. They specifically said, he would never be able to lift his arm above his head again. I told him what I'm telling you, that God can do things quickly. In the natural it should take years, but we serve a supernatural God, he knows how to speed things up. This man was a fighter I could tell he was not going to take that stroke lying down. I saw him six months later, this time he wasn't in a wheelchair, he was walking through the lobby, had a big smile on his face. When our eyes met, first thing he did was lift his arm way up in the air.
I said I thought that was going to take three to five years? He said, "That's what I was told, but it happened for me in three months". His therapist said, that in 30 years that she had been helping people, she had never seen anyone recover as fast as him. God knows how to do a quick work. Quit believing those lies that it's going to take you a long time to get well, you heard the experts, a long time to accomplish your dream, a long time to get free from that anxiety. No, God is crossing ahead of you right now, so you can quickly conquer. You're going to see a rapid recovery, you're going to defy the odds, God is going to accelerate things. Dreams come into pass in record time, things falling into place. That addiction is not permanent, that depression is not going to last, it's about to hurry out of your way. It's going to happen quickly, you didn't see it coming.
Now when thoughts tell you, "It's going to take you years to get well, years to meet the right person". Now, keep this phrase down in your spirit, "Quickly conquer". You have to answer the doubt back with faith. Don't let that thought continue to play, "Is permanent, it's never going to change". No, all through the day, "Father, thank you that it's going to happen quickly. Thank you, that enemies are hurrying out of my way. Thank you, that I'm gonna see a rapid turnaround". "Well, Joel, what if I do that for a month and nothing happening"? Then keep doing it. You have to stay on inoffensive. If you live with that lie, that "I'm stuck, it's permanent, it's never going to change", that will limit your life.
Luke chapter 18, Jesus told a story about a judge that wasn't fair. He didn't have integrity, he didn't care for people. This widow kept coming to him day after day, asking him to do something about this person that had done her wrong. The judge kept ignoring her, didn't pay any attention, but the widow wouldn't quit coming. Finally, the judge said that the lady, "I'm going to give you what you're asking for, not because I want to, but because you're wearing me out with your constant request". Jesus said to his disciples, if this judge who is not fair will make the right decision, because the lady kept asking, do you think God who is fair will keep putting off those that come to him? Jesus went on to say, "I can assure you, God will grant him justice quickly".
When you're in a difficult time, things are not turning around, if you'll just keep thanking God that he's working, thanking him that he's fighting your battles, thanking him that he's bigger than what you're facing - not begging him, but reminding him what he promised, notice what God said, "He will give you justice quickly". It's going to happen faster than it looks. One translation says, "He will rush to your defense, he will come to you in haste". It may not have happened yet, but you need to know, God is in a hurry to help you. You're going to see some of these sudden turnarounds. Now, the key is to keep thanking God, keep talking like it's going to happen, keep believing that it's on the way.
When you consistently thank God, you're going to see some quick works, God is going to quickly turn your child around, quickly bring the healing, quickly cause a dream to come to pass. Maybe like this widow, you've been doing this, but you don't see anything changing, every circumstance looks just the same - stay encouraged, your time is coming, God is crossing over ahead of you right now. I believe and declare, you're about to quickly conquer. Problems that have hindered you are about to suddenly resolve, enemies that have come against you are about to hurry out of your way, you're going to see a rapid turnaround, a sudden breakthrough. It's going to happen quickly, in Jesus name.