Joel Osteen - Get Ready For Overflow
I want to talk to you today about Get Ready for Overflow. God didn't create us to just get by in life, to just have enough for what we need - we're grateful for that, but God is not a "get by" God, he's an overflow God, he wants you to have an abundance, so you can be a blessing to others. When you have so much joy, you bring joy everywhere you go. You have so many resources, that you can help those around you. And you may not have seen this yet, but God is about to do a new thing. One touch of his favor will take you from having just enough, to having more than enough.
You need to get ready, overflow is coming: you're going to overflow with creativity, with ideas, with talent, overflow with good relationships, with great people in your life, overflow with influence, promotion, resources, where you can come out of debt, where you can lend and not have to borrow. Now, get an agreement with God, "Father, thank you that overflow is coming. Thank you, that you're a more than enough God".
In the scripture Jesus was out in the desert, teaching the people. It was late in the day, they were all hungry. Jesus told his disciples to feed them. Well, they were in the middle of nowhere. They said, "Jesus, all we have are five loaves of bread and two fish". Jesus told them to have the people sit in groups of 50 and a 100. The disciples went out and counted the people, put them in different groups - there were 5,000 men there, plus the women and children. Jesus prayed over the food and it multiplied - as they served the people, the food kept coming. When it was all over, they had twelve baskets full of food leftover.
What's interesting is Jesus knew exactly how many people were there that day. He had the disciples take the time to count, he could have stopped the food from multiplying as soon as everyone was feed. After all, God is precise, he doesn't make mistakes. It's not like he miscalculated, he accidentally made too much food - on purpose God designed there to be overflow. He was showing us his nature: he not only wants to meet your needs, he's an overflow God, a God of more than enough.
When he laid out the plan for your life, he calculated exactly what you would need, he knows what it's going to take to get you to your destiny. Then on purpose, he added extra. When your needs were met, he said in effect, "Let me keep multiplying, let me give them more than enough". He's already designed overflow for you, he's already lined up the promotion, the good breaks, the right people, the favor. You're going to come into these times, where you see God show out in your life. You didn't have the experience, you weren't next in line, but suddenly you're promoted, suddenly you meet the right person, suddenly you come out of debt. You weren't looking for it, but the blessing came looking for you.
Now, sometimes people will try to convince us, that we're not supposed to be blessed. My father was taught in seminary, that he was supposed to live in lack, to show that he was humble. But one of the names for God is "El Shaddai", that means "More than enough". If God wanted you to just get by, if he wanted you to have just enough, why would his name be "More than enough". Don't let people talk you out of the overflow, that belongs to you. "Well, Joel, I'm just grateful to get by". Yes, be grateful, but don't stop there. "Lord, thank you that you're el Shaddai, the God of more than enough. Thank you, that overflow is headed my way".
The scripture says in Malachi, when you honor God with your income, when you give the tithe, the first 10% of your salary, "God will open the windows of heaven and pour out a blessing that you cannot contain". That's the overflow God, you can't contain it. And many of you have been faithful, you've given, you've served, you've helped others - God has some of these "Cannot contain" blessings coming your way. He's not limited by your job, by your salary, by what family you come from. He knows how to increase you - one good break, one idea, one contract, one inheritance will put you into more than enough. I'm asking you to get ready for overflow, get ready for bleeds blessings that you cannot contain. "Well, Joel, I don't see how this can happen". You don't have to see how, all you have to do is believe.
The Israelites in the Old Testament were in the desert, headed toward the Promised Land. They got tired of eating the manna each day, that was something like bread. They went to Moses and said they wanted meat to eat. There were two million people out there, no grocery stores. Moses was frustrated, he said, "God, even if we butchered all of our flocks, all of our herds, we wouldn't have that much meat". God said, "Moses, when did I become weak? Have I lost my power? Don't you realize I control the universe"?
God shifted the winds and caused millions of quail to come into their camp, for miles everywhere they looked there were quail flying three feet off the ground. The scripture says, they gather them up all day and all night, and no one had less than 50 bushels of quail, or you could say 50 boxes of steak. One moment they were in lack, struggling, no sign of increase - the next moment they were in overflow, they had more than enough.
What's interesting is, quail don't normally fly that far from water, normally they'd never be way out in the desert, but God shifted the winds and suddenly the quail showed up. You may not see how you could ever come into overflow, how you could ever have more than enough - all God has to do is shift the winds, cause the right people to be good to you, cause the contract, the promotion, the scholarship to come your way.
All the circumstances may say, "It's impossible", God is asking you what he asked them, "When did I become weak? Is there any limit to my power"? Get an agreement with God, he's about to shift some things in your favor, he's about to open a door that no person can shut, he's about to put you at the right place at the right time, he's going to cause the quail to find you. We look at our situations in the natural, but we serve a supernatural God. He has ways to increase you, you've never thought out, just to shift here and suddenly you're in overflow, a shift there and suddenly blessings you cannot contain.
A statistician ransom numbers, based on the size of the Israelites camp and the number of people, quail three feet off the ground, he concluded that a hundred and five million quail came into their camp that day. God could have given them a couple of quail each, that would have been four million quail, but God doesn't just want to meet your needs, he wants to give you overflow, he wants to bring you into more than enough.
Friend of mine wanted to buy some property to build a school on. He had some land but he needed more. There were ten acres behind him, connecting to his property, he had bought his land for four thousand dollars an acre. He inquired about this new property, they wanted twenty five thousand an acre - more than five times what he paid for his. He was disappointed, he didn't have the funds and he knew he was supposed to build the school, but he didn't see how it could happen. Instead of living discouraged, talking himself out of it, he kept thanking God that overflow was coming, that he was a "More than enough God".
Three years later a man from the government unexpectedly knocked on his door. He had never met the man, never told him, he was looking for property. But this man told my friend, that there were a hundred and twenty acres right across the street, that had nine buildings on it. The property had been foreclosed on five times. He said, "I'm authorized to get rid of it, make me an offer and we'll see what we can do". Well at twenty-five thousand an acre, like the property behind him, the land alone would have been three million dollars, plus there were nine nice buildings that he could use for a school.
My friend said, "I'll give you $200,000". The man shook his hand and said, "You've got a deal". He got the hundred and twenty acres, nine buildings for less than ten percent of what it was valued at. God knows how to bring you into overflow, he can make things happen that you could never make happen. And I love the fact that my friend wasn't looking for this man, he wasn't trying to track him down, talk him into it - the man came looking for him.
The scripture says, "When you honor God blessings will chase you down". You don't have to look for the blessing, just keep God first place and the blessing will look for you. I believe right now promotion is looking for you, the right people are looking for you, the healing, the scholarship, the property, the business is looking for you. It's just a matter of time before you hear that knock on the door, you weren't expecting it, you couldn't have made it happen. What was that? The God of overflow pouring out one of those blessings, that you cannot contain.
This is what happened to Peter in Luke chapter 5. He had been fishing all night, he'd worked hard, done his best and caught nothing. Early the next morning he was on the shore, cleaning his net, when Jesus came up and asked to borrow his boat. He had never met Peter, but Peter agreed. Jesus used the boat to teach the people from the shore. When he finished, he told Peter to go back out in the water and he would catch a great haul of fish. Well, Peter was a professional fisherman, he knew when to fish, this wasn't the right time. After all he had already been out there for hours. He almost talked himself out of it, he said, "Jesus, we've fished all night and caught nothing. Nevertheless, at your word I'll go back out".
Peter threw out his net, verse 6 says, "He caught so many fish, that his net began to break". He had to call another boat over to help him gather up the fish. There were so many, that both boats begin to sink, they barely made it back to the shore. Now, Peter had caught fish many times before, but he had never had his net break, he'd never had to call on another boat. And we've all seen God's goodness in the past, we've seen him open doors, we've seen him turn situations around. You haven't seen anything yet, God has some of these "Net breaking" blessings coming for you, favor that you weren't prepared for, increase in such amazing ways, that you can't handle it on your own.
"Well, Joel, I don't know if this is for me today. Last year wasn't too hot, business is slow, I've been stuck at this same place for years". You're right where Peter was - he had worked hard all night, he had done the right thing and had no success, he was tired, frustrated, thinking he was wasting his time. Nothing looked like he was about to come into overflow, none of his circumstances said he was about to see a net breaking blessing - just the opposite. When it looks the worst, when you don't see any sign of things improving - stay encouraged, you're on the verge of overflow, you're close to a net breaking blessing.
Jesus said to Peter in effect, "Just because it didn't happen last night, doesn't mean it's not going to happen this morning. Just because it didn't happen last year, doesn't mean it's not going to happen this year". Maybe you're where Peter was: you've worked hard, you've been faithful, you've done your best and caught nothing. Your time is coming, there weren't any fish out there last time, but God controls the fish, he knows how to cause the fish to find you. It's not too late, business may be slow, the medical report doesn't look good - you're in prime position for overflow. God is saying: throw that net out one more time, start believing again, start dreaming again, start taking steps of faith. You don't know what God is about to do. The reason it hasn't happened yet, is this much bigger than what you think, it's not going to be a normal catch, an ordinary promotion, an average contract - it's going to be a net breaking blessing, something unprecedented, favored so heavy, it causes the boat to start to sing.
The scripture says, "Peter was astonished at the amount of fish they caught". He was amazed, bewildered, he had never seen that size of catch. God is going to do things in your life, that astonish you. Doors open, that you never dreamed would open. He's going to put you in positions of influence and leadership, that you've never imagined. He's going to give you resources, funds, opportunities like you've never dreamed. God's idea of overflow is not just a little more of what you have now, it's a new dimension, it's something unprecedented, something that you've never fathom.
I grew up watching the rockets play basketball here, I had season tickets over to my left. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think one day we would own this building. I came to the games as a fan, like the other thousands of people, but God's dream for your life is much bigger than your own, he has blessings that are going to catapult your family to a new level. When I became the pastor, the church began to grow, I knew we needed a larger place, but it never entered my mind to try to get the Compaq Center, this was so far out of my thinking. I had seen my father build sanctuary after sanctuary growing up and add onto buildings, that was the normal way, that's what I was planning to do. But God is not going to always take you down a normal traditional path, you're going to come into these times, where God is going to do something unprecedented, something that's never been seen in your family, something in your business that you've never seen happen.
When the door to the Compaq Center opened up, God caused things to fall into place. When the city council members voted for us to have the building, like Peter, I was astonished, I couldn't believe that it happened. When I drive up now, sometimes I still get goosebumps, I recognize: this is a net breaking blessing. David talked about the God of overflow in Psalm 23, he said, "My cup runs over". When you pour water into a glass, you have to stop when you come to the top of the glass. You're limited by the size of the container, but God says, "When I pour out a blessing, I'm not limited by your capacity to receive".
You may have a small cup, small faith, small dreams. If God only blessed us according to what we believed, we would never reach our potential, we wouldn't have the Compaq Center, I couldn't fathom this. I didn't have the faith for this size of blessing, and if it was only up to us, we would never see Ephesians 3:20, "God doing exceedingly more than we can ask think or imagine". But God is so good, he says, "Even if you have a small cup, even if you have small faith, that's not going to keep the big blessing from coming from me". God is not going to stop pouring at the top of your cup, he's going to give you a running-over blessing.
I would love to tell you that, "Where I am is because I've had great faith, I've always believed for big things", but much of what I've seen are simply running-over blessings. God blessing me way beyond what I had the faith for. And I've learned, it's not the size of your faith that will limit you, it's the quality of your character. If you will keep your heart pure before God - that doesn't mean that you're perfect, but when you make mistakes you asked for forgiveness, you do better the next time, you treat people right, you have a good attitude - then God can release these running-over blessings, blessings that you can't fathom. It's not going to be your lack of faith that stops you, that's why the scripture says, "If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you can move mountains".
Even when Peter went back out to fish, when Jesus told him to, he didn't think he was going to catch anything, he was just being respectful, he was just honoring Jesus. But God looks at our heart as much as he looks at our faith. Peter may not have had the faith, but he had the heart to please God. Don't be discouraged if you don't feel like you have enough faith, you have small dreams, a small cup, you think you're limited by how you were raised or about how big that obstacle is. You wish you had more faith, the good news is: God has running-over blessings. Because your heart is right, your lack of faith is not going to stop the awesome future, that God has in store for you.
Isaiah 54 says, "Enlarge your house, build an addition. For soon you will be bursting at the seams". And you may feel like you're stuck, you don't see how you could accomplish your dreams. God is saying, "Soon you're going to be bursting at the seams, soon you're going to see a net-breaking blessing". God is about to do something unusual, out of the ordinary: promotion that you can't contain, increase that causes you to explode to a new level.
Some friends of mine moved to Botswana, Africa, to become missionaries there out in the middle of the nowhere, taking care of the orphans, feeding the poor. They've been there faithful a year after year. They had a dream to build a big youth center, so the young people would have a place to come and learn and make friends. It was going to cost five million dollars. Of course that's a lot of money here, but over there, where the annual income is less than a thousand dollars seemed impossible.
One day an older German man with his wife visited Botswana, they fell in love with the people, they wanted to do something to help. When they returned home they Googled Botswana orphanages, and my friends organization came up, it's called the love Botswana outreach. He contacted my friend and send them a $20,000 donation. A little later he sent him a three hundred thousand dollar donation. My friend was overwhelmed and very grateful. He said he was coming to visit them. He and his wife stayed at this real nice safari resort, about 15 miles from my friends complex.
One morning my friend drove to the resort to pick them up, the owner of the resort said to my friend, "The resort is for sale, would you like to buy it"? He thought my friend was a wealthy businessman, there on vacation. He kind of laughed and said, "No, I'm a missionary, I live down the road". The German man overheard the conversation, asked my friend to find out how much it was. He got him the information, thought he was going to buy for himself, but the man bought the luxury resort and gave it to my friend, to use for their outreach - they were astonished.
The man came to their complex to visit, he saw the plans for the new youth center, asked how much it was. My friend said, "Five million dollars". He said, "Don't worry, I'll send you a check". A few years later they dedicated the big youth center, totally debt-free. What was that? A net-breaking blessing, something that they didn't see coming. God knows how to get you into overflow. He had that one man come across their path, you don't need everybody to be for you, you just need the right people to be for you. God has already lined up these divine connections, that will help you fulfill your purpose.
Psalm 65 says, "God will crown the year with a bountiful harvest, even the hard places will overflow with abundance". This overflow is not just to reach your dreams, not just to go further, but you're going to see overflow in the hard places. Maybe you're facing an illness, you're taking the treatment, or you're raising a difficult child - that is not going to defeat you, you're about to overflow with strength, overflow with healing, overflow with victory. Perhaps you're struggling with depression, anxiety, fear - that is not your destiny, you're about to overflow with joy, overflow with peace, overflow with favor. In the hard places God promised: you wouldn't overflow with abundance. That means you're not going to lack anything that you need, you're gonna have plenty of grace, plenty of joy, plenty of favor.
When my father went to be with the Lord, back in 1999, we had been the best of friends, we traveled the world together, I worked with him every day for many years. Now all of the sudden he was gone. It was such a shock, I didn't know how I was going to be able to handle it. But from the moment my mother called me, at 2:00 in the morning and said my father had just had a heart attack, that he was unconscious, that the paramedics were coming, I should have been panicked, upset, stressed out, but I felt as calm as can be - it was supernatural.
When I saw the paramedics trying to revive my father, I wasn't falling apart, I had a peace that I can't explain. And yes, I mourn the loss of my father, I still miss him, but I was amazed at how I was able to make it through, it wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought. That's because in the hard times, the God of overflow is still right there with you, giving you an abundance of everything that you need.
The scripture says in Amos 9, "The day is coming, where everything barren and fruitless will overflow with blessing". This passage was written many years ago, I don't believe the day is coming, I believe the day is here. Whatever is bearing in your life, whatever area you've been lacking in, God is saying, "You're about to overflow with blessings, overflow with good health, overflow with joy, overflow in your finances. You are coming out of lack into abundance". I believe in declare: it's going to be an overflow year for you, you're about to be bursting at the seams, you're about to see net-breaking blessings, promotion that you can't contain, increase that catapults you to a new level, I declare it in Jesus name.