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Joel Osteen - Enlarge Your Vision


Joel Osteen - Enlarge Your Vision - Your Best Life Now

Have you ever found yourself asking, "is this all there is, was my life intended for more"? God created you with a specific purpose in mind, but in order to see your life the way God sees you, you have to enlarge your vision. I'm Joel Osteen, I have some good news, no matter where you're headed, or where you've been, you can start living Your Best Life Now.

We weren't created to live a small life with little goals, little dreams, God created us to live an abundant life, no matter where you are, you're not supposed to get stuck at that level and stay there. God is a God of increase, he has something bigger in your future. If you're going to live this large life, it starts in our thinking. Jesus said you can't put new wine into old wineskins. Wineskins were made out of leather, when they got old, they became hard and stiff, and wouldn't expand. If you put new wine in, they would burst. This is saying you can't have a new life with old thinking, you can't go around thinking you've reached your limits, you've got as far as your education allows, you never get any good breaks. Limited thinking will cause you to live a limited life. Get rid of that old wineskin, start believing bigger, dreaming bigger, expecting bigger.

Paul said in 2 Corinthians, I want you to enter into this wide open, spacious life. The smallness you feel comes from within you. Your lives aren't small, but you're living them in a small way. Notice, God's dream is that we live a wide open, spacious life. But even though he has this big life in store, if we have limited thinking, we can live it in a small way. It's easy to get stuck in a rut, going to work, coming home, dealing with the daily pressures of life. We look up, and we're not expecting anything better, not releasing our faith, we're thinking this is all that there is, but compared to what God has in store, that's living small.

The scripture says the path of the righteous is brighter and brighter. That's God's idea for your life. And if you'll get your hopes up, start expecting God's goodness, you're going to come into a bigger life, a new level of your destiny. God has prepared this large, abundant life. Now, my challenge is don't have a small mentality, don't water down your dreams, accepting less, when you know God has created you for more. If you put a fish that's supposed to be two feet long in a small aquarium, it will never grow to that size. Not because something is wrong with the fish, but because of the environment that it's in.

You may be in a limited environment right now, perhaps you can't do anything about that. The key is don't let the environment get in you, don't let mediocrity become the norm. That may be where you are, but that's not who you are, you are a child of the most high God. And the creator of the universe breathed his life into you. He has something big in your future. Let these words sink down into your spirit, a wide open, spacious life. That means a life free from addictions and bad habits, a life where you're healthy and whole and fulfilled, a life of abundance, more than enough, an overflow life. The enemy wants to contain you, but God wants to enlarge you. Break out in your thinking, stay open to new possibilities.

One time, Peter had been fishing all night. The next morning, Jesus asked him if he could borrow his boat so he could teach the people from the shore. When he finished, he wanted to pay Peter for using his boat. He said to him launch out into the deep and let down your nets, nets with an S, plural. Peter began to reason it out, Jesus, "We fished all night, didn't catch anything, morning is not the time to fish". He came up with one excuse after another, he almost talked himself out of it. The last minute, he decided to do it, but the scripture says he went out and let down his net, singular. Jesus said throw out a bunch of nets, I've got an abundance, a wide life, something that you've never seen. Peter thought it's not gonna happen for me, there's not going to be any fish out there, I'll just take this one net. He threw it out and caught so many fish that the net began to break, he had to call other boats over to come help them bring them all in.

A lot of times, we do like Peter, God says I want you to live a big life, an abundant, fulfilling life, where you're gaining new ground, seeing things that you've never seen. But here's the catch, you have to let down your nets, you have to make room in your thinking, you can't think small, believe small, expect small, and see this wide life. Why don't you start letting down your nets? Why don't you say "God, I'm in agreement with you, I believe you have a wide, spacious, abundant life for me. I'm believing my whole family will serve you, I'm believing to pay my house off, I'm believing to get totally well, I'm believing to start my own business, I'm believing to start that orphanage", or "I'm believing to meet the person of my dreams". If you'll start letting down your nets, you'll see God open doors you could never open, bring the right people across your path, take you places that you've never dreamed. It's time to enlarge your vision.

Too often, we look at our past like it's the blueprint for our lives. We let how we were raised, what we saw modeled growing up, set the limits for our life. If our parents struggled with addictions, or floundered through life, we think that's the plan for our life too. I hear people say "I've gone as far as my parents, I've accomplished as much as my grandparents, this is good enough". No, God is a progressive God, he wants every generation to increase. Your past isn't a blueprint, it's just the foundation for the life God is building. Your parents, relatives, they laid the foundation, you're supposed to build on what they did. You're supposed to set a new standard. That's not a resting place where you can put down your stakes and coast, that's a stepping stone for you to rise higher, a launching pad for you to go further. Don't get comfortable and settle there.

You may have seen mediocrity growing up, but God is counting on you to be the difference maker. You can be the one that completes that perfect design, but you have to enlarge your vision. Nobody in your family may have made good grades in school, you be the one to make good grades, come into that wide life, they didn't go to college, you go to college, they didn't live in a nice neighborhood, that's okay, they did the best they could, but don't settle there. Don't let your heredity stop your destiny, don't let what was passed down convince you to settle where you are. Break out of that limited mindset. You have greatness in you. Where you are is not where you're supposed to stay. Your destiny is calling out to you, it's time to start living large. Quit believing lies that you've reached your limits, you don't have the talent, you made too many mistakes, this is a new day. God is going to amaze you with his goodness, think bigger.

This is what my father had to do, he was raised in a limited environment, his parents were cotton farmers, and they lost everything during the Great Depression. They didn't have enough food to eat, he would go to high school with holes in his pants, holes in his shoes. At Christmas, they received the special basket that went to the neediest family. This poverty mentality was ingrained in his thinking. He didn't know any better, it's all he'd ever seen. We're poor, we're defeated, we'll never have enough, this is my lot in life. But at 17 years of age, my father gave his life to Christ. God called him to be a minister, something came alive on the inside, those seeds of greatness began to take root. He could hear a voice telling him, "This is not your destiny, you were made for more than this, to live an overcoming, abundant, victorious life".

The battle for containment was taking place in his mind, negative thoughts told him just the opposite, "You'll never get out, accept it, this is all there is". His parents were good people, they were loving and kind, but they had a limited vision. They were living a small life, they told my father, "John, you better not leave the farm, all you know how to do is pick cotton". My father could've thought "yeah, you're right, I don't have the connections, the education, the money, I better stay where I am". Don't let other people put their limitations on you. And something rose up in him, he said "This is where I am, but this is not who I am, I may be in a limited environment, but I'm not letting this environment get in me. I know I'm a child of the most high God, I am destined to leave my mark on this generation".

My father threw out his nets, he enlarged his vision, determined in his heart that he was going to take new ground for his family, he was going to step into this wide, spacious life that God had in store. He left home at 17 and did just that, went on to pastor great churches, God took him further than he could ever imagine. Here's the beauty, because he stepped up and broke that poverty mentality, now my family doesn't have to deal with it. Like my father, you can be the one to break the cycle of lack and defeat, you can be the one to break the addictions, the bad habits, you can rise to a new level and go where no one in your family has ever gone. There's a large life waiting for you, for your family, for your future, don't be contained, don't be talked out of it, if you'll think bigger, you'll live bigger. Just ask my friend, Buddy Lee. When he learned to think bigger, he jumped into a destiny larger than he ever imagined.

Buddy Lee: "There's no way you can be a great athlete without understanding the power of God". Up until like maybe age four or five, we lived in an inner city, and my father was in the war. He was either a Vietnam vet or Korean War, came back not the same, got shot, and of course, you know what wars do to people. He became addicted to alcohol, so it had an impact on him, and also the family, so he destroyed our family. "I was raised by a mother who had six kids, and my mother did everything she could to put a roof over our heads, clothing on our backs, she worked three jobs".

Seeing the things that alcohol did to my father impacted me. Him coming home late at night, him getting into fights with my mom, it was kinda tough, I mean, waking up in the middle of the night and hearing people fighting, cops coming in, stuff like that, it's very scary. I guess it can impact a kid in two ways, in a negative way or a positive way. I decided that I was gonna do everything I could within my powers to be the best I could be and change my life and have a better life and help my mom.

Joel Osteen: Buddy determined to change his life. In order to do that, he knew he needed to go to college, but to get there, he would need an athletic scholarship.

Buddy Lee: "I woulda never thought in 1.000 years a jump rope and the great sport of wrestling would teach me everything I needed in life to be my best". I got hurt going out for tryouts for basketball, went up for a layup, my ankle snapped, and then quit the team and went out for wrestling. It was the greatest thing I've ever did. And the first practice, they had me work out with the senior, and I think I pinned this guy, and then I realized that this is the sport I'm gonna do to get me to college. It was important to go to college because with an education, according to our society, you have a choice, you can choose what kinda life you have, it's an opportunity to improve your life, to improve your circumstances, and I wanted to do it the only way I could, by getting a scholarship.

Got up to 1.000 pushups a night in sets of 100, and about five to 600 hundred sit ups, and I did pull ups, and I did all kinds of things to my body, and that became the foundation for my strength, and then I started doing things like running around the poles at the schoolyard, and then, one hot summer day, I discover this simple, inexpensive piece of equipment called a jump rope. "This was introduced to me by a martial artist, a guy named Mister Aini. He was a fourth degree black belt in karate, every day this guy would run miles and miles, do hundreds of push ups, lifting weights, and one day I saw him jumping rope". So I still remember going up to him, saying "Hey, Mister Aini", I said, "can you show me how to jump"? It's kinda true, but he said, "Sure, I'll show you how to jump, grasshopper".

And so, by the time I put that rope down, it was five hours later, and I had mastered a skill. And after that, one hot summer day that led into the night, I took that rope with me everywhere I went and practiced and practiced, because every time I jumped, I saw the vision of me becoming a state champion in wrestling, getting a scholarship to go to college. Not having my mom worry about me anymore, you know? So when I practiced, I was practicing to change my life. I had motivation to fight for my dreams. The jump rope was a tool, but it became not just a tool, this guy became my best friend, my best training partner. "Only lost one wrestling match in the state competition as a sophomore, one wrestling match in the state finals as a junior". Went back to the states the following year, I won the districts, I won the regions, and I won the state tile, I became the school's first state champion, graduated, and had about 15 university scholarship offers.

Joel Osteen: Buddy had changed his life, he went on to college, to have an outstanding collegiate career. After college, he went on to be a 20 time national champion. He joined the Armed Forces, and became the military's fittest man. His determination took him from a poor neighborhood in Virginia to the Olympics.

Buddy Lee: "It took me 20 years to make an Olympic team. If you're gonna become a state champion, national champion, Olympian, doesn't happen overnight, it requires losses, because in the losses, there are lessons". I wanted to become an Olympian so that I could help other people to expand their vision, give their passion like I have. I made the 1988 Olympic team as an alternate, lost to a guy in the finals, but I became an Olympic alternate, refocused, prepared myself, did the extra things I needed, and in 1992, I defeated that same guy, the best two out of three. I felt like God was always watching me, always behind me, pushing me to do those extra things. And even though other people couldn't see what I was doing, I knew God was watching. So I like to say that even though I think I was alone, but I wasn't alone.

We have to have some faith, believing, because life is a journey, it's very tough, it's a lot of adversity, and there's gonna be many times when you don't feel like doing it, and you gotta find the internal motivation to push yourself beyond the adversity, and that's what makes champions, this is what separates us. The ones who are willing to do the extra things to be their best, no matter what profession you're in, whether you're a business person, educator, house mom, doctor, lawyer, you can strive to be better, you can be your best, but you have to visualize, and you have to want it, and you gotta be willing to pay the extra price. "In this sport, it's gonna teach you everything you need to know about life, and I'll tell you what, put God in your life - everything is possible. Without God in your life, it's gonna be a tough journey". And have faith, have a lot of faith. You gotta have a lot of faith. That's just part of the recipe.

- Hi, Pastor Joel.
- I need some help.
- Dear Pastor Joel...
- I have a question for you.
- Pastor Joel...
- My anger sometimes gets the best of me.
- I don't know what to do.
- My stepson drives me nuts.
- I need some help.
- My marriage is falling apart and I wish we'd never married.
- How can I get my thoughts right?
- How do I know which direction God wants me to go?
- God isn't answering my prayers.
- Where's God when I'm struggling?
- Dear Pastor Joel...
- How do I choose...
- I don't understand what's going on.
- I can't get my life...
- Hey, Pastor Joel.
- My marriage is struggling.
- I don't know what to do.
- Do you even read these questions? All I know is, I want to start living my best life.
- Where do I start?
- But where do I start?


I get questions like this all the time, week after week, people call in, write in, reach out to us on social media. When it comes to enlarging your vision, you have to learn to encourage yourself. You can't count on other people to cheer you on and keep you built up. Sometimes, people will let you down. They'll try to convince you to stay at the same level. They may say your dreams are too big, that's because they can't see what you see. Paul said in Romans what if some don't believe? Will their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? One translation says so what if they don't believe?

Just because somebody doesn't believe that you can accomplish your dreams, that doesn't change anything. You don't have to have every person on board. You're never going to get every friend, relative, coworker to agree with you and support you. People may say, "Things like you really think you can live a large life? You really think you can get out of debt, break that addiction, write that book? I just don't see it". Your attitude should be, "So what if they don't see it? I don't have to have their support, their encouragement, their prayers, I know a secret, me and God are a majority. If God be for me, who dare be against me"? Start encouraging yourself, "I'm well able, I'm strong, I've got what it takes, I'm coming into a wide open, spacious life".

A friend of mine told how when he was six years old, his teacher gave his class an assignment. They had to write down what they wanted to do when they grew up. He had seen a man on television that was very funny, that was his dream as a little boy, he knew he wanted to be on television making people laugh. He wrote it down, he came from a low income family, they didn't have much, he wore hand me down clothes, plus he had a problem with stuttering. The teacher started calling the kids' name out, reading what they had written. When she came to his, she stopped and said little Stevie, please come up here. He started walking to the front of the class, so proud, thinking she was going to congratulate him and cheer him on, but it was just the opposite.

She said, "Now Stevie, what did you write"? He said, "I wrote that I wanna be on television making people laugh". She said, "Stevie, do you know anyone on television"? He said, "No, ma'am". She said, "Has anyone in your family ever been on television"? He said, "No, ma'am". She said, "Then you take this back and write down something that's more realistic". As a little six year old boy, he was confused. Nobody had ever told him what he couldn't become. That night, he told his father what had happened. He showed the paper where he had written down that he wanted to be on television. His father said, "Stevie, put this in your top drawer, and every morning before you go to school, and every night before you go to bed, you look at that paper and thank God that one day you will be on television".

Today, a few years later, my friend Steve Harvey is on television seven days a week making people laugh. He could've easily gotten stuck in a small life, if he would've let those words take root, gone around thinking about them, they would've kept him from his destiny. If you're going to live this large life, you may have to delete some negative things that were spoken over you. People don't determine your destiny, God does. Don't let what they say contain you, think bigger. "You're just a C student", think bigger, you're an A student. "You'll never get out of debt", think bigger, you're gonna lend and not borrow. "You're too small, you're not talented enough", think bigger, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Friends, you are not what people say you are, you are what God says you are, He has the final say. He says I planned a wide open, spacious life for you. Get rid of that old wineskin, like Peter, start throwing out your nets, think bigger, praying bigger, expecting bigger, this is a new day. God wants to take you where you've never been, show you favor that you've never seen. He wants you to enlarge your vision. If you'll start living large, I believe and declare you're going to see new doors opened, new opportunities, new friendships, promotions, breakthroughs, the fullness of your destiny in Jesus' name. Now, go live Your Best Life Now.
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