Joel Osteen - The Guardian of Your Soul
I want to talk to you today about The Guardian of Your Soul. When we look at all this going on in the world, it's easy to live worried and afraid. We watch the news and see conflict between nations, natural disasters, sicknesses, accidents - if that's not enough, now we're dealing with this virus. We think, "What if I get sick? What if my business doesn't make it? What if my child has an accident"? All these concerns are valid. If you were on your own, you would have a good reason to live worried, but the scripture says (1 Peter 2:25), "You have turned to your shepherd, the guardian of your soul". You're not in this by yourself, you have a protector, a defender, a deliverer, the Most High God is the guardian of your soul.
When he breathed life into you, he didn't just put you on the earth and say, "Good luck, you're on your own". He said, "I'm going to guard you, I'm going to push back forces of darkness, I'm going to hide you from enemies, I'm going to shield you from trouble". Psalm 91:3 says, "God will rescue you from every trap and protect you from the fatal plague". You don't have to be afraid of this virus, God has a shield around you, he knows how to keep harm away. And if it does come, he knows how to heal you, he knows how to restore what was taken, he will rescue you from every trap. The enemy doesn't have the final say, nothing can snatch you out of God's hands.
And because you've turned to your shepherd, he's protected you from things you know nothing about. He kept that car from hitting you, he pushed back that sickness, he thwarted plans of the enemy, moved people out of the way, that would have been a bad influence. He's been guarding your soul since you were born. If you knew all the things he's already kept you from, you wouldn't worry about what you're facing now. You would stay in peace, knowing that God has you covered, you're in the palm of his hand. You're not at the mercy of fate, bad luck, dreaded disease - you have a guardian, a protector, a God who promised - he will rescue you from every trap.
When my father was a little toddler, barely able to walk, he lived on a farm with his family. And one night he wandered away from everyone and fell into a fire. He could have easily been killed, but it just so happened, someone came walking by and pulled him out. Another 15 seconds and he would have lost his life. That should have stopped his destiny, but there is a guardian of your soul, there is a God watching over you, that will rescue you from trouble, he will stop the plan of the enemy.
Psalm 121:7-8 says, "Your guardian God is right by your side to protect you. He guards you when you leave and he guards you when you return. He guards you now and he will guard you always". You can't go anywhere without your guardian God, that's why we can live from a place of peace, a place of faith, even though there's turmoil all around us, people worried, panic - stay in peace, it's not a surprise to God. He didn't say we wouldn't have trouble, we wouldn't have to face these things, but he did promise he will rescue you from the trouble, he will keep the fatal plague from taking you out. You don't have to live worried about your future, afraid of what could happen - God has a hedge of protection around you, a bloodline that the enemy cannot cross.
When the Israelites had been in slavery for many years, God told Moses he was going to bring them out. The way God did it was to send plagues on the Pharaoh and his people that were oppressing them. What's interesting is the Israelites lived next door, but none of the plagues affected them. God sent swarms of locusts, they ate up all the Pharaohs crops, destroyed their food supply, but right next door the Israelites crops were fine. I could imagine some of the locusts started to fly toward the Israelites land, but when they got close just like an electric fence, they suddenly turned around and left them alone. This happened with plague after plague, and God said in Exodus 8:22, "I will make a distinction between my people and Pharaoh's people".
At one point all of Pharaoh's livestock, all of his cattle suddenly died, but right next door the Israelites livestock was perfectly fine - that's because God put a shield around his people. Even though the plague was all around them, he kept it from harming them. Like with the Israelites, because you belong to God, because you honor him, he's put a distinction on you. What will defeat others, won't be able to defeat you. When business is going down, you're going to go up. When others are struggling, you're going to be soaring.
That's why David said (Psalm 91:7), "A thousand may fall at my side and 10,000 at my right hand, but it will not come near me". David understood this principle that what happened to others wasn't going to happen to him, God put a distinction on him. And I don't mean this arrogantly, like we're glad somebody else has difficulty and not us, I'm talking about living from a place of faith, knowing that you have an advantage - God has a shield around you. Psalm 91:3-7, in the message translation says, "God protects you from deadly hazards. Even though others succumb all around you, you will stand untouched. You will watch it all from a distance. Because God is your refuge, evil can't get close to you, harm can't through the door". You may have some things come to the door, but it's not going to get in. You're going to come out untouched, you're going to watch it all from a distance.
You remember the rapper MC Hammer, he had a popular song called "You Can't Touch This". You need to see yourself that way: when sickness comes, instead of accepting it, thinking "I knew this would happen", you need to announce to the enemy: you can't touch this, I am God's property, my body is a temple of the Most High, I will live and not die. When lack and struggle comes, saying you'll never get ahead, just announce: you can't touch this, the favor of God is on my life, I will prosper even in a desert. When your children aren't making good decisions, they're getting off course, instead of being depressed, thinking "What did I do wrong", you need to remind the enemy: you can't touch this, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord, my children will be mighty in the land. You need to see yourself as untouchable to the enemy.
And yes we all have difficulties, I'm not saying that you won't have to face sickness, opposition, betrayals - they may come, but they don't have to stay, you don't have to answer the door. Don't open it up, say "I knew you'd show up, come on in, let me get you a cup of coffee". No, when it knocks say, "No, thanks, you're not welcome here". Don't accept it, don't learn to live with it. Quit calling it "My sickness, my anxiety, my dysfunction, my addiction" - it's not yours, none of it belongs to you, it's on foreign territory. Your body is a temple of the Most High God. Sickness doesn't belong in your temple, depression doesn't belong in your temple, fear, addictions, lack does it belong there. Stand firm and keep that door closed. Yes, things may come, I'm not asking you to deny the facts, act like you don't have a sickness, but you don't have to accept it in your mind, don't let it become permanent, thinking it's always going to be that way, see it as temporary - this too shall pass.
I have several friends that have contracted the coronavirus, they fought the good fight of faith, now they've come through it. When you face a sickness, a bad break, loss, that doesn't mean you don't have this distinction, you must not have enough faith - not at all. The scripture says (Matthew 5:45), "Rain falls on the just and the unjust". There are times when difficulties come, we're praying, believing, but it didn't work out our way - when it rains, don't get discouraged, don't give up on your dreams, God knows what he's doing. If you'll keep the right attitude, that rain is not going to hinder you, it's going to cause you to blossom. The enemy may have meant it for your harm, the reason God allowed it is so he can bring you out better than you were before.
Psalm 91 starts off by saying, "If you dwell in the secret place of the Most High, you will abide under the shadow of the Almighty". The next verse says, "I will say of the Lord, you are my refuge, my fortress and my God". It's significant that the Psalmist didn't just say, "I'm going to stay in the secret place, and that will keep me protected". He said, "I will say of the Lord". What you're saying is going to make a difference, whether you see God's protection and favor like you should.
"When, Joel, I'll probably get this virus, I always have bad breaks, I don't think my business are gonna make it, my children are never gonna do what's right". You need to zip that up, you are opening the door to difficulties. If you're going to activate this protection, you can't go around talking defeat, you have to do like the Psalmist and start saying of the Lord, "Lord, thank you that you're my protector. Thank you that you're shielding me from every plague, rescuing me from every trap. Thank you, that I'm going to come out of this untouched". The way you're going to see the distinction is by declaring you're protected, and thanking God that there's a hedge around you.
David had all kinds of opposition, he had people trying to kill him, armies come in against him, his own son tried to dethrone him. He could have lived afraid, complaining, "God, you anointed me, why am I having all these difficulties"? Now, listen to how David talked, Psalm 27:1-5, "The Lord is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear. The Lord protects me from danger, why should I be afraid. When enemies come against me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army surrounds me, I will remain confident. For in the time of trouble God will hide me, he will place me out of reach high on a rock". David knew how to activate this shield. You have to thank God for it, you can't go around worried, panic, and expect to see this hedge of protection.
In 1 Samuel 23 David was living on the run from king Saul. He had been good to Saul, he was his armor bearer, served him faithfully, but Saul was jealous of David. He could see the favor on his life, he couldn't handle the thought of someone getting more attention than him. So even though David had done nothing wrong, Saul was trying to kill him. He was so obsessed with it, that he chased David again and again through the desert. Saul had the most skilled warriors, he had people that were specialists in tracking people. Here David was a shepherd, he didn't have any special training like Saul's men, surely they could find David, surely they could capture him. Verse 14 says, "Saul hunted David day after day, but God did not let him be found".
God knows how to hide you from the enemy, he knows how to hide you from trouble, he can hide you from the virus, he will place you out of reach from the opposition. Saul was so frustrated, he went back home. Later some of David's men turned on him, they contacted Saul's people and gave them David's location and all the details of where he was hiding. Saul was thrilled, he said "Finally someone has had mercy on me, will help me get rid of this man, that's trying to take my throne". David wasn't trying to take Saul's place, Saul had disobeyed and not done what God told him to do, and now he was trying to take it out on David.
When you're doing the right thing, people are coming against you, trying to push you out, don't worry that's not your battle - there's a guardian of your soul, you have a protector, a defender. You don't have to fight, stay on that high road and God will keep you out of reach, he will hide you when you need to be hidden. He's not going to let that adversity stop your purpose. Don't live upset, afraid, trying to pay people back - let God be your defender, he knows how to take care of the opposition.
Saul told these men to go back and spy on David, study his movements, find out when he eats, when he sleeps, where he gets food. Saul was so determined to catch David, he had them go overboard and do this extensive surveillance. David didn't know some of his men had betrayed him, he thought he was in a great hiding place, but he looked up and saw saw quickly closing in. This time he was сaught, there was no way he could escape - Saul was right on the other side of the mountain with all of his army, just a matter of hours before David would be captured. I could imagine David saying, "God, I didn't see this coming, I never dreamed my own men would turn on me, but God I believe, you will rescue me from every trap. I know even when trouble surrounds me, you will bring me safely through". When he could have been panicked, giving up, he kept thanking God for his protection and thanking him that he would make a way, where he didn't see away.
Right when Saul was about to give the command to make that final push, a man came riding a horse as fast as he could, he had an urgent message for king Saul. He handed it to him, it said "Hurry home, the Philistines are attacking our city". Saul called off the chase, told his men to turn around and go full speed back home. God has ways to protect you, that you've never thought of. He knows how to distract your enemies. He controls the universe. You don't have to figure out how it's going to happen, all you have to do is believe. "Lord, thank you that you're my protector. Thank you, that you're my defender. Thank you, that you're my way maker". When you realize the Most High God is guarding you, then you can say with David, "I will fear no evil". Not going to fear this virus, not going to fear this opposition, I'm not going to fear my future. You can stay in peace, knowing that the God who created the universe is the guardian of your soul.
Jesus said in Matthew 24:6-7, "In the last days there will be terrible epidemics, earthquakes, famines. But don't panic or give in to your fears". An epidemic is a worldwide virus, like we're facing today, didn't surprise God. He didn't bring you this far to leave you. Now, choose to live from a place of faith, not a place of fear. When you're in peace, that's a position of power. When you know God is in control, you're gonna be strong, you're gonna feel a force sustaining you. But when you're upset, afraid, that's going to drain your energy, drain your motivation, your immune system is not going to be as effective as it should be.
And there's a lot of negativity in the world: people are worried, afraid, panic - I know the threat is real, but don't let that get in you. A ship doesn't sink because of water around it - it can be in a huge ocean surrounded by hundreds of miles of water on every side. Water around it is not a problem, but if that ship lets what's on the outside get on the inside, then it's a problem. You can't watch the news all day and stay afloat. If you constantly take in negative, you're going to sink so to speak. Now, I like to watch the news, it's important to stay informed, but after 15 minutes I know what need. If you leave that television on all day, it's going to take us six weeks to get you out of that pit. Tune it out and tune in to what God says about you, don't let what's on the outside get on the inside.
The scripture says (Philippians 4:8), "Think on things that are pure, things they're a wholesome, things that are of a good report". Find something to watch that's uplifting, something inspiring, think on things that will build your faith. This is not the time to call negative family members and talk about all the doom and gloom and how bad it is, that's poisoning your spirit. You are feeding your inner person by what you're taking in. If you're only feeding it the negative, it's going to pull you down. One of the best things you can feed yourself is what God says about you. "Lord, thank you that my latter days will be better than my former days. Thank you, that what you started in my life, you will finish. Thank you, that you are the guardian of my soul".
When I first started ministering back in 1999 it was all very new to me. I had been behind the scenes for 17 years, I was suddenly thrust in front of a lot of people. I never dreamed the ministry would grow and people would begin to watch all over the world. Well, with the growth in notoriety came opposition and people that weren't for us. On top of that I had the pressure of trying to learn how to minister, I wasn't sure if I was good at it. At one point it felt overwhelming, seemed like there was opposition from every side. I wasn't sure how things were going to work out.
One night I had a dream, it was so vivid, I can remember it like it was yesterday: I was running through this field as fast as I could, there were planes flying overhead very low, dropping bombs all around me. It was like right out of a war movie, and I could see the bombs falling so close. When they did I would brace and just wait for the shrapnel to hit me. The bomb wouldn't be 15 feet away, the explosion was deafening, when it hit I knew it was the end, I was waiting to die, but every time somehow the shrapnel would miss me. This happened four or five times in this dream. I was amazed that I was still alive.
I ended up running to this little house, I was hiding in this room very afraid. These soldiers came passing by and I could hear them running, and I was hoping they wouldn't check the house praying that they would keep going. Then my worst nightmare came true, they burst in there looking for me, they had their guns drawn. I was standing right in front of them. I thought "This is it. They found me. It's the end". They look right at me, then turned around and walked out. It was like I was invisible.
When I woke up, I heard God saying down in here, "Joel, things may be exploding all around you, but I had you in the palm of my hand. You trust in me, and no weapon formed against you will ever prosper". Now when things come against me, I'm tend to be worried, afraid, I just remind myself "God is the guardian of my soul". He has a hedge of protection around you, a bloodline that the enemy cannot cross. You may feel like bombs are exploding around you, things that should stop your business, damage your family, harm your health - don't worry, it's not going to be what it looks like. Those bombs are not going to take you out. It may be loud, it seems like your dawn, but what you can't see is the guardian of your soul is shielding you, he's going to rescue you from every trap. God knows how to make you invisible to the enemy. The same God that made blind eye see can make seeing eyes blind, he has all kinds of ways to protect you.
That's what happened in 2 kings chapter 6 - the Syrian army came and surrounded Elijah's house. They were upset because God kept telling Elijah what the Syrians were going to do. What they discussed in secret, God revealed to Elijah, that way the Israelites always stayed one step ahead of them. When the Syrian king found out it was the prophet Elijah, he was furious, he sent this huge army to go capture him. When Elijah saw them coming, he said in verse 18, "Lord, please, make them blind". Elijah went out, said "I heard you're looking for Elijah? He's not here, you're in the wrong city. Follow me and I'll take you to him". They didn't know it was Elijah, he led this huge army right to the middle of the Israelites camp. Then he prayed, "Lord, opened their eyes and let them see". When they realized where they were and how they had been captured, they nearly passed out.
God has ways to protect you that you've never thought of. He can make you invisible to that virus, invisible to that person that's trying to stop you, invisible to the opposition. You don't have to figure it out, all you have to do is stay in the secret place, stay close to God, keep thanking him that he's protecting you, that he's defending you, that he's the guardian of your soul.
I read about a small fish called a Moses sole. It's a little flounder that's found in the Red Sea. Also in those waters are large sharks. These sharks typically like to eat this kind of fish, but in the early 70s a group of researchers noticed something fascinating about this little fish. All the other fish in this same category, the same size and weight would be eaten by the sharks, but they discovered the sharks weren't eating this particular of Moses sole. It's because it has a very unique defense system, when it's in any kind of danger, it naturally secretes poisonous toxins out of its glands. These toxins literally caused the shark's jaws to freeze. It showed a picture of this little fish swimming right in the middle of this shark's mouth, this shark had obviously come in for the kill, all he had to do was bite down and there was dinner. The only problem was he couldn't do it. God put something in this little fish to protect it. As long as the shark was close, his jaws were frozen.
Like this small fish, God has put something on you that will keep the enemy from defeating you. What you're up against may seem bigger, stronger, more powerful - don't worry it can't touch you, God has a hedge of protection around you. And the way you release these toxins, that caused the shark's jaws to freeze so to speak, is by thanking God. Every time you say, "Lord, thank you that you're my shield. Thank you that you're my defender. Thank you that you're the guardian of my soul", toxins are released that paralyze the enemy. Now don't go around verbalizing your fears, "Joel, I'm worried about this virus. I'm afraid my child's gonna get off-course. My business is gonna go downhill". Negative talk is like bait, it attracts the enemy, it will make things worse. The way you activate God's protection is with faith filled words.
Think about this little fish: when he's in the shark's mouth, his blood pressure doesn't go up, he doesn't go call 9-1-1, he doesn't get depressed and think this is the end - he just goes about his business, he knows, there's something special about him, that God ordained from the foundation of the world, that he would be protected from those enemies. So he just rest in who God made him to be. If you can get this down in your spirit, that the Most High God is the guardian of your soul, he's put something on you that makes you untouchable to the enemy. You don't have to go through life worried, afraid, wondering how it's gonna work out. Live from a place of peace, a place of faith, knowing that your guardian God is watching over you. If you'll do this, I believe and declare: what God promised, he will rescue you from every trap, protect you from every plague, make you invisible to the enemy. Because God is your refuge, evil can't get close to you, harm can't get through the door, you are untouchable, in Jesus name.