Joel Osteen - Power Thinking
I want to talk to you today about Power Thinking. It's easy to go around thinking that the obstacle is too big, we'll never get well, this virus is going to get the best of us. We wonder: why we don't have any strengthen? Why we can't get ahead? It's because our thoughts are limiting us. We draw in what we constantly think about. You can't think defeat and have victory, you can't think weakness and have strength - your life is going to follow your thoughts. And instead of thinking these "Weak, defeated, not able to" thoughts, you need to think power thoughts. This sickness is no match for me, this virus can't stop my destiny, this trouble at work is not how my story ends - the forces that are for me are greater than the forces that are again me. Victory starts in our mind. Success, breakthroughs, new levels depends on our thinking.
"Well, Joel, this virus has me afraid. I'm worried about my finances. I'm stressed over my children". That's drawing in more negativity, that's making you weaker, draining your strength, your energy, your passion. You'll be amazed at what will happen if you start thinking power thoughts - "No weapon formed against me will prosper. God has me in the palm of his hand, he's made me untouchable to the enemy". When you dwell on that, you'll feel strength rising up, courage, determination. And this is not just being positive, this is your faith being released.
Proverbs 4:23 says, "Be careful what you think, because your thoughts run your life". Are your thoughts helping you or hurting you? Are you thinking power thoughts, victory thoughts, well able thoughts or you think in defeated thoughts? "I'll never get well, never accomplish my dreams, never break this addiction". You're choosing which direction your life is going to go. Pay attention to what your dwelling on, don't just think any thought that comes to mind. If it's negative, discouraging, fearful - don't give it the time of day. Turn it around and dwell on what God says about you.
Thoughts whisper, "Nothing good is in your future, you've seen your best days" - if you dwell on that you'll miss your destiny. Tune out that defeated thought and start thinking power thoughts, "Something good is going to happen to me. Favor is surrounding me like a shield, goodness and mercy are following me". When you're in tough times the enemy will work overtime trying to convince you, that the problem is too big, you'll never get out of debt, that child will never turn around. He knows, if he can keep you defeated in your thoughts, then he can keep you defeated in your life.
The battle is taking place in your mind. When thoughts tell you, "It's never going to change, you can't take it anymore". Instead of thinking those weak thoughts, drawing in more weakness, turn it around, "Yes, this problem is big, but I've been armed with strength for every battle. I am full of can-do power, what God started in my life he's going to finish". God said he would never let you face anything that you can't handle. He will always give you the strength, the grace, the faith for what comes your way. But if you're believing these lies that is too much, you're dwelling on the weak, limiting, can't-do-it thoughts, then you're going to feel overwhelmed and you'll get stuck where you are. Pay attention to what's going on in your mind.
This is what happened to the Israelites. Moses sent 12 men to spy out the Promised Land. After 40 days ten came back and said, "Moses, will never defeat them. The people are huge, they look like giants. We don't have a chance". God had already promised them the victory, he had already said that was their land. But notice what they were thinking: weak, defeated, limiting, fearful thoughts. The other two spies, Joshua and Caleb, came back with a different report. They said "Moses, we are well able. Yes, the people are big, but we know our God is bigger. Let us go in at once and take that land".
What's interesting is Joshua and Caleb saw the same giants as the other 10 spies, they saw the same problem, the same opposition, but instead of thinking defeated thoughts, they chose to think power thoughts. Joshua and Caleb weren't any bigger than the other spies, they didn't have more training, more experience, more weapons - the only difference was their thinking. The negative report from the 10 spies begin to spread throughout the Israelites camp. Before long all two million people were afraid and worried. They said, "Moses, let's go back to Egypt. Let's go back to being slaves". That's how powerful our thoughts are. Ten men infected the rest of the people. They ended up wandering in the desert for 40 years.
Be careful how you thing. Don't get infected and miss your destiny. Are you one of the ten spies? "I can't beat this illness, I can't accomplish my dream, this being isolated not going to work, it's going to ruin my business". None of this is a surprise to God. You wouldn't be facing it, if you couldn't handle it. Like the Israelites, God has already promised you the victory. The scripture says (2 Corinthians 2:14), "Thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph". Not some of the times, not most of the time, but all of the time. It may be tough now, but keep the right perspective, victory is in your future, healing is in your future, abundance, breakthroughs, freedom is coming your way.
Yes, the giants may be big, but our God is bigger. The virus may be powerful, but our God is all-powerful. I'm asking you to be a Joshua, be a Caleb, think power thoughts, think can-do thoughts, think victory thoughts. Don't look at how big the problem is, look at how big your God is - he parted Red Sea, he closed the mouths of lions, he brought the dead back to life. That obstacle is no match for him. He didn't bring it this far to leave you. When you believe, all things are possible. Get your thoughts going in the right direction.
The scripture (Isaiah 59:1) says, "When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of God will raise up a barrier". You're not fighting this battle on your own, you had the most powerful force in the universe fighting for you. He's pushing back forces of darkness, keeping that sickness from taking you out, moving the wrong people out of the way. All through the day, "I am well able. I will overcome this obstacle. I will defeat this sickness. I will rise out of lack and struggle". When you think like that, the Creator of the universe goes to work, miracles are set into motion.
It's significant that the ten spies were negative and two were positive. It's about the same today: eighty percent of people will be negative, twenty percent will be positive. Eighty percent will focus on how big the problem is, live afraid, tell you how you won't get well. If you're going to fulfill your destiny, you have to go against the grain. You can't just fit in and be afraid like everyone else, complain like the other co-workers, be negative like that neighbor - God is looking for some Joshua's, he's looking for Caleb's, people that stand out, people that believe when it seems impossible, people that aren't discouraged by how big the opposition is.
If this is going to happen you have to guard your mind, because negative news spreads faster than good news. Joshua and Caleb said, "We are well able", that news didn't go anywhere. When people heard "The giants were too big", that they didn't have a chance, that spread like wildfire throughout the camp. Negative thinking is contagious. All around us there's negative news: how bad the sickness is, how bad the economy is, analysts telling us what could happen, how it may get much worse. I'm not faulting them: they're doing their job. It's good to be informed, but you can't let that poison stay in your spirit. If you keep dwelling on that, then you're going to end up afraid, worried, panicked, thinking you're not going to make it. When you think like that, it's a negative cycle that keeps drawing in more fear, more worry, more defeat.
Isaiah 8:11-14 says, "Do not think like everyone else. Don't be afraid that some plan conceived behind closed doors will be the end of you. Do not fear anything except the Lord God Almighty. If you fear him, you need fear nothing else. He will keep you safe". You don't have to fear the virus, fear what the economy is going to do, fear the future. Just keep honoring God and he will keep you safe - he'll defeat your enemies, he'll do what medicine can't do, he'll turn that child around.
This says, "Don't think like everyone else", don't think like the 10 spies. When the majority is afraid, worried, negative, you have to be on the offensive and say, "No, I'm not falling into that trap, I'm not going to think weak, defeated thoughts - I'm going to think power thoughts. I know my God is still on the throne. I know him being for me is more than the world being against me". Out of these 2 million people, the only ones that ever made it into the Promised Land were Joshua and Caleb. It's not a coincidence that they were the only ones, that thought power thoughts. You can't reach your destiny thinking negative, limiting thoughts.
I was out riding my bike the other day, and I had the same path that I traveled down, takes about an hour. Most of the route is flat, but there's this one very big hill, you have to dig down deep and really push to make it up that hill. I like to exercise and I always get prepared for this hill and enjoy the challenge, but this particular day I was tired, I'd worked out hard earlier and had been traveling a lot, not had much sleep. About 10 minutes into my ride I started thinking, "I don't want to go up that hill, I don't feel like it, I don't have the strength, I don't want to have to push". On and on I kept dreading it, telling myself how hard it was going to be and wondering if I could make it up it.
At one point I received a phone call, I put it on speaker I started talking as I was riding. We talked and talked. About 20 minutes later I hung up, I got my mind back on my bike ride and I thought, "Okay, I don't want to go up that hill", when I looked around I realized, I had already gone up the hill, I rode up it while I was talking, but because I was distracted, not thinking about how hard it was going to be, not convincing myself that I couldn't do it, I made it up the hill with no problem. My legs weren't burning, I wasn't winded, I didn't feel any more tired - I don't even remember going up.
I wonder, how many times we're telling ourselves what we can't do? "I can't stay at home for a month and teach these children. I can't deal with these unfair people at work. I can't handle this challenge in my health, it's going to be too hard". We dreading things, thinking these week, defeating thoughts, when the truth is: you have already been equipped to handle it, you have strength for all things. When God created you, he put in you everything you need to fulfill your destiny.
Now quit telling yourself what you can't do and how it's not going to work out - all that's doing is draining your strength. When you get to that hill, you're going to discover like I did: it's going to be easier than you thought, you're going to have strength that you didn't know you had. Just like when your car is going up a hill and the extra cylinders kick in to give you more power, when you need, it God's grace is going to kick in and help you do, what you didn't think you could do. Now, the key is: don't cancel it out with weak thinking. Every morning when you wake up, you need to power up, get your mind going in the right direction, "This is going to be a good day. I can handle anything that comes my way. I am strong. I am confident. I have the favor of God. Angels are watching after me. I'm excited about my future".
At the start of the day you need to set your mind for victory. Don't let just any thoughts play, you have to think thoughts on purpose. If you wake up and just think whatever comes to mind, thoughts "Hey, yeah, you have too many problems, you're too tired, you'll never overcome this obstacle, nothing good is going to happen today". If you don't set the tone for the day, negative thoughts will set them for you. Before you check the phone, before you read your email, before you see what the weather is like, you need to think on purpose power thoughts, victory thoughts, abundance thoughts, can-do thoughts.
Psalm 125:4 says, "God will be good to those who are in tune with him". Notice, you can be in tune with God or you can be out of tunes. The way you get in tune is by thinking victorious, overcoming, faith-filled thoughts. If you go around thinking, "I'll never get well. This depression, this anxiety, this addiction is going to hinder me all of my life", unfortunately you're not in tune with God. You can't find anywhere in the scripture where God says, "I'm weak, I'm discouraged, I'm afraid, the enemy is getting the best of me". God says, "I am all-powerful, I spoke worlds into existence, I flung stars into space".
Moses asked God what his name was. God said, "My name is I am". He was saying, "I am everything: I am strength, I am healing, I am provision, I am protection, I am abundance, I am favor". When God said, "Let there be light", it came at a hundred and eighty six thousand miles per second. One angel in the Old Testament destroyed a hundred and eighty five thousand of the enemies of Israel. If you're going to get in tune with God, you can't think little, weak, defeated, get-by, hope-this-works-out thought. You have to think bold thoughts, favor thoughts, abundance thoughts, healing thoughts, victory thoughts.
Yes, the opposition may be much bigger, much stronger - just agree with what God says, "Lord, you said when the enemy comes against me one way, you will defeat them and cause them to flee seven different ways". When thoughts tell you, "You'll never get well", get in tune with God, "Lord, thank you that you're restoring health back into me. Thank you that the number of my days you will fulfill". The thought comes, "This shutdown over the virus has ruined your year financially. Just accept it and wait for next year" - "Lord, thank you, that the economy is not my source, that you are my source. You said you would make rivers in the desert, that you would supply all of my needs, according to your riches".
You had that thought, "You'll never have a baby, you heard the experts, it's not possible" - "Father, you said what's impossible with people is possible with you. You said you'd make the barren woman a happy mother of children. So father, thank you that my baby is on the way". The way to get in tune with God is to think what he says about you. Not what you feel, not what the experts say, not what the economy says, but what the Most High God has spoken over you. The scripture says whose report will you believe? What the ten spies are saying, the negative report, telling you what you can't do, how it's too tough? Or what Joshua and Caleb are saying, how you are well able?
When my father went to be with the Lord and I stepped up to pastor the church, every thought told me that I couldn't do it, that I wasn't qualified, didn't have the training, I was too quiet. If I would have believed that report, I would have missed my destiny. That's why the scripture says, "Be careful what you think". It gives us a warning: your thoughts are setting the limits for your life. And all that came to my mind were fearful, intimidating, negative thoughts. I did what I'm asking you to do: I didn't just think those thoughts because they showed up, I didn't dwell on them and think they were the truth, I tuned them out and got in tune with God.
On purpose I thought: I can do all things through Christ, I am strong in the Lord, I've been raised up for such a time as this. "Father, thank you that I'm equipped, empowered and anointed". Thoughts told me, "Nobody's going to listen to you, Joel. You don't have anything to say". Instead of believing those lies, I said "Father, thank you that your favor is causing me to stand out. That people are going to like me, they're going to be drawn to me, when they turn me on they can't turn me off". If I had not got in tune with God and thought these power thoughts, I wouldn't be here.
When Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, they ate the forbidden fruit that God told them not to eat, then they ran and hid. God came looking for them, said "Adam where are you"? Adam said, "We're hiding, because we're naked". God said, "Adam who told you, you were naked"? God knew, the enemy had been talking to them. God is saying to you, "Who told you, you're not qualified? Who told you, you've made too many mistakes? Who told you, that you come from the wrong family, that you'll never be successful"? Those are the wrong voices, you need to tune that out and get in tune with God.
When thoughts tell you, "You're just average, there's nothing special about you", get rid of that defeated thought and think power thoughts, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am a masterpiece. I have royal blood flowing through my veins. I am crowned with favor. I will leave my Mark". If you'll get in tune with God, he'll open doors that no person can shot, he'll take you where you can't go on your own. When thoughts tell you, "You've been through too much, you lost that loved one, the business didn't make it, that friend walked out on you - nothing good is in your future", don't believe those lies. "Father, thank you, that you have beauty for these ashes. Thank you that what was meant for my harm, you are turning to my advantage". When you're in tune with God, he'll pay you back for the wrongs. Isaiah says, "God will give you double for the unfair things that have happened". Instead of thinking you've seen your best days, "Lord, thank you that double is coming, thank you that my latter days will be better than my former days".
In the scripture there was a young man named Mephibosheth, he was the grandson of king Saul and the son of JoNathan David's best friend. Mephibosheth was born into royalty, destined to one day take the throne, but at five years old his grandfather and father were killed in a battle. When word reached his house, the maid that took care of him picked him up and took off running, afraid that the the army was going to come after them. In her haste she accidentally tripped and dropped Mephibosheth, both of his legs were broken, he became crippled for life.
Sometimes well-meaning people can drop you. This nurse had good intentions, she was trying to help him but she dropped him. Years passed Mephibosheth ended up living in exile, in a city called Lo-Debar. It was one of the poorest, most rundown cities of that day. The name Lo-Debar means "Without pasture". It had no greenery, no place to grow crops, it was like a wasteland. Here Mephibosheth was the grandson of the king, he had royalty in his blood, but he was living in the slums, barely surviving.
One day king David was thinking about his friend JoNathan, he asked his men if there were any of his relatives still alive, so he could be good to them. David's men went out and searched through the slums of Lo-Debar and finally found Mephibosheth. Now he was a grown man, they had to carry him back to the palace. I'm sure Mephibosheth was afraid, thinking David was going to pay him back for his grandfather, king Saul trying to kill him. But it was just the opposite, David was incredibly kind to him. He said, "From now on you're going to live in the palace with me. Every night you're going to have dinner at my table. I'm going to give you all the land that belonged to your grandfather king Saul". Mephibosheth was overwhelmed, he couldn't believe what was happening. But the way he answered shows us why he was living in Lo-Debar all those years. He said to David, "Why would you be so kind to a dead dog like me"? Notice his thoughts: weak, defeated, I don't deserve to be blessed, I've had too many bad breaks, people dropped me.
I wonder, how many of us are doing like Mephibosheth? We are sons and daughters of the Most High God, we have royalty in our blood, we're destined to reign in life, but because somebody dropped us, we went through wrongs, disappointments, things that weren't fair, or we made mistakes, we got off course, brought the trouble on ourselves and now we're living in Lo-Debar, thinking we don't deserve to be blessed, we just have to sit on the sidelines, except that our dreams will never come to pass. Can I encourage you? Get rid of that dead-dog thinking. Nothing that's happened to you has to keep you from your destiny. No mistake you've made is too much for the mercy of God. You may have had some bad breaks, gone through some failures, but that didn't stop God's plan for your life.
Now, you have to do your part and quit thinking limited, defeated, unworthy thoughts and start thinking victory thoughts, abundance thoughts, favor thoughts. Put your shoulders back, hold your head up high and remember who you are and who's you are, a child of the Most High. Get in tune with him. Like David's men went searching through Lo-Debar God is looking for you today, he's saying, "I'm about to do a new thing. I'm about to pay you back for the wrongs. I'm about to open new doors, turn negative situations around", you're going to be amazed at the goodness of God.
I'm asking you to pay attention to what you're thinking. You are drawing in what you're constantly dwelling on. Your thoughts are running your life. Is what you're thinking about what you want? Are you thinking weak, defeated, i-can't-do-it thoughts? Or you think in power thoughts, "I am well able, God is fighting my battles, something good is in my future". Don't be like the 10 spies, the 80% that are negative - stand out in the crowd, be a Joshua, be a Caleb and think victory thoughts. If you'll do this, I believe and declare, like God did for them, you're going to make it into your Promised Land, you're going to see God show out in your life. Like Mephibosheth, everything you've lost God is about to restore: the health, the finances, the dreams, they're going to come looking for you, in Jesus name.