Joel Osteen - Blessing Yourself
I want to talk to you today about Blessing Yourself. We hear a lot about blessing others, being good to friends, complimenting a family member, helping a neighbor. That's all good, we should bless others, but it's also important to bless yourself. When we here bless yourself that can sound odd, self-centered. "I can't bless myself, I want somebody else to bless me. More importantly I want God to bless me". But the scripture says in Isaiah 65:15, "He who invokes a blessing on himself shall do so by saying".
The way you bless yourself is to say what God says about you. "I am strong, I am talented, I am forgiven, I am healthy, I am valuable, I am a masterpiece". Those are not just positive affirmations, you just invoke to blessing on yourself. When you speak it out, you give life to what you're saying. It's not enough to just think this. You don't bless yourself by just dwelling on positive thoughts. Nothing happens until you speak. When you say "I am blessed", blessings come looking for you. When you say "I am prosperous", good brakes start heading your way. When you say "I am healthy", health starts tracking you down.
You can't wait 'til you feel that way then you're going to say it. "When the medical report turns around, then I'll say I'm healthy". It's just the opposite. You have to declare you're healthy before the health is going to show up. You have to say "I am confident", before you're going to feel confident. If you'll say it long enough, what happens? Is those words get down in your spirit and you believe what you say about yourself more than what anyone else says about you. When you hear yourself day after day, "I am healthy, I am talented, I am confident, I am valuable", it's changing how you see yourself. Over time you're going to become what you're saying.
You are who you are in part today, because of what you've been speaking over your life. And all through the day you need to develop this habit of blessing yourself. You don't have to do it in front of other people, but when you're in the shower, "Father, thank you that I am creative, I am attractive, I am a great father, I have a good personality". Driving to work, "Lord, thank you that I'm forgiven, I'm redeemed, that your mercy is bigger than my mistakes". Before you go to bed, "I am valuable, I am one-of-a-kind, I have seeds of greatness". Every time you say that it's getting deeper in your spirit, it's becoming more ingrained in your thinking.
And studies tell us that we move toward what's in our subconscious mind. Without even thinking about it you're being pulled toward what you're saying. That's why it's so important to pay attention to what you're speaking over yourself. Other people may say things about you, but nothing is more powerful then what you say about yourself. I can tell you all day long "You're a victor and not a victim", that's good, that's helping your thinking, but it's nothing compared to when you say "I am a child of the Most High God. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am a masterpiece, handpicked by the Creator of the universe". You keep declaring that and you can't stay insecure, feeling unworthy - that will get down in your spirit, you'll put your shoulders back, hold your head up high and you'll go places that you've never dreamed.
Are you blessing yourself or are you just waiting for God to bless you, waiting for your spouse to make you feel valuable, waiting for that addiction to go away? Maybe the reason it's not happening, is you're not invoking the blessing on yourself, you're not declaring what God says about you. In the face of that addiction you need to declare "I am free, I am whole, greater is he that's in me than what's trying to stop me". Not just one time, but all through the day, week after week, month after month keep blessing yourself, keep declaring your free, keep speaking victory. As you do that, you may not be able to see it, but freedom is coming your way.
The scripture says, "You will eat the fruit of your words". Whatever you're saying that fruit is developing, the fruit is growing. It's significant that God uses fruit as the example, because fruit doesn't develop overnight, it takes time. This is showing us: you have to keep speaking it, keep blessing yourselves. Don't be moved by what's not changing. You may not see results in a week, but things are happening that you can't see.
We have some lemon trees in our backyard. The lemons start off as a little white flower, no resemblance of a lemon. Over time that flower changes into a little round ball about the size of a pea. Month after month it grows. In a year or so it's a big beautiful yellow lemon. And as you keep saying what God says about you, those words are taking root. That freedom your speaking is developing, that health you're declaring, the talent, the confidence, the discipline it's growing. You're going to come to a point where you see what you've been saying. You're not speaking it by faith anymore, now it's a reality, you're going to eat the fruit of your words.
That's why every day you need to spend time blessing yourself. It's good when others encourage you, it's good when they pray for you, but their words don't have the authority as your words. What you say about yourself, you're giving it the right to come to pass. When we wake up each morning, most of us brush our teeth, take a shower, pick out our clothes, get dressed. We may spend a half an hour getting our physical body ready for the day, but often we don't spend any time getting our inner person ready for the day: our mind, our spirit, our emotions. What if you took a couple of minutes every morning before you leave the house and say what God says about you?
Make this declaration of faith, you can download it on our website: "I am blessed, I am prosperous, I am redeemed, forgiven, talented, creative, disciplined, focused, confident, secure, prepared, qualified, motivated, valuable, free, determined, equipped, empowered, anointed, accepted and approved. Not average, not mediocre, I am a child of the Most High God".
We say that every service at Lakewood, it's because it's easy to forget who we are. Life tries to push us down, tell us what we're not, what we can't do, how we failed. Sometimes our own thoughts tell us we're not attractive, nothing good is in our future. If you let those lies play, it will keep you from your purpose. But if you'll make this declaration several times a day, month after month, it will get down in your spirit and you will become who God created you to be. When you're constantly saying what God says about you, it will bring down strongholds that are keeping you back, it will get rid of impurities that are contaminating your self-image, you'll begin to see yourself the right way, redeemed, forgiven, strong, victorious.
I talked to a man that was raised in a dysfunctional home. He was told by his father that he would never amount to anything, he wasn't smart enough, he'd never be successful. For 40 years he believed those lies. He stayed at the lowest level position at the company where he worked, never thought he could rise higher after all he was told that he didn't have the talent. One day he heard what I'm telling you. Instead of agreeing with what people said about him, he started speaking what God said about him: "I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I have seeds of greatness. I am full of potential".
As he spoke what God said about him, he began to see himself in a new way, he became more confident, new gifts started to come out. Other people started to notice. He got promoted again and again. After 30 years of being stuck at that low level position, today he's running his whole department, he has several hundred people under him.
Now people may tell you that your average, nothing special about you. The good news is: what you say about yourself overrides what other people say. Don't let what someone spoke over you keep you from becoming who you were created to be. Don't go around repeating those lies, "I'm not that talented, I've reached my limits, I'll never accomplish my dreams". Zip that up and speak blessings over your life.
The scripture says: with our words we can bless or we can curse. We can lift up or we can push down. My question is: are you blessing yourself or are you cursing yourself? Are you speaking words of faith, life, victory or are you speaking defeat, mediocrity? "I'm so undisciplined, I'll never lose this weight, I'll never break this addiction, I'm unattractive, I'll never meet the right person". You may not realize it, but you're cursing yourself. You're speaking defeat into your future. You have enough people in life against you, don't be against yourself. There are forces of darkness trying to keep you from your destiny, don't give them any fuel.
Pay attention to what you're saying about yourself. You can't talk defeat and have victory. You can't talk lack and have abundance. You can't talk sickness and have health. You may be undisciplined right now, but the way to change is not by telling how bad you are, putting yourself down - that's inviting more difficulties. Start speaking victory. Don't curse yourself anymore, start blessing yourself, "I am disciplined, I am determined, I am strong, I will break this addiction, I will get back in shape".
A friend of mine struggled with smoking for many years. He tried to quit again and again, wasn't able to do it. He was constantly saying, "It's too hard, I'll never break it, I don't have the willpower". He came down for prayer and he was very hard on himself, very critical. He told me how he was undisciplined, how he had quit for a few months and went back and how he wasn't going to be able to break it. He didn't realize, he was cursing himself. And I told him what I'm telling you: you have to change what you're saying. You have to start blessing yourself. Every day start saying "I am strong, I am disciplined, this addiction doesn't control me".
He tried this different approach. While he was smoking, he would say "Lord, thank you that I am free". Thoughts would tell him, "Are you kidding? You're not free, you're just as addicted as you were before". The scripture says, "Let the weak say I am strong". Don't describe the weakness, call in strength, call in freedom, call in favor.
About six months later something interesting happened - he started to not like the taste of the cigarette. He thought it was a bad badge. The taste got worse and worse, he got to the point where he couldn't stand it, he stopped smoking. Today he's been free for over eight years. It all started when he stopped cursing himself and he started blessing himself. Are you speaking negative over yourself? Are you putting yourself down, talking about how you don't measure up, what you can't do, how you'll never be free? Do yourself a favor: quit cursing yourself and start blessing yourself. If you keep being negative towards yourself, it will keep you from your destiny.
In the Book of Numbers the king of Moab hired Balaam the prophet to go curse the Israelites. The king knew the Israelites were stronger and more powerful. He thought if he could get Balaam to curse them, then the Moabites would be able to defeat the people of Israel. But God told Balaam to only say what the Lord says. When Balaam arrived, instead of cursing the Israelites he blessed them. The king was so upset, he said "You don't understand. I'm paying you to curse them". This happened three times, but every time Balaam blessed them. He told the king, "I cannot curse what God is already blessed".
One thing God was showing us if the enemy cannot curse you. You are God's property. He's already put a blessing on you. People, bad-brakes, how you were raised, what's coming against you cannot stop your destiny. You've already been set apart, favored, equipped, empowered by the Creator of the universe. But here's the key: since the enemy can't curse you, he'll try to deceive you into cursing yourself. He'll do his best to try to get you to go through life speaking defeat over yourself. "I'm not that talented. I'll never meet the right person. I've made too many mistakes". He can't curse you, don't you dare do it for him, don't you dare curse yourself.
The next time you're tempted to say something negative about yourself, your future, your looks, your abilities - zip it up. When you're against yourself, you're in agreement with the enemy. When you bless yourself, you're in agreement with God. You were created in his image. He didn't make any mistakes, you didn't get shortchanged, he wasn't having a bad day when he made you. He knew every fault you would have, he knew the areas you would struggle in. Quit beating yourself up, living unworthy - receive his mercy and move forward with your life. You have the talent you need, you come from the right family, you are well able to reach your destiny.
Now start blessing yourself. When you're tempted to say something negative, turn it around. "You're not attractive" -> "I am fearfully and wonderfully made". "You've made too many mistakes" -> "I am forgiven. I am redeemed. I am restored". "You'll never be successful. You'll never reach your limit" -> "I am surrounded by favor. God has taken me from glory to glory. My latter days will be better than my former days".
Are you blessing yourself or are you cursing yourself? You have a destiny to fulfill, there's a calling on your life, an assignment that only you can accomplish. We need what you have. We need your gifts. We need your talent. We need your smile. We need your love. This world won't be as bright a place as it should be without you shining, living the full abundant life that you were created to live.
There was a young man in the scripture named Jeremiah. God gave him the promise that he would be a great prophet and he would speak to nations. Jeremiah was young. He didn't see himself as a leader, he came from an average family, didn't have a great education, wasn't trained to speak in front of people. But God never asked you to do something and then doesn't give you the ability to do it. You may not feel qualified, you don't think you have the talent, the odds are against you. You wouldn't have that opportunity if you weren't already equipped. It's you, but you have to call it out, you have to start blessing yourself.
You'll be tempted to talk about all the reasons why you're not able: "It's too big, you don't have the resources, you come from the wrong family". No, don't curse yourself. Jeremiah said, "God, I can't speak to nations I'm too young. I wouldn't know what to say". God didn't say, "That's fine, I understand". God said, "Jeremiah say not that you're too young". God immediately stopped his negative words, he stopped him from cursing himself. God knew if Jeremiah would have gone around saying "I can't do this. I don't have what it takes. I'm afraid", he would have missed his destiny.
Be careful what you're saying about yourself. You are prophesying your future. And the odds may be against you, but God is for you. Say not "I'll never break the addiction". Say not "I'll never meet the right person". Say not "I can't start my business". Zip that up and get an agreement with God.
Psalm 34:12-13 says, "Do you want a long, good life? Then watch your tongue. Keep your lips from telling lies". We think that only means don't tell lies to other people, don't be dishonest, but it also means don't tell lies about yourself, don't go around saying things that contradict what God says about you. "I'm just average. I don't have a good personality. I'll never do anything great". Can I say this respectfully? That's telling lies. God didn't create anyone average. When he breathed life into you, he put greatness on the inside. He's destined you to leave your mark, to overcome that challenge, to outlast the opposition, to take your family to a new level.
Now if you're going to see this good, long, prosperous, amazing life then you have to do something very important - watch your tongue. Be careful what you say about yourself. You can't curse yourself and live a blessed life. You can't put yourself down and rise up to who you were created to be.
When my father went to be with the Lord, I knew I was supposed to step up and pastor the church, but I didn't feel qualified. I had never ministered before, hadn't been to seminary, I was afraid and insecure. My father had this big personality, strong and confident. I'm more quiet and reserved. I had plenty of opportunities to talk about what I was not, what I couldn't do, how didn't measure up and how intimidated I was. But one thing I learned growing up is to not speak too negative. You may think it, but don't verbalize it. Instead of saying what I felt, I said what God said about me, "I am strong in the Lord. I can do all things through Christ. I've been raised up for such a time as this".
I didn't feel anointed, but all through the day under my breath, "Father, thank you that I am anointed". Thoughts told me, "Nobody's going to show up. Nobody's gonna listen to you, Joel". "Father, thank you that people are being drawn to me, that your favor is causing me to stand out, that when they turn me on they can't turn me off". Instead of cursing myself, agreeing with the enemy, I can blessing myself. Most of what I was saying at the time wasn't true. I wasn't strong, confident, qualified, but over time little by little I became what I was saying. I ate the fruit of my words. Are there areas in your life that you're cursing yourself instead of blessing yourself? You'll be amazed at what will happen if you'll watch your tongue.
The Israelites had been in slavery for 400 years, when God supernaturally brought them out. The powerful Pharaoh and all of his army couldn't keep them in captivity. God sent the plagues, parted the Red Sea, drowned their enemies, gave them water out of a rock in the desert. He brought them to the Promised Land, they finally made it to this place they had dreamed about. They were next door, all they had to do was go in and take the land - God promised them the victory.
Moses said twelve men to spy out the land. Ten of them came back said, "We don't have a chance. There are giants in the land. We felt like grasshoppers compared to them". The scripture says (numbers 13:32), "They brought back an evil report". It seems like evil is a strong word. A negative report makes more sense, but God called it an evil report. It's because when you get an agreement with the enemy and curse yourself, it can keep you from your destiny.
The Israelites had seen the favor of God in amazing ways, yet the spies came back and said "We're like grasshoppers". Here they were sons and daughters of the Most High God, favored, equipped, anointed. The problem is: they started telling lies, they started agreeing with the enemy, cursing their future. The enemy couldn't stop them with his power, he had to deceive them into cursing themselves. They never did make it into the Promised Land. The enemy has no new tricks, he can't keep you from your destiny, he can't stop God's plan for your life. God has blessed you, the enemy cannot curse you. Now the question is: are you going to curse yourself? Don't fall into that trap, speak victory over your life.
Luke 1, an angel appeared to a man named Zechariah. He told him that his wife Elizabeth was going to have a baby, they were to name him John. Elizabeth had been barren her whole life, they were both way up there in years, didn't seem possible. Zechariah said to the angel, "How can this happen? I'm too old and my wife is way past the childbearing years, are you sure you have the right people"? The angel said, "Zechariah, I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of Almighty God. What he says will come to pass". But God knows the power of our words, he knows if we go around cursing ourselves, talking about what we can't do, how impossible it is, how we're too old, too young, too shy, too short then we'll never become who we were created to be.
God needed this child to be born to fulfill a prophecy from earlier, so God did something unusual. The angel said, "Zachariah, since you've doubted, you will remain silent and not be able to speak until the baby is born". God literally shut his mouth. Zachariah left there unable to speak. God was about to do something Zachariah had never seen, something more than he had imagined, but he knew if Zachariah went around speaking defeat, it would stop the promise.
I wonder if there are promises we're keeping from coming to pass because we're speaking the negative, verbalizing our doubts, cursing ourselves. A year later Elizabeth gave birth to a baby boy, just like the angel said. Her friends and relatives were so excited, they came over to the house to celebrate. One of them asked what the baby's name was going to be? Elizabeth said his name is John. They said "John? Nobody in your family is named John. He should be named Zachariah after the father". They looked at Zachariah, he still couldn't speak, so he wrote it on a tablet "His name is John".
Like with Zachariah God is about to do something that your family has never seen, something unusual, something out of the ordinary. You're about to give birth to dreams, promises, ministry, abundance, influence that is far more than you've imagined. It's going to be easy to doubt, think it's too much, it could never happen. But the reason God has you hearing this is so you will watch your tongue. No more cursing yourself, no more speaking defeat, talking about how you can't get well, can't break the addiction, can't start your business.
Get an agreement with God: start blessing yourself. All through the day, "I am strong. I am talented. I am anointed. I am healthy. I am well able". Remember, the enemy can't curse you. He doesn't have that power. Now, don't curse yourself. Speak life, speak favor, speak victory. If you'll do this, I believe and declare, God is about to show out in your life. New doors are about to open, negative situations are about to turn around, freedom is coming, healing is coming, breakthroughs, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name.