Joel Osteen - Who Do You Say You Are?
I want to talk to you today аbout: Who Do You Say You Are? There are a lot of voices in life trying to define us and tell us who we are. Sometimes they're uplifting, a parent telling us that we're talented, we can do great things. Other times they're negative: you're not attractive, there's nothing special about you. Our own thoughts will try to label us: you made too many mistakes, you miss your chance. When you listen to all these voices, it's easy to think, "Who's telling the truth? Who am i? Am I talented or am I ordinary? Am I strong and confident or am I weak and insecure? Do I have a bright future or have I blown it"?
Here's the key: the only voice that matters is your voice. Who do you say you are? What you choose is what you will become. And instead of letting people define you, instead of letting circumstances label you, you need to go back to what God said about you. God says, "You can do all things through Christ. You're equipped and empowered". Other voices will tell you, "The problem's too big. You don't have what it takes". Who do you say you are? God says you have seeds of greatness, you are destined to leave your mark. Other voices will tell you, you're just ordinary, you'll never do anything significant. You have the final choice: who do you say you are?
The problem with some people is they've chosen the wrong voice so long, they don't know who they really are. They've let people label them, tell them what they're not, what they can't do. They've allowed circumstances to define them, mistakes, disappointments, now they've lost their passion. If you let these other voices play, it will keep you from your destiny. The only one that knows who you really are is your Creator, he calls you a masterpiece, he said you've been fearfully and wonderfully made. He said you will be mighty in the land, that you are more than a conqueror, strong, confident, approved, valuable. That's who you were created to be.
When you say what God says about you, then you activate what he put on the inside. But you can't say "I'm weak and tap into the power". You can't say "I'll never get ahead" and tap into the abundance. You can't say "I'm not that talented", and tap into your greatness. Who do you say you are? Not who do other people say you are, who does your family say you are, who do your co-workers say you are - no disrespect, but you are not who people say you are, you are who God says you are. People can't always see what God put in you, they can't see the potential, the gifts, the greatness. If you let them put their limitations on you, convince you that you can't accomplish your dream, you'll never get out of debt, you can't overcome that sickness, then because you're letting them define you, what they're saying is going to come to pass. They may speak negative things, but it has no power if you don't let it get in you. Don't repeat the negative people have spoken over you in.
John chapter 1 the Jewish leaders sent men out into the desert to find out who John the Baptist was. They had heard so much about him, he had a large following. These leaders traveled from Jerusalem and asked John if he was the Christ. He told them "No". They asked if he was Elijah. He said it again, "I'm not". They said in verse 22, "Then tell us who you are, so we can give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself"? John could have answered many different ways. He could have told them about his background, his education, his philosophy. But verse 23 says, "John replied in the words of Isaiah, 'i am a voice shouting in the wilderness, prepare the way for the Lord'". He went back to what the scripture said about him. He didn't say what he felt. He didn't say how he was raised, what he was dealing with, he said what God said about him.
Imagine someone ask you: who do you say you are, so we can tell others? What kind of answer would you have? "Well, this pandemic has me worried. My back's been hurting, my business is slow, these kids are getting on my nerves, I'm really discouraged". Zip that up, that is not who you are. Go back to the scripture and say what God says about you. Your answer should be, "Tell them I'm strong, anointed, talented, favored, healthy, blessed, forgiven, fearfully and wonderfully made". We start off every service saying, "I am what God says I am". I am not what I feel. I may feel weak, but God says I'm strong, so my report is: I am strong. When you say that - strength starts heading your way.
You may not feel up to par, you're dealing with an illness, struggling with anxiety, fighting that depression. It's easy to wear the labels: "Sick", "Depressed", "Anxious", "Defeated", "That's just who I am". That's not who you are, that's what you're dealing with. You're not a sick person trying to get well, you're a well person fighting off sickness. Don't let that difficulty become your identity. Don't get in agreement with the negative. Go back to what your Creator said. God said: he's restoring health back unto you. He said you will run and not be weary. He said weeping endures for a night, but joy is coming in the morning. What do you say about yourself? "I'm sick, I'm depressed"... No, "I'm healthy, I'm whole, I'm energetic, I'm free, I'm happy, I'm victorious". If you'll start saying what God says about you instead of what you feel, you'll see things begin to turn around. Don't go through life wearing in these negative labels.
I talked to a man that was so down on himself. He told me how he had made mistakes, didn't raise his children right, he was struggling with an addiction. He said, "I feel so unworthy. I don't deserve to be blessed". When you're down on yourself it's not doing anything productive. Being against yourself is not going to help you move forward. The enemy is called "The accuser", he'll remind you of every mistake you've made, every time you failed. He'd love for you to wear these labels "Unworthy", "Washed up", "No future". I told him what I'm telling you: as long as you see yourself unworthy, not deserving, it's going to keep you where you are. Instead of wearing those labels, why don't you say what God says about you? "I'm forgiven, I'm redeemed, I'm restored, my past is over and my future is bright".
Who do you say you are? Not who do your mistakes say you are, who do your friends say you are, who do the negative thoughts say you are. What you say overrides all the others, what you say gives it the right to come to pass. Now, quit saying negative things about yourself. "I'm so overweight. I'm so undisciplined. I'll never get out of this neighborhood. I'll never break this addiction" - you're going to become what you believe. Why don't you start saying what God says about you? "I'm talented. I'm successful. I'm prosperous. I'm free. I'm valuable. I'm a masterpiece". What you say about yourself is going to become a reality. Who do you say you are? "I'm just average" - you're going to be average. When the truth is God didn't make anyone average. Nobody has your fingerprints, nobody can do what you can do, but as long as you believe you're ordinary, you won't shine like you're supposed to shine.
When Moses was born, the scripture says he was no ordinary child. There was something special about him. As he grew up he could sense his destiny was to deliver the Israelites out of slavery. He had good intentions, but he made a mistake - he ended up having to flee to the desert, he spent 40 years in hiding. I can imagine those voices told him how he blew it, that he missed his chance, he could have worn the labels "Failure", "Washed up", "Too late". But deep down he could hear that still small voice telling him "You are no ordinary child. This is not how your story ends. There is greatness in you". Just because you've made mistakes doesn't mean that stopped your destiny. What God started he's going to finish. What stops us is when we start wearing the negative labels, when we start believing that we're washed up, we quit pursuing our dreams.
After 40 years in the desert God appeared to Moses and said, "Now it's your time to fulfill your destiny". He went on to deliver the Israelites, part the Red Sea, do great things. I don't believe this would have happened if Moses would have seen himself as a failure, "I've made too many mistakes", instead he saw himself as no ordinary child, he kept the right image on the inside. When you were born, God said the same thing about you as he did Moses: "This is no ordinary child". God put greatness in you. He's destined you to leave your mark. You may have made mistakes, you may have obstacles, it's taken longer than you thought, but that doesn't change what's in you.
Now, the enemy will work overtime to try to steal your sense of value, your sense of worth. He knows: if he can distort your identity, who you are, and convince you that you're just average, nothing special about you, then he can keep you from your greatness. I wonder what you could accomplish? I wonder how far God will take you, if you will just live like you are no ordinary child? Not arrogantly, but knowing that God has placed greatness in you, that there's a favor on your life, that will take you where you can't go on your own. An anointing that will break every chain that's trying to hold you back. A blessing that will cause you to stand up.
Who do you say you are? Not ordinary, not average, you are a child of the Most High God, you have royal blood flowing through your veins, you've been crowned with favor. What's trying to stop you doesn't have a chance: God being for you is more than the world being against you. That dream may seem too big, for some people it is, but not for you - you're no ordinary child. That sickness should be the end, the medical report says you're done, but not for you - you're no ordinary child. That mistake you made should have stopped your destiny, it should have limited your future, but not for you - you are no ordinary child. God hand picked you. Before you could choose him, he chose you. When he created you, God stepped back and said "That was very good".
Now God created universes, he flung stars into space, he made spectacular sunrises, magnificent mountain ranges, but he never said they were very good. The only thing he said that about was you. Now don't go around thinking you're average, you don't have much to offer - you are no ordinary child, you are a history maker, you are a world changer, you are destined to leave your mark. "Well, Joel, this sounds good but I think you have the wrong person, there's nothing unusual about me. I'm not super talented, I don't have a great personality, I don't come from an influential family". As long as you're discounting yourself you're not going to see your greatness.
Who do you say you are? Ordinary, average? You're going to become that. I'm asking you to get an agreement with God. He said you are no ordinary child. It doesn't matter how you were raised, it's not dependent on how much education you have, how many connections, what obstacles you're up against. When you believe doors will open you never dreamed would open, God will take you further than you can imagine. The prophet Joel said, "Wake up the mighty men. Wake up the mighty women". I want to wake up your greatness, wake up your dreams, wake up that business God put in you, wake up that book, the movie, the song, the orphanage, the ministry. May seems like it's over your head, but you have to understand, you are no ordinary child. You're not average, you can accomplish more than you think. You are stronger than you think. You are more anointed than you think. You are more favored than you think. You are more talented than you think. The dreams and gifts God put in you are much bigger than you think. If you're going to see the fullness of what's in you, then you have to see yourself the right way.
Who do you say you are? Don't you dare say, "I'm average", "I'm ordinary". Get in agreement with God, "I am no ordinary child, I am highly favored. I am destined for greatness. I am surrounded with God's goodness". When you know you're an unusual child, you will see unusual favor, unusual healing, unusual doors open, unusual breakthroughs.
We would have never gotten the Compaq Center if I didn't believe that I was no ordinary child. Now everything in me said I was ordinary. When I stepped up to pastor the church, I felt unqualified, but you can't go by your feelings. I chose to believe what God said, that I was equipped and empowered. I had never ministered, didn't have the training, the experience, all the circumstances said I was average, there was nothing special about me. But deep down I was bold enough to believe, that I was no ordinary child. I didn't tell anyone, but I could feel the seeds of greatness. I could hear God whispering in the night that big doors were going to open.
Victoria told me 10 years before my father passed, that one day I would pastor the church. And that seemed so odd to me, I thought boy I've got her fooled, I can't get up in front of people. I felt ordinary, but the scripture says (Jeremiah 20:19)), "There is fire shut up in your bones". There is greatness shut up on the inside. As I stepped up I discovered talent that I didn't know was in me. There was a boldness and confidence that I'd never had before. When I heard that the Compaq Center was coming available, I didn't think twice. I never thought about where we'd get the funds or how it could happen, I just knew we were supposed to pursue it.
When you know that you're no ordinary child, you'll go after dreams that seem too big, you'll pray bold prayers, you'll believe for things that most people think are impossible. There are Compaq Centers that have your name on them, dreams much bigger than you thought, businesses, ministries. How could it happen? You don't have the experience, the funding, the connections? You are no ordinary child, there is a favor on your life that will catapult you ahead. A blessing that will cause people to help you. God is not asking you to figure it out, he's just asking you to believe. Not only believe in him, but believe in who he created you to be.
Who do you say you are? If you're going to reach your destiny, if you're going to see your Compaq Centers, your dreams, your healing, you have to know that you're not ordinary - there's something special about you. Not because of who you are, but because of Whose you are. The Most High God breathed his life into you. "Well, Joel, I don't feel special". You don't have to feel it, you just have to believe it. If you'll believe it long enough, then you'll not only feel it, but you'll see it. I didn't feel special, I felt ordinary, but I chose to believe it by faith. Now, every time I walk into this stadium I know I am no ordinary child. I know I couldn't have done this on my own, but the Creator of the universe favored me.
I didn't think I could speak in front of people. I was too quiet, too reserved. But every time I flip through the channels and see myself on television, I do a double take, I'm amazed at where God has taken me. I realize: I am no ordinary child. No, I'm not bragging on me, I'm bragging on the greatness of our God. He wants to take you places that you've never dreamed. What he has planned for your future is bigger and more rewarding than you've ever imagined.
Judges chapter 6 the Midianites had overtaken the people of Israel, and were making their lives miserable. There was a man named Gideon that was hiding in the wine press, afraid of the Midianites. An angel appeared to him and said (Judges :12), "Mighty hero, the Lord is with you". I can imagine Gideon looked around and thought, "Who's he talking about? I'm not a mighty hero, I'm hiding, I'm afraid". The angel went on to tell him that he was to rescue the people of Israel from the Midianites, he was to lead the charge. Gideon was so taken aback, he said to the angel (Judges 6:15), "How can I deliver the Israelites? I come from the weakest tribe and I'm the youngest one in my family". He was saying, "God, you have the wrong person. I'm young, I'm weak, I'm intimidated".
He started making all these excuses telling God what he wasn't. But I've learned: God won't ask you to do something, if he hasn't already given you what you need. You may not have tapped into it yet, but it's in you. Like with Gideon, God is calling you a mighty hero. Other voices will call you ordinary, not talented, weak, afraid. Someone is wrong: these are two conflicting reports. You're either a mighty hero or you're weak and unable. Here's the key: you get to choose. Who do you say you are? Either voice can come to pass, it's all dependent on who you agree with. Are you going to agree with God, and say "Yes, I believe, I'm a mighty hero, I'm equipped and empowered, I'm well able to fulfill my destiny"? Or are you going to do like Gideon and start making excuses to stay where you are?
"I wasn't raised in a good environment, Joel. I've had some bad breaks. This company did me wrong. This person walked out on me. Nobody would help me with my dream". Respectfully, none of that matters. What God has ordained for you cannot be stopped by people, by bad breaks, by disappointments. God already knew it was going to happen, he's already lined up what you need. Now, he's calling you a mighty hero. He's calling you to set new standards, to take your family to a new level. A mighty hero to break generational curses, that keep getting passed down. He's calling you to put an end to that dysfunction. A mighty hero to stop the poverty and lack, and step into abundance and overflow.
What's interesting is: when God called Gideon a mighty hero, he hadn't done anything significant. He hadn't defeated a giant like David, hadn't parted the Red Sea like Moses, hadn't brought a dead person back to life like Elijah. It seemed like he was just ordinary, just working on the farm every day, gathering up the wheat. But God calls us what we are before it happens, he knows what's in us, he's the one that put the potential, the gifts, the talents.
Gideon finally did what I'm asking us to do: instead of seeing himself as "Ordinary", "Not able to", something rose up on the inside. He said in effect, "If God says I'm a mighty hero, then I believe I'm a mighty hero". He went out with 32 000 men to fight the Midianites, but God told him that was too many. He kept weeding it down more and more, finally when he just had 300 men he went out to fight this army of thousands and thousands. Sometimes God will let the odds be against you in a great way, so when he turns it around you'll know it's him and not you.
At midnight Gideon and those 300 men attacked the Midianites. They rushed to their camp shouting (Judges 7:20), "A sword for the Lord and a sword for Gideon". Here a few days earlier Gideon was hiding from his enemies, now he's rushing toward them with all of the men shouting his name. God wanted get in to hear them declaring that he was a mighty hero. The Midianites got confused and started fighting each other. They ended up defeating themselves and Gideon won the victory.
When God calls you a mighty hero, if you'll get an agreement with him, you will become a mighty hero, he will make things happen that you couldn't make happen. Now, quit discounting yourself. "If I had the training. If I came from a different family. If this pandemic hadn't of hit, then I could do something great". God wants to do something great in your life despite odds being against you. He's not limited by what you don't have, by what the economy is doing, but what hasn't worked out. He doesn't need everything you think you need. He's going to cause you to accomplish great things with less resources.
Just ask David. All he had was a slingshot and a few stones, but that catapulted him into his destiny. God is calling you a giant killer, a history maker, a mighty hero. Why don't you get an agreement with him? What a shame to live and die, and never really know who you are? What could you become if you saw yourself the way God sees you? What dreams could you accomplish? What obstacles could you overcome? What businesses could you build? What books could you write? What influence could you have, if you only knew who you are?
Gideon didn't feel like a mighty hero. He didn't come from influence and wealth, he wasn't strong and courageous. Nothing about his circumstances looked like what God said. But God calls you what you are before you become it, then it's up to you: if you'll believe it, get it down in your spirit, it will become a reality. Gideon never dreamed one day he would be in the Bible, never dreamed thousands of years ago we'd be talking about his story. You don't know where God has taken you. You don't know the doors he's going to open, the giant you're going to defeat, the influence you're going to have. There's an awesome future in front of you, but it's dependent on how you see yourself.
Who do you say you are? Average? Limited? Disadvantaged? Not able to? That will keep you from your destiny. Instead of letting people define you, instead of letting your past label you, why don't you go back to what God says about you? He's the one that made you. Like Gideon, you may not realize who you are. God sent an angel to remind him, he rose up and left his mark. An angel may not appear to you, but maybe God is using me to remind you who you are? You are a mighty hero. You are a masterpiece. You are strong, valuable, talented, confident, healthy, anointed, victorious, forgiven, you are no ordinary child. Put your shoulders back, hold your head up high and step up to who you were created to be. If you'll do this, I believe and declare: you're going to see God show out in your life. New doors are about to open, new opportunities, giants are about to come down, healing, favor, breakthroughs, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name.