Joel Osteen - Invisible To The Enemy
I want to talk to you today about Invisible To The Enemy. We all have things that come against us in life: people that don't like us, we're dealing with an illness, we lost a big client at work. It's easy to live worried, wondering how it's going to turn out. But David said in Psalm 27: in the time of trouble God will hide. You he will place you out of reach on a high rock. It doesn't say we won't have trouble. Difficulties may come, but the promise God gives us is he's going to hide us. You could say he's going to make you invisible to the enemy.
You don't know how many times trouble has come, but it couldn't find you sickness. Had your name on it, but when it showed up you were invisible. That calamity, that accident was sent to take you out, but when it arrived you were nowhere to be found. You didn't know anything about it. You were just going about your day, being your best, and forces that should have stopped you, enemies that should have defeated, you trouble that should have caused you great heartache didn't have any effect on you. Why? You were invisible to the enemy.
That's why we can live from a place of peace, a place of trust, not worried, "What if my company downsizes, they don't need me? What if my child gets off course? What if I get this virus". No, turn it around, "Father, thank you that I am invisible to the enemy. Thank you that my children are invisible to the enemy. Thank you that my health, my finances, my marriage, my dreams are all invisible to the enemy".
David knew what it was like to have opposition and people trying to stop him. First Samuel 23, he was living on the run from king Saul. He had done nothing wrong, he was one of Saul's main armor bearers, he would play music for Saul when he wasn't feeling well. But Saul was jealous, he was so obsessed with getting rid of David, that's all he could think about. Sometimes when you're doing the right thing, being good to people, the favor on your life will stir up the jealousy in other people.
David was in the desert, hiding in caves, doing his best to not get caught. Saul had the most skilled soldiers. He had groups that were specifically trained in tracking people, like a navy seal team. David was a shepherd, he'd been out taking care of sheep, a teenager, he didn't have any professional training, he was outnumbered, they had more equipment, more skill, it seemed like he would easily be defeated. But verse 14 says, "Saul hunted David day after day, but God did not let him be found". God knows how to make it invisible to the enemy. He knows how to hide you from trouble, hide you from an accident, hide you from people that are trying to bring you down.
A friend of mine was involved in a situation that was very big in the press. At one point it was the hottest news story around, practically every reporter was trying to get to him. The press was very negative toward him, he wanted to stay out of it. For the first several months he had to travel back and forth to another city. The press would get word when he was going to be at the airport, they would all show up. He said "Joel, it was the most amazing thing. I would get out of my car, all these cameras lined up on the sidewalk waiting for me. I would walk right past them and not one of them recognize me. They never got a shot of him". One reporter came to his house, he answered the door, but the reporter didn't even recognize him at his own house. He said it was like God made me invisible to the wrong people. God knows how to protect you. Just as he can make blind eyes see, he can make seeing eyes blind. He can make you invisible to people and circumstances that want to harm you.
David said in Psalm 31:8, "You have not handed me over to the enemy, but you have kept me in a safe place". We all have things trying to stop our destiny, but like with David, God has put you in a safe place. He's not going to let you be found. You may have difficulties now in your health, your finances, your marriage, you could live worried, panic, "What am I going to do"? But when you know you're in a safe place, where God has you hidden, you can live in peace. When trouble comes, you don't fall apart, give up on your dreams, you know: God has made you invisible to the enemy.
Saul was so frustrated, he went back home. Later some of David's own men turned on him, they sent Saul the details of where David was hiding. They gave him the exact location, how to get there, what it looked like, all this inside information. And Saul was thrilled, he had his men go do surveillance, study David's movement, find out when he sleeps, when he eats where he gets his food. He went overboard to make sure this time they would catch David. Saul and his men traveled a great distance, they arrived to where David was hiding. His cover was blown, looked like this was the end for David. But just as Saul was about to attack, a messenger came riding up as fast as he could with an urgent message. It said, "Saul, hurry home, the Philistines are attacking our city".
Saul and his men turned around and left they never did capture David. God knows how to keep you in a safe place. Even when it looks like it's too late, he knows how to distract your enemies, he knows how to change people's plans, how to turn that trouble, turn that sickness, turn that opposition. I can imagine sickness coming and looking for you, it has all the details, knows where you live, knows where you work, the enemy's done his surveillance. When that sickness knocks on the door, you may answer, but like my friend you're invisible to the enemy. It has to say "Sorry, we couldn't find him". When you know God has you in a safe place, invisible to the enemy, you can live in peace. You're not at risk, open game, any moment something bad can happen. God has you hidden where you cannot be found.
Many things that were sent to stop you: trouble, calamity, bad breaks, they had your name on them, they had your address, the reason they couldn't stop you - is they couldn't find you. God had you in a safe place. When you make the Lord your God, when you stay under the shelter of the Most High, the scripture says he covers you with his wings, he'll hide you from things that should have brought you down.
See, the enemy has schemes and strategies put in place to try to keep you from your destiny. People were set in motion headed your way to cause trouble. The problem was they couldn't find you. They showed up, but you were invisible to the trouble, invisible to the sickness, invisible to the layoff. God protected you and you didn't even know it. "Well, Joel, it didn't work for me. I must not be invisible. I got laid off. I had an accident. I came down with the sickness". Yes, but that sickness couldn't finish you off. That accident couldn't take you out. That layoff didn't stop your purpose. When trouble came, God put you in a safe place. That difficulty is not how your story ends, God has the final say, he's not only going to take care of what's trying to stop you, he's going to bring you out better.
In the Old Testament God sent plagues on Pharaoh and his people for not letting the Israelites go. The final plague was the firstborn of their children were going to be killed. God told the Israelites they had to put blood on the doorpost of their house. When the death angel came, as long as they had that blood over their house, they were invisible to the enemy, there was no harm to their family. That night thousands of lives were lost. There was great grief and great sorrow. What's interesting is none of the Israelites lost their lives, yet they were living next door to their oppressors. Wasn't like they were 100 miles away, they were all in the same area. What was the difference? One had the blood, and the other didn't. One was under the shelter of the Most High, covered by his wings, the other wasn't.
When you keep the blood over your house, when you honor God, when you stay close to him you have an advantage - he hides you when trouble comes, he makes you invisible to the enemy. When calamity shows up at your house, like with them it passes you by. When people want to harm you, when sickness, when early death comes, that may have been sent for you, schemes and strategies that have your name on them, stay in peace, you're covered by the blood. You're under the shelter of the Most High. Things that take other people out can't take you out. Trouble that defeats others won't stop you. Sickness that should be the end can't take your life, you're in a safe place. You don't have to live worried, fearing what might happen, fearing cancer, fearing being laid off.
"Joel, with this pandemic I'm worried about my finances. What if my business goes down"? The good news is: you have the blood on your doorpost. You belong to the Most High. Now get in agreement with him, "Lord thank you that my finances are invisible to the enemy. Thank you that my income, my business, my property, my savings are in a safe place".
I know this couple that owns a business, and when the pandemic hit it looked like it would go down. They're in the service industry with people not being able to get out, and having to stay home. All the facts said they would have an off year. Many of their competitors were having to lay people off, and cut back their operating hours. But this couple had a different approach: they understood that when trouble comes God will hide you, that he can make you invisible to what's going on around you, invisible to a down economy, invisible to an environment that says "Lack" and "Not enough". Instead of complaining their report was "Father, thank you that even in famine we will have more than enough. Thank you that the economy is not our source, but you are our source".
I told at the first of the year how we were going to see overflow, abundance, running over blessings. It seemed like an odd time, but they dared to believe for an overflow year. They said this July, in the middle of the pandemic they had their best month ever, broke all the records going back over 20 years. They were so excited, then August beat July. Then September beat August. They kept increasing, defying the odds. They can't explain it, it doesn't make sense. When competitors are going down, they're going up. How could this be? They are invisible to the enemy. When you honor God, when you keep in first place, what limits others won't limit you.
Now, you have to give God something to work with. You can't go around with the defeated mindset, "Joel, this sounds good, but I'm afraid my children are going to get off course, this sickness runs in my family, I'm afraid I'm going to get it". The scripture says, "What you fear is going to come upon you". Quit living out of fear, and start living out of faith. "Father, thank you that my health is invisible to the enemy, that I will run and not be weary, that with long life you will satisfy me. Lord, thank you that my children are invisible to the enemy, that they are mighty in the land, that they make great decisions, that they will become everything you've created them to be".
Faith and fear have something in common: they both ask us to believe something that we can't see. Whichever one you get in agreement with is the one that's going to come to pass. "I'm afraid, I'm not going to get well" - you're using your faith in the wrong direction. Turn it around, "Lord, thank you that you're restoring health unto me. This trouble may have come, I'm dealing with this illness, but Lord thank you that you are hiding me, that you're putting me in a safe place, that the number of my days you will fulfill". A lot of times we don't realize it, but we're using our faith for the negative, we're expecting defeat, sickness, trouble.
On my father's side of the family there's a long history of heart disease and high blood pressure. My father struggled with it most of his life. I could accept it and think, "Well, that's my lot in life", but I have a different approach, "Lord, thank you that my health is invisible to the enemy. That heart disease cannot find me, high blood pressure may knock at my door, but it's not going to recognize me. This is a new day, I'm setting a new standard, the enemies we see today we will see no more".
Don't go through life expecting the worst, expecting bad breaks, "This virus is spreading everywhere, I'll probably get it too. With all these negative influences my children will probably get off course" - zip that up, you have the blood over your door post, you belong to the Most High God. These things may come, but they're not going to stay, they're going to pass on by. Why? You are invisible to the enemy. Trouble may have been sent your way, but it can't find you. Sickness may have shown up, but it's not permanent. God has you in a safe place. Nothing can snatch you out of his hands. Enemies may be looking for you, people at work against you, your dream seems impossible - don't worry, God has you out of reach, he's not letting you be found.
When my father went to be with the Lord, and I stepped up to pastor, I was very insecure. I had never ministered before, and thoughts told me that I wasn't qualified, and nobody was going to listen. Every week it was an act of faith to get up in front of people. By the grace of God the church began to grow, and people started watching, listening in numbers that we had never seen. I was amazed at what God was doing. But with the new growth, the new notoriety, there came opposition, people that didn't understand us. It was something that I had never dealt with.
This was four or five years in, and it seemed like every week there was something new coming against us. Some group that didn't agree, or some person writing an article. I was tempted to live worried, wondering if we're gonna make it. I felt like we were always on the verge of one bad break bringing us down. One night I had a dream. In this dream I was outrunning through an open field, there were these planes flying very low overhead, just 30 or 40 feet off the ground dropping bombs all around me. One would hit 20 feet away and I would brace, wait for the shrapnel. I knew it was the end, it would explode make this deafening sound, but nothing would harm me. I was amazed how I didn't get hurt. This happened a half a dozen times, every time the bomb went off it didn't affect me.
Finally I ran to this small house, it was like a cabin in the woods. I was so afraid, it had two small bedrooms and I hurried to one and shut the door. I could hear these soldiers coming, their footsteps getting closer and closer, and I was holding my breath, thinking "Lord, please let them pass, please don't let them find me". Then my worst fears came true. I heard them on the front porch. They came in the house, looked around the front rooms, then they came to my room. They opened the door and I was standing right there. My heart sunk, I thought "Okay, I'm done". They looked right at me for about 10 seconds, just a few feet away, then they turned around and left.
In my dream I realized - they couldn't see me. I was so amazed and so relieved. And as they were walking down the street away I woke up. I heard God say down in my spirit "Joel, don't worry about who's coming against you, about how big, how important, how influential, I have you hidden in a safe place". That's what David said, "When trouble comes, God will hide you".
I look back over these last 20 years that I've been pastoring, there's been a lot of chatter, but none of it stopped my destiny. Most of the people that were so against me aren't even around anymore. What you're up against is no match for our God. He controls the universe, he knows how to hide you. Yes, it may get rocky from time to time, bombs going off all around just so to speak - they're not going to harm you. Enemies knocking at your door, debt, trouble, sickness, calamity, stay in peace you're invisible to the enemy. It may show up, but it's not going to find you. That sickness can't take you out. That bad break can't stop your destiny. That trouble looks permanent, but it's only temporary. Things are about to change in your favor.
That's what happened to Peter in acts chapter 12. He was arrested and put in prison for sharing his faith. King Herod ordered 16 soldiers to guard him, he wanted to make sure he didn't escape. He had him chained between two soldiers in his cell. The night before Peter was to go on trial, he was asleep in prison, the other guard standing outside his cell, when an angel appeared. He woke Peter up and told him to get dressed, they were about to leave. Suddenly the chains fell off his feet. The angel said "Come with me", the prison doors opened of their own accord. They walked past the first set of guards, four men, nobody saw them. The second set, nobody saw them. The third, the fourth, they went by 16 soldiers who were diligently watching ordered by the king, and yet none of them saw Peter. He went to the home where the believers were praying for his safety.
God knows how to make you invisible to your enemies. He didn't say we would never have trouble, but he did promise: when trouble comes he will hide you, he won't let the circumstances stop your purpose, he has angels watching over you right now, protecting you, guarding you. He knows how to open doors that you can't open, how to get you out of problems that look impossible, how to blind the eyes of those that are trying to hold you back. What you're facing may look permanent, like Peter you don't see a way out, the odds are against you. You don't know what God is up to. That cancer looks like it's going to keep you defeated, God can make you invisible to the cancer, invisible to the opposition, invisible to what's trying to stop you.
That's why we don't have to live in fear. Yes, there are a lot of negative things in the world that could happen accident, sicknesses, trouble, bad breaks. We could go around worried, stressed, but when you know God has you hidden, that he's put you in a safe place, that because the blood is over your doorpost, because you belong to him he's made you invisible to the enemy, he has a hedge of protection that nothing can cross without his permission. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it's not going to come near you. Why? You're in the shelter of the Most High, he has you covered, he's covered your health, covered your marriage, covered your children, covered your finances, covered your dreams.
2 kings chapter 6, the Syrian army had come against the Israelites. Every time the Syrians were about to make a move, God would tell the prophet Elisha, and he would tell the Israelites, that way they always stayed one step ahead of the enemy. When the Syrian king found out what Elisha was doing, he was furious. He sent a great army with thousands of horses, thousands of chariots to go surround Elisha's city and capture him. When Elisha saw them coming he had no chance in the natural, it was him versus tens of thousands of soldiers.
He could have panicked, got depressed, but he understood this principle: that God can make you invisible to the enemy, that plans that were sent to stop you, strategies designed to keep you from your destiny cannot stand against our God. He knows how to put you in a safe place, how to hide you from trouble. It may come, but if you'll stay in faith it's not going to turn out the way it looks. It looks like that sickness is permanent, looks like your child won't fulfill his destiny, looks like that debt will limit your future, but don't judge your situation too soon. Wait till you see what God is about to do.
Elisha prayed something interesting. He didn't say "Lord, deliver me. Lord, stop this army. Lord, protect me from these people". He said, "Lord, please make them blind". He was saying "Lord, make me invisible to the enemy". What a powerful prayer. We should pray that every day, "Lord, make my family invisible to the enemy. Make my finances, my health, my dreams invisible to the enemy". The verse goes on to say, "And the Lord did what Elisha asked". When you ask God to make you invisible, he's going to do what you ask. Don't go to God complaining, telling him everything that's wrong, "God these people aren't fair. I've got this problem at work. My child won't do what's right". Try a different approach "Father, thank you that I am invisible to the enemy. Thank you that you have hidden me, that I'm in a safe place".
The Syrian captain knocked on the door and said, "We are here to see Elisha". Elisha look surprised, says "Sir, you come to the wrong house. Elisha doesn't live here" - great men of God lying. You know, the Syrians did their research, they tracked Elisha, made sure this was his address, confirmed he was home, had people that could identify him - despite all that the captain was confused, he said "Where is he"? Elisha said, "He's in another city, follow me and I'll take you there". Elisha led them to the city of Samaria, to the Israelites camp. Then he prayed that God would open their eyes. They suddenly realize it was Elisha all along, and they were captured by the Israelites.
How many times has trouble knocked at your door so to speak, but when you answered, the enemy didn't recognize you? The trouble had your name on it, the sickness was your address, "Are you sure this is not you"? But God made you invisible to the enemy. He's been protecting you your whole life. There are things he's kept you from that you know nothing about, schemes and strategies that were meant to stop you, but they couldn't find you. And yes, in those difficult times it wasn't easy, but God hid you. Without him watching over you you wouldn't have made it through the sickness, through the divorce, through the trouble. He doesn't stop everything, but he promised: when trouble comes he will hide you.
Instead of living worried, fearful, expecting the worst, have a new perspective - because the blood is over your doorpost, because you belong to the Most High, you have an advantage, God has made you invisible to the enemy. Every morning dare to declare it, "Father, thank you that my family is invisible to the enemy. Thank you that you've covered my children, covered my health, covered my finances, that you have me hidden in a safe place". If you'll do this, I believe and declare: like with David, when trouble comes, God is not going to let you be found. Like with Peter, doors are going to open you can't open, problems that look permanent are about to turn around. God is going to protect you, heal you, favor you, promote you, take you to the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name.