Joel Osteen - Keep Speaking Victory
I want to talk to you today about Keep Speaking Victory. Our words are setting the direction for our lives. If you want to know what you're going to be like five years from now - listen to what you're saying about yourself. "I'll never get well. I'll never break this addiction. I'll never meet the right person" - you are prophesying your future. You can't speak defeat and have victory. You can't talk sickness and have health. You can't speak lack and struggle and have abundance. The scripture says "You will eat the fruit of your words".
Pay attention to what you're saying about yourself, about your family, your finances, your health - you're going to become what you're continually saying. That's why it's so important to get in a habit of speaking victory over your life. All through the day "I am blessed. I am strong. I am healthy. I'm surrounded by favor. Something good is going to happen to me". The fruit of those words are blessings, favor, abundance. It's not enough to just think it - we give life to our faith by speaking it out. When you're in tough times you can complain, talk about the problem, "I can't believe this happened", or you can say "Father, thank you that you're fighting my battles. Thank you that what was meant for harm you're turning to my advantage. Thank you that you always cause me to triumph, that I'm coming out of this better than I was before" - that's prophesying victory, that's prophesying a breakthrough.
Don't use your words to describe the situation - use your words to change the situation. "Well, I'll never get out of this problem" - you're inviting defeat. "I'm not that talented" - you're inviting limitations. "I'll never accomplish my dreams. I don't have the connections" - you're inviting mediocrity. You need to send out some new invitations. You may be struggling with depression, your report should be "This is only temporary. This is not who I am. I am free, I am happy, I have a bright future. That dream may look too big, but I know with God all things are possible. New doors are about to open, good breaks are looking for me, divine connections, the right people are headed my way".
Paul said in Ephesians 4:29, "Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those that hear them". One person that hears your words is you - they go out of your mouth, and back into your own ears. If you hear them long enough, they'll take root in your spirit. You believe what you say about yourself more than what anyone else says. There's nothing more powerful than you speaking victory over your own life.
When my father went to be with the Lord, and I stepped up to pastor, every thought told me that I couldn't minister - "Joel, you don't have the experience. You're not talented. You're not qualified". One thing I've learned is to not verbalize the negative. Don't give those thoughts life by speaking them out. Instead of talking about how I felt - insecure, unqualified, intimidated - I said what God said about me "I can do all things through Christ. I am strong in the Lord. I'm equipped, empowered, anointed. People like me, people are drawn to me. I've been raised up for such a time as this".
The whole time I was saying that I didn't feel confident, I didn't feel qualified, I felt just the opposite. But as I kept speaking victory, as I kept calling myself who God says I am, it took root on the inside. Over time I started to feel strong, confident, well able. I started to see favor, new doors opening, God taking me where I never imagined. What happened? I ate the fruit of my words. It may not happen overnight, you have to keep speaking victory, keep calling yourself healthy, keep declaring your children almighty in the land, keep declaring your dreams are coming to pass.
James chapter 3, it compares the tongue to the rudder of a ship. Verse 4 says, "Although a ship is large and driven by strong winds, it is steered by a small rudder wherever the pilot wants it to go". It's the same way with the tongue - even though it's a small part of the body, it's steering your life. What you're saying is determining which direction you go. The good news is - you have control over the rudder, you control your tongue. Are you sending your words out in the direction you want your life to go? "I don't think I'm gonna get well, the medical report doesn't look good" - that's the wrong direction. Why don't you say what God says about you? "God is restoring health back unto me. By his stripes I am healed. I will live and not die".
"My child's been off course for so long, I don't think he'll ever make good decisions" - change your rudder, you're headed the wrong direction - "Father, thank you that my children are mighty in the land. You said the seed of the righteous, my seed is blessed, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord". "Well, I don't see how I can get ahead, Joel, nobody in my family has been successful. This pandemic is going to put my business under" - when you talk defeat you're headed toward defeat. When you talk failure, lack, mediocrity - you're headed that way. "Well, I'm praying that God will help me" - he will help you, but you control the rudder, you're setting the direction with your words.
Are you in agreement with God? He said you're blessed - are you saying something else? He said you're fearfully and wonderfully made, a masterpiece, crowned with favor. Are you calling yourself inferior, weak, not attractive? Start declaring what he promised, "Father, you said even in famine the righteous will have more than enough. You said whatever I put my hands to will prosper and succeed. You said, because I'm a giver, you would open the windows of heaven, pour out blessings that I cannot contain". When someone asks you how you're doing, don't go into all your troubles, how bad it is - keep your ship going in the right direction: I'm strong, I'm blessed, I'm valuable, I'm favored.
Think about a ship: it can be carrying very valuable cargo - oil, minerals, equipment - but all that valuable cargo is at the mercy of the small rudder of the ship. If the captain didn't steer the ship the proper way, if the rudder wasn't in the right position, the ship would never make it to the intended destination - the cargo would all go to waste. In the same way you are carrying valuable cargo. When God breathed his life into you he put gifts, talents, potential, you have seeds of greatness, you are destined to leave your mark, to take your family to a new level. The question is not are you equipped, are you favored, do you have what it takes? Your ship is fully loaded. The question is: are you going to keep your rudder going in the right direction? Are you going to keep speaking victory, abundance, favor, new levels? Or are you going to talk like you're average, "I can't get ahead. I never get any good breaks. This addiction's been in my family line for years"?
You're not being limited by your circumstances, you're being limited by your words. Your rudder is going in the wrong direction. What you speak you're moving toward. When you speak victory you're moving toward victory, when you speak health you're moving toward health, when you speak abundance, overflow, more than enough, you're moving toward abundance. Here's the key: you have to speak it before you see it - this is what faith is all about. The scripture says "Let the weak say 'i am strong'". You may not feel strong, but when you say "I'm strong", you're moving towards strength. You may be fighting an illness, but when you say "I am healthy" - you're moving toward health.
Perhaps you feel stuck in your career, seems like you've reached your limits, but when you say "New doors are about to open. Something good is going to happen to me. God is taking me from glory to glory" - you're moving toward new levels, favor, something that you've never seen. Are you steering your ship in the direction you want your life to go? Is your rudder, your tongue taking you toward blessing, increase, abundance? Or are you talking about what's not working out, how you don't feel talented, how the obstacles are too big? That's going to keep you from your destiny.
In the scripture God told Jeremiah that he was going to become a great prophet and speak to nations. Jeremiah was young and afraid - he didn't feel qualified, he didn't come from an influential family. The first thing he said was "God, I can't speak to nations, I'm too young. I wouldn't know what to say". God could have said "Jeremiah, I understand this seems over your head. Don't worry, I'm going to help you". No, God said "Jeremiah, 'say not that you're too young'". God told him to zip it up. He knew, if Jeremiah kept speaking those negative words, telling himself that he was too young, not qualified, didn't have what it takes, he would never become who he was created to be.
Your tongue is the rudder for your life, it's determining the direction. Next time you're tempted to say something negative about yourself, negative about your future, your children, your finances - zip it up. Don't steer toward defeat, say not you're too young, say not you can't get well, say not you'll never meet the right person, say not you can't accomplish that dream. God wouldn't have given it to you if you were not well able.
Verse 9 says "God reached out his hands and touched Jeremiah's lips and said 'i have put my words in your mouth'". God was saying in effect "Jeremiah, say what I say about you. Don't say what you feel, don't say what the experts say, don't say what it looks like - start seeing what God says about you". God said in Psalm 65:11, "He will crown the year with a bountiful harvest, even the hard places will overflow with abundance". You can go around saying "This is such a tough year, I can't wait till it's over", or you can say "Father, thank you that even in hard times I will have more than enough, thank you that you're an overflow God, that you're not limited by my circumstances, you're not limited by the economy. Lord, I thank you that I am blessed in a down year, I am favored in a famine, I am prosperous in a pandemic, I overflow with joy, overflow with peace, overflow with strength". That's steering your ship toward increase, steering your ship toward overflow.
I talked to a young lady, she was very successful in her career, but when the pandemic hit things started to slow down and she was very concerned about how it was going to work out. She heard me talking about how this was going to be an overflow year, how the economy is not our source but God is our source. Something came alive on the inside. She started saying that phrase all through the day, repeating it under her breath again and again, "Lord, thank you that the economy is not my source, but you are my source. Thank you for an overflow year". It looked just the opposite: things were going down, decreasing, yet she was declaring increase, declaring favor, talking about the greatness of God. What was she doing? Steering her ship in the right direction.
In difficult times it's easy to talk about the problem, complain, be negative - that's when you have to dig down deep and say "No, I'm going to keep speaking victory. God, you're my provider, you're my healer, I may not see a way, but Lord I know you're still on the throne". She and her husband decided to start their own business. Against all odds it took off more than they imagined. They just closed on their first house, their business continues to increase. She said "In the midst of all this uncertainty, with people afraid, struggling, we've seen favor in ways we've never dreamed".
That's what the scripture says "Even in hard times the righteous will have more than enough". But I don't think this would have happened if she would have gone around negative, complaining. Pay attention to which way you're steering your ship - what you're constantly talking about, you're drawing in. When you're always bragging on the greatness of our God, talking about what he can do, declaring what he promised - you're going to draw in favor, blessings, increase.
Psalm 35:27 says "Let them say continually: let the Lord be magnified, who takes pleasure in the prosperity of his children". It's interesting that they were supposed to continually say this. You would think they could say it once or twice, that would be enough, but there's something powerful when you go through the day not talking about how big the problem is, how your back will probably never stop hurting, how you don't see how that child is going to turn around. Instead you're saying "Let God be magnified, who takes pleasure in prospering me, who takes pleasure in healing me, who takes pleasure in favoring me".
Are you taking time to declare God's goodness over your life? Are you speaking victory over your future? It's not enough to do it ever once in a while, it needs to become a habit, where all through the day we're declaring that we're blessed, we're strong, we're healthy. When you wake up in the morning "Lord, thank you for another beautiful day. And father, thank you that something good is going to happen to me today. Thank you that you're surrounding me with favor, that blessings are chasing me down, that angels are watching over me, that you being for me is more than the world being against me" - that's setting your rudder in the right direction. You can't be silent and reach your potential, nothing happens until you speak. Your words give life to your faith.
Joshua 1:8 said "This book of the law, these promises shall not depart out of your mouth. You shall meditate on them day and night, then you will prosper and have good success". It doesn't say they shouldn't depart out of your mind, if you think positive you'll be fine, not depart out of your eyes, if you read it enough. It says they should not depart out of your mouth. If you'll keep speaking what God says about you, then you will have good success.
Mark chapter five, there was a lady that had been sick for 12 years. She had spent all of her money trying to get well, going to the best doctors, but nothing helped. One day she heard that Jesus was coming through town. The scripture says in the Amplified version "She kept saying to herself, when I get to Jesus, I will be made whole". In the midst of the sickness she was prophesying health. All through the day not just one time, but over and over she kept saying "Healing is coming, restoration is coming, a breakthrough is coming". She saw Jesus, but it was very crowded, people were packed all around him. She could have been discouraged, complained, instead she kept saying "This is my time. Things are about to change in my favor".
As she kept speaking it she got closer and closer. She finally reached out and touched Jesus robe, and instantly she was healed. But notice the principle: whatever you're constantly saying, you're moving toward. If you're always saying "I'll never get out of debt", then you're moving towards struggle and lack. If you're saying "My marriage is not gonna make it, we don't get along" - you're moving towards separation, a breakup.
If you're saying "I'll never get well, this sickness will be the end of me" - you're moving toward defeat and mediocrity. But if you'll send your words out in a different direction, your life will go in a different direction. When you say "I am blessed" - you're moving toward blessing. When you say "I have the favor of God" - you're moving toward increase. When you say "I'm excited about my future, something good is going to happen to me" - you're moving toward new opportunities, divine connections. When you say "I'm going to break this addiction. I'm not going to live bound by this alcohol, this anger, this bad habit" - when you say that, you're moving toward freedom, breakthroughs, victory. Pay attention to what you're saying - your life is going in that direction.
God gave Abraham the promise that his wife Sarah was going to have a baby. The problem was they were both way too old. Abraham was 80, Sarah was barren, never able to have children - she'd already gone through the change of life. And sometimes God will give you a promise that seems impossible - you're too old, too young, you don't have the connections, medical reports not good - you don't have to figure out how it's going to happen, just get in agreement with God "Father, you said that I'm going to have a baby, so Lord thank you that my baby is on the way". The mistake we make too often is we send our words out in the wrong direction, "I can't have a baby. I can't get well. I'll never start my business" - negative words can stop what God has for you.
God told the Israelites that they would live in the Promised Land, the land flowing with milk and honey, but negative words kept them from going in. The ten spies said "The people are too big, there are giants in the land". The opposition didn't defeat them, their negative words defeated them. They said "We're not able, we don't have what it takes" - they became what they said, they prophesied their future. They turned around and wandered in the desert for over 40 years. When God put something in your heart don't stop talking about how it's not going to happen, what you don't, have how big the opposition is.
Abraham had this promise that seemed impossible, but God did something interesting he changed his name from Abram to Abraham. Abraham means father of many nations. He didn't feel like a father, but every time someone said "Hello, Abraham", they were saying "Hello, father of many nations". He could have thought "They had the wrong person, I don't have any children". When he met someone new, he would say "Hello, I'm Abraham" - he was saying "I'm the father of many nations". He said that over and over, month after month. It began to get down in his spirit. He had to see himself a new way before that promise could come to pass. And the way God changed his self-image was through his words - that's why it's so important all through the day under your breath you need to be saying "I'm blessed, I'm healthy, I'm strong, I'm talented, I'm successful, I'm attractive" - that's helping to determine how you see yourself.
God changed Sarai's name to Sarah. Sarah means princess. She didn't feel like a princess, she was barren. Women in that day that didn't have children were looked down on. She could have felt inferior, ashamed, but when someone said "Hello, Sarah" they were saying "Hello, princess". "Good morning, Sarah" - "Good morning, princess". When she told people her name, she was saying in effect "I'm chosen. I'm favored. I'm blessed". She said all this while she was still barren.
Your tongue is the rudder, it's deciding which direction your life is going to go. Every time Abraham and Sarah said their names, their rudder was pointed toward the promise. They kept declaring it year after year. When Sarah was 90 years old, she gave birth to a son - God did the impossible. What are you saying about your dreams, your finances, your children? "I'm too old, I've made too many mistakes, I don't have the talent"? That's going to keep you from giving birth. You can't speak defeat and reach your potential. Why don't you start saying what God says about you? He calls you what you are before it happens. "I don't feel blessed, healthy, favored" - that's okay, just get in agreement with God, he'll make things happen that you couldn't make happen.
I talked to a young man that came from a small town in Mississippi. He got a scholarship to play soccer at a major university, but his dream was to play football. His junior year he talked to the coaches about it, they allowed him to switch from soccer and he joined the football team. He was a kicker. He was thrilled to be on the team, but the coaches never gave him a chance. For two years he sat the bench, never kicked a single field goal. At the end of his last college season there was a scout day where coaches from professional teams would come and look at different players, and ask them to work out, so they could evaluate them. He was hoping he would get some good leads, but no one was interested. It looked like his football days were over.
Driving home from college he turned on the radio, came across our Sirius XM channel. He heard me talking about how a shift is coming, how you're just one phone call away from your destiny, how one touch of God's favor can catapult you to a new level. When he heard that, something ignited in his spirit - he knew that was for him. He got his phone out and made a three minute video, telling everyone that that year he was going to be in the NFL. Most people thought he had lost his mind, he had never kicked one field goal, no track record, and now he was going to play professional football - that didn't make sense.
He let it go in one ear and out the other, he started speaking victory, "Father, thank you that opportunity is coming. Thank you that your favor is causing me to stand out, thank you that no good thing will you withhold, because I walk uprightly". He was setting his rudder in the right direction, prophesying his future. Four hours after he made the video, he received a phone call from the kicking coach of the Cincinnati bengals football team, invited him to come try out for the team. He couldn't believe it. He had never spoken to the coach, never met him. He went to the rookie camp, against all odds he made the team, he became the only African-American football kicker in the NFL at that time.
When you speak victory over your life, God will open doors that no person can shut. He'll take you where you can't go on your own. The dreams he's put in your heart, the promises you're standing on - it's not enough to just believe them. That's important, but something happens when you speak. Angels go to work, forces of darkness are broken, good breaks come looking for you. What you're up against may seem permanent, just keep speaking victory. When the medical report is not good, keep speaking health. When business is slow, keep speaking abundance. When the addiction seems like it will never change, keep speaking freedom. When your family member is off course, keep speaking breakthroughs.
If you'll keep declaring what God promised, not "Joel, I tried this three days and it didn't work" - I'm talking about a lifestyle, where you've developed this habit of speaking health, speaking favor, speaking abundance - when you continually do this, God said "You will have good success".
Friends, you're going to eat the fruit of your words. Make sure you're sending out words that you want to eat. If it's not positive, hopeful, faith-filled - zip it up. Say not you can't get well - our God is a healer. Say not you can't accomplish your dream - our God is a waymaker. Say not that you'll always struggle - our God is a provider. Now get in agreement with him, start sending your words out in the right direction. If you'll keep speaking victory, I believe and declare, like this football player - good breaks are coming. Like that woman - healing is coming. Like Abraham - promises that look impossible are about to come to pass. Problems that seem permanent are about to turn around. Favor is coming, breakthroughs, divine connections, restoration, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name.