Joel Osteen - I Declare
I want to talk to you today about I Declare. Words are powerful. They have the ability to set the direction for our lives. When they're spoken over us by someone that has authority, like a parent, a coach, a mentor, they can determine our destiny. The reason some people aren't reaching their potential, is they've never had the blessings spoken over them, they've never had anyone declare what they can become, who God says they are, how they have seeds of greatness. Isaiah 61:1-2 said, "The spirit of the Lord is upon me to declare the year of God's favor, to announce freedom to the captives, the recovery of sight to the blind, good news to the poor". Isaiah went around declaring favor, freedom, victory - all those that would receive it, those that would let those words take root, would see it come to pass.
Hundreds of years later, Jesus was in the synagogue in Nazareth. He picked up a scroll that had the writings of Isaiah. Of all the things he could have read, hundreds of different passages, he found this same place and read it to the people. "The spirit of the Lord is upon me to declare the year of God's favor". Jesus knew the power of declaring. He knew: you have to hear victory spoken over you, you have to hear abundance, healing, freedom for it to come to pass. You may have heard it in the past, but life happens. 2020 may have taken your passion, you go through disappointments, a dream didn't work out, you're still believing to meet the right person.
And those thoughts of doubt come "It's never going to happen. You're never going to get well. You've seen your best days". The negative starts to drown out what was spoken over you. That's why you need a fresh blessing. You need fresh favor spoken over your life. You need a fresh anointing. That's what I'm going to do today - like Isaiah declared the blessing, Jesus thought it was so important that he repeated it, I'm going to declare some things that God says about you. If you will let these words take root, if you will receive them into your spirit, they're going to put you on a path to greater joy, better health, stronger relationships, to new levels of your destiny. These words have the power to ignite something in your spirit, to wake up dreams, to stir up gifts, to unleash the favor, the blessings, the potential that God put in you when.
Jesus chose his disciples, they were ordinary people - a fisherman, tax collectors, a carpenter - he looked at them and said: you are the light of the world, you are the salt of the earth. They could have thought "What's he talking about? There's nothing special about us". Their reasoning said "He is the wrong person", but down in their spirit something ignited, something came alive. Their seeds of greatness began to take root. They felt faith rising up, destiny calling them. Instead of talking themselves out of it, they got in agreement, "Yes, we're the light of the world. Yes, we're going to leave our Mark, we're going to impact this generation".
Jesus spoke the blessing, he declared favor and influence, and because they agreed they saw it come to pass, they're still affecting us two thousand years later. Don't talk yourself out of this favor, don't think of all the reasons this can't happen for you. The blessing I'm going to speak is more powerful than any force that's trying to hold you back. The blessing is not canceled out because of your background, how you were raised, your education. It's not stopped by mistakes you've made, by how long it's been, by disappointments. The blessing is a supernatural empowerment, a divine favor that will thrust you where you can't go on your own.
I declare for you and your family: this will be a year of God's favor. That new doors are going to open. Opportunities are going to find you. Good breaks are going to track you down. Divine connections, the right people are going to show up. People that will use their influence to help you go further. People that have been ordained to help you reach your destiny. You don't have to make this happen, you don't have to manipulate things, try to convince someone to like you. God has already lined up the right people for you.
In the Old Testament, Ruth was out in the fields picking up leftover wheat. She was a young widow, had lost her husband. I'm sure she was discouraged, and thinking life was all downhill from here. But the scripture says, the owner of that field noticed Ruth, and wanted to be good to her. Ruth didn't see him, but he saw her. Suddenly he had the desire to help her. God has people that you can't see right now, but they've seen you. He's already given them a desire to be good to you, to show you favor, to open a door, to help you get through a challenge.
That man didn't just help Ruth, he fell in love with Ruth, they ended up getting married. You may have been through disappointments, things haven't worked out, but I declare: like with Ruth, things are about to turn in your favor. I declare unexpected blessings, good breaks that you didn't see coming, promotion when you weren't next in line, problems turning around when there was no sign of it. Ruth thought that she would have to pick up wheat the rest of her life to survive. She never dreamed one day she wouldn't be working in the field, she would own the field.
God has good breaks in your future that are going to catapult you to a new level. Blessings that are going to thrust you into influence. Resources, ability, that you've never imagined. I'm declaring over you the year of God's favor. Now take the limits off of God, and take the limits off of yourself. Quit telling yourself all the reasons you can't accomplish your dream, what you don't have, what you didn't get. It's not going to happen just by your ability, your talent, your connections - it's going to happen by the spirit of the living God. He's breathing on your life right now. His favor is surrounding you in a greater way. There are breakthroughs already in round, healing, promotion, contracts, the right people - they're already headed your way.
Now don't talk to yourself out of it, receive the blessing. "Lord, I believe what you declared, that this will be a year of God's favor for me. That you are taking me where I can't go on my own". When you know you have the blessing, that the Most High God has spoken victory, abundance, breakthroughs, then there's an expectancy. When you face obstacles, you don't get discouraged, you know God is fighting your battles. When people come against you, they may be more powerful, but you know God is all-powerful. When the dream looks too big, you know with God all things are possible, that he's equipped you, empowered you, and anointed you.
There was a lady in the scripture that had been bearing her whole life, and not able to have children. She and her husband had plenty of resources, a nice house, they had influential friends. Life was good except for this one thing: she wasn't able to have a baby. She was friends with the prophet Elisha. When he was in town, he would stay at their house. One day Elisha had the desire to be good to this lady. He had known her for a while, but suddenly he wanted to do something special for her.
God knows how to put desires in people's hearts to be good to you. You keep doing the right thing, honoring God, and he'll line up the right people to help you. "Elisha said to her, by this time next year you're going to have a baby". (2 kings 4:16) she's nearly passed out, she said "Elisha, don't kid me like that. I'm an old woman, my husband's older than me, it's not possible to have a baby". Her mind said "There was no way", but down in her spirit she was excited, she received the blessing. A year later, just like God promised, she was holding that little baby in her arms. What she thought was too good to be true became a reality.
We have people tell us "If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is". That may be good advice in one sense, but when it comes to what God says, you have to have the boldness to believe it. "God this seems too good to be true, but I know you're a supernatural God. You created the universe, you could make things happen that I could never make happen". Some of the dreams that you've given up on, seems too late, you could never get well, never start the business, never see your family restored - that would be too good to be true. God is saying "Get ready, by this time next year you're going to see it come to pass".
By this time next year you're going to have that baby you've been dreaming about. You've been lonely a long time, you've accepted that's the way it's always going to be - by this time next year you're going to meet someone better than you've imagined. You tried to start the business, nothing worked out, nobody would help you, you think you've missed your chance - by this time next year it's going to be up and running, things are going to fall into place. Or you've struggled with that sickness a long time, you've accepted that you'll have to live with it - I declare: by this time next year you're going to be completely healthy and whole, you're going to feel better than you've ever felt, you're going to run and not be weary, you're going to walk and not faint. The anxiety, the depression seems permanent - by this time next year you're going to be free. There's going to be great joy in your life. God is turning your mourning into dancing, your sorrow into joy.
When Job was in the most difficult battle of his life: he lost his health, his family, his business, as he was sitting in the ashes, thinking he was done, God said (Job 8:21), "I will yet fill your mouth with laughter". That seemed unbelievable, no way, I'm sure Job thought "What is he talking about? I'll never laugh again, my world has fallen apart", but deep down he let those words take root. "This is not the end, God is still on the throne, he has the final say".
Instead of complaining, Job looked up and said (Job 19:25) "I know my redeemer lives". He received the blessing. He said in effect "God if you declare there will be great laughter in my house, it seems too good to be true, but I'm bold enough to believe it". Some scholars say that Job's whole trial, that whole difficulty that we read about only lasted nine months.
You may have things coming against you in your health, your finances, your relationships - receive this into your spirit: by this time next year it's going to be a totally different story. What you thought was permanent, is only temporary. What looks too big, you will defeat. What seems impossible, you will accomplish. How could this happen? There is a blessing on your life. You're in the year of God's favor. I'm announcing what Jesus did: freedom for the captives, good news to those that are struggling, the struggle is not how your story ends. By this time next year you're going to see it turn around.
Your mind may tell you, "This is too good to be true, Joel" - that's the way the lady thought when Elisha told her that she was going to have a baby. If she would have stayed negative, doubting, she would have stopped the promise. What God is speaking over you may seem too good to be true, it's hard for you to accept it, how could this happen - the right attitude is "God, I don't see a way, but I know you have a way. If you declare it, I'm going to receive it. I believe it's my year of favor, I believe by this time next year I'm going to see you show out in my life. Take me where I can't go on my own, and help me to be free from things that look permanent".
Maybe you're struggling with an addiction, you've tried to stop with no success. People have told you that you'll always be addicted, it's been in your family line for generations - this is a new day, I declare: you are free. What's held you back in the past will not hold you back anymore. This is a year for breakthroughs. Chains are being loose right now, strongholds are coming down, you're about to step into freedom that you've never seen. What used to be a struggle is about to get easier. That desire for the addiction is going to get less and less, its power over you has come to an end. The scripture (Psalm 75:10) says it this way "The strength of the wicked has been cut off and the power of the godly has been increased". The strength of what's coming against you has been cut off. Now every day speak victory over your life, "Father, thank you that I am free. This addiction does not control me. I will become all that you've created me to be".
I talked to a lady that struggled with an addiction since her teens. She's in her 40s now, she told how others in her family had the same addictions, she'd heard her whole life "You'll always be addicted, it runs in our family". It looked like that negative cycle would continue. A couple of years ago one of her co-workers gave her my podcast, and she started listening. She heard me talking about how you weren't created to be addicted, how that's not who you are, that's what you do. Who you are is a child of the Most High God. You were created to be free.
When she heard that, something came alive on the inside. Those words of faith ignited the freedom in her spirit. She had never had anyone speak the blessing over her, no one had ever declared freedom for the captives. She had heard for years negative words, what she couldn't do, how she would limited, how she would never measure up. That day was a turning point. She started saying every morning "I am free. This addiction doesn't control me, it is not my destiny". She started seeing herself differently. Instead of struggling, addicted, she saw herself healthy, whole, free. About three months later, she woke up one morning, and had no desire for the addiction. It didn't happen gradually - suddenly she was free.
She said "I am happier today and more fulfilled than I've ever been". This all happened when someone spoke the blessing over her. When I declared freedom, she did her part and received it into her spirit. If you just hear these words, they'll encourage you, help you for a few days, but if you'll let them take root in your spirit, if you'll get an agreement and say "Yes, this is for me", then they will become a reality. Like with her, some of the negative things that we deal with have been in our family line for generations, they keep getting passed down: addictions, depression, bad relationships.
I talked to a man that had a problem with his temper. He said "Joel, I don't know what's wrong with me, I get angry so easily". He told how his father was the same way, how his grandfather was very hot tempered. These spirits can get in family lines, and travel from generation to generation. I've seen people that come from parents that were divorced, they end up divorced. You look back: generations and see a pattern, practically everyone went through a divorce. It's not a coincidence that we struggle in certain areas. Maybe you can't seem to get ahead, you take one step forward, and it's two step backwards, and just when you're ready to move up you have an unexpected expense, something goes wrong, takes your funds, it's always something. That's not just bad luck, those are generational forces that are limiting you. They are keeping you from stepping into the abundance and victory that belongs to you.
This will continue going to the next generation, and to the next, until someone rises up and puts an end to it. I believe that someone is you. You wouldn't be hearing this, if you weren't called to make a difference. You've been raised up for such a time as this. I declare that every generational curse that's in your family line is broken. I declared the addictions, depression, divorce, low self-esteem, poverty, not having enough - those forces will no longer have any power over you in the name of Jesus. I declare that you are the difference maker. I declare that you will set a new standard, that you will take your family to a higher level. I declare supernatural favor, supernatural breakthroughs, supernatural increase.
My father was raised in poverty. His parents family lost everything during the great depression. He had to drop out of high school to work on the farm to help the family survive. Didn't look like he had much of a future, but at 17 years old he gave his life to Christ, the first one in his family. He suddenly had the desire to become a minister. He had no education, no experience, no money, but he told his parents he was going to leave the farm and start ministering. He could feel those seeds of greatness on the inside.
His parents were good people, but they didn't understand. They said "John, you're making a big mistake. All you know how to do is work on the farm. You better stay here with us". They were saying "You don't have what it takes. You're not that talented. We've always been poor, defeated, mediocre, that's just who we are".
If my father would have listened to those words, I wouldn't be here. To receive the blessing you have to get rid of all the negative things people have spoken over you. They may admit well, they were trying to help you, but they told you what you can't do, how you don't measure up, how you'll never be successful. That ex-spouse: how you're not attractive, nobody will ever want you. Don't let them limit your future. They don't know what's in you. They didn't see you before you were formed in your mother's womb. They didn't breathe life into you. They didn't call you, equip you, empower you.
God is saying to you today: you are blessed, you are favored, you are strong, talented, valuable, free. You have greatness in you. You are destined to leave your mark, to make the world a better place. You're about to shine, you're about to see favor in greater ways. You've celebrated others, but you're about to be celebrated. You've admired friends, you've honored co-workers, you're about to be admired, esteemed, honored. You're going to come out of the background, into the foreground. From being overlooked, to being in charge.
I declare you: will excel, you will rise higher, you will go further than anyone thought, you will accomplish more than you've ever dreamed. You may feel stuck in your career, like you can't get ahead - I declare: you're about to be unstuck, you're about to step into opportunity that you've never imagined, you're going to discover things in you that you didn't know you had, gifts, talents, books, songs, movies, ideas, inventions, businesses. Now, do your part tune out all the negative voices. What God has declared no person can stop, no bad break, no disappointment. The blessing always overrides the curse.
Gaylord Perry was a star baseball pitcher. He spent 22 years in the major leagues, most of them with the San Francisco Giants. He's in the hall of fame, one of the best pitchers of all time. Although Perry was a great pitcher, he was a terrible hitter. He had less than half the hits of an average pitcher. In 1964 his manager Alvin Dark was so frustrated with his hitting, he told the newspaper, halfway kidding, "Mark my word, a man will land on the moon before Perry hits a home run". His coach declared how bad of a hitter he was, and Perry continued to struggle year after year. Five years later on July 20th 1969, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin set foot on the moon. History was made. That same night Perry was pitching against the Dodgers. During the third inning, the announcer asked everyone to stand, and have a moment of thanks for the astronauts that landed on the moon. A few minutes later Perry stepped up to the plate, and hit the first home run of his career.
His manager's words became a prophecy. I wonder how many more home runs he would have hit, if he hadn't let those words limit his life? Are you being limited, held back by negative things people have spoken over you? How much further will you go, if you will tune out what they've said, and receive what God says about you? He says "You're about to step into new levels of favor, that you're about to go where you've never gone, that what stopped you in the past will not stop you anymore" - get in agreement with God.
In the Old Testament they understood the power of the blessing. When the father was getting up there in years, he would call his children in, and speak words of life and victory over them. Those words would literally help set the course for their life. Without the blessing they knew they couldn't accomplish their dreams, they couldn't go as far as they should. This blessing was so valuable and so life-changing, that Jacob tricked his twin brother Esau, so he could get his blessing. Esau was the firstborn son, they've received a double portion. Their father Isaac was partially blind, and couldn't tell it was an Esau, so he spoke the double portion over Jacob. When Esau came in and wanted the blessing, Isaac realized he had been tricked. He began to weep and weep, he told "Esau, I've spoken the blessing, and I cannot take it back".
Maybe you've never had anyone speak the blessing over you: your father wasn't around, the people that raised you didn't encourage you, nobody was there to tell you what you could become. Sometimes they did the opposite: all you heard is what you can't do, how you'll never be successful, you're not that talented. First off you have to let that all go, tune out every negative, derogatory, hurtful thing that was spoken over you, and receive these new words into your spirit, this is what your Heavenly Father says about you.
I declare by the authority that God has given me, that you are blessed.
I declare: you are blessed with wisdom, that you have clear direction, that you make good choices in life.
I declare: you are blessed with courage, with strength, with great vision, with an obedient heart, with a positive outlook.
I declare: you are blessed with good health, with vitality, with energy, that you will live a long, satisfied life.
I declare: you are blessed with a good family, good friends, healthy relationships, that your children will be mighty in the land.
I declare: you are blessed with protection, that God is guarding you, that angels are watching over you and your family.
I declare: you are blessed with promotion, with success, with good ideas, with creativity.
I declare: whatever you put your hands to will prosper. You will be blessed in the city, and blessed in the country. You will be blessed when you go in, and bless when you come out.
I declare: you will lend and not borrow, you will be above and not beneath.
I declare: every negative word, every curse that has been spoken over you, right now that curse is broken.
I declare: negative things that have been in your family line for generations, will no longer have any effect on you. The generational curse is broken, and the generational blessing is beginning.
I declare: this will be a year of God's favor, freedom for every bad habit, recovering for everything that was stolen. That from this day forward you will experience a new sense of freedom, a new happiness, a new fulfillment.
Friends, I declare: you are blessed, and if you receive the blessing can you say amen?
Lord, we receive it into our hearts. Lord, we thank you that 2021 will be a year of your favor, Lord. That everyone under the sound of my voice is blessed, Lord. We tune out all the negative, Lord, I thank that the blessing on our life will take us where we can't go on our own. I thank you Lord that you are fighting battles, bringing the right people, making things happen that we couldn't make happen. Lord, we go out today with great expectancy in 2021, knowing that you're on the throne, that you've already called us, you've already blessed us. You knew us before we were formed in our mother's womb, and Lord we stand here redeemed and forgiven, surrounded by your favor. We put our shoulders back today. Lord, we know you being for us is more than the world being against us. We're gonna walk in this blessing, and Lord, we're gonna be a greater blessing wherever we go, in Jesus name.
With our heads about in prayer just a quick question: if your heart stopped beating in the next few minutes, are you at peace with God? Do you know where you'd spend eternity? If not, I would love to pray with you. I'm not here to condemn anybody, I'm here to help you find a new beginning. I know, this comes from a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. In just a moment, if you're not at peace with the Lord, or maybe you are a Christian, but you've grown cold toward God, you know you need to rededicate your life, you need to start the year off right - if that's you, you just need a new beginning, in just a moment I'm going to ask you to take a step of faith, and stand right where you are. You're watching or listening? You can just lift your hand. I can't think of a better time to get on the road to victory than right now. The good news: God is not mad at you. Your sins have already been forgiven, all you have to do is accept the free gift of Christ's salvation. Will you do it this morning?
The enemy in your thoughts will tell you "Do it later. Do it another time". Listen, the Bible says "Today is the day of salvation". Don't put it off. You're not hearing this by accident. "Well, Joel, it's embarrassing to stand in front of all those people. I have people over at the house, I don't want to lift my hand". Listen to what Jesus said, "If you won't be ashamed of me before people, then I won't be ashamed of you before my father in heaven". I'm going to give you a great opportunity to show God that you're not ashamed of him. If you're not at peace with the Lord, or you just need to rededicate your life, you need a fresh new start, a new beginning, if that's you - would you be bold, take that step of faith, and stand right where you are, and we'll pray together. Would you do that?
Come on Lakewood, let's give them a hand, as they stand all over the building. Come on don't put it off. How about watching, listening? You can just slip your hand up. I don't have to see it, God sees it. Come on now to be a few more, anybody else? Start the new year off right up top, anybody else? Well God bless you, and please remain standing if you don't mind, let me tell you: we're proud of you. More importantly, I know the angels are rejoicing in the heavens, it's going to be a new beginning in your life. God's never going to be ashamed of you, because you took this step of faith. The scripture says: whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Let me help you to call, would you all pray this with me? Everyone that's listening:
Lord Jesus, I repent of my sins. Come into my heart. I make you my Lord and Savior, amen.
Well, let me tell you how proud we are of you. Remain standing just for a moment. I want to tell you: we're going to be praying for you, we love you. I'm going to give you a challenge, I want to ask you to give us the next year of your life, make a commitment that you're going to come as often as you can, or you're going to watch online for the next year, just like you go to work. I'll make a promise to you - your life will never be the same for the better. Get plugged in, keep God first place. We're all busy these days, all got a lot of things to do, but your life goes better when you put God first place by honoring him, stay planted in the house of the Lord. We have some great courses online, you can take our new beginnings course right there online. Listen, let me know this, the moment you stood up, God washed away all your sins, your mistakes, your failures, you are starting with a fresh clean slate. Write it down in your Bible January 3rd 2021, a new day of victory in your life, in Jesus name, amen.
Let's all stand together, if you would please. Thanks for coming out today. How many of you going home better off than you were before? Amen. Well, we're going to speak that blessing one more time until we meet again: (Numbers 6) "May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord show you his favor and have mercy on you. May the Lord watch over you and give you his peace". God bless you. Have a great week, happy new year, see you back real soon.