Joel Osteen - Settled Accounts
I want to talk to you today about Settled Accounts. We all have to deal with unfair situations and people that do us wrong. You can't live very long without someone being jealous, talking badly about you, being cheated in a business deal, a friend not keeping their word. A lady told me how a co-worker said things about her that weren't true, she went around spreading these rumors. People believed it and it kept this lady from a promotion. It doesn't seem right when you're being your best and someone else put you at a disadvantage, their choices set you back. But God said in Hebrews 10:30 "I am a just God. I will repay the exact compensation owed you. I will settle the accounts of my people".
God sees what you're going through. He sees who did you wrong, how they walked away and left you to raise the kids. How they manipulated things and made you look bad. How they were dishonest and took what should have been yours. God is saying "Don't worry, I'm going to pay you back. I'm going to make it up to you". You don't have to get even, you don't have to vindicate yourself - the Most High God is going to settle your account. You are not at the mercy of how other people have treated you: they don't control your destiny. They may have walked away, said things that damage your reputation, seems like they put you at a disadvantage - stay encouraged, your time is coming. God is not going to leave your account in a deficit, he's not going to let you stay down, mistreated, short chains. No, get ready, payback is coming. God is a just God. You don't have to settle your account, he's going to do it for you.
The good news is God never brings you out the same. He makes the enemy pay for bringing the trouble. And someone may have tried to push you down, said things that were hurtful, you didn't have a good childhood, there's a lot of abuse, manipulation, jealousy, but when God settles your account, you're not only going to get what you were owed, but you're going to come out increased, promoted, honored, better than if it would have never happened, better relationships, better position, better opportunities.
This is what happened with Jacob in the scripture. He fell in love with Laban's daughter, a young lady named Rachel. Laban told him if he would work for him for seven years, he could have Rachel as his wife. They had this agreement, very clear, seven years and she's mine. Jacob worked those years being his best. He didn't just pass the time, he excelled. Because of Jacob Laban became very wealthy, his flocks multiplied many times over. Seven years finally came, Jacob was so excited. But in those days at the wedding the bride wore a very thick veil, you couldn't see who was in there. After the big celebration with partying and dancing, I can imagine Jacob went to bed that night with a little too much to drink. The next morning when he woke up he leaned over to kiss his new bride, but it wasn't Rachel, it was her sister Leah.
Jacob nearly passed out. He ran to Laban and said "What are you doing, trying to trick me? I didn't agree to marry Leah, I agreed to marry Rachel". Laban said "I know, Jacob, but we have a tradition, we have to marry the older daughter off first. Work for me another seven years, then you can have Rachel". Laban was dishonest, manipulative, conniving, all at Jacob's expense. Here Jacob did the right thing, he went overboard to carry out his part of the agreement, but Laban deceived him. Jacob was either so in love with Rachel, or so dumb, he agreed to work another seven years. He eventually married Rachel.
He told Laban that he wanted to move back home. Laban didn't want him to go. He said "Jacob, I know God has blessed me because you were here. My flocks were very small, but now because of you I'm enormously wealthy". He recognized it was the favor on Jacob that caused him to be so blessed. He asked Jacob what he wanted as a parting gift? You would think he would want to be good to Jacob, send him off with a great blessing, but Laban was so manipulative, so dishonest, he tried to keep him from having anything significant. Jacob said: I'll work for you a little longer. For my payment let me have all the new goats and sheep that are born that are speckled and streaked. You keep all the animals that are solid, that way when I leave there won't be any doubt that what I take belongs to me.
Laban agreed, but he was so stingy he had his workers sneak out in the night and take all the male streaked and spotted animals, so when they made it Jacob wouldn't get any more flocks. The funny thing is, when the solid colored animals mated they produced speckled and spotted offspring. Didn't make sense, this went on and on, until Jacob's flots were getting bigger than Laban's. Laban couldn't understand it. He said "Jacob, I've changed my mind. From now on I get the speckled and streaked animals, and you get the colored ones". You know what happened? All the animals that were born now were solid. Laban was scratching his head, thinking what in the world is happening? God knows how to settle your accounts. He knows how to pay you back for what should have been yours.
Deceptive people can't stop our God. Manipulators are not going to get the best of you. People that leave you out, push you down, don't keep their word, don't get upset, you're not on their payroll, you're on God's payroll, he controls the universe. He knows what you're owed, he knows how to make it up to you. He will bless you despite people trying to keep you down. They can't stand against our God. Quit worrying about people that have done you wrong, losing sleep over that person that left you out, that contract you were manipulated out of. They may have manipulated you, but they can't manipulate our God. When he's ready to pay you back, all the forces of darkness cannot stop him. He'll make things happen that don't make sense. He'll cause people to be good to you that don't even like you, cause doors to open that should be closed, cause promotion when you weren't next in line.
God is a just God. He saw Jacob's account was in deficit. He was doing the right thing but not being treated fairly, working hard but not getting Rachel, what he was promised. That doesn't go unnoticed. God said in verse 12 "Jacob I have seen all that Laban has done to you". People may think they're getting the best of you, they don't have any problem putting you at a disadvantage, do like Jacob - stay on the high road, keep being your best, you don't have to vindicate yourself, God will not only vindicate you, but he'll make it up to you. Time is coming where you're going to see blessings that you can't explain, promotion that you didn't deserve, great people come looking for you. What is that? God paying you back for how you were treated, paying you back for what should have been yours.
Jacob said (Genesis 31:41), "Laban you have reduced my wages 10 times". Think about how unjust that was. Here's a man that caused Laban to be incredibly wealthy. If it were not for Jacob he would still be struggling. But instead of blessing Jacob, instead of promoting him, he kept demoting him, decreasing his wages. Jacob went on to say (Genesis 31:42) "If it were not for the grace of God, you would send me off without a penny, but God has seen your cruelty and seen my hard work. That's why he has blessed me in abundance". God saw what was unfair and he saw how Jacob kept passing the test, taking the high road. Jacob ended up leaving with more flocks than Laban. In a short time he outgrew Laban. The blessing on his life caused him to come into sudden increase, to acceleration. What was that? Payback time.
Don't be discouraged over what it looks like you're losing, how you're being shortchanged, not getting what you deserve. When you come into your payback time you'll see sudden increase, unusual growth, extraordinary blessing. God knows what you're owed, he's storing up the blessing. When he releases it it's going to catapult you ahead. Now here's the key: don't look to people to make it up to you, look to God. That person that hurt you, the friend that did you wrong, the company that let you go - they can't pay you back the way God is going to pay you back. If you get it from people, it's going to be less than what it should have been. You have to pass the test of being vindictive, trying to get revenge, showing them that you can play at that game. That's a distraction. That's not a battle you're supposed to fight. Let God take care of it.
Too often we're trying to get something from people that they don't have to give. That person that did you wrong, the friend that walked away, the boss that let you go - their part in your story is over. Don't give it any more time or energy, they don't have anything that you need. You're not on their payroll, God didn't say they would pay you back, he promised he would pay you back. Now get your eyes off of who hurt you, quit losing sleep over what they did and start thanking God that he will settle your accounts, that he will compensate you exactly what you're owed. If you'll be a Jacob, keep doing the right thing, keep a good attitude when it's unfair, being your best when you're not being treated right, then when it's all said and done, you'll not only be vindicated, you'll be promoted, honored, blessed at a new level.
Years ago Victoria and I went into partnership with this gentleman that came across our path. He had a project that we were interested in, and we agreed to do it together. He would be a silent partner, we would give the leadership and direction. We worked out a very fair contract, everything we earned would be would be split, but when it came down to the operations he wanted himself and several of his people to be on the payroll. We didn't need any of them. These weren't starting salaries, they were executive salaries. We were struggling to make ends meet, trying to get it off the ground. We talked with him a couple of times about how that wasn't what we agreed to, would be better once we built it up, then we could take on more staff, but he was set in his ways, he wouldn't hear it.
We had so much invested, if he became disgruntled started making waves it could all go down. Rather than fight about it, get in a big argument, we just kept being our best, doing what we could, trusting God to do what we couldn't. If you don't understand that God will settle your accounts, then you'll get frustrated, try to get revenge, manipulate things. Let God pay you back. Trust him when it's not fair. He sees exactly what's happening. That's why he told Jacob "I have seen all that Laban has done to you". That little detail could have been left out of the scripture, no big deal, but God had it recorded so we would know that he sees when it's unfair, he sees when you're being wrong, he sees when people are taking advantage of you. If you'll stay in faith and keep honoring him, the time will come where he will not only vindicate you, but he will honor you in front of those that tried to hold you back.
He's preparing a table in the presence of your enemies. That means when you have enemies, when it's unfair, you're not being treated right, there's a table there. Instead of living frustrated, why don't you take a seat? Why don't you stay in peace and let God make your wrongs right? Our attitude should be "Father, thank you that you will settle my account. I know you are a just God, you will pay me back what I'm owed". Don't sink down to their level, be dishonest, manipulate things, stay on the high road and let God compensate you, he'll do it much bigger and much better than what you have in mind.
Several years went by and we just kept doing the right thing. One day out of the blue this man called and asked if we would buy him out. He had never given any indication that he didn't want to be a long-term partner. In fact when we were first approached, we tried to purchase the whole thing, but he wasn't at all interested - this was his baby. But for some reason he suddenly changed his mind. We bought him out at the same value that we purchased our part.
About a year later a company contacted us about buying the business, we ended up selling it for more than 10 times what we bought it for. Those few salaries we paid that weren't fair, God compensated us many times over. If that man would have waited a few more months, he would have received a huge return on his investment. Instead it all came to us. When God pays you back it won't be average, it won't be ordinary, it will be more than you can imagine.
David said in Psalm 18:24, "The Lord rewarded me for doing right, then he compensated me for my innocence". When you keep doing the right thing, God will compensate you. I believe many of you have been doing this: you've done the right thing when it was hard, you've been good to people that weren't good to you, you stayed on the high road instead of paying people back. God is saying "I'm about to settle your account. I'm about to vindicate you, promote you, suddenly things turn around. You didn't see it coming, but suddenly he's going to thrust you to a new level, thrust you to abundance, thrust you into greater influence, honor, opportunity".
Like with us you're going to come out with much more than those that tried to stop you. They tried to push you down, but when God settled your account, it's going to catapult you ahead. Your payback is closer than you think. Don't get tired of doing the right thing, your due season is coming. The unfair situation, the bad break, the people that left you out didn't go unnoticed. God saw your innocence, he saw your faithfulness, he's about to settle that account.
The Israelites had been in slavery for 430 years. They were mistreated, forced to work long hours with no breaks, given quotas that were impossible to meet. It looked like that was their destiny. After all those years, I'm sure they had accepted it, thought that God had forgotten about them. Generation after generation of heartache, struggle and lack. But God is not going to let people continually mistreat you, continually take advantage of you. He said in the book of Exodus 3:7-8, "I have seen the affliction of my people, I have heard their cries, I am coming down to deliver them". God was saying "Enough is enough, it's payback time. I'm ready to settle this account".
God didn't just deliver them, he didn't just free them from the Pharaoh. That would have been a great miracle, but when you're on God's payroll, when you honor him with your life, he's keeping a record of everything you're owed, everything that should have been yours. They didn't leave Egypt empty-handed. The scripture says God caused them to have favor with their oppressors, and they gave them their gold, their Jewelry, their clothing. Think about how strange that was: the people that had held them all those years, made their lives miserable, now they're giving them their valuables. What was that? God paying them back for 430 years of working without paying. It says in Psalms "They left loaded down with blessings". For years they had been loaded down with burdens, loaded down with pressure, loaded down with discouragement, but when God settled their account they were loaded down with gifts, loaded down with joy, loaded down with blessings.
You may have been through some unfair situations, seems like the struggle, the loneliness, the depression is your destiny. No, your time is coming. God is not going to leave you at a deficit. Yes, there are seasons where we're tested, things happen we don't understand, but that is not how your story ends. Payback is coming. You're not going to be loaded with burdens, but loaded with blessings. Not loaded with lack, but loaded with abundance. Not loaded with sickness, loaded with good health, with strength, with vitality. Everything that was stolen God is going to restore: the joy, the peace, the health, the finances, the dreams. He's going to pay you back for that childhood you never had. He's going to pay you back for that person that falsely accused you, for those years you lost in an abusive relationship, for that promotion that should have been yours.
Now why don't you get in agreement with God? Instead of focusing on who did you wrong, what you didn't get, how it was unfair - "Lord, thank you for settling my account. Thank you for paying me back for the wrongs. Lord, I know you will compensate me for my innocence. That what was meant for my harm that you were turning to my advantage". Don't have a victim mentality, have a restoration mentality, a payback mentality. Isaiah said "God will give you double for your former shame". When unfair things happen, someone does you wrong, in one sense they did you a favor - they just qualified you for double. Instead of being discouraged, "Father, thank you that double is coming. Thank you that you will show out in my life".
I saw a story about a young lady named Dawn. She grew up in a very dysfunctional home, her mother struggled with addictions, her mother's boyfriend was a drifter, they would live under a bridge or in a shelter. Dawn would attend elementary school for several months, then when the boyfriend would get arrested they would move to another city. She grew up with no stability, in and out of school, much of the time she didn't have running water or electricity. Despite all of this, Dawn was an amazing student. She wasn't bitter, she didn't have a chip on her shoulder, she just kept being her best. In high school she worked as a janitor. She would get to the school two hours before it started, five in the morning, clean the halls in the classrooms, after school she would stay and work till 8 at night - that's how she made money to survive.
One summer she went to a camp with the money she had earned. When she came back, her mother was nowhere to be found. She called the number where they were temporarily staying, it was disconnected. Her mother and new boyfriend had abandoned her, moved to another city. Dawn stayed with friends for several weeks, sleeping on their couches. The main janitor heard what happened and took Dawn into her home. For the first time she felt loved, secure, like she was valuable. She began to excel in school. She made the honor roll, straight A's. She was elected the vice president of her class. When it came time to apply for college, her friends encouraged her to aim high. Few months later she received a letter in the mail, it said "Congratulations! You've been accepted into Harvard university".
God knows how to settle your accounts. He knows how to make up for what wasn't fair, what you didn't get, who wasn't there for you, who walked away. Another person cannot stop your destiny unless you allow them to. If you get bitter, angry, lose your passion, then you'll miss the payback, you'll miss the double. The scripture says (Psalm 27:10), "Even if my mother and father forsake me, God will adopt me as his very own child".
He's watching over you. He's seen the lonely nights, he's seen the loveless marriage, he's seen the injustice at work. He has beauty for those ashes, he has blessings for those burdens, he has joy for the morning. If you'll do like Dawn, keep moving forward, being your best right where you are, then payback is coming. God will open doors that no person can shut. He'll give you favor with people and cause them to be good to you. When he settles your account, you'll go places that you've never dreamed.
Think about all the people that came against Joseph in the scripture. He had plenty of opportunities to let them stop him: he was betrayed by his brothers, they were jealous and threw him into a pit. He could have thought "God, my own family has turned on me. The people that should love me and before me are now against me". In Egypt the man he worked for was a high-ranking military officer. His wife falsely accused Joseph. She lied and said "He was trying to harm her". Joseph was put in prison. While there he interpreted a dream for a fellow prisoner, Pharaoh's former butler. All Joseph asked in return is for him to remember Joseph when he got out. The butler said that he would, but when he was released he forgot all about Joseph. Two years went by and nothing.
The butler wasn't a bad person, he just got busy doing his own thing. We all have to deal with broken promises, people that mean well, but they don't keep their word. Something we were counting on, we needed it to happen, but they forgot about it. It seemed like Joseph would end in a deficit, all these unfair things: betrayal, rejection, being lied about, broken promises, surely his story was over. No, people can't stop your destiny. If that betrayal was going to keep you from your purpose, God wouldn't have allowed it. If the injustice, the person that walked away, the boss that did you wrong was going to stop God's plan, they would be more powerful than God. Nothing anyone has done to you, no bad break, no disappointment, no betrayal has stopped what God has in store for you. It wasn't fair, it was painful, it shouldn't have happened, yes, but God saw it and payback is coming, he's going to settle your account.
After 13 years, all the odds were against Joseph, one day the Pharaoh sent word for him, he interpreted the Pharaoh's dream and became the prime minister of Egypt. It happened suddenly. Joseph woke up that morning a slave in prison, that night he went to bed second in command of Egypt. What happened? God settled his account. And you may have been in an unfair situation a long time, you feel like it's never going to change, you're tempted to lose your passion, give up on your dreams - God has not forgotten about you. He sees your faithfulness, he sees you pressing forward, being your best despite what they said, despite how they treated you, despite how they made fun. Like with Joseph he's about to do something unusual, uncommon, out of the ordinary. Suddenly you're vindicated, suddenly you're promoted, suddenly you meet the right person, suddenly the people that are trying to push you down are moved out of the way. Your crooked places are made straight. You're thrust where you couldn't go on your own. What is that? The power of the Most High settling your account.
You may be in a deficit now, life hasn't been fair, people left you out, family member turned on you, the storm set you back - stay in peace, your time is coming. God is going to make it up to you. Like with Jacob when Laban was unfair, God knows how to make the streaked and spotted animals. What belongs to you is on the way. You don't have to go after it, it's going to come after you. I believe and declare, payback is coming, vindication is coming, restoration, the right people, healing, promotion. God is about to settle your account, in Jesus name, and if you receive it can you say amen today?