Joel Osteen - Swing Your Sword
I want to talk to you today аbout: Swing Your Sword. It's easy to let life just happen to us when we've been through enough disappointments and people against us, we tried but couldn't break the addiction, over time that can wear us down to where we lose our fight, we lose our passion. But you can't be passive and just take whatever comes your way - we're in a fight, there are forces that are trying to keep you from your destiny.
The scripture says (Ephesians 6:17), "God's word is the sword of the Spirit". When you have his promises coming out of your mouth you are swinging your sword. When you swing, God will fight for you. But as long as you're passive, "I can't believe this happened, I never get any good breaks, I'll probably never get well", the problem is your sword is in its sheath, it's not doing you any good. You have to get your sword out, "Father thank you that no weapon formed against me will prosper. Thank you that you being for me is more than the world being against me". You know what you just did? You swung your sword.
When you swing, when you declare his promises - angels go to work, forces of darkness are pushed back, negative situations will turn around. Are you swinging your sword? You have to initiate God's power. You can't sit back and say, "Well I guess I'll get well, I hope my child gets back on course, I hope this dream comes to pass". Hoping is good, but that's not enough. You're in a battle (not with people), the scripture says, "We're fighting spirits without bodies". There's an unseen realm where forces are trying to keep you from your purpose. You can't fight an unseen enemy with physical weapons, you have to use the sword of the spirit. God's word coming out of your mouth is one of your most powerful weapons.
"Well, Joel, I'm waiting on God to help me" - maybe God's waiting on you to get your sword out? To accomplish your dreams you have to swing your sword. "Father, you said because I keep you first place you will crown my efforts with success. Thank you that my business is taking off, that my gifts are coming out to the full, that you are opening doors that no person can shut". That's not just being positive, that's swinging your sword. If you're single, believing to meet the right person, instead of being negative, "It's been so long, I don't think it's ever going to happen" - "Father, you said no good thing would you withhold because I walk uprightly. You said you'd give me the desires of my heart, so Lord thank you for bringing somebody awesome across my path".
I talked to a young couple that had been trying to have a baby for many years with no success. They were very disappointed, they said "I guess it wasn't meant to be". And sometimes we get worn down, we're tired of believing, we tried and it didn't work out, the next time we have a challenge we don't even get our sword out, we get conditioned to it. No, don't accept defeat, don't let mediocrity, addictions, dysfunction become normal, to where you think, "Man, it's just my lot in life, all my family is depressed". Get your sword out, start declaring what God says about you, start expecting his favor, start thanking him when there's no sign of it, praising when nothing is turning around - that's what faith is all about.
I told that young couple: all through the day you need to start saying "Father thank you that the fruit of my womb is blessed. You said you would make the barren woman a happy mother of children. You said children are a gift from the Lord. You said my children will rise up and call me blessed, so Lord thank you that our baby is on the way". When you start swinging your sword, God will make things happen that you couldn't make happen. But you have to activate his power, you have to activate the miracle, activate the breakthrough. "Joel, I've been doing this but nothing happened" - keep doing it. Things are happening in the unseen realm. God is working. You may not see it, but things are changing in your favor. Consistency is the key. Keep swinging that sword, keep declaring the victory. Year and a half later that young couple came down front to dedicate their beautiful baby daughter, they had big tears streaming down their faces, so grateful to God.
I wonder if there are babies we're missing out on, healing, freedom, abundance simply because we're not swinging our sword. What's holding you back? Are there areas you become complacent, you're just accepting it, waiting on God to do something, when in fact God is waiting on you? Get your sword out, start believing again, start expecting his favor, start declaring what he says about you.
The scripture says, "Let the weak say I am strong. Let the poor say I am well off". Don't just sit around in weakness, don't just talk about how life is not fair, "I'll probably always struggle". Talking defeat brings more defeat. Talking about the weakness will keep you weak. God's given you a sword that can break powers that are holding you back. You have a sword that can unleash your dreams, unlock your potential and thrust you to a new level. Take it out of its sheath and start swinging it: "I am blessed, I am prosperous, I am healthy, redeemed, forgiven, favored, I am more than a conqueror". You keep swinging your sword like that and you'll see God do things that you couldn't do favor breakthroughs new levels of your destiny.
"Well, Joel I'm discouraged because I'm under attack. These people have come against me, my health is not good, my child got off course". Under attack is the wrong perspective. You're not under attack, you're in a battle. Under attack implies, "I'm being bombarded, it's not fair, I'm outnumbered" - you're not outnumbered, you and God are a majority. You have the most powerful force in the universe on your side. But a defeated mindset is not going to move you forward. Thinking you were shortchanged, you're at a disadvantage will keep you from your destiny. The reason you have these challenges is because there's something amazing in front of you. The enemy wouldn't be fighting you if you didn't have greatness in you. He wouldn't waste his time if he didn't know you were going to take new ground for the kingdom. He can sense that you're a threat, that's why he's come against you. Don't fall apart, get your sword out, start swinging, start praising, start declaring, speaking his promises "This too shall pass. What was meant for my harm, I know this God is turning to my advantage. What he started in my life he's going to finish".
God promised the Israelites that he would give them the land of Canaan, that was the Promised Land. But he said "You have to go in and possess the land". The problem was there were giants living there, the people were huge. Instead of taking out their sword, going in, knowing that God would give them the victory, they were intimidated by the opposition. They looked at how big and strong they were, and how they didn't have a chance. They turned around and went back into the desert, they never did make it into the Promised Land. Now God could have given them the land without a fight, he could have cleared out the enemy and handed to them without opposition, but most of the time God will say, "I'll give you the healing, but you have to fight for it. I'll restore your marriage, I'll break the addiction, I'll turn your child around if you'll get your sword out, if you'll not be passive, if you'll start swinging".
God asks the Israelites (Joshua 18:3), "How long will you wait to possess the land that I've given you"? It wasn't necessarily up to God. He said in effect, "You initiate the blessing, the favor, the healing". How long are you going to wait to go after what God has put in your heart? "Well, Joel there are giants in front of me: this medical report, this addiction, I don't have the funds for my dream, the connections", those giants look big, but they're no match for our God. You'll be amazed at what will happen when you start swinging your sword. Hebrews 4:12 says, "God's word is alive and full of power, sharper than any two-edged sword". His promises coming out of your mouth will part Red Seas, will break addictions, we'll defeat the sickness, we'll open doors you never dreamed would open.
Are you swinging your sword? Are you declaring what God says about you? Are you possessing your land, going after what he put in your heart, dreaming big, praying bold prayers, expecting his favor? God wants to take you where no one in your family has gone. He has influence, opportunity, favor like you've never seen. You wouldn't be hearing this if there wasn't something bigger, something better coming your way. But with those new levels there will be new devils, there will be giants on your land, opposition, things you don't understand, things that are not fair, people that should be for you that are against you. You don't win these battles with just skill, strength, outmaneuvering - it's a spiritual battle. They are woned with the sword of the spirit, with declaring God's promises, with standing in faith unwavered and unmoved.
I was in college in 1981 when my brother Paul called. He said, "Joel, mother is sick". I said, "I'd never seen my mother sick a day in her life, and that caught me off guard". I said, "What do you mean, Paul, she's sick? She has the flu"? He said, "No, she's really sick". What they weren't telling me is she had been in the hospital for 21 days, the doctors couldn't find out what was wrong with her, they finally told my father that she had metastatic cancer of the liver and she only had a few weeks to live. There was no treatment they could give her, they'd come to the end of what they could do medically speaking - they sent her home. The good news is: people don't have the final say, God can do what medicine cannot do.
I flew home from college, and when I saw my mother I was shocked. She looked like a picture of death. She was very frail, she weighed 89 pounds, her skin was as yellow as can be, her voice so shaky. She could have gone to bed depressed, given up on life, "I guess my time's up, this giant's too big", but mother understood this principle. She didn't see herself as under attack, as this one-sided opposition where she was at the mercy of the sickness, she saw herself as in a battle, she got her sword out. All through the day I would hear her quoting scripture, "I will live and not die. God is restoring health back unto me. I am strong in the Lord. The number of my days he will fulfill". She felt weak, but she kept declaring she was strong. She looked sick, but kept declaring she was well. The cancer looked like it was winning, but she kept declaring God always causes me to triumph. She kept swinging her sword, believing God was working when she didn't see anything changing, expecting his favor, talking like healing was on the way.
When you swing your sword God goes to work. I can imagine every time she said, "I am healed", that cancer got a little weaker. Every time she said "I will live and not die", got a little bit weaker. Every time she declared what the Psalmist said "The strength of the enemy is being cut off, but the power of the godly is being increased", that cancer got weaker, and weaker, and weaker. This went on months and months, against all odds she started getting better and better. Today, 40 years later she's healthy and whole still going strong.
How long will you wait to possess your healing, your freedom, your peace, your abundance? Start swinging your sword. It's very powerful when you have God's promises coming out of your mouth. The scripture says (Jeremiah 1:12), "God watches over his word to perform it". He's not obligated to bring to pass what we say, but he is obligated to bring to pass what he says. That's why it's important to get an agreement with God, speak what he says about you, not how you feel, not how big the problem is, not how it's never going to work out - speak victory, speak abundance, speak healing. Like my mother you may be fighting a battle in your health, your finances, your relationships, the good news is you have a weapon. Get that sword out, "I am healthy, I am whole, I am strong, I will run and not be weary, I will walk and not faint".
If you're struggling in your finances, instead of complaining, "I never get any good breaks, I'll always be in need. Joel, everyone in my family has struggled, that's just who we are" - get your sword out, "Lord, you promise that whatever I touch will prosper and succeed. Thank you that my cup will run over, that I will have a bountiful year, that because I fully obey I walk under the commanded blessings, good breaks, opportunity, resources, the right people are chasing me down". Now you may not see anything happening, but as you keep swinging that sword, behind the scenes things are changing. God's lining up the right people, moving out the wrong people, opportunities are coming, healing, breakthroughs, he watches over his word to perform it.
Pay attention to what's coming out of your mouth: are you speaking the problem or are you speaking the promises? Are you talking to God about how big your problems are or are you talking to your problems about how big your God is? How many battles are we not winning because our sword is in the sheath? We have it but we're not swinging it, we're not activating God's power, his favor his healing. Get that sword out! We're in a battle! There are giants on your land. God promised you the victory, but you can't be passive, "I hope it happens. If God wants me to have it, he'll give it to me". No, he's waiting for you to possess it. If you'll start swinging your sword, then he'll step in and help you accomplish what you can accomplish on your own.
When David went out to face Goliath, before he ever slung a rock he got his sword out. He looked at Goliath and said (1 Samuel 17:46), "This day I will defeat you and feed your head to the birds of the air". He declared victory, he declared God's favor. He could have said, "God, why is this giant in my path? He's twice my size. I don't have the training, this isn't fair". If David would have talked like that, we wouldn't be talking about him. David knew how to swing his sword. He went out and slung that rock, it hit Goliath in the forehead and knocked him out. Here's the point: if you'll swing your sword God will direct the rock. If you'll declare the victory he will bring down the giants.
Years ago I was watching this big boxing match, it was the best two heavyweight boxers in the world and they were scheduled for a 12 round fight. And there had been all this hype leading up to it, this opening bell finally ran. We expected this exciting, high-energy match, but the boxer that was the favorite hardly threw any punches. The first round he was passive, just playing defense, trying to stay from away from his opponent, almost like he was scared. The second round it was the same way, the third and the fourth. In the fifth round he got knocked out, was a huge upset. He told afterwards: his strategy was to be defensive for the first five rounds, save all his energy, not throw many punches, so in the later rounds the other boxer when he was tired, this new boxer would have the advantage. The problem is: he never made it to the later rounds.
Are you being passive, just taking what comes your way? You're in a fight. There are forces that don't want you to succeed. They're after your health, your finances, your children. You can't stay on the defenses and live in victory, you have to start throwing some punches. "Well, Joel, my children are running with the wrong crowd. I've been praying, I don't think they'll ever get back on course". Praying is important, but you need to do more than pray, you need to get your sword out. Start declaring what God said, "Father, you said as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. You said my children will be mighty in the land. You said the seed of the righteous is blessed. Lord thank you that my children will become everything you created them to be".
Keep swinging that sword. Every time you do it's pushing back forces of darkness. For your own life every day you need to declare victory, declare purpose, destiny, "Father, thank you that you've raised me up for such a time as this. Thank you that you've crowned me with favor, that I will defeat every giant, overcome every obstacle, accomplish every dream. Lord, thank you that the greatness you put in me will come out". I wonder where you would be at this time next year if you'd start swinging your sword. Not talking about the problem, but talking about the promise. Not wishing things would change, but declaring God's favor. Speaking strength when you feel weak, speaking abundance when you're seeing lack, speaking new levels when you feel stuck. Yes, you may have obstacles coming against you that are very big, but we serve a big God. He's given you a sword, the sword he's given you is sharper and more powerful than any force that's trying to stop you.
Now I know many of you have been using your sword, you've been faithful, swinging when the depression comes, "The joy of the Lord is my strength". Swinging in the face of that illness, "By your stripes I am healed". Swinging in the pandemic, "Father you said even in famine I will have more than enough" - get ready, giants are about to come down, your health is about to turn around, that child is about to get back on course. New doors are about to open. That family issue is about to resolve. It's going to be unusual, uncommon, something better than you were expecting. God sees your faithfulness, he hears you bringing his word back to him, not complaining, but speaking the promises. He's about to watch over his word to perform it.
I talked to a gentleman during the pandemic his business went down to nothing, he fell behind on his rent and other bills, he was ten thousand dollars in debt, didn't have any of it. He was so discouraged, he didn't know what he was going to do. Sirius radio was having a special promotion where they'd give you three months of free subscription. He signed up and came across our station. He felt so much hope, he started listening all day long, he would even leave it on at night while he slept (I've always been good at putting people to sleep).
He said "I came to the point where I said, 'God, I'm not going to worry anymore. I believe you're supplying my needs. You feed the birds of the air, you clothe the lilies of the fields, I know you'll take care of me'". When he could have been depressed, complaining, he started swinging his sword saying "Father thank you that you're Jehovah Jireh, the Lord my provider. The economy's not my source, you are my source. Thank you that you're opening the windows of heaven, pouring out blessings I cannot contain". One scripture (Isaiah 43:26) says, "Put God in remembrance of what he said". Find the promises that apply to your situation and thank him that he's bringing them to pass.
Fifteen years ago he had bought two penny stocks, they were worth about twenty dollars. He would check them every once in a while, one time they went up to several hundred dollars, then they'd come right back down to a few dollars. They were basically in his words worthless. He hadn't checked on them in years. He went to his account and thought it was a mistake, it said they were worth sixteen thousand dollars. He tried to sell before when it was a few hundred dollars and could never get it to go through, this time he had a buyer offer him not sixteen thousand, but twenty thousand dollars. He said, "Only God can take a penny stock that I thought was worthless, and turn it into twenty thousand dollars". When you swing your sword God goes to work. He won't just bring you out, he'll exceed your expectations. The scripture says he makes rivers in a desert, he'll take five loaves and feed five thousand, he'll part a Red Sea, he'll heal you from the cancer, he'll give you a Compaq Center.
I'm asking you to get your sword out. Complaining doesn't get his attention, begging doesn't cause him to act. He's concerned about our needs, but he's moved by our faith. Start declaring what he says about your situation, "Lord, thank you that I am blessed, that I will lend and not borrow. Thank you that you're taking me from glory to glory, that you've set an end to this difficulty, that the enemies I see today I will see no more".
Joshua chapter 10, five kings had joined together to come against Joshua and the Israelites. They were about to attack the city of Gibeon, they were Joshua's friends. The Gibeon king sent messengers to Joshua, saying "Please, come rescue us". What's interesting is these five kings didn't even like each other before, they were all enemies, but they knew how powerful and favored Joshua was so they put down their dislikes for one another, and they form this huge army.
Some people will be so against you, they'll join forces with their enemies to try to make you look bad. Don't worry, they can't stand against our God. They came against Joshua, thinking that they had so many people, surely he would back down, surely he would be intimidated go the other way. But they didn't know Joshua. He didn't say, "God, we're under attack. Why is this happening? We didn't do anything wrong". Joshua was a warrior. He got his men together, they hurried down to Gibeon with their swords drawn. When the enemy saw them coming, they panicked and got confused. Joshua and his men started defeating them left and right. Some of them ran into the hills trying to escape, they would have gotten away, but God sent a huge hailstorm, hail, I can imagine the size of baseballs raining down from the heavens.
The scripture says (Joshua 10:11), "The hail destroyed more of the enemy's troops than Joshua and his men did with the sword". God was showing us: if you'll swing your sword, then God will throw his hail. If you'll speak his promises, God will make things happen that you couldn't make happen. "Joel, I'm waiting on the hailstorm, I'm waiting on God to deliver me, promote, me restore me". God's waiting on you to swing the sword. When you have his word coming out of your mouth, when you're declaring his promises, then he'll step in and do what you can't do.
Swing your sword and you'll defeat giants much bigger. Swing your sword and doors will open you couldn't open. Swing your sword and you'll break the addiction, you'll beat the depression, you'll see dreams come to pass. God has the hailstorm, he has the favor, the healing, the abundance, he's just waiting for you to get your sword out. Don't live passive, we're in a battle - get your fire back, get your passion back, you have to initiate the blessing, initiate the healing, initiate the favor. If you'll start swinging your sword, I believe and declare: like with Joshua, God is going to show out in your life, negative situations are about to turn around, breakthroughs are coming, healing, promotion, the right people, new levels of your destiny in Jesus name, and if you receive it, can you say amen today? Amen!