Joel Osteen - Ignore the Roar
I want to talk to you today about Ignore The Roar. Anytime we try to move forward thoughts will come telling us what we can't do, and how it's not going to work out, how the problem is too big. We know what God promised, we believe it in our heart, but these doubts start to bombard our mind. The scripture says (1 Peter 5:8), "The enemy goes about as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour". The purpose of a lion's roar is to intimidate their opponents, to strike fear, terror, so much so that it will paralyze the other animal. There are animals that are bigger: elephants, a hippopotamus, they're much larger, stronger, but when the lion roars it's so powerful, so intimidating, they back down.
In the same way our enemy loves to roar: not out loud, but in our thoughts. He uses intimidation, fear, doubt to try to paralyze us. Thoughts like "You'll never get well, you saw the medical report. You'll never break the addiction, everyone in your family struggles. You can't accomplish that dream, you don't have the talent". How you handle the roar will determine whether or not you reach your destiny. If you believe the lies, let the fear take root, it will keep you from seeing the promise. You have to learn to ignore the roar, don't pay attention to the threats. The enemy is all bark and no bite. He goes about as a roaring lion, he's not a lion, he doesn't have any power over you. The only power he has is the power you give him by believing the roar.
When those thoughts of worry come, fear, anxiety, recognize what's happening - it's simply the enemy roaring, that's what he does. You can't stop the roar, you can't pray away the negative thoughts, get so determined that you're not ever going to feel fear, not going to allow the threats in. You're going to hear the roar, but you don't have to be intimidated, you don't have to live worried. The roar doesn't mean you're not in faith, doesn't mean you'll never see the dream - the roar is a sign that what God promised is on the way. The enemy wouldn't be roaring if he didn't sense there were great things in your future. He wouldn't be shouting those threats if he didn't know you were a giant killer. He wouldn't be telling you those lies if healing, freedom, abundance wasn't around the corner.
The scripture says the enemy is a liar, and there is no truth in him. When he roars you can take the opposite of what he's saying. "You'll never meet the right person, you've been single so long" - "Lord, thank you, now I know the right person is on the way. I believe they're already headed my direction". You hear that roar, "Your child will never get back on course, you raised him right, but look at where he is now" - take the opposite, "Father, thank you, now I know as for me and my house we will serve the Lord, that my child will fulfill his purpose, that he will do great things". The reason the enemy is roaring is because you're closer than you think. He's trying to threaten you with fear, intimidation - the truth is: the roar means you're a threat to him.
Start ignoring the roar, quit living worried about your health, your finances, how you could accomplish that dream. God has not brought you this far to leave you. He's taken care of you in the past, he's going to take care of you in the future. It says, "The enemy goes about seeking whom he may devour". That means he can't devour everyone. What determines whether or not you can be devoured is what you do with the roar. If you believe the roar, then you'll be defeated. If you dwell on the lies, live worried, intimidated, afraid, you won't see the promises come to pass.
When my mother was diagnosed with terminal liver cancer back in 1981, the medical report didn't look good, but she believed what God promised: that he would restore health back into her, that she would live and not die. But just because she believed that didn't stop the roar. Just because you have faith, you're declaring the promises, doesn't mean you're not going to hear lies, threats, thoughts of fear. "It's not going to work out, just give up, it's over". You can't stop the roar, but you can't ignore it. You don't have to dwell on all the negative thoughts telling you that it's not going to work out, you're not going to get well, you're not going to see that family restored. Those thoughts will be loud. The enemy can be compelling, persuasive, intimidating - don't pay any attention to it. He wouldn't be roaring if victory wasn't in your future.
My mother would be lying in bed, in the middle of the night the thought would come saying, "You can wear that new pink dress you bought to your funeral. You can be buried in that outfit". She had plenty of opportunities to listen to the roar, live worried, depressed. If she had done that, she wouldn't be here today. How you handle the roar determines whether or not you can be devoured. Don't let the negative thoughts play, the threats, the fear, the intimidation - start ignoring the roar. Keep your mind positive, hopeful, faith-filled.
I read where lions are territorial. One reason they roar is to keep other animals off of their territory. If a leopard, a cheetah, a giraffe starts to get close, then they get loud. It's to try to intimidate them, invoke fear. That roar is saying "Stay off my territory. If you come closer there's going to be a fight". The same principle is true with our enemy: when you start to take new ground, you go after your healing, your freedom, your abundance, the enemy thinks that's his territory, he thinks that belongs to him, so you'll hear that roar louder than ever. He's hoping to intimidate you to where you turn back and don't go after what God put in your heart.
How many people hear the roar and give up on their dream, quit believing for their healing, think they could never come out of debt? Have a new perspective: that roar is a sign that you're moving toward what God promised. You wouldn't hear the roar if you weren't about to go where you've never been, see favor, influence like you've never seen.
When my father went to be with the Lord I knew I was supposed to step up and pastor the church, I had never ministered before. The thought started bombarding my mind, "You can't minister. Nobody's gonna listen to you. You don't have the training, the experience. You're gonna get up there and look like a fool". The enemy started roaring, trying to keep me from stepping into my purpose. Those thoughts were loud, intimidating, compelling. In one sense everything they were saying were true, but God will put things in your spirit that don't make sense to your mind. You don't have to figure it all out, all you have to do is believe. Get in agreement with God, and not with the fear and the doubt.
The enemy didn't want me to go further, he didn't want me to give up that ground, that's why he roared so loud. In the same way he's sitting on your Promised Land. Don't be surprised if you hear all kinds of doubt, fear, "You can't do it, you're not that talented. You've had that problem too long. Nobody in your family is successful, you're at a disadvantage". Tune all that out. What God put in your spirit belongs to you, now go after it. You have to get in agreement with your heart, and not your head. If I would have listened to the roar, I would have turned around and never made it to my Promised Land. If I would have let the fear, the intimidation, the doubt take root, I wouldn't be up here, I wouldn't have seen the books, wouldn't have seen the Compaq Center, would have seen Sirius Radio.
Are you missing out on something because you keep listening to the roar? Are you watering down your dreams, playing it safe, stuck in your comfort zone, not believing you can beat the cancer, accepting the addiction? My prayer today is that you'll recognize: it's only a roar. Those thoughts that are limiting, defeating, intimidating are all lies to try to keep you from the greatness that's in you. Do yourself a favor, start ignoring the roar. Yes it's loud, yes it's convincing, this is where faith has to kick in. I"'m going to believe what God says about me. I am who he says I am, I can do what he says I can do".
I was afraid, I was intimidated, didn't know if I could do it, but I started speaking victory, I started declaring the promises over my life. "I am strong in the Lord. I can do all things through Christ. I've been raised up for such a time as this. I'm equipped, empowered, anointed". Sometimes you need to ignore the roar, other times you need to roar back. When those lies say that you'll never get well, instead of accepting it roar back "No, thanks, God is restoring health back unto me. I will live and not die".
The enemy is good at roaring, you need to get good at roaring. "Well, you've seen your best days. Man it's all down here from here" - "No, thanks, you must have the wrong person. My latter days will be better than my former days. God has taken me from glory to glory". "Your family is never going to get back on course, look how long it's been, just accept it". Instead of letting that discourage you, why don't you roar back? "No, thanks, as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. My children will be mighty in the land. What God started he will finish".
Quit letting the roar dominate your life. Take control of your thought life. The battle is taking place in our mind. The enemy knows if he can control your thoughts, he can control your life. You can't keep him from roaring, but when you recognize his tactics, when you know he goes about as a roaring lion, then you can deal with them properly. You won't let the roar keep you from your purpose. Maybe intimidating, but it cannot stop what God has ordained for you. Ignore the roar, keep moving forward, and God will get you to your destiny.
2 Chronicles 32, the king of Syria had his army surround the city of Judah. They were camped around the walls about to break through and take the city. His plan was to go to Jerusalem next and attack it. King Hezekiah told the Israelites not to worry, that God was going to take care of them. The Syrian king sent a letter to Hezekiah saying "What makes you think we're not going to defeat you, like we're defeating all these other cities? Their Gods didn't save them, your God is not going to save you". He sent this letter trying to intimidate them. Then he sent some of his men to Jerusalem. They came to the walls, verse 18 says, "They shouted threats, trying to terrify the people so it would make them easier to capture". They knew, if they could defeat them in their thinking, if they could get the Israelites fearful, intimidated, then they could defeat them in real life.
The Israelites heard all the threats, the insults, mocking their God, making fun of them. The Syrians thought they would panic, fall apart, but king Hezekiah knew how to ignore the roar. He said to the people, "Do not be afraid of the king of Syria or his mighty army. For there is a power far greater on our side. He may have a great army, but they are just men. We have the Lord our God to fight for us". The Syrians shouted the threats, but they fell on deaf ears. They tried to intimidate the Israelites, but they didn't take the bait.
The enemy has no new tricks. He's not creative, he uses the same tactics, the roaring lion. Loud threats, loud thoughts, "It's not going to work out. This problem's too big. Give up. Quit, turn back". He's expecting these negative thoughts to make it easier to defeat you. What he doesn't realize is you're like Hezekiah, you know his tactics, you're aware of his schemes, he's all bark and no bite. When you call his hand on it, when you say "No, thanks, I'm not afraid. I'm not intimidated. This problem may be big, but I know my God is bigger. The medical report may not look good, but God can do what medicine cannot do, he has the final say". Or "These people may be powerful, I'll admit that, but my God is all-powerful, he flung stars into space, he spoke worlds into existence, him being for me is more than the world being against me".
God won't let you get in a problem that he can't get you out of. He won't give you a dream that you can't accomplish. Tune out all the negative, the threats, the doubt, the fear, the intimidation, that's to be expected, that's the roaring lion doing what he does to try to stop you. Now do your part and ignore the roar.
Hezekiah went and found the prophet Isaiah, and they started praying. When you feel bombarded by doubt, fear, opposition, find someone full of faith that will stand in agreement with you. The scripture says one can chase a thousand, but two can put ten thousand to flight. In these times when the lion is roaring, you don't need people that'll agree with the lion. "Well, I'll pray but my grandmother died of that same illness. Joel, I don't see how you can get the Compaq Center, that other company is so much bigger. How can you break that addiction? Everybody in your family has it". No, find an Isaiah, someone that says "If you believe you're going to get well, you believe you're going to see overflow even in a pandemic, you believe you're going to do great things - count me in, I'm a believer, I'm in agreement with you, with God all things are possible. That obstacle may be big, but it's nothing compared to the God we serve. Those people may be powerful, but they're just men, our God is supernatural, he can do what people cannot do".
Isaiah and Hezekiah, they ignored the threats, and they started praying faith-filled prayers. What you're saying when the enemy is roaring is very important. If you're speaking defeat, giving life to the negative, you're going to get stuck. You're drawing in what you're saying. "I can't believe this happened, I'm so afraid, I don't know what I'm going to do, I don't see a way out". Don't get in agreement with the roar, speak victory in the face of defeat, speak peace in the face of fear, speak health in the face of sickness, speak abundance in the face of lack. As this enemy was shouting threats, Hezekiah said to the people "Be strong and of good courage, our God will deliver us". When he could have been complaining, he was prophesying victory. When he could have been panicked, he was declaring God's favor.
Verse 21 says "The Lord sent an angel that destroyed the whole Syrian army, all of its commanders and officers". The Israelites didn't have to fight, they didn't have to defend themselves. The threats were loud, they were intimidating, but they weren't real. What's playing in your mind so loud, telling you that the sickness is permanent, the depression will hinder you all your life, you'll never take your business to a new level - that roar is to try to convince you to give up on what God promised. The reason it's loud, the reason it's consistent is because the enemy knows he's on your territory. He's threatening you hoping you'll shrink back, believe the lies and settle for mediocrity. Why don't you start ignoring the roars, and go after what God put in your heart?
See, the enemy is a bully. Bullies are loud, bullies are intimidating, bullies will try to threaten you, to control you and keep you down. My father told about this bully when he was in the third grade, this bully was bigger than everyone, always throwing his weight around, being tough, mean, mistreating people. One day they were on the playground at school, this bully had a piece of paper, he was writing down names on it. He had a couple dozen people written down.
This one student, he was a very small boy, they were in the same grade, but he was little wiry, didn't weigh much, but he would fight a tiger, he had no fear. He asked that bully what he was doing? The bully said "I'm making a list of all the people that I can whoop". That little boy looked at him kind of perplexed, a little concerned, in a few seconds he said "Let me see that list". He took the list, went down it, and saw his name on it. He was so bent out of shape, put his shoulders back, got up in the bully's face and said "You have my name on here, you know you can't whoop me, how dare you put my name on here"?
That bully truck shrunk back and said "Oh, I'll take your name off". You have to stand up to a bully. You have to stand up to our enemy, "Your threats don't phase me, your intimidation doesn't move me, I know who I am and I know whose I am. You may have a loud roar, you may seem big, but I know me and God are a majority. What he's destined for my life will come to pass". Don't live intimidated by a bully that has no power over you. Ignore the roar, quit believing the threats, living worry, letting all the negative play in your mind. I know it's loud, the way you turn it down is by playing what God says about you. When the enemy roars "You never get any good breaks. You'll never rise higher" - "Father, you said the path of the righteous, my path, gets brighter and brighter. Thank you that my greatest victories are still in front of me". "Well, you'll never break the addiction, you've had it too long". Tell the enemy, "Take my name off your list. You can't defeat me, you can't limit my destiny. You can roar, you can threaten, you can be loud, but that doesn't intimidate me. I know a secret: you're all bark and no bite. I am free, I am whole, I will become who I was created to be".
I was in Africa one time visiting my brother Paul, and we went on a safari, saw all these wild animals. The guide was telling us about what they had learned about the animals. He said "If you're ever approached by a lion never to turn your back, but to stand your ground. The instinct will be to turn and run, but lions can run up to 50 miles an hour". He said, "If you run, you'll just die tired". I thought that's a good thought, isn't it? But he explained, "Even if the lion is a couple hundred yards away charging towards you, the best thing you can do is stand your ground and keep looking the lion in the eye". He said something fascinating, "90 of charges are mock charges. The lion is seeing what you're going to do. If you run, they're going to have a steak dinner. If you stand your ground, they're going to back off, it's going to be a fake charge".
It's not a coincidence that our enemy is called a roaring lion. He roars to see what you're going to do: are you going to run, be intimidated, give up on your dreams, turn back from what God's promised you? Then he can defeat you. But if you'll stand your ground like Hezekiah, like my mother, and say "I'm not moved by the threats. I'm not letting this fear, intimidation cause me to shrink back, live worried, then you'll find it was a mock charge, it was a lot of bark but no bite". And see, I've learned that the enemy will never quit roaring. I've seen God take me places that I've never dreamed, open up big doors and defeat great enemies. You would think he would say "Okay, Joel is not going to listen, God's been good to him", but even now I still hear the roar. "You made it this far, but you can't keep this up. You've seen your best days, the opposition is too much". The roar still comes, but I've trained myself to not pay any attention to it. My attitude is "Is someone talking? Is someone saying something? Do I hear some noise"? You can get to the point where you don't give it the time of day.
My sister Lisa lived in an apartment by a railroad track, just a couple hundred feet away. At night the train would come by and shake the whole place. You could feel the rumble of the cars going by and the roar of the engine. She would wake up every time, but after a couple of months she started getting used to it. There's something in the brain called a "Reticular activating system", that can tune out certain things that are routine. She got to the point where the train never woke her up at night. The train was just as loud, just as powerful, but it never affected her. It can be the same way with the enemies roar: they will come, threats, intimidation, thoughts of fear, "You're not going to get well, never get out of debt, what if your child gets off course" - roars of doubt, roars of worry, but if you just keep ignoring them, not giving them credibility, keeping your mind on the promises, positive, hopeful, knowing that God is in control, that he's ordering your steps, then over time you're not even going to notice the roar. It will be there but it's like no big deal. Yes those thoughts come, but it doesn't affect you.
Now sometimes the roar is subtle. It's not loud and strong, it's just a whisper of doubt, just enough to get you thinking that "Maybe it won't work out. Maybe it's not meant to be". In the book of Genesis, Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden, and God told them they could eat any of the fruit except the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they ate that fruit they would surely die. The serpent came to Eve and said in chapter 3, "Really? Did God really say you can't eat this fruit"? This time the world wasn't loud, it wasn't overwhelming, it was just a question, "Really"? A whisper of doubt. When God puts that promise in your heart that you're going to get well, don't be surprised if you hear the whisper, "You really think so? Did you hear the medical report? You really think you're going to have a good year during the pandemic? You really think you're going to get that scholarship? Do you know how many other students are there"? Be aware of the subtle roars, just hints of doubt, he's hoping that will grow and get bigger to where you defeat yourself. He knows if he roared loudly you would recognize what he was doing. These whispers of doubt can be just as harmful.
The scripture tells us to be aware of his schemes, to be knowledgeable of his strategies. Recognize the roaring whether it's loud or small, is not the truth, it's trying to create doubt and fear, confusion, so you will miss who you were created to be. My question today is: how are you handling the roar? Comes to us all. Are you letting these negative thoughts discourage you, intimidate you, convince you it's not going to work out, your child's not going to get better, you can't accomplish that dream? The reason he's roaring is you're close to your Promised Land, you're about to step into a new level of your destiny. Don't let the enemy bully you, tell him to take your name off his list. Stand up and you'll discover it was a mock charge. What he's worrying about is not the truth. If you'll start ignoring the roar, I believe and declare like Hezekiah, God's about to defeat enemies for you. You're about to see him show out in your life. Breakthroughs, healing, freedom, abundance, the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name, and if you receive it can you say amen today? Amen!