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Watch 2022 online sermons » Joel Osteen » Joel Osteen - A New Mindset

Joel Osteen - A New Mindset


Joel Osteen - A New Mindset
TOPICS: Mindset

I want to talk to you today about A New Mindset. It's easy to get stuck in life and think that we've gone as far as we can: we can't break the addiction, we can't get well, we'll never accomplish that dream. What's holding us back many times is our own thinking. Jesus said, "You can't put new wine into old wineskins". Wineskins in that day were made out of leather. When they got old, the leather would become hard and rigid. If you put new wine in it, the wine would expand and cause the wine skin to burst. This is saying, "You can't have a new life with old thinking". If you think you've reached your limits, then you have. If you think the problem is too big, then it is. If you think you'll never meet the right person, you probably won't. It's not that God doesn't have blessings, favor, increase - is that your wine skin is old. You have to get a new mindset. Start believing bigger, dreaming bigger, expecting bigger.

You're not limited by your circumstances, by the pandemic, by your boss, by how you were raised. One touch of God's favor will catapult you ahead. God took David, a shepherd boy, from a low income family, turned him into a king. He gave Abraham and Sarah a baby when they were almost 100 years old. He healed my mother from terminal cancer. He gave us the Compaq Center when all the odds were against us. He has things in your future that will amaze you. Paul said in Ephesians 2:7, "In the ages to come, we would see the surpassing greatness of God's favor". We are living in the day Paul talked about, we are in the ages to come. This is when God has "Far and beyond favor", favor that you've never seen. But my question is: is your wine skin keeping you from receiving this new wine? Is limited thinking keeping God from pouring out the fullness of what he has in store? Why don't you get a new mindset, "God, I don't see a way, but I know you have a way. The medical report doesn't look good, but God, I know you're my healer. I'm struggling in my finances, but God, I believe abundance is coming. My dream looks impossible, but God, I know you can open doors that no person can shut".

Acts chapter 3, there was a man who had been crippled since birth. Every morning people would carry him to the gate of the temple, so he could beg. He'd been doing this for years. All he had known was to get up, go to the temple, ask people for money. He was stuck in a negative routine, just going through the motions of life, not expecting anything to change. In a sense, he had an excuse, "I'm crippled. I'm at a disadvantage. I didn't get what other people got". When someone passed by, he'd hold out his cup: can you spare some change? Can you help me out? Every once in a while someone would throw in a few coins, next person went by, same thing: hold out the cup, jiggle around the coins. This cup was his life, this cup was how he survived. All through the day hundreds of times as people entered the temple he didn't have to think twice, he was on autopilot, just put out his cup.

But one day Peter and John were headed up to the temple to pray. As they passed through the gate, there was this man. Just like he always did, held up his cup, asked them for money, most people just passed on by, didn't pay any attention. But Peter stopped and looked at the man. The man looked up, thought he was going to get a gift. But Peter said (acts 3:6), "Silver and gold have I none". He was saying, "Put down your cup, because what God is about to do is not going to fit in that cup". I'm sure, at first he was kind of disappointed, thinking, "Man why did you stop here? Why did you get my hopes up if you're not going to do something for me"? Peter went on to say, "I don't have any money for you, but in the name of Jesus rise and walk".

Peter didn't ask the man for permission, he didn't say, "Would you like to try to walk? I think, maybe you were healed". He took the man by the right hand, and pulled him up. I can see his cup get knocked over, the few coins spill out, he doesn't know what's going on. This has never happened. No one has ever spoken faith over him. No one has ever told him that he could walk. His wine skin was, his thinking was going tilt, till, till. "This man Peter is telling me to get up. Doesn't he know I'm crippled? Doesn't he know I'm limited by a cup? That my routine is to beg? I'm dysfunctional, I'm at a disadvantage. Why is he telling me to do something that I can't do"? As he was contemplating it all, trying to figure it out, Peter pulled him up. Instantly his legs were healed. His bones and ankles became strong. He couldn't believe it! He started walking, then he took off running, jumping, dancing, thanking God.

It's significant that he had to put his cup down, before he could receive his miracle. He was hoping to get a few coins, but God had a blessing, where he'd never have to use that cup again. He was thinking maybe he could get enough change to get some new crutches, but God was thinking: I have a new set of legs, I'm going to do something that you've never, seen I'm going to show you far and beyond favor. But how many of us like this man have our cup? We may not be crippled, we're not begging, but we're in a negative routine, stuck in a rut, not expecting things to change. We've gone through disappointments, we've had setbacks, now we've lowered our expectations, watered down our dreams. We've let what hasn't worked out be an excuse to settle where we are. "Joel, I can't have a blessed year, we're in a pandemic. I'm just trying to make it. The medical report's not good, I'm just learning to live with this sickness. I can't break this addiction, everyone in my family has it". God is saying, "Get rid of your cup". The blessings he has for you cannot be contained in a cup.

As long as you have a "Cup mentality", you'll be sitting at the gate, thinking that you're stuck at the mercy of other people, hoping someone will give you a break. You don't need people. Yes, God will use people, but people are not your source. Quit looking to your cousin, your neighbor, your boss, your friend, your pastor - start looking to God. People are limited, God is unlimited. People can give you a short-term fix, but God can take it from being crippled to walking, from borrowing to lending, from addictions to freedom, from sickness to health, from lack to abundance.

Peter took the man by the arm and pulled him up. If he had not forced him to get up, the men would have never walked. He had never seen the miracle if he had sat there and thought about it, "This cup's okay, at least I'm surviving. I could never walk, I was born this way". No, God sent me today to pull you up. Quit making excuses, quit coming up with reasons why you can't be successful, can't get well, can't live free, can't get married, can't go to the next level - get rid of that cup. You want created to just get a few coins here and there, survive, make it through. What God is going to do in your life will not fit in a cup. You may be limited, but God is unlimited. He's about to do something that you've never seen.

The scripture says (Malachi 3:10), "He will open the windows of heaven and pour out blessings that you cannot contain". That cup cannot contain the blessings, favor, healing, mercy that belongs to you. The reason Peter told the man to put down the cup, that he didn't have any silver and gold, was to show us that a cup-mentality will keep you from the fullness of what God has in store. Is your thinking limiting your life? Are you missing out on favor, healing, new relationships because you're holding a cup? Hoping for some change, when God wants to show you the surpassing greatness of his favor? Don't go into this new year with low expectations. Have a bigger vision, get your hopes up. You have to give God permission to bless you.

This is what my father did. He grew up with a cup mentality. His family was very poor, they were farmers. They lost everything during the great depression. He had to drop out of high school to work on the farm. All he had seen was defeat, lack, mediocrity. It looked like that was his future. But at 17 years old he gave his life to Christ, the first one in the family. He felt God calling him to become a minister. He had no money, no training, no connections. When he told his parents they said, "John, you're making a big mistake. You're going to get out there and fail, you better stay here on the farm with us". Sometimes good people will try to convince you to keep your cup. They've had a cup, they've been limited, they've accepted mediocrity. You have to put your foot down and say, "No, thanks, this cup is not for me. I am not watering down my dreams to match my environment. I'm not letting how I was raised to set limits for my life. I'm not going to lower my expectations to what I think will happen. God, I know you are all powerful, that you have a great plan for my life".

Take the limits off of God, and take the limits off of yourself. Who says you can't do something great? Who says you can't start your own business? Who says you can't get well? Who says you can't go where no one in your family has gone? God is calling you to be a trend-setter, a difference maker, a barrier breaker. You don't need that cup. Quit looking at what you lost, what you don't have, who left you out - the odds may be against you, but the Most High God is for you. He's breathing in your direction right now. You're not on your own. You and God are a majority. Nothing can stand against him. What he has purposed for your life will come to pass. Now, get in agreement with God: all he needs to work with is mustard seed faith. You don't have to have great faith, just a little bit of faith, "God, I believe, you can take me where I can't go on my own. I believe I will see the surpassing greatness of your favor".

My father told me that at 17 years old he made the decision that his children would never be raised in the poverty and defeat that he was raised in. What happened? He got rid of his cup. Victory starts in our mind, abundance starts in our thinking. He had no reason to believe that, nothing looked promising in his future, but this is what faith is all аbout: "God, I believe you can open doors that I can't open. You can bring talent out that I haven't seen. You can make streams in the desert. You can take what was meant for harm, and turn it to my advantage".

He left the farm at 17, didn't have a car, he had to hitchhike. He began ministering in the prisons, the seniors homes, on the street corners. God opened door after door, went on to pastor great churches, and you know how my mom and dad founded Lakewood, pastored here for nearly 40 years. Where would I be if my father had not getting rid of that cup? He had plenty of excuses: lived defeated, "We're poor, we're in a depression, I had to drop out of high school". God knew everything that would come against you: every bad break, every disappointment, every hurt. If you'll get rid of your cup, he'll make up for the wrongs. They won't keep you from your destiny, they will launch you into your destiny.

When my father was 75 we drove back to Paris, Texas, where he grew up. He wanted to reminisce, and show me where he was raised. We went out on the land where his farm used to be, and we found the old well. He showed me where he went to school. Before we left, he drove around to see if we could find any of his friends. We got an address, and we pulled up to this one place. It was very run down, dilapidated, didn't look like it was livable. Daddy knocked on the door, and this man answered. They hadn't seen each other in 60 years. We went in and sat on these old stools, and there were several buckets on the ground to catch water leaking from the ceiling, floors had holes in it. There were windows that were broken and boarded up. The man told my father how he'd worked at the boat docks for a few years, then he was laid off, and hadn't been able to find any work.

That day made such an impression on me. I thought about how he and my father were raised in the same environment, same poverty, same school, same hardship, but my father had gone on to make a great difference with his life, to set a new standard, to bring his family into abundance. The difference was: one man held his cup, my father got rid of his cup. One man lowered his expectations to match his environment, he lived with excuses, settled for the status quo. He was a good man, but he's just hoping for some coins, he stayed stuck where he was. It's interesting that God didn't love my father any more than he loved that man. It wasn't God holding him back, it was his cup, it was his old wine skin. He couldn't see the new things that God had in store. When your vision is limited, your life will be limited. It's amazing what happens when you get rid of your cup, when you enlarge your vision, when you believe big, when you pray bold prayers, when you dream great dreams.

God said in Psalms (81:10), "Open your mouth wide and I will fill it". Are you asking for coins so you can survive, when God is wanting to give you new legs, so you can run? Why don't you get rid of that cup? You're not limited by how you were raised, by what didn't work out. If that was going to stop your purpose, God wouldn't have allowed it. It's a test: are you going to settle for a cup, live with a limited mindset? Or are you going to do like my father, get rid of that cup, and believe for the greatness God put in you? It's not too late. You can still become all you were created to be. When you're in agreement with God, he'll make things happen that you couldn't make happen. He'll open doors you couldn't open. He'll cause opportunity, good breaks, the right people to come looking for you.

2 Kings, there's a story of this widow. Her husband has died, and now she's run out of funds to pay her bills. The creditors are coming to take her sons as payment. All she had of any value was a small jar of oil. The prophet Elisha came by and told her to do something interesting: to go to her neighbors and borrow as many empty containers as she could find. He said specifically (2 Kings 4:3), "Borrow not a few", get as many as you can. She went out and gathered, maybe a dozen containers and came back. Elisha told her to pour the little oil that she had into one of the empty containers. Didn't make sense, but she did it. She filled up the first container, then another, and another, and another. The oil never ran out until she finished filling up all the containers. She went out and sold the oil, had plenty to pay her debts, plenty left over to live off of.

The key phrase in this story is "borrow not a few". She determined how much oil she was going to have. The oil only ran out when she didn't have any more containers. That's why God told her "Borrow not a few". If she had borrowed twice as many containers, she would have had twice as much oil. What if she had said, "Elisha, I got this cup, let's just use it", she'd only had a cup full of oil. God was showing us this principle: if you'll open your mouth wide, he will fill it. He has an unlimited supply. He never runs out. But too often because of disappointments, delays, things that haven't worked out, we've watered down our dreams, we've lowered our expectations. We're not stretching, believing for great things, believing to get well. God has the oil, we don't have the containers. He's saying to you what he said to this woman: borrow not a few! Don't shortchange yourselves! Don't live with a cup mentality: "I'll never get out of debt, God, just help me to pay my bills. Our family will never be happy, God, just help us not to kill each other". No, pray bold prayers. God is going to fill the containers that you bring to him.

It's not a supply problem, it's a capacity problem. Are you putting limits on what God wants to do in your life? Are you focused on what you think can happen only in your ability? You're looking at the natural, but God is supernatural, he controls the universe, he parts Red Seas, he brought water out of a rock, he fed thousands with two fish. Don't base your containers on what you can do, base it on what God can do.

I know a lady that's a single parent mother, she's gone through some health issues, and had some major struggles. Her home was damaged in a storm, she had to start all over. But despite all that, she would be at Lakewood every Sunday with her children. They didn't have much, but they knew God was on their side, that he could make a way. From the time her little son Troy was a boy. He had a dream to go to college. Didn't look like this mother would be able to afford it, the odds were against him. He didn't have a defeated mentality. He could have thought, "We're poor, I'm at a disadvantage, I'm limited", but he got rid of the cup. He didn't make excuses to settle, he didn't let people talk him out of it. All growing up he would tell his friends, he was going to get a scholarship. His goal is to become the secretary of state. Other students would look at him like he is not all there, there was no way. Didn't bother him, he just kept believing it, declaring it, thinking, like it was going to happen.

When he graduated, his mother brought me a newspaper article about Troy. It talked about how he was awarded not one scholarship, not two, not five, not eight, he received nine scholarships worth 1.3 million dollars to attend Georgetown university. Not just for his bachelor's and all of his books, and supplies, but for his masters, and for his doctorate. I was driving down the freeway, and I saw a billboard: it had Troy's picture on it with his graduation cap, the caption read "Meet our next secretary of state". Both of her sons receive full scholarships. When you get rid of that cup, God will open the windows of heaven. You have not seen, heard or imagined what he has in store. Don't let a limited mindset keep you from the abundant life that belongs to you.

This is what happened with the Israelites. God brought them out of slavery, delivered them from the Pharaoh. He took them toward the Promised Land, but they complained, they were negative, they didn't think they could make it in. They ended up wandering around the same mountain for 40 years. They became conditioned in their thinking to not expect anything good. They were in a rut, "Man we're stuck out here, we'll always struggle, always be in lack, have this hardship". Before they went into the Promised Land, God had to change their mindset. He told them in Deuteronomy 2:3, "You have passed around this mountain long enough". He announced to them that they were about to break out of the rut, that he was about to do something new. That they were not just going to dream about the Promised Land, but they were going to live in the Promised Land. It's significant that God didn't just take them in, didn't just surprise them. He had to get them to change their mind first, to get their hopes up, to break out of that cup mentality, to get a vision for abundance, for victory, for favor.

You may have struggled in areas for a long time, you've done your best to pray, believe, fight the good fight of faith, but nothing has changed. You feel stuck, like it's never going to happen. God is saying to you what he said to them: "You passed around that mountain long enough". He's about to do a new thing, something that you've never seen, but you have to do your part and get a new mindset. No more "I'll never get out of this problem, Joel, the obstacles are too big. I'll never get ahead, never break the addiction, never meet the right person".

Don't let that old wine skin keep you out of your Promised Land. There's nothing more powerful than a changed mind. You can change jobs, change relationships, change your looks. The calendar can change, we can go into a new year, but if your thinking is the same, nothing will be different. Why don't you change your mind? Break out of those ruts that have held you back, have a new perspective. God is putting an end to what's restricted you. No more wandering, no more seeing the Promised Land and not experiencing it. You're about to go into your Promised Land. It's going to be better than you've imagined. You're going to see houses that you didn't build, vineyards that you didn't plant, promises that you've given up on are still going to come to pass. Dreams that seem impossible are still going to happen.

Now when those thoughts come saying, "It's too late. It's been too long, never going to happen". Just tell doubt, "I've changed my mind. I know what God promised is on the way, I'm a believer and not a doubter". Tell fear, "I've changed my mind. I'm not going to live worried, stressed, afraid, I know God has me in the palm of his hand". Tell guilt, shame, the past, "I've changed my mind. I'm not living condemned, listening to accusing voices. I'm forgiven, I'm redeemed, I'm restored, I'm excited about my future". Or tell lack, not having enough, always struggling, "I've changed my mind: that is not my destiny, I will lend and not borrow. What I touch will prosper and succeed. Abundance, overflow, increase is coming my way". When thoughts tell you, "It's just going to be another average year, and nothing good is in store, don't expect anything different", tell discouragement, tell low expectations, "I've changed my mind. This is going to be a blessed year, a bountiful year, a favor-filled year. Something good is going to happen to me".

When you change your mind, when you get in agreement with God, angels go to work, miracles are set in motion, healing, breakthroughs, favor comes looking for you. My challenge today is: don't let a cup mentality keep you from living an abundant life. What God has for you cannot be contained in a cup. Get rid of low expectations, quit making excuses to settle where you are. You've gone around that mountain long enough. If you'll get rid of that cup, I believe and declare: like the crippled man, you're about to see God do something unusual. Not a few coins to sustain you, but new legs so you can run. Like the widow woman, supernatural provision. Like the Israelites, what's held you back is being broken, you're about to go into your Promised Land, and see the fullness of your destiny, in Jesus name. If you receive it, can I get an amen today? Amen!
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