Victoria Osteen - God Is in Your Story
Thank you, Father. We bless the name of Jesus, amen? I was at the Wortham Center, watching a theatrical play with about five of my friends. We had decided to go kind of at the last minute, and our seats were way back in the back. They weren't good seats at all, so there was five of us in bad seats with one pair of binoculars. Yeah, that's really interesting. One pair of binoculars among five people, yeah. I can remember watching the play, and I felt so disconnected from the story because I really couldn't see the stage well enough, and I don't know if you're over 40 in here today, but, you know, when you can't see, you feel like you can't hear.
So I was waiting and waiting and waiting for those binoculars to make their way into my hands, and when they finally did, I was so excited. I pulled those binoculars up to my face and focused in on the stage, and it was amazing. I could see the expression on the actors' faces. I could hear so well. In fact, I felt like I was on the stage with them and part of the story. You see, my perspective had totally changed because the distance between my seat and the stage was closed. See, once which was far away became near to me. Ephesians 2:13 says this: "In Christ, you who were once far away have been brought near by the blood of Jesus".
You see, we've all been far away from God. We've all experienced bad seats, so to speak, but can I tell you this, that through the binoculars of Jesus Christ, God has drawn us near to him? He has closed the gap between God the Father and us through the binoculars of Jesus Christ. See, God is an up close and personal God today, and he wants to draw you unto himself. He wants you to know that there doesn't have to be distance between you. He wants you to know today that there may be 7 billion people on this planet, and it's easy to think, "God, out of all these people, how do you see little old me? You've heard my prayers, God. I feel like things aren't changing quick enough. I'm still in this situation. God, have you forgotten, or can you even see me"?
We've all had those thoughts. We've all felt that doubt, but that doesn't stop God. That doesn't chase God off. God is right there with us. He is in our story. He is on our stage. We've just got to recognize that he's as close as the very breath that we breathe, and that the distance between us has been closed through Jesus Christ. You see, some people think that they need to change their life before they can draw near to God. They need to clean up a few things. You know, sometimes just the way we live our life makes us feel distant from Almighty God, but can I tell you today that you can't clean your own life up? You can't bring the change that God wants to bring in your life until you realize he's right there with you, and you accept him into your life, and you go to him daily because it's God who works in us and through us.
You see, the gap has been closed. There is nothing that God cannot do for you through Jesus Christ. There's no mess that you made that he can't help you clean up. There's nothing on the inside of you that would make you distant from God. You see, he loves you just the way you are. In fact, the Bible says, "When we were still sinners, we were far away because that gap was full of sin. He came to us through Jesus Christ". He came to us. We didn't come to him. Today, he's with you. He's drawing you. Don't let anything stand between you and God the Father. He wants a relationship with you today. It's as easy as that. Every single day, no matter what we're carrying, no matter what we feel, no matter what we did, he still wants a relationship with you.
There's a beautiful story in John 4. Jesus was coming from Judea heading to Galilee with his disciples. He said, "I have need to go to Samaria". Now, Samaria was on the way to Galilee, but Jewish people never go through Samaria. In fact, they would take the long way around just to avoid going through Samaria because Jews and Samaritans didn't like each other. They didn't mix, but he told his disciple, "I have to break protocol. I have to break the rules. I need to go to Samaria". He needed to go to Samaria because he had an appointment with a woman at the well.
The woman came with her watering jar. That's where all the women came to collect water for their daily needs. She came with her watering jar. She thought it was just a normal day. She did not realize that she had an appointment with living water. She got there that day with an earthly perspective. Have you ever had an earthly perspective? "I'm just going to work. I'm taking my kids to school. I'm doing the dishes. I'm running my errands". She came that day with an earthly perspective. She didn't realize she was going to leave with a heavenly perspective. You see, Jesus drew her unto himself. She thought she was just drawing water, something that would be a temporary fix for the day, but he offered her something greater than that. He offered her living water. So she got a little closer to him.
Now, you have to realize, this woman came to the well at noon, and the story is this. She wanted to avoid the other women that came in the morning at the cool of the day, so she said, "I don't care if it's hot. I want to get in, and I want to get out. I want to avoid the women at the well. I want to stay to myself. I want to stay isolated". You see, the enemy wants us to be isolated, but Jesus said, "You don't have to be isolated. I'm going to give you this gift of living water", and as they begin to have a conversation, he said to her, "Go get your husband". She paused and she said, "I don't have a husband", and he said, "That's the truth". He said, "You've had five husbands, and the man that you're with now is not your husband".
Well, that really got her attention because she's thinking, "This guy knows all about me, and he's still talking to me. Hey, there's people that think a lot of things about me, and they won't talk to me, but this guy knows the truth, and he still wants to have a conversation with me? He still wants to give me this living water"? Because, see, she thought he was going to say, "Oh, you don't have a husband? Mm-hmm, I know, forget the living water. You don't deserve the living water. You're not living right. Only perfect people deserve the living water". But Jesus said, "When you drink from this water, from this fountain, you'll never thirst again".
You see, he was giving her a heavenly perspective. She didn't understand all of what he was saying, but she certainly got to know him a little better and realized, "This man is different. This man is drawing me unto himself. This man is breaking protocol. This man is offering me living water". Do you know what I love about this man, Jesus? We can come to him just like we are. You see, he had a need to go to this woman, and he broke protocol to get to her. Jesus has a need to get to you. He is offering you living water, but all we have to do is say yes and drink that water.
You see, she came to the realization that this was the Messiah offering her salvation. Her people have talked about the Messiah for years. She literally left there and ran to the town square, the people she was trying to avoid, got right in the middle of them, and started saying, "Come meet a man that knows everything about me, and he still likes me. In fact, he loves me. You've got to come see this man. Might he be the Messiah because he sure isn't like you"? You see, the Bible goes on about Jesus talking about people who will be worshipers, worshipers in spirit and in truth.
That's who God is seeking, and what I want us to see today, that God is looking at us through his binoculars of Jesus. The distance that was once there, he's brought us close. He hasn't brought us close because we're perfect, because we do everything right. He's looking for people who will worship him in spirit and in truth. When she spoke truth to him, he said, "That's right", and then she continued to worship him. She continued to get close to him because she didn't feel judgement. She didn't feel condemned, and he said, "These are the people I'm looking for, people that'll draw close to me in all of the truth of who they are, people who will take this living water and let it quench them every single day".
See, the Bible says that "We are to work out our salvation". See, when you say yes to Jesus, you may be saved, but you've got some junk in you that needs to be worked out, and God is saying, "This living water is available to you every single day. You don't have to run from me. You can run to me. You don't have to try to quench your thirst by going to other people, by bad habits, by things of this world has to offer. Come to me and let the living water, which will bubble up out of you be the pool of refreshing for you, for your thirsty soul".
Listen, if you've been in this world long enough, you realize you can get thirsty mighty quick. Listen, there's a lot of thirst going on, but Jesus said, "When you drink from this living water, it will be a continual spring. It will wash you. It will wash away the desires that you really don't want anymore anyway". But you've got to be that person who is willing to worship him in spirit, his spirit, and in the truth of who you are, the truth of who you are becoming. You see, when you are one with him, which you are, the Bible says that "He made the two out of one", Jesus and us became one. He is the binocular that God is looking at us through. He doesn't see your failures. He doesn't see your mistakes. He sees you in Jesus Christ. He sees you as righteous. He sees you as who you are.
Listen, don't let your earthly perspective keep you from letting that refreshing come to you every day, because within you is a heavenly perspective. You've just got to latch on to it. You've got to take hold of it, and you've got to know that God is working in you to will and to do his good pleasure. Listen, you don't need anything but Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ alone is going to change your life. So I would encourage you, just like that woman, you need to come and drink of the living water. Don't try to clean yourself up first. Let God do the work in you. Let him work out those things that you so desperately want to get rid of, and you will enjoy that heavenly perspective, and God will get you to everywhere that you need to be, amen? He's an awesome God.