Victoria Osteen - Realign Your Focus to Stay on Course
Thank you, Lord. We are believers in this place. We love you this morning, amen. When I was a little girl, I loved to go to the beach with my family. We would get to the beach, and I remember so well we had this huge red umbrella that we'd drill down in the sand. We'd put our beach blanket out, get our ice chest, get our spot ready for a day at the beach, and as soon as it was set, I'd take off to the water. I could spend hours out in the waves, just having such a good time, and one day, I had been out there, seems like for several hours. In fact, I had made it to the second sandbar.
Now, if you know what those sandbars are, they're deep spots, and then you get on the sandbar, and it's like you're on the shore. You can be way out, and you can be just up to your knees. So I had made my way all the way out to the second sandbar. I wanted my family to see me from shore because I thought, "I am, really done well today". So I stood up, and I began to wave my hands, looking for my family. I was searching everywhere for where our spot was, where we had set that red umbrella. What I realized, I could see a lot of people. I could see a lot of things, but I couldn't spot my family. Well, I got kind of panicking.
As a little girl, I thought, "I got to find my family. Where did they go"? So I swam as quick as I could, worked really hard to make it to shore, looking for my family. I'll walk to the left, all the way as far as I could. Couldn't find them. Turned around, walked to the right, looking and looking for my family, when at a distance, I spotted that red umbrella, and can I tell you, as a little girl, that was a happy moment for me. I thought, "There they are. I'm safe, and everything is okay". You see, what I didn't realize was, when I was out in that water, those undercurrents were slowly taking me down the beach. It was so subtle. I was playing, minding my own business, but they just drug me all the way down the beach about two- to three hundred, maybe more, feet, down the beach. I didn't even realize what was happening to me.
You know, in life, it can be much like that. There are undercurrents in life, trying to drag us off, get us off course from where we are supposed to be. I hear these comments a lot: "I was raised in church. My whole life, I went to church. I don't know how I got so far away from God". Spoke to a woman the other day. She was telling me how happy her marriage was until they began to argue, until they began to not be able to see eye to eye. She said, "We were so happy at first", she said, "But now we've drifted apart. We've separated. Things just aren't the same".
You see, those are the results of the undercurrents that are trying to destroy our life, to get us off course, and those are the things that we need to pay attention to because they can be so subtle, we don't even realize that they're happening. Undercurrents can be many different things. Can be hanging around with the wrong people, the wrong friends, going places and being with people that don't have the same values that you do. You know, this is what the Bible says about that. It says, "Bad company corrupts good character". It actually says, "Don't be misled". Don't be misled. Undercurrents can be bad attitudes, can be selfishness, laziness, anger.
See, these are the things that can separate families. These are the things that can cause us to lose good jobs, successful careers. You see, if I would've just paid attention to where I was in relation to where that red umbrella was, I could've kept my position. See, the undercurrents were there, and they were dragging me off because undercurrents will always have that tendency to drag us, but I could've made the necessary adjustments to get back in line. See, I could have positioned myself back to where I needed to be. I think about Samson in the Bible. Many of you know his story. The prophets predicted his birth. He was a man that had an amazing destiny lined out for him. He had this supernatural strength that God had given him. He was talented. God had positioned him in an amazing position, but he was weak in his morality. He got his eyes on the wrong things. He let his guard down.
You see, he didn't keep the position that he had. Those undercurrents in life dragged him off, and he never was everything he could've been. Can you imagine if he would've just got up during the day, at some point, if he would've just said to himself, "Am I on the right course? Am I focused? Am I aligned with my purpose? Am I treating people right? Am I respecting what God has given me? Am I walking humbly before him, honoring him with what I do"? Can you imagine if he would've done that, the life he could've lived? See, he would not have had to suffer so much pain, and he wouldn't have ended up in the hands of his enemy. You see, we all need to deal with these undercurrents. See, they don't go away. Life is full of undercurrents. Life is full of distractions, temptations.
You see, we all make mistakes. We all fall down sometimes, but we don't have to stay down. We can realign and readjust ourself. We've just got to be willing to ask ourself the questions every day: "Am I fulfilling my destiny? Am I honoring God"? You know, it's kind of like getting off your diet and eating some ice cream, and then you go, "Oh, well, I'm so off my diet, I'll just go get the whole gallon". You know, we do this sometime. In fact, they say that most of life is just habits. Can I tell you, we've got to look at our habits? We've got to see if these habits are serving us, serving our family, creating the life that we were intended to have.
You know, sometimes these things just seem small and insignificant, but can I tell you? It's those small things that aren't taken care of that can do damage: throwing our words around, being disrespectful in a relationship, saying things that we want to. You see, you could say to yourself, "Look, I'm just letting off a little steam. They know I love them". "They deserve it. They shouldn't have done that". See, we can make excuses for these little things, all day long: showing up to work late, thinking, "You know, my boss isn't here. He doesn't even come till 8:30. I don't know why he expects me to be here at 8 o'clock". Surfing the internet when the company is paying you, not being your best, see, these seem small, but these are the small things that can turn into big issues in our life if we're not careful. The scripture says, "It's the small foxes that spoil the vine".
See, it's those things that we don't always pay attention to. They're subtle. They like to cause us to move from the position that we are supposed to be. You see, if you found yourself drifting in areas today, I want to tell you, you can refocus. You can realign yourself. It's not too late to correct. You can start today. Listen to what it says in Colossians 3:2. It says, "Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things". You know what that means? It means set your mind on the higher things. Set your mind on the things of value, the things of importance, the things that enrich your God-given destiny. You are full of gifts and talents. You've got to set your mind on where you want to go with those gifts and talents, creating an atmosphere that brings joy and love and forgiveness.
You see, just like that red umbrella marked my spot, if I would've just set my mind on it, I could've kept my position. We've got to set our mind on honoring God, set our mind on living a life of integrity, set our mind on fulfilling the dreams that God has put in our heart. Don't think they're too big. You've just got to set your mind on them, and they'll come out of you. You know, today, let me just say this: the Bible says lay aside those weights, those sins that so easily come against us to get us off course.
Listen, God knows how easy it is. You are not a failure if you have sinned. You are not a failure if you've moved out of your direction. There is no mistake that you've made today that will take you from your destiny. God loves you with an everlasting love, and he's saying, "It is easy, so you have to set your mind". Maybe you need to ask for forgiveness today. Maybe you need to go to a family member and say, "Hey, listen, I have messed up. I'm going to set my mind, set my heart on being a good husband, wife, father".
Whatever it is today, you can start and begin again. I believe that you've got an amazing future in store for you. I believe that God is saying to you, "I know it's easy, but I've given you the power to overcome the currents of life. You may have to wade in these currents, but you can control your life in these currents". I believe and declare today that God has a bright future in store for you, bigger than you can ever ask, think, or imagine. He's going to going to open new doors of opportunities for you. He's going to make up lost time for you. He's going to get you to where you need to be, in Jesus's name, and if you believe that, shout a great big "Amen". Amen and amen.