Victoria Osteen - Widen Your Lens Of Perspective
I want to encourage every one of us today that if you're waiting on a prayer to be answered, or maybe you're waiting for some things to change in your life, and it hasn't happened for a long time, and you're just waiting for things to change, so you can move on with life, I want to encourage you to not let those things stop you. Don't get stuck in those areas of your life. God doesn't want you to ever get stuck, he wants you to live with enthusiasm, he wants you to live with joy, he wants you to live with expectancy of what he can do in your life. You see, sometimes we're waiting on things to change. We're looking at everything around us and we forget to look at our God. See, the Bible says we are to wait upon the Lord. We're not to wait for all of our prayers to be answered, we're not to wait for things to change before we can be happy, we're to wait expectantly on the Lord. Excited, with the anticipation, "God, I maybe in a difficult season, but God, that doesn't stop you from working in my life".
You see, with an excitement, and a joy, and a passion for life, that's how God wants us to live. You know, we sometimes, we think that seems impossible, I can't be that happy all the time. Really Victoria? The Bible says that there is a joy in you that Jesus gave you. He says the joy that is in me, I have given you. You have the ability to tap into the resources that God has given you. You see, the Bible says that the righteous are to get brighter and brighter until the full day. We're to thrive like a green leaf, we're not supposed to whither. Our dreams and hopes are not supposed to whither, but we're supposed to thrive. We're supposed to shine brighter and brighter. You're not supposed to be dimmed some days and bright the others, you're supposed to be bright, shining. You're supposed to let the Son in, the S-O-N, every single day, so that you can be bright and shiny.
I think that's a good question to ask ourself periodically through the day, "Am I shining, or do I feel dim? Is there a black cloud over me? Is there something trying to bring me down? Am I focused too much on a situation, or change that needs to happen in my life that I'm not shiny? Do I need to get my eyes off of this mountain and get my eyes on where the help can come from? From the person who created all the mountains, who created the universe, and who can create whatever I need". Listen, we're to be stars. We're to let the Son in. Listen to what it says in Isaiah 43:18 and 19, and this is what God spoke through the prophet, and he said, "Forget the former things, do not dwell on them. Behold, I am doing a new thing, now, now it springs up. Can you perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness, and streams in a wasteland".
You see, there is a question that God is asking us in his promise to us, and what he is asking us is this: do you recognize what I'm doing in your life? You see, it says, "I am doing a new thing". God didn't say I'm going to do a new thing when I get ready, when you get straighten in your life, he said, "I am doing a new thing," it springs up now. See, God is saying don't have faith when the situation takes care of itself, because I'm doing some new things right now, right now. But the thing is is that we have to perceive it, and in doing so, sometimes we need to change our perspective. We need to widen our lens, widen our focus. You see, it says behold, some translations say "Look, see, watch", that sounds like anticipation to me, doesn't it you? Watch and see what the Lord will do. See, it is a new thing.
I'll never forget, several years ago, I was going through the most difficult time in my life. My life seemed to hinge on this one major decision. To me, it felt like life and death, to me, it was the most difficult thing that I can remember ever going through. I can remember what I wanted to do. I wanted to stay home, I wanted to cry, I wanted to waller. Listen, I didn't want to shine, I wanted to dim things down. One day, God spoke to me, and he said, "You cannot live like this". He said, "You were made and designed to shine," and he said, "You need to look out beyond this problem, because I've got opportunities. I'm doing some new things. In the middle of your mess am still working".
Do you know, that challenge in my life went on for three long years? And can I tell you, they seemed like long years? But during that time, I shake it off, every day I pushed through. Was it easy? No, but I had to change my focus, and change my perspective. "God, you don't want me to stay here, you've got new things for me". Do you know, it was in those three years that I wrote my first book? I wrote a series of children's books, and at the end of those three years, God vindicated me, and showed me things that I never knew were even inside of me. He gave me victory, but it was a change of perspective. It was deciding that I wasn't going to wear a banner of defeat, but I was going to wear a banner of victory over my head. See, I was changing what I was thinking.
See, God had opportunity for me, but as long as I sat and were waiting for things to change before I could get going, I would have missed out on all the new things, the new opportunities, the new things he wanted to show me and do on the inside of me. Can you imagine if I would have given in to defeat, and discouragement, and stayed so focused on what I needed to happen, I would have lost three years. Do you know that I had exponential growth in my spiritual life those three years? You see, God turned it around because I was willing to put forth the effort. I was willing to shake it off. I was willing to say, "No, this doesn't have to change before I can keep living". Absolutely not, I serve a great big God, and he's got great things over the horizon for me. He is doing a new thing, it is in process. The printing presses have already been turned on. It is happening now in your life.
I was speaking to a woman the other day, and I had been praying with her for a while, and it seemed like every time I prayed with her, or talked to her, all I could see was this just rigid, stiff, just wanting something to happen in her life, and what she was wanting was this: had left, and she was wanting reconciliation in her marriage, and that is what I could see was the main focus and thrust of her life, and I told her this, I said, "Listen, do not make plans according to this prayer being answered. Don't make plans around your life according to this happening. Don't stop living". You see, I believe that what she was trying to do was work it out in her own mind, figure out how it was going to happen, and as soon as he walked back in the door, then she could begin to live, then her life could go on. But that is not what God intends for her to do, because he's got new things springing up in her mess right now.
I said, "You're too valuable, you've got too much to offer. You got gifts, you got talents, you be the best you that you can be. You let God grow you, learn, progress, take on new and exciting challenges that God's got out there for you. Be the best you can be". I didn't tell her to quit praying, I didn't tell her to quit believing, I said, "Don't get stuck, don't get stuck, you keep living," and I believe that God has a word for somebody in here today. You need to keep on living. Don't make all your plans around that unanswered prayer. I got new things springing up even now. He didn't say there was not going to be wilderness. He didn't say there wasn't going to be some wasted things you look at and think, "Why did this happen? Why me, this is a waste, what happened"? He said I can make a way in the wilderness, and I can refresh you in those times that feel wasted. I can bring out of you things you never knew were in you. I can do the impossible, as long as you widen your lens, change your perspective, don't get narrow, and don't get so focused that the strains and stresses of life doesn't allow you to see beyond where you are.
I was reading about eye strain, and eye strain is becoming more and more of a common problem because of all of our screens that we look at, computers, iPads, telephones, and so, eye strain is when, you know, you can be focused on your computer and your reading material for so long that you get dry eye, or you'll get a headache, or sometimes, you know, you feel like it's blurry, that's eye strain. And I was reading the article, and it was giving tips to alleviate this eye strain, and it says if you're in front of your computer, or you're working on this, you know, really focused project, what you should do is try to get up from your area that you're at, at least three times a day, and for ten minutes a day, you should look out of a window. Maybe you need to walk outside if you don't have a window in your office or the place you're working.
And it said do this, cast your eyes at a distance, as far as you can see, and take on all the life around you. It says when you do that, when you cast your eyes and you begin to see life, trees, sky, clouds, you're watching all this stuff around you, what it does is, it relaxes the lens of your eye. With eye strain, your lens flattens out, and what this exercise does is, it causes it to be more flexible. It causes it to relax. Now, I'm not giving you a tip on eye strain today, although if you have it, that might work. What I am saying is, that same thing parallels our life. When we begin to focus so much on an area of our life that needs to change, or something we want to happen, or something we want to pray about, we get so focused in that we struggle, and we bring strain upon ourself.
And God is saying we've got to get good at getting up out of that situation and casting our eyes past the situation into the distance, so that we can widen our lens and take on the life that is out there that God gave us to live. He has got more in store for you wherever you are, whatever you're going through. He's doing a new thing, can you perceive it? It is springing up, but if you're not looking for it, you might not find it.
Joel quoted the scripture from another passage in Isaiah, and it says, "God is longing to be good to those who are looking for his goodness, who are beholding the new things, watching to see with earnest expectations". Can I tell you where you are today isn't where you're going to stay? But don't waste your precious life, your precious time, when God has already put it into motion. There are new opportunities, there are new ways of doing things. There's new growth, there's new refreshing, there are springs springing up for you to have today. Listen, you're not going to stay where you are. It may not have happened in the past, but it always can happen. Keep your eyes on God and watch for the new opportunities and the new things that he's bringing across your path, amen? Amen, he's an awesome God.