If we can encourage others, we should encourage them. Romans 12:8

Sunday, April 5, 2015

 "God can use your critics — the people that are trying to push you down - to promote you."
~Pastor Joel Osteen, Lakewood Church Sat 4/4/15


Key Verse: Exodus 1:12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites

We know God can bless us.
But He can use our enemies to bless us too.
A friend that walked away…
A coworker trying to push you down
- all part of God’s plan to get you where you need to go.
Without Goliath David never would have taken the thrown.
God could’ve used King Saul to promote David.
But He chose to bless David through his enemies, not his friends.
God can use your critics, the people that are trying to push you down to promote you.
Goliath was created for David’s purpose.
Just as God has divine connections lined up for you, He has people who will try to stop you.
Goliaths that come across your path—
That opposition wasn’t sent to stop you but to establish you.
Everyone around you will see the favor of God on your life.

In 2002 they heard the Rocket’s stadium was up for sale.
Joel knew it should be for Lakewood.
A friend of his was at a business meeting and a man talked down Lakewood and how they should never get the Compaq Center.
The executive said to Joel’s friend "It will be a cold day in hell before Lakewood gets the Compaq Center".
But that conversation was ordained by God.
It made Joel even more determined to get the building.
He kept hearing the words “a cold day in hell” and they stirred him up.
Discouragers and haters can stir you up.
You don’t want to give your enemies the joy of seeing you defeated.
Not out of pride or spite but a holy determination.
God used that man that was against them more than Joel’s friends.
Joel needs to buy that man dinner – probably at McDonalds. ;)

If Joel’s enemies hadn’t criticized him so, he probably wouldn’t have been so driven.
David said God prepares a table for me in the presence of my enemies.
God doesn’t bring thru in private but in front of all your enemies.
Lakewood is situated on the highway where everyone can see it.
Maybe tonight you’re up against an enemy.
And not just people but your health, or finances, etc.
But God is preparing a meal in heaven.
Any minute God will say here it is.
So not only will all your friends see it but also your enemies.
You’ll live in a place of honor and influence.

God used Judas more than any of the other disciples.
It looked like a bad break, but without the betrayal there wouldn’t be a crucifixion.
We celebrate Mary giving birth to Jesus.
We celebrate the disciples that walked with Jesus.
But the one who sold him for 30 pieces of silver was just as important.
Don’t complain about betrayers.
If they walked away it was for your good.
If God allowed it, He knows how to work it for your good.
Jesus knew Judas would betray him but he didn’t try to stop it.
Go do what you’re going to do quickly.
He knew it was part of his divine destiny.
The longer Joel lives the more he realizes nothing happens by accident.

He was talking to a well-known minister who’d traveled the world.
His hometown newspaper never liked him.
Year after year they criticized him.
The minister said the newspaper kept him on his knees and gave him the fuel to prove they were wrong.
At the end of his life the newspaper celebrated his life.
God waited until the end to turn it around.
Some of the things we don’t like, we wouldn’t reach our highest potential if God removed it right now.
God strategically places the Judas’s and Goliaths.
Without the naysayers you wouldn’t become all you were created to be.

In the book of Luke 4 men carried a man and lowered him through the roof.
Jesus said “your sins have been forgiven”
The religious leaders were offended.
Jesus heard what they were saying.
To prove He was the son of God He made the man stand up.
If they hadn’t been murmuring and complaining, this man might not have been healed.
Because of their murmuring Jesus healed him.
You don’t have to straighten them out or fight battles that don’t matter.
Some of your good breaks happened because of those trying to stop you.
I thank God for my friends but I’ve learned to thank God for my enemies too.
You need to see every enemy, bad break in a new light.
It’s there to increase you.

Man said his business was going down to nothing.
His main competitor criticized him on the radio.
When he heard it brought new attention to his company and stirred up new customers.
God can use your critics to promote you.
He knows how to take what was meant for your harm and use to your advantage.

The boll weevil was destroying cotton crops.
The farmers couldn’t stop them.
One farmer said let’s plant peanuts instead of cotton.
Boll weevils didn’t like peanuts.
The crops took off.
They made more money in a few months than they made in a year off cotton.
You may be dealing with boll weevils but peanuts are coming.
Don’t complain about what went wrong.
Something you think is there to destroy you; God will use to push you to the next level.
God will make your enemies your footstools.
If you’ll stay in faith, God will use it as a stepping stone to take you higher.

At 10 they called Joel peanut because he was so small.
His baseball team was in an important game.
The opposing coach told the players to come in closer.
(He’s so small, he can’t hit)
Nobody was in the outfield.
Joel thought he doesn’t know who I am and what I can do.
I’m a child of the Most High God.
Joel swung like he was 10 feet tall.
It hit the back fence.
The next time he went up to bat the coach came out he said back up.
In the same way the enemy will come against you in your thoughts.
You don’t have what it takes.
You can let him talk you into mediocrity, or say you don’t set the limits for my life.
I’m full of resurrection power.
When you rise up in faith you won’t be defeated by your enemies, you’ll be promoted.
Philippians 1:28 don’t be intimidated by your enemies.

You and God are a majority.
When Jesus rose out of the grave He rose with all power and gave it to us.
When the Israelites were in slavery Pharaoh took away their supplies but expected the same amount of bricks.
The more Pharaoh afflicted them the more they multiplied.
Sometimes God sends a Pharaoh.
The more opposition the more you will increase.
We may not like it but we grow in the difficult times.
Confidence we didn’t know we had.
When you restrict the water on a hose more shoots out because it’s under more pressure.
When the enemy puts you under more pressure it will cause you to go further.
When Jesus was about to be crucified he went to the Garden of Gethsemane (the place of pressing)
Without the pressing you never get the valuable oil.
The valuable treasures God’s put on the inside.
Maybe tonight you feel restricted.
Like you’re being squeezed...
One day you’ll look back and say it was good that I was afflicted.
This enemy didn’t defeat me; this enemy promoted me.
It may feel like Friday but Sunday is coming.


[Altar call]


DISCLAIMER: This is not a transcript of Joel Osteen's message, these are my personal notes which I share to bless others. They are not published nor endorsed by Lakewood Church or Joel Osteen Ministries.

Watch online at http://www.lakewoodchurch.com/pages/watch-online.aspx (while available).
http://www.joelosteen.com/Pages/WatchOnline.aspx  for older messages.

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