Summary: Next Level Thinking By Joel Osteen
Summary: Next Level Thinking By Joel Osteen

Summary: Next Level Thinking By Joel Osteen

Be a Barrier Breaker

So often we let our environment, how we were raised, and other people’s expectations of us set the limits for our life. We adapt to what’s around us. If you take an oak tree seed and plant it in a two-foot pot, that oak tree will never become what it was created to be if you leave it in the pot—not because there’s something wrong with the seed, but because of the environment that it’s in. It’s so easy to just fit in, to go with the crowd, to be like everyone else.

But God didn’t create you to be average. He created you to stand out, to go beyond the norm, to leave your mark on this generation. You have seeds of greatness on the inside. You’re supposed to go further than the people who raised you. You’re supposed to live better, be more successful, and set a new standard.

You may be in an environment where people have addictions, low self-esteem, depression, and poverty. You can’t stop that. But here’s the key: Don’t let that become normal in your thinking. If you accept that as who you are, it will keep you from your destiny


You Are Fully Loaded

When God created you, He put in you everything you need to fulfill your destiny. God is a strategic God. He’s not random. He didn’t just create you and say, “Let’s see what he can do. Let’s see what happens.” God is precise. He’s intentional, down to the smallest detail, and when He laid out the plan for your life, He studied it carefully. He thought about what you would need, and what it would take to get you there, then He matched you with your world. He gave you the talent you need, the creativity, the strength. You’re the right size, and you have the right looks, the right personality, and the right family. You didn’t get shortchanged. You are fully loaded and completely equipped for the race that’s been designed for you.

Now quit wishing you were something different: “If I had a better personality, I could do something great,” “If I came from a different family,” “If I weren’t so small.” Have a new perspective. If you needed to be taller, God would’ve made you taller. If you needed a different personality, He would’ve given you one. If you needed to be another nationality, you would be another nationality. God doesn’t make mistakes. You’re not faulty. You have been fearfully and wonderfully made.


The Odds Are for You

It’s easy to go through life thinking of all the reasons why we can’t be successful, why we won’t get well, or why we’ll never meet the right person. We look at our situations in the natural and think the odds are against us.

as long as you think the odds are against you, you will get stuck where you are. You have the most powerful force in the universe breathing in your direction. God has crowned you with favor. He has armed you with strength for every battle. He wouldn’t have allowed that difficulty if He wasn’t going to turn it around and use it to your advantage.

The odds may be against you, but the Most High God is for you, and He is a supernatural God. He parts Red Seas. He turns water into wine. He opens the eyes of the blind. Your circumstances may look impossible, but the God Who can do the impossible is working behind the scenes arranging things in your favor, turning negative situations around.


Move Up to the Next Level

We all have things that are trying to hold us back, whether it’s guilt from past mistakes, temptations that we can’t seem to overcome, or a dysfunction that’s been passed down to us. It’s easy to learn to accept it and think that’s who we are, but God didn’t create you to go through life weighed down by addictions, dysfunction, guilt, or the past. He created you to be free.

When Jesus hung on the cross, before He took His final breath, He said, “It is finished.” He wasn’t just talking about His life and how He had finished His purpose. He was putting an end to all the negative things that could keep us from our destiny. He was saying, in effect, “The guilt is finished. The depression is finished. The low self-esteem is finished. The mediocrity is finished. It is all finished.”

Instead of accepting the addiction and thinking, This is the way it’s always going to be. Everybody in my family has it, you need to announce to that addiction, “It is finished. You don’t control me. You can’t keep me from my destiny. The price has been paid. I am free. I am clean. I am whole.” As long as you accept the addiction, you’re allowing it to stay. But when you tell the addiction, tell the past mistakes, tell the poverty, “It is finished. This is not who I am. I am blessed. I am prosperous. I am victorious,” in the unseen realm, strongholds are broken, chains are loosed, and favor is released.


Recognize Your Value

Too often we base our value on how someone is treating us, how successful we are, how perfect a life we’ve lived. The problem is that all those things can change. If you’re trying to get your value from how people treat you, then if they hurt or disappoint you, you’re going to feel devalued. If you’re basing your value upon your achievements—how much money you make, what type of car you drive, the title behind your name—then if something happens and you don’t have that position or your business goes down, your sense of value will go down.

Some people don’t feel good about themselves because they’ve made mistakes in life. They’re not where they thought they would be. Now they’re living with insecurities, feeling inferior. They’re basing their value on their performance, but here’s the key: Your value should be based solely on the fact that you are a child of the Most High God.

nothing you ever do, nothing you ever achieve, and nothing you ever overcome will make you any more valuable. You are valuable right now. God calls you a masterpiece. You are one of a kind. You didn’t come off an assembly line. You weren’t mass-produced. God made you unique. There will never be another you. Put your shoulders back. Start carrying yourself with confidence. You have been fearfully and wonderfully made.


Live with the Boldness of a Son

We all have been through disappointments and had unfair situations. Because of negative things in the past or even mistakes we’ve made, it’s easy to forget who we really are. Too often, we’ve developed a slave mentality. We think we’re at a disadvantage, so we don’t pursue our dreams, we don’t believe for good breaks, and we don’t pray bold prayers. We live as though we’re a slave to an addiction, a slave to depression, a slave to mediocrity, a slave to others’ approval.

But as long as we have a slave mentality, it will limit our life. The Scripture says, “Beloved, now are you the sons of God.” You may have a lot coming against you, but you are not a slave, you are a son. Sons think differently than slaves. You may struggle with an addiction, but a son says, “I have a right to be free.” There may be obstacles in your path, but a son knows the forces for him are greater than the forces against him.


Know You Are Loved

When you know that somebody loves you, it puts you at ease. You don’t have to try to perform, to impress, to be good enough. You can relax and be yourself. You’re comfortable, you’re secure. But a lot of people live with an “I think He loves me” mentality when it comes to God, because they base it on their performance. “I went to church last weekend. I did good. I think He loves me. I volunteered at the hospital. I was kind to my neighbor. I resisted temptation. I earned His love.”

The problem with this approach is that when we make mistakes, when we get off course, when we don’t perform perfectly, we think God goes and finds somebody else to love. After all, human nature says, “If you don’t love me, I’m not going to love you back.” People often love you conditionally. If you do right, perform right, and treat them right, they will love you. If you let them down, they’ll go find somebody else.

But God is not like that. When we make mistakes, God doesn’t change His mind about us. If you run away from God, instead of turning the other way, God will come running toward you. Quit trying to earn His love. There’s nothing you can do to make God love you any more or any less. It’s a gift. Just receive it by faith.


Approve Yourself

Too many people go around feeling as though something is wrong on the inside. They don’t really like who they are. They focus on their faults and weaknesses. They’re constantly critical toward themselves. There’s a recording of everything they’ve done wrong that is always playing in their mind: “You’re impatient. You blew your diet yesterday. You lost your temper. You’re still struggling with that addiction. You should be ashamed of yourself.” They wonder why they’re unhappy and don’t realize it’s because they have a war going on inside.

But you’re not supposed to go through life feeling wrong about yourself. Quit focusing on your faults. Quit overanalyzing your weaknesses. Quit beating yourself up because you’re not where you thought you would be.

Next level thinking says you’re not a finished product. God is still working on you. The Scripture speaks of how God changes us from glory to glory. You have to learn to enjoy the glory you’re in right now. You may have some weaknesses—we all do. There may be some areas where you know you need to improve, but being down on yourself is not going to help you do better.

You may have a long way to go, but if you look back, you’ll see how far you’ve already come.


Get the Contaminants Out

bitterness is always knocking at the door—people do you wrong, you didn’t get the promotion, you came down with an illness. You can’t stop difficult things from happening to you, but you can choose how you respond to them. If you hold on to the hurt and dwell on the offense, thinking, Why did they say that about me? Why did I lose my loved one? Why did that friend walk away?, then you open the door to bitterness. When you’re bitter, it affects every area of your life. Bitterness poisons your attitude to the point where you see everything in a negative light. You can’t enjoy life; there’s always something wrong.

Bitter people don’t have good relationships and are easily offended. They’ll jump down your throat for the smallest thing. It’s the bitterness coming out. You may have a good reason to be bitter, maybe something happened that was unfair and hurt you, but holding on to it is only going to make it worse. It’s going to steal your dreams and rob you of your joy. Bitterness can keep you from your destiny.

The longer you hold on to it, the harder it is to get rid of it. The more you dwell on it, the more you relive it, the more you let it bother you, the deeper it gets rooted in you. The key is to forgive quickly. When something unfair happens that you don’t understand and the question “Why did this happen?” comes up, let go of it quickly. When you feel the bitterness trying to take root, right then say, “God, I’m turning this over to You. I know that You are my vindicator. I know that You’ll make my wrongs right. You said You would give me beauty for these ashes.”


Remove the Shame

Starting in our childhoods, we’ve all heard the phrase “Shame on you.” When you didn’t clean your room, you were told, “Shame on you.” When you were mean to your little brother or sister, once again it was, “Shame on you.” Even as adults, we might not hear the words spoken out loud to us, but they still play over and over in our thoughts. If you fell back into a bad habit, you told yourself, “Shame on you.”

But the Scripture speaks of how God has removed our shame. Whether it was your fault or somebody else’s fault, you don’t have to carry the heavy load of guilt, or beat yourself up over past mistakes, or feel wrong on the inside. When the enemy says, “Shame on you,” God says, “Shame off you. I’ve forgiven you. I’ve redeemed you. I’ve made you valuable.” Whatever people did or didn’t do to you, they don’t determine your worth. Your worth comes from your Creator. The Most High God breathed His life into you. He crowned you with His favor. He calls you a masterpiece.