'Your Best Life Now' by Joel Osteen

One day, I was driving through Houston with my eight-year-old son, Jonathan. As we drove down the freeway we came upon the Compaq Center, the sixteen-thousand-seat arena that was the former home of the Houston Rockets professional basketball team, and soon to be the home of Lakewood Church. I slowed down and pointed. "Jonathan, look over there. One day, that's where you're going to be preaching."

He said, "Oh, no, Daddy. When I get old enough, I'm going to preach in Reliant Stadium!" (Reliant Stadium is Houston's seventy-thousand-seat home of the Houston Texans football team.)

I thought, I like the fact that he's got a big dream. When I first told that story at Lakewood several years ago, after the service a lady came up and handed Jonathan a check for one hundred dollars toward that new stadium. He was so excited. He said, "Daddy, I wish you'd talk about me more often in your sermons!"

Even if you come from an extremely successful family, God still wants you to go further. My own father accomplished great things in his lifetime. He inspired people all over the world. But I'm not going to be satisfied to do merely what Daddy did. I don't want to simply hold my ground and maintain. No, I want to press on toward new heights.

If you look carefully, you will see that God has been trying to encourage you. He's allowed people to cross your path who are far more successful than you are, who have much stronger marriages, who are enjoying His favor in marvelous ways. When you see or hear about other people succeeding or doing what you want to do, be encouraged rather than jealous. Don't say, "That could never happen to me. I'm not that talented. I'll never get those kind of breaks. I'll never have that much money."

Get rid of those old wineskins. Change your thinking. Get beyond the barriers of the past and start expecting God to do great things in your life.

"Do You Not Perceive It?"

Understand, God is constantly trying to plant new seeds in your heart. He's constantly trying to get you to conceive, to give up antiquated ideas and spawn new bursts of creativity within. The key is to believe, to let the seed take root so it can grow. What if Victoria had acquiesced concerning that new house, and said, "Yes, Joel; you're right. We're just young people. We'll never afford this. That house is way out of reach." We'd probably still be living in our original crooked house. Thankfully, she enlarged her vision and conceived what God was saying to her. Perhaps, God has been speaking to you, as well, trying to move you to a new level. He's put people in your life as examples to inspire you. When you see their accomplishments, their joys, their victories, something inside you should say, "Yes, God! I know You can bless me in a similar way. I know I can have a great marriage. I know I can be that happy. I know I can go to those new heights."

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