A Standard of Faith

We have to remind ourselves that we are not failures; we are learners.” Victoria Osteen

In her new book Exceptional You, Victoria states: “I’m here to remind you who you are… you are exceptional. You weren’t made to live defeated, depressed, addicted, and unfilled…I believe things are changing and you are remembering who you really are.” She teaches that “God will use people, new experiences and even unchartered territory to nudge us out of our comfort zone.” Victoria proves this by sharing in Ch. 2 “I never thought I could stand up in front of the congregation and give a message every week.” It was her husband Joel who’s father, John Osteen, asked her to do prayer before service one Sunday and she struggled with the fact that she had first said no. I believe we all have said no to something we had a yes for. She says “I knew I had a yes in my heart.” Victoria describes the challenges of Moses and other people in the Bible who “chose to step out in faith and when they did, their yes became stronger. If I hadn’t been determined to uncover the yes that was hiding within me, I would have missed so many opportunities down the road.” (FYI my husband told me many years ago, he, his Uncle and the camera crew went to the Osteen’s church to set up a JIb. He didn’t get to meet John but was able to meet Joel, who, back then was behind the scenes. Derek says all he could think about in those moments of talking with Joel, was that he wasn’t getting to speak with Pastor John who he adored so much! LOL. We are looking for the day we can share this story with Joel and believe the opportunity will come.)

Maybe you’re like me when I say so much of what is written here, relates to my own experiences of covering my yes’ when I didn’t know what to do. I cannot express how much this concept hits home with me so I’m grateful she explains it so well with her own insightful words. They are some of my own thoughts. “God is up to something in your life…if there is a yes in your heart, it is because God placed it there. It’s time to act on your yes. Believe that you have what it takes and give God your yes.” “David’s family didn’t think he looked like the next king.” What ‘LOOKS the part’ to the world is often rejected by God for what ‘IS the part’ to be chosen. He definitely has different standards He picks from. If you feel your faith is declining due to the way your path has been laid out, think about how “God has left nothing out and believe that you have everything you need to succeed in this life.” Ask yourself: “What buried yes is seeking to rise to the surface? God’s not going to hold your no against you. He’s going to ask you again.” (Victoria Osteen’s father in law did ask her again to do prayer before the service and she was ready. She said yes. And today, she and Joel Osteen live at a standard of faith that cause millions of people to “understand that God doesn’t want us to be ordinary in our thinking or in the way we live our lives.” They preach that the words of God will help you live out of a place of faith and peace.

In Ch. 5 of Exceptional You, Victoria extends a powerful statement to her readers “God did not tell His people in the Old Testament to memorialize their failings. He wanted them to focus on miracles, victories, and how He was their deliverer. He instructed them to put down memorial stones” for that. “Faith is about believing it before you see it; it’s about trusting that God is in control when things aren’t going your way; it’s knowing that what He promised overrides all the forces that are trying to stop you.” “Even in prison, the warden saw that God was with Joseph, so the warden trusted him and put him in charge of all the other prisoners.” When people see that God is with us as well, they will trust us being in charge of something. The dream Joseph had in the beginning, never showed all the pain he’d go through. It only showed a vision and a picture of gain, favor, promotion. But it was in between pain and gain, where Joseph learned how to use his prophetic gift! In his young years, the thing (dreaming) that got him so disliked, into trouble and almost killed, was the thing (interpretation of others’ dreams) that later promoted him and brought provision to many others. It was the thing Joseph had to live out that gave him the understanding of the full dream he had himself when he was little. When our gift is but a beginning passion that we try to share, the intimidated enemy sees the true gift that is budding and he wants to shut it down in a big way because we don’t even realize yet what God could do or intends on doing with it. But the enemy already knows the huge potential impact of what the bud in every dream God gives, has inside it to grow into. God is suppose to get the glory in our stories. It’s not about anyone bowing down to US but it’s about US bowing down to God and giving Him our lives for the benefit of somebody else. It is an exceptional pursuit.

Did you know “you can literally defeat the power of the enemy in the life of someone by your encouragement”? Victoria gives a truth half way through her book that is very encouraging. “You can’t allow a painful experience to trick you into thinking you’re going to have a painful life…” She also says: “Make a decision that you are not going to limp in your thinking…experiencing and appreciating what you have every day is what’s truly important. It’s those moments that add up to a life of value.” Then, near the end of Exceptional You, she gives what I call more than a suggestion! “Make every season count. God is going to get you to the right place. Learn to wait the right way…it’s through faith and patience we will inherit the promises.” Hebrews 6. “Waiting with expectancy is waiting actively. You are praying, believing, and preparing for it to happen. God is always at work in our lives. Even during the wait, He is active. He is nurturing and strengthening and preparing and encouraging.” Here’s one last faith statement for you from her book: “When God turns things around, His blessings will take you to a whole new level.” 

*Exceptional You will remind you how valuable you are to God. You will be rekindled to live out the purposes God has always had for you! You will learn how to keep yourself strong on the inside and how to become exceptional, first by starting out in God’s Word each day. There are 20 definitions of what exceptional means, scattered within the book. Joel and Victoria Osteen know some things about favor, about God’s goodness and about faith filled words. You might think Exceptional You is a sweet book in the first few chapters but it quickly becomes something you need in your life right now. Faith words are all throughout this book. For example, Ch. 12 is sure to bring new life to young people especially, who are waiting on something they need! I don’t know of anyone who is not waiting for something from God. This book is a faith builder that will produce a desire in you for a string of one divine appointment after another. Our faith attracts people to our God. I give this book an “Amen.” I agree with these prophetic truths filled with faith. If you’re ready to grab possibilities for your life, then you’re ready to receive what’s in ‘Exceptional You’ published by Faith Words/Hatchett Group. This review given to you by Courtney Draughon. Hope you enjoy!

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