Joel Osteen - You Are Not A Victim


The Israelites had been in slavery for 10 generations. All they knew was hardship, being mistreated, working long hours with no pay. It wasn't fair, but God was keeping the records. After 430 years God delivered them from the Pharaoh, and brought them out of Egypt. You can imagine how they had become comfortable being a victim, it's all they had known. Their parents, their grandparents, they were all slaves, all mistreated. On the way to the Promised Land when they faced adversity, opposition that was bigger, they said to Moses "Let's go back to Egypt. Let's go back to being slaves". They were saying, "We're okay with being a victim, that's normal to us, that's what we're used to". They came out of Egypt, but Egypt never came out of them.

What's interesting is when they were leaving, God caused the Israelites to have favor with their oppressors, and they gave them their gold, silver, and fine clothing. They didn't leave empty-handed. God paid them back for 430 years of working for free. In Exodus 3 God told them what to do with the gifts they received. He said "You are to dress your sons and daughters in this Jewelry and fine clothing". Why would God want them to get their children dressed up, they were about to go into the desert? It's because God's wanted these children to see themselves differently. They saw themselves like their parents, as slaves, as victims, poor, defeated, limited. God knew if they were going to go into the Promised Land, they had to get rid of that victim mentality. He didn't have the parents put on the nice clothes, didn't have the grown-ups where the fine Jewelry, he wanted to change the image of these small children.

I can imagine a mother putting a gold necklace on her little daughter, her face brightens up like never before. Father putting a ring on his son, he puts his shoulders back feeling so special. These children had worn-old hand-me-down clothes, dirty, raggedy, now the parents are dressing them in beautiful dresses, nice clean outfits. For the first time these children begin to see themselves as victorious. It's significant that the parents and grandparents, they never made it into the Promised Land - it's because they never got rid of a victim mentality. They never quit seeing themselves as anything but poor, at a disadvantage. These children had a different mindset. It started when they put on the new clothing, the nice Jewelry, something shifted in their thinking. They thought "Maybe we're not victims? Maybe we're not always going to struggle? Maybe we can live an abundant life"?
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