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Be a Barrier Breaker
By Joel Osteen - Dec 09, 2016

My father was raised very poor on a cotton farm during the Great Depression. At Christmas time, his family was the one that received the Christmas basket that went to the poorest family in the school. He could never drink a full glass of milk because they couldn't afford it, only a fourth of a glass. Plus, they'd pour water in it to make it last longer. But at seventeen years of age, my dad gave his life to Christ, the first one in the family. He told me, "Joel, I made a decision that day that my children would never be raised in the poverty and lack that I was raised in." He changed his mind. Everyone around him, they were good people, but they were limited. Their minds had become conditioned to accept not having enough, living in struggle and lack.

As a teenager, my father felt something stirring on the inside—it was those seeds of greatness. Every external circumstance said he was stuck. He'd have to stay on the farm and pick cotton the rest of his life. But instead of adapting to that environment, his attitude was, "This is not my destiny. I am better than this. I refuse to live in mediocre, wearing hand-me-downs and receiving the Christmas basket. I know I have seeds of greatness; I have potential; I have creativity, the Most High God breathed life into me."

As a teenager, he left the farm. He had to hitchhike, but he went out and started ministering in the jails, in senior citizen's homes, and making a difference wherever he went. He went on to break the curse of poverty in our family and took us to a new level. He was a barrier breaker. He knew he was made for more.

Today, instead of just fitting in or being like everyone else, why don't you start seeing yourself as a barrier breaker? Be the exception; stand out. You are made to rise higher. Maybe everyone in your family is depressed except you. You broke out. You're happy. You're full of joy. Maybe everyone is addicted except you. You're free. You're clean. You're helping others. Everyone is struggling, can't make ends meet, can't get ahead. Be the exception. Live blessed. Receive it on the inside so you can live it on the outside.

See, if my father would have accepted poverty as his lot in life, I wouldn't be living the life that I am today. Are you accepting things that are less than God's best? Have you adapted to a limited environment? Listen to the dreams you have in your heart. Don't settle where you are; break out of that mold. Dare to believe that God has more in store for you and live as a barrier breaker!

"The One who breaks open the way will go up before them; they will break through the gate and go out. Their King will pass through before them, the LORD at their head." (Micah 2:13, NIV)
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