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Live Approved
By Joel Osteen - Oct 27, 2017
Many people don't really like who they are. They focus on their faults, their weaknesses. They're constantly critical toward themselves. That recording of all the things wrong with them keeps playing in their mind, "You're impatient. You lost your temper. You blew your diet. You should be ashamed of yourself." They wonder why they're not happy, not realizing they have an inner war going on. You're not supposed to go through life feeling wrong about yourself. Here's the key: you're not a finished product. God is still working on you. 

Think about what the apostle Paul said, "I want to do what is good, but I don't. I don't want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway" (Romans 7:19). Even he still struggled in some areas. If he would have been down on himself, he would have never written almost half the books of the New Testament and become one of the heroes of faith. You don't have to have it all together to do something great. If you're waiting until you overcome every weakness and perform perfectly, you'll be waiting your whole life.

Paul also said, "Put on the breastplate of God's approval" (Ephesians 6:14). Every morning when you get up, you should say, "Father, thank You that You approve me. Thank You that You accept me because I have the righteousness of Christ. Thank You that You are pleased with me." You have to put on that approval. It's not going to happen automatically. Thoughts will try to convince you that you don't deserve God's blessing, and you'll start feeling condemned, unworthy, not expecting anything good. This is the reason many people have that nagging feeling, that heaviness that something is wrong with them. They're not putting on the breastplate of God's approval. The breastplate means it covers your heart, the most important area where you live out your faith. 

Something powerful happens when you say, "I like who I am. I'm not perfect; I have some faults. There are areas I need to improve in, but I know I'm changing and growing. Since God approves me, I approve myself." When you put on the breastplate of God's approval, chains of guilt, chains of inferiority, and chains of low self-esteem are broken in the unseen realm . Those strongholds are broken, and God's favor is released. God is going to keep making you and molding you, and you're going to break free from things that are holding you back and become everything He's created you to be.
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