Skip to main content


A Good Idea or a God Idea?
By Joel Osteen - Nov 09, 2012
Growing up, my parents knew this couple. They had been friends for a long time. This couple really loved my parents, but they didn't attend Lakewood. They lived on the other side of town and thought it was too far. It was about a 30-minute drive, which is really no big deal nowadays. But for years they told my father, "If you ever bring Lakewood to our side of town, we will be there every time the doors open. In fact, there are so many people, thousands on this side of town, that would love to attend Lakewood."

My father heard him say that so much that he was convinced that there was this mass of people on the other side of town waiting for Lakewood. So he rented an auditorium less than five minutes from the house of this couple, spent thousands of dollars on the building, the sound system and the advertising; and for one month, every Thursday night he brought Lakewood to that side of town. The truth is, God didn't call him to do it; these people called him to do it. They talked him into it. It was a good idea, but it wasn't a God idea. There is a difference. There can be a lot of things that look fine on the surface, but you've got to search your heart and say, "God, is this for me? Is this a part of my destiny? Is this a God idea or is this just a distraction? Is this just people trying to squeeze me into their mold?"

My father went to great lengths to have this service across town and spent thousands of dollars—and do you know that practically nobody showed up, less than 200 people. The amazing thing is that the couple who talked him into it did not even attend a single service. The first week, they had Little League. The second week, they had guests in from out of town. The third week, their goldfish was sick. The fourth week, their cat was depressed. They had the craziest excuses. My father left there kicking himself all the way back across town. He learned his lesson. If people call you, people will have to take care of you; but when God calls you, God will take care of you.

I've heard it said, "What God orders, He will pay for." Just because something is good, if it's not God's plan for your life, there won't be an anointing on it. You have to stay sensitive to the peace of God on the inside. Don't go against that Still, Small Voice. You're not anointed to be everywhere; you're anointed to be where God has called you to be.

"Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, 'This is the way, walk in it,' whenever you turn to the right hand or whenever you turn to the left." (Isaiah 30:21, NKJV)
Join the Conversation