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Hi, this is Joel and Victoria. Thanks for listening to our podcast and thanks for supporting the ministry. If you enjoy today's message, why don't you be a blessing and share it with a friend? We appreciate you and pray God's very best in your life. God bless you, it is always our joy to come into your homes each week, and I say it often, we come with good news because we know God rewards people that seek after him, and that's you.


Or you wouldn't be watching today. And I hope if you're ever in our area, you'll stop by and see us. We give you a personal invitation, and we'd love to have you to be a part of one of our services. But thanks for tuning in today. And I like to get started with something funny each week. So listen to this one. A minister was raising money for a new sanctuary. He said to the congregation, anyone that will give a thousand dollars can pick out the next three hymns.


A little old lady stood up the back and said, Pastor, I'll do it. He was so excited. He said, that's great. Now, what hymns would you like? She looked over the congregation and said, I'll take him and him and him.


All right, hold up your Bible. Say it like you mean it. Ready? This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have. I can do what it says I can do today. I will be taught the word of God boldly confess. My mind is alert. My heart is receptive. I will never be the same in Jesus name. God bless you. You sound great. As usual.


I want to talk to you today about the importance of following peace. God wants to lead every one of us. And the Holy Spirit is called our helper. He's there to guide us, to direct us and to help us make good decisions in life. And one of the main ways God leads us is about peace. When something is right, it just feels good. Right down in here, there's a peace, a rest, a knowing. On the other hand, there are times when God withdraws our peace.


Something may look perfectly fine in the natural. There's no reason why you shouldn't do it. But right down in here, you have an unrest and uneasiness. You can't quite put your finger on it, but it just doesn't feel right. Well, that's God's way of saying hold off, don't do it. If we're going to stay in his best plan and really make good decisions, then we've got to be sensitive to what we're feeling right down in here.


We've got to learn to listen to our hearts and not our heads. And it says in Proverbs three of our six that if you will acknowledge God in all of your ways, then he will direct your pass. What does that mean to acknowledge God? It simply means before you make a decision, be sensitive and listen to your heart before you buy that new car. Check right down in here. Do you have peace about it before you take that new job, before you go see that movie or before you get into that new relationship, you've got to learn to check with your heart.


If you have peace, then certainly move forward. But if there's an unrest or an uneasiness, don't override those feelings. If you will acknowledge God, he will protect you. He will guide you. He'll help you to get better deals. He'll show you more of his favor in your life. But it's when we just ignore these feelings down in here that we get ourselves into trouble. And how many people have married people that they didn't have peace about and they end up being hurt and lonely?


Or how many people buy things that they don't have peace about and they end up head over their heels in their friends? It's not hard to make good decisions. It's not hard to hear God's voice. Simply learn to follow your heart. This says here in Colossians, three verse fifteen, Let Peace Act as an umpire, deciding with finality any questions that arise in your minds. You know what an umpire does. He calls you safe or out. This scripture is saying that peace should be the determining factor when it comes to the decisions that we make.


In other words, how do you feel right down in here? Is there a peace or is there an unrest? And understand, if you don't have peace before you do something, you're not going to have peace while you're doing it. If you get into a relationship right now that you don't really have peace about, you're not going to have peace later on or if you don't have peace about buying that car, but you do it anyway, then you're not going to have peace when it comes time to pay the payment each month.


And in fact, you're going to be a little depressed or if you don't have peace about taking that new position. But you just do it because, you know, it pays more money and it's a little more prestigious. Listen, in the long run, you're not going to be happy. You got to learn to follow peace. Let peace be your own path. That's the way God leads us. God wants to help us in our everyday lives.


I know the other day I was up at the mall and I found a tie that I really liked. I'm kind of picky when it comes to certain things. So normally if I find something I like, I don't think twice. I just buy. I showed it to Victoria. She said, Oh yeah, oh, that's beautiful. But just as I was about to go up to the counter and pay for it, I felt uneasy right down in here.


I don't really know how to explain it. I just didn't feel right. And all of a sudden I knew that. I knew that I knew that I was not supposed to by that time. In my head, you know, didn't make any sense, but I've learned to distrust my heart. When we left that place and just as we were about to leave the mall, we stopped by this woman of the store. And do you know, they had the same time, but it was on sale for almost half the price.


Man, when I saw that, I felt real good about it, but it's not always going to make sense to you. You're not always going to know why you have that uneasiness. But if you learn to just trust your heart and follow what you're feeling down in here, you will never go wrong. That's the Holy Spirit leading you when you fall apeace. God will help you in your everyday life. He'll even help you to get better deals at the mall.


I tell Victoria all the time, you better follow this girl. I know my brother in law, Kevin, told a while back how he was going to buy a new truck, a new SUV, and Kevin is very detailed. He's very thorough. So he spent several weeks researching it and finding the best price. And he was online and had different dealers bidding on it. And finally, he made his decision. He had everything lined up, the right color, right model, the right price.


But just as he was about to sign the deal, all of a sudden he didn't feel peace about it. He just felt uneasy down in here and he was smart enough to just put it on hold. Well, several weeks went by and I noticed that he didn't have it yet. I said, hey, Kevin, when did you get in your truck? What's taken so long? He said, Well, Joe, the truth is I just didn't feel good about it.


And so I put it on hold and I said, oh, really? What is too much money? Couldn't get the right model. What was it? He said, no, none of that. I just simply didn't have peace. You know, in the natural matter. I thought, that's kind of odd. He'd done all this work. He was so excited about it. But what's interesting is about a month later, that same dealer called him back and said the manufacturer had just put out word that they were offering a five thousand dollar rebate to anyone that purchased one of those vehicles.


Man, it didn't take Kevin long to get his piece back after that. But all of a sudden he knew that's why he had felt that uneasiness. That's why God had withdrawn his piece and he could have overridden it. He could have done his own thing, just went ahead and bought his vehicle. No big deal. But if we'll learn to follow peace, God will show us more of his favor. He'll cause us to be at the right place at the right time.


Now, Kevin and Lisa, they not only have a new truck, but they have an extra five thousand dollars that they can give to our new ministry facility.


I feel peace about that, don't you? But there's no telling how many times God tries to bless us just like he did them, no telling how many times God tries to protect us, keep us from danger. But we're not listening to what he's saying. We're not paying attention to what we're feeling right down in here. In other words, we're not letting peace be our Umpa. I hear people say all the time, well, I wish God would speak to me, how I wish I could make better decisions, or I just wish I had clear direction for my life.


But the truth is, God is speaking to every one of us. But so often we're waiting for this voice to come out of the heavens to tell us what to do. Go my son by thyself a truck. But most of the time that's not the way God speaks. You know that he speaks to us in a still small voice. He speaks to us right down in here. But a piece, a rest. And knowing you either feel good about it or you don't feel good about it.


This is exactly how the apostle Paul heard from God, he said in Romans Chapter nine, my conscience bears witness with me. He was saying, in effect, I don't have to see three visions to know what to do. I don't have to hear five trumpet blast. I just checked down on the inside. If I have peace, if my conscience is clear, if there's a rest and knowing, then I go ahead and do it. And in the same way, we don't have to make hearing from God and staying in his will some super spiritual or even some difficult thing.


We just got to learn to follow our heart. If you take a few steps and you still have peace, then keep going. But if you start to lose your peace, you need to be smart enough to just back up and wait until you feel good about it again. We need to get in a habit of checking our hearts on a regular basis. I was thinking about my father. He tried to build this sanctuary probably five years before we ever built it.


He'd get up in front of the congregation so excited. And he said, this fall we're going to start our new sanctuary project will fall, would roll around, and he'd get back up there and say, you know what, I don't have peace about it. We're not going to start right now. He tried to start it probably four or five times in his own timing, in his own way. But at least when it came down to it, he was smart enough to follow his heart.


He knew if he did it without peace, he was and will have God's anointing. And it was going to be a constant struggle. And that's what happens when we just push through things and try to do it our own way in our own time. And it's interesting, one year right before Christmas, in practically the worst recession our city had ever seen, that's when daddy begin to feel peace about it. That's when he knew he was to star in the natural.


It was the worst possible time that his friends told him, John, you're never going to raise the money in this kind of economy. You might as well forget it. But no, daddy knew he had that piece and he folded his heart. And sure enough, we built this place debt free in just a little over a year's time. But my point is this. Just because, you know, you're supposed to do something just because God's put the dream in your heart doesn't mean it's the right time.


You got to follow peace and don't be hard headed and stubborn and just try to do it your own way, because that's when it's going to be a constant headache. And we're not always going to understand why we feel a certain way, why we have that uneasiness. But I would encourage you, don't try to figure everything out. What I'm saying today is just trust your heart. That's God speaking to you. And God always has your best interests at heart.


For instance, in relationships, you may meet someone new at work or at the school, and they seem like the nicest person in the world. Everybody likes them. They're kind of friendly, they're outgoing. But it seems like every time you're around them, you feel this uneasiness down in here. You can't quite put your finger on it. Something just doesn't feel right in your head is telling you to. Hey, lighten up. Quit being so sensitive, but your heart is telling you to be careful.


Watch out. There's danger. There's trouble. See, that's God's way of saying back off and be careful. You've got to learn to trust your heart. Let peace be your umpire. When you say, Joe, he's perfect for me. He's good looking. He's outgoing and he makes good money. He's friendly. Well, that's all great. All I'm asking you today is what are you feeling right down in here? If there's an unrest or an uneasiness, don't override it.


Don't ignore it. I've seen too many people go way down the road in relationships and they end up getting hurt, wasting a whole lot of time. They tell me again and again, Joe, I always felt like something just wasn't right at the very beginning. I just didn't have peace about this relationship. See, God knows what's best for us. All we can see is a little down the road. God can see the whole path. He can see the big picture for our lives.


God knows when there's a dead end around the corner, we can't see it. He knows when there's danger up ahead. Don't get so caught up in your emotions and so caught up in the excitement that you just override that uneasiness. I've seen people every time the alarm goes off on the inside, they push it down again and. Again and again, and really, it's because they want their own way, they don't realize that God's ways are so much better than our ways, but God is not going to make us do what's right.


He'll give us those warnings. He'll give us suggestions. He'll take away our peace. But he won't force us to make good decisions. We have to acknowledge him, be sensitive, pay attention to what he's saying right down in here and understand when God says no. When you feel that uneasiness and you're not really getting your way, it's not because God is trying to make your life miserable or it's not because God wants you to go through life lonely.


It's simply because God has something so much better in store. God wants to do more than you can even ask or think. The enemy will tell you a lot of times, well, you're not ever going to meet anybody. And look how beautiful she is. This is your only chance. But no, when you fall peace, when you follow your heart, you will always come out of here. Don't settle for second best. Go with what you're feeling right down in here.


And it's so important that we not make emotional decisions, especially long term decisions. I've seen people they get so caught up in the excitement that they totally override that uneasiness right down in here. Well, I can't live without him or I can't live without him or you've heard this. I can't live without this new outfit. Where's my credit card? No, quit digging yourself in a hole. Listen to the still small voice. Don't override the warnings, friends.


God is not going to yell at you. He's not going to hit you over the head with a ball bat to try to get your attention. You have to acknowledge him. Then he'll help you make good decisions. Then he will direct your past. It's not going to happen if we're just living by our emotions and say you're out for a nice, leisurely drive. One afternoon you decide you're going to stop by the car dealership and take a look at some of the new cars.


Sure enough, the longer you're there, the more that starts to grow on you. Your emotions get all stirred up and you think, boy, I need one of these and there's my favorite color. And looky here, honey. If we buy it today, we get a free barbecue grill to sign from God that whole time, you know, down in here, the lawns going all you feel that unrest, that still small voice, I say, don't do it.


You can't afford that. Don't make an emotional decision. How many people do I know today that are just under a heavy burden of debt because they have bought things that they just didn't really have piece about that's called emotional spending. And when you make decisions like that, six months down the road, when the newness wears off and when your emotions aren't running high, you'll be thinking, man, what in the world was I doing? Now I'm over burdened.


I can't take vacations. I don't have any extra money. It all could have been avoided if we just let God lead us right down in here. You know, any time that we have to make a decision where we're real excited and our emotions are running high, I think the best thing we can do is just step back and take a break, walk outside if you can sleep on it a couple of nights, pray about it, see how you feel right down in here.


It's not hard to know what to do. If you want to stay in God's best plan, I promise you this, God will help you. And every one of you can be led by peace. Every one of us can make good decisions if we'll just learn to follow our heart. That's where God speaks to us, not in our hands. I think about this couple that I've known for many years. The young lady is a very gifted singer.


I mean, she's got an incredible voice and her dream was to one day be in full time ministry. She wanted to use her gifts and talents for the Lord, but at this time she was working at a professional company as the marketing director. But one day out of the clear blue, she got a call from what was one of the largest and most prominent ministries at that time. And sure enough, they offered her a full time position to come help lead worship in that ministry.


And so now not only would she be singing to thousands of people in auditoriums across the world, but to many more through the television outreach and in the natural, this was just a dream come true. She and her husband went out and celebrated that night. They were so excited, it looked like God had done more than they could even ask or think. And they told the ministry that they would get back with them in a week or so and let them know their final decision.


But it's interesting, during that week, they both begin to feel and unrest in the natural they were excited in the natural. It was a no brainer. They should accept it. But right down in here, something just didn't feel right. And especially the husband, he felt so strongly against it, but he thought maybe it was just his nerves, you know, about moving to another city. After all, this was his wife's dream come true.


So he didn't want to dampen her enthusiasm. So he just kept it all to himself. But two or three days later, his wife came to him and she said, honey, you're going to think I'm crazy, but we need to talk. I don't think we should take this new position. Something just doesn't feel right. He begin to explain how he had been feeling the same way. And they said when they made it a. Decision to decline that offer, it was like this heavy burden just lifted off of them all of a sudden they got their peace back.


Now in the Natural, it looked like she was passing up a once in a lifetime opportunity. But what's interesting, several months later, that ministry was involved in a great big controversy was all over the news. To make a long story short, the ministry eventually ended up laying off more than 90 percent of the employees. Basically, the ministry just shut down to nothing here. They would have just packed up their family and moved across the country, quit their good jobs, taking their kids out of school, bought another house and found out just a few weeks later.


It was all for nothing, for God knows what's best for us. He can see the big picture. And I'm challenging you today to start really listening to your heart. No matter how good it looks in the natural, you've got to let peace be your own power. Let peace be your ultimate decision maker. One time in the Gospels, Peter said, I'm going to go out and go fishing. The other disciples said, Peter, we're going to come along with you.


They went out there and fished all night, didn't catch anything. The next morning, Jesus came along and he said, Hey, guys, if you will cast your nets on the other side of the boats, you'll catch a great haul of fish. And sure enough, when they did that, they caught so many fish that their nets begin to break. I believe there's a spiritual principal there. Peter said, I'm going to go fishing. In effect.


He was saying, I'm going to go do my own thing and we'll go just do it my own way. There's nothing wrong with fishing, but notice the principal here. When they did it their own way, nothing happened. Jesus came along and he said, in effect, if you will do it my way, if you will let me lead you and guide you, you will begin to see great things happen in your life. And when they did it his way, they caught more fish than they could handle.


And in the same way, if we can learn to just acknowledge God and follow what we're feeling down in here. In other words, if we'll do it God's way, God will take us places that we've never even dreamed up. That young lady, she passed on that opportunity. But after that, God begin to open up door after door. She ended up recording many albums and having a very successful career. It's so important that we pay attention to the still small voice on the inside.


What I'm saying is don't ever do something if you don't first have peace about it. I think about the time in the Old Testament where Isaac was a very old man. He was close to death and he wanted to give his son Esau the blessing that belonged to the firstborn son. And Isaac was basically blind. He couldn't see anything. And so one day he called Esau in and he said, son, if you'll go kill some game and prepare me a meal, I'll give you the blessing that rightfully belongs to you.


Well, he saw his mother, Rebecca, heard this, and she loved her son Jacob more than she loved Esau. And she told Jacob to go put on his clothing, and she made Isaac his favorite meal, gave it to Jacob and sent them in in front of the dad. And so Jacob's in there pretending to be his brother, Esau. And he said, Dad, here I am. I've got the meal you asked me for. Now, maybe you can give me your blessing.


And it's interesting how many times Isaac felt like something was wrong, but he just kept overriding the warnings he said he saw. How did you get back so quickly from killing that game? You've never prepared a meal for me this fast before notice the alarm went off. Something wasn't right. He felt that uneasiness. Jacob made up some kind of excuse. I don't know, Dad. It just all fell into place. Everything worked good this time. Isaac still didn't feel right.


He said, we'll come over here. You start. Let me feel. You see, Esau was very hairy. Jacob had put on some animal skins so he'd feel like his brother. And Isaac thought to himself, Well, it feels like Esau, but the voice still sounds like Jacob. Another alarm went off. Something's not right right down in here. He had that unrest. God warned him again and again, but Isaac ended up missing it where we miss it so often, he went ahead and did it anyway, even though he didn't have peace.


He went against what he was feeling right down in here and he ended up blessing the wrong son. And so often we fault Jacob for being a deceiver. And certainly he was wrong. But God tried to warn Isaac again and again, even after he had mistakenly blessed Jacob. He said once again, Tell me the truth, Esau. Is this really you notice his lack of peace? Well, when Esau finally came back in with the meal he had prepared and Isaac realized what had happened, he began to weep and weep and weep.


He said, Esau have made a terrible mistake. Your brother has tricked me and I've given him the blessing that belongs to you and I cannot take it back, Ismail said. Come on, Dad, surely you can do something. Surely you can bless me as well. He said. No, what's done is done and what a shame it all could have been avoided if Isaac would have just paid attention to what he was feeling right down in here.


And I don't. I believe that God will allow us to make a major mistake without giving us warning after warning, after warning, and if you will just be sensitive and when you feel that unrest, when something down in here is saying it's not right, don't ignore that. Don't do what Isaac did and just do it anyway. The Bible talks about when we do things that we don't feel good about down in here, we are sinning against our own conscience.


That's what Paul was saying. My conscience bears witness with me. Well, if your conscience doesn't bear witness, if you feel that uneasiness, if the alarm keeps going off, the best thing you can do is just pull back that matter how many people are pressuring you, that matter how great the opportunity looks, don't go forward unless you first have peace. Let peace be your empire. Let it be the ultimate decision maker. I heard a story about this man that was a well known pastor.


He was a sought after speaker all over the world and his ministry was growing and growing. One day he had a speaking engagement in another city. The next morning he was to get up and catch a flight. The night before, he woke up in the middle of the night with a very distinct unrest and uneasiness on the inside. He knew something wasn't right. He tossed and turned and he couldn't get back to sleep. His wife. The next morning, the first words out of her mouth were, Honey, I just don't feel good about you taking this trip today.


And understand, this man had flown all over the world. Flying wasn't anything new to him, but this was the first time he'd ever felt something so strong, the first time his wife had ever said anything like this. And he begin to explain how he had been feeling the same way the night before. And it wasn't a fear. I'm not talking about being afraid. There's a difference between fear and having a lack of peace. A lack of peace is just a no wind down in here that something is not right.


But unfortunately, this man did just what Isaac did. He overrode all the warnings. He thought, I can't disappoint these people. I've promised them it's been scheduled for a long time and I just cannot let them down. And he overrode his conscience. He went against what he was feeling down in here. And do you know that plane in perfectly good weather had some kind of odd problem and it ended up going down and not one person survived. And the wife said afterwards, God tried and tried to get our attention.


He tried to protect us. He tried to warn us, but they didn't let peace be the umpire. He just went ahead and did it his own way. And no doubt, if he would have just acknowledge God and followed his heart, he'd still be with us today. And I'm not trying to bring fear on anybody. I'm not saying if you get nervous, man, don't leave your house. No, I'm just talking about following your heart follow ups and don't ignore the uneasiness.


Don't override those warnings. Friends, you've got to learn to acknowledge God before you make your decisions. Acknowledge God before you finalize your plans. God is smarter and wiser than we are. And if we will acknowledge him, he's promised he will direct our paths. One translation says he will crown our efforts with success. And that's my dream for every one of you, that you would experience the abundant life that God has in store. But I know that all starts when we make good decisions to let me challenge you again.


Always let peace be your empire. Let peace be the deciding factor and do not make emotional decisions. Don't have to have it your own way. Follow your heart. Listen to that still small voice. If you do that, God will help you to make great decisions. He'll protect you, your God. He'll show you more of his favor and you will experience that life. A victory that he has in store.


Hey, man, how many of you receive it this afternoon? Hey, man, we never like to close our broadcast without giving you an opportunity to meet Jesus, the Lord of your life. Would you pray with me? Just say Lord Jesus are repent of my sins, come into my heart and make you my lord and Savior friend. If you prayed that simple prayer, we believe you got born again. Get in a good Bible based church. Keep God first place.


He's going to take your places that you've never dreamed up. Thank you for listening to the Tuesday podcast. Help us continue to share the message of hope with those all over the world. Visit Joel Osteen, dot com slash. Give Hope to give again today. Thanks so much for listening to today's message. I hope you subscribe so you can receive the latest podcast to keep you inspired all through the week. We're praying for you. I know God's best is still ahead.


We'll see you next time.