On Tuesday, televangelist Joel Osteen will be releasing "I Declare: 31 Promises to Speak Over Your Life," his new book aimed at helping readers delve into the Christian scriptures to find purpose and meaning.
The hardcover aims to explore God's blessings in the areas of family, personal health, finances, overall individualistic outlook and overcoming obstacles -- all important areas that impact individuals' lives. This morning, TheBlaze has an exclusive look at the book before it hits shelves.
"I Declare" is broken into 31 segments, as Osteen uses the structure to encourage readers to focus upon one theme each day over the course of a month. Throughout the book, the faith leader, who serves as the senior pastor of Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas, works to inspire readers to examine their lives in an effort to attain self-improvement and a deeper relationship with God.
Individuals are encouraged to make specific declarations surrounding their personal lives and faiths. These proclamations are intended to help people progress in their personal journeys.
"I declare it is not too late to accomplish everything God has placed in my heart. I have not missed my window of opportunity. God has moments of favor in my future," the introduction to "Day Four" reads. "He is preparing me right now because He is about to release a special grace to help me accomplish that dream. This is my time. This is my moment. I receive it today! This is my declaration."
The chapter goes on encourage readers to abandon the excuses they may be giving for not accomplishing their dreams. Instead of avoidance, Osteen encourages people to push forward and to challenge themselves to succeed, regardless of the obstacles:
Many times we put off what we know God wants us to do. Maybe down deep God has been dealing with you about forgiving a wrong, getting back in shape, having a better attitude, spending more time with your family. Or maybe it’s a dream or goal that you know you should be pursuing, such as starting a business, writing a book, join- ing the choir, learning a new hobby.
You know God put it on the inside but so often we make excuses that hold us back. Things like, “I’m too busy. I tried and failed. I’m not that talented. They hurt me too badly.”
It’s easy to talk yourself out of your dreams and goals. Too many people settle for mediocrity. But the good news is God never aborts a dream. We may give up on them. We may quit pursuing new opportunities, quit believing to overcome an obstacle. But God still has every intention of bringing to pass every dream, every promise, He put in your heart.
Osteen goes on to write that, regardless of how long one has been putting a goal off, it's never too late to begin making a person's dreams a reality. While roadblocks and frustrations are a part of life, the pastor encourages readers not to get bogged down and to continue fighting for whatever journey they feel God-led to embark on.
Here's more from the "Day Four" chapter:
Now you should rise up in faith and say, “This is my time. This is my moment. I’m not settling where I am. I’ve let excuses hold me back long enough. But today, I will take steps of faith to pursue new opportunities, to explore new hobbies, to break bad habits, to get rid of wrong mind-sets. I know it’s not too late to accomplish everything God has placed in my heart.”
If you have this kind of attitude, the rest of your life can be the best of your life. In the Bible when Paul told Timothy, “Stir up the gift. Fan the flame” (2 Timothy 1:6 (niv), he was saying, “Timothy, life is flying by. Get busy pursuing your destiny.” You have to stay passionate about what God put in your heart. Don’t let one disappointment or even a series of disappointments convince you to give up.
In the conclusion to "I Declare," Osteen details his final thoughts about individuals working diligently to triumph over their life challenges. Throughout the book's closing chapter, he uses Biblical examples and attempts to connect to readers' struggles.
Rather than thinking good thoughts, the pastor says people need to "speak to" their "mountains" (i.e. life challenges). In doing so and in relying upon God, Osteen contends that negative thoughts and forces won't derail believers:
Jesus said in Mark 11:23 (KJV): “Whoever will say to this moun- tain, be removed, and does not doubt in his heart, he will have whatever he says.”
You may be praying about things you should be speak- ing to. You don’t need to pray about that fear anymore. You need to say, “Fear, I command you to leave. I will not allow you in my life.” If you have health problems, instead of begging God to heal you, you need to declare to that sickness, “Sickness, you have no right in my body. I’m a child of the Most High God. You are not welcome here. And I’m not asking you to leave. I’m not saying, ‘Pretty please, do me a favor.’ No, I’m commanding you to leave my body.”
I’ve learned if you don’t talk to your mountains, your mountains will talk to you. All through the day, those negative thoughts will come. They are your mountains talking to you.
You can sit back and believe those lies, or you can rise up and declare: “I’m in control here. I will not allow my mountains to talk to me. Mountain, I’m saying to you,
‘Be removed. You will not defeat me.’”
Osteen urges readers to "declare" in "the authority of the Son of the Living God." When individuals make such a proclamation over their lives, he claims that results will be seen. "No power can stand against God," he continues, highlighting sickness, addiction, fear and legal problems as possible "mountains" that aren't big enough to supersede the Lord's power.
"Now, the mountain may not move overnight. It may look just the same month after month. Don’t worry about it," he writes. "In the unseen realm, things are changing in your favor."
For more about Osteen's new book, "I Declare," click here (and visit Osteen's web site for the book). We'll leave you with a viral video that Osteen's team created to accompany tomorrow's book release:
Book Text: Copyright 2012, Hachette Book Group