Well, I promised on my list of awesome Christian books that I would read and review each one, so here I am with my second book review! This one is also by Joel Osteen (the first three are) and is called “The Power of I Am.” I’m going to break down what each chapter is about, but if this sounds like something you’re interested in reading, I strongly recommend you buy it and read it for yourself. He goes into way more detail than I will. I just want to give you an overview of the book and what I think of it.
Author’s Note: While writing this, it turns out I have a lot to say about these topics so I’m going to break it up into several parts. That will be our series for this week and then I’ll continue my “Love” series.
1. The Power of “I Am”
This chapter was about how we need to be very careful of what we call ourselves, our “I am.” They can be positive or negative. For example, you could say, “I am fat”, “I am stupid”, “I am in debt”, “I am a failure.” Those are powerful statements, but all they do is bring more negativity into your life. If you call yourself fat, you’ll remain fat. You are calling more fat into your life. If you call yourself stupid, you’ll become more and more stupid every day, because you are speaking it into existence.
However, the same is true of positive, truth-filled statements from God’s Word. “I am successful”, “I am blessed”, “I am prosperous”, “I am faithful.” Joel has an entire list that I truly recommend everyone print out and maybe add to it with other positive faith-building statements. Read them out loud at least once a day, but the more often, the better. When you speak these statements out loud, you are calling them to you. When you say, “I am successful” you are calling success to you. If you say “I am debt-free” you are breaking the chains of debt around your life and finances.
Does this sound too fantastical to you? As Joel brings up in his book, God spoke the world into existence. Even Jesus spoke things that were not and made them happen. He could have done it in His thoughts, but God knows that words are far more powerful than thoughts. We have to speak things out loud, and whatever you are speaking is what will come back to you. So, watch what you say!
If you need more proof before I move on, check out these two Scriptures:
But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned. (Matthew 12:36-37)
From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. (Proverbs 18:20-21)
And then do a search on what the Bible has to say about your words or the tongue. Trust me, you can learn a lot!
2. Be Positive or Be Quiet
In this chapter, Joel discusses how it isn’t our thoughts that stop God’s blessings but our words. We all have negative thoughts. Now, we don’t need to let those thoughts stay. Once they show up, we have to learn how to force them back out. But the worst thing for us to do is allow those negative thoughts to come out of our mouths. Do not speak your negative thoughts!! NEVER! EVER! Do NOT say them out loud! Why? Because our words are powerful. When we start speaking negative things into our lives, “I’ll never get out of debt,” “I’ll never get well,” “I’m never going to accomplish my dreams,” that is what we are inviting into our lives.
(as it is written [in Scripture], “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the sight of Him in whom he believed, that is, God [a]who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist. (Romans 4:17 – AMP)
Although this Scripture is talking about God, we have to remember that with the Holy Spirit in us, we have the same power as Jesus and His disciples. If Jesus (who is God) could call things into being that formally didn’t exist, so can we.
If you can’t be positive in your words, just be quiet.
Sin is not ended by multiplying words, but the prudent hold their tongues. (Proverbs 10:19)
Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues. (Proverbs 17:28)
3. Say So
The recurring theme of this book is how powerful our words are when we speak them out loud.
If you want blessings and favor in your life, you have to say so. Not think so, not hope so, not wish so, but say so.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the adversary (Psalm 107:2)
Beat your plowshares into swords
And your pruning hooks into spears;
Let the weak say, “I am strong!” (Joel 3:10)
Our words determine our life. If all we talk about is what we don’t have, what isn’t going right, what we wish would happen, what’s happened in our past, we will never move forward into the blessings and favor that God has for us. We are literally stopping God’s blessing on our life by our own words.
“But I’m just being realistic!” you exclaim. Hey, that’s what I say too! I’m known for being realistic. My husband is the positive one. But I’ve realized that being “realistic” isn’t helping me at all. When I keep saying, “We can’t afford it. Right now, we’re broke. How will we pay our bills? What is God doing? Will anything ever change? What happens if we’ve made a huge mistake?” I’m not speaking in faith, I’m speaking in negativity. Because let’s be real here – when we’re speaking “realistically” are we normally being positive or negative? Think about it. From everything I’ve said, and I’ve heard from other “realistic” speakers, it’s always negative. All we’re doing is speaking about the bad things in our lives right now. That just isn’t helpful. And it isn’t healthy. It brings forth anxiety, stress, and worry which really messes up your body and your health.
Instead, we need to start saying so:
I am out of debt!
My blessing is coming!
God is in control!
I can’t see a way, but I know God has a way!
When we start speaking positively, saying what we know is God’s truth, positive things start coming to us: blessings and favor that we could never have imagined.
Watch your “say so”.
4. A Magnet for Blessings
In this chapter, Joel discusses that God uses “commanded blessings” for our lives.
The Lord will command the blessing upon you in your storehouses and in [a]all that you undertake, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God gives you. (Deuteronomy 28:8)
When God commands something, you bet your buttons that it will happen. Nothing and no one can stand against God. When He calls something into being, it will come to pass. When God makes a promise, you can be sure He’s going to keep it.
In my own life, I believe in my Spirit that God has called Justin and I to do some things that just, in the natural, don’t seem right. They aren’t what other people are doing, they aren’t the “norm” or what others think is right. And yes, they’re scary. We’re putting our total trust in God to focus on accomplishing the dreams He’s placed in our hearts. Right now, I don’t see a way. I don’t see what God is doing or how things are going to improve. In the natural, it looks like things are going downhill, not getting better. But, I also know with all my heart that this year of our lives is specifically to build our trust in Him.
When we speak in faith, when we walk by faith, when we try each day to live our best and be our best selves, God is going to release blessings and favor into our lives. We will become a magnet for blessings.
5. Your Seventh Year
The Israelites were allowed to take someone who owed them money and turn them into a slave – but only for seven years. If the debt wasn’t paid off by the 7th year, the slave still had to be set free and the debt completely forgiven. I don’t think this is a coincidence, this number, when we have six days of work and then rest on the 7th day. Seven is a big number in God’s book.
But in this chapter, Joel doesn’t mean that the 7th day, the 7th month, or the 7th year is going to change anything specifically. Instead, he talks about how a battle is never permanent.
For example, right now we have a battle in our finances. It doesn’t look like things are improving. We’re being our best, following God, doing what we believe to be His will. But nothing is changing. This is a test, a battle in our lives to see if we are going to continue to have faith or give in to our fear and anxiety and try to take matters into our own hands.
Maybe for you, your battle is your finances, or in a relationship, or in your health. Whatever it is, your seventh year is coming.
In the Bible you see these words pretty frequently, “It came to pass”. As Mark Lowry said in one of his comedy routines, he loves that part of Scripture because it reminds us that it came to pass, it didn’t come to stay.
Our lives are constantly changing. We are constantly changing, hopefully growing and maturing. Whatever our current battle is, it isn’t going to last. It will pass. Right now it may seem impossible. Right now we don’t see a way out. But hold on, it will pass. Hold on to God and keep the faith. Your seventh year is coming. You’re going to be released from your bondage and win the battle in your life.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. (Ephesians 6:13)
End of Part One
As you can see, I really love this book and I’ll recommend it to anyone who needs positivity, inspiration, and encouragement in their lives. I’m going to write the last two parts on Wednesday and Friday of this week, so come back for more if you want to know more about this book! But again, I truly recommend that you buy this book for yourself. I promise it will help you improve your life!
I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this first part of the book. Please post in the comments below!