do know their God shall be
strong, and do exploits.
Our level of expectation has a lot to do with what we get out of church.
Unfortunately, the structure of some church services I've been to doesn't allow much room for God to move. Interestingly, many people like that kind of consistency. They expect a 90-minute service, so, that's what they get.
Is that what we expect? Is that the weekly window of opportunity we're comfortable giving the Lord and the church to operate in? Or are we open and hungry for more?
The last part of Matthew 13 tells what happened when Jesus taught in his own hometown. The people were astonished at his teaching, but couldn't get past him. He was a local boy, and what's so special about a local, right? "Can there any good thing come out of Nazareth?" Here's how that story ended:
And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief. (Matthew 13:58).
Christ met his people at their level of expectation back then, and does so today as well. If I don't expect much from God, I won't receive much from him. Consider this:
But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. (Hebrews 11:6)
Would we be surprised to know that God's plans and desires for us are MUCH BIGGER, than our own, especially when we assemble together in obedience as the church? Check this out...
For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him... (2 Chronicles 16:9)
Mark 16:17-18 says, And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
The book of Acts tells how God met his people in many great and mighty ways with miracles, signs and wonders. That was their level of expectation.
My wife and I met together with another couple as a church around a kitchen table in their home recently. By all appearances, it was a simple, no frills get together. What could possibly happen in that setting, right?
Then God showed up.
I can only speak for myself, but reading his Word and realizing God has great plans for us was awesome. Three of us were quickly in tears as his presence flooded the room. I was moved hearing others share what the Lord was showing them right at that moment. God was drawing us all closer together and closer to him. It was like a two and half hour group hug!
If I expect, if I believe, if my eyes are not on the vessel, but on the God inhabiting the vessel, all things are possible! A child like faith is more impressive to Christ than college level doubt.
Ephesians 3:20 tells us that he is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.
So how open are we to God? Will he do great things around us, to us or with us? Or will he pass us by so he can reach those who are expecting a miracle? It's a reasonable question for all of us, no matter what side of the pulpit we're on. Today's church leaders, like the Pharisees of old, are often the most guilty of grieving the Spirit and restricting the power of God. Got to stick to the program, right? Well, how about we get onto God's program and let him have control? His presence, power and purpose for us is more important then our programs!
I wonder what's going to happen this Sunday... I can't wait!
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