WHAT DO YOU EXPECT FROM GOD, ANYWAY ?
1. WE EXPECT TO HEAR FROM OUR PARENTS.
IF GOD IS OUR HEAVENLY FATHER, WE HAVE THE EXPECTATION TO HEAR HIM SPEAK TO US. THIS IS EMPHASIZED BY JESUS WHEN HE TALKS SO OFTEN ABOUT THE HOLY SPIRIT COMING AND DWELLING WITH US. WHEN ? HOW OFTEN ? WHY ?.
A. WE HAVE TO WORK AT HAVING A GOOD RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM, SO WE CAN HEAR FROM HIM.
MANY DISTRACTIONS IN THE WORLD.
ELIJAH WAS IN INTENSE PRAYER UPON THE MOUNTAIN. HE EXPECTED TO HAVE SOME TYPE OF SIGN FROM GOD. Sometimes you have to wait and stick with your prayer, regardless of the way things look.
1 Kings 18:43-44 And said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, Prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not.
B. THE BIBLE USES THE TERM, ‘LABORING” IN PRAYER FOR A REASON. THERE IS LABOR INVOLVED IF WE WANT TO HEAR MORE THAN CONVICTION OR COMFORT.
Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Acts 12:5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him.
C. OFTEN, IT WASN’T EASY ON THE BODY.
–JESUS WAS LED TO THE WILDERNESS, NOT A BED AND BREAKFAST IN TOWN.
Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
–DANIEL FASTED FOR 21 DAYS TILL HE GOT AN EXPECTED ANSWER FROM GOD. HOW DO WE KNOW HE EXPECTED IT ? IF HE DIDN’T EXPECT IT, HE WOULD NOT HAVE PERSISTED.
Daniel 9:3 And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:
–THE APOSTLES SOUGHT THE INSTRUCTIONS TO GIVE TO THE ELDERS. IT REQUIRED FASTING AND EXPECTATION THAT GOD WOULD GIVE THOSE INSTRUCTIONS.
Acts 14:23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
–THE PEOPLE OF ISRAEL WHO SOUGHT A CLOSER WALK WITH GOD HAD TO GO INTO THE WILDERNESS TO GET IT. STAYING HOME OR IN A CONVENIENT STATE, GOD WOULD NOT HONOR THEIR COMMITMENTS.
Luke 7:24 And when the messengers of John were departed, he began to speak unto the people concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness for to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
–ELIJAH SOUGHT GOD’S PERMISSION TO QUIT. HE HAD EXPECTATION THAT HE WOULD HEAR.
1 Kings 19:4 But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O LORD, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers.
2. EXPECT HIM TO INSTRUCT US AND PROVIDE THE BEST DECISIONS.
A. MAN WAS BROUGHT INTO A WORLD WITH RULES AND ORDER MADE BY GOD EVEN BEFORE MAN GOT HERE
Genesis 2:15-18 [purpose] And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. And the LORD God [rules] commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. [structure] And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. He made a wife for Adam !
B. MAN WAS GIVEN SPECIFIC COMMANDS TO LIVE BY. THESE WERE NOT SUGGESTIONS, BUT COMMANDS. GOD TOLD MAN HOW TO PLEASE HIM.
Deuteronomy 8:3 And He humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that He might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
Matthew 4:4 But He answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
C. SEEK HIM IN HIS HOUSE. THERE IS A BIBLICAL BASIS FOR THIS.
Exodus 33:7 And Moses took the tabernacle, and pitched it without the camp, afar off from the camp, and called it the Tabernacle of the congregation. And it came to pass, that every one which sought the LORD went out unto the tabernacle of the congregation, which was without the camp.
D. EXPECT GOD TO RESPECT SERIOUS COMMITMENT. HIT OR MISS CHRISTIANITY RESULTS IN HIT OR MISS BLESSINGS.
Psalms 119:2 Blessed are they that keep His testimonies, and that seek Him with the whole heart.
3. EXPECT HIM TO CALL YOU INTO ACCOUNT.
A. THAT DAY IS COMING CLOSER.
Acts 17:31 Because He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained; whereof He hath given assurance unto all men, in that He hath raised Him from the dead.
Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
B. WE CAN EXPECT GOD TO RESTRICT THOSE WHO ENTER INTO HEAVEN.
Revelation 21:27 And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.
C. WE CAN EXPECT GOD TO SEE THROUGH WHAT IS FALSE.
Matthew 7:22-23 Many will say to Me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? and in Thy name have cast out devils? and in Thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.
A Bible Study with Dr. Ed J. MacWilliams