Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Expecting God to Deliver

Jesus’ Life

Mark 1:21-28

Jesus rebuked him, saying, "Be quiet, and come out of him!" Throwing him into convulsions, the unclean spirit cried out with a loud voice and came out of him. They were all amazed, so that they debated among themselves, saying, "What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him."
No one had spoken with such authority before. He didn’t ask God to help, he didn’t plead with the evil spirit to leave.  He didn’t pray for hours.  He just commanded the spirit to go, and the spirit did.  He set the situation up that his reputation was on the line.  Either God was going to listen to him, or he wasn’t.  If God wanted him to be supported, the spirit would go.  But if not, then the evil spirit would stay.  But Jesus set the situation up so that God could give his approval to his teaching immediately.  Jesus had no doubt.  And he gave no opportunity for compromise.

Mark 8:22-25

Taking the blind man by the hand, He brought him out of the village; and after spitting on his eyes and laying His hands on him, He asked him, "Do you see anything?"  And he looked up and said, "I see men, for I see them like trees, walking around."  Then again He laid His hands on his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and began to see everything clearly.

At this point, Jesus wanted the blind man to be well, according to God’s promise.  But even after Jesus prayed, the man wasn’t totally well.  He still couldn’t see clearly.  So Jesus prayed again.  He wasn’t worried, he didn’t think that maybe God had forsaken him.  Rather, he was faithful and stuck with it, even though it wasn’t according to plan.  Jesus knew that the man would be delivered, and he would keep praying until it happened.

Mark 8:31

And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 
Jesus knew what was going to happen in his life.  He knew about his beatings and the rejection and the shame.  But he also knew that God would deliver him—in three days, no less.  Jesus never doubted this—he repeated it many times.  He may have wanted to know if there was a different way to deliver people than through his death, but he never doubted God’s deliverance.

Matthew 26:26-29

This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for forgiveness of sins.
Jesus knew that his death would bring deliverance to many.  He didn’t want to die, but he knew that God would cause the deliverance to happen if he did die.  Jesus was committed to the plan, because he knew his Father so well.  Well enough that he was willing to lay down his life in trust of Him.

Our Lives
Matthew 17:19-20

 The disciples came to Jesus privately and said, "Why could we not drive it out?" And He said to them, "Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.

The disciples couldn’t cast out the spirit because they didn’t expect God to work through them.  They didn’t think God would really do it.  But Jesus had already given them authority (Matthew 10), so they had everything they needed.  Expect the faith that it would really happen.  We need to have confidence in God and to not give up so that God will accomplish what he promised.

Acts 3:1-13

"Men of Israel, why are you amazed at this, or why do you gaze at us, as if by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the God of our fathers, has glorified His servant Jesus, the one whom you delivered and disowned in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release Him."

Peter and John were simple people, not having much education.  But they knew the lesson that Jesus had taught them about faith.  So they believed that under the authority of Jesus, the man would be delivered, according to the promise of God.  And so it happened—because they had faith and the power of the

George Muller believed that God would do exactly as he said.  God said that those who sought God’s kingdom first and only would gain provision for themselves, so George Muller rejected the salary that was usually given to pastors.  Since that worked so well for him, he also took in orphans so he could care for them.  By the end of his life, he had given away more than a million dollars that he had never asked for, but just waited on God for. 

Living It Out
·         Expect that God will deliver you, according to his promise

·         Don’t give up, even if it takes a long time

·         Keep praying, even if you pray for years.

·         Don’t expect that God will help if he has not promised

·         Expect that God will deliver others

·         Encourage people to have faith in God

Take chances!  Don't test the Lord by putting Him in a situation that forces Him to act, but give God space to work.  God is much more powerful than we ever give Him credit for, and He will act more than we think to ask Him to.  Often He won't act unless we ask, so ask!

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