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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Great Expectations (not about the book) (08/25/11)

TITLE: When God Says NO!


We have all had great expectations that we placed on other people and on ourselves, only to find out that there was very little room for human error on the top of such pedestals.

Eventually, we usually do come to accept the limitations there are in the ability to meet these expectations.

But, what about the great expectations that we have of God?

Is He not the omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent God of Scripture? Is there anything that He cannot do?

God has a specific objective behind everything that He sends, allows, or over-rules.

We all pray for the general well-being of loved ones, and especially for those who are in harm’s way or who are facing life-threatening circumstances.

While not overtly saying so, many of us actually believe that God owes us something in return for the good lifestyles and decisions that we have made that has brought honor and glory to Him.

The truth is that none of us is so “good” that God owes us anything, and there is no such thing as “bad” news.

While we may have high
SELF-esteem, God sees nothing sound in us from the sole of our feet to the top of our heads (Isa.1:6).

Whatever God allows is just as much a part of His will as what He directs or over rules.

Accordingly, there is no such thing as “bad” news or “bad” events, only events that require more faith, maturity, and discernment to perceive the objectives of God.

As one spiritually matures, his/her personal prayer list becomes
increasingly shorter. A disciple’s primary concern is to discern what is the divine objective in all that God directs, allows, or over rules.

The answer to prayer that is contrary to the will of God is, “No!”.

We should have great expectations for all that God has in store for us in Heaven.

However, here on Earth, in the spirit-ual battlefield of devil’s world, the only guarantee is that God’s plan does not allow more adversity than what any given disciple can handle.

The one exception is when God sends adversity in order to discipline us.

The degree of pressure that is experienced during periods of divine discipline is not in line with the sin committed, but in line with what it will take to have the back-sliding disciple return to the plan of God.

The resulting circumstances may or may not ever change during our time here on Earth. God may direct the circumstances to remain, but one’s ability to live with them in peace will begin as soon as the sin is confes-sed (1John 1:9).

While many come or are “recruited” into Christianity seeking something from God, true discipleship will prove to be a costly venture.

Every born again believer has been given a personal pulpit from which comes the overt testimony of his-her day-to-day life.

Living for God in Satan’s world invites satanic attacks from the devil and his Ephesians 6:12 forces of evil.

Not all overt blessings are from God (Luke 4:6).

While the devil will not be offering many of us the glory of all the kingdoms to come, he will make each one of us offers that are going to hard to turn down. The human good and religious nature of some may appear to be coming from God.

While overt blessings during one’s time here on Earth may or may not be a part of the personal pulpit that God has ordained for any given disciple, the great expectations that an advancing disciple can anticipate will mostly be of the intangible variety.

Among them is the peace that surpass-ses all understanding. This peace is not experienced by being protected from adversity, but while in the midst of it.

Those willing to be used by the God for His highest purposes, will almost always be among the ones who give up the must and/or are called to suffer the most during their time here on Earth.

The classic example is the Lord Jesus Christ.

If we are living within the plan that God has for us a Church Age believer, we will be given the opportunity to fulfill our part in the master plan of God.

As we spiritually mature, we will become more and more aware of all the spiritual activity that takes place all around us on a daily basis.

It is then that we can have great expectations and experiences during what otherwise can be relatively meaningless routines and cycles of life.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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This article has been read 274 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/02/11
I enjoyed this sermon. It gave me quite a bit to think about. I wonder if the events of my near death experience and what God wants me to do with my time. I've been depressed some lately but I know God will use my illness and even my depression for his glory if I allow him to.

Be careful with your punctuation especially the hyphens. I noticed at times you didn't need them and at other times you weren't consistent with them. That's just a little technical thing though.

The heart of your message is inspiring and many people will be able to read what God needs them to hear. Whether it's to think about free will vs God's will or what should I be doing to glorify God or some will ask the question ,"Is this God's hand or Satan's?" You've done a good job with this thought-provoking piece.
C D Swanson 09/03/11
Very powerfully written, with great insight. I enjoyed this totally. God Bless~