Unexpected 7 – A God who overcomes our expectations

Just going to eat a final meal.. and then die…
DON’T LIVE THAT WAY!

Unexpected 7 – A God who overcomes our expectations

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People often receive what they expect. Our expectations have a lot to do with how we receive information… how we receive situations… how we receive people.

In 1 Kings 17 the prophet Elijah interacts with a woman who had some terrible expectations. She expected to have one final meal with her son, and then they would die. (seriously!)

Even though God had sent her a prophet… Even though she saw a miracle… Even though she herself heard the command of God.. Her expectations hindered the progress God offered.

Right now your expectations are effecting how you perceive, receive, & believe.

Are you ready for your expectations to change?
-Faith filled obedience changes your expectations
-Our expectations are often faulty
-Coming through trouble changes your expectations

Unexpected 7 – A God who overcomes our expectations from Redemption Church on Vimeo.

Unexpected 7 – A God who overcomes your expectations

Sermon notes by Chris Fluitt

Redemption Church Plano Tx

**Vid bumper – Unexpected

Welcome to Redemption Church. We are a mighty church in Plano Tx. My name is Chris Fluitt and I am one happy dude. The Lord has put happiness in my heart.  My smile is legit it is not a put on.  The troubles in my life are no match for the Joy of the Lord that is my strength. I am loved by God. I am loved by my family. I am loved by my friends. I am so happy.

I pray that you encounter God’s joy today.

We are in our UNEXPECTED SERIES

Rather than review any past sermons I invite you to check out past sermons on our website – redemption-church.com.

Have you ever noticed that expectations usually come true?

Recently I heard outcry from the memorial service of the 5 fallen police officers in Dallas Tx. Current President Barrack Obama and former President George W. Bush both spoke at the memorial. Social media was a buzz over the speeches. I noticed something in the response of the people…  (This is just my perception…)

People seemed to get what they expected out of their speeches.

If you were a blue Democrat it seemed like you really loved President Obama’s Speech. “It is about time we had that kind of eloquence in the white house.”

If you were a red Republican it seemed like you were less than thrilled with the same speech. “How does the president think gun control is an appropriate topic at a memorial?”

If you were a red Republican it seemed like you were glowing from George W.’s speech. “I miss that kind of sincerity in the white house.”

If you were a blue Democrat it seemed like you were less than impressed.  “What in the world was George doing dancing with Michelle Obama as they played ‘His truth is marching on.’ What was He thinking!?”

 

How can there be such a divide over the same speech? I offer you the thought that people seem to receive what they expect.  Our expectations have a lot to do with how we receive information… how we receive situations… how we receive people.

People receive what they expect

I am saying that the expectation of the listener greatly effected their opinion of the speech. This becomes all the more dangerous as we divide our nation into red & blue states. It seems in the current political climate we can’t even listen to each other because we have already pre-judged based on our expectation.  This is dangerous. We should cut that out.

You may have a preconceived expectation that will effect this moment. I could be described as a white Christian pastor from Texas. Some of you might say… “Oh man this is a pastor, he is a man of God and I can’t wait to hear what he has to say.”  Others might say… “I bet this guy robs the church blind and never pays his taxes. We will probably hear some scandal about it later…”

Before I say a word, your expectation has a lot to do with the success or failure of this sermon. What God wants to do in your life could be road blocked by your expectations.

Today I want to talk about…
A God who overcomes our expectations

Open your bibles with me to 1 Kings 17.  The Prophet Elijah is given marching orders by God…

 

1 Kings 17:9 “Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food.”(NIV)

1 Kings 17:10 So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?”(NIV)

1 Kings 17:11 As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.”(NIV)

1 Kings 17:12 “As surely as the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread–only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it–and die.”(NIV)

 

Now let’s see if we understand this story so far.

Verse 1

  • God sends His prophet (a prophet who by the way has done amazing miracles and always speaks truthfully) to a particular woman.

  • God says He commanded a widow to supply him food.

Verse 2

  • He spots the widow at the town gate.

  • He asks for water.

Verse 3

  • He asks for bread.

 

So far this story is great!  Everything is as God has said.  It seems almost easy.  Don’t you love it when it is like this?  Have you ever experienced that?  Everything is going as expected.

Verse 4

I don’t have any bread. I have only enough to make 1 final meal for me and my son.. we will eat it and then we will die.

What does this widow expect?  She expects death. People usually receive what they expect.  It is also good to point out here that in the ancient world widows either found someone to take care of them or they died. So she is expecting what the world says is expected.

She is not trying to change the situation… she is merely collecting sticks to make one last meal… and then die.

It is also interesting that she says “As surely as the LORD your God lives.”  She doesn’t say MY GOD.

 

Now let’s understand this.  God sent His prophet to this woman.  God spoke to this woman to provide food.  Yet she didn’t let that effect her. Why?  Because of her expectations…  She bypassed God and His prophet and went to collect sticks that laid to no future.

Redemption Church! Listen up!  God can be in the room.  The preacher could have the exact Word that you need.  BUT your expectations could cause you to miss it and go on collecting sticks for your last meal.

God is on the scene.. but are we hindering him with low expectations?  God is on the scene… but we are picking up sticks.

We must change our expectations.  How do we do that?

1 Kings 17:13 Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son.(NIV)

1 Kings 17:14 For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: `The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD gives rain on the land.'”(NIV)

 

Pause here.. Can I just say that it isn’t all fun and games being a servant of the Lord. The woman only has enough ingredients for a final meal and Elijah says… Make me a cake.

That can seem a little rude or self-serving. That could be scary to say those words.

But can I tell you that Elijah, the prophet of God, expected His God to show up and save the day. He said the difficult thing because He had faith in God.

DO NOT CHICKEN OUT!  EXPECT GOD..

 

1 Kings 17:15 She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family.(NIV)

Faith filled obedience changes your expectations.

Your expectations change when you obey God’s word.  When you start operating on faith it will change your expectation. When you look to a higher wisdom… a greater strength… I will life up my eyes to the hills – it’s where my help comes from. (Psalm 121)

 

1 Kings 17:17 Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing.(NIV)

1 Kings 17:18 She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?”(NIV)

Hold on a moment. God has done her nothing but good in this story. Now her son is dead and she is angry…

But wait.. Do we remember what her original expectation was? Her plan in the first place was for her son to die after a final meal?

Our expectations are often faulty

She makes a crazy jump that God must have something against her.. EVEN THOUGH HE HAS RESCUED HER!  She mistakenly expects that God has killed her son.. and done it to remind her of her sin.. EVEN THOUGH HE HAS FED THEM SUPERNATURALLY.

Her expectation does not make sense!

We need God to change our expectations because our expectations are often faulty.

You ever meet someone who thought God hated them?  Or that God was going get them in some mean judgmental vindictive way?  NONE OF THAT IS TRUE ABOUT GOD… But your faulty expectations become the lens through which you see everything around you.

God change my faulty expectations.

Coming through trouble changes your expectations

We hate trouble, but God can use trouble in good ways.  He can change us through trouble.  You can be tried in the fire but come out pure as gold. (Zech 13:9)

1 Kings 17:19 “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed.(NIV)

1 Kings 17:20 Then he cried out to the LORD, “O LORD my God, have you brought tragedy also upon this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?”(NIV)

1 Kings 17:21 Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, let this boy’s life return to him!”(NIV)

1 Kings 17:22 The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived.(NIV)

1 Kings 17:23 Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!”(NIV)

1 Kings 17:24 Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.”(NIV)

Now I know

We hate trouble. But I have good news for you!  On the other side of your trouble is a NOW I KNOW moment.

Is there a witness in the building who went through a trial and a test but they came through it with a NOW I KNOW testimony.

Now I know… He’s a healer.

..He’s a deliverer.

..He can do anything.

..He loves me and will forgive me.

..He can use me.

God wants to lead you to a NOW I KNOW moment.

 

Faith filled obedience changes your expectations.

Our expectations are often faulty

Coming through trouble changes your expectations

Now I know

 

What do you expect?

Right now? What do you expect from God?  What do you expect He is going to do when you pray.

Do you expect a miracle?

Do you expect greater?

Do you expect God to use you?

None of us have high enough expectations! All of our expectations are beneath His ability.

Ask God to change your expectation today.  Challenge your expectation today.

 

redemption-Church.com

Redemption Church is a nondenominational Church in Plano Texas. Our mission is to declare the good news and see others become followers of Jesus Christ. Our vision is to be a 1st Century Church connecting to a 21st Century world. To bring the community, the power, passion & dedication of that 1st century church to the fast paced, technologically advanced, and complex world of the 21st century.

We currently meet on Sunday afternoons at 3pm at the Corner of Parker Rd & Alma in Plano Tx. We would love to greet you in person.

Our lead pastor is Chris Fluitt.

Author: Pastor Chris Fluitt

Chris Fluitt serves as Lead Pastor at Redemption Church. He is husband to Sarah, and Daddy to Will, Hudson & Joshua. Worshipper, Husband, Father, Musician, Songwriter, Blogger, Nerd, Social Media Buff, Sportaholic Connect on Google+