Acts 3:1-8 “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.”
There were an old man and old woman who loved the Lord but didn’t have any children to leave their wealth. The Lord spoke to him and said he was going to have as many children as there are stars and the world would be blessed.
Abraham was 75 years old (which is our equivalent of 40 years old today). He told his wife and they left everything they knew. Several years passed, but they still had no children. Finally, Abram was 99 years old (55-57 years old today and his wife 50 by today’s equivalent). God renewed the promise and Abram and his wife laughed. Isaac means ‘laughter’. They weren’t expecting God to fulfill His promise. Abram wasn’t expecting to receive what he DID, in fact, receive. He expected something and got exactly what God had promised.
If God promised it, expect it to happen. God fulfills His word.
Gen 17:1-6 “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect. And I will make my covenant between me and thee, and will multiply thee exceedingly. And Abram fell on his face: and God talked with him, saying, As for me, behold, my covenant is with thee, and thou shalt be a father of many nations. Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. And I will make thee exceeding fruitful, and I will make nations of thee, and kings shall come out of thee.”
Hebrews 11:10-11 “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.”
Jesus preached for so long and the people expected something to happen when it was done. When you get to that kind of place, that’s when the Lord starts to flow. When you expect something to happen that’s the place for God’s Word to grow and develop and to come forth and to bring what it set out to accomplish. That’s why Scripture says, ‘No thing is impossible with God.’ With God it is impossible to have nothing. Something is going to happen if God and faith are in the house.
God is doing something. All He’s looking for is a vessel willing and ready to receive.
There were times when Jesus preached and the people got offended.
Mat 13:57 “And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.”
The people saw a human and couldn’t get past that fact. They refused to receive anything from him. They expected nothing and received nothing.
Mat 13:58 “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”
Who’s will stopped God from working? It was the people!
Stinking thinking will stop the work of God in your life. If you sit in God’s presence and watch the show and go away unchanged, there’s something wrong! (and the problem is not with the Lord).
God called Moses to get His people out of Egypt. This was part of the fulfillment of His earlier promise to Abraham. Abraham didn’t see all the fulfillment in his lifetime, but his descendants saw it.
Why are you going to win? Because God promised it! You have to expect something. If you expect to lose, you will. That’s what happened to the people of Israel in the wilderness. God went through so much trouble to give a Word, but they didn’t think God would perform what He said He would do.
Can a couple of teenagers can turn Chicago upside down? What are you expecting?
Unbelief will cause you to be worse off than you were before God gave you a Word.
Heb 4:2 “For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.”
God expects you to want it, to receive it, and to position yourself properly. It’s not a lack of power of God or lack of anointing of the preaching, it’s all about the lack of faith of the person unwilling to receive.
It’s not the parable of the sower, it’s all about the soil. What soil will the seed grow in?
Position yourself and say to God, ‘So be it as You have spoken.’
This is the year your unsaved family will come to God. God will do a work this year that will change your family.
Cast out discouragement like you cast out the devil!
God will release you from the bondage of sin.
What do you expect?
If is not the issue, it’s a matter of when!
Some crazy teenagers let a man who couldn’t walk through a roof. When Jesus saw this invalid’s friends’ faith, He healed the man and he walked out of that house.
A woman touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and got healed. That was faith. Her faith made her whole.
What do you expect?
There needs to be intimacy with God. There must be a connection with God’s Word. A bride must be willing to be intimate with the groom. Mary had a choice whether or not to have Jesus to raise as her son. Before you can expect a promise, you have to get intimate.
Sometimes, we don’t feel like praying because we don’t believe we’ll receive.
An expecting woman changes her lifestyle. We are pregnant with the promise of God. God has ordained your arrival here. When a woman is expecting a child, preparations are made. If she drinks, she stops and it’s not good for the baby. She doesn’t want to affect the promise within her. No poisonous toxins allowed. She didn’t want to miscarry. Does the expectation change your actions? God will not give you what you are not ready for. Mistreatment of the body can lead to birth defects.
Prevention of miscarriage, eat healthy, manage stress and emotions, drink water. You must take care of yourself. Drink regularly of the living water, worship (exercise), eat of the bread of life, fight the good fight of faith. Prayers will keep you from getting too fat in the spirit. Spiritual exercise. Make social visits and keep the lines of communication open with family, friends, and health care providers. When God gives you a promise, keep lines of communication open.
Keep away from poisonous activity, physical and spiritual poison. Protect the promise. Avoid the things that God says to avoid. The children of Israel had it all right in front of them and they aborted their promise.
Position yourself to receive.
What do you expect?
Excerpted from a sermon preached by: Pastor Anthony LoCascio.
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If you are in the Chicagoland area, come to The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!