Expecting Great Things of God; April 20, 2018

Zechariah 8:6 This is what the Lord Almighty says: “It may seem marvelous to the remnant of this people at that time, but will it seem marvelous to me?” declares the Lord Almighty.

We forget that God is never surprised. Actually, I touched on that in the message this past Sunday. God sees the end from the beginning, so nothing can surprise Him. However, this is talking about more than surprise. The “marvelous” in the NIV captures it pretty well, I think. God isn’t impressed with what He does. That may seem like a strange thing to say, but we often manage to impress ourselves, either well or poorly. We think, “Man! What a stupid thing to do!” or sometimes, “I really pulled that off.” However, God is omnipotent and He knows it, since He’s also omniscient. Sometimes He is kind enough to remind us of that gently. This church’s Verse for the Year is one such incident, when He tells Jeremiah, “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27) This verse is another example. God isn’t blown out of the water by fulfilled prophecy! We would do much better to expect God to be true to His Word and ordering our lives accordingly. Right now numbers of things seem to be pointing to End Times, but the average person in the street, or even in the pew, seems oblivious. We aren’t to be anxious about it, or even go around trying to figure out where we are on the timeline (as though we could grasp God’s timeline!) but rather focus on being faithful, just as Jesus said. (Luke 12:42-46)

I still remember once when I was in a prayer time with one of the people in this church, over 20 years ago, and the Lord spoke through me to say, “Don’t be amazed at what amazes others. Expect great things of Me.” I don’t always remember that in practical terms. That is to say, I get frustrated at what is going on around me and I want to withdraw into a hole somewhere, forgetting that God is more than able to turn everything around 180 degrees, and He might do it at any moment. The difficulty is in my making emotional demands on the Lord, wanting things to be a certain way at a certain time and getting frustrated when that isn’t how they turn out. I am to expect great things of Him, but not demand that those things fit my timetable or even my definition of “great things.” I am to know without question that things are going to turn out as God has said in the Bible, and not be anxious about the details in the mean time.

Father, thank You for this reminder. The past two days have been filled with unexpected things, not necessarily pleasant, and today’s schedule has been greatly affected as a result. This is more training in resting, relaxing, and rejoicing in You, just as You have told me to do! Thank You. Help me now hear You clearly as to what You want to say through me on Sunday. May I indeed do Your will on Your schedule each moment of today, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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