Friday, October 18, 2013

Expecting More

We have a powerful partnership with Vaughn Chapel Missionary Baptist Church here in Milledgeville. Their lead pastor, Tony Fraley, is a great man of God who is desperate to see churches come together and
facilitate change in our community. He & I meet regularly to challenge and encourage each other and are always looking for ways to partner together. Tony came to Northridge this past Wednesday night with several members of their church and shared with us and I am still meditating on the message that he brought and all that it means for my own life & the future of the church here. He taught out of 2 Kings 4 and the story of a widow that asked the prophet Elisha for help which was brought to her through a miracle of God providing oil based in part on her faith. Here are some highlights below (with some added commentary from yours truly) :

When the vessels were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not another.” Then the oil stopped flowing. (2 Kings 4:6 ESV)

  • Are we mixing our prayer with faith?
    (It's easy to say the words without actually believing God will do anything.)
  • Pray and apply faith with action.
    (Sometimes the answer to our prayer is revealed by taking action.)
  • If you don't expect anything you won't receive anything.
    (In other words, you get what you pray for.)
  • The essence of faith is expectation.
    (It's a waste of time if we aren't expecting God to do anything.)
  • Faithfully anticipate.
    (Look for God's specific response--it will be there.)
  • God gets frustrated with us when we don't expect Him to deliver.
    (He has shown us that He wants to bless His children. Shouldn't we look forward to that?)
  • Prayer is often the last thing on our list. We do everything else 1st.
    (This one hits close to home. It's time to stop operating solely on our own power & go to God at the beginning instead of the end.)
  • Expectation is the mental attitude of the faithful.
    (You've got to prepare yourself mentally for what God will do. It's not just an attitude, but an exercise in growth.)
  • Action is the physical attitude of our faith.
    (Don't just stretch your mind. You need to stretch your abilities, wallet, and calendar to make a difference.)
  • Your answer may come at any moment from any direction.
    (You can anticipate an answer, but God doesn't always work in the exact manner we have seen before. Keep your eyes open and trust that He's working in the best way possible.)
  • Do you believe He can do or will do?
    (This describes our view of God. Do we see Him as all-powerful, but withholding blessing or as a generous Father & King who wants to give the best to His children?)

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