Summary: This is a Pentecost sermon which deals with God having a plan even when He gives us a task to do without telling us what to do.
God Had A Plan
In a football game, if you are down by two touchdowns at half-time and nothing you have tried seems to be working, when you go into the locker room what do you think is on the players minds as they look at the coach? Nobody is thinking about quitting or going home. Nobody is thinking it’s hopeless. The smart players are looking at the coach, and they are thinking, “I wonder what plan the coach has in mind for the second half.”
There is something about a plan that gives you a new found confidence. Sometimes even a bad plan is better than no plan at all. At least you can tell when it is not working. We need a plan in life if we hope to get from point A to point B and get there on time in the way God would have us do it.
Do you ever feel as though you know God wants you to get from point Y to point Z, but God forgot to tell you what the plan was? It can happen in a variety of ways. God gives you an assurance that He’s with you and then that day you lose your job. Or God tells you, “I’m about to do a work in your life” and later that week you or someone in your family gets some bad news from a doctor. Or you commit yourself to follow the Lord, and then some relationship you look forward to having just falls to pieces.
Now we know, God does not expect our lives to end, because of this calamity or circumstance. Yet we may feel as though God has not provided an adequate plan to get us further down the road. Even Christians can feel overwhelmed at times, but there is something about knowing that God has a plan that can give us a new found confidence. Peter was pretty embarrassed and humiliated after denying Christ. It really hurt when Jesus asked him three times, “Peter do you love me” . But when Jesus made it clear, he had future plans for Peter, Peter instantly became a new man with a new outlook.
We often think, “I can walk with God so long as certain things do not happen in my life.” If certain hardships, persecutions, losses or sicknesses come our way, the temptation is to think, God has forgotten about us. Why should we try to hang in there any longer. We forget God has already asked the question, “What can separate you from my love?”
God goes on to answer that question by saying , Rom 8:37-38 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. What God is saying in this passage, is that no matter, what He still has a plan for our lives. Even when we blow it, God still has a plan.
Pentecost is about God having a plan. God will often give us a task to do, before He provides us with the plan or details for carrying it out. This is a requirement if we are to walk in the realm of faith. You see if you have a plan in advance that will not fail, then there is no need for faith and no need to rely upon God. To truly walk with God, we have to urgently need God or we will simply come up with a plan on our own.
Let’s go back to our New Testament reading. Jesus has died and has been resurrected from the dead. He then spends about six weeks with his disciples. He’s providing convincing proofs to others that he is actually alive. Then He gives the disciple this message that they do not fully understand. He says, “Now I want you to wait in Jerusalem until you get from my Father, the gift you heard me speak about. John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with Holy Spirit.”
Now the disciples knew that whatever this Holy Spirit was, it was going to do something for them, that had not been done before. They put their heads together and came up with the wrong answer. They figured, that if God was about to do something new in them, that must mean he was getting ready to change the circumstances around them. They got excited because now they thought, it’s our time to be on top with Jesus ruling over everybody. So they asked him, “Lord are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel.” In other words, “are you about to kick out the Roman government and remove the hypocritical religious leaders and let us rule with you. Are we about to get the power.”