Summary: This is an updated version of an earlier sermon dealing with the reality that things in life do not turn out in the way we expect them to even for God’s People.
It’s Not What I Expected by Rick Gillespie-Mobley
It’s Not What I Expected!
As a kid, did you ever want something from Christmas so badly that if you got it, you swore you’d never ask for anything again. You got what you wanted, and after a while you felt this is not what I expected from this. As a teenager you’ve heard so much about the prom and what it’s going to be like. You spent all these years waiting, all the money for the night, and you go and after its’s over you recognize, this is not what I expected. As an adult, you couldn’t wait to get that new car, or that home, or even to get married. You get what you went after, but now on the other side of the getting you realize, this is not what I expected.
Have you ever invested years of your life into another person with your time, your energy, and your money? You could have been enjoying yourself, but instead you poured into this other person and you’ve watched them make one dumb stupid decision after another for their lives. You look at where they are today, and you say, this is not I expected.
Life is going to be full of situations that are not going to turn out in the way we hoped they would. We may choose a college major or a particular job only to find out, this is not what I expected. We may choose a marriage partner or decided to have a child only to find out, “this is not what I expected.” We may choose to buy a house in a certain area or to buy a particular kind of a car only to find out, “this is not what I expected.
Any one who has made a serious commitment to follow God is going to run into situations in which they will say, “God, this is not what I expected.” Let’s look at a young man who should have had a long prosperous life. Even before he was born, an angel had told his father, “he is going to be a great preacher and will lead many back to the Lord”. As the boy grew up, he kept hearing the stories about how his father could not speak from the moment he first received news he would have a son, until after he had named his son by writing it on a tablet.
People would look at him and say “one day that boy is going to be somebody. Do you remember his birth”. But even though his father had been a priest, he did not become one. His mother and father were both dead now because they were way up in years when he was born. He was living in the desert By age 18, nothing had happened like the prophecies had said would happen.
He must have been thinking, “Lord, this is not what I expected. It certainly is not what my parents expected.” But he hung in their with the Lord, dressed in clothing made of camel hair with a leather belt around his waste. His food consisted of locusts and wild honey. People had pretty much forgotten his so called miraculous birth and his alleged mission from God. He was in his twenties now, and now when people saw him, they would say, “now there’s one life that did not turn out the way I expected.”
But then one day, in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar when Pontius Pilate was governor of Judea, the Bible tells us that the word of the of God came to John in the desert. God must have said, “John I’ve heard your prayers time and time again, but the time was not ripe.” But now it’s time to do what I promised your parents you would do.’ It was about 25 years ago that God had made a promise to his parents.
Part of the reason we do not get what we expected from God, is that we think in terms of praying today and getting it tomorrow. When God gives us a word, it may take years for it to come to pass. Our job is to get ready to make it happen.
John had been in the desert disciplining himself, waiting for the moment. When the word of God came to him, he came out of the desert preaching up a storm. People were coming from all over the place to hear him preach. He was the TD Jakes of his time. His message was, “you better get you act together and repent because God is about to bring forth judgment.”
He told the religious leaders, they had to change the way they were living, because they were like snakes in the grass trying to get away from the fire. He told the crowds, the tax collectors, the soldiers, you better change what you’re doing. Quit your lying and your stealing. Start loving people in the way God intended. Hell is just around the corner, and if you don’t change, you’re heading for it.