When God Wrecks Your Expectation

Acts 3

Peter Heals a Lame Beggar

One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer—at three in the afternoon. Now a man who was lame from birth was being carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts. When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for money. Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.

Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, 10 they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

NOW

There are so many messages swirling through my head right now. Honestly, it’s hard to grab just one and lay it down on this computer.

Repetition! The crippled beggar was “carried to the temple gate called Beautiful, where he was put every day to beg from those going into the temple courts.” What was different this day? [pause – I really need you to take a breath and get this]…when Peter and John approached the crippled man, Peter exclaimed, “Look at us!” “So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them.”

The crippled beggar expected to get the same thing he had always gotten – money, coins, sympathy, maybe even a prayer. The man expected to get something that he was used to. The beggar expected to get something that would reinforce what he had always gotten in the past; the same things over and over. These things reinforced the mind’s finite walls of impossibilities. What the man did not expect was a miracle from Peter and John! The man was not expected to walk! But Peter said, “Look at us!”…”Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give. In the name of JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH, WALK!”

Oh the powerful name of Jesus. Taking him by the right hand, instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. The man wasn’t expecting that the mere name of Jesus and an outstretched arm from a faithful believer would heal bones, ligaments, nerves, and muscles that had been misaligned and malformed from birth. The man came expecting alright, but he did not expect to walk that day. Better yet, he did not expect to start jumping as stated in verse 8.

~The enemy called repetition is stifling your miracle!

~The enemy called traditionalism is stealing your revival!

~The enemy called religionism is killing your house of prayer!

~The enemy called disunity is destroying the body of Christ!

Dear believers, you too are expecting to be carried to the gate called Beautiful expecting silver or gold, a nice smile, or even a quick prayer for deliverance from cancer, addictions, failed marriages, bitterness, heartache, etc. You ARE the crippled beggar!

However, I’m here to tell you one thing…[but first]…LOOK AT ME…Take a deep breath. Worldly wisdom I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, BE FREE! Oh the powerful name of Jesus. Let is wash over you. Now “stand up” and jump for joy as you run into His temple courts praising His name.

You will find that the same people who passed you for decades at the temple gate will be filled with wonder and amazement but they will only recognize you as the person who “USED TO…[FILL IN THE BLANK].” AH…I love this part! The world is really good at remembering who you USED TO BE!

[Don’t miss this part]

When you come jumping for joy because of your miracle, you then become the “crazy” person or the “nut” who “used to be depressed” who “used to be addicted to alcohol.” You see, the world is really good at reminding you who you used to be. Yet, this is not the character of MY GOD! Jesus did not come to condemn but to save! He came to restore. Therefore, bask in your miracle and hold the shield of faith firmly so that the Holy Spirit can blot out ALL the fiery darts from the enemy…NO SATAN NOT TODAY!

So, what are you expecting to see today? The same thing you saw yesterday and the day before that! Hum, maybe, just maybe this message will spark you to [pause]…LISTEN to God as He’s trying to GET YOUR ATTENTION! LOOK AT HIM and listen for Him to say, “GET UP AND WALK!”

Challenge: Stop repeating and start LOOKING for Him, everywhere!

Thankful,

Christian Armetta

Expectations

Galatians 1:10

“For am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.”

Believe

The apostle Paul was standing firm on His conviction and obedience to preach the gospel of Christ without attempting to alter it in any shape or form to please his audience or to escape their anger. There is always a temptation within the flesh to change the truth when there is potential retaliation or controversy involved. Yet, Paul did not waver. Paul strongly stated, “If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.” Paul understood that he could not sit comfortably on the fence. He was either a slave for Christ or an enemy of God’s truth. He knew the truth and he refused to conform to the expectations of his audience because He knew the truth would set them free! This is standing firm on the solid rock of Christ! This is true faith…I believe…do you?

In full transparency, this verse in Galatians still pierces my heart every time I read it. During my college freshman year at Northeast Louisiana University in Monroe, Louisiana, which is now ULM, I surrounded myself with strong Christian believers. I knew it was vital to my Christian health and to continue my spiritual growth as a very young adult away from my parents. As my first year of college was coming to a close, a close friend and prayer partner asked to meet with me for Bible study, prayer, and to simply visit. This was pretty typical so I was excited for the opportunity to sharpen each other through God’s word and revelation. To my surprise, this mentor and friend read this verse and said the following words, “I feel as though you spend a great deal of time working to please others and should instead work to please God in all that you do.”

man alone

Heartbreak…I would be lying if I told you that I openly accepted this revelation and spiritual correction. Instead, I distinctively remember feelings of anger, pride, and even embarrassment rushing to the surface.  I thought, “How could he say that about me?” I sadly internalized that moment and used it to fuel a seed of anger. I learned to be quick to anger and impatient. It wasn’t until many years later through many more encounters with the love of Christ that I finally broke…my friend was right all those years ago! I did spend countless hours, years, and possibly decades working to please those around me to be accepted. Yet, God was standing with open arms the entire time gently calling, “I accept you just the way you are, come to Me!” My entire personality changed. I became softer, more compassionate, loving, long-suffering, and empathic. My focus was firmly on Christ. This reminds me of Colossians 3:17 that says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Expectations can be positive generating where one is motivated to achieve far more than ever imagined. On the other hand, expectations can mimic chains which are imposed unjustly where one is bound in place. Today, I pray that you break the chains of expectation! Christ came to set the captives free! You are here on this earth for a greater purpose and it is not to simply win the favor of people. You are here to share the gospel of Christ to all the nations of the world.

Question: Are you being held down by the expectations of others? Are you striving to win the favor of people or God?

Thankful,

Christian Armetta