Matthew 21:1-16

Matthew 21:1-16

How many times have You told me to do things? How many times have You made it clear that there was a specific direction or path that You were going and I ignored it and went my own way?Am I really any different than Your disciples? How many times have You told me to do things? How many times have You made it clear that there was a specific direction or path that You were going and I ignored it and went my own way? Am I really any different than the disciples? And I think this is a question that, if you took the time to ask, you would find that really we are not different than the disciples, though we have the advantage of having the Holy Spirit in us. The disciples did not. We have the Holy Spirit Who can explain things to us a little more fully than the disciples. The disciples just took Jesus’ word for it and made of Jesus’ word what they could, even though they didn’t fully understand. We, even with the Holy Spirit in us, though, will take information, we will match it to our lives, we will match it to our expectations of life and, no matter what it is that God has directed us to do, we will match that direction to what we desire to do…

We have expectation, just as the chief priests and the religious leaders had expectation of what that King was going to be when He came. Just as the people in the street had expectation of what that King was going to be when He came. If I was to ask you right now, what is your expectation for Jesus’ return? When is it going to happen? How is it going to happen? And what do you think your part in it is going to be? It’s a very complicated question, isn’t it? All of us have this idea of how we would like to see Jesus return. Of course, we have His Word, and we know that His return to this earth is going to be after there’s been seven years of Tribulation on this earth, and this earth is going to be decimated, and He’s going to come back and clean up the mess. But what does that mean for you and I? Well, we’re going to be taken up and we’re going to meet Him in the clouds. Have you ever thought of that day? What you might be doing? Have you ever thought of the plans that you have for your life and what might be interrupted? Have you ever found yourself praying, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus, but just not right now”? I have. I have days where I am enjoying life. I am enjoying the circumstances of my life. I am enjoying all that God has blessed me with. And I say, “You know what, Lord? There had got to be other Gentiles on the face of this planet that still need to be saved, so take Your time.” But what if He interrupted something that I was doing? What if my King required me to stop what I’m doing right now and come and be what He is doing? Be a part of that exciting adventure that is going to be eternity? We all have expectation. We all have an idea of what we believe it’s going to be like that day when Jesus returns, that day that Jesus calls us to be with Him…

In the back of our minds, each and every one of us have a desire to see Jesus return, but we want to usher Him in on our terms. We want it to be in our timeframe. We want it to be how we would like it to be. We have an idea of what part we might play. What we hope we will play. How He’ll use us…

How many times do we miss the fact that He is here, and He is paying attention? Our actions speak so much louder than our words and our understanding, in the things that we do, the circumstances we find ourselves in, the things that we think, how we approach our life. We live the truth even though we study the truth. The truth that we study is sometimes very different than the truth that we live. Our lives display our expectations. We believe that God should be doing something else or using us in a different way than He is, or we have this idea that, well, God is out there right now. Yeah, He might be returning, but He’s still some distance down the road so I don’t have to worry about it. Well, that is until, of course, we start hearing the shouting in the streets that we weren’t expecting…

Heaven isn’t out there, and God isn’t out there somewhere. Heaven is where Jesus is. So I guess I can ask the question, do you have heaven in your heart today? If heaven is where Jesus is, and you’ve asked Jesus into your heart, you’ve asked Jesus to be in your life, to be in control of your life, then guess what? That’s where heaven is. Do you live believing that you are dwelling in heaven right now? Do you approach your life and the expectations of your life as though you are walking every moment in eternity already? You should. That is exactly how God desired us to live when He gave us His Holy Spirit, when He filled us with His Spirit…

So often we miss the point. The Spirit can move in, He can be a part of our lives, and He can give us direction, and He’s given us His Word to study, and we can match His Word with what we feel inside, but yet we still turn and go the other direction so often. We still do our own things so often. And then, when Jesus shows up and overturns the table of our success, we become indignant, and we say, “God, what do You think You’re doing? This wasn’t in the plan!” Or was it? And we just missed His plans. We, too often, make our plans. We set the direction for our life, and expect God to bless what we want to do. We tell God, “God, this is what You’re going to do for me today,” and we do it in such a holy way, “Oh, Lord, make Your will known to me. Let me know what You want me to do, as long as that’s my job and this house that I want and this car that I want, it’s all okay, Lord. Just tell me that this is what Your plan is, and everything will be okay.” We are so good at it. What is your expectation? What do you believe God should be doing with you, in you, and through you? And what is it that He really wants to accomplish in you, through you, for you, and for His kingdom? That’s how He would have us to think…

What are your expectations? What do you believe Jesus should be doing with you? And what does His Word tell us it is that He is going to do? And this is the point. It’s not a mystery. Jesus made it very clear to His disciples what it was that He was going to do. His Word made it very clear through the prophets what it was that He was going to do… His Word already tells us what it is that He is going to do. Do we live our lives as though we believe it? Or do we challenge God every step of the way and say, “Yeah, God, that’s all fine and well, but I have a different plan. I have different expectations.” How is God’s Word going to be fulfilled in and around us, and are we going to be ready for it? It’s time to prepare our hearts…

Are we living each and every moment of our lives so that when that trumpet blasts, we’re not taken by surprise, but we’re just stepping one more moment in eternity, just as we have been since the day that Jesus entered into our life? It’s not going to be a surprise to us?…

Pastor Dave Elkins