Matthew 21:17-24

Matthew 21:17-24

First and foremost, it is about knowing what God has to say. It's not about what I have to say. It's not about what I feel. It's not about what I desire. It is about what God has to say... Are you willing to say, "Yes, Jesus, You are my Lord. You are the Authority over me, and I will do what it is that You ask me to do."God has a desire and a plan laid out for us. All we need do is seek God to find out what that plan is, and then, by faith, even though we don’t see how it’s going to happen, trust that it’s going to happen. I want to read to you something in 2 Timothy. In 2 Timothy 4:1, “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge.” This is Paul, by the way, writing to Timothy, giving him instruction on how to present himself in ministry, and so he’s going to give him this charge. “Preach the Word.” First and foremost, it is about knowing what God has to say. It’s not about what I have to say. It’s not about what I feel. It’s not about what I desire. It is about what God has to say. And so, Paul tells him, “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.” Paul is giving Timothy this instruction, be prepared, be ready, teach the Word even when you’re not prepared to teach the Word. Be prepared. Do it in season and out of season.

You know what? We can make all kinds of excuses why we’re not ready to do something, why we’re not ready to accept something, why we’re not ready to have something happen in our life, but they are excuses, especially when God’s Word lays it out clearly for us, and we’re told to be ready. Ready to teach God’s Word. It is always, first and foremost, about God’s Word. Most of us aren’t convinced of that, though.

“Okay, I’ll teach God’s Word when I get around to it. When I accomplish all those things in my life that I want to see happen first, then I might be ready to teach God’s Word, but I’m just not ready right now. It’s not the season for me to do that yet.”

I don’t care what season it is. Paul, right here, is telling those who would handle God’s Word — and by the way, just because I teach up here does not mean that you do not handle God’s Word. How many of you have a Bible in here this morning?… Everybody who has a Bible handles God’s Word. So, this instruction is going to you as well. Not just to Timothy, not just to me because I preach, but to anybody and everybody who is in God’s service. Are you God’s servant? Did God create you with a purpose? Was that purpose for you to be comfortable and healthy and rich and sitting in a big home and not talking to anybody? I don’t think so. I believe God prepared you and has given you all that He’s given you in your life for a reason… In every case He’s given in order to prepare the servant, the vessel, to be ready when God calls, when it is your turn to step up, and preach the Word. But it doesn’t matter if you’re ready or not. When God brings you the opportunity, and you have God’s Word, you take your best shot at it, and let the Holy Spirit do the rest…

We’re also told in the gospels that we are to desire God’s will. It’s not just about naming it and claiming it. It’s not just about desiring something for our life, but to take Jesus’s example. Jesus was here for a purpose. He was here to produce fruit for His Father, and everything that Jesus did, it was done to honor His Father. And so, when we’re told to ask for anything in His name, we are honoring that name by doing what He did. This is what Jesus is telling His disciples…

We do not know exactly how God will do what He desires to do, but we know that when He asks us to do it, it is for a purpose…

What are you asking for in prayer? What do you believe it is that God wants you to do? What is it that you believe that God wants you to have? We’re also told we have not because we ask not or we ask amiss, because we’re not asking for God’s will. We’re asking for our will. We’re asking for our desire. We’re asking for our greatness. We’re not asking for God’s greatness to be displayed through us, and so we don’t get what we ask for because we’re truly not asking in faith…

What do you fear? Do you fear God or do you fear man? Do you fear man’s opinion of you? Do you care about what people think? I think so often we have this same discussion that the leaders had, but we do it in our mind. What is it that I do believe?… Does God have any real, true authority over us? That is the foundation of faith that is laid. What do you believe? You can’t see it, you can’t feel it, you can’t taste it, but it is there. If you believe that there is a God in heaven, if you believe that Jesus died on the cross, then guess what? You have to believe that He has the authority to ask you to do whatever it is that He chooses to ask you to do, and you have to be ready in season and out of season to accomplish it. It’s not about our desire. It is about the authority of God in our life. Does God have the authority to ask you to do what it is He’s asked me to do? And then when you believe He’s asked you to do it, are you willing? Will you take that step of faith? Will you be ready? Even if you’re not supposed to be ready, will you be ready?…

It all boils down to, are you willing? Are you willing to say, “Yes, Jesus, You are my Lord. You are the authority over me, and I will do what it is that You ask me to do.”

Pastor Dave Elkins