Most Christians Need An Expectations Alignment- Part 2
In last week’s blog we looked at Jesus-Based Alignment Expectations. The summary was that Jesus is the Right Man, in theRight Posture, in the Right Place with the Right Power made available to the Right People to accomplish His Mission!
In part two we will consider what a Christian’s alignment with Jesus’ expectations looks like.
When a Christian is in alignment with Jesus’ expectations there will be:
- A Certainty that My Greatest Problem Has Been Fixed – Hebs 10:12,14
What’s my greatest problem? SIN. In fact, I, and all other humans, have two gigantic, insurmountable problems (from a human perspective). These are the same two problems that have faced every generation since Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden, took us down the path of sin. One - all mankind has a criminal record in Heaven. Two - all mankind has a corrupt heart in their body. And the bad news is that no person has the power or the ability to fix the problem.
Yet this is where “great expectations” are in order because this is the heart of the "good news" that constitutes the Gospel. The greatest news ever to fall on human ears is that in the person and work of Christ, the Law of God is satisfied and the heart of the repentant, believing sinner is rectified, and God is glorified.
- A Calmness in the Wickedest Periods of History Because the Devil and Evil is Defeated and Cannot Triumph! – Hebs 10:13
Psa 67:7:“God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!” Psa 86:9: “All the nations you have made shall come and worship before you, O Lord, and shall glorify your name.”
Pastor Charles Spurgeon was at a Missionary Meeting in May 1867 that was dealing with the need for more missionaries. He said: “It would be easy to show that at our present rate of progress the kingdoms of this world never could become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ. I believe that King Jesus will reign, and the idols be utterly abolished; but I expect the same power which turned the world upside down once will continue to do it. The Holy Ghost would never suffer the imputation to rest upon His holy name that He was not able to convert the world'
“Sure, Christ is powerful,” I hear someone say, “but He's in heaven and the Bible says Satan is the prince of this world." This common response misses the point of Christ's coming. "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (I John 3:8).
Jesus said, "But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you. Or else, how can one enter a strong man's house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then will plunder his house" (Matt. 12:28-29). Jesus not only affirms the presence of the Kingdom of God but states His intention of binding the strong man (Satan, cf. Rev. 20:1-3) and plundering Satan's domain, (Lk 11:20-23). What then is Satan's status on the earth? Satan is condemned (Jn 16:11), cast out (Jn 12:31), resisted and fleeing (Jam 4:7), overcome (I Jn 2:14, 4:4), being progressively crushed under Christian’s feet (Rom. 16:20), and progressively destroyed (Heb. 2:14).
- A Confidence that the Hardest People will be Made Willing in the Day of His Power – Ps 110:3: “Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power”
A person can be preached to by the most powerful and eloquent of preachers, all to no avail. But in the day of His power, the wind of God's Spirit blows the stagnant air of death from the lost sinner's heart and breathes into his spirit the breath of life so that they become willing and responsive to God.
Dear believer, always remember that it’s not your ability to live as near perfect as possible, or your brilliant and pervasive knowledge of the Bible, coupled with irrefutable apologetic logic, or your polished articulate communication skills that is the key to the salvation of your family and friends. Jesus declared that “all those who the Father has given to him will come to him.” Salvation is of the Lord!
- A Courage to Attack the Darkest Places with the Gospel in the Confidence that it Will Ultimately Succeed!
To get aligned with Jesus is to begin expecting like He does. He is expecting something specific to happen - His enemies are UNDER HIS FEET. In light of these Scriptures, we must ask the question ‘Where are Christ’s feet?’ We know that Jesus Christ is the HEAD. But are feet connected directly to the Head? NO, there is a BODY, i.e. the Church, between the Head and the feet! This is the meaning of Roms 16:20 “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under YOUR feet shortly.” The enemies of Christ are put under the feet of His Body as the kingdoms of this world are progressively becoming the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ.
With proper alignment with Jesus’ assignment, we’ll expect that although there have been great and glorious days of the gospel in the past, they will be viewed as small in comparison to what will be.
For the first 300 years of church history, new converts were being added to the kingdom at the rate of 500,000 every 40 years. Today an estimated 78,000 new Christians are added to the kingdom of God around the world each day. That’s 3,120,000 every forty years! In 1880 there were no churches in Korea. Now there are 6,000 in the city of Seoul alone. Six new churches are being started in South Korea every day. Today, despite widespread persecution, it is estimated that there may be somewhere between 100-200 million believers in atheistic, communist China.
The belief that the Church is going to end up in an apathetic, apostate, peripheral condition, with only a few faithful ones to be snatched away when Jesus returns is basically American theology of the 150 years. If one believes that we are living in the “Laodicean” period of church history, and that it is predestined to end in apostasy and abject failure, then we begin to receive according to that level of our faith and achieve on the same paltry and pathetic level.
Far too many of today’s Christians see the Church as the tail and not the head. They see Her as a fragmented, rag-tag band of losers, so pale, anemic, and demoralized that She must be evacuated before the battle is finished. They see the Church as having no glory and might, no triumph or splendor attached to the Her, because those attributes are all reserved to be lavished later upon national Israel.
In contrast, the New Testament believers saw the Church as central and not peripheral. They saw themselves as Jesus taught - mustard seed that would grow into a tree - leaven that would secretly have an influence far beyond its size - salt that would preserve and add flavor to life - a light that was set on a hill that couldn’t be hidden. They saw themselves as part of a powerful, love-filled, life-abounding, militant, triumphant army marching from victory unto victory, by the power of the sword of the Word of God made effectual by the Spirit of God, and that in spite of who and how many were against them because they knew the One that was for them – and if God be for us, what difference does it make who’s against us!
A vision of the future that doesn’t see Christ the Lord reigning now and the Church co-reigning with him; a vision of the future that doesn’t see the Redeemed People of Faith, the Church, as the center of God’s plan will produce a people who spend more time looking for the Anti-Christ to be manifested than praying for the power of Christ to be manifested; that will spend more time advertising that they will be going out of business for King Jesus any minute rather than doing business for him UNTIL the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory!
The issue before us is not incidental or peripheral. How we perceive the future affects the way we raise our children, the education we get, the type buildings we build, the way we invest our monies, how we do evangelism, i.e. rescuing a few from off the sinking ship of this world or discipling men to become generational instead of terminal in their thinking.
The CHURCH must get an expectations alignment and begin asserting that King Jesus is now the Reigning Lord of the world with all authority being His in Heaven and on earth! She must recover kingdom thinking, praying, living, and working, declaring: “Kingdom of God, come more fully so that the as-above-in-heaven, becomes the way it is on earth, and not just in the hearts of believers!”
It’s time – not for the Great Reset that we’ve heard so much about and fear so greatly from frail creatures of dust - but for the Great Expectations Alignment, where we get back in line with the gospel of a Victorious King and his ever-enlarging Kingdom. We must stop sitting on the church building’s premises and start marching as the CHURCH whose ranks are comprised of Spirit-filled soldiers of the cross. By the gospel of the kingdom of God, attended by the power of the Spirit of God made audible and applicable through the redeemed people of God, who get in alignment with the assignment, we can expect great things from God - and this despite many losses of soldiers and battles along the way. Getting an expectation’s alignment will calm our fears of being obliterated and build our faith in a victorious gospel that will ultimately see Christ’s enemies become his footstool and the whole earth filled with the knowledge of the Lord, because the War was won at Calvary and the empty Garden Tomb.
It’s time for Christians to get an expectations alignment!