Allow yourself to be surprised by God.
JULY 14, 2021
Allow yourself to be surprised by God. Let’s talk about it on Key Life.
Welcome to Key Life. I’m Matthew, executive producer for the program and our host is author and seminary professor Steve Brown. The church has suffered under do more, try harder religion for too long. And Key Life is here to proclaim that Jesus sets the captives free.
Thank you Matthew. If you have your Bible, open it to the second chapter of Acts, as we continue with our study in the book of Acts. And we’re looking at Pentecost and when God did an amazing, wonderful thing, poured out his Spirit on the church, and she lifted her skirts and began to run into the world and the world was never the same. And it’s because of the supernatural power of God’s spirit poured out on his people. You know, this thing is supernatural and we forget it, sometimes. We are so technologically involved, we are so into planning and setting goals. We are so into getting it right. That sometimes we forget, if we get it all wrong and then God decides to do it, it’s going to happen anyway. And along that line, I’ve suggested repeatedly, but you never listen to me. I have suggested repeatedly that Pentecost isn’t reproducible. There isn’t a system, but we talked about our culture and how dark it is right now. And it is. I’m an old guy. I’m old as dirt, and I’ve never seen things this bad. I’ve never seen this much hatred. I’ve never seen this much insanity. I’ve never seen this much rebellion. This kind of, well, I could go on and on and on, you know, unless you’ve had your head in the sand somewhere, we’re in trouble in this nation. And we need another Pentecost. We need another awaking. We need revival in the church and there isn’t a thing you can do to cause it to happen, except to know there’s isn’t a thing you can do to cause it to happen. When you really are at the bottom, you go to God and God answers prayers when they’re spoken at the bottom, because grace always runs down hill. But I am suggesting, and I have been over the last week or two, that in this culture, this kind of setting where we need Pentecost, certain things ought to be present, as they were present at the first Pentecost. This culture is so dark, we can’t afford to shilly-shally anymore. We’ve got to do, and have certain things that Scripture teaches are important. And the first is, that it is commitment, obedience. Now, I’m not talking about perfection, knowledge, but let me show you something else. It is interesting to note here that there is another quality which kind of jumps out at you, when you think about it. And that is the extreme flexibility of the disciples. Peter didn’t know he was going to preach a sermon. He hadn’t spent all Saturday in this study preparing his sermon. He didn’t have three points. He didn’t, he didn’t even know. I mean, God moved and he moved and he opened his mouth and he preached, they didn’t know what was going to happen. I mean, they were having this nice small group session in a room somewhere, and then they heard the rush of a mighty wind. And they, and they saw tongues of fire. They didn’t know that supernatural things were gonna happen. That from every nation, people were gathered in Jerusalem and they heard the gospel presented in their own language. How did that happen? I mean, it happened because God is a God of surprises, and we need to be aware of that too. You know, it’s very easy in our culture to get depressed. Oh man. To say there’s no hope, it’s very easy in our culture to look at what’s being taught in academic institutions. And sometimes it looks like the whole world is come together and have become unified in their hatred of the Christian faith, and all things that are Christian. I’ve been suggesting, and I told you that I taught a seminar at the Cove, the Billy Graham Training Center, about revival and awakening and I said that I thought we were sitting on top of an awakening, because we were coming to an end of ourselves and we didn’t have any other place to go. And that’s where God moves. But also there was another thing that I’ve thought about. God loves to surprise his people. Pentecost simply wasn’t planned. I mean, it was a Jewish holiday and all that. Everybody knew that, but nobody knew about the tongues of fire. Where did that come from? And the rush of a mighty wind and the miracles and 3000 people in a, after one sermon, man, if I preach one sermon and 3000 people came to Christ, I’d retire man. I would retire at the top of my game, a game that wasn’t even mine. 3000 people came to know Christ, I mean, God’s Spirit moved and it surprised everybody. It surprised Peter, it surprised the disciples, it surprised those who became Christians, it surprised those who didn’t become Christians. God was doing something, it was obvious and it was surprising. So, I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful, because I know God, the God of surprises. And, you might be surprised at what God is doing. Let me show you something else. We’re talking about things that ought to be extant in our lives, in this kind of dark culture. Prayer ought to be, Act 1:14.
All these with one accord devoted themselves to prayer.
And that’s what we need, in our churches and in our culture and in our lives. We’re just not connected sometimes. Don’t have time. We say quick prayers. We don’t know what a season of prayer is, and we need to learn. I’m not being a legalist here. You gotta be connected to the source of power. You think about that. Amen.
Being surprised by God, sounds like a good thing to me. Thank you Steve, for that teaching. We will continue our tour of Acts 2 tomorrow. Hope you will join us again then, wouldn’t be the same without you. Hey, why you’re here? Just to reminder that you, yes, you are a new creation. It says so in II Corinthians 5. It’s not about how you vote, or dress or behave. It’s just who you already are, which is a new creation in Christ. Steve spoke about this in a sermon called Owner’s Manual for the New Creation. Take a listen to part of that talk. Then I’ll be back to tell you about a special free offer. Here’s Steve.
If you’re familiar with the Chronicles of Narnia, you’re aware that chronologically The Magician’s Nephew is the first one. That’s where we found out about Narnia and about Aslan, the Lion of Judah and Digory is the kid in The Magician’s Nephew. What mother would give her son the name Digory? At any rate, Digory’s mother is dying and he pleads with Aslan to do something. And the lion just looks at him and Digory looks down and Lewis says that he can see the lion’s claws. And then he looks up and to his amazement. And these are the words of Lewis. He sees shining tears and Aslan’s eyes. And Aslan says, child only you and I know how sad it is in this place. We must be kind to one another. We’re learning that in this church. So we hope you stay. We hope you find that out, but if you care, you’ll get hurt. Commitment to the church, is commitment to bad communication, misunderstanding, sin, but it’s worth it. Trust me, be glad that I’m not 20 years younger. If I had preached the same sermon 20 years ago, I would have written it with one purpose in mind. And that would be to make you feel guilty. I was good at that. I would say things like, after all that Jesus has done for you, I’ve been saying things like, I can’t believe that you call yourself a Christian and you would feel condemned and you might even live better through Monday, but Tuesday it would come apart. Somebody sent this to me this week. I’d never seen it before, but maybe you have, it’s a quote was said by teacher who was applying for a job in the public school system. And this is what she said.
Let me see if I’ve got this right, you want me to go into that room with those kids, correct their disruptive behavior, observe them for signs of abuse, monitor their dress habits, censor their t-shirt messages and instill in them a love for learning? You want me to check their backpacks for weapons, wage war on drugs and sexually transmitted diseases and raise their sense of self-esteem and personal pride? You want me to teach them patriotism and good citizenship, sportsmanship and fair play and how to register to vote, balance a checkbook and apply for a job? You want me to check their heads for lice, recognize signs of antisocial behavior and make sure that they all pass the state exams? You want me to provide them with an equal education regardless of their handicaps and communicate regularly with their parents by letter, telephone, newsletter and report cards? You want me to do all of this with a starting salary that qualifies me for food stamps, and then you tell me I can’t pray? Are you crazy?
That’s, that’s the way I felt, for a lot of years, I had a lousy job. My job, I was commissioned by God I thought, was to keep you guys from sinning. Boy, you talk about setting yourself up for failure. No matter how well I said it, no matter how much I taught it, no matter how clearly I illustrated it, you kept on sinning. And then I realized that I was worse than you, and that we were trying to fly and we couldn’t do it.
This is such a powerful sermon and in it, Steve addresses three lies that most of us believe and the truth to counteract, those lies. Get your copy right now by calling 1-800-KEY-LIFE. That’s 1-800-539-5433. You can also e-mail Steve@keylife.org and ask for that CD. If you’d like to mail your request. Just send it to
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