Matt Hagee - Expect The Unexpected
Whenever it comes to the things that you are expecting in your life, most of the time you begin your expectations based on the depth of your relationship. For example, when you meet a stranger, you have very few expectations of that stranger or from that stranger, because you don't have any history upon which you can build your expectations. But whenever you get to know somebody well, you begin to develop expectation on their behavior. And whenever you have these expectations, based on your relationship, if they meet the expectation, you're pleased. If they exceed the exception, you're thrilled. If they don't, you're disappointed.
One of the challenges that American Christians have in the world today is that they have a difficult time building expectations on God's promises, because they are strangers to God's promises. You profess Christ, but you haven't got into the promises that he has given you: and therefore, you don't know what your expectation should be. But the more you get to know him, the more you read his word, the more you understand his promises, you begin to build these expectations that you see God perform, and your faith grows. And faith is the victory that overcomes the world. Read the first few words of Galatians 4:4. It says, "And in the fullness of time, God sent forth his son". He didn't send forth a son. He sent his own Son. There is no greater gift that anyone could ever give in an effort to get to know you and to meet the needs in your life. He didn't extend to you a token of his appreciation. He sent to you the most precious thing he had, his only begotten Son.
And I don't know what you're expecting to receive this Christmas. Maybe you're expecting big gifts. Maybe you're not expecting many gifts. But I assure you of this: if the only gift that you have ever gotten in this life is the gift of the only begotten Son of God, then you and I have received more than we could ever ask for, more than we have ever deserved, more than we could ever need. So I am here today to say, "Thank you, God, for giving me your Son, Jesus Christ: that when I believed in him, he gave me everlasting life". Child of God, if that blesses you, give the Lord a handclap of praise!
Expect the unexpected. And don't expect it in your time. How many of you would like for God to solve your problems by close of business today? Lord, I'm going to be in the office till 5:00. The reason that you cannot build your expectations on your timeline is because your timeline will create impatience in you. Well God, I thought I asked for this by Wednesday. Have you ever had those kinds of conversations? Some of you made a prayer request during the praise service and you want it fulfilled before the dismissal. When you build your expectations, remember his ways are not our ways: his time is not our time. I've found in my life that the more impatient I get, the longer God makes me wait. Don't build your expectations based on your timeline. Allow God to bring you into the fullness of time.
Galatians 4:4, it says, "And in the fullness of time", say that with me, "And in the fullness of time". The difference between the fullness of time and your time is God's time is perfect. If you get to your place of peace before God's ready for you to get there, things won't be in order when you arrive and your peace will be disturbed. But when you go in the fullness of time, then you are being led by the spirit and by the word. And you'll arrive right on time. I don't know what you're expecting God to do, but I assure you he can do it. You need a healing. He has healed in the past: he will heal again. And he can heal you. You need provision. He has provided in the past. He is still a provider. He owns the cattle on a thousand hilltops and he can meet your need. You need deliverance. He is a deliverer. He can break generational curses. He can set captives free. He can break yokes. He can lift burdens. He can move mountains. He can part waters. He is a way maker!
And you say, "Pastor, how can you believe like that"? I believe like that because I've seen God behave like that. And if he's done it before, he'll do it again. I don't know what you're expecting God to do. But I know what I'm expecting God to do. I'm expecting God to do what he has already done. He sent his son the first time. I'm expecting him to send his son again. I say, "God, I'm expecting your promise. I'm expecting king Jesus. I am lifting my eyes and raising my hands, and looking forward to a day when the trump of God shall sound, and the dead in Christ shall rise, and we who are alive and remain shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air".
I'm here to tell you, church, that based on what he did when he sent his son into the womb of a virgin: that he might set us free, he's going to do it again! He's going to send his son! He's going to send king Jesus back to earth! And when he comes, of his kingdom, there shall be no end! Doubters will say it doesn't seem possible. Tell them, "Expect the unexpected". It didn't seem possible that a virgin could become pregnant, but she did. It didn't seem possible that he could find a way to redeem us, but he did. It didn't seem possible that not only could he redeem us but he could set us free, and he did. It didn't seem possible that in our freedom and our liberty, not only would we have independence, but we would have adoption.
Keep reading Galatians 4. In verse 5, it says that this son who was born was born under the law. What does that mean? That he was born under the same law that had us burdened with death. People want to say that the law is the law of Moses. That's not the case. It is the law of God that God gave to Moses. And here is what the law says. The law says these things: "The wages of sin is death," "The soul that sinneth shall surely die, " "Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission of sins, " and, "There is not one righteous among you, no not one". "All of our efforts are as filthy rags". Whenever you recognize that there isn't one righteous among you, it means that you are not seen as a human being any better than the person to your right, to your left, in front, or behind. You say, "Well I'm not nearly as bad as those folks". In the courts of heaven, you're just as bad. Until we, as human beings, accept that fact, we're going to wrongfully judge one another.
Well, I would never do that. It doesn't matter whether you have or you haven't. In heaven, you're a sinner. And as a sinner, you should die. Jesus Christ was born under that same law. Why? Because he didn't erase the law: he fulfilled it. And that's a very important thing for you to understand, because there are people in the world today who are teaching and preaching that the grace of God is so good: that the law has been erased. That's not true. The grace of God is so amazing that he sent his son to fulfill it, but he did not erase it. Sin is still sin. And the soul that sinneth shall surely die. "Oh no, pastor: that's not true. God loves us so much" he does love us more than you can express or understand. He loved us when we were sinners. That's what Romans says: that while we were yet sinners, God loved us and he gave his son for us.
The question is not, does God love us? The question is, do we love him enough to stop sinning? So this son was born under the law. And he didn't erase the law: he fulfilled the law. And not only did he fulfill the law, but he adopted us, not just redemption but adoption. What a wonderful thing. You see "Redemption" means I'm out of prison. "Adoption" means I have a place to go now that I'm out. One of the leading problems in the world in the United States is recidivism. That's when people get out of prison and they go back to prison. Why do they go back to prison? Because when they get out of prison, they've got no place to go, no family to receive them, no church to want them, no people to belong to. And therefore, they feel more at home inside than they do outside.
Right now, I know that there are prisoners, who are watching, because we're live simulcasting this down at Bexar county. I want you to know that there is a Savior, who has created a path for you. It is a place for you to go. He not only set you free and forgave you of what you've done, but he's adopted you. And now you are a part of the family of God. And whom the son sets free is free indeed! Give the Lord a handclap of praise!
Read what Galatians 4 said. It says, "And because you are sons," verse 6, "God has sent forth the spirit of his son into your heart, crying out, 'abba father'". This is a promise. This is a truth. This is a reality that it will take you a lifetime to understand. Not only did he redeem you, that means that when you were born and you were walking on your path to death row, Jesus Christ interrupted you. And he said, let me walk that path for you so that you don't have to. That's powerful. I mean think about it. I'm one of five kids. I don't ever recall a day in my life when I was walking a path to judgment. When my father would tell me, "Matthew, we're going to talk about this when we get home," the thing about that is there wasn't a whole lot of words in those conversations. That talk was really just a slow walk to the bedroom.
And most of the talking was communicated between leather and my rear end. And if much was said, I didn't hear it. But I felt the spirit of it. And in those moments when judgment was certain, when the rest of my siblings heard dad say, "Matthew, we're going to talk about this when we get home," none of them interrupted my destruction. Not once did one of my siblings, as I'm walking down the hall to his bedroom, go, "Let me do this. You deserve it, but I love you so much: you're not going to have to take it. I will take it for you". Never! And I'm their favorite Matthew. I mean their, their, their, it just astounds me. I'm going to be honest with you though: I never did it for them. Dad wanted one of them, I said, "Get 'em. You don't know half of what they did".
But Jesus, knowing that you were guilty, knowing you deserved what you were headed for, he came from a royal family and he stepped in your path, and said, let me take that for you. And not only did he say, let me take that for you, but he said, here's how we're going to structure this exchange. My family is going to adopt you. And you say, "Well I don't think he'd ever accept me. I mean how could your father accept me if I'm the person that caused you to die"? He said he's never going to hear you: he's just going to hear me in you. He's going to hear me or he's going to hear you? No. He's going to hear Jesus in you. How? Because when you accept me, my spirit's going to come in you. And what comes out of you is going to sound like me in his ears.
Now how does that work? According to Galatians 4:6, God put his spirit in you so that when you cry out, you cry out, "Abba". "Abba" is "Daddy". "Abba" is the most intimate exchange between a father and a child. If you've spent any time with pastor and i, you know that I'm very careful about what I call him in consideration of where we are. At work, I call him, "Pastor". I've often had people ask me, "Why do you call him, 'pastor'? He's your dad". I said, "Because in this environment, he is 'the pastor'. In public, I've called him, 'dad'. I've called him, 'pastor'. I've called him, 'boss'. Always, 'sir' whether formal or informal. But whenever it's just he and i, that's when the intimacy exchange of 'daddy'".
And what Paul is telling us is that not only did Jesus interrupt your death row march, but whenever he did, he put his voice in your soul so that whenever you call on heaven, you don't say, "Uh, dear Lord, this is Matt. And I've met your son Jesus". When you call on heaven, it might sound one way here on earth. But when you call on heaven, all God hears is the voice of Jesus, saying, "Daddy". "Daddy, I'm in need today". "Daddy, I'm in heartbreak today". "Daddy, I'm sick today". "Daddy, I need help today". And as soon as he hears that voice, he says, that's my son, that's my child, that's my daughter, that's mine and I want to help. You see there's something paternalistic about the voice of your own children. You put my kids in a crowded room, they'll make noise. But whenever I hear that noise, I know they're mine. I can pick them out of every voice in the crowd. Why? Because they belong to me. It's like this: let's say that this is death row.
All of you are in prison. Congratulations. And the father sends the son to prison. And he walks into this penitentiary where death is the sentence. And he says, everything that they've said about you is true: isn't it? You committed every transgression, every sin. Everything that they said you're guilty of, it's a fact. And the death sentence is just. Here's what we're going to do. I'm going to serve your sentence for you. I'm going to allow you to walk out of this prison and never come back. And the good news is, is the past is not going to haunt you. Because if this was any other kind of jailbreak, in the morning when they look for prisoners, you're not going to be here. So they're going to send out the dogs to come find you. But whenever you leave here, they're not going to look for you, because I'm going to be sitting where you are. All prisoners present and accounted for. All justice has been paid. No one will ever try and bring you back here again. You want that exchange? This is redemption. He's been pulled out of the judgment he was in. And this is fulfillment. But it gets even better.
Can I borrow your coat? Because while there's been redemption and there's been fulfillment, now, he gets to experience adoption. Because if all you do, don't worry: I won't flex or nothing. Thank you. If all you do is accept redemption and allow the Savior to fulfill your judgment, you've only gotten a portion of what God intended for you to have. You don't look like the sinner you used to be. You look like the son that you should be. And the son doesn't sit here. And the son doesn't wait here. The son has been adopted and he has a place to go. Go sit there in my chair. You say, "I don't deserve this". No, you didn't deserve this. But the God that we serve said he wanted you to expect the unexpected. And when this adoption takes place, the way that it works is you have a request down here on earth. If you went over there, he wouldn't know who you were, so you have received the voice and the spirit and the presence of the son.
So you've made your request, and the son goes, "Dad, he needs provision". And because the father has heard the voice of the son, he says, "I'll provide that". "Dad, he needs healing". And the father hears the voice of the son, and he says, "Why wouldn't I want my son to be well? I'll do that". He says, "Dad, he needs blessings. He needs the windows of heaven to open. He needs the devourer to be rebuked. He needs the mountains to be moved. He needs chains to be broken. He needs things to happen down there on earth, because he has things that are going on that only a father, who loves him this much, could honestly supply". And God stands up on his throne and says, "That's my child. That's my son. That's my daughter. I'll move heaven and earth for you. I'll set you free. I'll give my angels charge over you. I'll make a way where there seems to be no way. I've redeemed you with precious blood. I'll set you free". And whom the son sets free is free indeed! Come on, church: give the Lord a shout of praise!
With every head bowed in this place, if you're here today, and you say, "pastor, today I need the redemption that Jesus Christ can give. Today I need to be interrupted on my death march, and I need everlasting life. And I want to receive him as Savior. I want to be set free from the penitentiary that I'm in". If that's you today, I want you to raise your hand right where you are. And if you've raised your hand to receive the Lord, I want you to start walking this way. Start right now. I want everyone in this room to repeat this prayer with me today:
Lord Jesus Christ, today I thank you for redeeming me. I thank you for paying the price of the sin in my life. I thank you for dying my death so that I could receive your life. And today, as my Savior, I am set free, because whom the son sets free is free indeed. But Lord, I thank you, because not only did you give me your son, but you adopted me. You placed his spirit inside of me. And when you hear me, it's his voice, it's his heart. And you have given me the joy of the Lord. You've given me peace that surpasses understanding. And today, as your child, as your son, as your daughter, I receive it. Thank you, father. Thank you, Abba. Thank you, God, for what you've done for me through Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, in Jesus' name, amen.