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Matt Hagee - The Power of Your Expectations


Matt Hagee - The Power of Your Expectations
Matt Hagee - The Power of Your Expectations
TOPICS: Expectations

Recently, research was written that stated that 80% of people, who go to church, do not openly share their faith. They go to church. They believe that Jesus Christ is the way to heaven. But when they leave church, eight out of ten do not do anything to engage someone else with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Twenty percent of those, who attend church, tell other people that they go to church. Twenty percent of those, who attend church, tell other people about their faith in Jesus Christ. But eight out of ten leave it inside of them. Why? We could have people say, "Well, it's for fear". Or others might say that it's because they don't want to be rejected. Others might say that they don't really have faith: otherwise, they would share faith.

I believe that one of the great reasons why people do not share their faith openly is because they have a predetermined expectation of what will happen when they do. They believe if they go across the street and knock on the neighbor's door and invite them to church, the neighbor will say, "No". They believe if they go to the office and they share their faith with a co-worker, the co-worker might get offended. And being such a politically-correct environment, they might have to go talk to H.R. about how they're persuading other people with their faith. They believe that whatever they do to take their faith outside of the church, it is going to cause a trouble that in doing so is going to come back and reap a repercussion against them.

The reason that they believe this is they have put their expectation in the wrong place. You see Paul is talking to Timothy. And Paul is telling Timothy, look: I know that I've suffered some stuff. I know that I've been through some stuff. I know that I've been shipwrecked and left for dead, and spent a night in the deep. I know that I am going through some trials and tribulations. But one thing that I know even greater than all of that is I know in whom I have believed. I don't have an expectation from the people in this world. I don't have an expectation of their approval. I have an expectation that the God, who has promised me eternal life, will keep that promise. And because Paul had this expectation, he could look at the world and declare very confidently, "If God is for me, who can be against me"?

You see we hear that on Sunday, but if only two out of ten go out and share it on Monday through Friday, then something hasn't clicked in what we're hearing, and what we're believing, and what we're doing. Only when the church has enough confidence and faith to live for Jesus Christ outside the walls of the church, will we make an impact on this city. The devil doesn't mind if you leave your house and come to God's house, only for you to go from God's house back to your house. What bothers him is when you stop by everybody else's house and tell them what's going on down there where God's at. But in order for that to happen, you've got to have a proper expectation. When you hear things like that, maybe it is intimidating. And you say, "Well I just could never do that".

I'll reference a quote from Henry Ford that says, "There's two kinds of men in this world: those who believe they can and those who believe they can't, and both of them are right". Proverbs says it this way in Proverbs 23:7: it says, "As a man thinks in his heart so is he". This is Bible confirmation that your expectations begin to develop and drive your beliefs. Where do your expectations come from? If your expectations come from others, you're never going to be satisfied, because sooner or later, others will disappoint you. If you do what you do because you want to get the approval of other men, sooner or later, they will not approve of you enough. If you do what you do because you're trying to win the hearts of other people in your life, they're not going to ever give you enough.

Some people, they base their expectations on past experiences. How many of you know people who don't expect anything good in their future based on all of their yesterdays? The challenge with doing this is that you only have a limited perspective on what you've been through. You don't fully understand everything that God did in your past to bring you to this moment in time. You only see, and you only remember, and you only hear what was directly in front of you. You didn't see, and hear, and remember everything that was going on around you. You live in the moment: God doesn't. You live right here in San Antonio: God's over the whole earth.

You see your expectations are powerful. What do you expect when you come to God's house? Do you expect it to be over with by 8 o'clock? Do you expect to see just a few of your friends? Do you expect to be encouraged? Or do you expect to have God do something great in your life? Because your expectations will begin to form your beliefs. And your beliefs will form your behaviors. And your behaviors will become your habits. You don't have the ability to base your expectations on your circumstances or your past. You don't have the ability to base your expectations on yourself. How many of you've ever disappointed yourself? It doesn't matter in things great or small. If you put your expectations in yourself, you'll disappoint yourself. The only place where you can develop proper expectation is when you put your expectation in God. "I know in whom I have believed. And I believe he is able".

I love the fact that Paul just leaves a blank check after "Able". "He is able". Able to do what? Whatever you need. He's able to heal. He's able to deliver. He's able to move mountains. He's able to bring captives out of prison. He's able to make the lame leap. He's able to make the blind see. He's able to make the dumb speak. He's able to make the deaf hear. He's able to resurrect a dream that you've given up on. He's able to make crooked ways straight, and high places low, and low places level. He's able to give you the strength and the power to face a giant, to run against an army, to stand against a troop. He's able to make the enemies that come at you one direction, scatter from you seven directions. He's able to hold the sun still so that you can win in your day of battle. He's able to make the impossible walls of Jericho fall. He's able to send fire from heaven upon a sacrifice. He's able to multiply the fishes and the leaves. He's able to walk on water. He's able to die your death, and go into your grave, and on the third day he's able to rise again, and ascend, and be seated at the right hand of God the Father where he prays for you right now!

Church, I have great expectations in a God who does not fail, because I know in whom I have believed, and I believe that he is able! Jeremiah says it this way: he says, "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose hope is in the Lord". Say that with me, "Whose hope is in the Lord". And then he describes this man. He says, "He'll be like a tree that is planted by waters, who spreads his roots by the river". And then he says, "He will not fear when heat comes". Say that with me. "He will not fear when heat comes".

Now see if we were going to write this the way we wanted it to read, we would say, "Blessed is the man who hopes in the Lord because heat will never come". If we could have it our way, we would prefer that the heat never showed up. But just because you put your expectations in God, doesn't mean you're not going to go to the lion's den. It means if you go, he goes with you. He said, he'll be like a tree that's planted by the river, and "He will not fear when heat comes. But his leaf, it shall be green". When others are passing out, this one will be prospering. That's my paraphrase, for those of you looking for it in the text. He said, "And he will not be anxious in the year of drought". It didn't say he wouldn't go through the drought. It said, when drought comes, he's not going to worry about the drought. "Nor will he cease from yielding fruit".

God will carry you through the hardest days of your life if your hope is in him. What you expect determines what you believe. And Jesus said in Mark 9, "If you can believe, all things are possible to them that believe". Why is it that people behave the way they behave? They behave the way they behave because they believe like they believe. Your beliefs, they drive your behaviors. Physically, why do people go to the gym and work out? Because they believe that the exercise is going to benefit their body. Otherwise, why do it? Oh, I've had people tell me, "Doesn't it feel good"? No. They keep telling me about a runner's high. And I ain't had nothing but a low. "Now don't you feel alive"? No. I feel like my heart's going to pop out of my ears. But why do I do it? Because I believe, based on what the doctor said, it's going to help: right? Somebody please say "Amen".

Why do people do what they do? Because they believe, and they behave like they believe. Your outward behavior is nothing more than you telling others what you believe on the inside. There are a lot of people who profess something that they never possess. Why? Because they're profession isn't matched by their inward belief. There's a lot of people that come to church, and they profess God's favor, but they don't possess God's favor. Why? Because they don't have an expectation that he's actually going to favor them. How are you? Oh, I'm blessed and highly favored. Really? Then there should be evidence of that in your life.

How are you? Oh, I'm blessed and highly favored. Really? Then there should be evidence of that in your life. One of the problems that causes this is that in many times we don't read what we believe: we believe what we read. Now that might take a little bit for some of you to sink in. But how many of you believe this Bible? We don't read what we believe. We believe what we read. How many people do you know read stuff all the time on the internet? They read stuff on their social media. They read stuff on the bottom of the trailer in the news. And they believe more about what they read, than they believe what they read. It's time for us to begin to develop our inward belief based on what we say we believe in, not what we read in the world around us.

I have people come up to me all the time, "Oh, pastor, I read", and then they start to go on this hideous story, "I read that on this certain date, these certain tragedies are going to happen, and all of this ill-fated things are going to come to pass". How many of y'all can go back to those old horrific days of Y2K? What happened on Y2K? A lot of people believed what they read: they didn't read what they believe. How many of you would at least admit you at least bought one extra can of food or one case of water or something, because I mean I don't know what's going to happen? 11:59: oh, please Jesus, please Jesus, please Jesus. 12:01, thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus. Why? Because we put our faith in what we read rather than believing, reading what we believe.

This is why Jesus said to Nicodemus, when Nicodemus came to him, and said, "What do you mean when you say, 'be born again'"? Jesus said, "If I share with you earthly things and you don't believe them, how will you believe heavenly things"? If I tell you, Nicodemus, that the wind blows and you see the wind blowing, but you don't know where it comes from, and so are the people who are born of the spirit: if I tell you the truth about the things you see with your natural eye, and you have trouble believing that, how are you going to believe that God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son: that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life?

You see until you and I make up our minds that we're going to believe whatever Jesus says and nothing else, let God be true and every man a liar, then we're never going to develop the right kind of belief that influences our behavior. Because every time you see somebody do something great for God, people want to point out their behavior. But the truth is they believed. What made David go face the giant? He believed in the God who was bigger than the giant. What made Moses go back and face Pharaoh? He believed in the "I am" who said, "I'll be with you". What made the disciples stand and turn the world upside down in the 1st century church? They believed that the God, who had just raised Jesus from the dead and sent his Holy Spirit to the upper room, was alive and in them. Whenever they were thrown in prison for preaching their faith, they didn't go back to church, and say, hey, eight out of ten of us should probably stop sharing our faith. They went back to church, and they said, we had a great church service in the streets. We got thrown in prison.

Now let's pray for more boldness. People would leave that church so fast today. But those men were believing and they were behaving like they believed. Daniel behaved like he believed. And your behavior creates your habit. And your habit creates your culture. You see soon, church, the reason that I bring this message is because soon the bride of Christ is going to leave this earth. Soon Jesus is coming back. And when he comes back, he's going to take his church to heaven. And when we get to heaven, he is going to ask us to stand before him and give an account for what we did on earth for him.

Now we're not going to be judged in regards to eternal life. Because we've received Jesus Christ, we've got eternity: we're on our way to heaven. But when we get to heaven, he's going to say, while you were down there, what did you do for me? And everything that we did is going to be piled up in front of us. And everything that was done for him, it's going to be touched with fire, and it's going to be pure as gold. And everything we did for us, it's going to go up like wood, hay, stubble, and smoke. And this is where you read in the Bible, "And they passed into heaven with the smell of smoke upon them". It doesn't mean they just skated by hell. It means that our works were not the kind of works that Jesus wanted us to do.

And so when they burned up, we smelled like barbecue. You're going to walk by Peter and James and John, and they're going to go, welcome to the neighborhood. Nice to meet you. And when this church stands before God's throne, I want him to look at cornerstone, and I want him to say, "That's a church that took me at my word. They believed me and they expected me to do great things. They didn't play church: they lived church. They didn't wait on someone else to do the work: they went out and did the work. In a time when eight out of ten were not sharing their faith, they were faithful to go out and tell somebody who Jesus was, and what he had done, and how he had blessed them. When the rules of society and the culture changed, they didn't change to match the culture: they changed the culture because they lived by my rules. Whenever it was time for people to give up and quit, they pressed on".

I want the Lord to look at us when we stand before him, and I want to hear these words, "Well done thou good and faithful servant". I want him to celebrate the fact that cornerstone is standing before his throne, because we have fought a good fight, we have kept the faith, we have finished the race. We may be pressed on every side, but we're not crushed. We may be persecuted, but we have not been abandoned. We may be struck down, but we have not been destroyed. Others may resist us, but if God is for us, who can be against us?

Things may get hard, but we can do all things through Christ! Maybe there's a mountain that's in our way. But God will either move the mountain or give us the strength to climb it. Maybe there's a giant who's mocking the God that we serve. But he may come to us with spear and a sword. If we'll rise up in the name of the Lord, we'll be victorious! Expect God to do great things! Believe God to keep his word! Behave like his word is true, because the battle belongs to the Lord, but the victory belongs to you! Give the Lord a handclap of praise!

Would you stand to your feet? There's power in your expectations. The Bible tells us that there's power when we pray in faith believing. And I want to end this service, giving you the opportunity to do just that. I know that there are people in this room that if they were to be honest with themselves, they would say, "Pastor, I have an expectation. I'm believing God for something so big: I'm afraid to talk about it". Others around you may not believe it. But I promise you: God is not shocked by it. Why is this church here? Why do these cameras carry the signal to 200 nations? Why are all of the things that are connected to this ministry here? Because some day one generation put their expectation in a God who said, "You can do all things". And even though they were just six families in a store front, look where God brought them.

Now if they could believe God for that, what can we believe God for? Oh, Jesus, just help us keep the lights on? Not the God that we serve. He said, "Ask me and I'll give it to you. Seek me and you'll find it. Knock and the door will be opened". But if you don't expect him to keep his word, if you don't expect him to move on your behalf, if you don't expect him to hear you when you call, then you're never going to see the desire of your heart become a reality. How many of you know what the desire of your heart is and what you're expecting God to do in your life? Hold your hand up before heaven. I want you just to begin talking to God about it right now. I want you to begin saying:

Father, in Jesus' name, I come before your throne. And in Jesus' name, I'm asking... And I want you to tell the Lord what you're asking him to do. Heavenly Father, tonight, in Jesus' name, I'm asking you to send a revival to this congregation. Father, in Jesus' name, I'm asking you to give us a holy passion and a desire to see the lost won to Christ. I'm asking you, in Jesus' name, to give us such a hunger that nothing would satisfy us except the presence of the living God.

I'm asking you, Heavenly Father, to let our expectations be centered in you and you alone: that we could say like Paul, "I know in whom I have believed, and I believe that he is able". And let the power of God arise in this place: that it infects every area of this city. And it turns this nation around. And it touches every heart that is lapsed and walked away from you. And it breaks every heart that is hardened and insensitive to your word. And it melts those who have refused to receive your Holy Spirit.

Heavenly Father, I'm asking you to pour out your presence in a way like you've never done before: that there would be a fresh fire: that there would be a fresh anointing: that there would be a fresh passion: that there would be power and purpose in everything that we say and do: that whenever we stand before you, simply stated, you would say, "Well done, my good and faithful servants:" that we have received a commission and we have been faithful to the call: that we did not let the gates of hell prevail against us. But we stood in the mighty name of Jesus and declared that if God be for us, who can be against us? Heavenly Father, I'm asking you to break yokes of bondage. I'm asking you to set captives free. I'm asking you to move mountains of impossibility. I'm asking you to let your miracle power flow.

I'm asking you, Heavenly Father, to bring them from the north, from the south, from the east, from the west: to bring them in every generation: to bring them in every tribe: to bring them in every kindred: to bring them in every tongue: to bring them in every people: that when they gather in this place, we would say that God has heard our prayer. God has answered our prayer and God is moving in the mighty name of Jesus. We ask for it, in Jesus' name! We receive it, in Jesus' name! It shall be done, in Jesus' name! And we give you glory! We give you honor! We give you praise: for you are worthy!


In Jesus' name, let the shout of the king be heard in the camp of the righteous! Give the Lord a handclap of praise in this house tonight! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah! We receive it, Lord Jesus. We receive it, Lord Jesus. We thank you for it, Lord Jesus! I know in whom I have believed. And I believe that he is able. Hallelujah!
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