My Sunday morning message for January 7th, presented at Eagle's Rest Ministries, meeting in Key West, Fl. Join us each Sunday Morning in the auditorium of the Poinciana School on Kennedy dr. at 10:30 am, for a time of prayer, praise, worship and the Word.
Today’s message is titled “Increasing Your Level Of Expectation in 2024”
Don’t you just wish sometimes, you could transform the picture of your everyday life.
You know, when you were a kid you did that. You ladies dreamed of being swept away by a handsome prince, riding in on his white stallion to carry you away to live happily ever after in some fantasy land.
You guys pictured coming home to your castle every night to be greeted by perfect children, and a perfect wife who never had a bad hair day and who always had a perfect attitude and perfect appearance all the time. Kept the house, is a perfect cook, a perfect mother, and worked miracles....( You guys could win some points right here, by saying, “That’s exactly what I have”)
What happened? We all thought it would be different.
We never planned to get caught up in the routine of every day life. But it happened....Time got the best of us. We have become Mr. & Mrs. average Joe and Sally McGillicutty, going with the flow! And here we are. And if you think I’m crazy, think about the following statistics which show that: 90% of the folks ate the same thing Monday thru Friday for breakfast that you ate last week.... 98% of the folks drove the same route to work and to church that you drove last week. 85% of the folks will do the same thing this week you did last week. 88% of the folks will go to bed approximately the same time this week you did last week. (unless you have a new baby) And 72% of the folks will have basically the same schedule, this coming week that you had last week and the week before and the week before.
We may have become so ordinary, we’ve become invisible… We’ve just melted into the scenery. Our passion is gone, the dream has been crushed, the great plan for the future, has crashed and burned, whether we admit it or not, we’ve stopped believing in “Marvelous Mondays, Tremendous Tuesdays, Wonderful Wednesdays, Terrific Thursdays, Fabulous Fridays, Spectacular Saturdays and Supernatural Sundays! And now we have Miserable Mondays, Terrible Tuesdays, Woeful Wednesdays, Thankless Thursdays, Fretful Fridays, Sappy Saturdays and Sporadic Sundays.
Stir up your dreams, get your faith back and begin to believe again. You’ve never been at this place before, we’ve never come this way before, and this time is a time like no time has ever been before. You were made for this, it’s not just something you are doing, it’s who you are, it’s embedded in your identity. JUST BE WHO YOU REALLY ARE, AND YOU WILL DO WHAT YOU ARE MEANT TO DO! See yourself back on track again…how does it look, how does it feel, what is that like….Everything else is just smoke and mirrors, but this is your true reality!
Don’t be part of the “Tater” family.... You know some of them... ”Ima tater” who tries to be like everyone but herself....”Roe tater who jumps from church to church, relationship to relationship, and every emotion on the spectrum....“Agi tater” is always stirring up something...”Gergi tater” is always bringing up some hurt, disappointment, or failure....”Hesi tater” the bottleneck on every project, venture or vision... “Temp tator” distracts, compromises, and generally is the what not to do person....Oh yeah, there’s “Dic tater” who thinks everyone aught to be doing what they’re doing, the way they’re doing, and when they’re doing it.....
I told you about A patient who came into the doctor's office and appeared in a great hurry to talk with the doctor. When the receptionist asked about the problem, the patient said he thought he was becoming invisible. The receptionist told the patient she would have to check with the doctor to see if they would be able to squeeze him in or not. When the receptionist told the doctor about the strange condition of the patient, the doctor who was getting ready to leave, took a look at his watch, thought for a couple of seconds, and said, "Tell him I can't see him."! Upon hearing that statement, the patient yelled, “See, I told you, I told you that I was invisible!!” Be aware that you will encounter someone this week who has lost their direction, their passion, their purpose and their faith. You are assigned to make them feel visible, that someone cares, and believes in them. They’re lonely, abandoned, betrayed and carry an orphan spirit.
What happened, somewhere in the process, to make us invisible? Where is the joy? Where is the power? Where is the hope? Where is the faith? Where is the Zeal and passion? On and on I could go, but I need to move on…..
I want to challenge all of us to rethink everything today. So, you say to yourself, “Self, wake up, Come alive, Do something different. Change some things that are going on. Alter the picture. Get away from the worn out, repetitious and ordinary patterns.”…. begin with small things and work your way to bigger things…but begin somewhere, at some point, to do something different, new and innovative …
So, throughout the day you make up your mind that today is going to be different. And because you do, (today will be different, cause you will be different)….say it with me….”Today will be different, because I am different”....
IT’S THE DIFFERENCE THAT TURNS DREAMS AND HOPES INTO REALITY (You say, yeah, right, pastor….you haven’t been in my home, for sure)
But it’s possible, because of a culture of expectation, you have created over time and you refused to settle for less or second best! The options are the same old same old, low expectations.....You may be there, but today you’re leaving!
Listen, You’ve never been here before! Anything is possible!
Let’s Change the Rules! You have gifts, talents and abilities that are unique to you alone. No one else has your finger prints, your voice print, your eye print or your presence and essence. No one else brings your unique insight, your personality or your experience into all that you do.
We are not designed by a cookie cutter God. But, it’s easier to go along with the contented masses, and flow with the prevailing currents of society, than to rise above them.
It is easier to imitate rather than to motivate and initiate. It’s easier to hide than to let them see who you really are!
It is easier to be like the carbon copy, rather than be singled out as being the original, different and unique. It’s easier to go along with the thoughts of the many rather than develop your own thinking and set of life values according to the Word of God.
OH, YES, MY FELLOW TRAVELER….it’s time to be different. I’m not talking about modifying or altering God’s eternal truth, that’s unchanging and irreplaceable to you and me, but to be inspired, and creative within the all encompassing truths of God’s plan for each of us.
When I personally came into this message of eternal truth, something very radically different happened to me. My sins, which were many and were a part of me, were removed from my records. My sadness was turned into joy. My hopeless condition was changed to provide me with the very God of hope Himself, who took me far beyond temporary, fleeting gratifications and from chasing the shadow things without substance. My plans, that were leading me nowhere, were changed to lead me to a city called Heaven. My life which was being ruled by the powers of darkness was eternally touched by heaven’s presence, peace, joy, love and reality.
I told you, that when I got back from youth camp after being filled with the Spirit, I tried to be the same me as before, but I wasn’t the same me... I was filled with the Holy Spirit! I was different, so everything was different!
The devil does not mind if you become a Christian just as long as there is no long term effect of it on your life. It’s O.K. to change at first, just don’t stay full of expectancy and zeal for God. He doesn’t mind if you’re Spirit filled, if you want to, but quickly settle down into a routine of a church going, song singing, sermon hearing, way of life, without real hands and feet on it, and living it out in all areas of your life..
Insanity, is doing the same things over and over and expecting something different as a result!! Let’s do something different in 2024!
Paul says it this way…. Romans 6:13 “yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God”.
The devil has established some ground rules for us to live by. Oh, yes, He wants us to gradually buy into his rule book, after we come to God. And there’s always plenty of His messengers around to tell you to “sit down and stop rocking the boat” Why do you have to lift your hands and talk back to the preacher while he’s talking with Amen, Hallelujah Glory to God!.....He is out to swindle every Christian out of the best life God could possibly give them here, and in eternity…..
A newsboy was standing on the corner with a stack of papers, yelling, "Read all about it, read all about it!... Get the front page scoop! 100 people swindled by the daily news! 100 people swindled!" A curious man walked over, bought a paper and checked the front page. Finding nothing, the man said, "There's nothing in here about 100 people being swindled."
The newsboy ignored him and went on, calling out, "Get the front page scoop. Read all about it. One hundred and one people now swindled!!!!!"
Satan will swindle you out of everything God promised if you’ll buy into it! If you follow his rules, there’s a reason he loves displaying skulls!......Someone should figure out by now why Satan uses skulls as his symbol!! He wants you dead, and separated from God’s best, for all eternity!
#1. Satan’s first rule is the rule of expectation…. Settle into the church rut and tradition, just be religious, not a God chaser. Don’t touch anyone’s life with the gospel. Don’t worry about other people’s problems and troubles, you have enough of your own. Just be as good as other Christians who do the same old, same old thing.
.Rule,#2: Don’t take it outside the doors of the church. Just be content to attend church and make it to heaven yourself. After all, your personal Christian convictions, are private stuff… and Satan says, you don’t ever talk religion or politics, it only causes division and arguments.
Be content to feel God’s power during the church services you attend. Be content to sing with the saints and testify of what God has done just as long as you only do it in the Church. The devil really doesn’t care what we do while we are in church as long as we don’t allow it to get outside the church where it can actually touch lives and influence people’s eternity! Go ahead, cry, pray, praise and worship….but keep it behind closed doors….
Rule #3 Leave the real power in the past…. It’s O.K. to talk about faith and miracles and power as long as we are content to do that with the past in mind, from the view of our rear view mirror. Just talk about the good old days. Just get excited about what God used to do…What He did in bible days. Don’t get carried away and use that faith and power today, that’s dangerous because it just may cause some miracles to take place and folks might start getting restless and unsatisfied with Satan’s rules.
Rule # 4 Pray without any real expectation….. Go ahead and pray your routine prayers, your memorized confessions and printed petitions. Pray for whatever you wish just as long as you don’t really believe and fully expect that God can hear your prayers and will actually do something about them. Surely, God is so busy anyway, and…you’re so unworthy… we’re no one that He should take notice of us. If plan A doesn’t work we’ll just get by with plan B, or C, or E,F,G…compromise has kept you alive this far, after all, the bible is symbolical, and not to be taken literally!!!!
Rule #5: Be cool…. Cool it man….. Don’t get too carried away with this gospel message of hope and salvation. You don’t want to be offensive to others who don’t know this message of truth, they won’t understand. Calm down, about sin, water it down, compromise it a little bit and more people will like it. Just be sure to always make people feel good about themselves. Preaching about the blood is too gross for people, let the cross be just a piece of jewelry, worn around the neck, on your rear view mirror, or a feel good ornament, whose only value is the gold it’s made from. You can have cross tattoos, use God’s name while cursing, put religious symbols all around the house…. But never, never explain it’s redemptive power, and get others to receive the salvation it brings…. That’s just UNCOOL!!!!
While returning from a trip to visit her grandmother, a woman was stopped by a state trooper for breaking the speed limit. Grateful to have received a warning instead of a ticket,
she gave the policeman some of her grandmother's delicious chocolate chip cookies and went on her way.
A little further down the road, she was stopped by another trooper. "What have I done?" she asked. "Nothing," the trooper said, smiling. "I heard you were passing out great home made cookies."
(If we fall for the devil’s tricks, he’ll keep on stopping us every time we set out to accomplish anything, and he will take every cookie we have, because we have given him the authority, through doubt, unbelief and disobedience, to keep stopping us and taking our joy, our peace, our contentment, and our victory!)
I would like to propose some rule changes today, that begins with ripping up every rule he wants to use against us!
1 John 3:8 “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil”.
Colossians 2:14 “He (Jesus) has blotted out the handwriting of ordinances (the rules) that were against us, which were contrary to us, and taken it out of the way, nailing it to His cross.”
Psalms 2:4 “From His throne in heaven, the lord laughs at their feeble plans”… While you’re doing all that worrying, and fretting, and staying awake.....get a picture of the Lord laughing!! Laugh with Him!!
Rule Change # 1…..It’s time to change the rules! I’m taking back the Power.....There is a world that needs for us to change the rules. They need to feel what you feel, know what you know, and experience your experiences in Christ. For that reason, I can no longer be a Christian in name only, but I must be a Christian in deed as well! I have come to the place, that It’s more important what God thinks of us than what man thinks about us. We don’t need to fix what isn’t broken, and the gospel that has changed the world, doesn’t need to be changed, it just needs to be applied in creative new ways! We can change the label, to make it attractive and desirable, without changing the power, or watering down the truth!
Rule Change #2….I propose that we take the church outside the church. Connect where people are… Usually that means that we must become their friends, and that someone that they know, cares about them and is there for them….meet them at the point of their need...Church in the streets, is the new rule change. I propose we change the rules and have church in our homes. I propose that we have church in our businesses. I propose that we have church in School….AFTER ALL, WE ARE THE CHURCH! I’m not talking about being disruptive, but I am proposing that we put the “Go” back in the gospel.
Jesus went to the prostitute at the well. He talked to Zachaeus, in a tree on the side of the street . He stopped for the blind men on the outskirts of Jericho. He touched the lepers….This is connecting Jesus with our everyday life, in the people we interact with at some level! At lunch, at work, shopping, and every day stuff... Look for the greater purpose why you are there....
We need to carry this gospel to those who need it and not just keep it inside these four walls, where it’s been heard time and again. This is not Eagle’s Rest Lounge…. It’s Eagle’s Rest fuel and supply depot, outreach center and sending station. WOOF, WOOF……
Rule Change #3 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Not just yesterday…I must believe this! His power is as great now as it ever has been..... These are the good old days!!! He is still the Almighty God. And he gave to us His power and Greater things than He did, HE SAID, we SHALL do! I want to quit talking about what used to be and start believing what is. I want to quit discussing the miracles of the past and start seeing the miracles of the day. Reset your bible promise watch for today…..THE TIME IS NOW!!! This is our time!!
Rule Change #4 Change your expectations! Make a miracle rule change…What miracle rule change, do you need? Come on! What do you really expect today? The common thinking is it might happen in our life time. It could take place before the turn of the century. But I want to change the rules and believe it can happen today!! FULLY EXPECTING That it’s my time now.. it’s my appointed season! Today is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it. On the day of Pentecost, they said, “This is it”…. “This is that, spoken by the prophets” it’s a now thing!!!! Now faith is the substance and the evidence!!
Rule Change #5 Change the prayer perspective……We are the body of Christ. When we pray we are not praying to a God far away in heaven. We are praying to God in our heart. He has chosen to live within us. We’re not bringing Him down, we’re letting Him out!!!! We expect that when people pray, things begin to change. We still believe that when prayer is made, that God will dispatch angels to provide an answer. Listen, we’re not trying to overcome God’s reluctance, we’re surrendering and embracing His will, plan and intentions for our life in every situation...
We still believe that the God who touched the blind and lame and sick, still touches through the prayers of the saints today! We still believe in the old song that says, “while I was praying, somebody touched me”! We still believe that folks will call and say that God touched their lives during the same hour and moment you were praying! This generation needs a people who believe that together we can change the rules, and that Satan with all his trying has not been able to eviscerate the power of prayer in faith. Let’s not be so set in our ways, we miss the still small, gentle voice of the Spirit, who loves changing the rules.
Someone here needs to walk out that door, totally believing and acting like they are one of the King’s Kids! (not this minute) And that when you go to the Father with your request, your Father who loves you will give you the desires of your heart. The rules say you can’t do this, but I propose that we change the rules. I believe we truly can, because if you don’t stop believing it, you can & will see it.
There is a stirring in this city, because the church is praying and expecting what God expects. There is a change taking place in the lives of people, because the church is praying and expecting. Revival is sweeping the nation, why not here! We really are making a difference in this generation, because the church is praying and expecting. So let us take the next step and reap and teach and train others who will reap and teach and train others also.
2 Kings 2:14 And Elisha took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah?
Judges 6:13 And Gideon said unto the angel, my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this happened to us? and where are all His miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, the LORD with a mighty arm did bring us up from Egypt? (Expectancy began to rise up in Gideon)
Jeremiah 2:6 They did not ask, 'Where is the LORD, who brought us up out of Egypt and led us through the barren wilderness 2:8 The priests did not ask, "Where is the LORD?' 2:9 "Therefore I bring charges against you," declares the LORD. "And I will bring charges against your children's children, because you did not ask, “where is the Lord of our fathers”…..This is an amazing scripture. God is saying… I have something against you, and your children’s children will be paying the price for it….“you have set your expectations too low”
In a lot of things, we have high expectations….and I’m talking about things in our every day lives....
We expect good customer service, high quality products, and fair wages for workers. We also expect low, prices for good products. We expect to find our soul mate, and hopefully, if that has happened, it’s the person we’re married to or will be married to. We expect our leaders will do the right thing and tell the truth, We expect Godly men will be raised up in our government, men of the truth and Godliness....
We expect a product that comes in a package which says “New and Improved” to be, well….. “new and improved”, and we expect the sequel to be as good as the original, even though it rarely happens.
And we expect the holiday season to be about love, friendship, and spirituality, not just more gross commercialism. (I mean, wouldn’t it be great to get through New Years Day before we get inundated with the commercialization of Valentine’s Day!) And, Oh, Yes, We expect the weather forecast to be accurate, occasionally, and we expect “free” to actually mean “free” without a payment in 30 days...
Folks fully expect the Lotto announcer to say, “And the winning lotto ticket is…. “yours, baby, all yours!” or they wouldn’t buy the ticket in the first place….Our expectations are foundational in all we do….
Determine today to Kick out Satan’s Expectations... Come on give him a kick!
What are the rules of Satan that have affected your life? Rules that keep you stuck in the muck and mire of defeat. Rules that stop you from finding and enjoying the victory. Rules that keep you from real and intimate praise and worship. Rules that hinder your family, and your dreams….
I propose that we change every rule of Satan that has touched your life.
There was a time when the rules stated that if you were thrown in a fiery furnace, you would die. But, three Hebrews dared to change the rules and what was meant to kill them only promoted them!!!! There was a time when the rules said that if you were put in the den of over 100 hungry lions, you were fast food in a hurry. But Daniel dared to change the rules and what was meant to eat him only exalted him!!!.He turned the lion’s den into Daniel’s den!
The rules were clear that when you came into the presence of the king of Persia you had to have an invitation, even if you were the queen. I’m glad Esther changed the rules and brought the king of Persia into the presence of Jehovah God and saved a nation of God’s chosen people. The rules were that if you were thrown into jail and put in chains, you could not sing praises unto God. OH, thank God, both Paul and Silas made a rule change and a captive audience all left the prison concert singing praise and the spiritual freedom they needed. The rules stated that if you were excommunicated on a desolate island with no friends and no human presence, and boiled in oil, that you would eventually lose hope and not be able to find the touch of God in your life. I’m so glad John the revelator made some rules changes on the Isle of Patmos and was in the spirit on the Lord’s day.
What rules control you? Come on! Jesus is reaching out to each of us, offering to join with us and change the rules....Let’s change the rules. Let’s break out of the mold and do it different! It has happened to many before, and it can happen to anyone and everyone today.
Jacob wrestled with the Angel of the Lord, with a high level of expectation. Ahead of him, was the unknown. Behind Him was a disappointing past. Jacob was consumed with getting the blessing that only God could give. It would never come through manipulation and controlling people and events…. But he knew that he had to move forward through repentance and believing Jehovah was a God of second chances.. and if he could just get through the night, then everything could turn around…and it would be a new day. (have you ever had those nights) Jacob was holding on to the angel messenger with a level of expectation he had never known before…He was not letting him go until God blessed him, until he touched him, until he transformed his life…
I want to know, if there is anybody here today, that can believe, that if you kick out Satan’s rules, then put in place God’s rules for the best life possible…. When you reach out to Him, He’s always reaching back to you! And You can and will go beyond all your expectations and step over into the best life possible.
Is there anybody here today that will dare believe God, that the Lord, can and will turn some things around for you and your family?
Have a meeting with God at the place of expectancy, that will change all the rules, and usher in a new day of great expectation! Let’s hook up together today in changing the rules that are limiting your family, your job, your witness, your health, and your life !!!!
(tell someone.. “Let’s change some things, and get it back on track”…..
As I was putting this message together I wrote this thought..
I can almost Hear Jesus saying.....
“I Have Been Waiting For You...
Come with Me to the place of your first love. It is the place of your lost passion. It is the place where you will recover your joy and peace. It is the place where worry, anxiety and fear cannot enter because fresh revelation and clarity in the Spirit, banish these carnal and soulish things. Allow Me to restore and refresh the vision of your youth and renew the hope that was once so vibrant and strong. Through all the twists and turns, I have brought you to this place of deep desire to know My touch and hear My voice. I have been speaking, but there were so many other voices. I have been moving in your life, but you thought you could make it happen. Welcome back to My unending grace and My all-encompassing love. I have been waiting for you to return, now cast aside the restraints which have been placed upon the gifts I gave you, and the anointing upon your calling. Now, is the time of My fresh stirrings and the rekindling of the flame. Step through the veil and come into an open heaven. I have been waiting for you”.
You know what..... everyone of us should get a sheet of paper when we get home and write down some of the rules Satan has been writing for your life… Then tear that sheet into a thousand pieces and burn it.....
and make another list of what God’s rules for your life are….Thenraise it to heaven and rejoice that a new day has come to you as you begin to raise the level of your expectations! God’s rules for your marriage, your job, your finances, your health, your thought life, prayer life, where you go and what you do…..I close with a scripture….
Ephesians 3:18 is your new marching orders…..That we may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height v9 And to know the love of Christ, which surpasses all knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God. v20 Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that is now working in us, v21 Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
If this message has ministered unto you and you wish to contact us privately, with a praise report, prayer request, or give to this ministry, our address is Eagle's Rest Ministries, P.O box 2820, Key West, Florida 33040.. Keep us in your prayers that we may be an instrument in the Master's hands, and Jesus may be exalted continually in our lives and ministry. Thank you in advance and God richly bless you.. We look forward to hearing from you.