Pastor Miles was first drafted to the LA Rams in 1982. As he sat on the plane ride to California, he had many expectations in his heart about what the experience would be like. Often times, we also look forward to the new benefits of any life changes or decisions that we believe will be better than what we have in that moment such as starting a new job, finishing school, buying a house, getting married, becoming a parent, etc.
But what was your expectation when you gave your life to Christ? Did you think you would stop using foul language or stop smoking? Did you think that maybe you could understand the Bible a little better, start going to church, and be nicer to others? If that is the limit of your expectations, then you are truly selling God short. They are much too low! Most of these expectations can be met without God. He wants much more for you.
When we ask Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior, we should expect that He will do supernatural things in and through us that we could never do on our own.
When we ask Jesus Christ to be our Lord and Savior, we should expect that He will do supernatural things in and through us that we could never do on our own. We should expect that He will speak to us, heal us, and set us free!
In today’s passage from Luke 3, Jesus is baptized and the Holy Spirit comes upon Him, fills Him, leads Him, empowers Him, and gives Him authority. You should have nothing less than the expectation that God will do these same things in your life - things that are beyond what you can ask or image.
When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, heaven opened.
And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in you I am well pleased.” Luke 3:21-22
Some people’s hardships make them bitter about their daily lives, coloring their perspective to see the negative side of every situation. If it’s cloudy, we say to ourselves, “we’re going to get all wet,” but if it’s sunny, “we’re going to get sunburned.” As followers of Christ, we should wake up each morning and ask God to open heaven above us and shout out His love and acceptance, just as He did for Jesus. Yes, our world has hardships, but we still have life and breath and there’s nothing between us and God or His power. We should wake up every day with the expectation that He will show us supernatural power and allow us to be involved.
The Outflowing of the Spirit
Many nutritionists advise that each day, a person should drink half as many ounces of water as his weight in pounds (for example, a person weighing 100 lbs should drink 50 oz water). But when a person drinks so much, he needs to empty his bladder often because the body cannot hold all that water inside! It is the same way with the Holy Spirit. If we are filled with the Spirit, there will be no possibility of holding it in. It will spill over into other people’s lives, as He is yearning to touch other people, heal them, fill them, and set them free - through you! We should have the expectation that being filled with the Spirit leads to the Holy Spirit pouring out of us.
Confronting Your Demons
Note that the first thing that happens after Jesus is anointed by the Spirit is that He is led to confront the devil. When we wake up in the morning, we should expect the heavens to open above us as we receive the Holy Spirit and His anointing. We should also be ready to face our demons, the lies we face, and the throughts we sometimes think are true. We can decide each morning that by the power of God, we will look evil in the eye and will not be defeated by depression, addiction, your sinful nature, or whatever burden is upon us.
Ask God what burdens or challenges He wants you to confront for the day. We are in a spiritual war and you are headed out into battle each day, but God tells us that we can expect to win because we have authority over the devil.
Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. Luke 4:1-2
Just as God anointed Jesus (set Him aside for a specific purpose), you were designed by the Creator of the universe for some amazing purpose of liberation - not just to raise a family, fulfill your job description, or go to church, but to be a part of God’s ministry to deliver the oppressed - mentally, physically, relationally, and socially. The way we do that is to introduce them to Jesus, who does the work of transformation.
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He has anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18-19
The difference between the people who do something and the people who don’t do something is that the people who do something begin to act.
Then He went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbath. And they were astonished at His teaching, for His word was with authority. Now in the synagogue there was a man who had a spirit of an unclean demon. And he cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!” Luke 4:31-34
As Christ followers, we can have the expectation that God can deliver us and others from bondage. Each time Jesus was in the presence of a person who was possessed by demons, the demons would cry out that they knew who He was, they bowed down to Him to worship, and they begged that He would not destroy them. Evil demons were once angels, so they know that Jesus is worthy of worship, that He has authority over all evil, and they tremble in fear that Jesus will destroy them, yet they are also liars who will try to convince you not to worship God or surrender to Him. The devil wants you to fear disease, spiritual oppression, other people, circumstances, political situations, terrorism, etc. These things may be inherently dangerous, but our God is victorious over it all.
Your expectation should be that you will speak with the same authority and power as Jesus did. The Spirit of God from this passage of Scripture, who created the heavens and the earth and raised Christ from the dead is the same Spirit of God who lives in you. He’s just waiting for you to believe and live like you do!
If you have not asked Christ to be your Savior, to forgive your sin and fill you with the Spirit of God, that is your first step challenge today.
If you already know Christ and follow Him, then today you are challenged to trust Him more. Get rid of your doubt and don’t put the Holy Spirit in a box. Instead have the expectation that He would fill you up and use you!