God to Do the Unexpected
A young man went to see a fortune-teller.
She studied his hand and told him, "You will be poor and completely miserable
until you are 41 years old." The man said, "Then what will happen? Will
I become rich?" "No, " said the fortune teller. "You'll always be poor,
but you'll become accustomed to it so that it no longer makes your miserable."
When life fails to meet your expectations,
you should expect God to do the unexpected. We become discouraged when
life, people and God don't meet our expectations. We believe that we live
in a cause-and-effect world. We believe things are supposed to turn out
a certain way. We believe that if we continue to do "A", eventually it
will result in "B" but life doesn't work that way. It is in these times
that we need to expect God to do the unexpected. We have nothing to lose
by expecting God to do the unexpected in our lives. Our lives aren't going
anywhere without him anyway. We may discover that the unexpected exceeds
When we come to Exodus chapter 7, God is about
to do the unexpected for Moses. We find Moses alienated from the world.
He has been to the Pharaoh seeking deliverance for the Hebrew slaves. The
Pharaoh didn't meet his expectations. The Pharaoh only increased the burdens
of the Hebrews. Increased burdens only spelt trouble in Goshen. Moses finds
himself alienated from his world. Moses is one lone person in a world of
confusion. All his expectations had proved fruitless. Now God is asking
Moses to expect the unexpected.
Now when the LORD spoke to
Moses in Egypt, he said to him, "I am the LORD. Tell Pharaoh king of Egypt
everything I tell you." But Moses said to the LORD, "Since I speak with
faltering lips, why would Pharaoh listen to me?" Then the LORD said to
Moses, "See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron
will be your prophet. You are to say everything I command you, and your
brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country.
But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and though I multiply my miraculous
signs and wonders in Egypt, he will not listen to you. Then I will lay
my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions,
my people the Israelites. And the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD
when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of
When Moses became discouraged, God tells Moses
to expect the unexpected. God really can't deliver us from the enslavement
of sin until we trust him to do the unexpected. Pharaoh thinks he is god.
But God tells Moses that Moses will become God to the Pharaoh.
There are certain things we must do before
God can do the unexpected with our lives.
We Must Confront Our Problems in God's
When Moses fails to meet his personal expectations
in seeking to resolve the problems, he confronts his failed personal expectations
in the presence of God. "Now when the LORD spoke to Moses in Egypt,
he said to him, 'I am the LORD. Tell Pharaoh king of Egypt everything I
tell you.' But Moses said to the LORD, 'Since I speak with faltering lips,
why would Pharaoh listen to me?' 'See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh,
and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. You are to say everything
I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites
go out of his country.'" Moses believed that he had failed because
he lacked the abilities to accomplish God’s task. Moses was blaming his
own inadequacies for his failure. Yet, he was courageous enough to confront
his problems in the presence of God. It was as if Moses was saying, "Look
God I have this weakness that prevents me from accomplishing your purpose."
At least Moses brought his problem to God.
The Bible has much to say about confronting our problems in the presence
Is any one of you in trouble?
He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one
of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and
anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in
faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he
has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other
and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous
man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed
earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three
and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth
produced its crops. (NIV)
Have you ever wondered why God didn't make
Moses speak with the tongues of men and angels? It was because God was
in the process of revealing himself through the unexpected and the unbelievable.
God wasn't depending on any natural abilities that Moses possessed. Too
often we are looking for God to give us the ability and strength to do
what needs to be done. God wants us to rely on his power and wisdom.
It was Moses weakness that made God’s work
possible. Moses’ weakness brought him to the realization of his need of
God. God wants to do his work in spite of our weaknesses and inabilities.
God's power would be perfected through Moses' weaknesses. This would be
done without eliminating Moses' weaknesses. Too many of us are waiting
on God to eliminate our inabilities before we start to work for God. It's
not going to happen. If it did happen we would start relying on our own
strength and ingenuity.
1 Corinthians 1:24-29
For the foolishness of God
is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's
strength. Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many
of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many
were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame
the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He
chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things-- and the
things that are not-- to nullify the things that are, so that no one may
boast before him. (NIV)
Moses was like most of us; he measured himself
by his natural abilities. We take spiritual gift test to ascertain our
qualifications to do certain works in God’s kingdom. We focus on our talents,
abilities or interests as we seek to determine what God is calling us to
do. Amazingly, God was calling Moses to do something he had no natural
ability to do. He was calling Moses to do something that could not be done
by the natural man. Moses was educated in all the ways of the Egyptians.
He was mighty in words and actions, but those natural abilities were powerless
to accomplish God’s purpose. Initially, they were a hindrance.
God is always ready to do his greatest work
at precisely the moment we begin to think things are hopeless. The moment
Moses reaches the end of his rope, God steps in and says, "Don't worry,
I have everything under control. I am going to let Aaron be your spokesman
and when I get through, Pharaoh will think you are God."
God's power is far beyond anything we can
comprehend, so why shouldn't we expect God to do the unimaginable? Why
shouldn’t we seek to follow his will?
Now to him who is able to do
immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that
is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus
throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (NIV)
It was no accident that Moses sought God after
each plague. It is no accident that each time God did what was unexpected.
Moses' courage to confront the problems he faced in the presence of God
made it all possible. If Moses had of left Egypt in bitter disappointment
as he had forty years earlier, God's power would have been limited by his
failure to expect the unexpected.
We Must Believe in God's Wisdom
It doesn't matter how old you are or how young
you are, there is one lesson we all must learn in life. God can't do the
unexpected with our lives until we do what he says. Even if doing what
he says doesn't make things work as we expect them to. Even if doing what
he says doesn't seem to make sense.
Moses and Aaron did just as
the LORD commanded them. Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three
when they spoke to Pharaoh. The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "When Pharaoh
says to you, 'Perform a miracle,' then say to Aaron, 'Take your staff and
throw it down before Pharaoh,' and it will become a snake." (NIV)
God is not trying to increase our abilities.
He is trying to produce faith in him regardless of our abilities. That
is where life with God begins. Life begins with a step-by-step faith as
we obey the will of God. A life of faith doesn't require that we see the
end from the beginning. Faith only requires us to take the step God instructs
us to take.
So Moses and Aaron went to
Pharaoh and did just as the LORD commanded. Aaron threw his staff down
in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. Pharaoh then
summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the
same things by their secret arts: Each one threw down his staff and it
became a snake. But Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs. "Yet
Pharaoh's heart became hard and he would not listen just as the LORD had
said." Then the LORD said to Moses, "Pharaoh's heart is unyielding;
he refuses to let the people go. (NIV)
You must see the progress Moses is making
in these verses. Moses and Aaron did what God commanded. He throws down
his staff; it becomes a snake that swallows up the snakes of the sorcerers.
This time when Pharaoh's heart became hard, they saw it as the work of
God. Notice what Moses says, "Yet Pharaoh's heart became hard and
he would not listen . . . just as the LORD had said." Moses now
sees Pharaoh's unwillingness to listen as a fulfillment of what God had
said. Pharaoh's unwillingness is no longer seen as the result of Moses'
inabilities. Moses’ personal willingness to obey God allowed him to see
the hand of God at work.
Before God can work the unexpected in your
life you must believe in his willingness to remove the obstacles in your
path as you choose to obey him.
When they came to the crowd,
a man approached Jesus and knelt before him. "Lord, have mercy on my son,"
he said. "He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into
the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could
not heal him." "O unbelieving and perverse generation," Jesus replied,
"how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring
the boy here to me." Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of the boy,
and he was healed from that moment. Then the disciples came to Jesus in
private and asked, "Why couldn't we drive it out?" He replied, "Because
you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small
as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there'
and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." (NIV)
These verses don't say what we think they
say. These verses don't say what most of us want them to say. They do tell
us that God can't work the unexpected in our lives because of our expectations
of ourselves. The disciples ask, "Why couldn't we drive it out?" Do you
see the emphasizes on "we"? They were depending on their own abilities:
"Why couldn't "we" do it?" God can only do the unexpected to remove the
impossibilities when we trust and obey him. And remember, you can only
do it if it is within his will. If it is within his will, it makes little
difference whether it makes any earthly sense or not.
God is working with Moses as you work with
a child to get the child to take its first step. Moses tells God he can't
speak well enough, so God gives him someone to speak for him. However,
God reminds Moses that no matter how it is said, or who says it, Pharaoh
will not listen. To persuade Moses to take that first step in faith God
gives him Aaron to speak for him.
Moses is beginning to realize that when he
does what God tells him to do things work "just as the Lord had said."
If we do exactly what the Lord says, things will always work out just as
the Lord has said. This is the first great step we all must take in faith.
It is scary to stop trusting in yourself and start believing and following
God's will. However it is the only way to live beyond what is expected.
Do you think that Aaron ever ask Moses, "Are
you sure this is what you want me to say?" And then Moses responds by saying,
"Yes, this is what God wants you to say, but you had better be careful
about how you say it to the Pharaoh. You might get your head chopped off."
Aaron may have been the more courageous of the two.
We Must Understand What God Is Doing
Before God can work the unexpected in our
lives we must seek to understand what he is doing. We want to be doing
something. Many times we are shouting, "Don’t just stand there, do something!"
We feel like we must be doing and doing and doing. God isn’t just interested
in you doing something. He wants you to become involved in what he is doing.
I think God would like to tell us, "Don’t just do something; stand there!"
Then he could get our attention long enough to direct our lives into what
he is doing.
We want God to show us the way. We want God
to give us a road map that will direct us to our final destination. We
want God to give us the direction to head. We want God to tell us where
he wants us to be. The next thing we would do is to plot our own course
to reach that destination. We would be thinking get out of my way and I
will get there on my own. After all, I know where I am going. Moses had
already spent forty years herding sheep because he tried to plot his on
Too many of us are asking, "What is God’s
will for my life?" We should be asking, "What is God’s will?" Once you
know God’s will you can adjust your life to fit his purposes. Once you
know what God is doing, you can know what you need to do. God wants you
to become involved in what he is doing. When you discover what God is doing,
you will discover what God wants to accomplish through you.
Usually we are two busy trying to get God
to work our will in our lives. We want God to adjust his will to fit our
purposes. If we knew where we were going we would devise our own plans
as how to get there. Then we would ask God to bless our plans for our lives.
God wants your faith to grow through experience.
Experience comes in following God one day at a time. We walk by faith and
not by sight. God seldom gave extensive details on the front end. When
God calls us he doesn’t give us all the details up front. God told Abraham
to get out of his country. God’s call wasn’t that specific. Abraham didn’t
know where he was going. God simply called him out of his country into
a land that God would later show him. He didn’t know the details up front.
Initially, the important thing was just to get out. The important thing
was to take that first step. Without that step things remain the same.
Actually it is much easier to just take one
step at a time than it is to know everything beforehand. How many of us
would have taken the road to where we are now if we had known about the
obstacles in our path beforehand? I don’t think I would have been preaching
for 28 years if I had known the hardships beforehand.
When you step out one step at a time it allows
God to fill your life with his presence. It allows God to work through
you to the accomplishing of his will. It will be God at work in you. Moses
finally realized God was all he needed. God is all you need. When you follow
one step at a time you will find yourself in the center of God’s will for
When you follow one step at a time into the
will of God you will become more confident with each step. Moses returns
to the Pharaoh three times. The first time he appears before Pharaoh God
causes Moses’ staff to become a snake and it swallows up the sorcerer's
snakes. The second time God turns the water to blood. The third time Moses
returns to the Pharaoh God brings the plague of frogs upon Egypt. It was
during the third plague that the Pharaoh comes to Moses.
Pharaoh summoned Moses and
Aaron and said, "Pray to the LORD to take the frogs away from me and my
people, and I will let your people go to offer sacrifices to the LORD."
Moses said to Pharaoh, "I leave to you the honor of setting the time for
me to pray for you and your officials and your people that you and your
houses may be rid of the frogs, except for those that remain in the Nile."
"Tomorrow," Pharaoh said. Moses replied, "It will be as you say, so that
you may know there is no one like the LORD our God. The frogs will leave
you and your houses, your officials and your people; they will remain only
in the Nile." After Moses and Aaron left Pharaoh, Moses cried out to the
LORD about the frogs he had brought on Pharaoh. And the LORD did what Moses
asked. The frogs died in the houses, in the courtyards and in the fields.
They were piled into heaps, and the land reeked of them. (NIV)
Moses begins to realize what is taking place
according to God's will. Moses begins to step out confidently into the
will of God. The Pharaoh says, "Pray to the Lord to take the frogs away
. . ." Moses simply asks, "When do you want it to happen?" Pharaoh set
the time. Then Moses goes before God and asks God to remove the frogs according
to the Pharaoh's timetable. "And the Lord did what Moses ask."
Do you see Moses' confidence beginning to build? Moses is being converted
to a man of confidence as he seeks to obey God’s call. The "Lord
did what Moses ask" because Moses was doing what God ask him to
do. Now you see God and Moses working together to accomplish God's purpose.
It was in the fourth plague that God fully
reveals himself as the God of the Hebrews. After the frogs God sent the
gnats. After gnats came the flies, but the fourth plague was different.
Then the LORD said to Moses,
"Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh as he goes to the water
and say to him, 'This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so that
they may worship me. If you do not let my people go, I will send swarms
of flies on you and your officials, on your people and into your houses.
The houses of the Egyptians will be full of flies, and even the ground
where they are. "'But on that day I will deal differently with the
land of Goshen, where my people live; no swarms of flies will be there,
so that you will know that I, the LORD, am in this land. I will make a
distinction between my people and your people. This miraculous
sign will occur tomorrow.'" And the LORD did this. Dense swarms of flies
poured into Pharaoh's palace and into the houses of his officials, and
throughout Egypt the land was ruined by the flies. (NIV)
The first three plagues come upon the Egyptians
and Hebrews alike. Now God will make a distinction between the Hebrews
and the Egyptians. This distinction proclaims God's favor on the Hebrews.
What the Hebrews experience was comparable to being in the eye of a hurricane
where all is calm. The storm is raging on all sides, but the center is
calm. The flies are swarming all over Egypt, but Goshen is peaceful as
the Hebrews experience the unexpected.
There is a vast distinction between the people
of God and the people of the world. The people of God enjoy the protective
hand of God as they seek to do heaven’s bidding. They live anticipating
God to do the unexpected as their lives unfold before them one step at
a time. The child of God grows more confident with each step taken. The
further you go into the will of God the more confident you are in the unexpected
work of God.
There are too many of us today trying to do
the work of the Lord while focused on our natural abilities. We are looking
to our natural abilities for the confidence we need to step out and live
for the Lord. Instead, we should be placing our confidence in the Lord.
Only the Lord can accomplish his purposes in our lives. Only then will
God do the unexpected.
Remember, great men aren't born they are made.
They are made as they yield to God's will one step at a time. God is calling
you into his will, but you must take the first step in faith.
"Come to me, all you who are
weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and
from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for
your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." (NIV)
Jesus wants you to share his yoke. Yokes are
made for two. His invitation is for you to get into his yoke with him.
Getting into the yoke with Jesus allows you to begin working where Jesus
is already working. That allows him to accomplish his work through you.
It becomes easy and light as we remain yoked to God through Christ.
God will never ask you to do anything that
he will not enable you to do. When we become yoked with God we can depend
upon his supernatural power and wisdom to accomplish his work in and through