Pastor Amie Dockery
August 20, 2017
Main Idea – With a disposition of emptiness, we need to place ourselves in the right environment in order for God to miraculously use what He has already given us.
Our own plans
- Most of us have made plans for our future.
- Sometimes these plans are made because we feel we are expected to have plans.
- This gives us a sense of comfort because we feel we have control when we have measurable plans.
- However, this is limiting God because He said He will go beyond measurement in our lives. Ephesians 3:20 – 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.
- We must adjust our outlook to go well beyond what we have preconceived, and not be limited by our own expectations.
The teacher steps back
- In Matthew 16:24 Jesus told his disciples they must follow Him. “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”
- In most learning situations there is the expectation that instructions will continually be given.
- However, in the discipleship process, God will – at some point – step back and expect the disciple to take some action. There will be times when God will have expectations of us without giving specific instructions.
- Matthew 25: 14-30 tells a parable where an unproductive servant was admonished for not properly investing assets he had been given (verses 25-28).
- You cannot continue on the path of discipleship unless you are willing to risk everything you know, and leave your comfort zone.
Take a risk by faith
- It is natural for us to seek comfort by setting goals by which we can measure success. If we can measure it we feel we can manage it. However, in the discipleship process, this is not pleasing to God.
- The ideal environment to invest our abilities likely will be different from what we imagine when we make our own plans. The unproductive servant in the Matthew 25 parable did not put what he had been given in an environment where it could grow.
- The right environment for discipleship growth will be directed by God.
- Walking by faith is essential to the multiplication process.
The discipleship dilemma
- Many of us are not aware of the talents and abilities we have been given. Nor, are we sure of what to do with them if we have discovered them.
- This dilemma is exactly where we want to begin the discipleship process. We want to approach God as an open vessel that has little value of its own.
- We want to rely solely on God’s power and understanding. Ephesians 1: 18-20 – I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms
- This is all being done because of His grace. Ephesians 2:7 – in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
- We realize this is being done through Jesus’ love. Ephesians 3:19 – and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
- We will also experience eternal rewards that are beyond our comprehension.
2 Corinthians 4:17 – For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.
Steps to receiving this blessing
- 2 Kings 4: 1-7 tells the story of the widow whom God blessed after she obeyed Elisha’s directions to – in private - pour the little oil she had into borrowed containers.
- Step 1 – “go outside,” leave your comfort zone, and interact with others. (verse 3)
- Step 2 – do not establish your own criteria for the measurement of success. The process may not be neat and clean. Allow yourself to be at ease with much emptiness. (verse 3)
- Step 3 – “shut the door” and let God pour into you in private. Privacy with God prevents us from focusing on our own, or others’, expectations and limitations. (verse 4)
The widow vs. the unproductive servant
- The unproductive servant placed his gifts in an environment where they could not grow. The widow actively sought out where God was active, in the person of Elisha.
- The unproductive servant did nothing valuable with his time. The widow took action by following Elisha’s directions.
- As a disciple it is your responsibility to find the right investment environment for what God has given you.
- Your talents and resources must be placed in the right environment for them to fulfill their potential.
Reflective Questions for Immeasurable
- Do you know what you have – what God has given you as a gift?
- Can this gift multiply and grow in your current environment?
- If God were to give you more increase, where would you put it?
- What are practical ways you can apply Pastor Amie’s 3 steps to receiving God’s blessings?