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Surprised by God


Has the Holy Spirit caught you by surprise lately? Has He unveiled to you a deeper understanding of the person of Jesus Christ?

He always speaks through His inspired Word, the Scriptures. It is His desire to “guide us into all truth . . . He will show you things to come” (John 16:13).

Jesus Christ is the one great glorious theme of the Holy Spirit. He never speaks of Himself because the role of the Spirit of God is to bear witness to Jesus Christ alone. Jesus said, “He will glorify Me.” The Holy Spirit is silent concerning Himself so that men see the glory of the Father revealed in the Son.

On the first Easter Sunday morning Mary Magdalene was surprised to see that the 2000-pound stone door to the tomb of Jesus was “already taken away from the tomb” (John 20:1). A little while later, Jesus met women and greeted them. “And they came up and took hold of His feet and worshipped Him” (Matthew 28:9). The apostle John tells us Mary was standing outside the tomb weeping, and as she wept, she saw two angels who asked her, “Why are you weeping?” She turned around and “beheld Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. He asked her the same question, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?’” She was quite surprised, “Supposing Him to be the gardener.” Jesus called her by name. After fully recognizing Jesus she ran and told the disciples, “I have seen the Lord” (John 20:11-18).

Jesus surprised the startled disciples that same evening when the doors to their meeting room were shut. “Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to then, ‘Peace be with you’” (v. 19).

On that same day on the road to Emmaus two disciples invited a stranger and much to their surprise as He break bread and blessed it, “their eyes were opened and they recognized Him; and He vanished from their sight. And they said to one another, ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while He was speaking to us on the road, while He was explaining the Scriptures to us?’” (Luke 24:30-32).

Over and over again for the next forty days Jesus surprised the disciples for joy with His appearances until He ascended up into a cloud and was received into heaven. The ascension attempts to put into words what is beyond words, and describes what is beyond description.

What a surprise in the upper room when the day of Pentecost had fully come, “And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was given them utterance” (Acts 2:4).

What a surprise to see and hear Peter preach the greatest sermon in his life on the atoning death of Jesus and His resurrection. Three thousand souls were saved that day (vv. 37-41). The disciples spoke with boldness and great power giving witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus (4:31-33, etc).

The Holy Spirit surprised Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus after he consented to the death of Stephen who “being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (8:55). Paul was suddenly surprised when he saw “a light from heaven flash around him . . . and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?” (9:3-4). Jesus responded, “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting” (v. 5).

The Holy Spirit indwells us so He can reveal the Lord God to us. He guides us into all truth concerning the Lord Jesus Christ. He opens His Scriptures and teaches us from them so that we may glorify Christ.

God loves to surprise us. Has He surprised you lately? Do you give Him “elbow-room”? Do you look for Him? Do you expect Him to break in upon you any moment?

Don't expect Christ to come to you only in a certain way. Lay aside any preconceived ideas of how He should come to you.  Expect Him to come any moment, any hour, at the least expected time in your day.

God is always at work in His surprise visits. He comes at His perfect timing. Keep your heart tender toward Him so that if He catches you unawares you will know you are in His presence.

Always be in a state of expectancy. "Even so, come, Lord Jesus."

Be ready at all times for the Lord’s surprise visits. “Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so, Amen” (Revelation 1:7).

Lord, Jesus will I see You today? Even so, come.



Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006





Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

Unless otherwise noted "Scripture quotations taken from the NASB." "Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE" © Copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission." (www.Lockman.org)

Scripture quoted by permission. Quotations designated (NET) are from the NET Bible copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. http://www.bible.org/. All rights reserved.

Wil is a graduate of William Carey University, B. A.; New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Th. M.; and Azusa Pacific University, M. A. He has pastored in Panama, Ecuador and the U. S, and served for over 20 years as missionary in Ecuador and Honduras. He had a daily expository Bible teaching ministry head in over 100 countries from 1972-2005. He continues to seek opportunities to be personally involved in world missions. Wil and his wife Ann have three grown daughters. He currently serves as a Baptist pastor and teaches seminary extension courses in Ecuador.


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