A clear topic that has come up in my spirit and thought in the last week, over and over and over again; “BE EXPECTANT!!!”
My understanding of being expectant is not a pleasant experience, especially if I had to put it into context of the last 2 years. I have built a shield around myself in regard to expectancy, I expect very little from anyone, just to avoid disappointment…
In my retail management career, I always told my team reporting to me… “There is no such thing as the extra mile, it is humanly impossible to go the extra mile, just do what is expected of you, that’s all, I don’t expect anything more than that, just keep to your scheduled times and do your job.” On the flipside, I met my side of the contract, ensuring they had a safe environment to work in, and get accurately remunerated for their services. Easy peasy, and I am proud to say, as rude as that may sound, I always had very happy and productive staff, with an open relationship. Expectations were met.
Applying that in your personal life is a bit different… LOL, imagine telling your wife… “Babes, please stop talking and just do what you are supposed to, nothing more, nothing less…Okay? Love you.” You will be sleeping in the doghouse for a week. However, be honest with yourself, is that what we expect? Or do we actually expect more?
My personal opinion, generally speaking… I think most people expect more than what they are supposed to from their spouses, and even friends. Subconsciously we seek partners that can fill our needs, lack or hurt. We screen for people that can take us back to relive past events in our life, in the expectation to fix what was broken by others, hoping the partner will pick up the pieces and fix what was broken. A lot of times these expectations are not met, then we run for the mountains; to something or someone that we think will be able to fill the void. Now, think of 2 broken souls, looking to find healing from each other. If the one is stronger than the other, it will definitely tire the person out to try carry the additional weight, it is just not fair. In all honesty, if you have not come to the realization that you cannot put this expectation on a person, you will most likely relive the same cycle of disappointment. Your true source of healing is in Jesus Christ, your partner should hold your hand in the process, and not try and be what Jesus is supposed to be.
How about your Spiritual life? How expectant are you? Now, ask that from God… Gulp… from the one extreme to the other; from too much expectations to too little expectations… I am saying that with all respect, humility and in fear of God, our Father.
Jesus Christ is the living and lasting Word (1 Peter 1:23), the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us (John 1:14), the same Word that was with God in the beginning, and all things were made and has come to existence through Him (John 1:1-4). So, what does the Word say, the same spoken Word that will not return in void (Isaiah 55:11)?
Well to start with, you are a joint heir through Jesus Christ (Romans 8:17), that alone positions you in a heavenly Kingdom, a Kingdom out of this world, a Kingdom that cannot be compared to anything that the mind can comprehend, nor what the eye can see, nor what the ear can hear (1 Corinthians 2:7-9).
But wait… there is more, a whooooole lot more… Here is but a few;
- God knows the thoughts He has for you, thoughts of peace and not evil, to give you an expected end. (Jeremiah 29:11).
- You are a new creation through Jesus Christ, created in God’s image (Ephesians 4:24).
- God will give us peace that transcends all understanding that will guard your heart. (Philippians 4:7).
- You can cast you worries on God (1 Peter 5:7).
- He will renew your strength and you will rise like an eagle (Isaiah 40:31).
- You are part of an unshakable kingdom (Hebrews 12:28).
- He will superabundantly do far over and above all that we dare to ask or think (Ephesians 3:19-20).
These are just a few, and not to mention the gifts that we automatically received through Jesus’ sacrifice.
Now, did you pay attention to something in these verses…? Can you spot it? Read it again…
I purposely left out the detail around it. I call it #Hashtag promises. So many of us jump to these verses to find comfort, it sounds so soothing to the soul, but it is so empty if we don’t make the #Hashtags part of our being; we leave out the #Hashtags to these verses and place expectations on God, like spoiled brats. Pardon the pun.
Yeah, I know you are going to say… “You preach works, we shouldn’t have to do anything to receive grace.” And rightfully so, grace is a gift and freely available, thank you to Jesus. However, 1 Peter 1:15-16 tells us “Be Holy, for I am Holy.” BE, not DO.
Yeah, I know… there is now no more condemnation for those who are in Christ, absolutely, spot on, we can do whatever we want, whenever we want, but not everything we do is beneficial and constructive to our character and spiritual life (1 Corinthians 10:23).
There are some expectations on us to activate blessings and benefits.
Let me share a story to explain these “benefits” I want to get across to you.
A son asked his father to buy him a car for his 18th birthday, the father was a bit reluctant at first, but eventually when his birthday came up his father surprised him with a car. The son didn’t have a driver’s license yet, so his father didn’t allow him to drive the car alone. Finally, he got his driver’s license; he was a valid driver and qualified to drive alone. His father gladly handed him over the keys, with a few conditions. The conditions were; to not drive around in certain areas of the city that deemed unsafe, to keep to the laws of the road and that he had a curfew of being back home no later than 10pm. The son gladly agreed to the conditions.
It went well for the first few weeks, until one night he only came home after 11pm. Sneaking into the house, hoping no one would notice. The following morning, his father had a stern discussion with him and took his car keys for a week, not allowing him to use the car. A week later he was back in his car and on the road, same rules applied.
Again, it went well for a few weeks; then one night he only came back after 11pm. Again, sneaking in, hoping no one would notice it. The next morning when he entered the kitchen on tip toe, his father was cheerful and in a vey good mood. He was relieved, thinking that no one noticed him being late the previous night. They had breakfast together and had a good laugh or two. The son took his car keys, greeted everyone and left for school. Soon after he ran back inside the house with disbelieve, shouting “My car’s wheels were stolen, all 4 of it!!!!” His father answered with laughter… “Noooo, I removed your wheels, we had an agreement, didn’t we? It will remain off until you show me that you appreciate the benefits of it by keeping to the agreed conditions.”
The car was visibly available, but served no purpose.
Similar to this story, we have all the spiritual gifts readably at our disposal, but we need to meet our side of the bargain to activate it.
Let’s look at the hashtags of the previously stated feel-good verse.
Jeremiah 29:12-14 – You will call upon me and pray to Me, you will seek me, inquire and require me as a vital necessity.
Ephesians 4:22-24 – Strip yourself from your former nature, your corrupt desires, and be constantly renewed in the spirit.
Philippians 4:6-9 – Be in constant prayer with thanks giving. Have your minds fixed on whatever is true, worthy, honourable, pure, kind and winsome. Practice what you have learned.
1 Peter 5:6-8 – Humble yourself. Be well balanced, vigilant and cautious at all times, because the enemy is like a roaring lion.
Isaiah 40:31 – Those who wait for the Lord, those who look for Him and places their hope in Him…
Hebrews 12:28 – Let us receive the kingdom, offer to God a pleasing and acceptable worship, with modesty and in Godly fear and awe.
Ephesians 3:15-20 – May Christ, through your faith, dwell, settle down and abide in your hearts, and be rooted in love and founded securely in love.
In both Hebrew and Greek the word “expectation” is linked to hope; things or an outcome to hope for. And immediately Hebrews 11:1 pops up, the meaning of faith; the assurance of things we hope for, being the proof of things we do not see and the conviction of its reality.
It is good to “Be expectant” and do “Come expectant”, if expectancy is hope, then you should be expectant. Understanding that you are in a relationship with God, a new covenant relationship bought by Jesus Christ’s life, at a very very very expensive price, live a life of praise for what He has done for you. That is the least you can do.
Align yourself, position yourself, be in right standing… and your expectations will be met, without a shadow of a doubt, for His thought is to give you an expected outcome.