Thursday, March 8, 2012

Expectations

And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. (Acts 3:5)

I was thinking in the wee hours this morning about the predicament of a friend. “Why, Lord,” I prayed, “Does she struggle with that? Strangely, she seems content.”

And from inside me, came a still, small voice, “Her expectations aren’t high enough.”

Wow. This is a revelation to me.

Thinking of the stories in the Bible, we see this same problem. In Acts 3, the lame man expected only alms. He was satisfied to sit daily at the gate and receive the pittance people gave him.

Then there’s Moses standing at the burning bush, a miracle in itself. God shares what will be his part in the deliverance of Israel, and what does Moses say? “I am not eloquent…I am slow of speech…slow of tongue.” (Ex 4:10)

How about Gideon? He’s threshing wheat when an angel shows up and calls him a “mighty man of valor.” How does he respond? “Who me? How can I save Israel? My family’s poor and I am the least among them.” (Jdg 6:15)

Now think about Simon Peter. Out fishing all night, he’s caught nothing when Jesus tells him to let down his nets once again. Incredulous, Peter replies, “But, but, but…we tried that already.” (Lk 5:5)

A Pastor I respect has said many times, “I don’t want a cabin in a corner of Gloryland. I want a real pad.” As humorous as that statement is, there is some truth to it. It’s not that we lack expectation. Perhaps you desire only the small cabin in the corner. Yet let me ask you this. What is wrong with expecting a mansion? Maybe you need to raise your standards.

Look at Abraham. He did. He’s willing to sacrifice the dearest thing to him – his son. He builds an altar and prepares to make the sacrifice, and Isaac pops up and asks, “Hey Dad, where’s the lamb?” What did Abraham say?

“My son, God will provide himself a lamb. “ (Ge 22:13)

Now look at David. Goliath is taunting the army of Israel. Seeing this, David, unlike all the older, stronger men around him, asks, “Who does this guy think he is?” (1Sa 17:26)


Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us. (Ephesians 3:20)

Now I’m not talking about excess. The Bible warns against that. (Mt 23:25;Lk 12:16) We are told not to have things for the sake of having things. Yet we are also told God can do exceeding abundantly above anything we can even THINK of. That’s a pretty amazing thing!

So you need a job. Expect a position that more than supplies your needs. Don’t stop at, “God please give me something, anything,” and yet you still can’t pay your bills. Expect a position that fits with your personality and talents in an environment you enjoy. Expect an amount of pay that more than supplies your needs.

So you need a house. Why settle for something too small with too high of a mortgage? Why have a mortgage at all?

“But,” you say, “My faith isn’t big enough for that.”

Yeah, well, mine wasn’t either. I lived in a location that made me unhappy for many years. Frankly, I didn’t expect to ever get out. I had no faith at all for it – none. However, in the matter of year, I was in a brand, new house that my husband and I designed, completely paid for. How did that happen? God proved Himself once again to be more than enough.

Perhaps our struggle continues because we aren’t expecting Him to do enough. We’re asking for a cup of water, when God wants to give us an entire pail. Didn’t He say He’d supply all our needs ACCORDING TO HIS RICHES IN GLORY? (Php 4:19) How rich is that?

I don’t know about you, but I’m raising my expectations. I’m expecting God to do “on earth as it is in heaven.” (Mt 6:10) Then, when I’m in THE BLESSING God has promised for my life, I will be able to better help those around me. I can be the one who blesses you, instead of always the one who needs to receive. That sounds pretty grand to me!

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Suzanne
Suzanne Williams Photography
Florida, USA

Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.

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