And now, Lord, for what do I expectantly wait? My hope [my confident expectation] is in You. | Psalm 39:7
E X P E C T A T I O N S
We’re meant to have them. God has given us souls that expect and look forward to things. But all expectations must be brought into submission to the One in whom our ultimate expectation lies.
Sometimes we have a negative connotation when we hear the word “expectation” because of a bad past experience of someone failing us, or unmet expectations in a relationship, or hearing about how damaging expectations can be. But expectations aren’t a bad thing! Some expectations of a believer are to include: to expect His coming (Titus 2:13; 2 Peter 3:12a), to expect being with Him forever (John 3:16; 10:28), to expect being rid of the very presence of sin in heaven (1 John 3:2), to expect to be persecuted for being a disciple of Jesus (2 Timothy 3:12), etc.
So as you can see, expectations aren’t wrong.
The thing is, though, when one becomes a bond-slave of Christ, he or she must “check-in” (turn in, give away) ALL of those over to their new Master.
This is a slow and often painful process… but the joy, oh the joy of complete surrender of expectations!
You might have some expectations already:
- going to school
- getting a good job
- getting married
- having a family
- making a decent living
Guess what? All of these have to be turned over to The Lord Jesus.
One may think, “Hey now, there’s nothing wrong with these things!” That is true enough. But if any or all of these things interfere with how the Master wants to use you, they need to go.
Born-again believers have new wants, desires, hopes, expectations! And as a part of learning, you can expect that hard lessons will be part of it.
Surrender isn’t always pretty. But we can find all our expectations met in Jesus Christ.
Unchecked expectations often muddle our thinking of how we should surrender. It may seem as though all of the sudden our hopes and dreams (expectations) come crashing down so suddenly we can hardly clear our heads of the ashes of it all…
What has happened in these times? I believe more and more that it is because of unchecked expectations to the Keeper and Sustainer.
God doesn’t want to pry expectations from our hands, as He often has to do with our own foolish selves… He wants the open hand, the one that recognizes expectations (for instance, getting a nice job) and gives them over to Him immediately, saying
“not my will, but Thine be done”.
So instead of finding ourselves in a cycle of shattered expectations, if we choose to check in everything to our Master and set our hearts to do His will, we will find that our expectations align with Christ’s:
He who began a good work in us will complete it until the day of Christ | Philippians 1:6
This isn’t a one time action. It must happen often, sometimes very literally, moment-by-moment.
We will find that He gives us joy in the giving…we learn to do it more readily, quickly, obediently, and He gives us a joy and peace that is unlike anything else to sustain us along the way.
We learn to expect what we ought and to give what we ought not expect.
Expect to give everything and you can expect to receive His very best.
He gives all.
He asks all.
Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship.” | Romans 12:1