Alignment of Expectancy

Our desires can often go awry when they are unredeemed. I love words and I have desired for a long time to write a book, in fact this is a season of my life that I have an opportunity to do this. And I have been getting nowhere fast. I have had some training in writing and encouragement from others that what I write is worthy enough to be shared. Still, I had an expectation that I had to be at a certain place, or have the precise amount of material to begin. I had an expectation that because I felt God gave me the idea and title of my book and chapters that I would just sit down and it would pour out of me. I had an expectation that I should know all about expectations if I was supposed to write about it. This is the unredeemed part.

At the same time that I am getting revelation of how this book of Expectations will come to pass, God is healing my identity. Coincidence? I think not. God is bringing who I am in Him into alignment with His desires for me and showing me what it means for my expectations to be redeemed to expectancy in God.

Expectation – ‘a strong belief that something will happen or be the case in the future’. This can take the form of presumption or assumption, conjecture or hope

Expectancy – ‘the state of thinking or hoping that something especially something pleasant, will happen or be the case.’ This can take the form of anticipation, eagerness or excitement.

Can you just feel the difference in the words? Expectations give us an ‘I deserve it!’ mentality and then when they aren’t met, we are disappointed, sometimes not even realizing that they were unrealistic. Placing our expectancy in God, not in what He does or doesn’t do, gives us room to hope but be open to how He wants to do things and meet with our hearts.

I remember when the dream of this book idea came to fruition. I was a new Christian who had a friend that constantly struggled with her faith and trying to dig deep into what God had for her. She had a magical expectation of who God should be and never pressed into the hardwork of working out her salvation and allowing God to dig deep. Ironically, now as God has been revealing some lies I have agreed with that have kept me stuck, that girl could be me. I think I just had a bigger edge on performing for love than she may have had. As long as I did all the ‘right things’ nobody would know that I had never experienced the fullness of God. I was so adept at managing my behaviour by willful efforts that I missed a lot of the process of inner sanctification. This has made me weary, melancholic and independent, a fruit of pride. I was still fighting for His love when it was given to me by grace. Big Daddy Weave’s song Redeemed says, ‘stop fighting a fight that’s already been won.’

See the thing in changing from expectation to Holy expectancy is it takes renewing of our thoughts. For our thoughts to be renewed we need the spotlight of the Holy Spirit to show us which ones are misguided. “Search me, God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts.” Psalm 139:23 The working out part is finding the lies and challenging them and replacing them with the truth of who we are in Christ. Steven Furtick in Crash the Chatterbox says, ‘ fear takes us to what if? and the mistake people make is that they entertain the what ifs but they don’t enter in deeply enough with the search light of truth.’   Jesus has promised if you abide in Him and His Word, you will know the truth and it will set you free. (John 8:31,32)

So I invite you on this journey with me in the redemption of expectations. Please feel free to share how your expectations have caused disappointment and how God may have redeemed them and the expectancy you now have in Him.

Crash the Chatterbox – Steven Furtick

 

 

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Stop, Grow and Heal

Romans: 12 1-2 So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him.

I don’t normally study the Message paraphrase but this speaks these verses exactly as I want you to hear them. I encourage you to go back and read them again, out loud, remembering this word is for you. It is not just words on a page but God’s living breathing Word that can change your life.

Take your everyday life & Place it before God as an offering take – lay hold of something with one’s hands, place – put in a particular position. These are both verbs, they are action words. It does not say just go through your day and let whatever comes at you roll over you. It takes intentional actions to submit our life and all the things in it to God daily.

Embracing what God does for you, embrace – accept or support something willingly or enthusiastically. Are you enthusiastic about the fact that the God of the universe became fully human in the form of a baby to have the hardest mission ever known, saving the souls of mankind, and yet still be willing to lay down His life for us. Still His mission was not complete until He rose again so that we can have eternal life!!! Let us all pray to keep the freshness of this truth in our hearts. Embracing is our worship to Him.

Fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Fix – direct one’s eyes, attention or mind steadily or unwaveringly toward. This is another deliberate discipline that we need to practice. In the NIV version of verse 2 this says, ‘Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’ As Christians we have to option for God to renew our minds and the way we think through His word and prayer. I love what Steven Furtick says in Crash the Chatterbox, “When your perspective is preloaded with the Word of God, lies lose their power over your life.”

Readily recognize – Quickly respond… Knowing Him and His will are the only ways this is accomplished. Steven Furtick uses the term chatterbox essentially to describe all the other voices that come at us that aren’t God. These two statements in Pastor Furtick’s book have changed my paradigm drastically. ‘You locate the lies of the chatterbox at the intersection of what is written and who you are.’ ‘It is not only that you know the Word of God but who you are in relation to that word.’ So we take what is true, what God says about us, (readily recognize) and find the lies, replace them with God’s truth and overcome them. (quickly respond).

It’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. misinterpret – to understand something incorrectly.  In other words, ‘Do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought’ (NIV) This was the impetus for writing this blog. I was praying for people who seem to have an ongoing dissatisfaction with life and it overflows from their heart to their families, their work, their churches and creates a sphere of negativity that invades these places. I can speak this because I have been there but I have been letting God change me from the inside out, trying to stay humble in the midst of a selfish society. It is difficult, I know, I fight it everyday but we are so easily misled by ourselves when we are not submitted to God. The tongue is a fire and is quickly unleashed and when we have places in us that need healing it doesn’t necessarily benefit others around us to set it free.

So the thought came to me Stop, Grow and Heal. You know like the slogan Stop, Drop and Roll if ever by chance you would catch on fire. Well I challenge you when you recognize these places that are causing you to sin through your words, gossip or actions to let the fire of Jesus get on you and Stop, Grow and Heal.  I sat and let the fact that God’s truth is the truth for me in relation to who He says I am sink deep into my spirit the other day. Something changed, something I can’t really put into words yet and my perspective is different. I am His child, totally loved, and actually liked!

There is nothing too hard for Him to heal and change. NOTHING! Today in the YouVersion devotional my husband and I are reading it said, “Small thinking results from a lack of exposure to the Word and a lack of ownership of the Word. Small thinking limits who we become and what we are able to accomplish in the Lord.” She went on to say the enemy knows this and constantly fills our mind with thoughts contrary to the Word. We let lies become our truth because we don’t counter them with the Word of God. I know this is a lot, apparently I need to write more to spread my thoughts out haha but I think the last sentence of Romans 12:3 in the Message ends this well, “The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and what He does for us, not by what we are and what we do for Him.” AMEN

Crash the Chatterbox – Steven Furtick

Youversion – Life Principles for Living Out the Greatest Commandment – Cheri Strange