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