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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Posture to Receive

“In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.” Psalm 5:3

There seems to be a recurring theme in my life lately that creates opportunity to change expectation into expectancy. It is when my expectations are in people or circumstances that the disappointment is ripe to grow. As I have experienced and studied the topic of expectations while I write, a formula that is usually accurate is when expectations do not equal reality it creates frustration. Often then we will look at the circumstances and place the blame or frustration there rather than digging deeper and seeing the pathway that led us to be disappointed in the result. BAM! Did you see that? Often our Pastor, when speaking something he feels is profound or impactful will repeat what he just said to highlight the point. I will give you a real life example.

Please do keep in mind I love my husband and children more than my life itself but I think all you Mama’s will relate to this one. I have been feeling convicted to spend some time writing and the last 2 weeks have been plumb full of people, kids off school and kids ministry etc. So when Wade left for work and Owen and Tessa were going to school and then her home for the weekend, I was quite excited to have my time of writing. Ok bye-bye, out the door now, did an early workout so gonna hop in the shower as soon as they leave and not waste any more time. Tessa walks back in, “My tire is flat!”  100 scenarios of how my time is going to be sucked away play through my mind and I give every possible helpful hint that wouldn’t involve my time. Holy Spirit knocks on my head, Hard. Remember the let me be open to your leading today Lord prayer…”I will call Wade about the air compressor.” After that, time-stealing scenarios are still making music in the background, I begin to explain where it is, how to use it, then more HS knocking as I stare at her frozen windows and sweet face and pregnant belly, “Wait, I will bring it around.” Just for the record I would not have left her stranded and would have given up my whole day if I needed to but my expectation of a time of writing and quiet had been interrupted and I went straight to selfish mode. The reality did not match my expectation and therefore created frustration.

God has been speaking to me a lot lately about being in a posture to receive. Be still and know that I am God was one of my Mom’s favorite verses and it has always seemed difficult to do. It created an expectation in me that I needed to be physically still in order to hear and know God better. It has created a lot of frustration sometimes when life is busy and I long to just sit with the lover of my soul. This verse comes from Psalm 46:10 and the complete verse says, “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth.” Be still in the Hebrew context is to let go, or release so in essence we let go of our own control and know that God is in control.  It is not necessarily a physical posture, which interestingly one definition of posture is a particular way of dealing with or considering something, an approach or attitude. BAM again! Did you see that one. Ok I will stop, but really…

This psalm talks about God defending his city and people, how He is our fortress and no matter what is going on, He has the ultimate victory in the world. The rest of the verse, I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth are a reminder to us as His people to take time everyday to recognize and exalt (hold in very high regard,speak or think highly of)Him. This can be done in all situations no matter how physically still we are. A posture of receiving is a state of mind, an attitude to choose to see God wherever we are at, whatever we are in. Also for the record a physical posture of quiet before Him to receive and listen and exalt Him is sometimes required.

God promises often in His word that He will never leave us or forsake us. Abandon is one meaning of forsake and so it is comforting to know that God never abandons us, he may leave us to our own devices sometimes but He is always present. As I was taught and experienced early on in my walk with Him, He is a gentleman, He will never bust in where He is not invited. Graham Cooke says, “If we are in Christ, then all of our circumstances are as well.” So let your expectations move into expectancy of God, not in people or circumstances or processes but God Himself. Invite Him into the exact place that you are, He sees your state of nakedness and knows anyway.