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Life And Death Of Expectation

Aim high, think big, and take God out of the box. However, expectations have a life of their own. We birth them and then our brains run wild and grow them into monsters that can overtake our whole perspective on life.

Picture a shape of some sort, perhaps a kind of blob, and let that represent an expectation at its conception. Even before anything happens, we know what we want to see in that expectation for it to be fulfilled and complete. You have an expectation of what healing is going to look like in your life, and it includes certain components. When one of those components actually comes to past, it takes its place in the expectation without a second thought, as if it’s expected to be there. Thus there’s really no need to acknowledge it and it becomes an item on a checklist.

But the problem is that eventually, huge chunks of the expectation will not be fulfilled. God might let us have our way for a little while and think that we’re in control, but He will show us that we don’t have absolute power to create our reality. But since the fulfilled chunks of the expectation don’t count – remember, they were all but dismissed when they occurred – all we see left is the part left unfinished, and we label ourselves “failures,” “bad Christians,” and a host of other destructive names. Rather than being motivated to do better next time, we get mad at ourselves, at God, and at people who were part of the plan in our expectations (whom, by the way, we can’t control). No, this type of kick in the pants is not what’s going to boost you into spiritual high gear. Not to mention that you’ll be a really difficult person to be around because these unfulfilled expectations will affect everyone with whom you come into contact. The point here is that expectations have a huge impact on how we perceive our experiences. It makes no difference that they’re “just in your head,” if in fact they shape your life the way they do.

Don’t give up on dreaming big and believing for God to do amazing things in your life. That’s not the problem because the desire within us to live a miraculous and relationally rich life is wonderful. But be aware of your attitude towards the events that play into your expectations. Are you grateful for each fulfillment … truly grateful? Do you place a lot of your hopes for the next event in what has already happened? Do you still know that God is working His own plan out and that He doesn’t need your help? Live for the moment, be contemplatively thankful, and know that He is God.

Dig Deeper

James 4:15

Proverbs 19:21

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