We all have expectations for our lives, but what would it look like if we exchanged our expectations for eager expectancy to see the Lord work His will?
Expectancy vs. Expectations
At some point in all of our lives, I would argue that an expectation has gotten you in trouble. See if any of the thoughts below resonate with you:
- I should have a high paying job in my dream field of work right after college
- I should be married by now
- I should be dating by now
- It’s been a year since the breakup, I should be over this already
- I have read so many books on this topic, why am I still struggling?
- I should have a community of friends by now
- I have had this job for a year now; I should be a better boss and leader than I am
- I should be 10 pounds lighter than I am
- I should be going to the gym five days a week and here I am only going 3 times
- I should….
- I should….
- I should….
You fill in the blanks.
As women with drive and passion to make a difference in this world, these expectations make sense. We want to have productive lives filled with purpose and deep relationships, so we set goals for ourselves and dreams with timelines – job by this time, dating by this time, married, kids, house – depending on how much of a dreamer and planner you are, you could have your whole life ‘planned out’ already.
But there is a fine line you walk when you start to plan out your whole life and put expectations on where you want to be and when you want to be there.
That line you’re walking is the line between YOUR plan and GOD’S plan.
“A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9
It’s the balance of taking initiative in your own life – dreaming and going after the things you feel called to do – while keeping in perspective the fact that God is the one in charge of it all… not you.
We encounter a BIG problem when we start to believe that OUR plan is the right plan and go solely off of what we think and what we desire, and not welcome the Lord into it.
Do you know what happens when you go off your own strength and wants and not the Lords? Your perspective narrows.
You start to see the world and your life through only what YOU can do with earthly resources and restrictions.
You forego God’s LIMITLESS strength and potential for your earthly strength.
In addition, when you are living off of your own strength and perspective, it is easy to start going through the motions and drifting through life. You see your to-do list or your calendar and you just do it (well… on a good day when you are being productive, you do it). You wake up, acknowledge what has to get done, and do your best to git’er done.
If I am describing you, please know that you are not alone. It is a way of thinking that I find myself drifting into often, but it is a way of thinking that I do not want to be stuck in.
So, what is the alternative? How do we welcome the Lord into our plans and live outside of our own expectations?
Let’s find the answer to that in the Bible:
“So roll up your sleeves, put your mind in gear, be totally ready to receive the gift that’s coming when Jesus arrives. Don’t lazily slip back into those old grooves of evil, doing just what you feel like doing. You didn’t know any better then; you do now. As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God’s life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness… Your life is a journey you must travel with a deep consciousness of God.”– 1 Peter 1:13-16, 18 (MSG)
The answer to that question is to live with an EAGER expectancy of Jesus showing up in your life every day and to live every day with a ‘deep consciousness of God.’
So, what would it look like for you to offer your expectations to God and exchange them for expectancy for the Lord to show up in the things you hope for? What if, instead of thinking, “I should be seriously dating someone by now,” you change your mindset to, “Lord, you know I have a desire to be loved and pursued at this stage in my life; I am expectant for you to show me why I am in a season of waiting and what you have for me while I am waiting.”
There is NOTHING wrong with having desires and ambitions – God desires that from us, but He wants us to give them all up to Him and shape our desires to be aligned with His good purposes for our lives.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”- Ephesians 2:10
Take a moment to yourself to ask the following questions. Get out some paper and a pen – make it a date for yourself and God!
- Lord, what expectation are you asking me to offer you today?
- God, what do you want to give me in return?
Thank you Jesus that you desire to offer us, your children, a perspective that is greater than our own. Give us expectancy today for whatever YOU want. Thank you for pursuing us and leading us on such a grand adventure. We love you!