Great Expectations

I think, as we live on this broken earth, we can, at times, seeking too much blessing from it. That is, not to say, that seeking good is bad or desiring blessing is wrong. Both are natural and biblical.

Yet, where are we seeking the good and the blessings from? Too many times I find myself expecting a blessing from the brokenness of this world. I seek heaven on this cursed planet. I seek home in a foreign land, and I desire wholeness in a broken place. – That is when disappointment and discouragement seeps in, covering me with darkness, and I am weighed down by the heaviness of it all.

We can all face these times and they are valid, real, not easily escaped from, and should not be taken lightly. For each person these dark moments or seasons are different and unique, only God knows the why and how and the medicine for it.

For me, recently facing a short time of utter darkness, I came to a realization of my warped perspective. This darkness did not come from nowhere, it is a culmination of hurts I have experienced, lies I have believed, and the enemy’s constant attacks. And it all came rushing at me at once.

I have begun to see how much expectation I have put into this life. Though I know nothing on this earth will bring me fulfillment or wholeness, I still believe I am entitled to blessings, the “American dream”. I expect comfort, belonging, even romance, and happiness. Although the Bible clearly tells us the world brings trouble, deep down, I have believed that trouble won’t be that bad for me and won’t be the norm of my life. I believed that I still deserved good things, especially as I do good to others. My expectations are high.

But, those are all lies. Don’t get me wrong, we are blessed. God gives good fits. However, we aren’t meant to place any expectation of blessing on this world. Just like you wouldn’t expect a broken refrigerator to keep your food cold, we can not expect a broken world to give us our desires or fulfill our greatest joys. When we expect those things, we have made the world our God.

Only from God do we receive great joys and fulfillment of desires. From the world, we receive curses, pain, and tribulation. From God we receive blessings, peace, and joy. We are not home yet, but through Jesus we get to taste a bit of home. We do not belong here, but through Jesus we can find belonging. We will feel discomfort, but through Jesus, we can experience His comfort.

Let us not expect heaven from earth, but bring a taste of heaven to earth for others to experience. In doing so, more people can hand over their disappointment and darkness to the Only One who knows what to with them. Let our expectations not be placed in this world, but laid on the cross, Jesus, and in heaven, where they are being and will be fulfilled. That way, when the world inevitably does not fulfill our hopes, we find our self at peace because we know this is not the end.

Advertisements

I AM

As an adult, more than when I was a child, I find myself relating to Moses quite often. I do not often relate to the moments when he performed God’s miracles, but more to the moments where He doubts himself and questions God’s plan.

Circumstances, my own limitations, and others often cloud my vision of God and cause me to falter on the path He has called me to walk on.

As soon as Moses is called by the Lord from a burning bush, he questions his own ability to fulfill God’s calling. Are you sure you chose the right person? He thinks. He feels like no one will listen to him, not his own people, and definitely not the pharaoh. Yet God tells him, this isn’t about him, but about HIS power and HIS ability, it is about the Great I AM.

So, Moses, with help from Aaron, steps our in faith to call his people (the Israelites) out of Egypt and back to the Lord. Because of this, the Israelites are severely punished by he Pharaoh. They suffer more and blame Moses. Moses blames God. God gives him something to say to the people in response and we come to Exodus 6:9-12—-

Moses reported this to the Israelites, but they did not listen to him because of their discouragement and harsh labor.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Go, tell Pharaoh king of Egypt to let the Israelites go out of his country.”

But Moses said to the LORD, “If the Israelites will not listen to me, why would Pharaoh listen to me…?”

What a relateable story for those of us who are called to speak, preach, to share the gospel, to minister, to lead, or called in any way to glorify God with what we do!

I am in full time ministry. I have had my eyes opened to God’s heart for the world, the work that must be done. God has not only called me to the work to share the gospel, but to also encourage others to do the same.

However, I find myself so often, like Moses, saying, “If that person won’t listen to me, why would anyone else listen to me…?” Very rarely does it seem like people hear and I can’t help but be discouraged and question God’s calling.  That is why I am so convicted by Moses and the Israelite’s story and I pray it will help any fellow ministers, leaders, and brothers and sisters in Christ.

God never promised Moses that the people would listen. When Moses doubted his capabilities, God tells him that He will do miracles through him, that He will give him speech, but God never promises him that he will be heard (in fact, he promises him the Pharaoh will not listen!).

God calls us to share because of His character. He desires to be known and to know His people. Yet, He gives everyone free will. Our sharing, our serving, our empowering and leading, must not depend on being heard, but must rely on our being faithful to the One who is always faithful.

Like Moses, let us continue to obey God’s calling, even if it goes unheard or unseen. Allow His power to work through you as you persevere, and people will begin to hear, fruit will come, and God is and will be glorified. If you need a response to your doubt, your fears, your discouragement, remind your heart that, “He is the Lord your God ,the Great I AM.”