Great Expectations

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Who is God? This question has been asked for centuries. Who truly is He? In response, most would quote scriptures and basic tenets of faith found in the Bible. They would say He is omni-present, omniscient, all-loving, etc. But our theology of God doesn’t determine who we believe God to be. Not really. Instead, our daily expectations of His movement in our lives reveal our true beliefs.

In other words, in our heart of hearts, who we anticipate God to be in us and for us is the true picture of what we believe of God and His character. We may say God is this or that. We might profess He is a God of love and mercy. Yet if we don’t expect Him to be loving and merciful to us—in tangible ways—we don’t truly believe this.

For example we often say things like “God supplies all our needs,” but in financial crisis our first response is often panic and a grasping for human solutions. It is easy to quote scriptures like “God works all things together for good.” But if we are not waiting with expectation for our ashes to turn to beauty, this remains head knowledge, not a reflection of our faith in a God who works the impossible on our behalf, simply because He loves us.

There are many reasons for this discrepancy. For starters, we have looked at man and his failures as a launching point for our understanding of God and his character. We often equate Father God with our earthly fathers or spiritual leaders. This is a grave mistake, for who is like God? Certainly not man. (See Exodus 15:11.)

Even God’s Word cannot fully describe Him. His Word—in part—reveals Him, yet it cannot contain Him. It cannot begin to wholly unveil all He is. All He did could not be contained in all the world’s books. It stands to reason all He is can’t be, either (see John 21:25).

My intent is not to minimize God’s word. On the contrary, His word must come alive for us and in us. It is time we live and encounter His word, not just read and study it. God never intended us to be satisfied with the second-hand experiences of others.

Another reason for our unbelief is our lack of personal experience, or our disappointments when God doesn’t perform as we had hoped or believed He should. Yet we can’t dismiss the truth of God’s word because we haven’t known it to be true in our lives or in a particular situation. Our faith must be founded on what His word actually says. If God said it, it must be true, period. If it has not been our experience, we must contend for it to be. There can be no other response.

Hearts are crying out, “There’s got to be more than this.” And there is! Not only can God be magnificent in lives today, He desires to be—even plans to be. God didn’t stop doing amazing miracles in the lives of men when the last word of Revelation was written. He is waiting for us to believe—to expect Him—to be the God of the impossible.

Expectation of Him honors Him. It is an expression of faith saying, “I know You are good. I know You are all powerful. I know You are a loving Father and a faithful friend, and I anticipate You being just that. Not only for my neighbor, not only for those I consider deserving or anointed, but for me.”

There was a time I believed God wanted to do miracles for certain people. I knew He wanted to bless this one or that one due to their service for Him. But I didn’t anticipate Him invading my life in great measure here—in my lifetime, in surprising and exquisite ways, just to delight me. But He has, He does and will continue to do so.

God has a future and a hope for each life He has created. He intends to turn our mourning into dancing and transform our ashes into beauty. He desires to embrace us with His extravagant love. He yearns to be intimately known by us. He purposes to be supernaturally involved in our lives, to fulfill the dreams we dare not dream. He is waiting for you—Dare to believe!

Food for thought:

Maybe the world doesn’t believe God is who we say He is because we don’t. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Who do I say God is (my theology)?

  2. What does my daily expectation/anticipation of God reveal I actually believe of Him?

  3. What lies have I unconsciously believed of God?

  4. Where do God’s word and my beliefs contradict each other? What is the source? Judging God based on man? Lack of personal experience? Someone else’s teaching based on their lack of experience?

  5. In what areas can I contend for the truth of God’s word to become my personal experience?

Spend time asking God to reveal the lies you have believed about Him. Ask His forgiveness. Ask God to reveal His truth to replace the lies. Pray God will manifest the truth of His word in your life.  

 It is my prayer that we allow God to step out of the box in which we have placed Him. To allow Him, even expect Him, to be all He is—in us, for us and through us.