Living With Expectation
Isaiah 40:31 But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.
We should be living life full of expectation for the good things that God has got in store for us. Are you living with expectation, or do you just live thinking it will just be more of the same? If we live with expectation, God can do great things in our lives.
We should approach life with a positive expectation. I wonder how much we miss in life because we are not expectant. There is so much in life that can rob us of our expectation. But let’s be a people who are expectant.
The more we expect, the more we could see coming to pass. The less we expect, the less we get.
WHAT IS EXPECTATION?
According to the definition of the word EXPECTATION it is ‘a state of expecting or anticipating’. It is the act or state of looking forward to some occurrence.
I believe it should be part of the Christian lifestyle or the Christian way of life. It includes the aspect of believing for a positive outcome. It is a knowing, as we live our lives submitted to God, that the final outcome will be a positive outcome in accordance to His word and will.
How expectant are you, to believe God for His goodness and favour on your life? Are you expecting great things from God? Is there an expectation in your spirit today? Are you expecting to hear from God today? Are you expecting that God could use you today, or next week or for the rest of your life?
Don’t we often settle for far less than what God has promised, when deep within ourselves we know there is more, much more? Have you given up on your expectation? Have you got a ‘been there, done that, got the t-shirt’ attitude or have you got a ‘I’ve seen it all before’ attitude?
Or do you have an attitude of expectation, knowing that you have not begun to see what God wants to do? I challenge you to live your life full of expectation. Don’t give-in to discouragement and despair.
Believe, believe, believe and be full of anticipation and expectation.
EXPECTATION MAKES ALL THE DIFFERENCE
With expectation I believe so much more can happen. I have been a worship leader for many years, and I have seen the effect of expectation. When I step up to minister in an environment where there is expectation, things happen. When I step up and there is no sense of expectation, very little happens. If there is no expectation, what do you think we can expect?
In the story of Noah we see how God tells Noah to do a very specific job. He tells Noah of a great flood and that he must build a large ark. The bible tells us that Noah did everything that God told him to do. But the ark took very long to build. Some estimate it took up to 120 years to build. Others argue it was 75 years or 98 years, but whatever the time span was, it was a long time. So here is Noah building a strange ark for a flood that has never been seen before, surrounded by people who thought he was crazy and yet he continued with this mammoth task…. Why?
Because he believed and was expectant that God would do exactly as He said He would do.
He was expectant that if God said it would rain, he would see the rain. He was expectant that if God said there would be a flood that there would be a flood. He remained expectant for 75-120 years and saw God do as he had expected God would do.
If he had given up on his expectation he most likely would have given up on the project.
My father was a Pastor of a wonderful church. The church grew from 90 members to 6500 members under his ministry. During his ministry it was prophesied that his ‘congregation’ would reach 20 000 people. But then he died. I was convinced that the prophetic word was inaccurate as the congregation was only 6500 at the time of his death. I wrote off the word and gave up on any expectation. BUT God had not forgotten His word.
Fifteen years later we launched a Facebook Fan Page for my father and began to release his old preaching materials. Within 3 months the ‘weekly reach’ of this Fan Page reached 20 000 people, according to official statistics.
We were notified by email that it had reached a ‘weekly reach’ of 20 000 people. As I read the email, it did not dawn on me immediately, but as I read it a second time, I was suddenly reminded about the prophetic word and just about jumped off my chair. God had honoured His word to my father even though my father had died.
I suddenly realized that I could not write off what God had said and I was so aware that I need to live with expectation, never giving up, no matter what the circumstance, situation or time frames were.
Expectation will see you through. Expectation will carry you to victory.
Just think of David, when he saw Goliath, he said ‘who is this philistine that he would come against the armies of God?’ He was filled with expectation that God would bring the victory.
You and I must live with the same burning expectation and God will carry us through and bring the positive outcome in our lives and situations.
EXPECTATION IS ‘LOOKING FORWARD’!
There are two aspects to expectation:
1. It is future orientated.
You can’t be expectant for the past. It has this future orientated dimension. So it does not matter where you come from or what you have been through.
In a sense we are all back to the beginning when it comes to the future because nothing is guaranteed. Therefore we can all live with expectation.
2. Expectation is also about looking forward to something.
- We can have a positive anticipation!
- We can look forward to a positive outcome!
- We can be excited and filled with anticipation!
I remember when I started out in ministry. Every day was an adventure. At night I would collapse into bed and could not get to sleep fast enough to be able to get up and see what the next day would hold in store for me. This is how we should live!
The famous sociologist, Robert K. Merton, wrote that a person's expectation is directly linked to the Self-fulfilling Prophecy. The implication of this is: ‘Expect much – get much! Expect less – get less!
WE MUST DECLARE WAR ON NON-EXPECTANCY!
AW Tozer says: ‘We must declare war on the mood of non-expectation, and come together with childlike faith.’ When we no longer have expectation, we stop growing. We can never afford to stop growing.
I was recently reading a book on personal growth. In this book the author looked at four signs that we have stopped growing:
1. We lose our influence.
2. We don’t get promoted.
3. We lose interest.
4. We find fault with everything and everyone else.
This applies to our Christian lives in a similar way. When we lose our expectation, we lose our influence, we don’t seem to move forward in the things of God, we lose interest in general and become critical of others and the church when we should examine our own hearts.
We can never afford to stop living with expectation. The Bible speaks about the hungry and the thirsty, and this speaks about those who are expectant. A life of ever-increasing expectancy should be our deliberate plan and we must put in an effort to develop our expectancy.
The enemy of expectation is familiarity. (I’ve seen everything!) Familiarity means that we don’t expect anything more than what we may have already seen and experienced. Familiarity causes us to expect more of the same. Familiarity breeds criticism.
We must declare war on non-expectancy!
WE NEED A FRESH SPIRIT OF EXPECTATION
AW Tozer goes on to say: ‘We need today a fresh spirit of anticipation that springs out of the promises of God.’
Faith and expectation work together.
Faith assures us of things we expect and convinces us of the existence of things we cannot see. (God’s Word Translation)
When you live with expectancy your faith has the chance to grow. Let your expectation be from God.
My soul, wait you only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.
HOW CAN I LIVE WITH EXPECTATION?
Here are a few simple ways in which this can become a reality in your life. Ask God to give you a fresh spirit of expectation. Spend time in God’s Word, it produces faith and that in turn produces expectancy.
Begin to declare your expectancy, because everything starts with words. Take up the challenge and choose to become expectant. Connect with others who live lives of expectancy.
Living with expectation will transform your life. Expectation leads to opportunity. It will bring you to a place where fulfilling your destiny can become a reality. It is just a better way to live!