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Expecting Too Much - A Devotion

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James 1:6-7 (NLT)
But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

What do you expect? What do you look forward to? What do think will happen? What are you waiting for? Expectation is that inner longing that keeps us striving in life. It holds us in place until that which we hope for finally arrives. Are we expecting too much? Do we think or ask more than possible from God? Do we require too much of ourselves? I have decided that I have been expecting too much…not of the Lord but of myself. I expect to be faithful. I try not to fail. I press on to reach the high calling of Jesus Christ. I work to be righteous. It is usually when I am weak and weary that I discover that never fails. He does not grow weak and weary but instead carries me when I stop resisting. Sometimes I think that the Lord loves me so much that He drags me when I refuse to go never relenting on His Passion to restore my righteousness and pour out His Amazing Love in my life. I must be sure that every day in every season that my faith is in God alone. Who else could I possible put it in? Myself. We do not intentionally do so but assume such a role thanks to religion and the world’s push for us to be do-it-yourselfers” which is the enemy trying to steal God’s Priceless Inheritance from His Precious Children.

2 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NLT)
Although he was crucified in weakness, he now lives by the power of God. We, too, are weak, just as Christ was, but when we deal with you we will be alive with him and will have God’s power. Examine yourselves to see if your faith is genuine. Test yourselves. Surely you know that Jesus Christ is among you; if not, you have failed the test of genuine faith.

You will never fully rely on the Lord, trust in His Power or have genuine faith until you become completely weak and helpless. It is human nature to strive against submission and rally against humility. Both are required to accept the Lordship of Jesus Christ which is the product of genuine faith. Too many times, we must be completely emptied before we will allow the Lord to fill us up again. We must be broken to be healed. The Lord would gladly mold and shape our heart but we are unwilling to soften and allow His Spirit to take over leading us from Glory to Glory. We are stubborn and unyielding resistant to anything that keeps us from having our own way so we challenge the Lord to come find us and fix us right where we are. Jesus Christ was crucified in weakness so that the Power of God would be released beginning with the resurrection of Jesus to be given to every other Child of God without measure. But what good is the Spirit of God if we do not have faith in the Son of God? We expect to harvest spiritual things in our life without planting these seeds in righteousness. How do I become righteous? By faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Romans 4:20-21 (NLT)
Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.

Abraham never wavered in believing God’s Promise. His faith grew stronger over the course of his lifetime. Even when his body was dead in natural terms as far as reproduction, he still believed that he would be the father of many nations. I am sure most of those who lived around him thought that he was just a tad bit crazy. But nevertheless, he just kept on believing. My husband was talking to someone about our son’s battle against cancer with tears in his eyes the man told my husband, “I know that he is terminal.” He was obviously taken back by this man’s observation. He did not see God working in our child’s life but fully expects him to die from the disease. If you consider the word “terminal”, we are all in such a condition. We will all most likely experience death unless Jesus returns beforehand. This man’s expectation is formed by his life experience. His wife passed away just ninety days after being diagnosed with cancer a couple of years ago. Our son has had cancer four times and been healed by the Hand of God each and every time. He looks better than most people who have lived “healthy” lives without any interference. Not only that, he has joy that could only come from a Savior that knows his weakness. (Psalm136:23) Jesus carried our weaknesses. (Isaiah 53:4) The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. (Romans 8:26) The Lord understands our weakness and does not hold it against us but uses it to manifest His Power in our life. (Hebrews 4:15) God’s Weakness is always stronger than the greatest human strength. (I Corinthians 1:24-25) But you will never know that until you stop expecting to be the strong one, and let the Power of God work in and through your total weakness. Our son lives as though he will never die. He does not fear death. He does not expect it and so he does not waste his time worrying when it will come. Statistically, naturally and humanly – he might have every reason to. But supernaturally, he knows that even in his total helplessness, Christ is strong!

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NLT)
Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I have been reminded countless times of this passage during the last three years. I have begged the Lord to “take it away.” He has told me multiple times, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” But I only heard Him today. Why do we think God wants us to be the strong one? He states plainly that His Power works best in weakness. The Power of Christ is fully released when we give up trying to be the faithful one. He is faithful. We don’t have to have faith for all things just complete faith in Jesus Christ. We cannot work it all out. But we know the One who can – do you trust Him? He asked me that question when I asked Him to heal my son, “Do you trust me?” I took that as a yes and haven’t looked back. But along the way, I have stumbled many times in my faith. Especially when I thought it was over but found another leg of the race to run. I am completely convinced that endurance is not about making me strong enough to make it to the end but thoroughly wearing me out so I will learn to totally trust in and rely on Jesus Christ. This is why I face insults, hardships, persecutions and troubles so that the Power of Jesus Christ can be manifested in my life. When I collapse in total weakness completely broken and facedown, He is the One who supplies the grace, mercy and love that leads to righteousness and salvation. This is the moment of true surrender. When I can do nothing else so Christ does it for me.

Philippians 1:10-11 (NLT)
For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ’s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God.

I love the “what are you doing here” encounters with God in the Bible. This is the moment that everything changes. Especially the account of Elijah in 1 Kings 19, after all hell broke loose on the mountain the still small voice of God asked His Servant, “What are you doing here?” We all stray off course from time to time – it is our nature to rebel against God. Anytime we pursue our own idea of how to obtain righteousness or please God – we fall into the enemy’s trap of deception that leads us to believe that we are supposed to produce “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and yes, even self-control.” These are products of the Holy Spirit living and breathing on the inside of us changing and transforming us until it reaches the outside. We must only learn to be led by His Spirit. (That’s a tough enough job in itself. You cannot reproduce spiritual fruit in your life any more than I can. It is the Power of God living on the inside of you that does it ALL. (Galatians 5:22-25) When we try to reproduce these things in our own life, we are expecting too much. Apart from Jesus Christ, I can do nothing so I must learn to unhook my expectation from my own strength and ability to fully rely on the Power of God within me to make these things in my life. Righteousness is fully accomplished by the Cross of Jesus Christ providing an access point for His Grace to make its way to us. Religion is any time that I think I can do God’s Job in my life and live apart from Jesus. When I run ahead or refuse to follow the Spirit’s leading because it may lead into the wilderness, I have wandered from righteousness into religion. When I ask God to solve my problem my way or worse try to do it myself, I miss the mark of genuine faith. Some days I find myself standing on the edge of a cliff into the unknown crying out to God in my distress. I hear His Voice say softly, “What are you doing here?” On the edge of failure, I find that I am actually on the verge of victory. I am exhausted so now He must be my strength. I am ready to give up so He must carry me now. I need Him now and will stop at nothing to feel His Presence so He rushes in. I can do nothing so not He becomes my everything!

Philippians 3:8-9 (NLT)
Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith.

My expectation can never rest in my ability to be strong or stand on my own. This is not the Will of God for my life. No one is righteous apart from Jesus Christ. (Romans 3:10-12) I must learn to abide in His Love, Grace, Mercy and every other righteous quality that He possesses because I will never have it. It is the Christ in me. Christ is not a crutch to carry me along until I can do it all by myself – truth is the only way that I am strong is when I completely pour all my strength out to be filled with genuine faith that is unwavering. I am expecting too much of me but I must put all of my expectation in Him. This includes faithfulness – I have proven my inability to remain true to the Lord. He is always faithful so this becomes my strength. I am not perfect so there is no point in pretending to be. I am not strong. In fact, I am weaker than I have ever been and I am glad about it! Faith in Jesus Christ makes everything else that we try to put our faith and trust in seem worthless compared to the changes that His Glory makes in our life. But you cannot know that if you are expecting too much – of yourself that is.

Acts 3:4-6 (NLT)
Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, “Look at us!” The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. But Peter said, “I don’t have any silver or gold for you. But I’ll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and walk!”

You can expect more out of life when you put all your expectation in the Person of Jesus Christ. There are no random outcomes for God’s People just purposes and plans that include a future and hope. We cry out for temporary relief to our momentary problems. God wants to heal you, restore you, renew you and revive you again from the inside out. He wants you to walk and not fall. He wants you to run and not grow weary. He wants to mount you on wings as eagles to soar high above the worries and cares of this life. This means that you cannot be the “strong one” anymore but must accept total weakness that allows the fulfillment of Christ to manifest in your life. The lame man wanted money to eat for one more day. God had a better plan. To live with great expectation means that we put our hope in someone or something greater than ourselves. His Name is Jesus. With eager expectation and anticipation, we must pursue Jesus over all things in everything. Don’t expect so much out of you but put all your expectation in the Lord today!

I Peter 1:3-5 (NLT)
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation, and we have a priceless inheritance—an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And through your faith, God is protecting you by his power until you receive this salvation, which is ready to be revealed on the last day for all to see.

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