God is really laying a message on my heart this morning that I need to share.
You know what holds us back from joy, peace, and contentment? Expectations.
Expectations of how we should be, look or feel. Expectations on how others should be, look, or feel. Expectations on how life should be, look, or feel.
Expectation are like the sign that was nailed above Jesus’ head on that cross. Everyone expected Jesus to be king of the Jews in a way that wasnt His character. Many times we nail signs above others heads expecting them to be something in a way that isn’t their character. Same goes for the expectations on ourself and our life.
Now, that loud voice in our heads will tell us that our expectations are valid, and it is easy to agree with that voice, isn’t it? That voice is loud and proud and….full of hate, negativity, and bitter roots.
There is another voice. It is a stil small voice. It is a voice we must seek to hear. It isn’t loud but it is mighty. It is there to serve us and to guide us. We must intentionally go to this voice and deny the loud one. This is the voice of the Spirit of our gentle Savior and mighty God. This voice pulls away temptation, expectation, and condemnation. It is still. It is small. But it is mighty! Invite that Spirit to stand between you and that loud voice. Cut out the bitter root with the sword of His words
God tells us that two commands fulfill all the others. Love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and love our neighbor as ourself. (Matthew 22:37-40) This is not an expectation. It is a command. He does not expect us to be able to fulfill it on our own. He knows we can’t. But His command can be fulfilled through Jesus who has fulfilled it all perfectly. Through Him we find our strength to do all things God has commanded. (Philippians 4:13) We go to that cross and see every expectation and sin that was ours washed away by the blood of Christ who never held either of those in His own flesh. We are given much forgiveness, grace, and mercy through that cross so we are commanded to give much forgiveness, grace, and mercy through that cross. (Luke 12:48)
Let go of expectations that turn us into victims. God gives us everything we need. Amen? Do we all agree on that? Then what else are we expecting? We have all we need in Christ. That leaves us room to rejoice! To pray for ourselves and others! To praise! To have compassion! To see the fruits of the Spirit grow and become evident in us!
As Christians we walk with the Spirit not by the flesh. That flesh may speak louder than the Spirit but that Spirit is the same Spirit that gave Christ strength for the cross. (Matthew 26:41) That same Spirit rose Him from the dead and that same Spirit lives in us. (Romans 8:11). That is the power we have over that loud voice. When that voice gets loud, seek the still small voice and you will find the power and strength of Jesus. When we have been given that what else could we expect?