After I helped my wife to bed last night I began to think about God’s faithfulness in response to our obedience to Him. In hind sight I could see how some of the major moves and changes we made in obedience to what we believed was his voice to us, were right for us at the time. Looking back, I can now see how His hand was in the midst of everything we did in following the directions that He had laid out for us. I could see Him in the connections that were established, in the way all the details came together at just the right time, how the finances came through… most times with more than we needed, and how He gave us the bodily strength and peace of mind to physically complete all the activities involved in each task… As well as the fortitude and emotional strength to deal with those who repeatedly called us on the carpet for doing what they thought was completely wrong.
I finally had to stop in the middle of the darkened hallway as I returned to the bedroom after getting a glass of water from the kitchen, and just praise God for a few moments while the revelation of His faithfulness to us overwhelmed my senses! Have you ever just stopped for a moment or two to think about and thank God for all He has done for you? Wow! Isn’t God good!
For Piper and I, our Christian faith centers around the simply question, “What am I expecting!” That comes as a surprise right? Of course it doesn’t since you most likely realize that this blog that I’ve been writing for many years now always ends with that question! It’s a question that we keep ever before us in every decision we make on a moment by moment basis. I firmly believe that it has been the way that has enabled us to live in such a way as to, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” (Psalm 37:4 KJV)
Psalm 37:3 spells it out for us. We are encouraged here to “Trust in the Jehovah, and do good. Dwell in the land and enjoy faithfulness.” (Young’s Literal Translation) The Apostolic Bible Polyglot which is a Greek translation of the Old Testament, translates the first part of this verse saying: “Hope upon the Lord, and execute graciousness…” and I bet you already guessed what I am going to say next! If you deduced that the word translated “hope” should more accurately be termed “expect” you are absolutely correct!
So we are told to do two things in order to live a life that delights in the Lord according to the very next verse. First we are told to put our expectations on the Lord and His Word instead of what the circumstances of the situations of life present. Buts that not all we are instructed to do. In cooperation with our expectations we are to dwell in the land by acting on our trust in Him. Expectation without the physical actions that are based on them doesn’t really do anything! In my years of ministry, I have seen many a good folk talk a good story concerning what they are believing for, only to have their faith pushed aside as they allow the circumstances to guide their steps.
The conclusion of Psalm 37:3 tells us that acting on expectations that are founded on God and His Word results in the ability to “enjoy faithfulness,” like I mentioned in my opening to today’s post. Living within that cycle of life is the enabler to the life style mentioned in verse four. It is the way that the Psalmist experienced a life where he could delight himself in the Lord and see Him give him the desires of his heart.
You know? It really is a unique lifestyle that the world simply cannot understand! We just finished reading a section in a book by Jerry Savelle entitled: “Expectation Is Not Based on Fantasy.” Dr. Savelle writes in his book “Expect the Extraordinary” that “Critics of ‘faith preachers’ have accused us of building up people’s hopes. But we’re not basing this expectation on some kind of fantasy. Our hope is based on the Word of God. The Bible is a book of hope. It’s the God of hope whom we serve. Psalm 62:5 says ‘My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.’” (KJV)
Many in the world would see this kind of life as a life in “La, la land!” But you know what? As Christians we are not living our lives to impress the world but to serve and obey Papa God! The results of us having our expectations in Him and His Word will soon be undeniable to them! Believe me when I say I have seen this happen on numerous occasions over the last few years!
So… let me ask you once again today. “What are YOU expecting?” If what you are expecting is in line with your faith in the Word of God then you have every right to EXPECT a life in which you are enjoying faithfulness and simply delight in the Lord and see the desires of your heart met!
Have a terrific weekend, and as you do, keep asking yourself - go ahead and say it out loud with me - “What am I expecting today?”