Expectations. We all have them. Sometimes they are met and we rejoice. However, many times we are disappointed when the expectation is not met, completely ignored, or disregarded. Then, we are emotionally distraught because we feel abandoned, cheated or unfulfilled.
When we went out west on vacation, I had certain expectations, and all of them were met and exceeded. The scenery was jaw-dropping. The people were incredibly friendly. The events we had lined up to do surpassed their claims. We had doubts about one expectation, however.
We went through several National Parks where the brochures said there would be a plethora of wild animals for us to see, and we saw NONE. Even in areas that had flashing “Watch for Bison” signs, no bison, chipmunks or squirrels were in sight. At one point, I suggested to Bill that we purchase a statue of a bison, put in way out in a field, and then the next day we could drive by and take a picture …
The last day in Yellowstone National Park we did see bison, and lots of them. Then we saw a bison family that walked along with us through the woods.
I was ecstatic – my expectation for seeing bison out west was fulfilled. Then, when we went to Hayden Valley in Yellowstone National Park, we saw hundreds of them.
But, the best was yet to come … as we were leaving the Park, we saw “our” family of bison, relaxing and laying in the grass alongside the roadway.
What a joy. My expectation for seeing bison was, truly, surpassed when we saw these beasts relaxing, although the “daddy” was surely standing guard and would not have hesitated to attack if we had posed any threat.
We have expectations about a great many things, not just wild animals on vacation. When they are met we are happy, and when they are ignored we are saddened and disappointed.
Scripture says that we are made in God’s image.
“Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
We know, of course, that at some point after creation, sin entered the world when Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s instruction. So, while we no longer walk with God in the cool of the day (Genesis 3:8), we still were made in the image of God and the Christian will bear God’s image through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul said this about Jesus:
“He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.”
In the Book of Romans we read:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined He also called, and those whom He called He also justified, and those whom He justified He also glorified.”
So, what does God expect of those who bear His image in the world? My husband created this listing of expectations for his Sunday School Class. I present them here for your consideration, and with his approval:
God expects a man to FEAR HIM AND OBEY HIM. Ecclesiastes 12:13
God expects a man to PLACE HIS TRUST IN HIM. Psalm 3:5
God expects a man to LOVE HIM. 1 John 4:19
God expects a man to BE OBEDIENT TO HIS WILL. Revelation 22:14
God expects a man to DESIRE HIM. Psalm 27:4
God expects a man’s EXCLUSIVE DEVOTION. Matthew 4:10
God expects a man’s PRAISE AND DEVOTION. Psalm 100:4
God expects a man to WORSHIP HIM. John 4:21-24
God expects a man to be HIS SERVANT. Romans 6:16-18, 22
God expects a man’s PRAYERS TO BE ADDRESSED TO HIM. Matthew 6:9
In short, God has told us exactly what He expects from us:
He has told you, O man, what is good, and what does the LORD require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
So, how do you stack up against what God expects from you? Thankfully, our God is loving and merciful, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance before Him. (2 Peter 3:9) So, if you are disappointing God in His expectations, repent and turn to Him for support and strength to do that which He desires.
Expectations can be met through prayer, devotion and dedication to seek the face of the Lord in all things. As you do these things, you will find that you experience joy and peace that had bypassed you previously. Love God and follow His commandments and you will experience the abundant life that Jesus promised to you.
Blessings as you walk with the Lord this day.
Father, forgive me when I have missed your expectations of my life and service to You. Help me to look to You in all things and to praise You with a heart of gratitude. I praise Your Holy Name, through Jesus Christ my Lord.