Expectations

Hi everyone,
Welcome to this week’s “2nd Look”!  Do you remember what we talked about this past week: “expectancy”?

When we look at Exodus 25 and God’s instructions to Moses regarding how to build His tabernacle – His dwelling place – we see this underlying respect and expectation that God would actually be there. This was one of four major worship principles I see when I look at the Tabernacle. As Christians we have come to understand through the Scriptures that our bodies are temples – tabernacles for the Holy Spirit; and while the Israelites were called to have expectancy that God would dwell in the tabernacle He was having them build – we as Christians can have that same certainty that God would be present in our hearts – in our worship services – in our lives and homes. Do we live with this expectancy that He is present? It would and should inform, and maybe even change, the way we live. Here’s an example I thought about after I preached on Sunday: How likely am I to yell at my son if Jesus was sitting next to me? I might be there – at the kitchen table – getting ready to let my son have it for not getting his homework done – or because he spilled his milk after goofing off at the dinner table, and then I notice Jesus sitting there.  It could sound something like this:

“William – what’s wrong with you???  How many times have I told you that you need to……”

(Then I look at Jesus)

“Uh William…. buddy it’s really frustrating that you did this. I love you but we need to figure out how we can change what it is you are doing”

Here’s another example – how likely am I to look at that thing I shouldn’t be looking at on the computer if Jesus was sitting next to me? Probably not as likely. I might have the site opened up and then look at Jesus sitting next to me and quickly type in some Bible site.

OR MAYBE

I walk into church and find myself tempted to sit and be entertained until I notice Jesus next to me and suddenly I’m clued in to what is happening – I’m paying attention – even singing some of the songs knowing He can hear me.

One of the biggest influences of us as Christians is often just how deeply we truly believe and live like God is present. Do we expect Him to be there? Do we expect Him to move in our midst? Do we expect Him to provide the things we need, to do the things He has called us to do? We could only expect that – if we actually expected Him to be present. I once heard this quote: “Attempt great things for God expect great things from God.”  When I heard that I remember thinking: “Totally!!!  I’m a youth pastor – I should expect God is going to make my youth group grow to hundreds of kids and people will come to conferences to hear me speak and they’ll buy my books with my smiling face on the back and an endorsement from Billy graham on the inside cover; and everyone will want to be just like me. I’ll expect that because I’m attempting great things for God.” Never mind the fact that I’m actually attempting great things for me and my definition of greatness was purely based on what man in his limited wisdom deems is great. When the youth group didn’t grow – and the conferences didn’t happen – and the books were never written – I became disillusioned because “Darn it God – I was expecting great things from you and you didn’t come through.”

We can often have expectations on what it means for God to be present – or for Him to actually move in our midst and maybe we need to examine those. The best thing for us to do is simply to expect that He will do what He wants and we need to be open to follow Him whichever way He leads – because He is most definitely present and most certainly He knows the best way to go.

So here is the point:  what do we expect? Do we live our lives with an awareness that God is present? Most of us – I dare say – go through seasons where that truth is available to us – then other seasons where it is a million miles away; but I believe this is an earth-shattering truth that can impact our life of worship powerfully.

Have a wonderful week everybody – living in an ever increasing awareness that God is present.

I’ve also attached a link to a song we sang on Sunday called “Meet With Me.”  As I wrote the sermon this song kept coming to mind.  As you listen to it – listen to the lyrics – they are just dripping with expectancy.

May God bless you,

Pastor Ryan
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMb3xBsGiZU