Vision and Expectation

Lon’s Solomon’s message on Sunday was all about vision and expecting God to do great things. He talked about William Carey and his statement – “Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.” According to Lon, expectation is rooted in a person’s credibility and power.  The main point of the sermon was that “because of God’s boundless power and His proven faithfulness, we can have unlimited expectations of what God can do […] and to approach life in any other way is an insult to the Almighty God.” You can find the full sermon (entitled “Expect Great Things From God, Attempt Great Things For God – Part 1”) here: http://www.mbclive.org/

Josh and I talked on Sunday about how much we love vision messages – maybe because we’re both so visionary and have the tendency to look way out and dream really big. Almost daily one of us makes statements that begin like this: “When I run…” or “If I ever am in charge of or have the opportunity to lead…” But I think last night I realized that sometimes even I don’t dream big enough, I don’t expect enough. Last night, when I found myself surprised by God drawing someone to Himself via very non-traditional means, I also found myself disapointed in my own faith. I want to be in a place where I’m constantly amazed by God, but never surprised at His almighty power and absolutely incredible faithfulness. And even though I don’t always expect enough, that’s one of the things I LOVE about God – that sometimes He sweeps us off our feet by His grace and shows us to what lengths He will go to pursue one single individual.

If I’m going to be in ministry, even as a part-time volunteer, such expectation and faith needs to be standard, even baseline, in my heart. Especially since my long-term goal is to be in full-time ministry in the next few years. It’s understandable to be in a state of constant amazement and wonder at the greatness of our God, but we must also expect Him to intervene in our lives, change us, draw us closer to Him, and to be shaped into His image.

Jesus had such incredible expectation, in relation to the Father, that He submitted to the Father’s will and suffered on the cross (Matt. 26-27). I know I’ve previously discussed how expectations can limit and stifle… however, when expectations are placed on the God of the universe… our faith grows and we begin to dream big dreams and believe big things about the God we serve. For all of the ways that sometimes a relationship with God resembles our earthly relationships, this area is completely different. In a relationship with God, expectations EXPAND our lives and our love for Christ. He wants to be expected to keep His promises and to show Himself to be who He is – the God in whom we live and breathe and have our being (Acts 17:28). It’s a truly beautiful thing.

Advertisements

think, process, pray, understand, absorb, change, repeat

So much of life is a simple cycle – think, process, pray, understand, absorb, change, repeat – much like the “wet hair, lather, massage, rinse, repeat” instructions we find on the back of our shampoo bottles. Although, on the spirit and soul level, the process through which we learn and absorb life lessons, deliberate and dissect Scripture, and come to conclusions and understandings about God becomes much more valuable and inherently more beneficial than the simple process we follow as we jump in the shower each day.

Life is a process. And it’s not as simple a process as I’d like for it to be at times. I understand the significance of this process more and more with each passing day. The process – the journey, if you will – is what makes me into who I am. God reveals more of Himself to me as I follow Him each day… as I take time to think, process, pray, understand, and absorb, and change to be more like Him, and then begin again when I encounter a new situation, a new problem, a new pain, or a different kind of test.

You see, I’m truly more stubborn than I would like. And this process is all about God teaching me humility and teaching me to trust. I find that I learn more when I process out loud or on paper. And I like to have a history of the things that God’s leading me through. Most of my musings usually relate to ministry, theology, leadership, or politics in some way, but more recently I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about myself – what I believe, who I want to become, and what I want from life overall. I’ve been reexamining my life’s purpose – that of bringing glory to Christ and of making His name great; while at the same time desperately trying to be content (should the words ‘desperate’ and ‘content’ really be used in the same sentence?)… to enjoy today and this season and not wish myself ahead of God’s will and His plan.

I’ve had an online blog for years, but I feel like it is time to begin again and anew… kind of like I’m doing with my understanding of God… and use this blog as an outlet for dreams, ideas, random thoughts, and my understanding of this process we call life.