Summary: Anticipation can be a powerful force to make us prepare for the coming of the Lord, or it can be negative force to create doubt and fear! Either way, it drives us!
By Rev. James may
Very early this morning I awoke to a single word going over and over in my mind. I immediately recognized it as a “Word from the Lord” because it was nothing that I had thought of or dreamed of that brought it forth. That single word was “Anticipation”!
Anticipation is a powerful thing if it is directed in the right manner toward the right thing. Anticipation can either destroy your peace and your faith through worry and anxiety over what is, or even might happen, or it can spur you onward in faith and joy, looking for the fulfillment of God’s plan for your life.
Satan loves to cast wrongful anticipation into the heart of a Christian. That kind of anticipation is born of fear! And that kind of fear is never of God.
I’m not going to spend much time talking about that kind of anticipation because it only tends to glorify the working of Satan to bring fear, doubt and despair into the hearts of God’s people. That’s not God’s message to us this morning, and in fact, it’s never God’s message to his church.
No less than 63 times we find the Lord speaking to his people concerning this idea of not allowing the devil to cast fear upon you. 63 times, at least in the King James Version of the Bible, the Lord says, “Fear Not!” One of those verses I know we hear of and speak of all the time is found in Luke 12:7 But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.
How many songs to we sing that have those same words in them? How many sermons do we hear where God speaks to us to say, “Don’t be afraid! Lift up your heads and your hearts in faith and just believe for the victory over whatever you will encounter in life!”
Why should we allow any kind of doubt, worry, or anxiety born of Fear to get a grip on our hearts when we know that God is in control and watches over us with such great care! When I consider God’s ways, His Nature; His character; His faithfulness in all His ways, the negative impact of anticipation will disappear! No weapon that Satan forms against me shall prosper. I talked about that last week and so I won’t go into that any further.
There’s also a good sense of anticipation that we can experience. I would even say that we must have a great anticipation of the blessings of God that we know are coming according to God’s own promises in the Bible! The right kind of anticipation will always drive us, or lead us to do something right and good as we wait with great expectation and anticipation for something to happen.
There are so many good things in life that our God provides that I cannot speak but concerning only a few. No matter what you may be facing we have to confess that God is our Provider and that he brings more blessings upon us that we can count.
In the best times of our lives it’s not hard to see the hand of God leading us onward from mountaintop to mountaintop. But when we are going from valley to valley, through the worst of our circumstances in life, Jesus is there too, helping us to cope with it and bringing a peace that only He can give. Sometimes we lose that sense of His presence for a moment but then the Holy Spirit gently leads us back to the foot of the cross so that we can find that peace again.
Thank God for that peace in the midst of the storm. Whether it’s a storm that comes from the wind and weather, or it’s a storm that arises in your spirit, Jesus still walks in the storm, above the tempest, and He will enable us to walk there with him to if we just keep our eyes on him!
As I thought on this word “Anticipation”, the Spirit of the Lord began to speak to me saying that the anticipation level of His people is something that every one of us must be aware of and seek to make ever greater! When we have great expectations; when we are aware that there are things coming; and when we are fully persuaded that God’s promises will happen – anticipation of those things will force us to ever be prepared to receive them! When we lose that anticipation, we are headed for trouble, and we may even miss out on receiving God’s best!
We all have things we love to do. Some love to travel to distant places as a time to rest, relax and get away from the everyday troubles if only for a few days. Some here I know like to go camping, hunting, fishing or take in the great outdoors, while other’s seek to find a place of perfect comfort and you’ll do your camping in the nicest hotel you can afford and the amenities of shopping centers and restaurants. Some love to be in places where music not only entertains you but lifts your spirit from the doldrums of life. Whatever you like to do, there’s always the anticipation of preparing yourself to have it! It’s called planning!