Summary: What do I expect from God? What does He expect from me? What "CAN" I expect from Him?
* One of my favorite Pastor/speakers is Dr. Fred Lowery, pastor of FBC Bossier City, LA. Bro. Fred has the gift of communication like few people that I know. Several years ago in a series of messages on marriage I have him make a statement which will stay with me until I die. He stated that one of the culprits which destroy marriages is a thing called “unrealistic expectations.” Watch this; a man marries a woman and expects her to act like and respond like all the women in his household and the woman expects her new husband to act & respond like all the men in her household. The problem is, neither really knows that much about those people.
* Interestingly enough, this problem of “unrealistic expectations” seems to permeate our society. Think about it; do we really expect everything and everyone to do things our way? Is what you expect of me and what I expect of you, unreal? We can carry this question into every aspect of life, vocation, marriage, friendship, and even matters of faith.
* Several weeks ago my newspaper column referenced the A. W. Tozer book "The Knowledge of the Holy". In the first chapter he begins with these words, "what comes into our mind when we think about God is the most important thing to us." Our concept of God controls who we are, what we do, and what we expect. So tonight think with me about EXPECTATIONS. Let’s ask ourselves 3 basic questions;
1. What do I expect from God?
2. What does God rightfully expect from me?
3. What can I expect from God?
* Turn with me to the Old Testament prophet Micah, Micah 6, verses 1-8. Micah is an interesting little book. Theologians suggest it is divided into 3 sections (Ch. 1-2, 3-5, 6-7). Here is the practical truth I share with you; Each section begins with “Charles Stanley style, “listen up””. It is obvious to me that God has anointed Micah with a needed message. READ TEXT
a) What “DO” we expect from God? Do we expect to be rich and good looking? Do we expect to have a great family, a good job, or a blessed life? How about good health, no problems, or some other “fill in the blank” expectation? When we ask the average person what they expect of God they may even suggest that God should just watch and not take part or conversely, that he should keep all of his children safe from difficulties and trouble. Like the name it generation.
b) All me to remind us of a few facts: First, some of the most spiritual people in history were killed and/or hurt because of their faith. Most all of the “Fathers of our Faith” (I.E Abraham, Moses, David, Paul, Peter, etc) have documented proof that troubles come to us all.
c) What DO YOU expect from God? With our mouths we may “say” we don’t expect God to give us all the good things in life and keep us protected from the bad, yet when the difficulties come, we get mad at God, abandon His Church, and leave Him out of our lives. Think about it. Be honest. Why? God already knows.
2) What does God expect from ME? (as believers)? May I simply give us a few thoughts about this?
a) He expect us to read and study the Bible. Please notice the combination of “study with read.” Perhaps one of the ways the church became so weak was that we would “read” our Bible just enough to mark our “envelope” that we did our daily Bible reading. We need to pay more attention to letting the Bible mark us. Psalm 119 has much to say about this; you word is a lamp and a light. One thing about these two instruments is they need a power supply. We must KNOW the word of God if we are to keep it and apply it to our lives.
i) There were some divorced young people who were dating. As time went on they slept together. Not just once, but it was ongoing until one said, “this must stop.” “Why” was the response. Because the Bible teaches this is wrong. Show me.
ii) Candidly, we need to KNOW the Bible. I could give many illustrations of this need, but let’s move on.
b) God also expects us to Pray. He desire to have lines of communication open at all time. That is why Paul wrote I Thessalonians 5:17. Communication is a big deal in a relationship. Marriages fail, companies fold, government crumble because of this. Or better said the lack thereof. We are to commune with God in prayer.
i) Some people don’t pray because “I don’t feel like it.” If you wait until you ‘feel like it’ to pray, it wont ever happen. Don’t wait until you feel like it, but rather PRAY until you feel like it.