“ My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation [is] from Him.  He only [is] my rock and my salvation; [He is] my defense; I shall not be moved.  In God [is] my salvation and my glory; the rock of my strength, [And] my refuge, [is] in God”. [NKJV]
Are you expecting today? Are you anticipating something from the Lord? I’m here today to let you know that if you are expecting something – you will receive it. But if you are expecting nothing…. You will receive it! If you expect something today – I hope that your expectation comes from the Lord Himself!
It is time that the Church of the Living God began to ELEVATE THEIR EXPECTATIONS!
What is it that you are expecting today? Or ARE you expecting nothing? Either way, you can have what you expect!
Just after the Apostle Paul was imprisoned for preaching the Gospel – and just as he was facing impending death for doing so - he wrote a letter to the church of Philippi and said this:
“ …For I know that this will turn out for my deliverance through your prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,  according to my earnest expectation and hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death.  For to me, to live [is] Christ, and to die [is] gain.” Philippians 1:19-21 [NKJV]
Notice what he says there – “I know this will turn out (or turn around) for my deliverance through your prayers & through the supply of the Spirit of God-according to my earnest expectation!”
His expectation was deliverance!
The word ‘deliverance’ Paul uses there is debated often. And I’m not sure why because all you have to do is go to the original Greek text. Some say Paul was confident that God would keep him healthy enough to live out the remainder of his years in prison – healthy – but in prison. That’s ridiculous – because that would imply God only gets ½ the job done! The Greek text for the word ‘deliverance’ there that Paul used is translated as ‘salvation.’
But that-to me – isn’t even the real message of Paul’s statement. To me it is what he says ‘after’ that . He said he knows he will be delivered (or saved) because of the Spirit in Him, because of the prayers of the believers… AND… because (or according TO) his earnest expectation and hope!
Walking in the Spirit is enough for certain. The intercession of the saints on your behalf is quite powerful, to say the least. But when you add those 2 things along WITH earnest expectation…. You cannot lose!
Remember our text: “…my expectation is from God!” That’s powerful!
When you translate that phrase “earnest expectation” out of the Greek – it means something quite striking. It means to watch with your head outstretched; to direct attention to something; to wait in suspense for something. But for the Greek words used here – there is a prefix which implicates a plural expectation – in other words – and ongoing, constant, persistent expectation.
When a woman is with child we say she is ‘expecting.’ And as the time gets closer to her due date – her expectation becomes more persistent and grows in intensity.
Just this past week we heard the news of the 5.9 earthquake that shook parts of the East Coast, primarily in the Washington, DC area. Everyone has been watching closely also for a potential hurricane to hit the East Coast as well. First of all, I find it rather interesting that these two potentially life-altering events are hitting close to DC. There’s something spiritually significant to that I’m sure – I’ve not figured it out yet –what that is. But, nonetheless, two events that could both bring potential damage. And the first passage of Scripture I thought of this week was Romans 8:19.
“For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.” Romans 8:19 [NKJV]
And then skip to verse 22: “For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.” Romans 8:22
The earth itself is just like that woman in her third trimester. When it’s time to groan with labor pains. The earth is groaning as we speak – waiting eagerly with earnest expectation for the sons of God to be revealed!
What does that mean? That means that even the very universe – all of creation itself has been given an earnest expectation from God – that one day we which are called the Elect will rule and reign over this earth as a new earth, remodeled, refurbished by the power of God Himself! We will rule as kings, as the sons & daughters of the Creator Himself! Even the EARTH is moving under our feet in anticipation! Even the sky is falling before our very eyes in earnest expectation of this great glorious day!
IF the EARTH can anticipate what God has in store – why not you?
The word translated "eager expectation" is a fascinating one in Greek that could literally be pulled apart to mean "from-head-watch."
It paints the picture of a person straining his head forward to watch with eager anticipation. It’s what reminded me of the story of Zacchaeus craning his neck to see over the crowd.
The Apostle Paul said – my earnest expectation is that this thing will turn around for me! Let’s look at the dictionary definitions of these two words – shall we?
1. serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous.
2. showing depth and sincerity of feeling.
3. seriously important; demanding or receiving serious attention.
1. the act or the state of expecting.
2. the act or state of looking forward or anticipating.
3. an expectant mental attitude.
4. something expected; a thing looked forward to.
verb (used with object)
1. to look forward to; regard as likely to happen; anticipate the occurrence or the coming of.
2. to look for with reason or justification.
It sounds a lot like operating in faith, doesn’t it?
The Psalmist said: “In the morning, LORD, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait expectantly.” Psalm 5:3 [NIV]
Why can we wait ‘expectantly?’ Because our expectation is FROM HIM!
ILL: A man approached a little league baseball game one afternoon. He asked a boy in the dugout what the score was. The boy responded, "Eighteen to nothing--we’re behind." "Boy," the man said, "I’ll bet you’re discouraged."
"Why should I be discouraged?" replied the little boy. "We haven’t even gotten up to bat yet!"
Now that’s expectation!
What do you expect? Every morning when you get up, you expect something. And the Bible teaches us that expectancy has so much to do with our faith. Faith is more than hoping, faith is more than wishing, faith is more than desire, faith is certainly not pretending, it is not psyching yourself up psychologically, faith is living in positive expectation. Faith is expecting the best. Faith is an attitude of confidence. When David went out to fight Goliath, he said this is what I am going to do by the power of God. There was not an "if" not a "but" not an "and". David went out expecting victory, expecting to defeat the giant and that is exactly what happened.
Jesus said to two blind men, according to your faith so be it unto you. So what do you expect today? Those blind men expected Jesus to heal them and Jesus stretched forth His hand and He healed them because that is what they expected. Whatever you expect to feel, that is what you are going to feel. Whatever you expect to happen that is usually what happens. Whatever you expect to achieve is what you achieve. So what you expect influences your happiness, influences your level of achievement, influences your power and your strength in the Lord. It is so basic to the Christian life to expect the best because what you get is what you expect.
You remember Job? Job's problem is the same problem a lot of us have so many times. Job focused on what he didn't want to happen rather than on what he did want to happen. Job said the thing that I feared has come upon me. And I know so many people who just like that lady who said, when I feel good I feel bad because I know pretty soon I will feel bad again. They are focusing on what they don't want. I don't want my marriage to end in divorce. I don't want to be fired from my job; I don't want to fail in this task. And they set themselves up for failure. You give them a job to do and they say, well, preacher, I don't think I can do that job. And then when they fail, they say I told you I didn't think I could do it. And you see, they are bestowing upon themselves self-fulfilling prophecy and they are not expecting the best.
In our text – the Psalmist declares “My expectation is from the Lord.” Where is your expectation from? What do you expect today?