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Realizing the presence, promise, and power of the Kingdom of God.

Great! Expectations!

God has an invitation for you.

What God Wants Most of All for You (4)

No avoiding expectations
Whatever your god – and everyone believes in some god, even if only their own mind – that god puts expectations on you.

If you have been avoiding the true God – the God you know in your heart but have been reluctant or unwilling to acknowledge – because you suspect He has expectations for you, then you can see that’s a fairly futile endeavor. You might avoid God's expectations, but some god is waiting to command your worship and direct your steps. Even if the only thing you worship is your own mind, your own best ideas about how you ought to live, your mind puts expectations on you, as we have seen.

Of course, hopefully those expectations, conjured by your own mind, are going to be for good and not for evil – good-enough-for-you, at least. None of us chooses a course deliberately designed to bring us into bad consequences. We want what’s good-enough-for-us, even if all we have to rely on in determining that is our own mind/god.

And we hope those expectations will give us a future and a hope, something to look forward to, something to enjoy, to delight and be safe in. Your god may be material comfort and prosperity. You regard this as the good-enough-for-you to be attained in life, as defined by the god which is your mind, and you hope your future will have sufficient of this shape-shifting deity to satisfy whatever in you keeps straining toward that hope.

You can’t avoid expectations. Even you own mind makes you hope for good and not for evil, for a future that will give you peace.

So you may be surprised to hear what the God of the Bible holds out as expectations for you.

God’s plans
Here is what God says through the prophet Jeremiah: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jer. 29.11).

Hmmm. Here you thought God’s plan for your life was to make you miserable, to deprive you of joy and happiness and peace and wellbeing; and what He says His plan is aligns nicely with what your mind/god suggests it should be.

Of course, God’s view of “good” and “future and a hope” is going to differ from how your mind/god describes this. After all, your mind/god can only think in terms of material “good” and “future.” The God of the Bible does not despise such things, but He’s not limited by them, either.

So God’s expectations for you – what God wants most of all for you – involves what He describes as “good” and “not evil”, and “a future and a hope.” And that’s going to differ dramatically from what your mind/god currently has you pursuing.

Before you reject God and His expectations, don’t you think it would make sense to explore those a bit more fully?

A matter of faith
As it stands, right now you are trusting in god for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. The god you are trusting is your own mind, your mind/god.

Have you ever made bad decisions? Been wrong or mistaken about something? Been deceived or led astray? Discovered that you weren’t as informed or as smart about something as you thought? Realized you didn’t have the right take on something? Had to rethink your plans?

If so, what does this suggest about your mind/god? Is your mind/god uninformed? Fickle? Deceitful? Shape-shifting?

And yet you continue to trust this faulty and sometimes easily misled deity with your future? And that without even so much as trying to understand what the God of the Bible – the God you know exists but simply don’t want to acknowledge – might have in store for you?

How reasonable is that?

The fact is, yes, God, the God of the Bible has expectations for you. Great expectations, as it turns out. You owe yourself the favor, if only as an academic or intellectual exercise, to compare the expectations of God with those of your shape-shifting mind/god.

And God invites you to engage Him over this matter: “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD…” (Is. 1.18).

What harm could it do to take Him up on that invitation?

You might discover that what God wants most of all for you is so far superior to the “good” and the “future” and the “hope” your mind/god recommends that it might just be the thing, deep down in your soul, you really want as well.

Name three reasons why you should not accept God’s invitation. Now name one why you should. Which will you choose?

T. M. Moore

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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