I never know what to expect from little kids when they pray.
Lee, A seven-year-old boy, was asked to say thanks for the Christmas dinner. The family members bowed their heads in expectation.
Lee began his prayer, thanking God for his Mommy, Daddy, brothers, sister, Grandma, and all his aunts and uncles. Then he began to thank God for the food.
He gave thanks for the turkey, the stuffing, the Christmas pudding, even the cranberry sauce. Then young Lee paused, and everyone waited … and waited.
After a long silence, the young fellow looked up at his mother and asked, “If I thank God for the Brussels sprouts, won’t he know that I’m lying?”
Can’t you just imagine how that family laughed? That was probably not at all what they expected.
Like children looking forward to gifts on Christmas morning, Christian of all people ought to live with great expectancy. Our hope is in God!
“God knows exactly when you are ready to receive the desire of your heart, and He will not act a moment too soon or a moment too late when it comes to doing what is eternally best for you.”
God’s timing is perfect, and He wants us to trust Him while living with expectancy.
This is so clear in a passage about prayer. 1 John 5:14-15 says, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we asked of him.”
I’m not talking about “expectations” – a prideful attitude that insists God do things our way. I’m talking about expectancy – placing our hope in God and believing He will work!
There are a number of ways we can live with expectancy. Here are just three:
1. We can live with expectancy as we read God’s Word. We can ask, “What are you going to teach me today, Lord?”
2. We certainly can hope in God’s character and unfailing love, expecting Him to work in us (Psalm 62:5; Psalm 147:11b; Romans 5:5). He is working in us, giving us the desire and power to do what pleases him (Philippians 2:12-13).
3. We can, as a result, expect to see many changes as our heavenly Father makes us more like Jesus (Ephesians 4:15b).
Oswald Chambers wrote, in My Utmost for His Highest (January 25),
“Keep your life so constantly in touch with God that His surprising power can break through at any point. Live in a constant state of expectancy, and leave room for God to come in as He decides.”
I like that! Leave room for God. That speaks to having a hospitable, God-welcoming heart, doesn’t it?
Christians have many good reasons to wake up each morning with expectancy. Here is just one: We who walked in darkness now walk in light (Ephesians 5:8-10).
One of my favorite scriptures is related to this: Isaiah 9:2 — “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.”
Living with expectancy, then, includes:
- seeking and waiting for God in prayer and in His Word;
- trusting His character and His love for us;
- anticipating how He will work in and through us; and
- participating in a great adventure—walking as “children of light” (Eph. 5:8).
Expectancy … it’s a wonderful way to live!
How does your life show that you are living with expectancy?
Photo adapted, Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net