When you expect your life to look like the American dream, you will always be disappointed, but when you dream with God, you’ll realize your idea of the American dream is dreaming too small.
Several months ago I had a vision that I would buy a bike and I would be able to get around easily since I don’t have a car. In my vision, I saw myself riding all over town, saving lots of money on gas, getting lots of great exercise, and loving life. Well when I actually bought a bike, what I experienced was the opposite of that vision.
In the first few weeks of riding my bike, I got so many flat tires that I almost thought I lost my salvation in Christ because of how angry I was. Not only that, but I needed to do lots of modifications to my bike to get it reliable enough to ride a lot and I spent way more money on it than I planned on spending.
During the first few weeks of riding my bike, I was so out of shape that I couldn’t even make it to the local park without feeling like I was gonna pass out. At a certain point, the vision I had about me riding my bike and enjoying life turned into “I hate this bike, it’s a money pit, I think it hates me too, and now I’m broke.”
Fast forward to today, after doing all the necessary modifications to my bike for reliability and riding it a lot to build my endurance, now I can see the vision I had before I bought the bike. Just a few days ago, I rode my bike from my house in South Sacramento to Downtown Sacramento to meet with a friend, and it was a 14-mile round trip.
I wasn’t huffing and puffing to get there, I wasn’t huffing and puffing on my way home, and the next morning I wasn’t sore at all. I actually did ride my bike to another part of town to meet with a friend, I enjoyed it, I saved money doing it, and I got a great work out. Not only that, but the Lord eventually blessed me with an extra $2,500 from unexpected sources. Overall, the bike actually turned out much better than I expected in my vision.
Expectancy is much different than having expectations. Expectancy is believing you will see your God-given promised fulfilled without expecting the process to look a specific way. You don’t know how you’ll get there, you just know that as long as you never give up, you’ll eventually make it. To have expectations about your destiny is to believe that it’s going to only happen one way and that there’s no other way it can happen. Expectancy restores the hope that expectations defer.
In the example of money, what if getting promoted at your job isn’t what God had in mind when He told you a promotion is coming, but what if you’re promotion comes from quitting that job and getting a higher paying job? What if your promotion doesn’t come from working for an employer at all, and your promotion comes from you starting your own business where there’s no cap on your income?
When our hearts are in the right place (1 Peter 5:6), having a sense of expectancy with Jesus promotes us so that our promotion can benefit the broken and hurting people around us. Expectations cause us to look to our employer for a promotion of a few extra dollars so we can barely make it, but expectancy causes us to look to Jesus knowing that He’s the author of it all.
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