I thought of this puppy and her excitement. She does this ALL.THE.TIME! She rarely gets rewarded for her persistence because of her sensitive stomach and my distaste for dog puke, but she still persists with expectancy! WOW! In this scenario, I had a God moment!
How many times have I come before Him with an excited expectancy and things didn't turn out in my favor? Do I come before Him the next time with the same hunger and excitement, or do I bring my doubt with me? After a few times of not getting what I wanted, I lower my expectations. Sometimes I recognize that what I wanted was not good for me, but there are times that I didn't have expectations and what I could have gotten would have been precisely what I need!
This expectancy and doubt cycle can come when praying for a miracle, during worship service, when planning an event, when delivering a message, with personal goals and dreams, or in other situations that I can't think of at the moment. That doesn't give us permission to give up. I want to be like Sadie, the puppy. When there is something that I'm asking/begging for. I want to act as though it were going to be given. If I am passed by, I will just wait until my next opportunity and ask again. One of these times, the timing will be right and I will get that thing and wag my tail all the more! And it really won't just happen once, it will happen over and over, because that is how God works! If I can give good gifts to my children, how much more will God give to His?
Even in a service where I'm not a part of the ministry, I need to go with expectancy because this might just be the moment that God is going to pour out His Spirit upon me and amaze me again! When I am a part of the ministry, I need to not look at the probability of low or high attendance and change my expectancy level accordingly. IF I feel that what I expected wasn't what happened, I can walk away and know that what God poured out will not return to Him without accomplishing what He planned to accomplish. I can say, "Next time!" with enthusiasm!
There are times as well that expectancy goes unanswered and not because it's not time, but because He wants us to push a little harder. I love the story of what we endearingly call, "The persistent widow."
Matthew 15:21-28 NLTAnother scripture has spoken to me as well. In Luke 11, Jesus says that if you go to a friend's house at midnight and ask for 3 loaves of bread, he really tries to brush you off because they are in bed already, but because of persistence, he gives it to you.
21 Then Jesus left Galilee and went north to the region of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Gentile woman who lived there came to him, pleading, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David! For my daughter is possessed by a demon that torments her severely.”
23 But Jesus gave her no reply, not even a word. Then his disciples urged him to send her away. “Tell her to go away,” they said. “She is bothering us with all her begging.”
24 Then Jesus said to the woman, “I was sent only to help God’s lost sheep—the people of Israel.”
25 But she came and worshiped him, pleading again, “Lord, help me!”
26 Jesus responded, “It isn’t right to take food from the children and throw it to the dogs.”
27 She replied, “That’s true, Lord, but even dogs are allowed to eat the scraps that fall beneath their masters’ table.”
28 “Dear woman,” Jesus said to her, “your faith is great. Your request is granted.” And her daughter was instantly healed.
Luke 11:8 NIVBoth of these people pushed harder to get what they wanted and were rewarded. I want to know when to push and when to release and know that God is God and that is enough. Wherever and whatever the situation, I want to start this year with EXPECTANCY! I don't know what God has in mind. I'm spending this next week praying about goals and "resolutions," but as I do this I don't want to be flippant. I want to be expectant!
I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.