Expectation

Have you ever heard the phrase “What to Expect When You’re Expecting”? Early on in my wife’s pregnancy, it has been interesting to me to see how our lives are changing even before the baby is here. We are already making some adjustments and making decisions that we may not have made if we were not preparing for our baby to get here. This got me thinking. How would our lives change if we actually lived with expectation? If we really believed that the answer was coming or the promise would be fulfilled, what would change?

In my last post, Pregnant with Promise, I referenced the story of Elijah praying for rain in 1 Kings 18 and how even though there was only a small cloud, Elijah knew that the word of the Lord would be fulfilled. I want to continue the discussion from this story and look closer at Elijah’s expectation of rain.

Something that caught my attention when reading this story recently was that Elijah heard the sound of rain, and then started to pray. He believed that the answer was coming before he even prayed the prayer. How much faith would you have if you actually believed the answer was coming before you even began to ask? Talk about expectation! How bold would your prayers be if you expected God to answer you?  It was this expectation that gave Elijah the ability to continue praying and believing even when there was no sign of rain. Even though there was no sign, he expected the answer to come!

Elijah expected rain to come, so he started preparing for it. I want to propose to you that as we pray, we should start to prepare for the answer before it comes. Take that step of faith. Schedule the appointment, book the hotel, buy the plane ticket…whatever it is that you are asking God for, I want to encourage you – start expecting the answer to come! How would we live if we believed that God really is who He says He is and really is going to do what He says He is going to do?

Another story in Scripture that comes to mind is found in Matthew 17:14-21 and Mark 9:17-29. A boy with epilepsy is brought to Jesus’ disciples so that they could cast it out of him. When the disciples attempt to cast it out and are unsuccessful, the man takes his son to Jesus and the boy is delivered. Something fascinating happens in the midst of this story. The man takes his son to the disciples first, showing that he obviously had a lot of faith in the disciples ability to cast it out. As you read through the story , after their unsuccessful attempt, you get the sense that the man and the disciples were surprised when the boy was not delivered the first time. It bothered them! They were shocked that their prayer wasn’t answered. They had become so accustomed to stepping out in faith and seeing God deliver through them that they were astonished when it didn’t happen. Unanswered prayers were an exception for them, not the majority. They lived with an expectation that God would respond when they stepped out in faith. They didn’t live with fear that God wouldn’t answer them. In fact, they were more surprised when He didn’t answer them than they were when He did! Unfortunately, I can’t say that I have always operated in this degree of faith. What does life look like when we are surprised when the person doesn’t get out of the wheelchair?

How would your life change if you expected God to answer your prayers? What would you do differently? Tell me about it in the comments! Do you have a story where you took a big leap of faith, trusting God to answer your prayers? Did He answer? I want to hear it!

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