God Has Absolutely No Expectations Of You

23Apr08

Last month, I wrote a post regarding some frustrations I was having with things I do or don’t do. Personal expectations, Managing time, accomplishing tasks and things like that. One of my blog friends asked me a question.

“Are you willing to entertain the idea that God has absolutely no expectations of you?”

This was a question from b4dguy a while back when I was answering questions and I never answered it. My answer…I believe God expects nothing from us and He also expects everything from us.

The gift of salvation is something that has a lot of different views on how to receive it. Some believe you have to pray a prayer. Some believe you can have it through works. Some believe you just need to believe in a God.

I am not interested in defining these positions and what is right and wrong, I will say however, that I believe whole heartedly that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life.

So, I do not believe that God has placed any man-made expectations upon us. We have been talking about Hope at TRF lately and one of the statements made last week during the sermon was that “God’s expectations of us aren’t nearly as unrealistic as ours”. That means a lot to me. We seem to focus too heavily at times on what we have to do physically to make God happy or to prove our faith in Him. When in reality God looks upon the heart. We need to be more concerned about our intent than our path. Proverbs 16:9 says that “He determines our steps”. I don’t believe that we have power over that. I believe our lives are a journey and what is thrown at us is always an opportunity of learning. We then choose to feed ourselves based on our own desires(man-made expectations) or God’ desires.

So, if I believe there are no man-made expectations, how can I say He expects everything from us? Matthew 16:24 says, “if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me”. I’ve been reading through a book called “The Radical Cross” by A.W. Tozer and in it he makes this statement. “So the cross not only brings Christ’s life to an end, it ends also the first life, the old life of everyone of His true followers. It destroys the old pattern, in the believer’s life and brings it to an end. Then the God who raised Christ from the dead raises the believer and a new life begins”. I love this! It paints so perfectly the idea that none of this is possible without Jesus sacrifice. And yet to accept any of it, I have to be raised new.

So, He expects nothing…except everything…

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18 Responses to “God Has Absolutely No Expectations Of You”

  1. That reminds me of a conversation I was having with my friend last night:
    “To see the face of God means you are dead. Yet, I still want to see the face of God.”

  2. Great post… I think most of the expectations we do place on ourselves are man-made. After all, we create a heck of a lot of rules and laws to follow, but I think Jesus is more interested in our heart. Nice info on expectations though, good read, thanks.

  3. Well said B. I tried to capture some of this a poem called Life was so simple before I died. Tozer’s words remind me of Galatians 2:20 (one of my favorites).

  4. 4 kim

    Freaking amazing to allow myself to peek in on this thought and let it be true. Freeing. Relaxing. Literally, I can’t imagine going through a day without there being expectations packed around me. Thank you for writing this. This feeds into a theme that’s developing for me this week about ‘striving’. Or actually NOT striving.

  5. Count the cost – death to self – alive through Him

  6. Joe, dude I love your passion. I have a suspicion that you would look 🙂

    Scott, thanks. We do create lots of rules, don’t we.

    Ric, do you have that published online so we could read it? If not, you are welcome to throw it in the mix here.

    Kim, getting to know you a little bit over the last couple of months, I can see how you would set very high goals for yourself. You gonna write about your “not striving” adventures?

    Michelle, I am SO willing to pay that price!

  7. ric must be commuting. this poem may be found here:

    http://ricbooth.wordpress.com/media/

    make sure you have a tissue…

  8. Sweet, thanks Bad, I just went over and read it.

    Amazing!!!

    Everyone go read it if you have a chance.

    http://ricbooth.wordpress.com/media/

  9. I love that HE has no man-made expectations of me, I also love that HE loves better than me and is all round better than me. And he still calls me HIS.

    I love AW Tozer, he is one of my all time favorites. The Radical Cross is radical! love it!!!

    my favorite verse on this topic is I am crucified with Christ, I no longer live but HE lives in me…I am sure I didn’t quote that exactly…(drove lots today…now I need more Jesus!!) Love ya B, I love your heart for Jesus that shines very bright!

  10. 10 TheNorEaster

    Interesting post. It does make me wonder…maybe the “expects” is too strong a word. Or flawed when used in this case. How can The Almighty “expect” something of us when He already knows…Well, everything about us? So I don’t see the things I’ve accomplished–for lack of a better term–as a Christian as fulfilling an expectation, but as another step on the journey. A step that God has determined on the path He has set for me. I’m a work inProgess (if you’ll pardon the pun) and knowing that all the challenges I face are really just The Potter’s Hands shaping the clay of my life certainly leaves no room for expectations. Not at all. Not nothing and not everything. Just…another step on my journey.

  11. 11 Heidi

    I don’t know if I can handle something without expectations. I’m so geared for expectations. I’m always trying to aim for something. Although, its comforting to know that God doesn’t expect, so I can show my true self without any agendas.

    Ric Booth stuff was awesome!!!

  12. Darla, thanks. I agree that Tozer is awesome. I love His passion for Jesus and the sacrifice He made for us.

    NorEaster, I like your thought of using journey. My use of the word expectation comes purely from the need on our part to choose to follow.

    Heidi, we are trained to succeed. we shouldn’t be surprised when we want to “succeed” in our walk. It is good to know that Jesus already “succeeded” for us!

  13. 13 kim

    maybe I will post about ‘not striving’. But I’d probably get all frozen in my attempts to communicate it the best way possible…. dang.

  14. I will expect at least a post a day for the next week. And we’ll all link to them!

    No pressure 🙂

  15. “nothing…except everything.” Beautifully said. Certainly, God expects nothing from our flesh. What have we that he needs? You think God is ever disappointed? How could He be? Disappointment arises from unfulfilled expectations. God knows what He’s got in us. The real question is, do we know – really know – what we have in Him?

    Great post, my friend.

  16. Hey Gene, great to hear from you. hope things are well up north.

    I love your last line. I am not sure we all understand fully what we have in Him. Some of us may even have been too close for to long and take for granted the life that is in Him. Good reminder…thanks.

  17. hmmmm. I love the thoughts on this post. Ponderings. I’ve thought much about expectations. Especially concerning our salvation. It seems so often in this day and age we see people who do just ‘say a prayer’ and “add” Jesus to their life, as opposed to giving Him their life. Yes, He does ask for nothing, yet everything. If we understood the worthless value of the “everything” He asks for from us, perhaps it would be so much easier to give?
    And the ‘nothing’…seems so simple…just believe. Yet we complicate it so much. To believe in His love, that He IS love, when we are surrounded daily by such a tattered picture of love defined by this world-
    I love my cat. I love hot dogs, etc. The closest to God’s love would be that between a man and a woman…to both give, and receive what the other gives. But even that picture in this world is so stained.
    Love is to give and to receive. God gives Himself to us, and receives us unto Himself. Do we give ourselves to God, and receive Him unto ourselves? Think honeymoon. But then…at some point in time….honeymoon turns into….expectations. We lose sight of giving to and receiving from the other, and begin to place expectations….and want to ‘take’. We want to define what the other person’s love for us should look like. So we can ‘take’ what we need. We each even have our own “love language” so you know exactly what I need to take from you. Expectations. Fulfilling? Probably not. Expectations are specifically defined, so that ‘not measuring up’ becomes blatantly visible. Giving all of me to you, receiving all of you to me…minus expectations, says ‘we are one’. One with God, one flesh with our spouse, one body with believers. Hmmm….I think I’ll ponder on this a bit more…and let it spill out into my blog:)
    Thanks for the inspiring conversation!

  18. Kelly, you are so right, we do complicate it so much. And you are correct int hat we “stain” what love really is. Our sinful nature and selfish pride are always there and we have to allow God to continually teach us what love is. Only He knows it perfectly. It truly is a life long journey of giving ourselves to Him so He can change us.



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