Stepping Outside Your Expectations

(By: Tim Laughlin)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths. (Proverbs 3:5,6)

Expectations are often formed by our failures and patterned by what we think is our just desert. Never expecting more than we deserve can lead to a mediocre life with little more to look forward to than what we think God wants us to have. But in fact God has not put such limitation on us and He fully expects us to move out from the bondage that we have placed ourselves in.

In my own experience I have found myself talking about my track record, in other words what I have achieved or not throughout my life. If we are always looking back and not ahead, we will begin to believe that what we have done in the past is the best we can do in the future. God is always leading us to expand our horizons and stretch out in faith for the impossible. Past failures and regrets are stored with our sins and that is in a place that is as far as the east is from the west, if we will let go of them.

Living in the now!

Christians have a tendency of always living in the past or looking toward some future event instead of living in the now. We are either worried about tomorrow's circumstances or trying to resurrect some dead memorial of the past, in any case we are missing what God has for us today! We have been given the grace and power to change tomorrow by what we pray and believe today.

The apostle Paul said in Romans 7:24 "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" He was referring to a grisly practice that the Romans used to torture and kill people by tying a dead body to a perfectly healthy man and allow the decay and bacteria, not to mention the mental anguish it caused, to kill him. The point is this: why are we dragging the past into our future, and why do we allow past events to form our present expectations?

Unforgiveness, bitterness, unresolved issues, failure and regret are all in the past and there is nothing we can do about them but forgive, forget and move on into the grace and mercy of God. If we continue to drag this dead body of remorse along with us on the path of life it will eventually destroy us. Jesus died and rose again not only to forgive all of our sins: past, present and future, but also said that if we give our life to Him we will become "New Creations in Christ."

Metamorphoses means to change a physical form and structure or substance by supernatural means. In other words changing from a worm to a butterfly is the same transition that we make when we give our life to Jesus, old things pass away, and all things become new! Would you rather remain a worm and just be content to crawl through life or would you take a step of faith and soar with eagles, the choice is yours for the asking.

Step out of the boat

In the midst of a storm Jesus came walking on water to reach His disciples huddled together in a fishing boat. At first they were terrified thinking He was a ghost but then they recognized Him and He said to Peter, "Come!" Everyone knows that it is physically impossible to walk on water, and yet Peter obeyed the voice of Jesus and stepped out of the boat and walked on water by faith until he took his eyes off the Lord and saw the waves, and his own understanding told him that walking on water was impossible.

There is no end to the opportunities that God has given us if we will forget the past and take hold of that which does not yet exist. If we will expect the impossible and reach for the unexpected we will experience great miracles of grace and favor. I am reminded of an instance that happened in a church service years ago when the pastor announced to the congregation that one of their members was expected to die from his illness. Immediately the Holy Spirit spoke to me and said, that He expected him to live! After the service the pastor and I agreed with God and went to the hospital and prayed for the man, and he survived.

Pressing for the prize!

Like a relay runner stretching for the finish line to win the race so we too should press on into the perfect and complete will and destiny for our lives. God has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness and expects us to live by faith, not as the world lives, but as people from a different world. Our citizenship is in heaven and we are just passing through as ambassadors of grace destined to change the landscape of this planet with supernatural power!

So what are you waiting for? If you are tired of dragging the past behind you, shake off the dust of failure and regret and repent and receive God's forgiveness. His blood will wash you white as snow and no matter what you have done, even though man may not forget, God will. Forgive those that have hurt you and release them into God's hands.  Its not worth the torment and anguish to hold someone responsible for something you can't change. Allow God to break the chains of guilt and shame and become the new creation that He wants you to be.

Remember, there is no past, and there is not yet a future - Only today. Today is the time to change from a worm to a butterfly, renew your mind with the word of God, renew your vow to Him and renew your relationship with others, even those that hurt you, and you will experience the power and grace of a loving God begin to flow once again into your expectations.

Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13,14)

Your servant in Christ, Tim Laughlin, 

Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake. 

To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.


JESUS DID IT! and...


Remember:  All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity. (Matthew 6:19-20 is our assurance)