Saturday, February 23, 2008

expectations

We often live too held in the grip of others' expectations of us. This begins in our youth when children naturally want to please their parents (should be a good thing, of course). Then it can carry on into adolescense, when we want to be "cool" to our peers. And it goes on from there, hopefully a person finding their niche in life, but often still largely beholden to the expectations of others: their employer and "boss" over them.

I have found that those people who seem to me to walk closest to God, are the ones who seem less concerned about meeting other's expectations. For them it's about following the Lord, being faithful to him and to his calling. And letting the chips fall where they may. Their part is simply to be faithful.

Of course this is a life that involves, not so much meeting expectations, but walking by faith. As we do that in Jesus, we end up more and more wanting to please God. And in that, it's not like a list out there of things we need to do to please him. It's more like, and increasingly so as we walk in this journey of faith- more like things that we also begin to love, which are loved by God. Priorities we can call kingdom priorities, which in our growing love of our God we take to heart as the things that are near and dear to God's own heart.

Therefore, I should want to do God's will more and more because I love the One whose will that is for me. Of course this doesn't always feel good. And often it does fly in the face of my wants and perceived needs. But just the same we in Jesus would press on, ardently and passionately given over to the will of our Father, by the Son and in the Spirit- to the will of our God, so that all other things, things people expect of us, or the world expects of us, are put in their proper places.

What do you think about this? What insights might you have to help us here?

13 comments:

NaNcY said...

i have been going through this stuff in the last few days when i have gone to pray either for myself or for others. the stuff is what i pray for. up to now i have had a hard time getting past the fear of praying for God's will in the life of my husband, our children, myself, family and others. especially in mine, my husbands, and our children. since there are so many things that could happen to bring our hearts and minds into place, i have fear of what might have to take place to bring us into God's will for our lives. however, the last few days i have moved into a surrender. yesterday, i wanted to pray for me and others and all that would come was to ask for God's will to be done. made for a pretty simple prayer fer sure!

it is not as if i do not care about others or have become apathetic about their situations. it seems that i have just finally chosen to do the right thing with my consern, love, worry, and fear.

and the chips...let em go!

NaNcY said...

also...along with the prayer comment.

i think that this attitude of surrender to God and His will is the best way to be free to "do" the will of God in my life and in the lives of others.

preacherman said...

Wonderful thoughts brother.
I hope you have a wonder Lord's Day.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen, Nancy. So good. I think prayer can help move us to surrender. Not easy to get there, I don't think, and not easy to remain there, either.

It's alot about remaining in the true Vine, abiding in Jesus. As we do that, as we abide in him and his words abide in us, then he promises that our prayer life will be fruitful.

Yes, complete surrender in Jesus. I need to ponder on that for awhile.

Thanks, Nancy!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, Kinney.

And the same for you.

The Walk said...

Wonderful thoughts. Thanks for sharing this.

Rachel Mc said...

I too have a hard time praying for God's will in my life and my childrens. I wonder what He expects of me? I know I cannot possibly be perfect and "get it right" because I am not perfect and need God to guide my every step. However it is a tough prayer because of the unknown and it is a leap of faith one must take. I think for parents this is especially hard to let go of your children and manage the fear that comes with letting go.
(on a side note, Ted I emailed you about a week ago, did you ever receive my e mail?)

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks much, the Walk.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Rachel,
I'm so sorry. I went back to look now but didn't see it. It would have been strange for me to have missed it. So sorry I did miss it, and feel free to send it soon if you like.

Such a prayer for God's will does require faith. We have to believe that it is better in God's will even if that means suffering is involved, rather than having "success" apart from God's will.

We must live as though all this is true, even if our feeling goes against that at certain times. Part of what it means to walk by faith, rather than by sight, surely.

Mike said...

Ted,

You nailed it. That whole thing of surrender is for me hap hazard at best. There are days when I give it all over to Him, and there are days where I attempt to meet expectations.

This is a fine post and worthy of prayer.

On an unrelated note I have linked to this blog from the Upper Room.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Mike,
Thanks for your most kind, gracious words. And thanks too for actually linking this blog. I've been thinking to do that with yours, and will soon, just in a kind of keeping my head above water mode lately, though in the next few days that probably will be better.

jps said...

Ted,

Excellent thoughts! There is indeed only one from whom we should seek approval—God.

Blessings,
James

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks, James.