This morning I sit in a Starbucks in Duluth, Georgia. Duluth is part of the greater Atlanta metropolitan area… at least that’s what I’m calling it. I’m sitting here, expecting Jesus to do something this week. You see, I’m in Atlanta for a conference. This is like my 7th or 8th time coming for this conference. In those years I have had a lot of fun and have seen Jesus do some great things in me and in whatever church I was serving at the time. So, I’m expecting much from Jesus this week.
Can we EXPECT things from Jesus?
When I talk of expecting something from there is almost an automatic reaction from most Christians. How can we, being so unworthy, expect anything from Jesus. Well, I happen to believe that we can. However, it kinda depends on how one defines “expectation”. Let’s look at a couple of different kinds of expectation and see if we can clear it up.
When I tell my children to do something I expect them to do it. I have this expectation because of the authority I have over them. They know that if they don’t do what I’ve asked, then there will be consequences. This is one, very important type of expectation. This, however, is not what I’m talking about when I say I’m expecting something from Jesus. To think this would be ridiculous. After all, how can I have any authority over the almighty God?
We ALL understand this one. The house I live in was financed by a bank. I borrowed money from them and used it to have the house built. Because of this, I owe them a debt. Because of this debt, they EXPECT me to pay them every month. Sometimes people are the same way. They do a “favor” for you and will expect a favor in return. In their mind, you owe them a debt which gives them the right to expect something from you.
Clearly, Jesus owes me nothing. The very breath I breathe is a gift from Him. He willingly and lovingly died on the cross to pay the price for my sins. So, while I owe Him much, He owes me nothing.
We all understand this one as well. We may not think of it as such, but we have all experienced it. When I get in my car and turn the key, I EXPECT the car to crank. This is because I have turned that key thousands of times in the past and each time the car has cranked. I would not have driving it nearly 500 miles for this conference if I did not have this expectation.
Here we can begin to apply some of the expectation to Jesus. You see, I have seen Jesus work in my life in the past. In fact, the very first time I attended the ReThink Leadership Conference, which I’m attending this week, Jesus worked a miracle that continues to bless me, and the church I lead. Because of this, and many other experiences with Jesus, I can face this week expecting that Jesus is going to do something.
Part of the reason I can expect my car to crank when I turn the key is because of my experience with this car. However, when I sit in a car I’ve never driven before, I still expect the car to crank when I turn the key (or press the button many cars today). This is because I understand the nature of how cars work. I’m no master mechanic, nor an engineer, but I do have a pretty good knowledge of how cars work. This understanding allows me to EXPECT the car to crank when I turn the key.
The Bible teaches us much about the nature of Jesus. The Bible says that Jesus is GOOD. It says that Jesus is LOVE. I can also read many stories of how Jesus has worked in the lives of other people throughout history in the Bible. This UNDERSTANDING of the nature of Jesus allows me to expect that He will work in my life.
When I ask my wife to do something, I EXPECT her to do it. Now, this is not some sexist, male domination kind of expectation. Far from it. My wife and have been together for nearly 30 years and married for 23. I know that she loves me. I know that her love for me leads her to want to do good things for me, to help me. My love for her leads me to do the same thing for her. Because of her love for me, when I ask her to do something, I can expect that it’s going to be done.
My expectation on Jesus is like this. I know that Jesus loves me. In fact, Jesus said, “No greater love has any man than he would give his life for his friends.” This was shortly before Jesus did exactly that, gave His life for His friends… us.
I know that Jesus loves me. But, this is not an imperfect, broken kinda love that we offer from ourselves to other people. Jesus loves with a perfect, unconditional love. THIS is how Jesus loves me… and you.
So, I’m expecting
So, based on my experience, my understanding, and on Jesus’ love for me, I’m expecting to see Jesus work this week. I don’t know what this will look like, but I look forward to seeing it. Stay tuned and I’ll share it with you as soon as it happens.Matt Norman
Thanks for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. To ensure that you never miss a post subscribe using the space on the right side of the screen.