Expectancy vs. Expectation
For a few weeks I’ve been internally wrestling with a phrase I’ve heard frequently in the last few years: “We must have EXPECTANCY for a move of God without any EXPECTATIONS of what that might look like.” Out of good intentions and a heart to not put demands on God or fellow believers, I’ve noticed a hesitation to identify what a move of God looks like. As a leader in the local church, I can think of at least two possible reasons for this hesitation: the fear of losing control of how people pursue this move of God and the fear of being over-controlling and hindering people’s pursuit of the move of God.
As I was wrapping my head around how to rightly communicate what was in my heart about this topic, I was reminded of what day tomorrow is, the fourth of July. As a nation we celebrate our freedom and independence. Can you imagine the founding fathers and colonial soldiers having great expectancy for what their revolution and sacrifice would bring about without having in mind how specifically this independence would impact their lives, families, and nation?
Expectancy without expectation is a contradiction that is logically not possible.
As we are believing for God to move in our lives, families, and nation we must look back to the WORD of God and let it stir our faith and shape our expectations. By “expectations”, I simply mean what specifically we are believing God to do. All throughout the Old and New Testament people sought God in specific ways and by faith experienced their petitions and prayers answered.
Yes, God is doing a new thing at this time in our lives, family and nation; but let us remember He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Let us remember that the WILL, HEART and VOICE of the Father was perfectly communicated through the life of His son, Jesus Christ.
As I read through the realities of New Testament Church in Scripture and throughout history; I find challenging testimonies of Jesus’ new covenant realized in the lives of His people, His Church. It stirs so much hunger within me to know God and to see Him move in our contexts and timeline.
Check out some of the testimonies of God at work in His Church we find in Scripture:
- The Gospel boldly being preached to rich and poor alike
- Conviction of sin, repentance of sin, mass salvation
- Baptisms in water and the Holy Spirit
- Signs and wonders following believers & confirming the message, healing from sickness and disease, deliverance from demonic oppression and possession
- Healthy fear and reverence for the Lord
- Commitment to continual prayer and fasting and to the teachings of Jesus and church leaders
- Supernatural unity by the Spirit, believers walking in spiritual gifts
- Selfless love and sacrifice for one another to the point that no one had lack/need among their community, the poor fed, the widow cared for, the orphan’s embraced in family
- The Gospel spreading to surrounding communities, new church’s established, and cultural reformation and so much more…
This describe a movement of God. This is what I have expectancy and expectation for. Let us look back on what He’s done in the past, but also let’s look forward to what God has in store and allow Him to lead us into ALL He desires. Let us, with expectancy, ask and with faith, expect Him to move in the same ways we find Him moving in Scripture. As believers, you have permission to believe God can do immeasurably more than all you could ask, think, or imagine according to the power that works within you – That Jesus would receive the glory and the reward for His suffering.
Love you, Andrew.