God’s Expectations

Walking the straight and narrow is rarely easy | photo: james wheeler, flickr

God does not call the qualified

It is not true that God will only give us what we can handle, and it is not true He will only ask of us what we can. God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. – Luke 12:48b (NIV)

You see, God does not expect or want you to accomplish His will without His help. He never wants us to rely solely on ourselves, but in His ability to provide for us through circumstances that try us far beyond what we can handle ourselves.

27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are,29 so that no one may boast before him – 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (NIV)

Set aside selfishness

To fulfill Christ’s call we can not be self-seeking or self-centric | photo: tim stackton, flickr

Throughout the Bible we see God asking people to put aside their own selfishness, agendas, and convenience to follow His call.

Another disciple said to him, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”

But Jesus told him, “Follow me, and let the dead bury their own dead.” – Matthew 8:21-22 (NIV)

This website gives a great explanation as to why Jesus said that. It wasn’t a lack of compassion, but a greater understanding of the heart condition of the disciple who was using an excuse (his father probably wasn’t even dead) to not follow God’s call.

God will demand the extraordinary

God will tell you to climb mountains | photo: michaelschmatz, flickr

God does not consider your limitations when considering His will for your life. He knows full well that a Christian who sets puts her trust in God can accomplish, most literally, anything God calls her to do.

Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams] – Ephesians 3:20 (AMP)

Neither does God consider your convenience when expecting you to do the right thing. God does not say, “Doing the right thing is inconvenient for you, so it’s okay that you don’t do it,” or that, “Doing the right thing will hurt you, so it’s okay to do wrong instead.”

No, God expects you to put your unrelenting trust in Him.

Ignoring God’s expectations

In many situations we limit God’s expectations to fit within our own limitations. We accept cop-outs and irresponsibility because it’s too hard or too painful.

Christians in America especially, have thrown the unborn child under the bus in the name of political correctness and a “woman’s right” rather than God’s demand that parents love and care for ALL of their children, not just the ones that are conveniently timed, conceived, or healthy.

God expects you to do the right thing every time. Anything short of that is sin. Although forgivable, it is not without potentially eternal consequences that ultimately will do more harm than if we did what God expected of us.

In every situation, God expects us to put our trust in His ability to provide for us. He is able to make a way for rape victims and their children. He is able to overcome impossible obstacles.

Life—even for a Christian—is hard

photo: Often life is more valley of death than mountains of rejoicing | photo: diloz at flickr
Often life is more valley of death than mountains of rejoicing | photo: diloz at flickr

Often, people assume the life of a Christian is a freeway of happiness and ease. However, this is often not the case. It’s not a mistake. Life is working as intended.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – Jesus Christ, John 16:33 (NIV)

We live in a fallen sinful world full of pain and suffering. We are not free from that suffering, but we are given the comfort and strength of the Holy Spirit.

We must be more

As the Body of Christ, we can not continue to limit our expectations and malign God’s word to accommodate an increasingly degenerate society. God’s expectations for us are extreme, but not beyond what Christ Himself would do. Certainly, they are not beyond what the Holy Spirit can do through us.

We must start reaching out and helping the hurt | photo: h-k-d at flickr
We must start reaching out and helping the hurt | photo: h-k-d at flickr

We can not continue to excuse disobedience. We also can not continue to stand back and preach at what is wrong without taking steps to fix it. We must get down and dirty to confront a world that is not whitewashed. We must rise to the occasion and when we fall short of what we know we can do, cry out to God, “Increase our faith!”

To every man and woman who calls out in desperation, God will answer. That answer will not always be one we are happy with. Even Jesus begged and pleaded with God to take away the suffering that awaited Him on the cross.

We must not foolishly throw away our lives. Yet, we must also be willing to give up our lives—both literally and figuratively—as sacrifices to God’s calling.

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