John 15:4-5 : “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. ‘I am the vine, you are the branches.’ He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”
To ‘abide’ in God means to ‘expect’ from God.
What is it you expect from God?
Do you praise God for what you expect?
Or do you make demands as if He owes YOU ?
God blesses us to His liking… and sometimes He even blesses us without our full knowledge.
He did this with Job. In some of the hardest and most painful place sin Job’s life, God demanded answers from him. God had great expectation from Job and prompted Job to desire to know His character, even in the midst of his struggles.
Job 40:1, 2 “God then confronted Job directly: “Now what do you have to say for yourself? Are you going to haul me, the Mighty One, into court and press charges?”(MSG)
I laughed when I read this, because this is how we tend to react when we are angry with God. We tend expect things from God. And also with people. We often let them know it, too. But how often do we just honestly sit before God in earnest expectation as if we are blessed to receive, and praise Him for what we continue to expect from Him? God is very clear about His expectations from us. He states them in His Word. He even tells us the consequences when we do not obey them. Sometimes expectations cost you. Yet a shift to a mindset of obedience rather than one of ‘expectation’, can radically change your entire life.
I believe this is what happened to Job. In Job 38 the first few verses , God answers Job from the eye of a violent storm. (Interesting… maybe it was his own.) He says: “Why do you confuse the issue? Why do you talk without knowing what you’re talking about? Pull yourself together, Job! Up on your feet! Stand tall! I have some questions for you, and I want some straight answers.” ( MSG)
With Job, God prepared His answers a little differently. God took him on a journey of pure knowledge about Himself from the beginning of time. He began to reveal Himself as Elohim. The Lord Our Creator. He asks Job, “Where were you…?” over and over again. He began to show Job he had yet to really understand God and His ways. He needed to perceive Him on a much deeper level of maturity and knowledge, and expectation – that surpassed what He already knew.
It was time to mature. To grow up, in terms of how He knew God to be. Is God asking you to grow up?
To expect means to: ” anticipate, hope, await looking forward to some future event.” I heard a pastor preach recently that: ‘God isn’t here to please you.’ He said, ‘we are here to please Him.’ Expectation has everything to do with anticipation. This word implies that you “ hope for the best with earnest expectation.”
I eagerly await for things I know that will bring me good outcomes. I eagerly await for visits from family and friends, time with my husband out on the town, the feeling I get when I eat ice cream, or drink hot chocolate on a cold winter’s day, I anticipate the New Year, to see my little grandbabies when I haven’t seen them in a while… to see the sunrise or sun set, to breathe in the fresh lake air… or great writing sessions with my friends.
I believe God wants us to do the same with Him. To eagerly anticipate what He ‘s going to do next. Despite what we see, hear or feel. He wants our trust.
If you choose to abide in Him, He will show you a place in Him that keeps you safely hidden from the storms of life. In the end, God blessed Job with double everything he had lost. What does this say about God’s character? That He is consistent, faithful and unrelenting in His love. God wants you to be strengthened, where you are weak. And He won’t settle for less than the very best. He has great expectation from you.