Well, it’s hard to believe, but in nearly a month, this year will be over and a new year will have begun. It feels like 2011 flew by so quickly, yet at the same time, so much has happened.
If your anything like me, around this time of year, you’re busy with turkey’s and trees, presents and carols, family and friends. Yet, as fun as all these things may be, you also find yourself looking back. It always seems that there is a deep retrospect that comes with the end of another year, or any changing season for that matter. And it’s with that same heart of retrospect, that I normally try to take my end of the year blog and turn it into a memoriam of sorts. Looking back on all the things God has shown me, brought me through, and lead me towards. I’ve done this for the last several years, and not only have I had many people tell me how much it’s encouraged them, in the end, it’s always been a great reminder for me to look back on the faithfulness of God through the last year.
I sat down a few days ago and began writing this with every intention on making it about 2011 and all the stuff God did this year… but apparently… God had another idea.
A few weeks back while I was in prayer, I had a certain word pop into my head: expectation.
I thought maybe that was something God needed me to pray about, so I mentioned something about it and went on my way thinking it was a one time deal.
…key words in that statement being “I thought.”
The word “expectation” over the next several days (and eventually weeks) kept coming to my attention. You know how you’ll have a certain song stuck in your head, so you’ll try to sing another song to get it out, but you’ll lose your train of thought for ten seconds and find yourself singing that same song again? That’s EXACTLY how I was feeling.
At first, I tried to reason with it. I prayed about it daily, trying to sound all spiritual by throwing in the addition of “Lord, I’m expectant” and not really having an idea about what it meant. I thought I understood, but at the same time, I had NO idea. All I knew was, this word was literally carved into my head and I couldn’t get it out.
This word was weighing heavily on my heart a few weeks back when I finally took it before God in serious prayer, and not just as a flippant afterthought. It wasn’t long after I approached it with validity that God revealed to me why this word was stuck in my head. It was a short but brief answer: “this is for 2012.”
“Okay, Lord” I thought, “you want me to be expectant in 2012. I always like to think I’m expectant, but if you need to be more expectant, I will be.”
…key words in that statement being “I always like to think.”
This went on for a while longer, the word still stuck in my head like glue, when it finally dawned upon me this morning. Yes. This morning.
I was reading in the book of Ephesians doing my journaling when I came across a passage of scripture I’ve undoubtedly read dozens of times. It was Ephesians 3:20: “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,”
I’m aware that after the word ‘us’, there is a comma. And if you're anything like me, you're inclined to just keep reading after the comma, but I felt as I was reading this morning that God needed me to forget about the comma and focus on what He was saying in THAT moment.
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” …the NCV translation reads “God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine.”
It doesn’t matter if you’ve grown up in church your whole life or not. I’ve only been a believer for about five years and I still fall into the trap of reading a scripture once, thinking I know everything about it then walking away. It’s easy to put God in a box, isn’t it? I had to drop the know-it-all act as I read this morning and genuinely ask God why this passage had stuck me the way it had.
See, this here is a statement: God isn’t just able, but more than able to do more in our lives than we could ever ask or think! Meaning, not only can He give us everything we ask Him for, but even the things we DON’T ask Him for. He hears our silent prayers and sees our quiet desires the same way He hears and sees the ones we’re open about. He’s able to because He’s GOD.
It was as I finally understood all this, that the whole “expectancy” ordeal became real to me after weeks of struggling with it.
And that’s what leads me here sharing with all of you today.
I had quite the blog written up about how amazing 2011 has been. I was going to tell you about all the things God did for me as I stepped out in faith. I was going to talk about all the incredible, life-changing people I’ve met and talk about how God has individually used them all to mold me into the person I’m meant to become. I was even going to share with you a few thoughts on areas where I feel like I still need to change drastically.
…key word in that paragraph being “I.”
There will be plenty of time to talk about what God has done, but for a change, I feel like He’d rather me talk about what He’s going to do .
I truly believe that 2012 is a year where God is calling His people to start being expectant.
For far too long, we’ve talked about God moving in our lives, but I feel challenged in this new year by God Himself to take it a step further and start expecting things to happen in our lives. To really believe He can do what He says He can do, and expect Him to give us more than we could ever ask or imagine. This doesn’t mean it’s gonna come easy. Every good thing in life requires some sort of sacrifice, but the rewards that come from obedience far outweigh the sting of the sacrifice.
New things are on the horizon for the people of God in 2012. The broken will be mended, the silent will be speak, the impossible is going to happen if only we'd just… you guessed it… expect it. Expectancy is the key to unlocking God’s best for us.
When a couple finds out they are expecting a baby, they don’t wait till they have the baby to get excited about the baby, they start getting excited in that very moment. They plan, they prepare, they know that in a matter of months, their lives are going to be different. God wants us to feel the same way! I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be the same person I am this time next year. I am expectant for new things, new opportunities, and the promises of God coming to pass in my life as I serve Him whole-heartedly. We need to be planning, preparing, and getting excited about what’s to come! Why? Because, our God is able to do, you guessed it, “do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine.”
Don’t ever think what you expect of God is too big either. We have a God who is more than willing to hand you a gold plate if you asked Him for a silver one, and a diamond one when you ask Him for a gold. He’s a great romancer in that element of surprise. He always like to take it a notch higher then what we want because He’s constantly after pursing our hearts with His love.
See, God wants us to dream bigger than what we know we are already capable of, because when we finally start dreaming bigger, fully knowing that we can’t do it on our own, it gives Him the platform to move and takes all the pressure off of us to make it happen. We need to understand that as hard as we might try, it’s not up to us. We just need to obey.
Friends, this has challenged me, and I believe it’s meant to challenge you too. Let 2012 be a year of expectancy on God. Don’t let anyone tell you that your dreams are unattainable. It’s not up to them. Continue to seek God and watch Him unfold the next chapter your life. Be willing to move when He says to and take action when He needs you to. Don’t fear change, but rather, embrace what comes new. Let God “romance” your heart in this next year, His surprises will absolutely take your breath away.
“We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy.” --Romans 8:22
Love, Blessings, Fireworks, and Confetti,