In April of this year, I was ministering in a church about the kinds of people who come to an assembly expecting Jesus to fulfill a need in their lives, and nothing happened. Many came for prayer saying, “I love Jesus and His church, and I love to worship, but my heart is empty. Is this all there is to the Christian life?” This is a good question. It tells of many saints who are exhausted with waiting for God to move. Sometimes God was moving in the church, but they couldn’t enjoy what He was doing because they were expecting something else. They come to church and were crippled by false expectations. God wants to save and to heal, and God wants the church to hear what the prophets are saying. God wants to refresh and revive. Proverbs 13:12 reads, “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick: but when the desire cometh, it is a tree of life” (KJV). There is an Old Testament incident that describes someone being crippled by false expectations…
2 Kings 5 is the story of Naaman, and the story of a miracle that was almost lost because of false expectations. Naaman was a successful military leader that came down with leprosy. His maid told him of Elisha the prophet. Naaman arrived at Elisha’s door with great expectation that Elisha would come out and wave his hand over him and say, “Be healed in the name of the God of Israel”… but he didn’t. Naaman was told to go and dip in the river Jordan seven times. Naaman was angry at God’s method (vv. 10-11). Have you ever felt this same kind of anger? You thought God would do it the way you expected, but He did it His way instead. Eventually after he received some good advice, Naaman relented, obeyed, and was healed (vv. 13-14). Naaman almost lost out because of a false expectation. Naaman came expecting to be healed, but he was not healed until he overcame his false expectation about how God was going to heal him. Naaman had a mental picture of how God should do it. Have you ever had that mental picture of how God should do something for you? Overcome that attitude. Accept God’s methods.
Ecclesiastes 1:14… “I have seen all the works that are done under the sun; and, behold, all is vanity and vexation of spirit” (KJV). Solomon uses this phrase over and over in his book. He was full of false expectations when he searched out things that would fulfill a need in his life. He was crippled by false expectations. He concluded in the end that it was like chasing the wind (1:14, NIV). Today it could be put this way: “I didn’t feel any anointing, and I didn’t see anything happen.” The Bible is full of references of great people getting crippled by false expectations. Joseph never thought that his revelation of ruling would be rejected by the brethren. Moses went to Egypt after the call of God came expecting all Israel to hear him, but he was not heard and he ran into the wilderness and stayed there for forty years. He was crippled by a false expectation; he tried to deliver Israel his way and it fell flat. Israel rejected many Old Testament prophets. They wanted God to speak, but they didn’t like what God had to say. I sat in a meeting quite some time ago where the prophetic was being ministered. A couple was called up to be prophesied over. I sat and listened and watched their faces as they returned to their seat. The pastor of the church later asked me what I thought of the word given over this couple (they were faithful workers there). I said, “They will leave your church within a week.” He was stunned. “Why?” he asked. I said, “Because they didn’t hear in the prophecy what they wanted to hear.” They left within a week. They were crippled and exhausted by a false expectation.
Many people today have set their faces to follow God, but they get angry in their hearts because what they expected God to do, didn’t happen. They expected God to change the world around them; instead, God wanted to change them. They became crippled by a false expectation. God wants to refresh your life, but first your focus should be on what God wants to do rather than what you want done. In Joseph’s case, Joseph expected a great ministry upon receiving God’s revelation of ruling, but his timing was off. Before he could rule, God had to do a preparation work in him. All that time of waiting, Joseph kept a good spirit within himself. He knew what God had said, and he waited. He chose the path of humility. God often sets the answers we expect to our prayers in a place where we must humble ourselves to receive the answer. Your day is coming, saints. Expect God to show up in your case in a way you did not expect. I say this because often we think with a carnal mind, we resist the methods of the Holy Spirit, and our expectations get crippled.
Pastor George Belobaba
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