DayBreaks for 5/03/19: God’s Expectations
From the DayBreaks archive: April 2009
Have you ever been the “victim” of someone else’s expectations of you? Perhaps it was when you were a child: your mom or dad may have wanted you to be a doctor or lawyer when you grew up, but neither was of interest to you. Or, perhaps you dad wanted you to be as great of a football player or basketball player as he was (or thinks he was!) in his hey-day. Maybe your mother wanted you to be more beautiful than you were…and so she went to great lengths to get you interested in make-up and pretty things. Parents, for the most part, really do want good things for their kids. It’s just that often we don’t know what will really be good for them and what won’t. But that does very little to temper our expectations.
Maybe you are struggling with unrealistic expectations of yourself. Some people hold themselves to impossibly high standards, while others don’t hold themselves to any standard of excellence at all. Your employer may have unrealistic expectations of you in terms of how many hours you work, what you are expected to achieve.
Expectations can be killers.
But hasn’t God said, Be holy, even as I am holy? Now THERE’S a tough expectation to live up to!!!! Be as holy as God? Didn’t Jesus command, Be perfect…as your Heavenly father is perfect (Matt. 5:48)? And didn’t the KJV, in describing Job, record that God Himself said that Job was “perfect”? Talk about being set up for failure – this is looking like it could be the most colossal failure of all time!
Ah, here’s the release from the tension, and it’s found in Hebrews 10:14, where we are reassured that Christ…has made perfect forever those who are being sanctified. Did you get that? Christ “HAS MADE PERFECT FOREVER” those who are being sanctified.” Past tense. Done deal. The perfection that God demands of us has been achieved – only not in us, but it was done by Christ himself! God, being a good Father, knows we can’t live up to that expectation on our own, so He resolved the issue for us. Note the second part of the verse, too: although we have been made (past tense) perfect, we are still “being sanctified.” So, while our sanctification goes on, our perfection has been achieved.
Doesn’t this make some kind of sense: would God, being perfectly loving and knowing perfectly well what we are truly capable of (and what we aren’t), expect us to do the impossible? As Mike Mason said in The Gospel According to Job: “Surely not – except by His grace. And that is precisely the point: it is God’s grace, and nothing else, that declares a person perfect. It is in God’s eyes that people achieve perfection, not in their own or in the world’s. In our Heavenly Father’s garden, perfection is by faith and not by sight.”
Prayer: What a comfort it is to know that You know us perfectly well, and yet You have chosen to see us as perfect in Christ Jesus. Thank You for understanding our inadequacies and for making provision for us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2019 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>