Expectation. A Place of Joyful Anticipation
God has placed us in the one place that guarantees confident expectation – He put us into Jesus. This is the foundation of every promise God has made with us.
Hope is expectation and expectation leads to a place of joyful anticipation. No matter what you’re facing, you can learn to anticipate the presence of God.
Every time hope is mentioned in Scripture, it’s mentioned in the context of ‘confident expectation leading to anticipate with joy.’
Expectation leads you to a place of joyful anticipation so that no matter what you’re facing, you can learn to anticipate the presence of God, not just hope you get it circumstantially in the moment because you know what God is like.
Definition of hope. Hope is expectation and expectation comes with an intensity of anticipation. It means to accept something from a prime source. To be confident in your thinking. To have an upgraded trust and faith, and to have this pleasurable anticipation of God, regardless of circumstances.
We can move in expectation because God has located us in the one place that generates and guarantees confident expectation: He put us into Jesus. This is a genius idea. It’s a genius lifestyle. He puts you into the one place where you’re guaranteed to know the presence of God. He put you into Jesus.
He put you into the one place. He puts you into the one Person that He adores. So when God looks at you in Christ, He loves you in exactly the same way that He loves Jesus. All of Heaven is attracted to who Jesus is.
You know, in the Old Testament, Joshua grew up with Moses, he served him all his life. He was in the tent meeting, he was in the camp, he served him all his days. And when Moses was going up the mountain Joshua went with him. And when Moses said, you know, “this is as far as you go,” he waited. Five weeks, five days. And Joshua was the last person that Moses saw when he went up the mountain and he was the first person he saw when he came down. Two of them were inseparable.
Joshua was distraught when Moses died. There’s a brilliant promise. Who doesn’t love promises, eh? A brilliant promise from God to Joshua in Joshua chapter one, when He said, “Just as I have been with Moses, so I will be with you.” And you know, the New Testament equivalent of that is the father saying, “hey, just as I have been with Jesus, I’m going to be with you in exactly the same way.”
So we can say that we can quote scripture to ourselves. “As He is, so am I in this world.” We’re not a people waiting to get the heaven before everything gets sorted out. Jesus already sorted you out. We’re just waking up to what that really means.
Just as the father was with Jesus in His life on Earth, so He plans to be with you in exactly the same way. That’s expectation.
Here’s another expectation: One of the things – I adore so many things about the Lord, we could be here a month – one of my favorite things about God is He never changes. He says about Himself, “Hey, I’m the same. Yesterday, today and all your tomorrows, I’ll be exactly the same. I don’t change.”
I tried that out once on my wife with our first child, when it came time to do the first diaper, I said, I’m a guy I don’t change. That’s the only time it’s never worked in my life. The whole change thing. God looks at you and says, “You need to understand. I don’t change. I am the same towards you on your worst day as I am on your best. And when you’re being followed around by the spirit of stupid, I will be exactly the same to you. I don’t change. Stop treating me as though I’m changeable. I don’t change. I will never change and all your security and all your confidence is in the fact that I will never change the way I see you, the way I think about you, the way I talk to you, the way I feel about you, my passion for you, My will for you, My desire for you will never, ever change and you can depend on it.” Thank you for the golf clap. Seriously, I just told you one of the most vital most important tools ever and you give me a golf clap? Come on. This is Jesus we’re talking about?
“I’ll never change towards you. Even if you refuse to change, I still won’t change. I’ll always be believing the best. I’ll always be planning. I’ll always be scheming for you to grow up, I’ll always be looking at you and saying, ‘This is who you are.'” Don’t you love the fact that God never calls you out on your stuff. He calls you up to your real identity. That’s accountability. Accountability is calling somebody up to who they really are in Jesus and saying to them, “dude, you don’t have to do that, because this is who you are. You don’t have to be like, this is who you are.” And what we’re doing is, we’re saying, “why don’t you take responsibility for your blessing. Take responsibility for your favor. Take responsibility for your identity in Jesus, because as He is, so are you.”
So when God looks at us, all of these things are in His heart. And each of those things, create a level of expectation in us because, thank God He never changes towards me. There’s nothing you can do that could make Him love you more. And there’s nothing you can do that make Him love you less. That’s the truth that sets you free. That’s who you really are. The old you died on a cross and when Jesus rose from the dead, your old man didn’t.
God didn’t resurrect the old you; He resurrected a new you. You’re a new creation in Christ all the old things are passed away. Everything’s become new. Most of our disconnects occur because we come to God in our old Nature. We come to God because, you know, God is not sin conscious. Jesus dealt with sin once, for all. He dealt with sin.
For God to be sin conscious, He would have to tread underfoot the cross of Jesus. He’s not sin conscious. He’s not an evangelical and he’s not a charismatic either. And he’s not a weird Pentecostal person and he’s not a Presbyterian or a Baptist or Methodist or any other -ist.
He put you into Christ so you would always know where you are. So you always know where home is. You always feel safe. You always feel Beloved.
You’d always feel His passion and His hunger for you. And you would know that this whole life doesn’t depend on you. It depends on Him. And the way you come into salvation is the way that salvation is sustained.
You didn’t wake up one morning and think “its Thursday, it’s sunny, I think I’ll get saved.” It never happened. He sent some weird person into your life and now you are one. He came looking for you. He made the first move, and you responded to Him. The way you come into salvation is the way that salvation is sustained.
He always takes the initiative and you respond. So every day is a new day for Him. New every morning are the blessings of God. So every morning, He is going to connect with you. And your job is to respond to that connect. That’s expectation.
Or as my daughter put it, she came storming into my study one day and said, “Dad, I want you to have a word with that Jesus.” “What’s He done now?” She said, “Dad, he’s making a move on me. That Jesus is making a move on me.” She understood it. God always initiates. He always makes the first move. And she had an expectation of that. She just didn’t like the move He was making because He was making a move that would have upgraded her and she would have lost a few things and she hadn’t quite taken hold of all the things that she would gain. You ever been in that place? You think God is someone like a spoiler, a maniac or something, who wants to take stuff away from you and make you miserable? That was a nervous laugh…