I'm Not Meeting Expectations
Lately, as I’ve been talking to several of my brothers and sisters in my community, I realized that we’ve been sharing similar burdens and bearing similar lies about who we are. So, I feel compelled to write this post.
As Christians, we may pride ourselves in overcoming the temptations of past sins or in our past achievements and services that we’ve given unto the Lord. We might even look at the work of God in our churches, conferences, and outreaches and take a bit of pride in it because we contributed. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m guilty of this. There are other times when I will do the work of God and not even realize that I made an idol out of it. The work of God coming before God. How ironic it is to be doing the work of God without God himself, but we do this all the time without realizing it.
But what about the times when we’re not doing as much work as we did in previous seasons? What about after you’ve done all the work you could and you’ve just burnt out? The Lord often places us in times of rest in order for Him to restore what was lost in the busyness of life and to hold us in His arms of intimacy. But who can agree that when things slow down, it can feel suffocating, frustrating, and uncomfortable? Because we’re not doing. We’ve fallen short of our own glory and expectations. Work became worth, and now we’re worthless.
I’ve stopped doing my quiet times, praying, and loving others.
I’m losing patience with all of the people in my life.
It feels like I’m trying to keep my head above the water, but the weight of my own judgment is pulling me down.
God, why are you so silent? He’s probably mad at me because I’m doing everything wrong.
God, where are you? Why are you so distant?
Brothers and sisters, have you been there? Have you asked yourselves those questions? I have, and it breaks my heart to see and hear my fellow comrades talk as if God was angry and upset at not meeting certain expectations of work, service, and sacrifice. No, we’ve somehow put that on ourselves to do on our own. Have we forgotten the God who descended upon Jesus like a dove, before His ministry even began, and said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased”?
We’ve become like Peter to whom the Father revealed Jesus. And later out of his own passion and zeal, claiming to never deny Jesus, denies Jesus before the rooster crowed and runs away in shame. This is also to say that it was no surprise to our Jesus. He prophesied it all. But somehow, Peter’s expectations had become his god. We believe that we could do all things in ourselves who give ourselves strength. NO.
Ironically, it’s the pride in our hearts that puts us to shame. And now we’ve become our own saviors.
Now, how do we turn from here? Just be before the Lord. Let the loving truth of His words set you free from condemnation and shame. Let the truth make its journey from your head down to your heart.
We love because He first loved us (1 John 4:19). He knows us. “For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb” (Psalm 139:13). He loved us even when we were sinners and worthless. The greatest commandment is that we love the Lord with our heart, soul, and mind (Deut. 6:5). Jesus says that if we love him, we will obey His commands (John 14:15). He doesn’t want our sacrifices as much as He wants our obedience. “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams” (1 Samuel 15:22).
God doesn’t want us to pretend that we are giving him our fattest sacrifice, but He actually wants it: our hearts. He doesn’t care for ritual and procedure if there is no desire for the true Living God. It is by His grace that we have been saved and allows us to live in Christ.
Your identity as a child of God comes before your work in the kingdom.
And it is God who has already prepared the way for those good works. Thank you Jesus that you come back for Peters like us. Would your loving kindness take us from our old lives and bring us to understanding that only You alone are the Way, the Truth, and the Life? There is nothing else for us in the world.
Do you long for the Lord? If not, pray for the Spirit of wisdom and revelation to fill you with the knowledge of God (Colossians 1:9-10). You can only know God if God is in you. Pray this over yourselves, families, and churches.
Beloved, take this invitation to repent and to draw closer to the Lord. Surrender to the Jesus and remember that it was on the cross on which your sins died. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you. Place your weaknesses not in yourselves, but in the Lord so that He may be your strength. He delights in you and is pleased with you. Jesus we need you.
I pray that you may all be reminded of your first love, Jesus. The moment of acceptance, joy, undeserving grace, and peace. Let us once more be like the child in the photo above. Amazed, full of life, and in wonder of You.