It is an absolute THRILL to kick off 2020 with a brand new regular series of posts called MID-MONTH MOMENTS, coming your way on the fifteenth of each and every month!
As you know, our wonderful, but very humble spiritual advisor, Connie Inglis, has consistently been feeding our souls with what she calls 'Mid-Week Moments' - short devotionals that she posts on our yahoo and facebook groups. These thoughtful and timely devotionals have meant so much to so many members, so we've decided to start reposting some of these gems from her archives - almost four years worth! We are so grateful for Connie's caring words and godly example. Enjoy this post, originally published way back on August 15, 2017.
What comes to mind when you read that word? The last few weeks for me have been full - a new birth (a new granddaughter for us), family gatherings and lots of travel. And while all of it was wonderful, I came home with a certain expectation that I could get back to my writing schedule, pushing everything else aside. But when my expectations became a "dream deferred," I became anxious and bitter; I lost my peace.
And then the Holy Spirit convicted me from God's Word. A few days ago I read Matthew 16 and specifically verse 16: "Simon Peter answered, 'You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God'.” Peter declares Jesus as the Messiah--the Messiah that the Old Testament proclaimed would arrive for the Israelite nation. However, by the time Jesus arrived, the Israelites' expectations of who the Messiah would be and what He would come to do, had been so warped, so twisted, that they didn't recognize Jesus at all. He did not fit the mold of what they expected. Jesus showed up and they missed seeing Him for who He was. They missed ALL His blessings, His new covenant words--they missed being in His presence! What a sad commentary. But wait--was the Holy Spirit comparing me to the Pharisees and Sadducees? I was convicted.
I was also reminded of a plaque my mom had hanging by the door in our garage when I was growing up. The picture was the head of a puppy (a cocker spaniel I think) lying in the grass, its big, sad eyes staring directly at the camera. And the caption read, "Blessed are those you expect nothing for they shall not be disappointed." And while part of me understood the meaning behind the caption, part of me didn't like it at all--the theology behind it didn't sit well with me (Of course as a child, I didn't even know what theology was).
But first, I had to deal with my own sin. When I thought about my expectations in relation to Matthew 16, I realized what was wrong. God's Word reminded me that I too had warped expectations--because they were mine and not His. Proverbs 16:1 and 9 (NLT) says, "We can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer." and "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps."
So I confessed to God my sins of anxiousness and bitterness. With that, the Holy Spirit also reminded me that I need to surrender my expectations to Him, on a daily basis--that ultimately my plans, my steps, my life, are His. His peace returned.
And then in further pondering what I had just learned from Matthew 16, I realized what bothered me about the caption on that plaque from years ago i.e. Jesus was not in it. It was a philosophical statement that was not based on correct theology.
I don't think expectations are wrong--they are part of being human. But when they rob of us of our peace and affect our relationship with God, then they become wrong. The Israelite nation missed seeing and knowing Jesus for who He was--the Son of God and the promised Messiah. They didn't recognize, even hated, His presence. I don't want to live that way--I want to surrender my daily plans to Him, asking for His presence in it all. I don't want to miss seeing and knowing more of the Trinity in my daily walk. I want to live with a new, re-written caption:
Blessed are those who expect Jesus to show up for they shall NOT be disappointed!
My prayer for us is that we commit our expectations to God, knowing that ultimately He "determines our steps." And that we will live in such a way that we expect to see Jesus in our days, even in the humdrum daily routines. May we look for Him, knowing He is there. May we not miss knowing His presence! And may we give Him all the glory.
August 15, 2017
Mid-Month Moments, a new regular feature on the blog, comes to you every fifteenth of each month. Written over the past four years by Connie Inglis, InScribe's current spiritual advisor, these devotionals were originally shared with our membership on our private Facebook group and on our Yahoo listserv. Such wonderful words needed to be shared again, however. Consider lifting Connie and her family up in prayer as she has been so faithful to do for our organization and as she serves as a missionary and Bible translator in Thailand.