It’s embarrassing to admit, but I keep making the same mistake in my daily devotions over and over again.
You’d think I’d have learned my lesson by now, or that I’d have come up with a way to get over it. But no. Day after day I continually make this fatal error.
I come with low expectations of God.
It sounds ridiculous when I type it out, but isn’t this the truth? More often than not, my daily devotions are an exercise in self-discipline, a way to learn about God, an opportunity to pray through my list, or simply something to check off my daily to-do list.
But I don’t really expect God to show up. And so often I miss out on the greatest blessings that would be mine if I just looked for them.
How often do I actually rush to my special quiet place, breathlessly excited to meet with God? Really believing He will meet me there? Actually expecting an encounter with the Almighty?
I don’t expect… and so I don’t receive. And I imagine many of you make this same mistake as well.
James talks about this same notion in relation to wisdom, but the principle is the same:
“You have not because you do not ask God.”
~ James 4:2
Simple as that. We don’t expect much of God and so we don’t receive much when it comes to our daily devotions.
But let’s flip that principle around with another quote from the Bible:
“Ask and you will receive.”
~ Matthew 7:7
What could we ask from God? And what would He willingly give us in our quiet time of meeting with Him?
(That’s Jesus’ own words there, by the way. And I’m writing them out for my own benefit as much as yours, because clearly I need to post a big reminder somewhere so I’ll run smack-dab into it each morning.)
When we expect much of God, He will exceed our wildest expectations. Always and only if our expectations are rooted in His promises.
The solution is simple. We must believe that whatever God says He will do, He will actually do. My closeness with God is directly proportional to my expectations of Him to keep His Word. This means that…
- When I read Scripture, I can expect to receive a fresh word for today. (Hebrews 4:12)
- When I approach God in worship and adoration, I can expect my spirit to connect with His Spirit. (John 4:24)
- When I come to Him hungry and thirsty, I can expect to be satisfied. (Matthew 5:6)
- When I voice my requests and give thanks, I can expect His peace to flood my heart. (Phil 4:6-7)
- When I draw near to Him, I can expect Him to draw near to me. (James 4:8)
….Because all these expectations are based on His promises, and His promises never fail us.
Why would we ever expect any less?
What about you? Have you lapsed into low expectations in your daily devotions? What is God asking you to expect instead?