Comparison and Expectations: Match Made in Heaven?
Comparison and expectations can kill more of Gods plans than you realize.
This is something that's been laid heavy on my heart lately so I thought I'd share what God has been revealing to me about it ;)
We have our own pictures of our lives and how they will play out- what our job will be, what house we live in, who we will marry, our kids- but what we don't realize is that those expectations are rooted in comparisons.
It starts by subconsciously comparing our lives to someone else's. Then we start to expect that that is how our lives "ought" to work out too.
Theodore Roosevelt reminds us that "comparison is the they of joy." I like to think he was deep in the word when he came to this conclusion.
Take a paintbrush, dip it in black paint, then paint an X right over the picture YOU have for your life. Yes, we need to keep a positive attitude and not enter into situations believing the worst outcome; however, I think the key (and trickiest part) is to enter into situations with our focus set on God and not the situation-- not on what might happen or what might not happen-- but instead, on how God is going to use this situation to get me where he wants me for his glory.
This life- our lives- have never ever been about US.
Is it a confusing situation where you don't know what's going on or how to feel about it? Focus on God and the fact that as long as you keep him first and foremost then everything else will fall into place (Matthew 6:33).
Does your new baby have a million and one scary health issues and now you're sitting thinking, "this is not how my life was supposed to be”?
"Wait patiently on the Lord. Be strong and take heart and wait on the Lord." Psalm 27:14
God knows exactly what he's doing and how all of these "terrible" circumstances are going to work out for good (Romans 8:38)
I've recently learned how much God does not use "formulas." He will never change something the same way twice because he wants us to worship Him and not the process or formulas he uses. If he worked miracles the same way every time, then we would start to believe that we could perform these miraculous events on our own. And that's not the case.
Proverbs 3:5 instructs us to "trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding..."
God does not call us to understand, figure out, or fix any situation we encounter. He only calls us to rely on him and glorify him through anything we face- good or bad.
Paint a huge black X over that picture and then turn it sideways so that it becomes a cross. Keep your focus on that- "delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37:4)
What a lot of people don't realize is that as you delight yourself in God, the desires of your heart BECOME God’s desires for you. And his plans and desires for us FAR outweigh anything we could dream of having of doing for ourselves on our own.
Proverbs goes on to tell us that we must "seek his will in all [we] do, and he will show [us] which path to take." 3:6
If we seek him and seek him constantly, the things we want will begin to transform into the things that he wants for us. Basically, there's really no losing when we keep our focus on the one who already knows the "why" of our situations.
Jesus replied, "You don't understand now what I am doing, but someday you will." John 13:7
Expectations of wordy circumstances can leave us disappointed and bitter when our life turns out differently than we always thought it should.
So again, paint that X, surrender your wants and invite God into your life to change whatever he needs to. Keep your expectations on His faithfulness and not on your own ideas and pictures of your life.
Matthew 16:24, “Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.”
- Let go of the picture you have for your life.
- Surrender your wants to God.
- Invite him into your heart and ask him to transform your desires to match His.
His desires/ wants/ plans for our lives are WAY better than anything we could imagine, so why not let God take the reigns and show us how amazing He is?