What Are You Standing in Line For?

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The expectations we carry are powerful, and our hearts are often full of expectations we don’t even realize we have. Without knowing it, we daily stand in line to receive or experience something our hearts have been conditioned by life to expect. And often, we end up disillusioned and disappointed, but still go back and get in line for the same thing (maybe not on the same day, but sooner or later, we tend to come back around to the same expectation, and go seeking the same fulfillment of it). The problem, however, is not usually with the disappointing experiences we have. Instead, the real culprit is the defective expectation we’re carrying, and our tendency to trust that over the Word and voice of the Spirit Who lives within us.

I recently had a vivid illustration of this, when I stood in line for a roller coaster with my family at California Adventure Park. It was a new roller coaster, part of the Pixar Fest lineup, and it seemed like it was a family-friendly ride. There was a little sign suggesting that children under 7 should be accompanied by an adult, but besides that, there was no indication that it would be something we might walk away from with deep regrets. So we stood in the longest line we had waited in all day so that we could have this one, last, great experience together before heading back to the house for the night.

The buzz in the air was fun, electric. People were laughing, eating ice cream, enjoying the sights and sounds of a wonderful, memory-making experience. Taking it all in, I should have been excited. I was expecting a great experience. My little boy, age 9, had his dad and spiritual big brother by his side. And my little girl, age 6, loved adventure and was usually thrilled by roller coaster rides. With me beside her, I was sure it would be a great experience for her. But as we moved forward in the line, I began to feel uneasy.

I checked and rechecked everything, praying for God to give me peace and let this be a fun experience for all of us. But no peace came, and instead of doing what I should have done – getting out of line – I pressed forward, determined to get what I came for. About 15 seconds into the ride, I realized that my expectation was not accurate, and the lack of peace I had experienced was my invitation to avoid what I and my little girl were now being tormented by. I’ll spare you the awful details (except to warn you that this is no family-friendly roller coaster ride), but that was the longest ride of both of our lives, and it left a good scar on both of us, which completely changed the way we approached all future rides. The rest of the trip was marked with caution and a level of distrust in appearances. We stuck to the rides that had no surprise twists and turns, and I had to comfort and console my little one at the sight of anything remotely adventurous. I also committed to trusting the Holy Spirit’s presence in absolutely everything from that point forward (which, sadly, I thought I had already done).

Maybe that seems a bit extreme or silly to you, especially if you love adventure and thrilling roller coasters. But you can take the real-life example and copy and paste it onto your life in Christ, and realize that we often experience a similar thing. How many times have you expected something to work out one way, and pressed forward to see it, only to find it disappointing or scarring? And how many of those times came with the stirring of the Holy Spirit, warning you that it wasn’t the right direction to keep pressing into? I have talked with so many women who, looking back, have said they didn’t have God’s peace, and yet kept pushing for what they thought they were going to get, or for what their own hearts really desired, only to be devastated in the end.

The truth is, we often expect things that we have no real reason to expect, because we are Christians. The life we live, the life we should expect to live, is found in the Word of God. However, there is often a difference between what the Word of God promises and what we expect, and the Holy Spirit is constantly seeking to get us out of the line of human expectation and into the line of faith.

Human reasoning expects to pursue its own dreams and meet with success. Faith expects to lay down our own dreams and see success. These are two very different lines. Human reasoning expects to be hurt in relationships and so protects its own heart. Faith expects to be hurt in relationships and surrenders its heart to be healed by Jesus as it presses into relationships with an unconditional, fearless, never-failing love. Again, two different lines. Human reasoning expects to catch the common viruses and diseases and takes appropriate measures to protect itself. Faith expects to be covered by the blood of Jesus and healed of anything that touches it, relying on the protection of His presence and going boldly where most human reasoning would seek to avoid going. Human reasoning, once it has encountered religion, avoids the darkness like the plague, because we remember what it was like to live there. Faith goes into the heart of the darkness and turns on the light, because it knows what it’s like to live there, and desperately wants to see others set free. Two different lines.

These are just a few examples, and I’m sure you could come up with more, if you allowed your heart a few moments of searching. Dear Woman of Breakthrough, the point of today’s musing is to examine our hearts and our thoughts before God, and to determine where our expectations have led us to stand in line for something He did not promise. By default, this means we are not standing in line for what has been promised. 

Our minds desperately need to be renewed, and so the expectations of our hearts need to be looked at. There are many who are believing something which is contrary to the truth, and so there are many who are living in opposition to the leading of the Holy Spirit. We will never see the fullness of what God has promised if we aren’t willing to get out of the lines we’re standing in, and move into the ones He is directing us to.

Dear Woman of Breakthrough, would you position your heart to be rerouted today, and to shift the expectations the Holy Spirit puts His finger on? If so, I believe you and I are in for a truly great adventure! And I believe our days of being disappointed are coming to an end!!

{Photo images courtesy of http://www.pixabay.com}

 


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