I recently had a vision of standing in an elevator, facing the door, waiting for it to open. While I was standing there, suddenly a door behind me opened; people got out and people got in. Duh! I didn’t realize both the front and back of the elevator were doors, so I totally missed that one! As I was thinking about this, the Lord reminded me how Jerusalem missed the time of their visitation. The common denominator was we both had an expectation of how something would happen.
Israel had an expectation of a Messiah, a Mighty King, coming to save them and deliver them from Roman rule. Their expectation, was so restrictive, they were unable to recognize the One right in their midst that God had sent to them.
It seems we can be so locked into our vision/expectation of how something will happen we are blinded to optional possibilities.
One of my favorite examples of this is in the Old Testament, 2 Kings 5
Naaman, a commander of the Syrian army, was a mighty warrior; a man of great importance and honor. Unfortunately, he was also a leper. When word came of healing through a prophet in Samaria, Naaman sought out this prophet, by the name of Elijah. Imagine now how Naaman, arrayed in his best uniform, with great fanfare, went with his horses and chariots to meet Elijah. Surely his heart was filled with great expectation as he stood outside Elijah’s door! But Elijah didn’t acknowledge Naaman’s greatness; he didn’t come out to greet him nor even come to the door! Instead, he sent a messenger who gave Naaman instructions to go wash himself in the Jordan River 7 times. Naaman was furious. He had totally expected Elijah to come out and stand with him, call upon the Lord, and wave his hand over his leprosy. Even the healing directive seemed wrong. It was such a small, simple, ordinary thing to do. Besides, there were cleaner rivers in Damascus to bathe in. He went away in a rage. Naaman almost missed his miracle because things didn’t happen as he expected. His servants persuaded Naaman to do as Elijah had instructed him, and his flesh was restored, clean as that of a little child.
I wonder how many times we miss what God actually has for us because our expectation is so specific, we don’t even consider other ways He could move. We can believe in our mind, and say with our mouth that with God all things are possible. But then in reality, we only believe Him to move according to our expectation!
Quite simply, we have to believe the truth of God’s Word, regardless of our circumstances. When we live / abide, in Him….we base our expectations on what He says about our circumstances rather than what we see, think, and feel. This is the walk by faith, not by sight, mandate. We have a choice of whose report we’ll believe. God says who we are, what we have, and what we are capable of doing. His report says we are healed, we are rich, we are strong; we are born of the supernatural, filled with His Presence, power, and light. Circumstances have a voice that laugh/mock God’s Word….the Dr. says cancer; the bank says overdrawn, the landlord says evicted.
In the midst of this kind of hopelessness, we need to remember that God’s ways aren’t our ways. He is a radical God who can make a way, ie create a solution, where none exists! What we can’t see, He has already done!
I love that God says He’ll make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. He is able to surpass our expectations and to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that we ask or think, If we put our trust/hope in Him! Isa 43:19, Eph 3:20
The elevator was also a prophetic picture of God opening new doors we didn’t even know existed. Don’t limited your expectations to the past….God is creating new things, releasing new technology, deeper revelations, all of which until now didn’t exist or had not been revealed!
When the elevator doors opened and closed, people got out and people got in. This speaks of changes in our relationship with others. Some unhealthy relationships should have been ended long ago. At the same time, we should be aware of new people coming into our lives. Be assured, as lovers of God, all of this works together to accomplish God’s good purpose in our lives.
Psalm 71:5 literally ties this all together. “For You are my hope, O Lord GOD; You are my trust from my youth.”
Hope here means “expectation…that which I long for”. Trust means “confidence”. The Hebrew root meaning of hope means “to be twisted or tied together, as by a cord”.
What a great picture! Like holding on to a balloon! Our hope, our expectations must be tied/ linked/ to God, to His Word. When we do this, we can have great confidence to believe what we have expected and hope for will happen….God purposes it!