Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Confident Expectation

I struggled with the title of the post. So many options...Why Are We Surprised? Where's Your Confidence? Filled With Anticipation. Are You Expecting? I'm Expecting. (Now that would've perked up your eyes, huh?) Why are we surprised when God answers? Maybe you aren't...maybe we aren't. Let me explain. I was mowing on the Lord's Day...I know some say that would be a sin but I guess it's a matter of definition of "work". I see it as therapeutic and not work. Do I wish I didn't have to impose on my schedule to do it...yeah!! But oh the sense of accomplishment when it's done.

I was almost done...it takes about 60 minutes and I had about 15 minutes remaining. I know, if you saw my yard, you'd think I was a speed-demon! I was mowing the front and I felt something hit my head. Of course, my natural reaction was to wipe my head. As I did this and then looked at my hand, I thought 'oh, wouldn't you know I'm gonna look and have bird doo-doo on my hand." Nope. Hmmm...as I turned the corner, facing the drive, I saw it....rain drops on the driveway. Oh no! I only have 15 minutes left. If I had only not stopped to get a drink of water and pull a few weeds, I would be done! Oh I can't have a partial yard mowed! It was almost like I held my shoulders up and said, "Lord, please let me finish this yard." I then affirmatively thought, "it is not going to rain until I'm finished." It was almost like I claimed it from the Lord. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16 Isn't that exactly what He did...provided grace to help me finish my task at hand. Without realizing what I did...I approached His throne with confident expectation.

Well, do you know that I didn't realize I had asked this favor of the Lord until late Sunday night as I laid my head on my pillow. Of course, I got so distracted after mowing that I didn't realize it had NEVER rained. I lay in bed pondering on this and thus thanking my Lord for that. Feeling a little sheepish that I did not thank Him earlier but knowing He understood it was not out of ungratefulness but rather just busyness...or rather maybe out of confidence and expectation that He was going to answer and supply my need. I was absolutely sure it would not rain on Sunday. I can't explain the confidence and assurance I had. So much that I totally forgot about the request I made to my Lord. Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

Hmmm...so why at times do I waiver in my confident expectation of Him answering in other areas? If He cares about whether it rains and I finish mowing, doesn't He care about larger things like the condition my heart, the plans for my future, how to minister/serve, etc.?

I tell you all this to acknowledge that God IS present in all aspects of our lives. He DOES care about the small things. What if I hadn't been able to finish...well, I really wouldn't have minded. It'd have to wait for another day. But instead, my Lord wanted me to be able to accomplish that for whatever reason. Maybe just so I'd write a blog on it. Maybe just so I'd "see" that He is in every aspect of my life. Maybe so I could feel His deep love in the small things so that I'd be assured He is working in the large areas of my life. Maybe so someone out there in blog world would be assured that their Lord loves her/him like no other does.

Bible teacher, Henry Blackaby says, “After we pray, whatever happens next is God’s answer.” Wow. So, then we should conclude if we pray and earnestly seek God for answers, then we should expect Him to answer. We should be looking for His answer. Maybe we miss His answer because we are consumed with the answer we want and if we don't see "that" answer then we think He's just not answered. (I have a great song to post sometime that addresses exactly this.)

I see confident expectation or anticipation as really a way to define faith. We have faith, confidence, anticipation of what God will do for us, in us, and with us. I have a positive anticipation of what God is going to do in my life. What is the point in asking for things if we don't hope for or anticipate God providing. What I believe will occur seems impossible to the human eye but we serve a God who's specialty is in the Department of Impossibilities and He hold the title of Chief Miracle Worker. Will this confident expectation be with me and as strong tomorrow, next week, or next month? I don't know but for now God has provided me with the peace of assurance that He will do this. I feel like little Johnny who has asked for the big red fire engine truck for his birthday and he just knows he will get it. Little Johnny is excitedly anticipating the arrival of this truck. He just can't wait to get his hands on it. That is much what I feel. Confident expectation means we anticipate God will answer, perform, provide, deliver but we have to wait on His timing and continue to trust for that to come. I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Mark 11:23-24 That's power, I tell ya straight from Jesus' mouth and I'm not gonna argue it with God.

May we reflect today on the magnificent love and ever-residing presence of our Lord and Savior. Nothing is too great for Him to accomplish just as nothing is to small to be concerned by Him! But we must do our part and have faith in our Lord, trusting and anticipating that He will provide. Capture that. Relish that.

Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. 1 John 3:21-22

I believe I shared this scripture in my post called "Busy Signal". It is such a beautiful scripture and great reminder to go to God with confidence. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15

Be Blessed in Him,


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I love Blackaby's take on prayer. He's one of my favorite speakers/teachers/authors. What a Godly man!

This reminds me of something Beth Moore taught...about lingering prayers.

God doesn't forget about our prayers once they're offered. They linger before him until the answer comes, thus we don't need to get all worried that he's forgotten.

Good teaching.


desert_rose said...

I just love your post Paula... Thank you so much. "Confident Expectation.", what great words to live life by.....kathy

Joanne said...

The definition of hope to me is waiting with expectation.

Loved the post. I pray that today is a blessed day for you Paula!

Yolanda said...

Your post caused me to reflect on Job 38:34-38, something I read earlier today in my quiet time.

Love to you as Jesus loves us both!


Natalie said...

I'm so glad God is in charge. We'd have a big mess if I ran everything! Thank you for your post today.

Anonymous said...

I got a little chuckle out of your "dilema" of not wanting a partially-mowed lawn. Too cute! Thanks for stopping by and thanks for such an encouraging and uplifting post today!

Tracy said...

Wow...I LOVE that phrase "confident expectation." Oh that all my prayers would be raised with that kind of mindset. Thank you.

Tracy = )

Lelia Chealey said...

Oh oh oh I loved this post. I will be sharing it w/ my hubby as we just had this conversation this past weekend.
Thanks for not keeping to yourself what God revealed to you as you were about to go to sleep. Very powerful word & I love that verse in Hebrews. Have you read Confident Woman by Joyce Meyer? Very good read...really teaches us to put our confidence in HIM instead of ourselves.

Kim said...

Thank-you for visiting my blog, so that I could be BLESSED...to visit yours.

What an amazing post....and you are so right, God does care about even the little things.

I LOVE Blackaby....simply WOW!!

Have a BLESSED evening...and I'll be back!


skoots1mom said...

thanks for visiting me today...she's sleeping having just taken a pain med. Thanks for the tip about the toothbrush. I had forgotten that...we go back in a couple of weeks for followup.loved your post...just love Henry Blackaby...he's so correct...blessed expectations. God’s answers. I think one of the reasons I'm enjoying blogging so much is that it is giving me a tracking point of seeing God's answers and his blessings in ways I didn't imagine, but seeing them written gets my attention better.

Have a great night!

Tammy Nischan said...

Great post! Glad I ran into your blog through a surfing journey!


Tammy Nischan

GOD'S LADIE said...

Confident expectation...I'll be sure to possess this more often! Love the post and thank you for visiting my blog! I will check my email tomorrow evening, and reply back. Be blessed in the name of JESUS!


JnL4God said...

Hi Sweetie,
Hey I only had a chance to read part of you blog I'll finish later. Sounds good so far, I just wanted to let you know I'm thinkin about you.

Be BLessed,

littlerad said...

I enjoyed this posting so much, Thank you...
Thank you for the comments on my blog...

valerie said...

Loved the post.
Thank God we can go to Him with expectation. There are some days I pray..."God do something in my life today that only You can do!" It's neat to wait, watch & expect.
Thanks for the comment on my blog about the little boy. Yes, his parents are definitely Christians. You're right though...just because some parents send their children to Christian schools doesn't always mean they are. In this case, they are and have amazing faith.
I pray you have a great weekend.

Dawn said...

So glad I came along your blog today. It was just what I needed..today! Hope you have a blessed day and thank you for your post!

Beverly Dixon said...

Thank you for this post. I needed this today.



Pat said...

Paula (not my sister but my SISTER)
Now that I have cleaned up my goof up, can I just say that your blog is a feast for the eyes and the heart! I want mine to look like yours! How did you get that cute little "please comment" thinggy on there?
I must admit that I am becoming a bit of a BLOG junkie. I am new to all of this but find myself with 3 of these things in action.
Did you go to BLOG school or are you just talented? I am actually going to be in your neighborhood next weekend, can I have a lesson??
Thanks again for stopping by to sit on my swing,
Bless you Sister!

Joyful said...

Hi Paula,
Thanks for all you wrote on my blog - so much to think about - thanks for sharing your heart. I find the title of your blog, "His Ways...are not our ways" a summary to my thoughts today.
Trusting Him and waiting with "confident expectation" that God's purposes will be revealed in His time.

Tracy said...

Thank you for sharing your heart. May we all trust in His complete sovereignty in our lives. Only He knows what our future holds...


Sonya said...

Where's our confidence. That is a good question. I know that after not getting the answers we had expected we can lose our confidence. This is a great reminder that we must remain confident because God is in control of the outcome. We must truly learn to trust Him fully! :)

Joyfulsister said...

((( Hugz Sistah)))) I Love this post and thanks for making me smile *U* I left a message for you on my post where you made a comment. I love your realness, I admire your humbleness, and I am so blessed to have met you my friend. Keep hope alive because he lives we can face tomorrow. Hugz Lorie

Melanie said...

Paula, This is a great post and so very true. I love the quote from Henry Blackaby. I think so many times we equate God's answering our prayers as answering our prayers the way WE want them to be answered. When, in fact, God ALWAYS answers, but sometimes not the way we want Him to answer.

Have a great week!

Deborah said...

hello! I just found you through Lorie's blog and decided to stop by...nice 'meeting' you!

littlerad said...

I want you to know that you are in my prayers today, I know that what ever it is that you are dealing with, God is with you... And he will see you through it... If you have a copy of Get out of that pit then you need to get one... We have them on sale at my store right now I think for 17.99... You know where I work and you can call if you can't come... I would love to meet you if you can come...
Remember God chose you...

Linda said...

I do appreciate your affirmation that He is in the small stuff, too. I have trouble with that sometimes.

MrsJoeB said...

Paula-how is it going???? You have been on my thoughts and in my prayers!

In His Graces~Pamela