Expectations matter when it comes to God

By Dave Henning / July 23, 2021

“When it comes to God, our expectations matter even more.  Our assumptions about who he is, who were are in relationship to him, and what kinds of things he will and won’t do deeply shape our lives with him. . . .  we need to attend to our expectations in prayer.  We have to wrestle with what we believe this God is and what we believe he will be like in order to learn what kind of pray-ers he has called us to be.”- Kyle Strobel

In Chapter 3 (What If Prayer Doesn’t Meet My Expectations?”) of Where Prayer Becomes Real, Kyle Strobel begins with two insightful questions:

  1. What do you expect God will do when you pray?
  2. What do you think God expects of you when you pray?

Because our expectations about God govern how we judge our faith.  In turn, that determines how we judge our life of prayer.  Above all, Kyle sees the grace of knowing God as Father as a mixed blessing.  For better or worse – often a mix – God chose a word that comes with preset expectations.  Thus, everyone carries an image of what the word father means.

Therefore, an important question arises as to why God chooses to relate to us through a father-child relationship.  One He knows comes with a lot of baggage.  Kyle explains:

‘Maybe, more profoundly, God created the parent-child relationship so his redemption would unearth the deepest formation of our lives. . . .  God doesn’t ignore the ways we have been formed, but he awakens the ways we have been loved and broken.  This points to a truth about him that we tend not to verbalize.  God isn’t in the business of destroying and re-creating; he’s in the business of redeeming and transforming. . . .

As his children, we need the word  father healed, no matter how faithful our earthly fathers were.  We need to have our understanding of the word re-formed by our heavenly Father.”

Today’s question: What expectations matter for you when it comes to God?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The pause button in prayer – hit it?”

About the author

Dave Henning

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