Great Expectations

January 5, 2000
by Chad Janey

Deuteronomy 10:12-13 – And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord's commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good? (NIV)

So often as Christians we tend to struggle with determining God's direction and expectations for our lives. We often have willing hearts and the desire to serve God, but somehow just cannot determine what it is that God would have us to do. For many new Christians, it is unclear as to what living the Christian life is all about.

In the past month or so I too have struggled with this problem. I find myself often feeling as though I am wandering aimlessly down the Christian pathway, and that I am not at all living up to the expectations of God. While I realize that none of us can possibly live a perfect or spotless life, I still felt as though I was not doing all that God would have me to do. Being witness to many other devoted Christians in my life, I have often seen others take on more and more responsibility and activities in the church as they begin to feel as I have felt.

Reading these verses in Deuteronomy, I found both a comfort and a calling. I found comfort in the fact that the verses did not say that God expects us to serve in every activity possible. In fact, serving the Lord was not even the first request in the list. So I felt a little at ease in the fact that perhaps I do not necessarily need to take on another task or service area in my church. But as I look a little deeper into these scriptures, I realized how great God's expectations for our lives truly are.

Pleasing God would not be all that difficult if all He expected was acts of service. Almost all of us can find some way to serve. But God also requires that we fear Him, love Him, obey Him, and walk in His ways. Those are some pretty steep demands.

Fearing God means that we must always place His desires above those of our own. It means that we must have a constant attitude of respect for Him.

Loving God means that we must give sacrificially of ourselves, of our time, and of our hearts. All of the things that we do to show our family and friends love, we must always do for God.

Obeying God means that we must study and know His word so that we may know the commands that He has given us to obey.

Walking in God's ways means that we must have a complete lifestyle that honours God. Every hour, every second of our lives we must live in a manner that is pleasing to God.

Yes, God has great expectations of our lives. But He also promises us great rewards. Revelation 22:12 says, "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done." (NIV)

Prayer: O God, give me the strength and faith to live up to Your expectations for my life, not only in service to You, but in all aspects of my daily life. Amen.

About the author:

Chad Janey
Charlotte, North Carolina, USA

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