God looks at our heart, not at our outward appearance. The Lord regards the motives that are behind our actions, and the spirit in which they are performed. He does not see as we see. We have the tendency to pay attention to what is seen, but God knows and moves in and on the unseen.
Externally, we may sing the same worship song, say the same prayer or perform the same acts of kindness, but internally some are genuine while others are not. In God’s eyes, it’s the inward that is real, not the outward. It could also be the opposite: someone may appear not to be singing, praying or appearing in some other negative way–yet be truthful in their heart. An offense may be taken because of the posture, sound or look of another through mistaken appearances. Remember to walk by faith, and not by sight.
In our lives and the lives of others, we pray and trust the Spirit of God to reveal and heal the hidden parts. We humbly surrender and rest in the Lord. We are His workmanship and He knows exactly how to transform us into His image. The inward is being healed so that He can take us onward. Regardless of the outward, we trust Christ in us, the hope of glory, from glory to glory.
I Samuel 16:7 “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’ ”
It is difficult to regain trust after it has been broken. Past disappointments may have created a wall of fear that produced further separation from healthy relationships. This wall may appear to be for protection from further disappointments, but in reality it brings isolation. Expecting the worst quenches the faith we have in Christ. If we trust what we fear, we block faith from bringing restoration. It’s in trusting God that we learn to trust others and walk free from our past.
When some of our expectations didn’t come to pass, we made internal decisions about whom or what we could or couldn’t trust. These often sub-conscious decisions must be broken by the power of God. The Webster dictionary defines trust as, “An assured reliance on the character, ability, strength of someone or something; one in which confidence is placed.” It’s only as we grow in the knowledge of who God is that we trust Him. He, Himself, helps us do so as He heals us from our past mind sets.
We cannot exercise our faith to trust in God on our own. The faith we attempt to manufacture is ineffective. His faith moves mountains. We learn to trust God and those whom we are in relationships as we forgive not only them, but ourselves as well. We cannot change the past, but surely we can change the future by placing our confidence in the God who keeps us with His saving hands. We trust Him, then others, from glory to glory!
2 Corinthians 1:9-10 “Yes, we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us…”
Conflicts in relationships often come from unexpressed or unreasonable expectations. What is not spoken is not clearly understood and can bring unexpected disappointments. It’s important to know and express what we expect from one another, not just in words, but also in writing as some things may not be heard correctly.
When expectations are voiced, boundaries are set in place. To ask ourselves what we expect from God, others or ourselves motivates and helps us have surety in our steps. Asking what God, others and we expect from ourselves, brings clarity to expectations that may need to be readjusted. Communicating what we are expecting reveals to us what God is doing in our hearts. We often find that what we expect is more of God in our life, and in the lives of others. Because of the greatness of our God, we find that no matter what we expect, God’s will is for so much more.
Limits cannot be placed on God and He delights in enlarging our paths. Let us expect more love, more power, more joy and more of the much more of God! As we encourage our loved ones by expressing our expectations for the manifestation of God in their lives, we will see God increase their passion for the things of the Lord. Let’s expect healing, deliverance and salvation, from glory to glory.
Ephesians 3:20 “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us…”
High expectations bring forth stronger motivation, vision and passion. When our expectation is for more of the Lord in our lives, we can trust we will never be disappointed. When it’s from on high, nothing from below can oppose its manifestation. We can anticipate God will work all things together for our good through His power from on high!
An expectation is anticipation, a looking forward to an outcome, good or bad. Through hurts from past disappointments and heartaches, satan tries to stop us from having expectancy in our hearts. Fear to believe can be paralyzing and quench all hope. We can become so afraid we will be hurt again, we do not allow ourselves to fully hope in the best outcome of a situation. As the Lord brings healing in the deep recesses of our hearts, we find that He raises our expectation level to new heights. We then reach for all He has prepared for our destiny and trust in His ability in others as well.
God has great expectations for us, and He has accomplished what is needed for us to walk victoriously in His plans and purposes. Some things can only be received from God. It’s unreasonable to expect others to fill a void only God can fill. As we delight ourselves in Him, He gives us new desires in our hearts and restores our expectations for the abundance He rejoices in pouring out upon our lives, from glory to glory.
Psalms 62:5-8 “My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times, you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.”
To walk in forgiveness, we must allow room for error or weakness from ourselves as well as from others. When behaviors are not what we had anticipated and weaknesses are revealed, it’s important to let go immediately. Whenever we pick up an offense, the quicker we shake the dust off our feet, the quicker we shut the door on the enemy.
We release something quickly by giving it to the Lord. We do so by bringing and leaving it at the foot of the cross, trusting Him to handle the situation with His omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence. We may need to do so repeatedly, but the power that comes from forgiveness will help us release things more quickly in the future.
Understand that if we don’t forgive, the enemy then has room to take advantage of us. Forgiveness is essential to our walking free from offenses. The enemy wants us to move in division, bitterness, anger, etc., so we will not walk in victory. We cannot give our adversary an open door by picking up an offense. The only room we should have is the room for grace that we extend to one another. We can do so because of the love of God the Holy Spirit has shed in our hearts. When we don’t forgive others’ trespasses against us, we actually hinder ourselves from walking free in Christ. His strength is perfected in our weakness, from glory to glory!
2 Corinthians 2:10-11 “Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”