Unreal Expectations

Because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so; and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
- ROMANS 8:7 & 8

Generally in much of the East a person’s mate and vocation are chosen for him. Therefore, the expectation of what marriage and vocation can add to the quality of life is very low. People there tend to turn to spiritual things (often wrong spirits), the one place where there is no ceiling and a bit of a feeling of freedom. In the West, where the individual can choose a mate and vocation, there exists a very unreal expectation of what marriage and career can give. In fact, those are expected to give what they cannot give in a way totally different from God’s perspective of what marriage and work will accomplish in a person. Remember that the events of earth, passing through His hands, are preparing us for heaven, where there will be no marriage or vocations. In short, He is using our marriage and vocations to prepare us for something greater than what is often portrayed. Man looks for job satisfaction or marital bliss, but God gives the perfect place for the revelation of Christ.

Our first discovery as we travel through life is that marriage and vocations do not give LIFE, and second, we learn we cannot live for man. Third, we become aware of our self-centeredness; fourth, it is apparent we are easily offended. Fifth, and most importantly, it is obvious we are weak in our ability to love, to be faithful, to be content, or to have peace. Most hate to acknowledge it, but here is a simple secret: Admit where you are and you can leave where you are. Admit to God your feelings of being trapped, your supply of love for your mate has run out, you are sick of being used or abused, and you are still looking for life where LIFE cannot be found. Then simply ask Him to come.

A man told me of an experience he had when he said, “All guilt for my failures fell off me in just one moment when I realized I was a bound man.” You see, Abraham received the promise of God, and the first thing he did was look at himself, consider himself as good as dead when it came to fulfilling the promise, and trust God to accomplish what he could not do. Have you realized that you are bound, so apart from Him you can do nothing? If God is to get all the glory then God is to do all the work. If I hired you to do a job and then handcuffed you to a tree, what would you think? Yet the day you believed in Jesus, before you could imitate Him, God crucified you to a tree. He is expecting nothing out of you. He knew what you would be at your worst, and still He chose you. You are feeling weak. Do not do anything except admit you are bound and ask Him what He is planning on doing. Get your attention away from self and the whole situation. Choose Jesus. Do not make your first choice the promise to change; make your first choice Jesus. As He flows through you to your mate, your experience will be something about which the most romantic novelists or moviemakers have yet to tell!

Do you enjoy music? You are enjoying the efforts of another as you let it flow in and around you. You do nothing but enjoy others’ discipline. In the same way Jesus must flow through you while you, just as relaxed, enjoy the fruit of His work. Beautiful!

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