Don’t Settle For Low Expectations

isaac-newtonSome of the greatest discoveries and revelations came about because people were curious. They refused to just go along with what they had always been told, what they grew up believing, or what the conventional wisdom told them was impossible.

Archimedes had his “Eureka!” moment because he refused to believe that it was impossible to measure the volume of an irregularly-shaped object.

Isaac Newton formulated the laws of gravitation because he curiously wondered about why apples fell perpendicular and at the same velocity.

The Apostle Peter saw a vision from God with animals, but didn’t stop there. His openness helped him realize that God didn’t have “favorites.”

Far too many people live their lives cursed with low expectations. They say, “That’s all there is.” and they put a period on it.

God wants us to soar above those low expectations! He tells us things like:

  • Come now, let us reason together… (Isaiah 1:18).
  • Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know (Jeremiah 33:3).
  • Are you listening to this? Really listening? … The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you… (Matthew 13:9, 11)

great-expectationsBut we are trapped in the curse of low expectations when we put a period on things, when we refuse to learn more, see more, hear more.

  • Most people—“That’s all there is.” (period)
  • What if we changed it up—“Is this all there is?” (question mark)
  • Perhaps you might get—“There is so much more!” (exclamation point)

For example, Paul uses the word “mystery” multiple times in his letter to the Ephesians. He explains that a mystery is something hidden from those who have it all figured out (the “period” people), but is revealed to those who will ask God (the “question mark” people). Only the “question mark” people get to see the “exclamation points” God has for them. Things like…

  • God has a plan, and it is His pleasure to reveal it to me (Ephesians 1:9-10; 2:10).
  • God’s revelation is fully revealed to me in His Word (3:3-5).
  • Faith in Jesus makes Christians co-heirs and sharers in all God’s promises (3:6).
  • I have access to God’s inexhaustible riches, His immense wisdom, and I may approach Him with freedom and confidence (3:8-12).

Don’t stop with “.” but go on to “?” and experience “!

With great expectation, read God’s Word, approach His throne, dig into His riches, wrestle with the difficult things, learn more of God’s purpose for your life. He wants to give you so much more “!” 

Improve Performance At Work, Home & School

How To Get Along With OthersA huge component of poor performance is poor communication. You might think you are communicating your expectations well, but if you are only speaking in your primary communication style, you are probably only fully connecting with 1-out-of-3 people in your life.

I previously shared some thoughts for Christians to share their faith in Jesus in a communication style that will connect with all other communication styles. Here are some thoughts for improving communication effectiveness at work, home and school, which will lead to improved performance as well.

HOW TO TALK THEIR TALK AT WORK

Doer

  • Communicate in bullet points
  • Training: give them the quick-start guide
  • Strength: implementation
  • Position: service calls on products
  • Focus: bottom line

Planner

  • Communicate with detailed instructions
  • Training: give them the full training manual
  • Strength: logistics
  • Position: back office work (accounting, billing, HR records)
  • Focus: milestones with due dates

People

  • Encourage teamwork
  • Training: take them to a seminar
  • Strength: people resources
  • Position: sales / customer service
  • Focus: milestones with due dates

Vision

  • Show them the big picture
  • Training: verbally explain to the procedures
  • Strength: brainstorming
  • Position: customer service / R&D
  • Focus: boundaries

HOW TO TALK THEIR TALK AT HOME

Doer

  • Chores: assign small chunks with a deadline
  • Tell them the bottom line

Planner

  • Chores: work with an organized schedule
  • Let them come up with the plan

People

  • Chores: Work together
  • Show them what to do, don’t tell them what to do

Vision

  • Chores: start with the end in mind
  • Give them boundaries

I shared some other ways to connect with people of different communication styles in an earlier post. You can read that here.

Abundantly Able

Yet Abraham did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. (Romans 4:20-21)

A.B. Simpson“The literal translation of this passage from the Greek expresses the thought in this way: God is not merely able but abundantly able, bountifully and generously able, with an infinite surplus of resources, and eternally able ‘to do what He had promised.’ He is the God of limitless resources—the only limit comes from us. Our requests, our thoughts, and our prayers are too small, and our expectations are too low. God is trying to raise our vision to a higher level, call us to have greater expectations, and thereby bring us to greater appropriation. Shall we continue living in a way that mocks His will and denies His Word?” —A.B. Simpson

Are You Expecting The Lord?

Horatius Bonar“Are you expecting the Lord? Are you living in this expectation? Is it a deep-seated, abiding, cherished hope? Is it a hope that tells upon your character, your life, your daily actings in public or private, your opinions, your whole man? Does it quicken you? Does it purify you? Does it keep you separate from the world? Does it keep you calm in the midst of earth’s most exciting events, or most untoward changes? Does it give you a new view of history as well as prophecy? …

“Let your expectation of the Lord’s coming be a calm and healthy one; not one that excites, but one that tranquilizes; not one that unfits for duty, but one that nerves you more firmly for it; not one that paralyzes exertion, but one that invigorates you for it; not one that makes you indifferent to present duty, but one that makes you doubly in earnest about everything that your hand findeth to do; not one that stops liberality, and prayer, and work, but one that increases all these a hundred fold; not one that dwells exclusively on the future’s dark side—the judgments that are at hand—but one that realizes the glory and the joy of Messiah’s approaching victory and triumphant reign.” —Horatius Bonar

Expectation Or Superstition?

Safe placeWhat good is it to pray if we don’t expect to receive anything from God? Isn’t that just making “prayer” a superstition? Instead, the Bible tells us that we can have “a remarkable degree of confidence” that when we take something to God in prayer, we can expect something great (1 John 5:14-15)!

Our prayer closet should be the safest place for us to express ourselves. You might have a close friend with whom you can “be yourself.” You can pour everything out to your friend, knowing that they will still love you. And yet, even with that really close, true-blue friend there are still times you hold back.

God doesn’t want that from us.

Check out David’s prayer closet. He had no problems telling God how he felt about the bad guys who were after him (Psalm 56:5-7; 57:3; 58:6-8; 59:13). Here’s the important thing to note: David poured out these words only in God’s presence. We don’t read anywhere in the Bible where David yelled these words at his enemies, or even shared these thoughts with his close friends.

Instead David said, “Trust in Him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to Him, for God is our refuge” (Psalm 62:8). Pouring out your heart to anyone else can sound like gossiping, picking a fight, or whining!

When David got it all out in God’s presence, he experienced two really cool things:

  1. His swirling, angry thoughts were quietedfor God alone my soul waits in silence.
  2. He came away with an expectation of God’s helpmy soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.

What about you? Are you being honest in prayer? Are you pouring out all of your hurts and doubts and frustrations to your Heavenly Father? Do you expect Him to answer you?

Here’s how you can tell if you aren’t praying with total honesty … you will walk out of your prayer closet still in turmoil. When you truly unload your heart in God’s presence, He will give you a peace that is so beyond anything you could have worked up yourself (Philippians 4:6-7).

Check this out…

Join me next Sunday as we continue our look at Practical Prayer.

Links & Quotes

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“I have learned now that while those who speak about one’s miseries usually hurt, those who keep silence hurt more.” —C.S. Lewis

“Jesus spilled His blood for you. You can spill your heart before God.” —Max Lucado

“Too often, when issues of sexual abuse come up, the Church simply stays silent. But a Gospel-centered response to sexual violation of anyone at any age begins with understanding that silence is not an option.” Read more in The Scandal Of Silence.

An abortion clinic in Michigan was shut down for numerous health and safety violations, but now it appears it may re-open.

[VIDEO] Here’s the truth of what abortion providers do—

Eric Metaxas shares the really cool story behind the Navy Hymn.

“You can be saved, Spirit-filled, and walking holy before God, yet still be guilty of unbelief. You may think, ‘I don’t have any unbelief.’ But do you get upset when things go wrong? Are you fearful of failing God? Are you restless, afraid of the future? The believer who has unconditional faith in God’s promise enjoys complete rest. What characterizes this rest? A full, complete confidence in God’s Word, and a total dependence on His faithfulness to that Word. Indeed, rest is the evidence of faith.” —David Wilkerson

Seth Godin discusses what starts to happen when our expectations slip.

 

Links & Quotes

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“Faith does not shirk the fight; she longs for it, because she foresees the victory.” —Charles Spurgeon

“Faith honors Him whom it trusts with the most reverent and highest regard, since it considers Him truthful and trustworthy.” ―Martin Luther

“A rejection, or in Scripture’s strong language, a crucifixion of the natural self is the passport to everlasting life. Nothing that has not died will be resurrected.” ―C.S. Lewis

“You didn’t sign up for this crash course in single parenting or caring for a disabled spouse, did you? No, God enrolled you. Why? So you can teach others what He has taught you. Rather than say, ‘God, why?’ ask, ‘God, what?’ What can I learn from this experience? Your mess can become His message!” —Max Lucado

I have often said that low expectations can sink someone’s future. Seth Godin agrees. Check out his post The Tragedy Of Small Expectations.

[VIDEO] Pentatonix is a very talented a cappella group! Check out this mash-up of Michael Jackson hits—

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