The eyes of the Lord search the whole earth in order to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. What a fool you have been! From now on you will be at war.” 2 Chronicles 16:9 NLT
Our son Caleb came into the house and handed us his report card. His head was down, his face showing nothing but dejection. Caleb was in second grade, and academics hadn’t been a smooth ride for him, and that face had me expecting the worst. Opening the report card I found two A’s, two B’s and a C. This was a great report card! Turning to him I raved about the report and gave him high fives and danced him around the kitchen. Seeing him still looking dejected, I asked, “What are you sad about? This is great!” Caleb looked up sheepishly and said, “Now that I got these grades, you’re going to expect this all the time.” The truth is, Caleb was absolutely right. Now that he proved to himself and the world that he was capable, expectations went up. The problem was, in his young mind he thought higher expectations were a burden to carry. An unnecessary weight to carry around. Many men in God’s house live under the same false pretense. Most of us have a default setting in our minds that says, “More responsibility is a burden! I’m too busy already! The expectations are too high!” This leads to the majority of men being great servants (when it’s convenient) who shun inconvenient or challenging positions. Nothing against great servants, we can use 100 more of them, but, how many men remain in that “serving when it’s convenient” role because they don’t want to put the time and energy necessary to take more responsibility that they are very capable of accepting?
God does have expectations of you, but they are not a burden! Like any father with a son, He desires to stretch you so you can reach your full potential! I knew what was in Caleb. I knew he had the ability to succeed in school. I didn’t chide him to be better to make his life harder, I pushed him because I knew meeting those higher expectations would make him stronger and more confident! God’s heart is the same toward you. He sees your potential! He wants nothing but the best for you. Therefore, He pushes you. When I know God’s heart, I don’t hide from inconvenient or challenging expectations, I run after them. Seeing them for what they truly are…..God’s way of building me up, making me stronger and blessing me with a satisfying life.
Lord, I’m reminded that You are a Father who has high expectations of me. Help me see that those expectations are not a burden to hold me down from enjoying life, but that those expectations are an on ramp to put me in life’s fast lane. Search my heart, Lord. Reveal to me where I’m holding back from embracing Your greater call on my life. Never allow me to forget that You are a good, good Father.
Pastor Gary Paladin, Accountability Team