Expectations

We all have expectations.  Optimists have positive expectations.  Pessimists have negative expectations.  And most of the issues we have with people and life are based on our expectations.  So a question we should ask is, ‘Why have expectations at all?’

Expectations lead us to the pain of ‘hope deferred’ (Proverbs 13:12).  If our expectations are not fulfilled we become upset and that can lead us to strife with others or cause us to pull back from them.

People often express displeasure with others based on their expectations.  Consider the conversations you hear among your friends, or even on the media.  People often express their disapproval of the actions of their spouse, children, boss, employees, friends, government, etc.

But just because we hold an expectation does not make us right.  Our expressed disapproval might sound like an expression of high moral values and our privileged right to find fault with others, but it is actually a violation of God’s instruction to us that we are not to judge others, otherwise we will be judged (Matthew 7:1).

Wrong Expectations

Our expectations can be completely wrong, no matter how deeply held.

A wife might complain, “My husband comes home and watches TV!”

Well, that puts him among millions of other husbands.  So, what’s the problem?

The problem is she had a different expectation.  She may really want him to do chores, or to give her personal attention, or to play with the kids, or help the kids with their homework, or make repairs or just be busy rather than appearing lazy.

Whatever her expectation it is the basis for her judgment, disapproval, frustration, resentment, etc.

Similarly a husband may complain about his wife not pleasing him, when she does many things for him that other wives do not do.  The problem is not the amount of things she does, but whether what she does matches his expectations.

Those expectations could lead to bitterness, feelings of rejection and even divorce.

These issues are often brought up to couples planning to wed, to show that the families of origin have different modes of operation and different values, which lead the couple to have different ideas of what they and the other should do.

The word EXPECTATIONS cuts to the heart of this problem.

Susan’s Expectations

Recently my wife expressed disappointment with me because we had arranged to chat about something and her expectation of how I would engage in the process was different to mine.  I did not realise she had a specific expectation of me and my failure to meet her expectations was a disappointment to her.

This simple moment of mismatched expectations became a good prompt for me to distil the process of unfulfilled expectations impacting our lives.

Expressing Expectations

We all encounter times when others, especially our spouse or family members, do not meet our expectations.  And at times we may even feel that God has not met our expectations.

Consider how easy it is for people with expectations to say such things as: “He wasn’t supposed to do that”; “I never expected to hear her say such a thing”; “Why did God let it happen?”; “Are you just going to sit there and do nothing about this?”; “I never thought you’d let me down like this”; “You don’t care, do you?”; “You’ve really let me down this time”; “Life wasn’t meant to turn out like this”; “Why did this have to happen to me?”; “I deserve better than this”; “I have every right to be angry”.
On the other hand, people often find themselves facing the disapproval of others without really understanding what they have done wrong.  “I had no idea I was supposed to do such a thing”, “What in the world did I do wrong now?”, “Why can’t you be happy with what I do?”, “I did it the way you said”, “I thought you’d like it, that’s why I went out of my way to do this for you”, “What’s the use? No matter what I do I get in trouble”.

Inner Needs and Desires

Expectations are based on our inner needs and desires.  We want people to please us.  We want things to go well for us.  We want things our way.  So we set up expectations that others will please us and we will get our way.  When this doesn’t happen we accuse the others of failing us, rather than facing our own inner expectations.

When our expectations bring us into strife with others we can be sure that they are based on pride and selfishness.  When our expectations cause us to feel hurt by others it is most likely that we have made that person an idol in our life and are looking to them to bring us fulfilment and personal benefits which we should be looking only to God to bring to us.

Expectations and Wants

Our expectations are closely linked to our wants.

Consider the interchange of the word ‘expect’ and ‘want’ in the following sentences.

“Surely you don’t expect me to believe that!”

“Do you expect me to wait around all day for you?”

“The children expect me to wait on them hand and foot.”

“I expect you to take notice of my wishes and to fulfil them.”

“I expect this mess to be cleaned up by the time I return.”

If we have many expectations of others then we could also be seen as someone who is highly demanding or desiring to control others.  Expectations, wants and demands are often interchangeable.

Death to Expectations

Imagine what life would be like if you had no expectations and made no demands on others or on life itself.
If you saw your life as a responsibility to please and worship God and to fulfil His will for you life, with no expectations more than that life will happen and you will enjoy eternity with God when this life ends, then you would not end up in arguments with people about how they fail you.

If you had no expectations of others, or of life itself, you would accept whatever comes your way and do your best for God’s glory.  Husbands would love their wife no matter how she treated him, and wives would submit to their husbands no matter what he was like.  Parents would love and train their children without resorting to disapproval, manipulation or control.  People would serve God whether it was easy or hard and endure all manner of challenges with faith and patience.

Expectations are Toxic

When we hold expectations of others we elevate that person to the place of an idol in our lives.  We see them as a source of something we want, when God is our source.  We think that if our spouse, parents, children, others or society was to treat us a certain way then we would be fulfilled and happy.  But we are to be fulfilled and happy in God, not by the provisions of others.  If we look to others then they are effectively an idol we have put our trust in, in the place of God.

Expectations of God

We are to have positive expectations of God, because He is holy and totally reliable.  His word is true.

But even there, we must remember that God is sovereign and that when God does us good it may not be the way we would have ordered it.

Deep trials are often a way of God doing us good, as we see illustrated in Psalm 107.

We also see how David the shepherd boy faced two fearful menaces, a bear and a lion.  That’s not what the average shepherd sees as a good thing.  They would not normally order such experiences if they had the choice.  But for David his encounters with the lion and bear qualified him to take on Goliath and become a champion (1Samuel 17:36).

David’s famous Psalm 23 talks of having our head anointed with oil and sitting at a banqueting table.  But the road to such a place is through the “valley of the shadow of death”.

Claiming Scripture

God assures us that “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Romans 8:28) and we are to believe that God “is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:6).  We also know that nothing can separate us from the love of God (Romans 8:38,39).

So we are to have high expectations of God.

Yet Revelation 4:11 tells us we are not on the planet for our own pleasure but for God’s pleasure.  Jesus told us to “seek first the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 6:33).

We are to live in high expectation of God, while at the same time trusting God when things appear to go wrong, and allowing God to take us on His road, not the road of our choosing.

Let Go

As we mature in life we have each learned to let go of things.  As we do, we experience increased freedom.  So why not accelerate your personal growth right now by taking stock of your expectations and letting go of them?

Let go of your expectations of your spouse.  You probably expect them to please you and fulfil you.  Well, let go.  Give up such expectations.  If you get such things treat it as a blessing, not as a right you can demand.  Choose to love and serve God, no matter what your spouse is or does.

Let go of your expectations toward your children or parents.  Much of what you want them to be or do is probably linked to your personal values and wishes.  Thank God for your family.  Trust your children to God.  Do what God asks of you as a child and as a parent, and leave the rest to Him.

Let go of your expectations of life.  It has been said that ‘happiness is a means of travel, not a destination’.  Enjoy the life God has given you and do all you do to the glory of God.  Rejoice, whether you abound or are in lack.

Ask God to show you your expectations and as you discover them from time to time, probably by feeling upset by someone not meeting your expectations, ask God to forgive you for holding such expectations and for judging others, and then give up that expectation altogether.

I believe there is great freedom for us all to enjoy as we do.

Rejection 27 – God Loves the Real You

An amazing aspect of God’s love is that He loves us just as we are. The Bible tells us that “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son”. That love is not a poetic notion. It is not just a happy thought. It is the tangible power of God’s compassion released into human lives.

And God’s love for the world is not based on how lovely and endearing the world is to God. God loves people despite the fact that they are covered in sin and shame.

So this lesson takes you into a deeper appreciation of that great love which God has toward you.

“But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ, (by grace you are saved;)” Ephesians 2:4,5

Just as I Am

An important step in my revelation of God’s love was to realise that God loves me even though He knows all my sins, weaknesses, vulnerabilities, fears, shame, ignorance, foolishness and so on.

God loves me just the way I really am. He is not fooled by my empty promises. He is not bribed by my negotiations. He is 100% aware of all of my terrible failings. Yet God loves me anyway! Wow!!!

I don’t have to wait until I am good enough for God, for I never will be. I don’t have to make amends for my past before I can come to God. I will never be able to do that.

The only thing I can do is drag the carcase of my stinking self into His presence, with all of my failure and shame naked to His all-seeing gaze. I can make no appeal. I can make no bargain. I am undone. I am spent. I am incapable of impressing Him for a moment.

Yet, as I come to Him, just as I really am, He pours His love on me! That is just SO amazing! And it is SO liberating!

God Loves the Real You

I was so blessed to realise that God actually loved the “real” me. God was not impressed by the image I had created and maintained. He was not attracted to my reputation or the impressions other people had of me. God loved the real, miserable, fearful and insecure me that was hidden behind my mask of popularity and success.

The image I use of this shows God’s love directed down upon the real, hidden person, behind the inflated image that other people see.

Reject 27 - The Real You

God’s love is directed to the “real” you. That miserable, fearful person is the object of God’s love. That is the Real You and that is the “you” that God loves and sent Jesus to die for. God wants the Real You to receive His love and salvation. He wants the Real You to be released into all that He has prepared for you.

Act of the Will

In my journey through all of this I discovered that love is an “act of the will”. That is why God can command us to love Him and to love our neighbour.

“And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength: this is the first commandment. And the second is similar, namely this, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. There is none other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30,31

The revelation that love is an act of the will brought to me a new sense of confidence in God’s love for me and you.

Do you know why God loves you? God loves you because He chooses to love you! It’s an act of God’s will. And so there are no strings attached. God’s love is unconditional. God loves you as an act of His will and He will never change His mind!

Unconditional Love

Because God’s love for you is a matter of His choice to love you, then it is unconditional. It is not based on your age, or your potential. It is not based on your good looks, career path, willingness to serve God, or anything else you can do.

Unconditional love is something you can’t break. If God loved you because you pleased Him, then as soon as you stopped pleasing Him He could stop loving you. But, because there are no conditions, there is nothing you can do to make God stop loving you.

That’s why God describes His love as an “everlasting love”.

“The LORD appeared to me of old, saying, Yea, I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore with loving-kindness have I drawn you.” Jeremiah 31:3

God Loves YOU

Let me explain it straight for you. God loves you, just the way you REALLY are, failures and all. And God loves you, just he way your really are, because He has chosen to love you. There is nothing you can do that will stop God from loving you. You cannot even FAIL your way out of God’s love!

If you were to become the greatest enemy of God and lead thousands away from faith in God, God will still not stop loving you. If you were to step out for God and then make such as mess of things that God is mocked because of your failure, God will still not stop loving you.

Let me say it again, You cannot even FAIL your way out of God’s love!

Perfect Love Sets You Free

That kind of perfect love casts out fear. It sets people free. And it set me free from my fear, insecurity, shame, inferiority and rejection. I did not have to prove a thing. The opinions and criticisms from people counted for nothing against such overwhelming love.

That’s the love you need to receive. You need to be drenched in that love and soak in it for days. You need it to permeate your mind, emotions, personality, will, spirit, soul and body. Don’t just give God’s love a kindly assent, but press in for it, cry out for it, and make sure you experience it. It truly will set you free!

Let Me Pray For You

I want to pray again that God reveal His love to you.

“Lord, I ask You to reveal Your overwhelming love into the hearts of each person reading this. Let the love of God be shed abroad in each heart, by the Holy Spirit, so that every one of them is set free and transformed to be the people You created them to be. So reveal Your love that it dislodges all the wrong thoughts in their head and heart. Heal them with You love. Impact them with Your love. Transform them with Your love. I ask this in Jesus’ lovely and precious name. Amen.”

Rejection 26 – Overwhelming Love

While the Steps to Release describe the issues I had to deal with in overcoming rejection, insecurity, inferiority and the like in my life, it was God’s Love that actually empowered the whole process.

My inner pain, ill-defined as it was, left me feeling afraid of letting anyone into the areas of my need. I had created an external image of happiness and success, and I desperately wanted that image to be my truth. God’s invasion of my inner life seriously challenged my internal comfort zone.

Grace and Truth

Some people think that to live in happy delusion is better than living in an unhappy reality. I challenge that. No-one can truly live if they are living a lie. The people locked in mental institutions, completely deluded about who and what they are, are not better for their foolish notions. We are far better to face reality and find God’s power to be real in our true circumstances, than to live enslaved to delusion and brokenness.

While God’s Love is powerful and was the awesome antidote to my inner pain, it came with a solid dose of “reality check”. And that’s Biblical. The Bible tells us that both “grace and truth came by Jesus Christ”.

“And the Word was made flesh (Jesus), and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:14

“For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” John 1:17

Grace is the special favour of God, His love, His mercy and His blessings into our lives. Truth speaks of reality and facing up to the whole picture, for what it is. Both these things came at the same time, in the same person, Jesus Christ.

In the same way, God brought both His truth and His love to my heart at the same time.

Supreme Love

God loves me just the way I am. His love is supreme. His love is unsurpassable. God’s love is overwhelming.

God’s love is SO wonderful and SO powerful that it totally outweighs all the love that every other person could give. If the whole world hated you and God loved you, you could experience total joy, complete fulfilment, overwhelming satisfaction and abundant delight in being alive. That’s how supremely powerful and wonderful God’s love is

Love Revealed

God’s amazing love was revealed to me through many preachers who taught on the subject over several years. Messages about the Father heart of God, the Biblical definitions of love, the example of the Prodigal Son’s father, and the many Bible verses that talk about God’s love opened my heart and mind to realise that God truly does love me.

I had been raised in good evangelical churches and heard the gospel message of faith in Jesus Christ a thousand times. The cumulative effect of that, however, did not leave me with a sense of God’s overwhelming love. It took some time before that new truth could settle in my heart.

Slowly I came to trust what the Bible said. Slowly I came to believe that God was not some angry potentate ready to judge all who fail His standards.

jesus hugsYes Jesus Loves Me

Somehow in my Christian journey I came to think of God’s love as the nice message to tell the children. It was fine for the children to sing “Yes, Jesus Loves Me”. But I thought that as we become mature in our understanding we are to move away from the childish notion of God’s love, and realise our responsibilities.

I carried a weight of obligation, linked to judgements upon those who “looked back”, were “unfruitful” and so on. In the development of those ideas I lost complete sight of God’s love for me.

Yet such passages as Romans 8 spoke clearly about the impossibility of being separated from God’s love. And the love of Christ was spoken of in many places too.

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will it be tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” Romans 8:35

“For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38,39

“And to know the love of Christ, which passes knowledge, that you might be filled with all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:19

I came to realise that Jesus does love me. God loves me.

Jesus Loves You!

You need a revelation of God’s love. That comes through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, illuminating the Bible. It is the Holy Spirit who pours God’s love through your wounded heart.

“And hope does not make us ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us.” Romans 5:5

A prayer I often pray for those needed healing from rejection and inner pain is that God’s Holy Spirit will release the Love of God through their heart, like ocean waves of God’s love sweeping over them. I want to pray that prayer for you. Then, in the next lesson I will take you even deeper into consideration of God’s Love.

Prayer for You

“Lord God, I pray for each person reading this, that You would pour Your love upon them. Let Your love be shed abroad in their heart, by the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Give them a revelation of Your great love for them. Let it flow over them like ocean waves of Your compassion, care, grace and blessing into their innermost being. And Lord, deliver them from rejection, shame, fear, insecurity and all inner pain. Let them enter into the joy of living in the glorious liberty of the children of God. I ask this for them, in Jesus’ precious name. Amen.”

Rejection 24 – Finding Freedom

Now we come to the most exciting part of this series – that of Finding Freedom. Jesus sets us free. God gives us “liberty”. God heals our broken hearts. So, how do we experience those things?

“If the Son (Jesus) makes you free, you will be free indeed (truly free).” John 8:36

“Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers: the snare is broken, and we are escaped.” Psalm 124:7

He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

My Journey to Freedom

Reject 24 Finding Freedom

In my late teenage years I was touched by the Charismatic Revival. It was a season of spiritual refreshing and release of the reality of the Holy Spirit. Many people who had been Christians for years, such as I had been, became activated in a new way.

As I encountered that process I found that God seemed to impress me with various thoughts in various ways. I particularly found God making me feel uncomfortable about the fake life I had built around me. I was hiding my pain behind a mask of confidence. Behind that mask I felt insecure and vulnerable.

My response to those impressions was to reject them. They made me feel uncomfortable, even though I sensed it was God who was speaking to me. My heart response was, “Go and pick on someone else! I’m doing much better than many. Go and pick on those who need more help than I do.”

I experienced this, and other challenging thoughts, over many months. My standard response was to resist the impressions and press on as best I could.

Admit Your Need

I realise now that the very first step toward freedom is to admit you have a need. As long as I resisted God’s challenge about my needs and my false life, I could not be healed and set free.

I have had people ask me to pray for their needy relatives. But when I ask if those people are open to God or would even admit their need I am told “No, they wouldn’t admit it.” I cannot help people unless they are willing to admit they have a need.

God pushed me to the point where I admitted I had a need, but I still would not let God deal with me. I was afraid of the damage He might do if He messed with my inner pain. I had buried all that stuff and didn’t even really know where it came from. So I didn’t want it all stirred up.

Trust God

I could not move further forward until I came to a place of trust in God. I needed to be confident that God would only do me good and not leave me in a mess or in pain if He messed with my inner life.

That confidence to trust God was built up in me in two ways. First I heard a bunch of messages about the Love of God. As God’s love was explained to me and I saw what the Bible had to say about it, I found faith built up within me.

And that’s biblical. The Bible says that faith works by “love”. When we get a revelation of God’s love our ability to have faith in Him is increased.

“For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which works by love.” Galatians 5:6

The second thing that helped me trust God was truth from God’s Word, the Bible. I found several verses which spoke about God’s love and His trustworthiness. Those verses helped to undergird my struggling faith in God.

Bible Verses

Some of the verses which blessed me are listed here. Some of these verses had been put to music and I only learned them because they were sung regularly in church.

He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

“The LORD appeared to me of old, saying, Yea, I have loved you with an everlasting love: therefore I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3

“Call unto me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is on me; because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek; he has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3

The verse which gave me the greatest confidence to let God deal with the inner things of my heart was His promise not to damage the vulnerable.

“A bruised reed he will not break, and the smoking flax he will not quench: he will bring forth judgment unto truth.” Isaiah 42:3

Let God be God

I had to come to the place where I trusted God to be God. Up until then I trusted myself more than God. I knew that I would not let myself get hurt, if I could help it. But I was not sure about God.

How ridiculous! I put more trust in a hopeless and failing human than in the God of all eternity!

I also had to trust God to be the God of Love, since “God is love” (1John 4:8). I had to believe that God was telling the truth and that He had all the power to do it right, and all the love to only want what is best for me.

Once my faith had been bolstered by learning about the love of God and by seeing God’s precious promises in the Bible, I finally gave in and let God be God in my life.

Jumping in the Dark

I remembered hearing the story of a father who would stand his infant son on the table, turn out the lights and then tell the son to jump off. The boy had to trust his father’s good intentions, strength and promise, in order to happily jump off in the dark.

I had to take a similar leap of faith. I had to trust God to be God. I had to lose all control and trust God to know what He was doing and to be abundantly able to not only protect me, but to bless me, just as He said He would.

Taking such a leap of faith is hard when insecurity is an inherent problem in your life. Rejection leads to insecurity, so I made no hasty rush at this offer. But, praise God, I did finally get to the point where I would trust God.

Lord, Get Me Ready

Here is a prayer for those who feel much of what I have struggled with. This is for those who want to be free, but who are bound up by fears and insecurities.

“Lord God, teach me to trust You. I know in my head that You are God and that nothing is impossible for You. But in my heart I am fearful and insecure. I want to trust You from the depths of my being. I want to be free. Lord, get me ready to receive Your love and enter into the freedom which you have for me. I ask this in Jesus’ precious and powerful name. Amen.”

Rejection 22 – The User

Another type of person who can emerge from the experience of rejection is the “user”. This is a person who is very good at “looking after Number One”. They have set their life direction to the compass of taking advantage of anyone and any situation to suit their own ends.

Rejection is not the only reason a person takes on this lifestyle, but I am linking it to this study of rejection because I have met people whose response to rejection is to become a user of others.

Dead on the Inside

A user is someone who has put aside natural affection and expectations of happy relationships with others. Instead of enjoying normal friendships and bonds of affection, they devalue such things in place of personal advantage.

Rather than warmth and affection, trust, respect, mutual cooperation and other positive social concepts, the user, prefers simple opportunism.

Reject 22 User

To be able to do this they have become “dead” on the inside. Things that they should be alive to, such as warm affection with family and friends, mean next to nothing to them.

Rejection sufferers can easily enter this lifestyle, since their own experience of rejection and pain has hardened or deadened them to expectations of loving friendships and positive relationships.

Bright and Bubbly

A “user” can present as a very friendly, bubbly and bright person to have around. They can become good at “selling” their apparent friendship to others. However, they do not enter into true relationships of trust and mutual respect, but simply into relationships of convenience.

Life is evaluated by a user in terms of “What’s in it for me?” They don’t know how to be selfless, sacrificial, caring or thoughtful toward others, except to win their favour and openness.

Most people have self-interest as a high value in their lives, avoiding what they don’t like and attracted to what they think will be good for them. Western culture, with its diminishing stock of Judeo-Christian values in the hearts and minds of the populace, is becoming increasingly self-serving.

You Owe Me

Part of the user value system, for a rejected person, can be the feeling that society owes them a debt. They have been robbed, cheated and denied the affection they long for, so they see that as justification for taking advantage of others.

Their morality is based on a “Me” perspective. If something is good for them, then it is a good thing to do. Using people is good for them, so it is morally acceptable. Being able to further justify their attitudes and actions by feeling that others “owe” them something makes their lifestyle all the more legitimate in their thinking.

My Mission is Me

One young mum who had this problem explained that she took up a user, “Me” focused lifestyle when she was very young. After her parents separated she became a pawn in the parents’ tensions with each other and she realised that neither her mum nor her dad was committed to loving her and looking after her. So she decided, “I will look after myself!”

That decision, practical and simple as it may seem, became a curse in her life. As an adult she made friends easily with her bright personality. But the friendships became strained as others realised that she was always taking advantage of people.

A ‘user’ sees that their mission in life is to look after their own interests. Everything else comes second to that.

Give and Take

Normal relationships involve plenty of give and take. But they also involve commitment and self-sacrifice. When we care about others we will let our own comfort and priorities be displaced in our efforts to bless those others.

But for the user, life becomes much more of a balance sheet. And they must come out in front all the time. Any imposition must have a good payout, or they won’t suffer it.

Relationships are reduced to cold, calculated “cost/benefit” analysis. They will choose friends based on people’s ability to help them fulfil their personal ambitions. Once someone has past their usefulness the friendship can be easily tossed aside.

The user does not like give and take, preferring “take and more take”!

No Investment

The Bible warns us that we reap what we sow. If we are a giving person, we will receive much in return. If we are a user, we have no investment from which to gain a return.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows is what he will also reap.” Galatians 6:7

Give, and it will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, will men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that you measure out it will be measured to you again.” Luke 6:38

Users set themselves up for an empty life. They are not sowing genuine friendship. They are not sowing love. They are not giving of themselves. So there will be no harvest of the very things their heart most craves. They will receive no affection in return for their investment of care and love into others.

Self as God

When a person sets their own “self” us as god in their life, they think they can invest their skills in making themself happy. But they limit their potential happiness to only that which they can give to themself.

Having self as “god” is a most miserable place. I have desperately needed the super-abundance, awesome love and grace of God. I would be most miserable if I had set my horizon to the scope of what I could give myself.

The user, having their own “self” as the principal idol in their life, ends up empty at every turn. They have no investment from which to reap a harvest, and the best they will ever know in life is what their miserable self can give to their miserable self. How pitiful!

The God Connection

Our only hope as humans is in God. God’s love and blessing far surpass everything your family, culture, friends and nation can give you. You can lose all of them and be richer than them all.

You need a powerful connection with God. The eternal, Almighty God, creator of the universe and all that it contains, is the most important ally you can ever know.

Stop being a user. Give in and fall at God’s feet. Humble yourself and repent. Let God be GOD in your life. Let Him heal and direct you. You will be so much richer in every way when you do.