Have you ever played a sport or competed in a competition where you just knew that you were going to beat your opponent? When we watch sporting events on television there are usually one or two people who stand out among the other players. They are the type of people who want the ball in the last seconds of the game. These type of people possess confidence in themselves. We pull for them to come through in the “clutch”.
There is something attractive about people who are confident. People who possess confidence can walk into a room full of strangers and strike up conversation with seemingly little effort. Likewise, people who lack confidence are less likely to strike up a conversation with a total stranger unless spoken to first. Picture your stereotypical middle school dance with all of the boys on one side of the room and all of the girls on the other side of the room. Only those who possess some level of confidence will end up dancing with the girl/boy they like because they first need to approach the other party and engage them. Confident people expect when they engage someone that they will receive a positive response. I believe that the level of our expectancy often determines the level of success we walk in.
What we believe about something has a profound impact on how we approach it. Somebody who believes that they are likable can make friendships much more easily than someone who believes that no one likes them. The reality may be completely different from their belief that no one likes them, but the belief drives the reality at times. If the expectancy of a person is that no one wants to give them the time of day, then the fruit of that belief in a lie will eventually come to pass. That person will end up having trouble making friends. Their expectancy sets the bar for their success.
So, why is it so easy to believe negative things about ourselves? In my experience I have seen people who are quicker to believe good things about others than about themselves. How about our belief in God? Do we have confidence that our prayers will be answered if we call upon Him? Yeah, we believe that He will heal a sickness for someone else, but what if we are the one who needs a healing? I ask these questions to challenge us to determine where our confidence lies. The fact remains that we have an enemy who has no problem lying to us if it will keep us from experiencing freedom. We also have a Father in Heaven who is good and wants to set us free. What we believe has a profound impact on how we approach life, and ungodly beliefs can stunt our expectancy levels.
Think about a child who is learning how to swim. If their parent is in the pool telling them that they will catch them when they jump into the pool, the child will only jump if they trust that they will actually be caught. If their expectation is that their parent is reliable and will keep them safe, they will go for it. If there is any lack of confidence that they will be caught there will be some hesitation to take that leap of faith. The child’s expectancy sets the bar for their success and growth!
I believe that the level of our expectancy can either propel us into greater experiences with God, or prohibit God from moving in our lives to the measure of which He desires. Our baseline is reflective of how we see God. By knowing His character we can conclude that it is His will to see people healed of sickness and disease (even ourselves). He does not desire for anyone to perish. Jesus had a man ask him once if he could heal his son who was sick. Jesus’ response was to question the man in return “Can I? Of course I can.” You see, the man’s expectancy was unsure of Jesus’ willingness. God is more than willing to intervene on our behalf and He is expecting us to walk in confidence of Him. If we were created in His image, then why are we not walking in the same expectancy that He has of Himself?
If we pray for someone who needs surgery and ONLY believe for the doctors to have favor when they are operating on the person, we are limiting God. God will work with that prayer and the doctors may have favor. However, we are less likely see God intervene and heal the person supernaturally if we are not expecting for that to happen. God is bigger and greater than any of our imaginations. Nothing is impossible for Him to accomplish. So why do we limit Him with small prayers, for small requests? I encourage you to start praying big prayers and believing for greater results when you approach God in prayer. I believe that if we begin to pray and ask God for grand things, He is capable of answering those prayers as easily as answering small prayers.
Can we begin to adjust the way we approach the King? We are to understand that the Kingdom is near us and we release it every time we petition Him on behalf of someone else. James wrote that if we ask for wisdom, we should expect that we will receive what we ask for. Otherwise, we are double minded if we say one thing and expect something else to happen. Far too many times people have put a governor on what God wants to do in our lives. We can’t out-dream, out-give, or out-love Him. His love for us is far better than anything the world can offer. Just like that athlete who wants the ball at the end of the game, we should be confident in God as we approach this life. Just like the child who is learning to swim, we enjoy a greater experience when we trust Father. It is always more fun in the pool than remaining on the edge and never taking the leap. The miraculous is within your reach if you walk in miraculous expectation.