I am going to start a weekly post on Sundays called “Sunday’s Soliloquy”. This will be an avenue for me to write my feelings about what I have heard and experienced at church each week. I have come to the conclusion throughout my many years as a college student that I actually listen more actively and retain more if I take notes during the lecture, so I have now started to take notes during church…and some doodles, What? I get bored too… So welcome to the first installment in the new weekly posting of “Sunday’s Soliloquy”.
January 4, 2015
This morning it felt great to be at church, I was thankful that we made it safely as the roads were spotty with ice and it was 9 degrees outside, so the warmth of the spirit and the warmth of the building’s furnace was comforting. Besides being very cold this morning I was also suffering from another chronic condition…starvation! So here are my thoughts that have may been jaded by hunger, but that I found to be very interesting and thought provoking.
“What do you expect to receive from God?” Seriously? He asked us that question and my answer right away was “Nothing”. Apparently that was the wrong answer. I have always been taught not to expect gifts from people; yet at my birthday parties I was always sad to see someone come without one, but that was rude to expect a gift. So why are we to expect gifts from our Heavenly Father? While I am still a bit blurry I have an idea, here it goes. Having faith is believing in something that you cant see or touch, it is a belief that something is real yet can still come to pass, so therefore wouldn’t having faith also be an “expectation”? I think so. In that light I expect many things from God, I expect health, love, and forgiveness; however I also expect miracles. When I pray for a miracle and it doesn’t happen does that mean that he didn’t listen or didn’t give me what I wanted? No it means that he will give me what I need when I need it and right then may have been the wrong time. I also expect my Heavenly Father to help me and guide me, but with this He has expectations of us too.
The pastor today posed the question “how many times have we dismissed a prompting to do something and have been disobedient?” His follow up comment hit me hard, “how many blessings have we missed out by doing so?” Wow. How many times have you been doing something that you shouldn’t be doing or thinking about doing and heard the still small voice say “don’t do that” and we just ignore it? That is God telling us that we are better than that, yet we ignore Him. Imagine how our lives would be different if we actually heeded each of those promptings. Are we living up to his expectations so that our expectations of Him come to fruition?
When you do something of lesser intelligence in front of my grandma she sarcastically fires off “bless your heart”. It is really funny when it happens and it has become a family joke, but today the pastor brought this statement into the light. He asked the congregation what it truly means when we haphazardly throw around the words “bless you” or “bless your heart”; what are we really saying? Blessings aren’t something to mess around with. The pastor directed us to Genesis chapter 27 and read the story of Jacob stealing his fathers blessing from Esau by tricking his father and how the blessing was important enough to Esau that he vowed to kill his brother…
From that time on, Esau hated Jacob because their father had given Jacob the blessing.
And Esau began to scheme: “I will soon be mourning my father’s death.
Then I will kill my brother, Jacob.”
This story that was shared in relation to our lighthearted use of “bless your heart” made me wonder why we do so when blessings are truly that important. In every prayer that I say I thank God for my “many blessings of which I am not worthy”, and now I know why. My Father in Heaven has given me his blessing. I don’t know about you but my Earthly dad’s blessing is what I strive to receive, but my Dad in Heaven, a man much greater than any earthly person has already given me his blessing. I need to strive to live up to His expectations, because after all I have expectations of Him, and it’s only fair. Today’s sermon was closed with one last series of questions, and I will pass them on to you and ask you the same things, what are your expectations of Christ? What do you expect to receive from Him? Will you miss your blessings because your expectations are misguided? Or will you expect and allow God to guide to your life by listening to the still small voice?
“Open your heart and eyes to the expectation that God is working for us.”
(Pastor G. M. 1-4-15)
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