One day in my morning time with the Lord He said to me, “Michael, raise your expectations!” This caused me to bring to question, “What WAS I expecting and what were my expectations based upon?”
Expectation comes from the word expect, which according to the dictionary means, “to look forward to; regard as likely to happen; anticipate the occurrence or the coming of. Therefore, simply put, to have expectation is to look forward to what is likely to happen.
Expectations can be scary things. After all, what if I set them too high and fail? And on what should I base my expectations? Like most people, I based my expectations on what I could do or more accurately, think I that I could do. That morning I believe the Lord wanted to change my paradigm. Instead of thinking in terms of what I can do, He was encouraging me to start thinking in terms of what WE could do TOGETHER. After all, the Bible says that, “All things are possible with God” (Matthew 19:26; Mark 10:27).
God has already proven to me on several occasions that what I deemed impossible was possible with Him. Why don’t I live that way all the time? When I asked that question the answer came loud and clear, “You are living a mixed life.” What does that mean?
James 1:8 says, “An indecisive man is unstable in all his ways.” Another version says, “A double-minded man…” How does one become indecisive or double-minded and thus end up with low or nominal expectations? To answer that question, we will need to consider how one can raise or have high expectations:
Acquiring knowledge tends to raise expectations. When we read books, and hear stories about others who have done amazing things, we tend to get encouraged. The more we learn about success, successful people, and how they overcame great odds we begin to see ourselves in their shoes and our expectations go up.
I hated reading and that was holding me back! Books can take you places your never dreamed possible. Books fuel the fire of expectation and raise the level of what one deems possible. Books can change our beliefs and put into motion the opportunity to do the impossible!
Setting goals and writing them down automatically raises expectations. The income we make, the home in which we live, the cars we drive are results of goals, or lack thereof. The mind is like a heat-seeking missile when it comes to goals. Once we set goals our mind goes to work to find ways to make them happen, or in other words, hit the targets we set.
Chances are the people you “hang” with are holding you back. They are probably like you and you will stay where you are if you keep associating with them. Find people that possess what you want and associate with them. For me, I needed to find people who believed in healing, abundant living, and strived to succeed. When my associations changed, so did my expectations…and results.
Hope is an amazing thing. Hope gives faith something to feed upon. When we have a lot of hopes and dreams we are driven to go after them. Hope gets us out of our comfort zone and causes us to take actions we normally wouldn’t. Where there is hope, faith is not far away and when these two partner…expectations rise and our hopes become realities.
So, what’s the problem?
Why don’t we live with high expectations all the time? Why are we up and down? It’s because we feed off junk a good part of our day. We mix good with bad, positive with negative, and end up sabotaging our own success, leaving us with nominal or low expectations.
In the morning, you may read your Bible, a great book, or listen to an inspiring CD. Then you hop in the car and listen to talk shows and news. At the office, you hear all the gossip and how the world is getting worse and “going to hell in a handbasket.” Your morning reading raised your expectations, but the other activities you participated in during the day lowered them. After all, if the world is coming to an end, why bother to raise our expectation. And we wonder why we go nowhere? This mixture is killing our expectations!
Why are expectations so important? It’s because expectations are magnets to the outcomes in our lives. What we expect is what we get. This is a law, and ignorance of this law is keeping us from advancing in life. Instead of advancing we end up getting flushed down the toilet of life with everyone else.
I am 62 years old and this is what most people my age expect:
- More pain
- More aches
- More medication
- More visits to the doctor
- To fall apart
- To suffer memory loss
- Have less money to live on
- Planning for assisted living or rest homes
- Impending death
These are just a few of the things I see and hear. When you expect this kind of stuff to happen, it will! Thank God, I know better and do not expect my life to get worse! I expect what God promises: the ENJOYMENT of a long and prosperous life!
Why do people in low-income neighborhoods end up there for generations? They expect to! Why can’t most middle income people ever become wealthy? Why do broke people always stay broke? Why are certain people always sick? It’s what they expect!
Expectations are like a thermostat. When I set my home thermostat at 68° the furnace will kick on and keep running until the temperature in my home reaches 68 degrees. The same happens in my car. If I set my cruise control at 70 MPH, the car will stay at a steady 70 MPH without me consciously doing anything. The question is? What is your “thermostat” or cruise control set at? Wherever your expectation is set, that is where you will end up. You will NEVER go beyond your expectation.
When the Lord asked me about my expectations, that was a wakeup call. God doesn’t want me or YOU to end up in a common, mediocre situation. He doesn’t want to see us go down, He wants us to rise-up and accomplish great and awesome things. He wants us to live with high expectations. He wants us to trust Him and partner with Him to do the impossible.
I don’t care how old or young you are, and guess what, neither does God! You and I need to do the necessary things to raise our expectations as outlined earlier in this article. And we need to stop the mixture. The media and most of the talk shows spew nothing but bad news. We need to surround ourselves with things and people that feed our expectations; and as we do, we will experience a life beyond awesome and amazing. Let’s raise our thermostats and turn off the cruise control. Let’s step on the gas and partner with God to do the impossible. Yes, expect to be able to do what you could never do before…and you will!
Remember this law, the Law of Expectation says, “You will get what you expect.”