Somewhere along the line, I started living my life based on fulfilling what I believed others’ expectations were of me. Which left me feeling bound and frustrated. I think I’m not alone in this. It’s so easy to become bound the expectations we assume others have placed on us, as well as those we place on ourselves. And in ministry? The motives and intentions behind it are right and well-meaning. Fulfilling expectations for the good of the people, the Church, and the ministry isn’t wrong. But the turmoil it caused me on the inside…. was.
I had allowed these expectations to become something they were not meant to be. I let them rule my life and steal my peace.
As I peeled away the layers, I found that my core fear was an inability to meet those expectations. I had to achieve, accomplish, and perform. Or it is deemed a failure or disappointment to those I serve in my family, life, and the ministry.
So, without even realizing it, I took matters into my own hands. The result? Internal turmoil and stress because everything depended on me. Which is backward and guaranteed to fail.
Have you ever felt like that? Bound in a prison of expectations and unable to find a way out, so you keep fighting and surviving the best you know how? Forgetting we have the ultimate Rescuer by our side every moment of every day?
For the past several years, I have had a large sign displayed in my house with Psalm 62:4-5 painted in beautiful calligraphy. Sadly, I’ve almost forgotten that it’s there… I can’t remember the last time I stopped to read it until recently. Lately, the Lord has been convicting me… prompting me… drawing me to slow down and take even more time to be quiet, still, and to listen.
One evening, when all was quiet, and my mind finally stopped spinning, He drew me to Psalm 62:5, but a version I hadn’t paid attention to in the past. Psalm 62:5 in the King James Version says, “My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him.”
That one little letter changed everything. The difference between human expectations and Godly expectation is more significant than it seems. There I was, bound by the expectations of man when God’s desire is for me to live in His expectation. What does expectation actually mean? It is an attitude of expectancy, hope, or anticipation. Something looked forward to.
This new beautiful filter is now a guide for my days. My thoughts and questions have shifted from “what do I need to accomplish today? What does everyone need from me?” to “God place Your expectation and hope for this day in my heart. What do You want me to anticipate today?” And my next step is to really listen because His answer isn’t always what I think it should be, but it is what I truly need. I just have to be still for long enough to truly hear what He is saying.
And as I wait, it daily realigns my heart and refreshes my soul.
So, for those of you out there who need realignment, encouragement, and refreshing, this is for you. I pray that your soul will wait silently for God alone, and your expectation comes from Him. Because He only is your rock and your salvation. He is your defense; you shall not be moved. (See Psalm 62:5-6 KJV).
Do we still have expectations to meet? Of course. And for those in ministry leadership, I’m in it with you. So, from one who truly empathizes and understands… I encourage you, do not let expectations bind your heart and steal your peace. Let this Psalm be your new filter. Through it, everything will look different. Together, let’s start our days with this prayer – “God, what is Your expectation for this day? Place Your expectation and hope for this day in my heart, and may I lead with that.”
It will change everything.