The Power of Expectation
I sat quietly sipping on a cup of tea reflecting on how quickly 2016 came and went. It's as if the new year popped up out of nowhere! If you're anything like me, you've spent some time reflecting on what went wrong last year, versus what went right. And you may even be feeling a bit apprehensive about setting new goals. I mean, how well were last years goals attained?
Feeling somewhat anxious I began to pray.
"Be anxious for nothing, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God
As I prayed, I realized my biggest concern was that I was entering the new year completely blinded. Should I set new goals or shouldn't I? Will this year be all that I expect it to be? How can I make it better than the last? I kinda did this dance, trying to rationalize everything that concerned me.
But I am reminded today of the importance of vision.
During a time of complete chaos, the book of Habakkuk notes, the people were completely out of control; they had no direction because there was no vision. But they were encouraged in the Lord. He said:
Write the vision and make it plain upon tablets, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry
A vision creates order out of chaos. It gives us direction so that we can focus.
Vision not only has the power to bring order and focus, but it subsides our fear- that which is causing us anxiety. When we really think about it, we're only fearful of the unknown. But if we know what to expect, then it will ease our concerns.
Vision creates expectation.
Now, how easy would it be for me to rhyme off a list of things I'd like to accomplish and see done in 2017? Simple right?
But what about God? Are we squeezing Him into our plans, or are we allowing Him to give us His plan?
Perhaps this is the problem right here. Could it be that we get so caught up in our birds eye view of life; listing off things we believe are of utmost importance, that we fail to submit our will to the One who has the full scope of our beginning and our end? God knows how 2017 will end and He also knows how it should begin.
Here are some simple steps to start your new year off right:
- Pray- Ask God to reveal His will and plan for you and your family for 2017. You may even want to take some time in the first month of the year to fast. Fasting combined with prayer is powerful and effective. It's a great way to jump start this year!
- Write it down- Inspired by the Holy Spirit, write down what the goals/plans are so that you can go back to review it as the year progresses.
- Focus- Go back and review the goals/plans periodically. Ensure your decisions specifically line up with your expectation.
- Speak the Word- Water your vision with the Word of God. Find scriptures that align with your expectation. Speak it over the vision continually, then watch it bear fruit.
- Believe- Have faith in God. If He said it, then He will do it. Faithful is He...(2 Thess 5:24)! Yes, there will be times when you become discouraged. But don't loose heart my friend. Though the vision may tarry, it has an appointed time to come to pass. Believe and it will happen!
Create a vision so that you're not blindsided by what may arise. Once your expectation has been set, rest knowing that 2017 will be a great year to remember!