Adapted from an article by
I have meet people who are spiritually exhausted because
they are impatiently waiting for the Lord to fulfill a word
that they received.
While pastoring, I became very discouraged because the Lord
did not move. Then when He did, I could not enjoy what He
was doing, because I was expecting Him to do something different.
Sometimes when the Lord worked, it did not feel like I thought
a move of the Spirit should feel, and I missed what the Lord
was attempting to accomplish. Or, when the Lord spoke, I locked
myself into an imagination of how the word would come to pass,
and then the Lord did things differently than I thought.
Some within the Body of Christ are deeply discouraged, waiting
in vain for a visitation. Hope deferred has made their hearts
sick. At this present time, the Lord desires to refresh each
of us in our weariness, and restore our ability to hope. As
we respond in simple faith and trust, He will walk us into
the fulfillment of all that He has spoken.
In II Kings chapter 5, we find the story of a miracle that
was almost aborted due to false expectations. Naaman the leper,
was a successful and accomplished military leader in Aram.
His wife had a Hebrew servant who said that Naaman would be
healed if he would turn to the God of Israel.
Naaman told this to the King of Aram, who sent him to the
King of Israel to be healed, who told him to present himself
to Elisha. Naaman arrived at Elisha's door with a retinue
of horses and chariots. Elisha sent a servant to say, "Go,
wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will
be restored and you will be cleansed."
Naaman became very angry, as he thought the prophet would
personally come to him and heal him. He went away in a rage.
Have you ever felt Naaman's rage? We imagine how the Lord
is going to move, and then He does things quite differently.
If the Lord tells us to go here, we think we should go there.
If He tells us to do this, we would rather do that. If we
expect to be received with dignity, the Lord meets us in such
a way that we must humble ourselves in order to meet Him.
We know how Naaman's story ends. After he wore down, someone
reasoned with him. If the Lord had required him to do something
great, would he have done it? Naaman said yes. Then since
he was required to do a small thing, would it not be worth
while to give it a try? Again, Naaman said yes. He dipped
seven times in the Jordan, and came up healed.
Faith and expectancy work together. Naaman expected to be
healed. But if he had not overcome a false expectation about
how the Lord would heal him, he would have missed his miracle.
False expectations often involve a mental picture of how
we think the Lord will answer our prayer, or move. These must
be set aside, as we come to the Lord in simple faith, believing
what He has spoken. It is not wrong to have an idea as to
what we expect the Lord to do, but it is vital that we not
bind the Lord to our ideas.
There is a simple test that will help us to discern whether
we have false expectations. If our “expectancy”
is drawing us closer to the Lord, it probably was placed within
us by the Lord. But if our ideas as to how the Lord should
move are frustrating us, and leaving us with the feeling that
we will never be good enough, or ready, to meet the Lord,
we should set these thoughts aside and ask the Lord for a
true hunger and desire to meet Him.
• Naaman had to humble himself and act on a command
that did not make sense to him. He had to over-rule his preconceived
notions about spirituality in order to meet the Lord.
People who move in the Lord's power often do not feel powerful.
I once went to India for open air crusades. We prayed for
hundreds of people each night. There were so many people that
we could not take time to pray in detail for each one, as
we would have liked; instead, we had to lay our hands on them
as they passed by.
We did not feel anointed, and we did not see anything happen
as we prayed, and felt disappointed. Then the reports started
coming in: cancers healed, deaf mutes who could now hear and
speak, a baby healed of a terminal disease, and many other
healings and deliverances.
This is the nature of the Lord's power. Often we feel dull
and stupid while the Lord is using us. Only later do we learn
what had been accomplished. This is how Naaman felt, as he
dipped seven times in the Jordan.
Some of us have prayed for more of God, and instead, we seemingly
got into a mess. The Lord may not visit us on our terms, but
He will arrange things to produce within us the attitude that
will release Him to meet with us.
We must learn to look past our present circumstances, and
in faith and hope, wait for the Lord. He will meet us in His
time and way.
It is while we are walking by faith in each word that the
Lord speaks to us, that He will reveal the next portion of
His plan for our lives; word-by-word and step-by-step.
Is there uncertainty, confusion, or change in your life?
Is your future unclear? Does your life seem like it is spinning
out of control? If so, fear not and be of good cheer, for
His desire toward you is not “confusion,” but
rather, “peace,” which will come as we are obedient
to His word.