Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Spirit of Expectancy

One of my favorite all time games is hide and seek.  My kids are getting a little bit older so they understand the concept…kind of.

Isaac (1 ½ ) is a little beyond peek-a-boo, but not much.  He basically gets the seeking part, but the hiding is still not, shall we say, developed.

Arianna (3 ½ ) gets the idea of hiding…kind of.  She knows she is supposed to hide, but like to try to surprise the seeker.  She really gets the idea of seeking.

It is funny to me to watch them “seeking”.  The anticipation mounts as they keep looking, peek around the corner, excited…and sometimes nothing is there, but they understand the hunt is still on.  When they do find the “Hide-er” the excitement that is displayed is contagious.  They laugh, squeal with joy, run around in circles, and/or fall to the ground giggling. 

I love it.

I love them.

They teach me so much.

I love watching them peeking around the corner.  Expectations are high.  What’s going to happen?  Are they there?  It is all so exciting.

Playing hide and seek reminded me of a story that happened about the time of the beginning of the church.  There was a beggar and he sat at this gate to the city begging.  He sat one day, begging as he always did, when a couple of guys that had a large part in the birth of the church (Peter and John) were walking by.  The man may have had his hand stretched out.  He may have asked if they had some spare change.  I don’t know exactly, all we know is that he somehow asked for money.  

From what we read of the story, the man it doesn’t seem as though the man made any eye contact.  Maybe it was due to the shame in his situation.  He may have felt guilty asking for money.  

 Guilt is a funny thing.

 Here he was, unable to work and relying on others to give him their hard earned money.  It is important to note that the beggar had expectancy, but in that expectancy did not have an attitude of entitlement.

Peter told the man to look at him.  In the midst of that poor beggar’s hopelessness, he raised his head and met the eyes of a man who had seen the life, miracles, death, burial, resurrection and so much more of God in the flesh. 

Think about it.  Can you imagine all that Peter saw?

When the poor man’s eyes met Peter’s, all he could think to expect was the bit of money that he was used to getting.  That was the all his mind could think to expect. 

That was it.

Then Peter told him he didn’t have any money.


“I don’t have any money, but what I do have…I give you.”

The man’s mind might have raced… “A sandwich?  Water?  What do you have?”

I love this part.

“In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”

Then Peter didn’t just leave him there…

“ Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong.  He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and (because walking wasn’t enough) jumping, and praising God.”

He expected so little.  However, there was a much bigger plan.

No, I am not talking prosperity or entitlement.   I do, however, want to ask…what are we expecting God to do?

Do we expect to be transformed, or are we hoping not to be too bored?

I don’t mean to sound too rash here, but look at what this must have meant to this man’s life.  His life was absolutely transformed (Physically and as we read on spiritually).  Do we expect transformation? 

I believe this story displays beautifully what we are called to do…

…to be free people leading others to freedom.

Peter, a man set free by the work of Christ and the power of His Spirit, didn’t have gold or silver…but what he did have, he gave away.

This led to a transformed life, and not just of this lame man but also for all those who were watching…

When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

Freedom, true freedom, is contagious.

So, this poses the question, what are we expecting God to do today?  What are you facing?  Are you on the mountaintop, or in the valley?  He is there and He is ready to set you free.  The process may be instantly or it may take time.  In the midst of the long journey, He can give you daily doses of freedom to rejoice in the process.  Have a great expectation that a great God will meet you in your needs in a way that will bring great freedom for you, for His glory.