Have you ever felt there’s a huge gap between your performance and the expectations others have for you? At home, that huge gap can cause some tension and domestic discussions. At work, when your performance doesn’t measure up to expectations, the furrowed brow of your employer emerges. Gently, at first, you may be told: “Shape up or ship out.” But after the second or third visit to your manager’s office, things become very serious. In fact, that’s when you need to start getting serious about finding another job.

Often, parents and employers fail in not making their expectations clear and specific. It is assumed you know but then a major problem erupts when you cross a boundary they had established but failed to communicate to you. That’s awkward and miserable.

The children of Israel had no excuse. Moses communicated God’s expectations for His people in crystal clear words.

“And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the LORD and His statutes for your good? Deuteronomy 10:12-13

The expectations for God’s people are no different today. The Lord expects the same thing from me today, tomorrow and for the rest of my Christian journey until the curtain falls. “Follow Me,” was a command Jesus repeated numerous times during His three years of public ministry. What do you think He meant? Was it something merely physical and geographical that could be tracked and measured by GPS technology each day? Or did He have something much deeper in mind?

The Lord Jesus said He always did the things that pleased his Father. (John 8:29) The Perfect example. But that’s what God expects of me each day as well. It’s all about pleasing the Lord – not pleasing myself. That’s the Christian’s goal – to please Him in every single thing we do.

Titus was to teach the converted slaves of his day that they were to conduct themselves, in every possible way, to ensure they were showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour.”  Titus 2:10 ESV

The litmus test for every choice we make and everything we do is: does it qualify for God’s approval and blessing upon it and pleasure over it?  Again, Paul wrote: “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as for the Lord.” Colossians 3:23.

Christ is to have first place in everything in our individual lives – pre-eminence in our lives and in the church and in creation. (Colossians 1:18)

God’s expectations for my life are clear. Are they clear for your life as well? The idea you are flirting with, the decision you are thinking about making, the choice you are weighing-up, or the life you are living – is it in sync with God’s expectations for you?

Walk carefully and closely with the Lord today.

Warmly in Christ
Peter Ramsay

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