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Sundown Devotional: Beyond Human Expectations

MsDora, a former teacher and Christian counselor, presents practical Scriptural principles for joyful everyday living.

Beyond our imagination (Photo Credit: Ana Fernandes)

Beyond our imagination (Photo Credit: Ana Fernandes)

The Devotional

He was too short . . . So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree. . . When Jesus came by, he looked up at Zacchaeus. . . “Zacchaeus!” he said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.” (Luke 19: 3-5 NLT).

He was responsible not for his shortness, but for allowing it to influence his expectation. If he could just get a view of Jesus without any obstruction, he thought, that would be a great achievement. So, he set his goal and pursued it.

His short legs began to run, and on reaching the sycamore tree, they climbed. His efforts paid off when he saw Jesus from the treetop. He looked at the Master Teacher as if he (Zacchaeus) were a commoner looking at a celebrity in a parade. Such short-term satisfaction compared to the long-term benefit that Jesus intended!

Imagine Zacchaeus’ excitement when Jesus saw him, called his name, and invited Himself to the short man’s house! No mention of physical limitation during their fellowship; instead Zacchaeus gained height in morality and spirituality (Verse 8). The haters were furious, because what happened was beyond their expectation also.

This may be a good time to evaluate our personal goals. If they are based solely on what we believe that history and heredity have predicted for us, or on the opinions that other people express, we may be selling ourselves short.

It is never too late to embrace the possibility of divine intervention in our affairs, remembering that God is able “do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20 NIV). Our human expectations may be limited by what we think can happen. God’s expectations are sourced by His ability to make things happen. Let’s accept His offer to have Him dwell in us.

Prayer: Dear God, please forgive us for the self-imposed limits that have delayed our optimum success. We raise our expectations now as we invite your input into all areas of our lives. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Photo Credit: Dreamer

Photo Credit: Dreamer

For Reflection

  • What and how much had I lost by trying to do only what was expected of me instead of what I myself had wished to do?” ― Ralph Ellison
  • You can not entertain weak, harmful, negative thoughts ten hours a day and expect to bring about beautiful, strong and harmonious conditions by ten minutes of strong, positive, creative thought. ― Charles F. Haane
  • There are no limits when you are surrounded by people who believe in you, or by people whose expectations are not set by the short-sighted attitudes of society. ― Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • We need to have far less confidence in what man can do and far more confidence in what God can do . . . He longs to have you expect great things from Him. . . He can sharpen the intellect. He can give tact and skill. ― Ellen G. White
  • However many blessings we expect from God, His infinite liberality will always exceed all our wishes and our thoughts. ― John Calvin
Photo Credit: Joolz. Text added.

Photo Credit: Joolz. Text added.

For Application

  • Promise Yourself . . . To think only the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best. ― Christian D. Larson
  • Don't let the expectations and ideas of others limit who you are. If you let others tell you who you are, you are living their reality — not yours. There is more to life than pleasing people. ― Roy T. Bennett
  • Don't see the worst in a person and expect them to see the best in you. Don't judge people and expect them to stand by your side. Don't play with fire and expect to stay perfectly safe. Life is about giving and taking. ― Najwa Zebian
  • To succeed in life and achieve results, you must understand and master three mighty forces— desire, belief, and expectation. ― A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
  • You were born to win, but to be a winner you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win. ― Zig Ziglar

Expectation Poll

More Sundown Devotionals

  • Sundown Devotional: Discipline We Can Love
    God's discipline demonstrates His love, His concern and His mercy. It's His way of telling us that He can reach us wherever we are to teach us what we need to learn. It's His offer of a second chance.
  • Sundown Devotional: What Makes a Good Choice?
    It is not a good choice if it is motivated by fear, pet peeves, hidden agendas or the intention to hurt someone. So what makes it a good choice? Does God make any offer to help us with our choices?

© 2019 Dora Weithers

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