When I put my expectations down, I created space for Jesus to fill.
"Then he said to them all: 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.' "
Can I share where I am a bit authentically? Like right now? And I don't have it all figured out? So for my OCD folks, you may not like hearing something with no conclusion. But even more so, I don't love sitting in it.
I'm putting my expectations down. What do I mean by that? My plans. What I think things should be. Relationships. Work. Ministry. Church. Small Group. School. The sermon preached. The timeline. The business.
That's not a light statement by any means. It isn't overnight. It's been a process.
What I've found is the stronger my stubbornness, the longer the process. Why? Because each of us has to be broken to even get to this space, and the more stubborn you are, the more breaking needs to happen.
But seriously, this is what I've found:
My ways, my control, my thoughts aren't enough.
Not only are they not enough, but they are weighty and stressful and anxiety-inducing.
So I can't win the way I want in my own effort, but I also cause anxiety.
That's not what I really want. That's not life-giving.
So I'm putting those expectations down.
Now here is what I've found so far: the things I've let control go in earlier, I'm already seeing fruit of allowing God's standard be the standard in that space.
In my marriage? I'm seeing God's mission for the family more clearly. I'm walking out my role and not pushing my agenda on my wife.
In my parenting? I'm calming down. I'm more focused on training them up in Jesus than in controlling them robotically to behave in public.
In my business? I'm willing to lay it down. I'll serve those who I'm called to serve, but I'm no longer building my own Tower of Babel.
In my ministry? I don't want the title. I want to lead dispositionally from what I have to offer and be a student in what I don't have to offer.
In my work? I faithfully serve and walk in gratitude for the provision.
Like I said, this is still in progress. It isn't over. Maybe me being a few steps ahead will encourage those who are behind me. Maybe those in the same place will see someone else walking in obedience of freedom in Jesus. Maybe those who went before me will pray for me because they know what this is, to lay down your own life and focus on what Jesus wants for each of us.
And for those who don't get it? Spend a few minutes listening to this song today.