Inspect. Expect. Attempt.
As we draw near to Thanksgiving and Christmas, believers need to continue to allow the Word of God to inform expectations for their lives and to motivate them to attempt to carry out God's will for them. If this is to take place, it is necessary to allow the Scriptures to define your life's expectations and the world around you. Poorly informed expectations of God, self, and the world leads to all kinds of heartache and despair. In a godly life, there is a relationship between inspecting the Word of God, expecting God to act according to his character and purpose and attempting to live within the boundaries of his expectations for us. We cannot disorder or malign this pattern of inspecting, expecting, and attempting without consequences.
Let me offer some practical examples of this outworking. We are in the midst of election season, and some have developed the conscious and unconscious expectation that the next President elected will act as a messiah that sets all social and moral wrongs right in our world. This notion expresses the thought that if only we get the right person in the office, ALL our issues will be solved in society. A more in-depth inspection of the Word of God tells us that temporary human governments and leaders, though necessary, are no replacement for God's eternal leadership through the great Shepherd, Jesus Christ. Suppose we expect that the right political candidate is the end-all solution. In that case, we will attempt to align all of our energies and focus on trying to get the right person in the right office, to the neglect of Jesus as King in our lives. Inspection of the Word informs a proper expectation that allows us to pursue politics in their rightful place in the kingdom of God. In a similar example, if we expect a church to be run like a secular western democratic government, we will attempt to wield our influence to shape it into that image. The Church of Jesus Christ is not to mimic the American way of governing and politicking; a distinction must be made. Church leaders and members must not campaign to promote self or pet-projects within the church as a politician peddling for votes, raising money, and vying for power. The church of Jesus Christ is governed by the redeemed congregation and guided by strong biblically qualified elders and deacons' leadership. An election is a part of this process, but it should not be a carbon copy of a secular government system. We must collectively and prayerfully seek the Lord as we vote together on church direction and leadership decisions. Our focus is not primary on pleasing the majority but what pleases God.
In the days ahead, Wayne Hills can continue to be a place where God's people properly relate to Him and other believers. These believers are correctly informed because they have inspected God's Word and have developed the right expectations for how God relates to them and how they are to relate to God and one another in the local church. Of course, we can also choose to bypass the inspection of the Word, listen to the world around us, and develop faulty expectations that lead to much disunity and heartache. The properly informed church develop the right expectations that lead to a church attempting great things for God. Those poorly informed who neglect to inspect the Word will be continuously disappointed with God and the church. They will attempt to carry out a work for God that he did not intend for them to pursue, and they will lead others astray.