(Today's post by Tim David)
1 John 5:4-21
“What do you expect out of life?”
Originally, this challenge was meant to inspire a college dreamer to achieve what he didn’t think possible. Lately, the challenge has become haunting reminder of missed opportunities, abandoned goals, and never ending frustrations. I was once humbled as I started realizing that any accomplishments rarely were attributed to me. I’ve come to expect life to throw everything at me (including the kitchen sink) in order to grow my faith and understanding in God. We, as Christians, were never promised an easy life in exchange for our faith…and this is what leads me to today’s passage.
John starts in vr. 4, “For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.” Game, set, match…we can all go home! John goes on to define, again, who is a “child of God” – vr. 5 (“those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.”) John then feels the need to reiterate why Jesus is the Son of God:
1. He is revealed by His baptism (vr. 6)
2. He is revealed by “shedding his blood” on the cross (vr. 6)
3. He is reveled by God’s testimony (vr. 9)
John then goes into his conclusion by giving definition to the purpose for writing this letter. He is writing this so that we (those who believe in the name of the Son of God) may know we have eternal life and can be confident that he (Jesus) hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. Finally, this letter is ended with a great general statement – keep away from anything that might take God’s place in your heart.
This ending hits like a ton of bricks. So, I can’t accomplish anything without God being in His place in my life? All the promises given to me as a Christian are null and void without God? What happened to the good feeling of being able to defeat this evil world? Good feeling gone…because I know I will mess this up, just like I abandoned my exercise plan made Jan 2, 2013 on Jan 25, 2013.
So, this brings me back to expectations for this year. I’ve long sense given up on the “New Year’s Resolution.” Looking back over last year I had the chance to view God heal my family, restore lost relationships, establish new friendships (which are few and far between), and so many more. I will give you one expectation I have this year…I expect to be closer to God than I am today. Expectations don’t necessarily have a self-sustaining, dependant relationship.
What are your expectations for this year? Is God in His place in your life?