While expectation is only one of many ministry obstacles, it is one carrying significant consequence when it goes unbridled.
What exactly is expectation?
To expect is to look forward to.
To expect is to regard something as likely to happen.
To expect is to anticipate.
Expectation does not sound unreasonable by definition, but can be a set-up for failure from the enemy of our souls. Expectation is not to be confused with expectancy, however. The root is the same but they are different. Expectancy is a positive, acceptable manifestation when we hope; hope for a desired end, hope in the security of Christ, hope for eternal life at the end of this difficult journey.
Some expectancy is reasonable and acceptable, but we experience trouble when expectation surfaces and becomes unrealistic. The trouble is, we rarely know at the point and time that line is crossed.
We should make it a point not to have expectation of others, because when we allow it, we are setting both sides up for disappointment. Any expectation we entertain should be inwardly focused and even then, limited according to the Word of God and the direction of the Holy Spirit.
We will not always agree with others personally or in matters of ministry, and it is our natural inclination to think people should do things the way we feel or think best. If we truly desire to walk anointed of God, we must first understand and accept that annoyance through unmet expectation will come.
It is without considerable effort we form expectations of others, but it is not nearly so easy for them to live up to those expectations. Often the root of hurt or disappointment is a set of false or unrealistic expectations. While we may not see it as such, expectation is rooted in unrealistic ideals about people, policy or perfection and is for the most part impossible to placate.
It is common for unbelievers to form certain expectations of Christians. They often surface as preconceived ideas about how Christians should believe or behave. Sadly, Christians often harbor similar expectation of other Christians. It is a given that disagreement and trouble with others will come when false and/or unrealistic expectation of or by us becomes a part of the equation.
Trouble intensifies as expectations remain unmet and it is imperative the unrealistic expectations be addressed on all fronts in order that anointing is not hindered.
Sadly, we easily justify unrealistically high expectations of others while refusing to see our own shortfalls and failures. It is much easier to see other’s faults. It is also much more palatable when our tongues offer up reproof or rebuke directed toward someone else.
What we have the most difficult time with, but should be diligent in doing, is self-examination. Wisdom advises we look inward at our own hearts and refuse to focus on what anyone else is doing. If we judge by any standard or measure, it should be ourselves according to God’s standard. The only one we should expect to change is us, realizing that even that is impossible without God.