Expectation Breakers: Don’t Live by Man’s Expectations

Each of us expects things of those around us, no matter if consciously or unconsciously done.

When we see a stranger dressed in the garb of a store employee, we expect that they will assist us if we need help. Additionally, we probably expect them to be polite—to us, the customer—and provide good, speedy service.

These few expectations may all be met by the store employee, only some may be met, or none at all… and our satisfaction will vary depending upon how many, and to what level, our expectations are met.

While these expectations placed upon an employee are usually more specific than what we would expect from someone standing beside us at a cross-walk, we still make quiet, even subconscious decisions about people that our expectations are based upon. On top of this, our expectations can also include what we consider normal behavior in each environment or situation, and even what we ourselves want and/or need.

Layer upon layer, our own experiences, mood, location, relationships, etc., may filter onto each person we encounter until we expect so much, that no one could ever begin to fulfill them… leaving us continually dissatisfied. What is worse, in addition to the weight these expectations DEMAND of others, we set ourselves up for failure and disappointment as we tie the fulfillment of our expectation to happiness… 

We may not like it, but a level of expectation is always present, no matter how hard we may try to avoid it. But no one could ever satisfy another person’s every expectation, let alone the dozens to hundreds each of us might encounter—strangers or not—in any given week.

If we strive to meet the expectations of man, we will run ourselves ragged. And if we allow ourselves to place too many expectations on those we encounter, we not only hurt others, but find ourselves always disappointed. So, what can we do, and who can we rely upon?

Only God is enough to satisfy. Only He can meet our expectations—if our expectations are rooted in the truth of His Word. Only He can love us unconditionally. And only He can know what to expect of us.

Yet, more than that, God, throughout the Word, shows us that He continually uses men and women who, in the eyes of men, appear disqualified for the call He places upon them. Only, they never are, because He sees worth where the world sees worthlessness… because He is the one who decides who is qualified. 

God is the one who creates our purpose. He knew each of us before we were in our mother’s womb. He alone can know what to expect of us… which, without fail, is far beyond what we ourselves might believe or imagine.

“God does not call the qualified, he qualifies the called.”—Curt Landry

Expectation Breakers of the Word:

From the Old Testament to the New, there were men and women who appeared, through the eyes of man, to lack. Sometimes they appeared to lack the ability to do what was expected. Sometimes they appeared as outcasts, or lesser valued individuals. Sometimes they were strangers, the “other,” or even, the enemy of those around them.

On and on, the people God used in the Word appeared to lack exactly what was expected of them by man, or even what would be required to answer the call God placed upon them. But the eyes of man are often flawed. For God, over and over again, takes those He sees as being of great value and shatters the meaningless expectations of man.

“God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.”Curt Landry

God calls, and those who are willing to answer are equipped and made to be MORE than enough.

So, who are the “Expectation Breakers” of the Word?

Well, if you flipped through the Word it is unlikely you could stop on any major Bible figure and not see someone who did not defy the expectations of man. Yet, to name a few of the “Expectation Breakers” that God used in His Word:

  • Sarai who became Sarah (wife of Abram/Abraham, mother of Isaac)
  • Abraham (friend of God and father of Ishmael and Isaac)
  • Rebekah (wife of Isaac, mother of Jacob/Israel)
  • Jacob who became Israel (son of Isaac and Rebekah, father of the twelve tribes of Israel)
  • Rachel (wife of Jacob/Israel, mother of Joseph and Benjamin)
  • Joseph (son of Jacob/Israel and Rachel)
  • Moses (son of a Jewish woman named Jochebed the daughter of Levi)
  • Joshua (successor to Moses, led the children of Israel into the Promised Land)
  • Rahab (prostitute who came to follow God and marry an Israelite; while, according to some scholars, entered into the lineage of Jesus)
  • Deborah (served as a judge in Israel before any line of kings was set in place)
  • Ruth (daughter-in-law of Naomi, eventual wife of Boaz)
  • Hannah (mother of the judge and prophet Samuel)
  • David (son of Jesse, would become king and father of Solomon, another king)
  • Daniel (prophet, wise man, possible descendent of kings or nobles)
  • Hadassah who became known as Esther (orphan raised by her cousin Mordecai, married Xerxes)
  • Elizabeth (mother to John, who would later be known as John the Baptist or Yochanan the Immerser)
  • John, also known as John the Baptist/Yochanan the Immerser (cousin to Jesus, believed to have been next in line for the role of High Priest)
  • Jesus/Yeshua (born to Mary, of the line of King David, Son of God)
  • Mary (virgin mother of Jesus/Yeshua, Son of God)
  • Paul (one who hunted the followers of Jesus before he became a follower himself)
  • And many, many more.

As we continue through this, “Expectation Breakers” series, we will explore many of the people God chose to break the expectations of man.

From the Old Testament with Sarah, Joseph, David, and many others, to the New Testament with Elizabeth, Mary, and even Jesus—the Son of God—we see that God rarely chooses those whom man might choose for positions of honor or great change. That, He “…does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” (Curt Landry)

With each story of hope, we hope that you will discover that no matter what anyone may think or expect of you—even yourself—God is the ultimate decider. God can use YOU to be an expectation breaker! So, don’t settle for man’s expectations, and don’t live by them!

“So I kneel humbly in awe before the Father of our Lord Jesus, the Messiah, the perfect Father of every father and child in heaven and on the earth. And I pray that he would unveil within you the unlimited riches of his glory and favor until supernatural strength floods your innermost being with his divine might and explosive power.

“Then, by constantly using your faith, the life of Christ will be released deep inside you, and the resting place of his love will become the very source and root of your life.

“Then you will be empowered to discover what every holy one experiences—the great magnitude of the astonishing love of Christ in all its dimensions. How deeply intimate and far-reaching is his love! How enduring and inclusive it is! Endless love beyond measurement that transcends our understanding—this extravagant love pours into you until you are filled to overflowing with the fullness of God!

“Never doubt God’s mighty power to work in you and accomplish all this. He will achieve infinitely more than your greatest request, your most unbelievable dream, and exceed your wildest imagination! He will outdo them all, for his miraculous power constantly energizes you.

“Now we offer up to God all the glorious praise that rises from every church in every generation through Jesus Christ—and all that will yet be manifest through time and eternity. Amen!”

—Ephesians 3:14-21 (TPT)