By Bill Brandstatter
A few years ago, I was talking to a Christian
about his commitment to God. He said he didn’t go to worship
much because God had “touched him.” He stated that
he took his granddaughter,
but he hadn’t been to worship in three weeks.
Church just wasn’t what he expected. So I asked
him, just what did he expect?
What do you expect of God?
Some expect God to put a stamp of approval on
their lifestyle and to accept them without any change on
their part. These folks might reason that since
God is just and kind, He would accept them as
they are. Jesus, however preached, “Repent, the
kingdom of heaven is at
hand.” He also stated, “Except you repent you
shall all likewise perish.” (Luke 13:3) We have to change
for God to accept us.
Some may think very little of God‘s perspective
and only think about their own. Remember, God doesn’t
think like man does. (Is. 55:8, 9) Man lives in a
physical world. Often what man
expects in the physical, he also expects in the
spiritual. When excitement, entertainment, and
pleasure are the way of the physical, some expect
that in the spiritual as well. Any church that
doesn’t provide those is not what they expect.
Sometimes man may think God’s ways are unfair.
Some said so in the past. (Ezek. 18:25) Those living in a
sinful relationship might believe it is unfair
that God wants them to separate. Someone else
in a dead end marriage can’t believe that God
wants them to stay together “till death do
you part.” Those who are living a sinful lifestyle
might consider it unfair that they must
leave that lifestyle in order to get to heaven.
(Gal. 5:19-21) Yet, who is it that sets the
standard of fairness? Who decides right or wrong?
Some may expect God to do what man is supposed to
do. God cannot save a person who does not want to be
saved. God cannot save someone who has not met His
requirements. (Matt. 7:21) When
the rich man was in torment as recorded in Luke
chapter 16, he wanted someone to go to his
brothers on earth to warn them. The answer was,
“They have Moses and the prophets; let
them hear them.” (Luke 16:29) Those who want to be
saved must follow God's
laws. Anything else is not acceptable.
We cannot expect God to strike us with a burst of
Bible knowledge. It takes study on the part of man to
understand the will of God. The Bereans searched
the scriptures to see if the preaching they
heard was accurate. (Acts 17:11) We must study
God’s Word and handle it
correctly. (2 Tim. 2:15) Let us pray that we
always strive to do what God expects so that we have a good
conscience toward Him. (Acts 24:16; 1 Pet. 3:21)
God loves us so much that He puts
guidelines, rules, and ways in place to help us
get through this life and be in heaven one day with
Him. If we follow Him, we will achieve that goal.
– Bill Brandstatter preaches for the Marion Church
of Christ in Marion, IL. He may be contacted through
the congregation's website: