Wednesday, June 22 – Acts 7:30-36
“After forty years had passed, an angel appeared to him in the wilderness of Mount Sinai, in the flame of a burning thorn bush. When Moses saw it, he was astonished at the sight; and as he approached to look more closely, the voice of the Lord came: ‘I am the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob.’ Moses shook with fear and did not dare to look closely. But the Lord said to him, ‘Remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground. I have certainly seen the oppression of My people who are in Egypt, and have heard their groaning, and I have come down to rescue them; and now come, I will send you to Egypt.’
“This Moses whom they disowned, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one whom God sent to be both a ruler and a deliverer with the help of the angel who appeared to him in the thorn bush. This man led them out, performing wonders and signs in the land of Egypt and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness for forty years.”
There are a lot of expectations we put on ourselves. Some of these are founded in truth while others are built on a skewed perspective. Maybe we took our parents’ praise in a sport to mean they only loved us if we played the game. Maybe we started to believe that our friends only liked us because we cooked good food. When thoughts like these that are not built on truth take root, they are damaging to our lives and to our faith.
The Pharisees had such a different expectation of who the Messiah would be that they rejected Jesus. They had such a different expectation of what God would do that they didn’t see the work He was doing outside the temple. Stephen used another example of a deliverance figure in Moses to show the Pharisees they were just like their ancestors. They spurned the one God set apart for delivering His people because His Jesus didn’t fit their expectations.
It is easy to have expectations of God or how we want Him to work in our lives. But we must guard against being so blinded by our expectations that we miss the work God is doing right in front of us. God may not always work the way you want and that is okay. In fact, it’s often a good thing. Cling to who He has shown Himself to be through Scripture more than who you want Him to be based on your circumstances.
- How has your relationship with God been different than you expected?
- Have you ever seen God answer a prayer differently than you expected? How did you wrestle with that?
- Pray and ask God to help you see Him for who He is, and not only for who you want Him to be.