Expectations of God

Do our expectations of religion and heaven align with reality?

Is it fair of us to expect God to cure a physical illness, a mental abberation, or a critical injury? Is it fair of our churches, temples, and synagogues to teach through faith, miracles will be granted? Are our prayers realistic?

We are taught to know God, love God, and serve God in this world. It is our duty and our obligation as relatively worthless servants. Then isn’t it reasonable to expect that heaven will not be one big happy party, but rather further opportunity to serve God on a higher level?

What is a babbling prayer? My feeling is that a babbling, worthless prayer is something like, “Protect us from climate change” and a true prayer may lead us to saying the rosary as we reflect on Jesus’ life and teachings–and how we can put his example and teachings to work in our own lives.

What say you?

Are expectations selfish?

Not necessarily. For example, are the expectations we have of ourselves selfish? What about expectations we have of children, students, employees? Expectations can be a good thing. Unrealistic expectations on the other hand can bring us problems/issues.

I don’t place humans on a level with God.

The context of that line of scripture was that the Greek, Roman and other multi-theist adherents would pray to as many gods as they could, and for many of those gods, they were known by multiple names. So the person praying would first pray to one of them, rattling off as many of the names they could think of that the god was known by, and then move on to the next god and the next, doing the same. All in the hopes of getting the one with his ears on at the time, and addressing him in the name he was looking for that day.

Thank you! I was not aware of this.

I struggle with people who expect this-or-that from God, as if God is a genie in a bottle to be ordered about by our wishes.

I do not seek to get into arguments with such people. To each his own. I just concern myself with having what I think is a right heart in prayer. (And notice that I specifically chose the words “what I think”. I hope that others afford me the same “to-each-his-own” as I do for them.)

For me, yes, I lift up my concern. And I pray, “If it is your will…” I also pray that if my wish is not His will, that I come to understand his will, or, if I cannot understand it, at least accept it.

As for the question, “Why does God allow (fill in the blank),” this life is a broken, fallen world. It is not heaven. If God made everything hunky-dory for everyone here, then I submit that THIS would be heaven.

Consider the “Footprints in the Sand” poem. The conclusion of the poem is that God was carrying the guy through the tough times. God wasn’t eliminating the tough times.

Consider the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the furnace. They turned to God for deliverance. What did Nebuchadnezzar see in the furnace? Not that God quenched the flames, but rather a 4th man, the Son of God, walking with them amidst the flames. God walked with them through the trial. He didn’t eliminate the trial.

We are taught that in Heaven there are no tears, no death, no pain. That’s where our earthly journey should be aiming for. In the mean time, seek God walking with you when you are distressed or in pain. After all, God knows our pain. He knows our sorrow. Even Jesus wept.

I have no patience of God being thought of as a “genie in a bottle” either. However, when desperate…

No, I my ‘genie in the bottle prayer’ didn’t bring about the result I wanted, it couldn’t, and I knew it. Yet like so many prayers, there were so many coincidences that helped put things back together in a whole other way…

Sometimes God’s fingerprints seem so visible, “coincidence” falls short. God is the expert on doing something good so that His left hand really doesn’t seem to know what His right hand is doing. But sometimes we can guess all the same.

Sometimes what happens around us today doesn’t manifest in God’s Plan for a long time. Sometimes it actually takes generations. We just can’t see it in our own time and with our own limited human understanding. The ultimate example for me is the genealogy of Jesus. We see a lot of bad events along the way. Sin. Exile. Suffering. And it all went into the ultimate “Yes” from Mary that resulted in Jesus becoming human to become our Savior.

I have zero expectations of God and He has zero expectations of me. This is His experience, the whole spectrum. The good, the bad, and everything in between. I’m just here to be the vessel.

Is it fair and readonable to expect God to keep His promises to those who approach Him and yield themselves as channels fpr Him to perform what He has promised to do in and through believers?

Do you have a specific example?

But aren’t there certain expectations for even vessels? Isn’t it true they have a purpose?

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The expectation is to experience life and death. Everything else in between is all random (free will, etc.), so that every possible experience can be experienced.

One of my deceased brothers from about 2023 years ago once said, “The Father and I are one.” He also said I am God’s son. I believe Him.

He also had a purpose. He called for people to discern the will of God and follow it.

Don’t we learn from living? Isn’t that an expectation? Jesus also told the parable of the talents, where a return on each investment was expected.

That’s stepping into religious interpretations territory. I have been coming to terms for over a decade now my experience in the Lord’s presence vs what I tend to hear humans claim about God, who haven’t experienced death yet.

There’s nothing for me to learn, other than the things I choose to experience while here. SixFoot only exists in the flesh, here. On the other side, there is no SixFoot, there is no Meriweather, there is no flesh of any kind. There are no eyes to see with. There is no nose to smell with. There is no skin to touch with.

When we die, our roles as these fleshy individuals are done. We don’t take physical memories with us. There’s no brain to do that with. This is all for the Lord’s experience, not mine.

Also, the other side/heaven is pure bliss. It’s truly Home. Getting through the dying part, is the most terrifying thing I’ll never be able to describe.

That wasn’t my experience or what I learned from death. It is not scary at all. And yes, one can see, one can hear. Perhaps not in the same way it is experienced here; it is better.

And therein lies the rift between fundamentalist beliefs and individual experiences.

It may come down to how beliefs are formed. Certainly they can be formed by what we hear, see, read. Experience can impact beliefs even more than those.

My belief in Christ probably did start with reading about and believing the miracles. But as I grew, I was even more fascinated by his teachings, particularly the Beatitudes. What Jesus taught worked in creating a good and better life. That led me back to Hebrew Law because Jesus said he came to fulfill that Law and that not one iota of it would pass away until all was fulfilled. Jesus was rooted in Judaism–but not root-bound (to make a small distinction).

Life becomes turning away from sin to discerning the will of God and following it, while remembering that one cannot clear away sin without replacing it with something else less even more demons/sin enter.

It is why I believe expectations do play a part, but I am more interested in God’s expectations of us over our expectations of Him. I think some of our expectations of Him may miss the entire target, let alone the mark/bullseye.

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