Christian Living

Develop an Expectant Mindset

How We View God Impacts What We Allow Ourselves to Receive from Him

I never liked the idea of mindset. It seemed a little too woo woo for me. It was as though I was depending on a positive attitude or self-fulfilling prophecy instead of relying on God to provide what I needed each day, instead of having an expectant mindset.

I recently realized, however, that my perception was in error. When it comes to God, we need to embrace an expectant mindset. Yes, we must rely on him to provide for our needs, but our perspective ties in with the degree to which we allow him to do that.

Consider how having an expectant mindset impacts our perception of God and opens us better to receive his blessings and provisions.

Generosity versus Scarcity

I recently talked about how my prayer each morning for God to provide my daily bread had over time morphed into a scarcity mindset. That perception of God limited my ability to receive what he wanted to give me. I needed to correct my thinking to properly view him as generous as opposed to stingy.

When it came to asking him for my daily bread, I needed to adopt an expectant mindset. Once I did, everything changed. Now I’m able to praise him each night for his generous provisions during the day.

Mercy versus Judgment

When we take a cursory glance of the Old Testament, it’s easy to see God emerge as mean spirited and judgmental. Yet a more careful read shows that he’s abundantly patient and full of compassion for his people.

Intellectually, we know about God’s grace and mercy, yet do our attitudes and actions align with this? Or do we perceive God as waiting for us to mess up so he can punish us? Though it’s appropriate to have a God-honoring respect of who he is, some people overreach and cower in trepidation that he’s poised to smack us down at the slightest of mistakes.

Having an expectant mindset helps change our perception of God from judgmental to merciful.

Loving versus Vengeful

Related to the idea of mercy versus judgment is love versus vengeance. Though we know God is a God of love and loves us—so much so that he sacrificed his Son to save us—do we love him back? Or do we fear him? Do we live a life where we anticipate his love or worry about his vengeance?

His vengeance, however, is for those who reject him, not those who follow him. Yet to all he offers love in the hope we will love him back.

Again, we need to adapt an expectant mindset to fully receive the love he offers. If we hold back because we expect punishment, we limit being able to receive the full amount of his love.

Have an Expectant Mindset

We know that God is generous, offers mercy, and is loving. Yet does that knowledge move from our head to our reality? Too often we act as though God withholds goodness from us, is judgmental, and awaits to afflict vengeance on us.

To combat this, we need to adopt, and fully embrace, an expectant mindset that God wants the best for us—if only we will let him.

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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