Believe the unbelievable.
Expectation is the act or state of looking forward or anticipating; an expectant mental attitude. The mindset and posture in which we should approach God are one of expectation. We expect God to show up, move, lead, and guide. If He doesnâ€™t then we are simply leading in the flesh and wonâ€™t make an eternal difference.
William Carey said, â€œExpect great things from God; attempt great things for God.â€
The innovative and strange leader expects great things from God. The innovative and strange leader leads by faith and is rooted in hope.
Christian artist, Steven Curtis Chapman, wrote a song entitled â€œGreat Expectations.â€ Letâ€™s look at his lyrics to the chorus:
Believe the unbelievable. Receive the inconceivable.
And see beyond my wildest imagination Lord, I come with great expectations.
Can we really â€œbelieve the unbelievableâ€ and â€œreceive the inconceivable?â€ Several years ago, I got to hear Joel Hunter preach at Buckhead Church in Atlanta. He taught on expectation and defined it as â€œa belief that is centered on the future.â€ Joel said, â€œWe can expect God to be: available, wise, gentle and tough, patient, comforting, strong, and relentless.â€
Does your belief in God to be wise and strong affect how you lead and make decisions? If God truly knows what is best, do we trust Him no matter where He leads and no matter what He asks and requires of us?
I wait expectantly trusting God to help for Heâ€™s promised â€”Psalm 130:5 (LB)
I pray to Godâ€”my life a prayerâ€”and wait for what heâ€™ll say and do. â€”Psalm 130:5 (MSG)
My friend, Steve Komanapalli, who used to be special assistant to Rick Warren and a pastor at Saddleback wrote a guest blog for me a while back. In it, he said, â€œA farmer doesnâ€™t plant some seeds and go to Hawaii for a year! He spends the time anticipating, expecting a harvest.â€ He also encouraged my readers to check out James 5.
Be patient, then, brothers and sisters, until the Lordâ€™s coming. See how the farmer waits for the land to yield its valuable crop, patiently waiting for the autumn and spring rains. You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lordâ€™s coming is near. â€”James 5:7
Steve went on to say, â€œIf Iâ€™m going to wait, I need to wait confidently. Micah 7:7 says, â€œI wait confidently for God.â€ Rick Warren says, â€œWhen the outlook is bad, you look up. That is what hope is.â€ Itâ€™s confident expectation.
The God factor
To lead an innovative organization, you must lead from a place, posture, and mindset of faith mixed with hope in Christ. The difference between business innovation and ministry innovation is the supernatural factor. We seek to be led by the Holy Spirit and not just think up new ways of doing things.
Once youâ€™ve done your part of prayerfully seeking God and reflecting on His word, you must believe God will answer, lead, and direct you and your team. As you know, â€œwithout faith it is impossible to please God.â€ (Heb 11:6)
In the morning, O Lord, You hear my voice; in the morning, I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation. â€”Psalm 5:3 (NIV)
Psalm 5 is my encouragement to you, friends. Lay your requests before God and â€œwait in expectation.â€ This does not mean to sit on your hands and do nothing until you hear the audible voice of God. Sometimes we act, move or lead in expectation and anticipation of something we believe God has said or promised He will do.
If God has spoken to you through His word, His Spirit, or given you a vision for something, you should confidently expect God to move mountains on your behalf. Be humble and trust in God for the victory. Check out Ps 62:
I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. â€”Psalm 62:1 (NLT)
An innovative leader is strange, prayerful, bold, courageous, decisive, a risk-taker, organized, motivated, commissioned, visionary, and on missionâ€” as well as full of faith, hope, and an expectation God is going to show up and come through.
It reminds me of the lyric from DeliriousÂ band’s song â€œMy Glorious,” which says â€œGod will save the day and all will say my glorious!â€
Do you believe â€œGod will save the day?â€ When youâ€™re backed into a corner, confused, scared, nervous, or just plain donâ€™t know what to do in a situation, where do you turn? Do you expect and anticipate God to answer your cry for help and lead you down a new trail of adventure?
I do. I believe God has a plan for me, my life, my mission, and my ministry. I believe He is listening to my prayers and stands ready to answer and come to my rescue when I sincerely seek Him. And He will do the same for you!
Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. â€”Ephesians 3:20â€“21 (NIV)
*Parts of this post were excerpts from my book Strange Leadership.