Have you ever considered what word or group of words describe or define your life as a Christian? In considering this for my own life I’ve begun a list. This list is more of a list of things I want my life as a Christian to reflect, not necessarily things I have achieved or even succeed in living on a daily basis. I guess I could look at it as sort of a “bucket list” of things to strive for, character qualities or behaviors per se rather than the usual “bucket list” of things to do.
Here’s the start of my list: hopeful, faithful, trusting, joyful, a life of daring adventure, an abundant life, a life of great expectation…
Now, I had that last one on my list already, but just the other day I added the word “great” to it. I was reading in the book of Mark the story of the lady who had been sick for twelve years and had been to many doctors and none could help her. Jesus was in town with crowds of people following Him about and she goes to see Him in hopes of being healed. Mark 5:28 says she said “If I only may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” It also says that when she touched Him He felt power go out from Him and she was healed. I have heard teaching on this passage in the past which have focused on the faith of this woman. But as I was reading it I got thinking about the other people in this picture. The passage says “a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him”, many people were touching Jesus. So what was so special about this woman which made the power of Jesus flow from Him to her so freely? Yes it was her faith, but it was more than that, it was that she was living a life of “great expectation”.
These other people in the crowd who were thronging about Jesus, why were they there? Why did Jesus not feel power move from Himself to them? Were they just caught up in the emotional hype of when something big happens in town? Where they just going through the motions of following the crowd? The passage doesn’t say. But I think I understand. I don’t think people today are really all that much different than they were then. How easy it is for us to one day live like the lady who reaches out in great expectation, and then quickly fall into a rut of being like the group crowding around Jesus, yet with none of His power flowing to us. Our spiritual life is not meant to be a practice of just going through the motions of attending church and singing hymns and praying rote prayers. It is meant to be a power filled life in Christ. If we are just hanging out around Jesus, but not reaching out in expectation of the powerful things He can do in our lives, then it isn’t going to happen. It might make us look good but we may be rotting on the inside.
The power of Jesus. The same power which calmed the storm, healed the lame, made the blind to see, forgives sins, seeks the lost, makes demons tremble and flee, is available every single moment of every single day to you and me. It’s available to those who keep the spiritual channels of communication open between Jesus and themselves in order for the free flowing of the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s available to those who reach out like the woman in the story who not only reach out in faith, but with great expectation of what Jesus can do in their lives. I want that power in my life so my bucket list of character qualities and behaviors includes “great expectation”, what’s on your list?