“I am the LORD, and there is no other; apart from Me there is no God.” —Isaiah 45:5
It is interesting to hear how people order their coffee at Starbucks: “I’ll have a grande pumpkin spice latte with three shots of espresso, skim milk and no whip cream, please.” Just on one beverage, we can make six decisions on how we want it. We live in a world full of choices, whether it is the beverage we are drinking or the endless access to movies, podcasts or information. We live in a world where we can curate what we want, how we want it and, oftentimes, when we want to enjoy it. We can virtually customize everything to our desires and we do it repeatedly throughout the day.
The thing is that we can also bring this mentality into our spiritual lives. We can approach God with our expectations and then measure His activity in our lives against our expectations, thinking to ourselves how He should operate in our lives. When things do not measure up, we tend to do one of three things: we either let go of our expectations and conform to God’s desires, or we try to wrestle with God to conform to our desires, or we let go of God altogether and just follow our own desires.
To this culture of conformity, Jesus says, “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the market-places and calling out to others: ‘We played the pipe for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not mourn.’ For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds” (Matthew 11:16-19). In other words, Jesus is saying, “You are like little children demanding God to pander to your desires.”
At the heart of this passage is a culture that thinks God should pander to their desires. Nothing God does is good enough to satisfy the demands of these people; He is not measuring up to their expectations. Yet, the reason why people reject the good news and persecute the servants who bring it is because they do not like what God is saying and it does not conform to their expectations.
We need to understand that God does not conform to our desires. He does not do what we demand. We can play the games we want, but God is not going to change, because we need to understand something—we are not God. May we let go of our expectations and conform to God’s desires.
Dear God, You are God and I am not. I choose to let go of my expectations to conform to Your desires. Thank You, Lord.