Nothing. That’s right. Nothing. That realization itself will save us from a lot of trouble. This is very contrary to the way the world operates. All of us expects something from each other. In other words, the concept of ‘unconditional’ anything is out of the picture in a human realm. I love my wife and expect her to love me back. I love my kids and expecting them to love me as well. That’s just the way we are.
So over the years many of us program that pattern into our brain and assume God too works in the same way but the opposite is true. God expect nothing from us! If that wasn't the case, he would never say ‘apart from me you can do nothing’. That tells me He doesn’t expect anything from me. He also said, we must die. If I expect something from someone, I would never tell them to ‘die’ because I know once they are dead they can’t do anything for me. I want them to live so that they can do something for me. But the way God works is very different.
Since He has no expectation from us, He will never be disappointed by us as well. Remember, disappointment is the result of an unfulfilled expectation. Why wouldn’t He expect anything from us?
1. He knows us.
2. He is not a man.
3. He Himself is self sufficient.
Bible also tells us that we are His ‘workmanship’, means we are a piece of art. We are created by God, the artist. Now, if we think, an artist does not expect the art (paint, sculpture etc) to do anything for him. All work is done by the artist according to His creativity, timing etc. All the art needs to do is to ‘stay there’, just don’t run away. It is the artist who begins the work, and does all the work until He is satisfied. The art has to sit there and enjoy/endure the touching, chipping, carving, welding, flipping, curving etc.
Many people worry if they become passive or lazy in this process. If we take the art as an example, the art itself is not lazy / passive as long as it is in the hands of the artist. It is continually progressing to a finishing product. Bible assures us that 'he who began a good work in us will carry it on to completion'.
I have heard many people saying that they do this and do that to glorify God. But God is saying He is glorified when we stop doing and start trusting. (Without faith it is impossible to please God).
Does the art know what the finished work will look like? Not necessarily. But remember we are in the hands of a well known artist. Does the art know how or when the artist is going to do some chipping or shaping which is more likely a painful process? Not necessarily. But again, remember we are in the hands of a world class artist. He is reliable and perfect. He knows what He is doing. He doesn't expect us to know all the details. He doesn't even expect us to 'help' Him in the process. Let Him drive. Leave that driving wheel to Him and sit in the passenger seat and enjoy the ride.
"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds." The kernel of wheat has to die to produce many seeds. In other words, it has to lose its life.
"Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." We have to 'lose' our life so that we can find true life in Him. It is Him who does the living. It is Him who does all the work and He expect us to do nothing. This is not just theoretical or theological, it has to be practical. It is possible to appropriate this truth into our daily life, which in essence the Bible calls, 'walking by faith'. I know it can be very scary to lose something which we hold tight. But it's worth losing it, so we will find true life in Him!