Obligations & Expectations

I am convinced that part of living a Spirit-filled and Spirit-led life is finding a way to stifle the obligations and expectations that drive us. This morning I woke up with a conversation with the Lord. I was tired. I did not want to get out of bed. I had nothing that I really needed to get out of bed for. Nothing pressing. No appointments. I totally could have laid there a little longer and grabbed a few more blissful moments of slumber.

But I was overwhelmed with guilt.

All the expectations and obligations of life were yelling at me to get up and get going. I’m sure you are familiar with them. Early bird gets the worm. Lazy people sleep in. Live life before it’s gone. Your husband will get frustrated balancing the kids if I don’t get up. Your kids need a better role model. Blah blah blah. And they go on and on.

The voices speaking to me were not “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self-control.” They were voices of the flesh. Voices of obligation and expectation.

I laid there and started praying this prayer and it’s one I think that is beneficial to be repeated over and over:

Lord, I am so weary of my decisions being made by voices of obligation and expectation. The aught-to’s and the should-do’s keep pulling me. The “should-have’s” are the wind leading my sail. That is not being Spirit-filled. That is not being Spirit-led. It is being led by fleshly things and it is exhausting.

Lord, erase those voices from my mind. Help me not to listen to them anymore. Obligation, I no longer allow you authority over my choices. Expectation, I break your influence over the directions I take. Instead, may the only voice I hear leading my decisions be the Lord’s. The gentle whisper of the Holy Spirit. A whisper speaking volumes of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness or self-control.

“Everything is permissible for me, but not everything is beneficial…. (1 Corinthians 6:12).”

Lord, instead of letting myself decide things by the “aught-to’s”, I want to know what is your specific purpose for this moment. What is the beneficial thing? Plenty of things are permissible here. But what is your beneficial purpose in this moment? For the choice I make, how can I meet you where you are working? Instead of deciding what to do by the obligations I have in life, I simply want to know what is your desire for this moment? What do you want me to do?

Give me ears to hear you, Lord. Tune my spiritual ears to your station so I can hear you over all the other distracting thoughts born from obligations and “aught-to’s”. I just want you and me in this decision. Nothing else. You and me. Face to face like friends. Show me your purpose Lord and help me to meet you where you are working around me today so we can bless, encourage and love together.


I hope this blesses you today and leads you towards a life easily led by the Spirit of the Lord. May He be the wind that drives your sails today and not fleshly expectation or obligation.

Copyright © 2021 Dacian Keaton Ministries.  All rights reserved.

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