Paradigm – Expectation – Emotion
Every now and then I find a book that challenges the paradigm of my personally held world view. I came across one of those books awhile back and here is a profound thought from that book; “Your paradigm determines your expectation which governs your emotion.”
In Genesis 18 we find Abraham resting in the shade of his tent when suddenly he looks up and sees three men approaching him. He jumps up to greet them and offers them refreshment. Before the men leave Abraham they prophesy that Sarah, Abraham’s wife will conceive and have a child at this time next year. Our focus in this story now turns to Sarah. She is listening to this conversation behind the tent door. From Genesis 18:11-15, Now Abraham and Sarah were old, advanced in years. The way of women had ceased to be with Sarah. So Sarah laughed to herself, saying, “After I am worn out, and my lord is old, shall I have pleasure?” The LORD said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the LORD? At the appointed time I will return to you, about this time next year, and Sarah shall have a son.” But Sarah denied it, saying, “I did not laugh,” for she was afraid. He said, “No, but you did laugh.”
Sarah’s paradigm was that she was past the years for child-bearing. This was fact, her reality. None of us would dispute her point of view; a woman 90 years of age in any culture is not expected to bear children. From this paradigm her expectation was to remain childless until she died. Twelve years earlier she had given her hand maid, Hagar to Abraham in the hopes of fulfilling the promise of YHVH for a posterity; Gen 16:2, “And Sarai said to Abram, “Behold now, the LORD has prevented me from bearing children. Go in to my servant; it may be that I shall obtain children by her.” And Abram listened to the voice of Sarai.” The emotion of Sarai from that decision is recorded in Gen 16:5-6, And Sarai said to Abram, “May the wrong done to me be on you! I gave my servant to your embrace, and when she saw that she had conceived, she looked on me with contempt. May the LORD judge between you and me!” But Abram said to Sarai, “Behold, your servant is in your power; do to her as you please.” Then Sarai dealt harshly with her, and she fled from her.
When the Angel of YHVH latter announce to Abraham that his wife Sarah would conceive and bear a child at this time next year, Sarah’s emotion generated from her expectation based on her paradigm caused her to laugh. Her laugh was not one of joy, her paradigm would not allow for that, her laugh was of unbelief, mockery, that is why the Angel of YHVH confronted her. Is anything too hard for YHVH?
Every month Steve and I read through the Psalms. Taking a quick look through the Psalms that David wrote especially, one can quickly ascertain his paradigm, expectation and resulting emotion. David’s paradigm is that YHVH is in control, evil men can devise all they want, but YHVH orchestrates their actions, they can do nothing outside of the will of YHVH. David’s expectation is that no matter what happens YHVH will, at some point, set the course correct and his emotion is to turn his thoughts to praise and hope in YHVH. Let’s take a look at Psalm 27 for instance. David is reaffirming his place in YHVH; YHVH is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? YHVH is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? This is David’s paradigm.
David’s expectation is found in the next few verses; Psalm 27:2-5, When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall. Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident. One thing have I asked of YHVH, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of YHVH all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of YHVH and to inquire in his temple. For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.
And now David’s emotion based on the expectations of his paradigm: Psalm 27:6-7, And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to YHVH. Hear, O YHVH, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me!
We all are driven by emotions based on our expectations fostered by our paradigms. If our paradigm is one of lack because that is of course the truth, my paycheck is only for this amount and that amount doesn’t even cover my living expenses so therefore how can I ever expect to take a month off, oh woe is me, I never get to do anything – heartbreak, despair, discouragement… Or how about this one, I’m old, my health is failing therefore you can’t possibly expect me to run a race as if to win, I’m too tired, too worn-out, o woe is me, I might as well just give up; or my kids are walking with the world, they don’t want to have anything to do with YHVH, oh well, even if I did try witnessing to them they probably wouldn’t be interested anyway, the world has too much of a grip on them, o woe is me, they’ve abandoned me, I’m just too tired to keep trying to connect with them.
Can you see how easy it is to be governed by the world’s paradigm just like our scriptural example of Sarah, and not rest and rely on the instruction of YHVH. And just what is His instruction? Paul gives us a heads up in Philippians 4:4; “Rejoice in YHVH always: again I will say, Rejoice.” At the end of the day it all comes down to this; turn your eyes upon Y’Shua, look full in His wonderful face and the things of this earth will grow strangely dim in the LIGHT of His glory and grace!
If we want to walk, talk and have our being in the commission of Matthew 10: 6-8, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received freely; give freely; then it is necessary to have a Ruach led paradigm shift. The paradigm of Matthew 10 is, go to those who don’t yet KNOW Me, who don’t yet have a relationship that produces a heart change with Me and share the wonders of YHVH’s glorious kingdom. How can we know the glories of His kingdom unless we live in His kingdom? The expectation of Matthew 10 is a flowing of Living Water that will heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons, bring YHVH’s children from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of LIGHT. And the emotion is recorded in Luke 10, they rejoiced!
Rejoicing is the outcome of being in the King’s paradigm!
Why then, would we want to be in any other paradigm with any other expectation but His best for us?