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When Perfect Doesn’t Meet Your Expectations

Have you ever worked so hard towards a goal, reached that goal and realized this isn’t what I expected at all?  The goal you set, you thought the end result was so perfect, if you just achieve it, life will be perfect, joy will be in abundance and all things will be well in the universe?

If there is anything God continually teaches and shows me, it’s which side of humble and I sitting on.  And where am I placing my hope and expectations?

I am one who struggles with constantly trying to ‘perfect’ things and can drive myself crazy if I don’t allow God’s perspectives to lead me.  God is the ultimate perfecter who makes all things perfect, not me.  What he has is good enough not anything I can do with my own hands or strength.

If there is one common theme in the Old Testament that reveals God’s perfect plans, it’s his TIMING.  But I love how God sends messengers to confirm His plans, letting us know I am with you, I have not left you, trust in me and I will lead you into the greatest plans ever.

When Perfect Doesn’t Meet Your Expectations

Shattered dreams and broken expectations may leave us feeling lost, wondering ‘does God even care?’ or ‘what do I do now?’

Expectations.  We all have them.  Even the Israelites did.  They had an expectation God would deliver them from slavery out of Egypt into The Promised Land.  God promised he would, but His promise was taking a VERY long time, like 400+ years long.  And even when God came through with His promise of deliverance the Israelites waited another 40 years!

Towards the end of the 40 years, the Israelites come to the edge of The Promised Land waiting to enter, thinking, “This is it!  we’re here!”  Then God commissions Moses to send spies into The Promised Land to check it out, to see if the people who dwell there are strong or weak, whether they are few or many (Numbers 13:18).

When the spies returned they reported, “We came to the land to which you sent us.  It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit” (which is big by the way) (Numbers 14:27).  ‘But there’s a problem.  The people who dwell in the land are STRONG, the cities are LARGE, and anyone is our enemy or adversary lives there!’ (Numbers 14:28-29).

But then Caleb (the whole-hearted one and one of the spies), could see fear filling people’s hearts and said, “Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.”

Don’t you love his courage and confidence?  He’s basically saying, Let’s go!  We can do this!

The Israelites weren’t having it.  They rebelled and allowed their fear to dictate their response, and said, “Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness!  Why is the LORD bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become prey.  Would it not be better for us to go back to Egypt?” (Numbers 14:2-4) 

Wow! Really?  Go back to Egypt?  In other words, they’d rather go back through the wilderness, go back into captivity to be under the rule of Pharaoh in which God delivered them from so they didn’t have to go into The Promised Land and face their giants?

Did they forget what God was able to do?  He parted The Red Sea for them, protected and provided for them in the desert and delivered generations of people plus their cattle and belongings from one of the most powerful rulers that ever existed.

Did they think God wasn’t able to help them defeat their giants?

Then Joshua steps in (another spy), and says, “The land , which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land.  If the LORD delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey.  Only do not rebel against the LORD.  And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us.  Their protection is removed from them, and the LORD is with us;  do not fear them” (Num. 14:6-8).

I love how God uses Caleb and Joshua to speak into the situation at hand to put His plan into perspective.  He’s saying, it’s not about how big the giants are, it’s not how strong our adversaries are, it’s about how BIG our GOD is and what He’s able to do.  We don’t have to be afraid.  God has this!  His protection will be with us not them.

Why do you think the Israelites had to wander in the desert for 40 years to then face a battle in order to enter The Promised Land?

This was all apart of the process and God’s greater plan for his promise to be fulfilled in the fullest way possible.  Even though God PHYSICALLY delivered the Israelites from Egypt;  the captivity of Egypt was still in them.  The wilderness is where God SPIRITUALLY delivered them from Egypt.  Generations of Israelites lived four-hundred years of captivity, that’s a lot of oppression that was inbred in them.

What good would God’s plan be if he allowed a bunch of captives to live in The Promised Land?  They wouldn’t fully be living in His Promises He had to offer of true freedom, peace or joy.  

In order for victory to be a victory there must be a battle. God doesn't ask us to fight battles he isn't willing to fight with us. Click To Tweet

Our perfect expectations will never make any situation perfect, only God can.  Putting our own expectations on our situations, trying to do things our way, doesn’t allow for God’s greater plans to work within us.

Living in captivity will cost us.   Staying in places of brokenness will cost us our freedoms and joys in life every time.  We will never be able to live in The Promised Land, the way God intended, unless we allow Him to walk us through the battles we face to rid us of anything holding us back from living in His fullness.

The Israelites had an expectation The Promised Land would just be given to them.  Even though they didn’t want to face their giants and adversaries, God had a plan that was greater than they could have ever imagined if they just trusted in Him.

Have you ever been let down by your own expectations?

Has God ever asked you to fight a battle so you could be used for His greater plan?

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The Origin of Truth

Have you ever wondered what makes a word come into existence?  The first American dictionary published by Noah Webster wasn’t published until 1828 and contained around 70,000 definitions of words.  It makes me wonder how the validity of definitions survived all that time.

The way a word gets into the dictionary is by usage.  Citing a word consistently in enough publications over time gives the word credibility.  Once decided the word has been widely used on a consistent basis it is then considered for entry into the dictionary.  Every year over 1700 new words are added to the Webster dictionary.  Today the Webster-Merriam dictionary has close to 500,000 definitions in the unabridged version and 165,000 in the collegiate version.  That is a lot of new words since 1828! [1]

This makes me wonder if new words can emerge and come into existence, then where do their definitions originate?

Are these definitions of words something we make and come up with?

As new definitions emerge and change as each era progresses, The Bible is one book that never changes its definitions.  Of course, we need to add definitions for when new technology emerges.  However, we can always count on the Bible because its origin of truth stays the same and never changes.

Why can we depend and trust that the Bible is a dependable source of truth?

Even though the Bible was written by the pen of imperfect men, these words were not from them but from God.  There is much dispute in whether the meaning of the messages in the Bible has been lost or changed with each new translation that emerges.  However, each chapter of the Bible has been authenticated by author, place, and events that occurred with writings of historians that existed at that time.  The Bible has been around since the time of Moses delivering the 10 commandments (1,400 BC), to the completion of the Hebrew manuscripts which include the 39 books of the Old Testament (500 AD), to the completion of the Greek manuscripts including the 27 books of the New Testament (1st Century AD) to present day.[2]

God’s truth can be trusted because…….

God’s truth has existed from the beginning of creation.

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”  Genesis 1:1

God spoke life into existence.

“God created man in His own image;  in the image of God He created him;  male and female He created them.”  Genesis 1:27

God created truth.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”  John 1:1-3

God’s Words breathe life into our lives.

 

God IS the TRUTH.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  John 14:6

Words make up who we are and say a lot about our identity and world.  If you were to look up the topmost trending words on the Merriam-Webster dictionary website people have looked up in the past week, you would be astonished.  It says a lot of what is going on in our world.  The topmost searched word right now is fascism.  Other words include white supremacist, bigot, bigotry, Neo-Nazi, terrorism, and communism.  These words have to be among the most hateful and evil words that exist and yet are at the forefront of our world.

We may have our differences and not always agree with each other, but can choose what we use our words for.  We were never meant to live in a world full of hate and evil–but in a world full of God’s love.

God desires our world to be filled with His love--not hate and evil. Click To Tweet

In a world of hate and chaos, God’s truth will always bring us freedom.

“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:32

Our words have the ability to speak life and truth into the lives of others (Prov. 18:21).  Our words can make a difference in someone’s day by being kind and loving (Eph. 4:32).  Our words can build another’s confidence by encouraging and building them up (1Thes. 5:11).  Our words can change the lives of those who persecute us by praying for them (Matt. 5:44).  Our world will always be filled with evil when we use our words to destroy, slander, gossip or hate.  There is freedom when our words are used to encourage, love, build and pray.

We can’t change the definition to words to fit into the box that we desire them to.  Trusting in emerging definitions can be dangerous over time.  Changing the truth to our own desires is a slippery, dangerous slope to walk.  When we trust in God’s truth and love we will find eternal protection and wholehearted healing.

God’s truth will always keep us straight on our paths.  

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,And lean not on your own understanding;  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct[a] your paths.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

If you ever have doubts about God’s truth, test it.  Our words can be destroyed in an instant.  God’s words can never be destroyed and will always last till the end of time.

“The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.”  Isaiah 40:8 

Have you ever questioned where your source of truth originated and whether you can trust it?

Have you ever been caught on the slippery slope of finding your truth in emerging definitions?

God’s love and grace are transformational.  We become victorious when God’s Word is alive and active in our lives!

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  1. Info was obtained from Wikipedia.
  2. Bible history info was gathered from this site.  For a more detailed instruction of a historical timeline of how the Bible evolved over time visit http://www.greatsite.com/timeline-english-bible-history/.

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