Bible Study – Pursuing Change

LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE…..embrace CHANGE in your LIFE…..LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a JOURNEY involves CHANGE….. in your LIFE…..LIFE is a JOURNEY…..a  

bible-for-study-mfBible Study
Pursuing Change

Definition of Pursuing Change: proceeding along a specified course for change – continuing along or following a path with a goal in mind

Master Key Verse: Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. – Ephesians 3:20 NKJV

After it has been confirmed to you that your perceptions were not only your own ideas but were desires planted in your heart by the Lord, you are ready to take the next step of pursuing change.

The first step in our journey of life leading to change was Perceiving Change and now we are ready to take the next step of Pursuing Change. With this new step, we need to be aware of the differences between expectations and expectancy.

 “Expectations or Expectancy”

How do you differentiate between the terms “expectations” and “expectancy”?

Expectations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Expectancy
Limitations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No limitations
Certainty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Uncertainty
Rules . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Relationship
Responsibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Ability to respond

Let me give you a personal example of how I let expectations overtake my original expectancy. We were at a very nice dinner that had included appetizers, salad and a complete entrée.  When it was time for dessert, we were told that something sweet was coming. We waited with expectancy for what was to come. The waitresses came around and removed all unused silverware. We were left with a spoon. I had always heard that if a person was given a spoon for dessert it would not be as decadent as if one had a fork. My expectancy was limited by my expectations of probably being served ice cream. (However, that would not have been bad after all we had already eaten!) I was soon proven wrong as we each were served an individual dish of delicious chocolate mousse. As if this were not enough, we were then served plates of warm fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies! At that time we were introduced to the chef and were told the reason he had not come out earlier was because he was baking the cookies so they would be as fresh as possible for us. My expectations were far exceeded and expectancy certainly should have been my mindset from the beginning!

We set boundaries with expectations.

Expectancy gives God permission to do what He desires.

Master Key Verse: Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. – Ephesians 3:20 NKJV

Expectancy goes beyond any imaginable expectations.

What do you think?
How do you live out your life’s journey – by expectations or with expectancy?
How do you handle changes – by expectations or with expectancy?

Let us look at the importance of expectations and expectancy in the lives of three women recorded in scripture.

Lives of Three Women in the Bible
(Genesis 12:1-5; 16-18; 21:1-7)

I believe expectancy was in the hearts of Abram and Sarai when God called them to a journey out of their homeland and into an unknown country where God promised to make them a new nation. (Gen. 12:1-5)
I believe expectancy was in their hearts for the children to be born who would become this great nation.
However, expectations took over Sarai’s heart when many years went by without her bearing children.
She developed expectations of how and when the promise of a son would be fulfilled.

 Expectations led to Hagar bearing a son, Ishmael, through Abram. (Gen. 16)
Expectancy led to Sarah giving birth to Isaac through Abraham. (Gen. 18; 21:1-7)

 Expectations led to jealousy and hurt, and eventually the Islamic religion of today. (rejection) (Gen. 21:1,2)
Expectancy led to the covenant family of God through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as the basis of the Jewish and Christian faiths. This began with the covenant God made with Abraham. (Gen. 17:7)

Expectations by Sarah were based on what could be seen in the natural.
Expectancy in Sarah’s life was beyond the natural; it was supernatural.

Genesis 18:10-15 records the story of 3 visitors a year later. Sarah laughs because expectancy for a son was beyond what her expectations could comprehend or imagine. Compare this to Gen. 21:6,7 when her laughter is joy as expectancy became a reality. It is interesting to note that she names her son Isaac that means ‘to laugh.”
Key Bible verse for Sarah:
My God will supply all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
Sarah lived in the time of the Old Testament rather than the New Testament. However, this verse would have been very good for her to rely upon. Be sure to claim it for yourself because we have it recorded in our scriptures today.

What do you think?
Sarah had times of both expectations and expectancy in her life. The same will be true for us. In your daily life, do you tend to rely more on expectations or do you live more with expectancy?
What do we hinder in our lives when we take things into our own hands and do not wait for God or do not allow Him to do it His way?

(I Samuel 1 – 2:11)

Expectations were prominent in that society which expected a wife to bear children. This was personified by Peninnah who had children. (I Sam. 1:2)
Expectancy was shown by Hannah in that she turned to the Lord in prayer requesting a son. (I Sam. 1:10-16)
She vowed that if she were to bear a son, she would give him to the Lord all the days of his life.

Expectations crept into Hannah’s life as we read that year after year she was in great sorrow because of Peninnah. (I Sam. 1:7)
Expectancy allowed Hannah to receive peace pronounced over her by Eli the priest who prayed that God would grant her request. (I Sam. 1:17)

Expectations of attending the annual sacrifice at Shiloh of the Jewish religion could have required Hannah to go with Elkanah the following year after Samuel was born. (I Sam. 1;21,22)
Expectancy allowed her to follow God’s leading for her to wait until Samuel was weaned and then for her to take him to Shiloh and present him to the Lord for the rest of his life. (I Sam. 1:24-28)

Expectancy overruled expectations in Hannah’s life. In I Samuel 1:20, scripture says that she named her son Samuel meaning “because I asked the Lord for him.”

I Samuel 2:1-10 records Hannah’s prayer beginning with “My heart rejoices in the Lord; in the Lord, my horn is lifted high. My mouth boasts over my enemies, for I delighted in your deliverance.”
Her whole prayer reveals the fulfillment of her expectancy.

Key Bible verse for Hannah:
For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. – II Chronicles 16:9
I believe Hannah was one of the people fully committed to the Lord.

What do you think?
Hannah felt the influence of expectations from society and her religion; she overcame them by relying upon God with expectancy. How are your decisions influenced by society or religious rules?
How are you able to overcome these expectations and live with expectancy for what the Lord has for you?
Will God find you as one who is faithful when He looks for those whose hearts are fully committed to Him?

(complete book of Esther)

As a girl, Esther most likely had expectations of growing up with her parents, but these expectations were crushed when her parents died. (Esther 2:7) We see she grew up to be a woman of great faith who surrendered to the Lord with great expectancy. (Esther 3:14) This whole story is told through her experiences to become the new queen for King Xerxes.

King Xerxes desires a new queen and Esther 2:1-4 explains how the girls were prepared to be presented to the King in order for him to choose a queen.

Expectations of the girls desiring to be queen could be carried out by choices they could make of what to take with them when they went before the king. (Esther 3:13)
Expectancy is shown by Esther when she asked for nothing other than what the king’s eunuch suggested. (Esther 2:15) I believe she saw the spiritual significance of the 6 months beauty treatments with the oil of myrrh and the 6 months with perfumes. (Esther 2:12)

In Esther 2:17, Esther is made queen. In chapters 3 and 4 there are encounters between Mordecai and Haman that led to Esther being asked to approach the king on behalf of her people, the Jews.

Expectations are stated by Esther herself in Esther 4:11 saying that anyone who approached the king without being summoned could be put to death.
Expectancy empowers Esther, after a time of fasting, to approach the king in spite of her expectations. The gold scepter is extended to her and the king grants her every request and more. (Esther 5:2)

In Esther 3:6-15, Haman issues an edict against the Jewish people and in Esther 8:5-17 Mordecai issues another edict in favor of the Jews.

Expectations were that the Jewish people would be destroyed because of Mordecai’s actions that infuriated Haman (Esther 3:7-15)

Expectancy resulted in Esther being given Haman’s position later and the Jewish people given the right to assemble and protect themselves and kill any armed forces from any nation who might attach them. (Esther 8-10)

Key Bible verse for Esther:
No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him, but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. – I Corinthians 2:9
This scripture is fulfilled in Esther’s life.

What do you think?
In Esther 4:14, Mordecai says, “And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this.” Is there a situation in your life that you feel God has ordained you to be in a specific place for a special purpose?
Esther was able to respond to the statement quoted above by saying she will go and “if I perish, I perish.” Can you daily live each day with this kind of expectancy?
Although you do not fully know all that God has planned for your life, can you rely upon the power of the Holy Spirit to walk with expectancy?


A Key Bible verse for us:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. – Proverbs 3: 5,6

  “To the degree that you resort to expectations and responsibilities, to that degree you neither know God nor trust God.” – from The Shack by Wm. Paul Young

Master Key Verse: Now unto him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. – Ephesians 3:20 NKJV

Do not live by the expectations of what you want God to do.
Live with the expectancy of what God wants to do for you.

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