14 April, 2009

Where Did Your Expectation Come From?

The following is adapted from a devotional I read a few years ago and stuck away so I could remember it again. The Devotional was called, "The Word for Today."

A few years ago a young pastor decided that he was going to plant a new church in a rapidly growing part of North Atlanta. He sent out 100,000 fliers to every home in the immediate area. Why? Because all the surveys and church planting experts showed that when others had done this, approximately 250 people showed up for the first service, and statistically, half that number usually stayed and became the basis of the new church.

To the young man's horror, on the launch day, only 38 showed up for that first service! He was absolutely devastated! Previously this young man had already built a very successful church in northern New York, but now he was struggling and felt like an absolute failure. You could see it in his face and hear it in his words. He told his friends: "When I came here, God gave me this promise from Isaiah: "Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life" (Isa 43:4).
So where are they?" he asked.

Finally his old mentor confronted him head on. "You didn't need God, you had the whole thing figured out yourself. Repent of your pride and quit trying to do the work of the one who promised: "I will give...thee...people for thy life."
Instead of complaining and affecting everybody around you, turn every service into a celebration and allow God to build His church!"

Nine months later he had over 100 people, and had learned this lesson: If our expectation comes from any source other than God, we're setting ourselves up for disappointment!
So stop and ask yourself today: "Where did my expectation come from? God or others?"

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