Kathy — Let’s follow history beyond Goliath into the Middle Ages, (400AD to 1500AD). A guy with a complaint could start a fight and set the rules of engagement just by throwing a gauntlet (a heavy-duty glove) at someone’s feet. Under the sway of that age, you were then obligated to rules of engagement that required you to get a pole and a horse and risk your life in a joust! Supposedly that was all in the name of honor and dignity, though it sounds a bit more like pride and stupidity. For hundreds of years after jousting, there were duels from 1500-1900. This time, if a man slapped you in the face with a glove, you were obligated by the rules of engagement to risk dying or killing someone! Who made that Koolaid? Of course, the culture of that age made it the way of the world. When you consider the huge span of years in history, it begs the question: how does a foolish and destructive paradigm stay so consistent throughout different cultures over a span of centuries? The answer is not complex. We know who has been the consistent negative effect on cultures and we know who has mastered taking advantage of human nature, the prince of the power of the air. Eph. 2:2 says – you walked habitually following the course and fashion under the sway of the present age, following the prince of the power of the air. You were under the control of the demon spirit that is constantly at work. No matter what century, what culture, the same prince of the power of the air is constantly at work in every age and he uses the same methods.
Your new season is only a paradigm shift away. It may not be possible for some of us to fulfill our course and walk through the experiences and circumstances that course will take us through, while maintaining our same old paradigms about who God is and how He moves and works in this hour. One of the purposes of seasons is likely the purpose to open up a wider revelation of who God is and what His ways are. (Rom12:2)
A paradigm is simply an example or a typical pattern. We all have them in our mental files and they affect our choices and our expectations. They become our standard or ruler to measure rightness or success. These former models or expected patterns can set our goals and be our driving force whether we realize it or not. For example, we go to church and expect to find the model we have known in the past. Even if that model is flawed or should be changing, maturing and growing, we measure its rightness by the known pattern.
We must keep in mind that paradigms come from experience. That means they were built in a past season or a specific situation or a particular set of circumstances; and just as seasons, situations and circumstances change, it is likely that our paradigms will have to adjust. If they don’t, former examples and patterns will continue to drive us even when obedience or excellence would go a different path. (First excerpt from Kathy’s article “Fresh Obedience”)