It’s official, we are half way through January 2013, Happy New Year! With all the talk and contemplation about 2012 and what we did and didn’t do, it made me think, how will 2013 be different, what changes do I want to see, what, dare I say the word, GOALS am I hoping to achieve?
Of all the New Years resolutions that people made at the end of 2012 and will probably forget by mid January, by far the most important are the ones that have to do with us making a change, creating ripples and causing others to think differently.
For me, it is asking the question will my children grow up to know God in a personal way, will they experience a closeness that changes them from the inside out and allows them to walk into a hurting world and share that intimacy and love in a way that brings healing and restoration. I want to know that my boys are in an environment that will catalyse a love for God and a desire to understand and see the authority and power we have through Him manifest itself in a way that is as natural to them as breathing.
Will my boys grow up wanting more of God, more of His presence, more of His power and truth or will they grow up experiencing God as a culture they belong to rather than a spiritual reality that affects everything they do. Will they see church life, leaders meetings, life groups and church conferences as part of their “to do list”, or will they refuse to accept anything other than pure spirit lead Christianity, will they seek transformation over information and reformation over tradition. Will they be satisfied with a life that seeks anything less than, as Paul writes in Ephesians 4:1, something worthy of their calling?
To be honest, I am not sure. I wish I was, I wish I knew absolutely that they would, but the difficulty is the system we find ourselves in, the norm we subscribe to, the way we do church, the way we do life as Christians. This life is difficult to change, and even when we believe we are different, lurking just below the surface of our difference is something that looks remarkably similar to where we’ve come from, just perhaps in a slighter brighter shade.
Are we cultivating an environment that refuses to accept anything other than more of Him and His Kingdom coming to earth, are we allowing our children to experience the supernatural, are we exposing them to the prophetic, are they enjoying moments with the Spirit. It has become my experience that we don’t give our children enough credit when it comes to things of God, we seem to believe having them colour in pictures showing the Holy Spirit working is much better than actually having them pray for a Word to give someone or praying for healing, after all, they’re just children, aren’t they?
Paul writes in Ephesians 1:22 that all things are under the authority of Christ and that this is for the benefit of the Church. The question I am asking myself at the moment is, are we functioning as a people benefitting from this authority? I need to believe my boys will one day look back and say Jesus was real in our home, the Holy spirit lived at our house and God spoke to us daily, and that, as much as I would like to delegate or outsource, is something I as “Dad” must make as real as bath time. So are we doing church the right way, respectfully I must say I don’t think so. But I also don’t know what it should look like, and I can’t expect my boys to rise to a level of intimacy with God based on the way we “Do Church”. I think that level of intimacy needs to be displayed and cultivated in our home, at the dinner table, on the streets, at the shops, when it doesn’t suit us, when its inconvenient and difficult and then it will hopefully filter into our churches, the nations and the world.
Wow parenting is tough! But remember as Larry Tomczak said, it’s better to raise children, than repair men.