If you don’t expect, then what do you expect?

Is it possible that often we underestimate people, ourselves, and even God?
How much of our time is living in hope rather than expectation?
If we ask for something and only hope, not expect, should we be surprised if it doesn’t happen?
Do we actually believe that all things are possible, or do we hold ourselves back by our thinking?

These are just some questions that could well be useful to reflect upon as leaders, perhaps as people seeking to see something different happen, people to join our teams or to see transformation in an area.

If God our father says he has good gifts to give us, then shouldn’t we believe that he is giving them to us?
Maybe one reason for not seeing as much transformation in an area could be due to how we think, and rather than believing and being expectant, we are at best hopeful.

For one, I am believing in what I believe God has called me to be and do, and in believing that, I am believing that God will give me and RolltheRock all that we need – to do what he wants us to do and to be all that he wants us to be.

Is it possible that some of our lack of expectancy is due to a struggle for our identity, and truly knowing who we are in Christ?

As disciples who are called to make disciples, what do we offer if our own identity is still in a negative place and we are not getting to grips with how God actually looks upon us and others as well?

For this generation, I am believing in purpose, a plan, hope for their lives and so much more, but I am believing this, not just hoping it.

So, what do you think:
1: what stops us from expecting from God?
2: what holds us back in our beliefs?
3: what does it mean for us to have a strong identity in Christ?
4: what would it mean to stop hoping and start believing?

Culture

Culture is a very much over-used word these days, and culture can mean so many different things to many different people, depending on exeprience, life, people, circumstances and probably much much more.

It is important, though, that we are able to understand what is going on around us – understanding people’s lives, experiences and backgrounds can all help when it comes to us engaging with people and how and why they respond in the way they do.

One thing that has been said for a couple of decades or so now, is that the Church needs to be relevant to the culture that it seeks to engage with!  Understanding and engaging are different to actually being relevant.

Relevance can often mean, and often shows itself to the adoption of the values and practices of what is going on around us, and in doing so we are not then able to offer those around us anything different to what the world is offering us, or those who we are engaging with.

it is certainly important, that there is an understanding of the culture, the values, the practices, the lives, of those around us, for if we do not understand how could we possibly think that we have any place to engage?

jesus himself demonstrated on many occasions how he understood the people he was engaging with, he understood their lives, their reasons for their lives, and so much more, but what he didn’t do, was to adopt those values and practices, to become relevant.

What Jesus was able to do, in understanding, and engaging was to offer something different, something that the world wasn’t offering, and offer it in an authentic meaningful manner, that enabled people to have hope, value, and so much more that the world around them wasn’t offering.

Maybe this is our challenge of today, not to adopt the values and practices, or to seek to be relevant, but seek to understand, offer something different to what the world is offering, but in a way that is true, authentic, real, and experienced.

Let’s be understanding engaged people, who are able to bring to the world something that it needs, rather than what it already has.

Who to listen to

All of us, I am sure, will be able to name those people who have spoken positively into our lives – and even those who have spoken negatively into our lives!! How people speak into our lives often has an impact upon how we react to others! Either we go completely the other way or we totally embrace the words that have been spoken over us, and we continue to speak in the same mannerisms!!

We often hear people speaking about young people, and let’s be honest, a lot of it is negative. But I wonder if some of the reaction from young people is due to the negative approaches demonstrated or shown to them in the first place?

Countering negative comments can be draining, tiring, stressful, and often leave people feeling thoroughly beaten up emotionally.

Somewhere, somehow, there needs to be – has to be – a culture change so the negativity is reduced and the positive is emphasised.

James, in his book in the Bible, refers to the tongue as a weapon, and he also suggests that at times it needs taming!!!

I wonder – when our tongue moves, when noises come from our tongues – is it a negative or positive noise that comes forth?

Do we build up, or do we knock down?

Do people feel believed in by us, or do they feel torn apart by us?

Jesus says in John 10.10 that he comes to bring life in all its fullness, but the devil comes to steal and destroy. Can we possibly change the culture and learn to live out of that fullness, enabling others to live out of that fullness, rather than allowing the stealing and destroying to take place?

As a leader, I know who are the life-giving talkers in my life, and who are the people who take away from that, so I know more and more whom to pay attention to. And I would want the same for any young person whom I work with – to know who to listen to – who are the encouragers and who are the ones who destroy!

Not only do I want to live a life of fullness, I am believing the same for young people all around me.

Time to Pray

So recently heard a quote which went along the lines of, why would you give a kid a toy without the battery? Pete Gregg from 24/7 Prayer!!

Of course he was referring to prayer in our lives, the necessity of it, the importance of it, and actually the requirement of it if we are to fulfil all that God has for us.

So to this end, we at RolltheRock are hosting a prayer evening on the 29 March, at 7.30 pm at Kairos network church, and we would love to see as many people there as possible to pray into our work, pray into the vision, pray into the finances, and so we hear God for all that he has for us.

So if you can make it please do come along, we want to ensure all that we are and do is rooted firmly in hearing from god, and we have the batteries in place for us to move forward.