by Pastor Tim Burt
In the United States of America, there is an expectation within almost all teenagers. They have an expectation that when the reach the age of driving—whether that be 16 or 17 years old, depending upon the state—that they will take their driver’s test and get their driver’s license. When they get close to that age they start thinking about it more and more until they actually begin to prepare for it. The majority of teens have this expectation because it’s a part of the American culture. When you get old enough, you get your driver’s license. It is culture that produced this expectation.
Most other countries do not have this expectation because it is not a part of their culture. So, culture can help produce expectation.
We are lacking an expectation in the body of Christ whom God calls His church. We should have an expectation of growing up spiritually and maturing to become Christian leaders. The Jewish people built that into their culture and at times have had a high expectation of it throughout their history. But if culture does not promote and put demands on it for whatever reason, that expectation can fade and die.
In Ephesians 4:14-15, God reveals that He wants Christians—His children to spiritually grow up. It’s considered dysfunctional if children don’t grow up to mature and be a functioning part of society. The same is true in the body of Christ. God wants us to grow up and not remain spiritual infants all our life. In His desire for us to grow up He says, “Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth Instead, speaking the truth in love, WE WILL IN ALL THINGS GROW UP INTO HIM, who is the Head, that is, Christ.”
How do we spiritually grow up? We read God’s word prayerfully and let the Holy Spirit teach our hearts what God wants—over time purging our lives of sinful and carnal behaviors and attitudes and instead becoming more and more like Jesus. We find a local church that teaches the Bible and the message of salvation by grace, and then plant ourselves there to help make it a strong church by getting involved. Through our service to others in the local church and to those we experience day-to-say, we let God unveil our gifts and talents as they are pulled upon. As we read the word of God we should cultivate supernatural expectation that everything He promised, He will do. Faith and expectation in His promises to bless and help you live for Him in any situation is what helps us grow up and mature. As we grow up and accept responsibility, leadership and wisdom is formed within us and we begin to become the leaders God desires us to become. If children and teens were groomed with expectation to grow up and become leaders and take their place of serving and leadership in the body of Christ, the culture of the body of Christ would become rich and this world would be changed!
There was a man in Jesus’ day who was a religious leader. But he was different from the other leaders. He believed God’s Word and promises and knew God was sending the Messiah. He lived in expectation of God’s promises. That made him different from every other religious leader he lived alongside of. He was watchful, prayerful, and waiting for Jesus. And consequently, when Jesus came, where few other religious leaders knew who Jesus really was, this man did. His actions and faith stood out and the Lord recorded him in the history of the Bible. His name was Joseph of Arimathea.
Luke 23:50 (Message Bible) “There was a man by the name of Joseph, a member of the Jewish High Council, a man of good heart and good character. He had not gone along with the plans and actions of the council. His hometown was the Jewish village of Arimathea. He lived in ALERT EXPECTATION of the kingdom of God. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Taking him down, he wrapped him in a linen shroud and placed him in a tomb chiseled into the rock, a tomb never yet used. It was the day before Sabbath, the Sabbath just about to begin.”
The body of Christ needs leaders like Joseph—men and women that understand they are to “grow up” and “do the work of the ministry.” Christianity needs to create great expectation among our youth to grow up as leaders in the body of Christ. But before that can happen, adults need to have that expectation within themselves. They need to have expectation that God is with them, for them, and will help transform them to become the leaders of today—leaders that will begin to produce that expectation. Then we will see that culture of expectation seep down into our youth!
Do you have expectation of God working in and through you? Do you understand you were created to be a leader and it’s NEVER to late to grow up and walk toward that goal? Do you understand that the path to leadership is a vibrant life with Christ, taking your part in the body of Christ by first becoming a follower and servant? What will be the end result? A culture of expectation for leadership with the joy of knowing “…I will build my church; and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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