When you are a child, you never know what to expect. Adults are constantly telling you what to do, where to go, what to wear, when to be somewhere and how to do things. It’s difficult to “have your own opinion” around adults because SOMEONE is always has a different mindset that you do, and because they are “mature”, they usually get their way. It can be a real hindrance to growth, and places a stumbling block to a child’s imagination and flow of God-given creative ideas.
There does have to be some guidance and structure set up in the life of a child, but we must never overlook the importance of allowing them to learn to flow with the Spirit! After all, aren’t we called to “train them up in the way they should go”? And aren’t we to “only do what we see the Father doing and say what we hear the Father saying”? That takes some walking in the Spirit and sometimes letting our man-made structures and plans fall to the ground to allow the leading of the Spirit to take over!
We must create anticipation for the move and voice of God within our kids so they will look forward to knowing His leading and then act on it as if it were second nature – because it SHOULD BE! We are developing leaders in our children – those who will usher in the next move of God in the future. How we lead them today will determine how they lead others tomorrow.
We take children on mission trips across the US and occasionally internationally. Once such trip in the states a few years back took us to a theme park for a little R&R after a long two weeks of ministry. We were all having a great time and were sitting in a trolley car waiting for a nice scenic (or so we thought) quiet trip around the grounds. There were several adults along with with our group of almost 20 kids.
Suddenly a woman screamed and there was a commotion outside the trolley. A man had collapsed outside and had stopped breathing. His wife was holding him on the ground and distraught. A crowd had gathered and someone said something about a heart attack. We were taking this all in when we noticed the kids start to turn and look at us asking if they could go pray for him. Before we could answer, they just jumped out of their seats and ran!
The children had been taught to respond to need – to “flow” during teaching times, and they had just had the opportunity to use these lessons during the previous two weeks of mission work in many cities across the US. They were pumped and ready! With the adults behind the children, we surrounded the man and his wife on the ground and began praying for him audibly. No one in the crowd stopped us or pushed us to the side. I believe there was grace and favor for us to be there at that time – it was appointed.
We prayed for several minutes, with the bluish hue of the man’s face revealing the trouble he was in. Those children never let up, and kept on intervening, hands extended towards him and his wife. Finally, with the sound of an ambulance in the background, the man coughed and began to stir. His eyes opened and he looked up at his wife who was overcome with joy. He started to get up from the ground, but of course everyone was more for keeping him still till help arrived.
Once those kids saw he was breathing on his own and speaking to his wife, they started thanking God and then got back on the trolley – their job was done and they were ready for the next “big thing” in their lives! Of COURSE God healed that man – of COURSE He answered their prayers – He’d been doing that for the last two weeks – why wouldn’t He do that now, ESPECIALLY in that serious circumstance?
We adults were left to check on his wife, who was so tearfully thankful and amazed at the children’s prayers – so sure that it had helped! Of course it had – God hears the faith filled prayers of a child who “anticipates the unexpected” and moves with the Father – doing what they see Him doing and saying what they hear Him saying. Isn’t that what WE are supposed to do? What lessons WE can learn from a child!
As we train our children and allow them the opportunities to move within the realm of the spirit, God sensitizes them to His voice and His flow. If we keep them from overloading on the world and keep their eyes and ears open to His leading, they WILL be empowered and awakened to minister in new ways, doing great exploits for the Kingdom. Jesus said, “greater things than this will you do”, and if we encourage our kids to listen for His voice and opportunities, we are going to be greatly amazed and maybe even just a little challenged ourselves!
Karen’s calling is to bring children into the manifest presence and glory of Jesus, lead them in experiencing His deep abiding love, clear unmistakable voice, wise Godly direction for their lives, and to ignite a spirit-led passion for serving Him in many ways at any age.
She is available for children’s and adult conferences, retreats, church dates, camps, leadership training and regional equipping sessions. Fire For the Nations hosts a summer camp for kids and periodic kids mission trips during the year. Her first book, KIDS CAN is now available in both the CWG and Fire For the Nations bookstores. For more information on the book or to schedule dates, check out the website (www.fire4thenations.com), or email her at [email protected].