Fresh Hope – 18th March 2020

Many of us desire to change the culture that we are in for the better. We want to leave our mark, make our lives count, and point people to Jesus. As right and noble as this desire is, it is often achieved by very practical, understated means. 

If we are going to be a people who bring heaven to earth, shift a culture, and change the world, then here are seven very practical things that we need to be equipped with: 

1. Have a fresh word in your spirit. You cannot expect to stand, let alone come against an ungodly culture, without a fresh word from God burning in you. Your head and heart need to be strong, and DAILY aligned with truth. Practically and personallyspeaking, I recently joined an online theology course that has enabled me to go to new depths in my understanding of scripture. I also keep my Bible in my car and every morning before I walk into the workplace, I read one scripture that I can meditate on throughout the day. You do not have to do these things. My point is there must be practical effort and intention as to how we keep a fresh word in us in order to come against cultures that aren’t from God and usher in kingdom culture. 

2. Prayer. Prayer can do far more than you can. Prayer is partnering with God on cultural issues. Prayer cuts through the physical limitations and deals with things on a spiritual level. Prayer can do far more in a heart of a person or work place environment than we can image. Prayer shifts things around us and in us. Ephesians 6:12 tells us that our battle isn’t always against the issues we are facing on the surface; our battle is often a spiritual issue. Dealing with a snake by setting a mouse trip is ineffective and exhausting. Recognise what the real issue is and deal with it using the correct weapon – Prayer! 

3. Don’t be afraid of standing out from the crowd. If you are going to change a culture, you need to care less about what they think. You can’t use their definition of normal to define your standard of normal and acceptable. If you carry the same spirit, you cannot bring a new spirit. Having fresh eyes, carrying a pioneering spirit, seeing something that others don’t see will feel lonely at times, but that is the price you pay for being the person to bring in what is needed or missing in an environment. You will feel like the only one at times, but look at the most innovative, progressive people in history. What allowed them to change the world was the fact that they were the only ones, they weren’t afraid to buck the norm, be different, and go against the crowd. Keep your eyes on Jesus, not on the crowd. 

4.  Razor sharp vision. Have specific and intentional vision for why you are where you are. Understand your overarching purpose and call for being there. Every day remind yourself what your greater purpose is in your job or community. Don’t waste a day. Use it well. Be strict – cut out anything that doesn’t fall in line with the purpose and reason for why God has you in a particular culture. Keep your mandate and mission at the forefront of your head, heart and day. 

5. Have healthy, regular input. As you give everything you have to serving the culture you are in, which can be exhausting especially if you are going against the grain. You need input from people who can fill your tank and fuel your fire. Find mentors, leaders, friends, and a community who ‘get you’. People who understand your mission, recognise what is on your life, and encourage you in your weak times. Have people remind you what you are about. Find people who are one step ahead of you and glean all you can. 

6. Walk in humility and love. People are not experiments. We don’t use the unsaved as a personal project for ourselves. We serve people because we love them because God does, and we want them to know that. You cannot love people if you are too busy judging them. You cannot serve people well if you are so busy thinking you are better than them. You cannot change a culture if you are too good to get down on your knees and serve them. Your degree of influence in someone’s life is directly related to the level at which you honour and love them. After being a teacher for nearly 10 years, and probably having had a few thousand students sit in my classroom by now, I can tell you one thing for sure, people do not care what you have to say, unless they know you care. If you are going to change the world, it starts with a posture of humility and love. 

Tomorrow, I will share some very practical tools on demonstrating the kingdom of God in the workplace!

Emma Burchell

A daily devotion for a better way of living.