Most people have a fascination with “what the future holds”. Perhaps it’s a desire for certainty, or maybe an ‘adapt or die’ philosophy. Businesses spend a fortune on trend forecasting to get the competitive edge. Whatever the reason, we want to know what lies ahead. We want to know everything will be okay.
John Maxwell speaks of winners being those who not only “see more”, but “see before” others.
How incredibly blessed we are to serve a God who promises light to our future. We have this advantage of ‘seeing before’ making us the most ‘future-proofed’ community on the planet. We can be like the men of Issachar of whom it was said in 1 Chronicles 12:32: “Of Issachar, men who had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do.” We need this foresight. We need prophetic vision, not only for the Church but for our own lives. The future should not take us by surprise.
As I look ahead, I thought I would share two thoughts with you.
I believe a keyword for the future is “connection”. Accountability and connection are becoming increasingly important in a world that is becoming increasingly isolated. In James 5:16, it says: “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” We were meant to be connected, close enough to one another to hear “sin confession” which brings healing, close enough to be okay with each other’s faults.
It’s not for nothing that the scripture exhorts us to community, ‘don’t forsake gathering together’ in Hebrews and ‘carry one another’s burdens’ in Colossians. We are meant to be connected together ‘built up into a holy temple’ brick-on-brick. To future-proof your life, you need to lean into connection and fight isolation. Fight for it in your Church, your life group, your marriage, your family. In business too, collaboration and relationship will be increasingly important. Face-to-face time is key. Rather than cold emailing, make calls, enjoy meals and connections where businesses can collaborate and network together for increased productivity, effectiveness and influence.
The second area I want to highlight is the growing return to the roots of the Charismatic move emphasising the need for the Holy Spirit’s power in both the Church and our lives again. What seems to link most growing churches these days is a more charismatic or expressive style to how they worship, teach and gather. Worship that’s actually worship, not just a band performing music in front of a passive audience. Worship that facilitates moments of transcendence.
This is not about loud or soft, big or small bands, but a connection to a transcendent, living God. A place where Heaven touches earth, where an exchange takes place, where miracles happen. I believe the draw towards transcendence highlights the need to have ‘the garden restored’. I preach about this often. The Garden that was lost at the beginning of time has been restored. The beauty of ‘seeing God in our the ordinary’ and experiencing walking with Him in the cool of the day. Genesis 28:16 “Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.” Being a people that have their senses awakened, intuitive, aware of God in their everyday lives. Not religious hype but a real relationship.
On Instagram, those around the age of 35 and under, seemed to have put up their Christmas trees much earlier in 2018, as early as late October, early November. I wonder why? I believe the traditional Christmas tree, lights and decor are reminders of wonder, peace, even hope and stability and the younger generation are desperate for something more important than money. They are craving connection and transcendence.
In a world that feels like a cacophony of noise and hurry, rage and impatience, a day where everything is accessible at their fingertips, young adults are looking for something – someone – beyond themselves… an experience that can’t be reduced or fully explained, and isn’t even fully definable. A sense of wonder.
Perhaps I should have started this article this way. We future proof our lives when we “see God” in our everyday lives. Light then breaks through our darkness and the path ahead is revealed. The word Faith implies a gap, but we are constantly looking to do away with the gap. We search for certainty but instead we get mystery and wonder. That’s exactly what walking by faith (or by the Spirit) does. When we are filled with the wonder of a transcendent, all-knowing God we look again, and we SEE, and it’s in this place that God begins to speak into our future. It’s in this place we have confidence, a “future proofing” that we can hold onto.
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