I love to see children being released into who they are in the Kingdom of God. They can access God's presence, they can receive revelation, they can grow in the gifts of the Spirit and use them now, such as tongues, healing, prophecy and more. For more on this, do check out my blog A Serious Calling.
However, releasing children takes understanding, bravery and courage on the part of the adults in their lives: To step out to grow in these things ourselves, as we teach and learn with the children. To let them try and probably fail. To have a culture of progress over perfection to try and try again. To be open to listen to and learn from the children. To not have all the answers!
But what incredible opportunities could be created and what could we see, hear and experience of the Kingdom of God if we really did this? What increase and expansion could we see? What healing, miracles, revelation and breakthrough could be experienced?
As I was musing on this I felt like I heard Jesus whisper the words 'a little child shall lead them...'
Isaiah 11:6 New Century Version
Then wolves will live in peace with lambs,
and leopards will lie down to rest with goats.
Calves, lions, and young bulls will eat together,
and a little child will lead them.
This passage is entitled The King of Peace is coming. The Kingdom Jesus is Lord of is one of peace, love, joy and so much more. In this Kingdom children can lead seemingly 'stronger' creatures like the lions and bulls.
I feel like we have an amazing challenge and opportunity to begin to release children into leading now, to really value and trust them and know they are part of this Kingdom of peace now!
Practically, where could we start with this?
- Think about what you say - use empowering language: 'You are important and significant in God's Kingdom. Jesus has amazing plans for you right now. You are growing strong in Holy Spirit. You are powerful and can help others. You can pray for others. What is God showing you? What should we read in our bible?'
- Let them solve problems. Practice numerous ways to connect with Jesus so they are confident they can always go to him, then encourage them to seek what he is saying and showing them about a situation or a problem. For example, they know what to do when they have a bad dream or feel afraid, or when something sad happens or how to celebrate good things or deal with anger or jealousy.
- Let them lead an Adventure Time or worship time so they are empowered to make choices and can develop their own ideas for meeting with Jesus.
- Collect lots of fun ways to pray or chat with Jesus that they have created and use them regularly.
- Teach and learn about gifts of the Spirit together. Get hungry for them and ask Holy Spirit for them. Then practice using them! For example be brave to ask for a word of knowledge for a friend or family member and step out to share it. Or ask for the gift of tongues and go for it! Keep trying new things!
- Practice prophecy regularly (hearing God for others 1 Corinthians 14:1-3) and find creative ways to share these messages with others. You can use many things as inspiration to ask Holy Spirit what he is showing you for someone: objects, colours, numbers, bible dudes, what someone is wearing and more...
- Model humility, that we are all learning and growing by being teachable yourself and asking for them to pray for you. Show that you need their prayers, encouragement and support.
- Listen to children! And always encourage, validate and support them.
- Look for opportunities to release them and to gently stretch them.
- Ask Jesus what your child needs next and have fun!
There is so much potential within your child. Who will they be in the Kingdom of God? Who are you shaping and nurturing? What impact could this have on eternity?