This article is an excerpt from Raising Kingdom Kids by Tony Evans.
Because I’m a pastor, parents facing difficult situations in their homes or marriages regularly ask me how God is going to show up and transform whatever challenge they are in. My answer is always the same: “I don’t know. But what I do know is this: When God tells you to cross the Jordan, you’d better start walking, and let Him work it out.”
God rarely starts working things out until He sees you respond to what He has asked you to do. God responds when you walk by faith, not when you wish by faith. You can’t exercise faith in a rocking chair. A rocking chair makes you comfortable, but it doesn’t take you anywhere. Far too many parents are satisfied with comfortable homes at the expense of creating families who will carry out God’s agenda and advance His kingdom on earth.
God has as many methods for restoring or strengthening your home and your children as there are stars in the sky. He is the great “unfigureoutable” God. He knows how to fix things, tweak things, and turn things that are upside down right-side up again. He can turn kid situations around on a dime, stabilize your marriage, and heal wounds that have festered for years, or even decades. The problem comes when we try to figure out how He’s going to do it—or when we resist how He is doing it.
God may lead you one way in a situation and a totally different way in another very similar situation. When David fought the Philistines in the Valley of Rephaim the first time, God told him to go directly up against them and He would give them into his hands (see 2 Samuel 5:17–21).
Yet in the very next battle, which took place when the Philistines once again invaded the very same Valley of Rephaim, God told David, “You shall not go directly up,” but rather he was to, “circle around behind them and come at them in front of the balsam trees.” God instructed David that when he heard “the sound of the marching in the tops of the balsam trees, then you shall act promptly, for then the Lord will have gone out before you to strike the army of the Philistines” (2 Samuel 5:23–24).
In the first battle, David was to engage the enemy head-on. In the second battle, David was to wait until he heard the breeze blowing in the trees. I imagine that is not something David would have learned at the Holy Land Battle Academy. I’m pretty sure David never attended a combat-strategy class on “Breeze Blowing in the Trees.”
God’s ways are not our ways. Yet within the constancy of change remains one element that never changes: God will respond to your faith. God will frequently either increase or limit what He does in response to what you do.
The calling of parenthood is a high one. To do it well takes more than what you have to offer on your own. But never lose sight of the fact that when God called people to do something spectacular in the Bible, the thing He called them to do was typically larger than themselves. He called Abraham to be the father of a mighty nation. He called David to single-handedly defeat someone twice his size with one small stone. He called Moses to part the Red Sea.
And He is calling you to raise kingdom kids.
You will often know that it is God asking you to do something if it is something you cannot do on your own. You cannot discover how big God is unless you need Him for something bigger than you can handle. Raising kingdom kids in today’s culture of mayhem and mess is something bigger than any of us can handle on our own. It will be done well only through a spirit and heart of humility that knowingly depends on God and follows His ways and precepts. As individuals, we often can do great things in terms of our human abilities, but only God gets the glory when He pulls off what you could have never done on your own. And frequently He pulls it off in response to your forward movement in faith. To parent well is a joint venture with God. God’s promises for your family, future, your kids, and more don’t come by you simply sitting around waiting for them. They require you to act in faith and to diligently train your children in God’s truth.
Raising Kingdom Kids by Tony Evans
From the bestselling author of Kingdom Man and Kingdom Woman, Raising Kingdom Kids equips parents to raise their children with a Kingdom perspective and also offers practical how-to advice on providing spiritual training as instructed in Scripture.
Dr. Tony Evans begins with an overarching look at the need for Kingdom parenting, our roles and responsibilities in raising God-following children, and how to prepare children to take on the assignments God has for their lives. He then takes a practical turn, with examples and illustrations to help parents understand and provide specific training for kids in the power of prayer, wisdom, loving God’s Word, getting through trials, controlling their tongues, developing patience, the surrender of service, and much more.
This book is for every dad or mom who wants to fulfill the parenting role God has given them—not just in raising healthy kids intellectually, physically, and socially, but in contributing to their child’s relationship with God and alignment under His plan.