The idea of developing culture has fascinated me for the past couple of years. Not least because I am Scot living in the US at the moment. When living abroad for more than a couple of months the cultural differences begin to stand out more and more. You begin adapting to the culture you find yourself in to fit in. There are unique languages, social gestures and expectations for each sub culture. There is only so long you can take being misunderstood! We all take on the culture of where we were brought up or where we live to some degree and it often seems to happen by immersion. Culture is powerful and infectious! Long enough in an environment and people change.
What if we can develop a culture that inspires people to greatness, covers people in unconditional love and models true freedom? That would be a powerful force on the earth! What if we wanted to develop a culture that embodies the Kingdom of God as Jesus lays out in the Gospels? What if we created a culture where people not only believe miracles are possible but where the supernatural becomes an increasing reality in our midst? This culture would create massive momentum to propel people forward.
Here are some thoughts on key components for a supernatural culture:
Safety to take risk
If we want a group of believers to step out in miracles, signs and wonders and begin to expect the impossible to invade their circumstances, people need to feel safe. Not the sort of safety where people feel comfortable but the sort of safety where people can make mistakes and pick themselves up without judgement. In fact to take it a step further we would need to celebrate people’s boldness in stepping out no matter the outcome. A culture that wants to see the supernatural manifest must celebrate risk taking. Risk taking alone is not enough however. We also need the relational tools to clean up issues without suppressing enthusiasm.
If you want to see God do miracles more often you must keep before you at all times the accounts of miracles God has done. Numerous times we read in the Old Testament of how entire generations forgot the stories of Gods supernatural miracles and how it led the people astray (see Psalm 78). They became weak and seemingly hopeless, forgetting the God who rescued them from Egypt and gave Abraham an heir was still with them. Whenever Israel remembered these stories they stepped forward with confidence and saw God come through for them in the midst of new impossible circumstances. God never changes so we can know that whatever he did once revealed his complete ability to do the same again. A supernatural culture celebrates not only the risk taking but the results. Faith is released each time you hear about what God has done in someone’s life, testimonies carry power. The ark of the covenant was even called the ark of the testimony. In it was kept evidence of Gods supernatural protection and direction, here the presence of God rested in the Old Testament. A supernatural culture stops to honour what God does, just like Israel built towers of rocks to remember Gods goodness. At times this means focusing on what God is doing in circumstances where it is less than obvious.
To develop a supernatural culture we must believe in people more than they believe in themselves. The truth is, most people do not live each day aware of their greatness. In fact most Christians are simply waiting for the next time they will fail. The truth that because of Jesus we can approach the Father with complete confidence knowing we are his beloved children who are co-heirs to his Kingdom, seems distant to most believers. The fact that God is so committed to each person displaying his Glory here on earth that he lives within us, escapes our thoughts on the average day. We need people who will remind us of these things regularly and call us as God does. Seeing people as God sees them will change your life. God is not waiting on our next failure, he believes in us more than we believe in ourselves and always calls us onward to our destiny. Anyone can see the dirt in each others lives, it takes faith to see a person’s identity and destiny. A culture that treats people as free and powerful will create powerful and free people. It is not about what we can do on our own but rather what God can do in and through each person filtered through their unique personality and call. As we apprehend more of what God has achieved for and in us, praise will naturally pour forth. The results are far from self-centred.
I have been emerged in a culture that sees the supernatural happen regularly for the past year and these are simply some observations as I distil the culture I experience daily. It is not a formula, however I know these core values have been lifted and planted around the world and seen great results. The exciting thing is that a supernatural culture will sustain itself once there is momentum. Culture is a powerful thing and in a short time you will find yourself acting in ways that were previously far from normal for you. People emerged in this culture will start to see God working to bring breakthrough into impossible situations regularly. The God of the impossible will be honoured in our midst.