Stabbed With God’s Knife…

Some time ago I was listening to another young leader share his heart, what had happened in his life and his vision for the future. What he shared was truly inspiring, but strangely enough, I found myself groaning on the inside. I could not simply rejoice at his success…This led me the following morning, to probe down into myself. What it revealed was like getting stabbed with God’s knife. It led me to jot down the following thoughts:

Lord, continue to break all insecurity in me that is based in pride. Let me truly rejoice at other people’s successes.

Insecurity as a leader leads to competition and comparison. Why do I groan when other leaders are successful? Especially successes that embody something I want to be. It becomes “my kingdom” instead of “His kingdom.”

What is this kind of insecurity based on? What is the root? Pride and fear? Is it just as simple as me wanting to be in the center? Wanting myself to be made much of? It seems obvious that I am not satisfied when I slip into the background. Something in me says: “I need to step in, I need to be seen, I want to impress.” In other words I try to seek glory from men. So it is also fear of men. Insecurity then seeks approval in the wrong place. This in turn goes to show that I do not live in the fullness of God’s approval.

The challenge is that approval by men is not necessarily a bad thing. Rom 14:18 “He who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.” But as a source of security, it is very shaky. Approval is good, seeking approval from man is treacherous.

I do not live in the fullness of God’s approval/love. I need a deeper revelation and experience of Your love. That is the true path to freedom. It brings the ability to truly rejoice at another’s success. So the cure is to receive your love, and to bless, love and pray for those who embody our desired success.

Since that day, whenever I feel the “groaning” coming. I just repeat this sentence to myself: “God, my approval is in you” and I feel like a puff of fresh air coming into my spirit. I can truly rejoice at other’s successes.

So…what happened in 2010?

God definitely has a sense of humor. Just when you think that it’s impossible to top a year in terms of the significance of the events taking place, He gives you another year packed with life defining moments. When I stop to look back, I see how faithful He is in leading us into His plans for our lives, and how good He has been towards us. So without further waiting, ladies and gentlemen, here’s what has happened in 2010:

  • Our beautiful daughter, Leanah Mirjam Hockley was born on 2nd of September.
  • After 3 years of work and preparation, we launched the Jesus Revolution groups concept in August at the Jesus Festival.
  • At the same festival, I was officially appointed leader of Jesus Revolution as Stephan Christiansen, founder of the work, takes a step back.
  • God provided us with an apartment that we bought in Oslo.
  • Travels: I have been teaching in France and travelling to Italy to meet leaders that want to start a Jesus Revolution work in Italy, and to teach in a youth leader seminar. At the beginning of the year, Guro and I travelled together to Finland for the wedding of Jonna and Andreas Nebdal.
  • The firstfruits of the Jesus Revolution groups have started to come, so far 8 groups have started in 6 different nations, and more than 700 people have heard the gospel through them! God is good!

Remembering Dad…

A bit more than 4 years ago, just three months before my wedding, one of the dearest people in my life disappeared.

He left behind him a wife, six children, and the church he pastored in a little village in the north-west of France. In the eyes of the world, he may not have been the most successful man. He was neither rich, nor very influential and did not have a great career.

How do you measure a man?

What determines the value of a man’s life? The challenge in the question is that by looking into the answer, I am providing a measuring tape against which my own live will be laid. Therefore I can be tempted to value a man by the things that I have been successful at. Anything else would be to admit that I have failed at making my own life count.

So how do you measure a man? The Bible provides some clear defining lines as to what is meaningful here on earth.

Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.

1 Cor 13:13

Love is the answer

What is love? My definition is pretty simple: it is living for others. Why then do I consider Dad to be one of my greatest examples? A man that leaves a good career in England to go to France as a missionary is not living for himself. A man that starts a church in a village of 3500 people is not living for himself. A man that raises up 6 children is not living for himself.

I have many good memories of my father, such our the weekly family times, his wisdom, his ability to challenge me…One day he called me into his office, read revelations 3:16 (So, because you are lukewarm–neither hot nor cold–I am about to spit you out of my mouth.), and then confronted my lifestyle. Funnily enough, I really treasure that moment.

But most of all, I admire his capacity to focus on the eternal. He knew that life would be short, and lived for God and others. That is why I am certain that he had few regrets when dying, even though he was far from perfect. While I was certainly saddened by his death, I want to echo my mother’s attitude at the memorial service. She started dancing and singing for joy while people looked awkwardly at her. “Has it snapped for Mrs Hockley?” Actually, with her thoughts turned to heaven, she was the clearest minded of us all.