Trading Your Expectations For Being Expectant

Trading Your Expectations For Being Expectant

The difference between having “expectations” vs being “expectant”.

Sometimes it’s easy to allow our personal expectations of God to be in the forefront of my mind, instead of simply being expectant of God to show up. Being expectant doesn’t necessarily mean you know what will happen, but you understand that God is who he says he is and will reach your heart exactly how you need. Your personal expectations base God’s presence only off of what you’ve experienced before, but being expectant lets God bring new revelation.

Being expectant of God

With that being said, you might think, “how in the world do I let go of my expectations and instead start being expectant?!”. The truth is, this process looks different for everyone because we all have personal and unique relationships with God. Everyone takes a different route in learning God’s nature and consequently develop different expectations of him. But, being expectant of God is something we can all do because it welcomes him to bring new revelation of his love to us. For example, some expectations might look like thinking God only speaks to us when we do certain things, pray certain prayers, or even sit in a certain place. But, eventually you might stop hearing God clearly when doing these things. This is likely because your expectations have gotten in the way. We must fully be expectant of God, so that we can actually receive more truth from him. 

God brings new revelation

God knows what we need because he’s a lover of our hearts, but sometimes our expectations of him aren’t aligned with his character. He simply desires a relationship with us, not a programmed schedule. Imagine if we let our detailed expectations go, and trusted that God can do the impossible? Being expectant of God means we recognize that he’s within our waiting, our questions, and the minor details, but our expectations can keep us from receiving new revelation. Being expectant opens the door for progress within the process. We can exhaust ourselves if we only rely on our expectations. God speaks differently to us as we grow older with him, because our relationship is intended to mature. Spiritual growth requires us to be expectant, even if it looks different than last time.

The letting go of our expectations

The point is, we can always be expectant of God to meet us where we are, but we shouldn’t decide how he’s going to do it. We should be expectant by anticipating God bringing new revelation of himself, instead of giving him a list on how to do it. Often times our expectations are actually innocent, but can easily derail our growing process with God. There are times when he’s trying to show us something new, so that we can go deeper with him. Being expectant can further your relationship with God, rather than sticking to how it’s always been. Remember: God is with us in all things, even if you don’t know what to expect. 

What would it look like if you traded up your expectations for being expectant? What doors is God asking you to open so that he can bring new revelation to your situation? Are you letting God reveal more of himself to you, or holding fast to old expectations?


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Words of Knowledge and Their Place in Missions

Words of Knowledge and Their Place in Missions

The term “words of knowledge” gets used a lot in our community and in Redding in general. But what really is a word of knowledge and how is it different from a prophetic word or word of encouragement?

What’s the Point?

A word of knowledge, just like a prophetic word or word of encouragement, starts with Love. When you’re representing Christ to the people around you, it’s a good idea to ask God what HE is wanting to show them or speak to them. Our example is Jesus, who only did what he saw the Father doing. He will only ever do (or say) the MOST LOVING thing, so let this Love be your motivation and directive.

Words of knowledge, prophetic words, and words of encouragement are all things that we hear from God for another person. It’s a way that we can show them that God sees them, loves them, and wants to speak to them and encounter them. They produce faith and hope.

1 Corinthians 14:1 “Pursue love, and earnestly desire the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy … v3 the one who prophesies speaks to people for their upbuilding and encouragement and consolation… v4 the one who prophesies builds up the church.”

Prophetic and Encouraging

So, once again, how is a word of knowledge different? Well, let’s start by explaining the other two. Words of encouragement generally speak to an individual’s identity in Christ. You may have even heard the phrase “calling out the gold”. This is to say that you identify the beauty and God given truth about who someone was designed by God to be. It may sound like this, “You bring so much joy into every room you enter, even without trying to!” or “You are such a great example of the Father’s love to your kids!”

A prophetic word is different in that it speaks about God’s plans for someone’s future; calling forth what may not yet be present in someone’s life, but will be according to God. It may sound like, “I see the Lord giving you ministry opportunities with kids. He wants to use you to bring healing love and acceptance to children who feel unloved and unwanted.” or “I see you working to bring business to developing nations, creating job opportunities and community for persecuted believers.” or even “God is giving you the gift of joy to see and speak hope in all situations.”

Words of Knowledge

A word of knowledge is a little harder to describe in short. But it speaks to something that the person you are ministering to is currently experiencing or has experienced in their life. It highlights a specific experience, situation, or detail about that person. For example, I’ve seen God tell someone the other person’s birth date (day month and year), or the name of the street they lived on as a child. I’ve had God tell me the name of someone’s brother or relative and about the current state of their relationship. Most commonly I’ve seen words of knowledge be about physical ailments. For example, knowing that someone has a right shoulder injury or chronic neck pain. I’ve even seen it be as specific as, “you were riding your bike as a kid and flipped over your handlebars and ever since then you’ve had lower back pain.”

God gives us words of knowledge about other people to raise their faith for what He is wanting to do in light of their circumstances. If you suffered from migraines every day of your life, had been prayed over dozens of time, and then were asked to be prayed for again, what would your faith level be for that healing? But what if someone came to you and told you, “You’ve suffered from chronic migraines every day since you were 21 because of a drunk driver hitting your car, and God wants to heal you today.” If that was your situation, your faith that you were about to be healed would absolutely skyrocket! And you would have no doubt that the God who always sees you and intimately knows you and loves you is the one who healed you!

Words of Knowledge and Prophecy in Missions

Words of knowledge, prophetic words, and words of encouragement, in the end, only glorify God. They show people that God is real and is alive and active in our lives today. It tangibly shows them that God sees them and loves them more than they could ever imagine. They back up our claims that Jesus is the Son of God come to save and redeem the world.

We recently had some of our DTS outreach teams over in the Middle East, and they had some opportunities to minister powerfully through words of knowledge. As a fuller example of how these gifts glorify God and how we can use them in missions and ministry, check out this amazing story from one of our teams.

Outreach Testimony

“One family we met at one of our creative events was Muslim and they had decided to come just an hour before we started. In the events there’s worship, testimonies, poems, and the gospel message.

When people were mingling afterwords, some of our team went to talk with this family. One of our guys talked with the son (who was 10-12), and heard from the Lord through a word of knowledge that the boy had nightmares. He asked him if he did, and the boy said yes. Our guy told him (as the Lord spoke to him) that he felt like these nightmares were satan coming to steal from him – and the boy immediately said “Yes!” and went on to share that in the dream there were snakes attacking him and literally saying that they were stealing from him. So he was able to pray over the boy’s dreams and the Lord brought peace!

The mom asked how our guy knew about the dreams, and so he started sharing about how God speaks to us and shared more of the Gospel. The mom was surprised/a little unsure about how God could speak to people – and then as they’re talking about hearing God, our guy gets another word of knowledge that she has pain in her knee. So he asked her about it. She was so shocked and said yes, asking how he knew. Again he shared that it was God speaking, even in that moment! A couple of our team prayed for her knee, and it was totally healed! She was amazed and by the end of the night, was so interested in Jesus that she got our team’s numbers to continue meeting up to hear more about this God who speaks to people. Praise God!”

Your Turn!

We want to encourage you that these things aren’t just for the super-spiritual. God wants to (and will) speak to you and minister powerfully through you

Want to take a season to dive into the things of God? Learn about how God wants to use us to reveal His glory on the earth by doing a DTS!

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A Prophetic Journey into YWAM

A Prophetic Journey into YWAM


We asked Rachel, one of our new Encounter DTS students, to share about her powerful journey which lead her to YWAM Redding. Through prophetic dreams and words, the Lord guided her each and every step. When the Lord wants us somewhere, He will make it clear as we seek Him! 


I was finishing up my second year at a ministry school when I asked the Lord to give me a prophetic word for the next season. I told Him that I wanted so deeply to be wherever He wanted me to be. I immediately felt like the word was “adventure”. Twice after that, I had people pray over me and the first thing they said was, “I see a new prophetic word. I see the word ‘adventure’.”

I was still discovering what this word meant to my life when I had a dream that I would be spending my next birthday in California. I wrote down the dream and continued to seek the Lord about what He wanted for the next season of my life. Soon after that, a mentor of mine came up to me and told me “I can really see you at YWAM. I think you should look into it.”

Then, in March, I had another dream. I was standing outside of a town surrounded by mountains, and I saw a vision of fire rolling into the city. This dream had revelation for me spiritually, but I wasn’t really sure what it meant.

Continuing to seek the Lord, I was looking back at my notes and realized someone had previously prophesied missions over me. Because of this I decided to go on the YWAM website and look up bases in California, typing “adventure” into the search bar. I saw the Redding location pop up and it immediately stood out to me. I started to message them back and forth and one of the emails they wrote me was an EXACT prayer someone prophesied over me!

I continued to pray, asking the Lord to continue to reveal Himself and His heart for the next season. When the fires happened in Redding, I got extremely discouraged and scared. I wondered why the Lord would send me somewhere getting destroyed by a fire.

When I went to my friend for encouragement, she reminded me of the dream I had in March! The Lord revealed to me how beyond time He is, and that He knows me better than I know myself. I was so mesmerized by His willingness to speak so specifically to me! It grew my faith so much and I am so excited to give everything I have to be where I know the Lord wants me.”


Want to learn more about the school that Rachel has come to be a part of? Click the button below to discover our Encounter DTS!


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A Refugee in YWAM

A Refugee in YWAM

Fleeing for My Life as A Refugee

One of the greatest challenges God gave me was to move from my native country to the United States as a refugee. A few years ago, I witnessed a political shooting. Being able to identify the shooter, put me in grave risk. After being stalked and intimidated, I fled to the United States as a refugee. I ended up in Miami with two bags of belongings and God’s voice saying, “This is going to be your new home.” In the natural, my situation looked dire: a new language, a new culture, a new system, and I had no family, no friends, and not enough money.

Starting Over in the United States

My faith back then was smaller than my obedience. This country gave me the documents and the opportunity to start again. But it wasn’t easy at all, and I struggled with many things. God stretched my faith, my character, my heart, and my role as a dependent daughter of the Father. Would He let me down? Never. I had nightmares, nights of crying. There were days where I could smell the breeze and I wanted to hug my family one more time. There were days when I focused on my pain instead of focusing on what God was doing.

One day, while working a part-time job as a waitress, I got tired and said,“God I don’t think you brought me to this blessed country just to pay my bills and send money to my family. I have a purpose. I know you called me to go to the Nations to share your Good News.” That same voice Who spoke, “This is your new home,” told me to “Look for YWAM.” The real adventure started to unfold.

Obeying His Voice Despite Everything

After receiving an inquiry email, a man from YWAM Kona called and explained to me what a  DTS (Discipleship Training School) is and that he was going to pray for me. Six months after that phone call, God opened doors for me to go to Kona, Hawaii. He miraculously paid for all of my school fees, outreach fees, and food. My DTS was the greatest experience of my life. I really met Jesus and I learned about His perfect love and my identity as His child – not just a refugee. He also gave me a huge present: a family of friends from all over the world. We loved each other, we laughed together, we cried together, we eat together.  We were a community of sons and daughters of the same Father!

A month after I graduated my DTS, God called me to YWAM Redding to participate in their School of Islamic Studies (SIS). Being a refugee and having an Arab heritage has put me in a unique position to reach Muslim refugees for Christ. In SIS, I’m learning God’s heart for Muslims and about how He wants to be their loving Father.   

Even though I cannot legally leave the United States, I have a big family and a new home. I’ve been collecting so many stories in this season—so many testimonies of God’s love, provision and faithfulness! He has given me all I need.

Yes, I came as a refugee, but I found a family.

Do you have a heart for refugees? Read and subscribe to our monthly newsletter to be in the know of ways that you can get involved: Click Here!

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A Journey Away from Isolation: Finding True Community

A Journey Away from Isolation: Finding True Community

I remember a time when I was at a young age– I had done something wrong, and in response to my actions someone close to me spoke words that made me feel isolated from real community: “You aren’t going to have any friends if you act like this. You’re going to be really lonely when you are older.”

What I heard that day was this: “If you let people really get to know you, no one will want to be friends with you.”

Many of us live in a society that tells us to be careful who we let in, open up to, and share our weaknesses with. We are continually told through media and other sources that our lives will thrive in perfection and appeasing our peers. Without Jesus, it is easy to fall into the trap and become plagued by insecurity and fear of what people might think if they knew just how messy our life truly is.

Where the Journey Starts

I want to share my story with you- the story of how God spoke identity and love into me as I found a community that changed my life. I pray that it encourages you to pursue godly fellowship with willingness to be vulnerable, for James 5:16 says “confess your sins to one another and pray for one another so that you may be healed.”

Growing up, I was consumed by the fear of rejection. I lived an isolated life, believing it was better to be lonely and keep my distance from people than to be turned away by them. I became perfectionistic, trying to earn the approval of those around me without having to let them into my life. I was convinced that my identity was rooted in what others thought about me, and I lived a life that reflected that.

As I got older, I started stepping into leadership roles within my church. I was deeply struggling, and at times I would find someone to confide in and share my hurting heart with. However, when the person would walk away from me, it left me feeling abandoned, rejected, and with more fear of trusting community, because I had rooted my identity in their approval and love. The enemy used this to pull me deeper into isolation, and I began living a double life. On one hand, I was a bright and passionate leader, conveying that I was filled with joy and living in freedom and had lots of friends. On the other, I was isolated and depressed, and never shared my struggles with anyone. Especially since I was a ministry leader, I thought I could not struggle.

I thought to myself, “What will they think if I claim to be a Christian and preach freedom in Christ if I am struggling?” I never let these two worlds collide. Shame had attached itself to me.

Praise God, this is not the end of my story.

God took me on a wild and crazy journey, calling me to do a Discipleship Training School. Before I started my DTS, God spoke the word “trust” to me, a prophecy for the season I was stepping into. I assumed He meant that this would be a time where I would learn to trust Him more. Besides, what does community have to do with my relationship with God? I thought. What I found was much, much more than I had anticipated.

As soon as I arrived at YWAM Redding, I became immersed in a community of God loving people, and there was a realness and a vulnerability in the community around me that I had never seen before. The girls I lived with were genuine. They were on fire for the Lord, but not the perfect people I put pressure on myself to be.

As I stepped into this community, my ability to hide was stripped away. This was terrifying at first, but soon I realized that I was actually loved, even in my mess. I was not judged for my insecurities.

What I found was a freedom to be myself. What I found was unconditional love, no matter what I had been through or what my past looked like. I found listening ears– people who wanted to know me, my story, my best moments and my worst moments. I found that it was okay to not be okay, and I found people willing to walk with me until I received the breakthrough. I found conversation with depth and meaning as we spent hours discussing revelations and moments of freedom.

One night, I laid in my bed with a hurting and fearful heart, feeling discouraged. Only a couple of minutes went by before I was surrounded by five friends who spent the next hour pouring into me, praying with me, and loving me.

This was not an isolated event, but a normal occurrence. I became immersed in a totally different atmosphere, surrounded by prayer, worship, and encouragement. During every hard moment, there was always someone willing to come and pray for me, and in every victory, they were there to celebrate with me.

Through these people, God showed me what Godly community looks like. Through these people, He taught me how to trust again.

Coming to DTS, I expected the classes to be powerful. I expected great times of worship. I expected to be stretched in evangelism. These are the things that I focussed on. And while I gained so much from the different aspects of a DTS and loved every minute of it, nothing changed my life more than the freedom that happened in the context of the relationships.

If you are interested in learning more about our Discipleship Training Schools, and getting involved with a true community, click this link:

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Love is a Verb

Love is a Verb

I have a confession to make. 

As a people-pleaser, I can have a really hard time saying no to people looking for my yes. When well-meaning family, friends, roommates or coworkers ask me to do something, how can I possibly say no?

“Can you come help out at this social event where you will undoubtedly feel awkward and weird?” YES

“Can you take on this extra work assignment that stresses you out and that you have zero time for?” OF COURSE.

“Can you do this last-minute thing for me that you actually have no idea how to do?” ABSOLUTELY.

But even if you’re a greater rebel than me (or just have a little more balance in your life), it can be even harder to say no to ministry… what feels like saying no to Jesus.

“Can you serve in the nursery even though you don’t like kids?” OK.

“Can you set up at church? And tear down? And run sound? And lead worship?” YES. YES. YES.

But even if we’re always saying yes, is it out of joy to love and serve Jesus and His people? Or is it out of guilt, a feeling of obligation? Is it from fear that if we say no, we’ll get on God’s “bad side,” that He won’t love us anymore?

I desire to live a life pleasing to God, to live like Jesus… I even give Him my yes, but I often struggle to give Him my yes from a place of love—loving Him and knowing He’ll STILL love me even if I sometimes say no.

Recently, I was taking an afternoon run around my neighborhood when Jesus asked for my yes.

A half block ahead of me, I noticed a man with a walker in the distance. I ran into the street to give Him more room, and I smiled at him as we passed. His face lit up and he even paused his shuffle down the sidewalk to smile at me.

But I kept running.

This was inconvenient. Seeing a “lame man” when you’re filled with God’s Spirit and His power to pray for people to be healed can really get in the way of your workout. I didn’t say this to God, but what I did next communicated the same message.

“Lord, touch him and heal him,” I sent up a little prayer, just something to check “praying for the sick” off my good Christian girl to-do list for the day.

With each breath and stride I took though, the man’s face continued to fill my mind, along with a string of what if’s. What if God wanted to use me to heal him? What if I ignored the feeling? What if the man wasn’t healed because I didn’t say yes to God calling me back to pray?

Of course, God could heal Him without any help from me, I reasoned. He’s God! A true statement—but another truth is that God gives us a heart and soul, in addition to a rational mind, to guide our actions.

Pause. Pray. Love. This was the Father’s invitation.

I turned around, starting a slow and hesitant jog back in the man’s direction. By now, he was in the middle of the street, slowly hobbling to the other side. Another inconvenience. “NO. I can’t stop him THERE!” I reasoned with the Lord. So I waited till he was safely back on the sidewalk. Then I ran. I didn’t actually know what I’d say when I faced him.

“Excuse me,” I said. He didn’t hear me at first. “Excuse me!” I said, a little louder. He hustled to the side, thinking I wanted to pass, and I felt bad for startling him.

Now I was REALLY feeling uncomfortable. “I hope this isn’t weird,” I began, huffing and sweating from sprinting toward him.“Do you believe in prayer for healing?”

“Well, yeah!” the man replied. Wow. Was this really going to be THAT easy?

I asked him what had happened, gesturing to the brace on his back and the walker before him. He shared about old football injuries, a collapsed disc, twenty years of chronic pain. As I listened, he shared even more—how he felt stuck at home, unable to work… struggling to be patient and hopeful. His doctor had told him it could take 9 months to a year for him to be totally healed.

I listened. And by listening, I loved. Then, I asked if I could pray. God’s grace saturated that sidewalk, and the man was so open and willing.

I prayed for his healing, for peace and patience, for the Lord’s presence to be with him during his recovery. “In Jesus’ name,” I said, and we shook hands. I buzzed with the exhilaration of saying yes to God. But I thought that was it.

Then the man asked, “Can I… can I have a hug?”

Without hesitation, I said YES.

As I hugged him, I felt the Lord filling me with an even greater measure of love for this man, using me as the arms of Jesus to embrace my neighbor with the Father’s love. All along I’d felt a sense of duty to pray for him, when really the Lord just asked me to say yes to love.

Then the man said something surprising. “You know, I’ve been thinking about God a lot lately… and then you came along.”

God delights in our obedience, but it isn’t His end goal. It’s our love. Jesus tells his disciples, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me” (John 14:21). Saying yes to God shows we trust Him. Obedience is the evidence of our love.

Knowing He loves us, we’re empowered to love Him right back, even when obedience demands our all. Secure in the Father’s love, Jesus gave the hardest yes to give. The Father asked His Son to give up His life as a sacrifice for the sins of all humanity. Jesus’ response? “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will” (Matt. 26:39). Jesus’ loving obedience—a love that loves to the point of death—is a demonstration and declaration that His Father is a good Father we can trust and follow.

Saying yes becomes a whole lot easier when we know we’re loved. We say yes, not because of what it will do for us, but because of what Love Himself has already done. Love is a verb.

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