Recently I was talking with a parent and I discovered that they are seeing similar fruit from a Fortis education as I am.  I like to eavesdrop on my daughters in the evenings because they are often discussing issues that were brought up in class.  I find it exciting to see them engaged in their education this way.  I am also impressed with one of them who is reading five chapters every day in the Bible, and the other who has developed a sizable list of personal books to read that will develop her faith.  All of this I attribute to a Fortis education.

What we are doing as an educational community is very important for our children and for the future of our nation.  As I was pondering our mission last week, I kept thinking about King David and his mighty men.  Both David and his mighty men accomplished amazing exploits and extended the border of God’s kingdom on earth.  They were part of a change of administration, the reviving of faith and cultural shift in Israel.  The end of the book of Judges tells us that, “In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25, NKJV).  The picture painted is of a culture that was continually degenerating into sin, and though there were seasons of reprieve when God raised up a judge, the trajectory was always toward sin and rebellion.  The first king of Israel represented the trajectory of this old order, and the culture would eventually have died, except that God acted on behalf of the nation and established David on the throne.   And who were David’s mighty men?  1 Samuel tells us that, “Everyone who was in distress, everyone who was in debt, and everyone who was discontented gathered to him. So he became captain over them” (1 Samuel 22:2, NKJV).  In many ways that is what I see us doing at Fortis, we are those who are not content with the way things are and do not fit in our current culture, so we have gathered to King Jesus.   Our prayer is that God would take our children and would change culture like He did through David and his mighty men, that they would restore the fear of God to America.

This brings me to the whole subject of expectation. We must dare to believe that there is hope for the future, that our children could experience a cultural revival toward Christ and His kingdom, and that they could inherit a nation that walks in the fear of the Lord.  Even as I write this, I know there are many believers in America who do not dare to believe such things, their whole expectation is that things are going to get continually worse.  When I study scripture and history, I see a world where, when people dare to believe and follow Christ, they can see great cultural shifts.  This not only happened during the Reformation and through the Great Awakenings but can be found at various levels throughout all of history.  Yet, it takes an expectation, like the expectation David had when he faced Goliath, to change culture.

I am currently reading The Seven Laws of the Learner, by Bruce Wilkenson.  He talks in depth of the power of expectation and the stories are amazing.  He mentions a doctor who had a patient that was allergic to a certain medicine.  He was given a placebo but told that it was the actual medicine.   He exhibited the exact same symptoms from taking a sugar pill as he does from the medicine he is allergic to simply because he believed he took the medicine and expected those reactions.  Bruce tells several other stories about expectation including one from 1900 when the Census Bureau bought tabulating machines and estimated workers could process 550 cards per day with it.  The employees did not expect that they could increase production that much, so there was a lot of emotional tension to the point that the director concluded he couldn’t require that many (and production decreased even more).  They had to hire more people to process the cards, but they were put in a different room.  They were not limited in their expectation, and they were able to process 2100 per day.

Expectation is a powerful determiner of culture.  Our goal at Fortis is to raise the expectation of our students so that they can grow in wisdom, knowledge and virtue while developing skills necessary to be successful in life.  Most importantly, that they would love the Lord with all of their heart, soul, mind and strength.  We also hope to awaken an expectation that God could use them to radically transform our culture.  They could be the generation that sees an end to abortion, sees the marriage covenant sacred once again and turns the culture toward faith in Christ.  It will never happen if we do not awaken such a dream in them.  May they catch the dream and become like David’s mighty men who did exploits and saw a major cultural shift in their generation.