May 22, 2014

Thoughts from Mark

The Living God of the Next Generation

 

Therefore, just as the Holy Spirit says,

“TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE,
DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME,
AS IN THE DAY OF TRIAL IN THE WILDERNESS,
WHERE YOUR FATHERS TRIED Me  BY TESTING Me,
AND SAW MY WORKS FOR FORTY YEARS.
“THEREFORE I WAS ANGRY WITH THIS GENERATION,
AND SAID, ‘THEY ALWAYS GO ASTRAY IN THEIR HEART,
AND THEY DID NOT KNOW MY WAYS’;
AS I SWORE IN MY WRATH,
‘THEY SHALL NOT ENTER MY REST.'”

Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God. (Hebrews 3:7-13)

I am increasingly aware that we may be experiencing this again in our day.  A beautiful generation of mothers and fathers in danger of losing sight of the LIVING God.

There is a generation arising who is laying hold of the PERSON of the Lord.  They are not satisfied with a belief system and a historical faith chronicled in books and retold stories.  Jesus is very much alive in them and they want to see Him, hear His voice, encounter Him.  Today.

When this generation does experience Him, they see Him for who He really is.  Their understanding of scripture is now interpreted through the LIVING God they witness, not a doctrinal theology they’ve been taught.  It’s no longer a study or a training course but truly the Word made flesh.

As this generation declares what they are experiencing to the mothers and fathers, my prayer is that they encounter Joshua’s and Caleb’s.  Ones who see the land and say it is good.  They recognize the voice and aroma of their God in the burgeoning discoveries of the children.

The best scenario is for the senior generation to encourage and stabilize this emerging expression of the living God in the earth.  Let not wisdom shout down the voice of God in the younger ones but give it credence and increased strength.  May the generations join hands connecting the ancient paths with the new thing the Lord is doing.

If not, the danger is fathers and mothers never seeing what they lived their whole lives believing for.  Of the increase of His government there will be no end.  It is great wisdom to recognize that any one generation only sees in part.  It’s the role and privilege of the next to add to the fullness of the kingdom.

To the sons and daughters – you very well may experience criticism and doubt concerning your experience and understanding of the Lord.  If you do, recognize this response is part fear and part perceived protection.  They want what is best for you.  Your honor of WHO they are still engenders the scriptural promise of a long and prosperous life.  Your ability to clearly and lovingly articulate your Jesus can quiet their fears and enjoin their deep and abiding faith.

But the greatest opportunity lies in allowing Jesus to be fully Himself in you.  When they see Him – experience His culture of love, grace and power – in you, any long-held argument fades to black as they join you crossing the Jordan.

To the fathers and mothers – your faithfulness is why this generation is even able to lay hold of the Lord.  Realize that your understanding is but a foundation, and foundations are designed to be built upon.  As the next generation covers up your hard work with a building that looks different than what you’ve built, don’t be apt to correct.  Instead, rejoice!  No building looks like its foundation.  But no structure can be sustained with out one.

The degree to which the generations partner together, will determine the The brightness of Christ’s projection. It is not about right or wrong. This is a classic mistake. Scrapping the old is no better than rejecting the new.
What it is about is bringing the full measure that belongs to the stature of Christ. Sometimes the new growth will look as abnormal as a teenager in the midst of puberty. I urge you to trust the Lord who always finishes what He starts.

Yield up to the Lord anything sacred apart from WHO He is.  Trust your Father with His children and join Him in breathing life into their faith.  And though “their” Jesus may look and sound different than “yours”, keep listening.  If you abide in Him, you will feel the deep and familiar rhythm of Him who has been with you all along.

The “rest” the writer of Hebrews describes is simple.  It is the older generation wisely and compassionately guiding the younger as they further their work of advancing the kingdom.

There is no better reward for a father or mother than knowing their children are moving their legacy forward.

In love,

Mark