Building a Foundation for Future Generations
A challenge for every parent and grandparent to address is the heritage they will leave for their children. Who we are and who we are not will have an impact not only on our own lives, but the lives of our children and their children. The patterns we establish in how we think, speak, and act will serve as a foundation for future generations. For example, if we choose to operate in bitterness, fear, or rejection it will result in generations taught to do the same. However, if we choose to operate in forgiveness, love, and prioritize the Word of God in our lives we will point our generations toward God.
19 I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:
20 That thou mayest love the LORD thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days: that thou mayest dwell in the land which the LORD sware unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them. Deuteronomy 30:19-20
Our responsibility in the church
Apart from our families, we share an additional responsibility as the church. The church is not a building; it is believers that comprise the body of Christ. Whether you are a parent or not, you still serve as an example to others within the body especially to those who are younger in the faith. We are all required to guard over doctrine and our conduct as body members. As the Bereans exhibited, it is everyone’s responsibility to search in the scriptures for themselves to determine what they will believe and apply to their lives.
10 And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Act 17:10
Abraham’s Journey of Faith
One man who followed God and taught his generations to do the same is Abraham. His life serves as a practical example to lead us through this topic. As scriptures describe, the Lord knew that he would teach his generations to “keep the way of the LORD.”
For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him. Genesis 18:19
Faith is the dividing line of our journey
Will we believe and act upon the Word of God over every other voice and impression that comes to tempt us? When we are tempted to go into fear, will we choose to trust God with the outcome instead? When we are tempted to go into rage and anger because of an offense, are we willing to forgive regardless of what was done to us?
6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.
7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.
8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.
9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. Galatians 3:6-8
How to be a child of Abraham
The journey of faith requires bringing forth fruit worthy of repentance. To be a “child of Abraham” is to represent the heart and will of Father God on this planet. Abraham chose to obey and follow God despite not knowing the outcome. Perhaps we aren’t literally leaving family and lands, but spiritually we are being required to follow ways of thinking that do not represent our generations. Many of our families did not love God or His ways.
Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. Luke 3:8
Forging new paths for our generations
By repenting to Father God for participation with iniquity, otherwise known as generational sin, we make the determination to lay aside ways of thinking that seem normal to us and embrace ways that may feel foreign. For example, many families have been formed by fear. They fixate on thoughts of worry and dread of potential negative outcomes in every situation.
When someone repents for generational fear they will need to learn to live in peace. By releasing situations to Father God, they will grow in trusting Him rather than fearing negative consequences. The Word of God must become the standard to measure thought processes and mindsets related to many everyday tasks and outcomes–otherwise known as “renewing our mind.”
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:2
Called Out of the Generations
Abraham was called out of a pagan nation to follow God. He did not know the outcome nor have a plan to get there. In our journey of faith, we do not know what specific plans Father God has for our life nor do we have control over His will for our life. We cannot form ourselves and we do not know where it will lead.
By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went. Hebrews 11:8
Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham; Nehemiah 9:7
Moving forward even when we make mistakes
When confronting deeply ingrained ways of thinking, speaking, and acting we may make mistakes along the way and fall into sin. As this happens, we need to repent to recover ourselves.
In the case of Abraham, he had his wife lied to both Pharaoh and Abimelech out of fear that they would kill him to take his wife. In addition, after being promised that he would have a child, out of fear that God wouldn’t come through, Abraham and Sarah got ahead of the plan that the Lord had for their life. He was promised an offspring, but he didn’t wait on the Lord for how this would come to pass and made other plans with his wife. The result was a child birthed by Hagar instead of Sarah. He wasn’t a perfect man and neither are we. In our journey of overcoming, even with the best of intentions we don’t always hear Father God correctly. Iniquity is often a prime reason we lose sight of what Father God has in store for us.
And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the LORD hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai. Genesis 16:2
Learning to Trust and Obey
Father God does not expect us to be perfect. He has given us grace and mercy. Abraham was given another chance after having a child by Hagar. Ishmael was known as a child after the flesh. This was not to diminish him, but because Abraham and Sarah did not trust God and got ahead of Him in the conception of a child by another woman. It required faith towards God to believe and act upon the word of the Lord that Sarah, advanced in age and barren, would be able to conceive a child. It required the Spirit of God to work with them for this miracle to take place. Doing what Father God wants for us requires taking a risk and trusting Him, especially when the outcome of our life appears uncertain.
And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shalt call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his seed after him. Genesis 17:19
Maturity takes time
Father God does not expect us to grow up overnight. A major reason religious spirits join believers in our journey of faith is to ‘help’ us to pretend to be mature. Maturity takes time. As the Apostle John described, there are phases to our journey. The way we grow is basic. We must be willing to be honest. We don’t have all the answers for our lives and we need to admit to Father God where we have failed and our weaknesses and ask Him to meet us in it.
13 I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father.
14 I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one. 1 John 2:13-14
6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. James 4:6-7
Trusting God or Blessings?
In the history of the nation of Israel, the Lord would meet them in their circumstances when they repented and returned to Him. The results were blessings. Unfortunately, over time they would forget about God and credited their blessings to their own works.
One of the defining moments in the life of Abraham was when he was told he would have to sacrifice his son. Not only was he asked to give up a boy he dearly loved, but he was also being required to place his plans and even the promises of God on the altar with this child. In our journey as believers, if we are to mature and build a foundation for our own lives and the lives of our generations, we have to be willing to submit all our plans and agendas to Father God.
Letting go so that we may grow
There are many times in our journey where we must even be willing to let go of what we believe God has called us to do so that we might grow. In some cases, our thinking is clouded by the enemy and we have been led astray. In other cases, we heard correctly, but the direction Father God has for our life now requires laying down one season of our life to enter into another.
16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice. Genesis 22:16-18
To build a sure foundation for the future, we must be willing to be honest and submit our hearts to Father God. We must confront a spirit of self-idolatry. Perhaps we have plans and visions for our own life. We may have conformed our life to the image someone else created for us through vocation, relationships, or social status. In order to overcome this, we have to be willing to admit we don’t have all the answers and stop pretending we have it all together. It may require laying our agendas “on the altar” and being willing to release them to God.
There is freedom if we choose to serve God and trust Father God with the outcome of our life. Serving the Lord is not grievous. Serving the Lord is freedom from having to control our circumstances and provide ourselves with an outcome of our own doing. This foundation must be applied and taught to our children and our children’s children to overcome the devil and to be conformed to the image of our Father.
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. Joshua 24:15
But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. James 1:25
Elder at Hope of the Generations Church
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