Someone once said that the true measure of success is succession.
Part of the spiritual life cycle is pouring our lives into emerging leaders in such a way that they can carry the message of the kingdom into the future. Whos next in your line of succession? As I grow older I have an increasing desire to pour into the next generation. We need to raise up powerful sons and daughters.
More Than Miracles: Sons
Recently a friend of mine was preaching and he unintentionally used the phrase “sons and wonders.” What might have been a verbal misstep to me was a profound statement. My friend’s unintentional play on words reminded me that the work of Holy Spirit is not just visible in miracles and divine encounters. He is also visible in the spiritual sons and daughters that we raise up.
Envision No Division
One of the most profound statements of scripture is found in the final verses of the Old Testament. In Malachi 4:6 the prophet declares that in the last days God will send again the spirit of Elijah and turn the hearts of the fathers to the sons and sons to the fathers, lest God come and strike the earth with a curse.
We live in a world cursed with division and conflict. When sin first entered the world the immediate result was a separation between humanity and God. The next was a separation between man and woman, followed by brother and brother, and then finally between the generations. Sin is the source of all division and strife.
I believe the most harmful division that afflicts humanity is the division between the generations. This division hinders so much progress. Each generation seems to repeat the mistakes of the previous one. We have a not humbled ourselves to learn the lessons of our fathers and mothers.
Looking deeper into Malachi he says that as the generations are united it removes the curse from the earth. It’s important for us to remember that most of what scripture calls the curse is simply the natural consequence of violating the creative order of God. In other words a curse is not normally a lightning bolt hurled from heaven, but more along the lines of a broken leg from falling off a ladder.
Gravity is a law. When it is violated there’s a consequence. Generational unity and integrity is also a law, and its violation also has consequences..
To verify this look at the statistics surrounding people in prison, people who are bound by alcoholism and immoralities, people struggling with life controlling problems. The majority of these individuals are from broken homes, raised in the absence of a loving two-parent family.
Our world is plagued by teenage rebellion. Sons and daughters are being raised to think their parents are idiots. Every TV show and movie emphasizes the view that the only way to freedom is rejecting your parents and pursuing your own ideas. This mindset has infiltrated church culture. Many pastors and leaders have a difficult time raising their spiritual sons and daughters effectively. The line of succession is dies and there’s no one to pass the spiritual baton they’ve cultivated to. Some are too controlling and abusive, others abdicate and neglect. The net result in both cases is the spirit of orphanhood and abandonment. Disapproval fuels generational division.
The Good News
God is at work within biological and spiritual families to restore generational unity. He is moving the hearts of spiritual leaders around the world to pour into the next generation. Fathers and mothers are now equipping and empowering emerging leaders, then getting out of the driver seat. This is succession done right. They are releasing emerging leaders to move us forward! They’re trusting them with the keys and the title deed of the vehicle. Soon we’ll see spiritual sons and daughters coming to the fullness of their purpose in the Lord. Now more than ever spiritual sons and daughters are honoring fathers and mothers. They’re positioning themselves to receive all that they can from those who’ve gone before them.
Who is the number one person God is calling you to pour into right now?