We are called to teach the significance of spiritual life to the next generation. There's a verse, I feel, that really captures the essence of this divine calling. It is about David in the Old Testament, as he prays this prayer in Psalm 71:18:
Even when I am old and gray,
do not forsake me, my God,
till I declare your power to the next generation,
your mighty acts to all who are to come.
The greatest calling that we can have is to impart spiritual life to the next generation. We are not called to raise well-rounded, well-educated, happy kids. To the contrary, we are called to unleash single-minded, Christ-centered, Biblically-anchored, world changers into the world for the glory of God. We are not called to protect and keep them under our safe arms.
This is a big challenge especially when every force in the world is working against you. Here's what I want you to understand; I absolutely and completely believe that you are called to this and that you can do this. But, more than me believing in you, God believes in you.
God has given you everything that you need to do everything that He calls you to do. He will equip you to do one of the most important things that you can do on earth, and that is to impart spiritual life to the next generation. The next generation is not limited to just your sons and daughters.
There are families in our church, in our neighborhood, and those that we know at work that do not have an example of a Godly man in their lives. In Deuteronomy 6:4-9, Moses challenges the nation of Israel to speak into the lives of the next generation:
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”
An Old Testament family was much different than a family is today. A typical family would have included the parents, their adult siblings, their adult sibling's children and grandchildren, and their own children and grandchildren. If they had people who worked with them, they would be included in the family. It was not uncommon to have a family that would have as many as 80 or so people, like a tribe or a clan with God saying, 'Hey, (to the whole tribe, to the whole clan, to the whole nation), this is your calling. Together, speak into the lives of the next generation.'
You can see it all throughout the Bible.
Paul and Timothy are a phenomenal example of this. If you study Timothy, you’ll find he was in the emerging generation. He grew listening to his mom and grandmother speaking into his life, continually. However, what God did for him and his mom and grandmother was to bring into their family a supporting outside voice- in the person of the Apostle Paul. Paul could say the same things that mom and grandma had said, but, he could say it from a man's perspective to a young man.
The supporting voice of Paul said, 'Don't let anyone look down on you because you're young! Don't let anyone do that! Be an example to all believers.' Paul also said to Timothy, 'God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.' …that just sounded different than when Eunice said it. Way different. When Paul spoke, it was a man of God saying something. Those words, spoken from Paul’s perspective into Timothy’s life served to build him up.
God believes in you!