The Next Generation: How Are We Preparing?
We are so grateful to God for the mighty success of the 2-day Bethel Sozo Training Conference held in Lagos, Nigeria. I've been thinking about how much preparation went into it. I am glad that the outcome far exceeded the preparation. Sometimes long periods of preparation are required, and at other times, a short period is enough. The success of an assignment can depend upon how much time we have given to preparation. At other times we are riding on God's grace completely.
Preparation means, " the state of having been made ready beforehand". Before God could use Moses to bring the Israelites out of Egypt, he went through 40 years of preparation in the desert. Again, when David wanted to build the temple he spoke to God, in prayer (1 Chronicles 22:2-16). He then prioritised the project and God gave him the strategy. He asked God for not only material provision but spiritual provision. He gathered people around and inspired them with the project. He gave generously to the cause. In this way he showed us the importance of worship.
The success of the next generation will depend on how well we have prepared them. Psalm 78:4 instructs us to tell the next generation about how praiseworthy and good God is. We must teach them to see Jesus' model of Father-Son relationship, and the Holy Spirit as the enabler of this relationship.
Jesus' disciples were the ones to take what he taught them to the world. Jesus knew the challenges that they would face and prepared them accordingly. The challenges awaiting our next generation will be different from those we have faced. It is therefore, our primary responsibility to prepare them so that they know and experience Him.The next generation is looking for something tangible. They are looking for love, and God is love. If we experience the God of love, then we can help them encounter Him. How high a priority have we given to this responsibility? This assignment is very important on God's heart. To do this effectively we have to co-labour with Him. We also have to obtain the strategy from God regarding this and equip ourselves spiritually. We may not realise it, but the next generation is depending on us.
Just as Jesus modeled the Father's heart, our faith-walk also must model Jesus and the Father's heart of love (1 John 4:7). Jesus diligently spent time with His disciples, making sure that they were not only taught the Word but were able to practise alongside Him. We must therefore do the same in our children's lives. `It should not just be us leading and them following but the importance of being alongside can not be overemphasized. This partnership will be effective in building trust between their generation and ours and will enable them receive what we have to give to them. It will also bring them to the realisation that even if they make mistakes we will be alongside to lovingly lift them up. This is what happens in God's Kingdom.
Let us reappraise our preparation of the next generation so that God's sons and daughters will arise, and know Him intimately.