The Generational Timeline
In yesterday’s post, I mentioned the cloud of witnesses spoken of in Hebrews 12:1. We owe them a debt of gratitude and honor. In my book, An Appeal To Heaven, I also address the fact that we can agree with their prayers and promises, creating something Holy Spirit once referenced to me as “the synergy of the ages.”
The previous chapter, Hebrews 11, also references our spiritual predecessors.
Remember, there were no chapters or verses when the Bible was written; they were added to give us an easy reference to portions of Scripture. The 11th and 12th chapters are connected in subject matter. Chapter 11 ends by saying some faith heroes didn’t receive what was promised to them because God wouldn’t allow the completion without the participation of those who followed.
The Greek word used for “complete” (teleioo) in this verse means to bring something to its goal, completion, or desired end (Strong’s 5048). Simply stated, there are plans and activities God begins in one generation, knowing He will not finish them until the next generation picks up the baton. Those in the cloud of witnesses have a huge investment in our assignments; some gave their very lives. We must not only honor this with our appreciation and thanks, but we must also carry on with what they started.
We’re a link in a holy generational chain.
Our friend, Gina Gholston, addressed this subject recently in a wonderful way. Gina said:
“Recently, I had the great honor of speaking at the home-going celebration of my 90-year-old aunt. Married for over seventy-two years and serving in pastoral ministry for several decades, she and her husband were great role models for me all my life. I felt it would be an encouragement to share portions of the tribute I shared that day.
“I enjoy reading the account of Joseph in the Bible. I am always inspired by his unrelenting faithfulness to God. Regardless of what he faced, Joseph remained true to the Lord; and he found that through it all God was with him, navigating his life to fulfill his destiny. Joseph was devoted to God, and his decision to walk with the Lord affected not only his own life, but powerfully impacted many others. His life still impacts us today.
“On one occasion, while reading Joseph’s story, I received the following revelation from the Lord:
‘The marking of a true warrior is not their battle scars; it’s their sustainability! True warriors do not quit. They are not driven by fear nor distracted by the memory of past battles; they’re driven by righteous purposes and the pursuit of the One their soul loves! Yes, warriors have many scars, but do not see themselves as victims. On the contrary, they see themselves as victorious, triumphant overcomers through Christ! True spiritual warriors are also forerunners; their focus is forward, and their passion is for Christ, whom they follow and imitate.’
“As I re-read these words, I was impacted by a strong realization that we’ve been blessed with many examples of true warriors in our lifetime, warriors like Joseph, who knew God and devoted their all to Him! These heroes of faith may not have considered themselves warriors - they were just living their lives - but they lived purposeful lives for Christ, blazing a trail for us to follow! It wasn’t always easy for them, and they didn’t hide this, but trusted God and demonstrated His trustworthiness. Their steadfastness and unhidden devotion to the Lord impacted everything about their lives. This devotion shines a light, making us aware of the difference a true relationship with God can make in our own lives. Their faith in God, and their faithfulness to Him, has given us a spiritual inheritance beyond words!
“As I thought about this, I was reminded of these verses in Psalm 145:
‘One generation shall praise Your works to another and shall declare Your mighty acts. Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts and declare Your greatness. They shall utter the memory of Your great goodness and shall sing of Your righteousness. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom and talk of Your power, to make known to the sons of men His mighty acts and the glorious majesty of His Kingdom’ (Psalm 145:4, 6-7, 11-12, emphasis mine).
“These true warriors, whom we have been blessed to know and be impacted by, left us with a living witness to God’s faithfulness and incomparable power! Willingly taking their places on the timeline of history, they pioneered movements of truth and powerful demonstrations of the Spirit. The sacrifices they made, along with their fearless obedience to the leading of Holy Spirit, allowed Heaven to invade earth in powerful and undeniable ways, leaving us a solid foundation on which to build.
“These warriors shouted the message of God’s goodness and demonstrated the reality of Jesus. Now, we must do the same for the generations that follow us. This may not always be easy, but our faith in God will sustain us, enabling us to see beyond the difficulties. We, too, may receive scars, but we will not be victims! We are victorious, triumphant overcomers through Christ! They taught us this!
“Some of those warriors have now joined the great cloud of witnesses; from there, they cheer us on. I believe their challenge to us would be, ‘Run on, warriors! Run hard! It’s your turn to be the light for others! Don’t waste time! Go! Be the example! Run with undaunted obedience, with your gaze set on Jesus. Give the generations that follow an awareness of their great inheritance in Christ Jesus!’
“We are now extending the timeline. The baton is in our hands, and we must choose whether or not to run the race, carrying this inheritance. And run with it, we must! The generations following will need our faithfulness! We are in a time like no other, and now, more than ever, the future generation needs godly role models, spiritual mothers and fathers who unashamedly shine the light of Christ into the darkness and show them the more excellent way. We must allow a holy fire to burn in us, regardless of the cost, to pass an even greater measure of faith to them. May all who follow see in us the testimony of true warriors. This is our gift to those who labored before us, and it is our calling in Christ, the ultimate True Warrior.”
Pray with me:
Father, thank You for those who have gone before us, leaving such inspiring examples. They provoked us to know and follow You. We honor them, grateful for their surrendered lives and the spiritual inheritance they gave us. Because they did their part, we are positioned to do ours. We devote our lives to You and set our focus on Jesus. Teach us, Lord, to wisely invest this spiritual inheritance with which we have been entrusted so that we may pass it along to the generations who will follow. May they find in us true examples that cause them also to burn, producing the continuation of Your original intentions.
We receive the baton of our spiritual inheritance, and we will run with righteous purpose, blazing a trail for those who follow.
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
Today’s post was contributed by our friend Gina Gholston. You can find out more about Gina at GinaGholston.org