Synergy of the Ages
I have been personally revisiting some of the significant words and insights I share in my book, An Appeal To Heaven. I relate a significant dream at the end of the book, which I’ve not yet shared on a post, but want to share later this week. Parts of the dream won’t be as meaningful without knowing and understanding some of what God had said to me leading up to the dream. One of them is regarding the synergy of the ages, which I’ve mentioned recently but not taught. I will do so today.
My understanding of praying for America increased dramatically in 2001 as I prayed with the student body of a Bible institute. I was concerned that the institute was not walking in the fullness of what its founder, Gordon Lindsay, had established. In response to this burden, I chose to replace one of my teaching sessions with a prayer meeting. As I led the student body in intercession, I heard the Lord whisper a phrase to me, “I need for you to agree in prayer with Gordon Lindsay.” That startled me; Lindsay had died nearly 30 years earlier.
“Lord,” I said, “is that really You speaking? He is dead.”
The response was simple, “Well, his prayers are not dead.”
If you had asked if I believed Gordon Lindsay’s prayers had died with him, I would have said “no.” Yet I had never given the concept of agreeing with them any real thought.
Holy Spirit continued, “Until this generation comes into agreement with what he asked me to do, I can’t answer his prayer.”
This greatly impacted me. I realized God hadn’t said, “I won’t.” He had clearly said that without this generation’s agreement with Lindsay, “I can’t answer his prayers and do what I promised him.”
Later, I pondered this statement in light of Hebrews 11, remembering the heroes of faith listed there along with some of their amazing exploits. Interestingly, however, the passage is also clear that some of those faith heroes did NOT see the fulfillment of their promises. Clearly, they weren’t deficient in their walk of faith; why then did they die without seeing the promises fulfilled?
The last two verses of Hebrews 11 give us the amazing answer. They did not receive the fulfillment of their promises because God wouldn’t allow them to be “complete” without us. That is remarkable! Later generations completed these individuals’ callings and assignments. The Greek word translated “complete” also means “to finish; to mature; to reach the intended goal.” (1) Think about the ramifications of this: without us, God can’t “finish” what He began through earlier saints; what He started through them cannot “mature” or “reach its intended goal” until we grab the baton and run our leg of the race. That is mind-blowing!
God gave these individuals promises, but He often didn’t give them timelines. He did not tell them He would bring the fulfillment in their lifetimes, although I’m sure most of them expected Him to do so. He makes promises to people, knowing full well He will deliver on those promises through their children, grandchildren, or spiritual descendants. I wonder what I may be finishing for a pastor or teacher from a few decades ago? Or perhaps even for some flag-waving patriot warrior?
The generations are far more interconnected than most of us realize. In God’s mind, accomplishing something through our descendants is the same as doing it through us. Our comparatively shortsighted approach assumes every promise He makes will take place momentarily, or at the very least before we die! Meanwhile, God feels no pressure and understands that if He fulfills His promises through our offspring (natural or spiritual), the accomplishments were by us, as well as by them.
Back to the Prayer Meeting
But Holy Spirit wasn’t finished instructing me in this prayer session at the Bible Institute. He was about to use a seven-word sentence that would rock my finite human mind. I heard Him say, “I need the synergy of the ages.”
“You need WHAT?” I wondered.
It is obvious by now that this prayer time was wreaking havoc on my preconceived concepts and paradigms! Holy Spirit was making me think outside of my God-limiting boxes.
What is the synergy of the ages? I quietly wondered.
Synergy is a fascinating concept. Basically, it is the multiplication of power through a combined effort. In almost all cases in the physical world, one plus one equals two. But not when people work together. When two or more people combine their efforts and strengths, power is multiplied - not just added to. God so loves unity and agreement that He created a phenomenon through which power multiplies - if we will work together! Two people who can each lift 100 pounds, can lift 300 pounds or more when lifting an item together.
Synergy, however, not only operates in the natural realm; it also exists in the spirit realm. Prayer is one example. Spiritual synergy takes place when two or more agree in prayer. Through the multiplied power, much more is accomplished than would have been had we prayed alone. Leviticus 26:8 teaches us about this power of multiplication, “Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase ten thousand, and your enemies shall fall before your sword.” Spiritually, that’s powerful; mathematically, however, it makes no sense. But something unusual and supernatural takes place through agreement: synergy. When we agree in prayer, power grows exponentially.
Synergy also occurs when one generation honors and builds on the previous generation’s accomplishments. Honoring the connection with our parents increases our years on earth (Ephesians 6:1-2), while disconnecting brings curses (Malachi 4:6). Spiritual mantles, another word for callings and giftings, multiply in effectiveness through generational synergy (2 Kings 2:9). God’s plan is always for the present generation to build on the strengths and accomplishments of the previous. This is the synergy of the ages - multiplied power and fruitfulness through generational agreement and honor.
In Al Sander’s book, Crisis in Morality!, he compares the descendants of an atheist, Max Jukes, to the offspring of a well-known preacher of that same era, Jonathan Edwards:
“Max Jukes...married an ungodly girl and among their descendants were 310 who died as paupers, 150 as criminals, 7 as murderers, 100 as drunkards and more than half of the women were prostitutes.
“Jonathan Edwards...lived at the same time and married a godly girl [Sarah Pierpont]. An investigation was made of 1,394 known descendants of theirs. Of these descendants, 13 became college presidents, 65 college professors, 3 United States senators, 30 judges, 100 lawyers, 60 physicians, 75 army and navy officers, 100 preachers and missionaries, 60 authors of prominence, one a vice-president of the United States, 80 became public officials...and 295 college graduates, among whom were governors of states and ministers to foreign countries.” (2)
Could any testimony more powerfully make my point? Success, favor, and blessing can multiply down through the generations. But due to our ignorance in this area, we sometimes unknowingly break the generational storyline God is writing.
When Holy Spirit spoke to me that day, I was already aware of synergistic prayer. I knew I could agree in prayer with the person next to me, and power would be multiplied (Matthew 18:19). I just didn’t know I could agree with the generation behind me! Generational synergy - the synergy of the ages - was nowhere on my radar. Once God had awakened me to the principle, however, He wasn’t about to stop with a Bible institute. Before He was finished, Holy Spirit would challenge me to reach back to our nation’s founders, agreeing with what He had birthed through them.
And when He did, a forgotten flag would be an important part of the process - the Appeal to Heaven flag.
Pray with me:
Father, as we contemplate the importance of an old flag and how You are using it today, we marvel at Your unusual ways. A part of understanding the flag is realizing how much You honor those who have gone before us, and how much You require us to honor and continue their legacy. We thank You for fathers and mothers in the faith, as well as in the natural. We thank You for the prices paid by those who came before us.
And as we do so, we turn our attention to America. The great cloud of witnesses includes people who pioneered freedom and liberty for us, and covenanted with You to carry the gospel to all the world.
We ask for revelation of this incredible concept You call “the synergy of the ages.” As we agree with and honor those who have gone before us, we ask for a multiplying of Your power today. Your purpose for America is that it be a powerful voice of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. We boldly declare that America will fully turn back to You, and You will accomplish through her all that You intended in this hour. We pray and declare these things in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen.
We decree that the synergy of the ages is producing powerful and wonderful fruit in America today.
Portions of today’s devotional were taken from my book An Appeal to Heaven. (3)
Click on the link below to watch the full video.
1. “Strong's Greek: 5048. τελειόω (teleioó) -- to bring to an end, to complete, perfect, to reach the end stage, final phase, carry through completely.” Bible Hub, https://biblehub.com/greek/5048.htm. Accessed 28 January 2021.
2. Quoted in Ravenhill, Leonard, “Jonathan Edwards: Portrait of a Revival Preacher,” Dayspring, 1963.
3. Sheets, Dutch. An Appeal to Heaven. Dutch Sheets Ministries, 2015, pp. 1-9.