Something that has been on my heart for the last few weeks has been the truth that God is generational. He is not the God of Abraham, but the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is generational.
In an age where we like everything instant and this second, God is patient and kind, and wants to build something in your life that will impact your children’s lives and your grandchildren’s lives. It is my conviction that I am building a network of churches that will not just change your lives, but your children’s and your grandchildren’s.
And so if that is the case where we start is here: there is a fight. And it is a fight we must win or else darkness will win. We need to reach cities and nations for Jesus Christ. We are not fighting for territory or resources, we are fighting for hearts and souls. It is a battle for the lives of the unborn – your children and grandchildren. There is a fight going on for the seed.
In Genesis 14, Abraham tithes to Melchizedek (tithing is a great thing to do for all the children of Abraham!). He gives Melchizedek one tenth of everything.
Many years later, God sets up a priesthood in the nation of Israel, and sets aside all the Levites as priests to collect tithes. Now in Hebrews, Paul wants to prove that Melchizedek’s priesthood and therefore grace is better than the Levitical priesthood and the law. Part of his argument is that Melchizedek’s priesthood was first, which it clearly was, but the other part of his argument is that the lesser person tithes to the greater and the greater blesses the lesser. So when Abraham tithed to Melchizedek, and Melchizedek blessed Abraham, then according to the Bible, Levi tithed to Melchizedek and Melchizedek blessed Levi at the same time.
Why? Because Levi was still in the body of his ancestor. Levi tithed because he was inside Abraham. He wouldn’t be born for over one hundred years, but he was implicated in the actions of his great granddad even though he had not been born. He was “still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him”.
So Levi was one hundred years before his birth, but as far as God saw things, the actions of Abraham directly affected the entire life of his great-grandchildren. The KJV Bible says that Levi was in the loins of Abraham. The Hebrew word for loins means “the place of generative power”. So when Abraham tithed, Levi did too, and God counted that.
This is a way of thinking that many of us in the West do not embrace easily. We are individualistic, we do not think generationally. We do not make decisions based on the awareness that inside us right now are our grandchildren. We seize the day rather than prepare for the future.
Here is some great news for everyone: you can do more than your lifetime. You can do things that will still bear fruit and change lives after you are gone from this mortal coil.
We need to be a little less sure Jesus is going to return in our lifetime and consider the next generation. We need to prepare something that is going to stand the test of time and bless our children and our grandchildren.
When you reach one person for Christ, you reach everyone inside them. All their potential children and potential grandchildren. We have to wait decades to meet them, but God knows and God is excited about that potential – that is how God sees the world, and it is how we should too. Your parents might have been surprised to hear you were on the way, but God was not surprised and He planned you and has plans for you and those plans are to prosper you and not to harm you.
We need to think not just of the people in our towns and nations, but think of the people inside the people. We need to think of the children, and the children’s children. We need to lift our eyes beyond our summer holiday, beyond the next birthday, beyond Christmas, and look to the children and children’s children.
All of us can to some degree or another show how our parents have affected us by their decisions and actions. You should be able to grasp what I am saying. Some of you reading this feel very disappointed by decisions your parents made, maybe even before you were born. Others feel very pleased your parents lived for God and laid down a foundation for you. It works for good and bad! And we need to deliberately work it for good. Our thinking has to change. We are going to reach people, and we are going to reach the people in the people too! That is a multitude. That is exciting!
So the greatest battle is over the seed. Not the seed of money, the seed of time, the seed of good works, though they are all seeds. But the most precious seed of all – the seed of humans. Who will control the future of our children and grand-children? Who will shape the lives of the children still inside the people alive today? Who will bring life and wisdom to them?
If we can think about this right, and develop and grow in this – we will win this battle. This battle for the seed, for the children and grand-children. We will build a future church. The ultimate size of this future church is greater than all the people in your town or city living today. This is a bigger battle than you might have previously seen, because we are fighting for the people inside people. The prize for getting this right is far bigger than you have ever dreamed.
Today, ask the Holy Spirit to help you see this principle – that there are people inside people. That our future is huge, and that the battle ahead will produce greater rewards than we can ever imagine. I will explore some of these ideas in the weeks to come.
Next week: Origins, Lines and Pregnant women