Generation to Generation: EMBRACING TRANSITION Part 2
By Ps. Mark Banyard
Our God is a cross-generation God. God’s plan is revealed to fulfill His promises from generation to generation. What that means is that, not everything that God has promised is going to be fulfilled in our generation. Promises not fulfilled in our generation, will be fulfilled in the next generation and our sons and daughters will see the promises fulfilled.
So I say to the next generation of Grace Assemblies, the platform on which God is calling you to build is not your platform, but the platform your forefathers have laid through faith and sacrifice. It is the work of Jesus Christ that we build upon and nothing less. He is the chief cornerstone and will always remain so. Every new generation comes in with their new ideas, their new thoughts, their creativity, intuition, innovation and that’s good. Bring it on! But don’t bring with it the idea that what the past generation did was not good enough. Don’t say forget those guys. Don’t say, “Now they are gone. We’re going to just hit the erase button and start from scratch.” That’s not God. That’s not how God works.
3 Stay in this land for a while, and I will be with you and will bless you. For to you and your descendants I will give all these lands and will confirm the oath I swore to your father Abraham. 4 I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and will give them all these lands, and through your offspring all nations on earth will be blessed, 5 because Abraham obeyed me and did everything I required of him, keeping my commands, my decrees and my instructions.” 6 So Isaac stayed in Gerar. (Genesis 26:3-6)
God gave Isaac seven promises encapsulated in the above Scriptures. God is saying to Isaac, seven things I am promising you this day, but understand that it is not based on your performance or your heart right now, but it’s based on your father, Abraham. And so, I want to say today, the Lord has done a mighty work in Grace and continues to do a mighty work. God has done over and above what a man can do, so that all would know His God is a true and living God, and there is no other. But from generation to generation, the Lord will continue to be faithful. He is the one who is eternal. He is the one who lasts forever. If there is any work here to rejoice in today, it is the work of God through Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit. Before anybody leaves, before there is any transition into whatever, understand this: The Lord is saying, this is good. This is good, and it is upon this work that you are to build upon in the future. Amen.
Hear with ears but let the heart be the one that hears. Because you see, what seems right to man is not necessarily what’s in the mind of God. And at this point of transition, Grace Assemblies, you cannot afford to think anything about yourself that’s not in the mind of Jesus. You cannot afford to have an opinion about yourself or this work that’s not coming out from the heart of God. You see, the way forward that is critical right now will be that determining factor on the nation of Malaysia, and the nations of Asia. What the nations need whether they realize it or not, is the church. What they need is Jesus. What they need is the Holy Spirit. What they need is the true and living God. And so, your transition is critical for them.
So, next generation, you may feel like you are an Isaac right now. Isaac didn’t know what he was getting himself into. But yet, there was no turning back. He had no choice anymore. God was making it clear: I will be your God now. And these are the promises I am making to you. You are the carrier of the covenant. You are the representative. But I am promising these things to you because of your father Abraham. The work of God, the ongoing cross-generational work of God is dependent upon us building on what good foundations that have been established by previous generations.
So Isaac stayed in Gerar (Genesis 26:6). So, Isaac decided to stay in Gerar. It was a decision, an act of the will. The next generation that God is about to raise or has been raising up, He is going to bring you into this Isaac place. You haven’t carried the burden of this. Your father has. But when God starts to speak to you directly, then the burden becomes yours. And the decisions become yours. It’s time for growing up.
And God is speaking once again. And He is saying to His people, do you remember who I am? And do you remember the word that I spoke to you all those years ago? It hasn’t changed for me. Has it changed for you? And do you believe that I am faithful, so faithful that those things I promised you and you and you and all of us together that I am going to fulfill? God will continue to bring us to that place of breakthrough if we are willing. The issue that He is concerned about is – will He find faith on earth when He comes? He is looking for a people that will rise up in the increase. That will rise up in the more.
There is something we need to understand about the promise of God, the promise He makes about the glory is to Himself. He is making a promise to Himself. He is saying, I will fulfill my promise. And my promise is to fill the earth with the glory, my glory as the waters cover the seas. God is jealous for His promise. Now, the promises have been given to His people. That means He is jealous for us. He loves us. He delights in us. But yet, He is jealous for His glory in us. Therefore, He is going to continue to remind us of what the promise is and it will always require us to decide where we will go. Whether we will stay or whether we will leave. Whether we will believe or not believe. I believe you are at a transitional point as a church, and as a body of Christ in this place.
Men and women of God, I need to say to you that you are in a critical time,the church around the world, this is a critical moment in the history of the world. And I believe our response to God in these days is going to make the difference. I believe we are at that point, once again, we got to bring down off of high shelves the promises that have been there for so long that we begin to doubt that they will ever be fulfilled. This is the time where God is saying, you must now respond to what I promised. What I have said to you I am going to do, who I am going to be to you and then see an increase come upon you that will set you apart. The very presence of God with you will distinguish you from all the nations of the earth for His glory, because He is jealous for His glory in you! Amen!