Today we’re going to talk about the next generation, the next gen, because this is a place where I think we can get some things really reversed in our care and our keeping of our kids, and watching them walk into early adulthood. God is up to something in every generation. It can be hard for us to see. It can be confusing at times. Sometimes it might not make sense to us, but He’s at work in the plan that He’s in control of.
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Guest Speaker: Julie Lyles Carr
To be honest, it was a very tense conversation. I was on the phone with my grandmother. My grandmother was something else. She was teeny tiny and she was ferocious. She had very, very clear ideas about what it meant to walk in faith. Many of those ideas were seated in the denomination that she had spent most of her adult life in, and it was the denomination that I grew up in as a kid. So now, I was in my early twenties, I was married, I had a baby, and I was beginning to branch out a little bit. God was beginning to show me some things in his word that I hadn’t noticed before. I was spending more intentional time in prayer and in Bible study, and it was bringing up some questions for me. As my grandmother and I had a conversation on the phone, I brought up something that I’d been pondering. It turned out to be something that was kind of triggering for her, and at some point in the conversation, it felt like it stopped being as much of a conversation. You know what I mean? Started turning into more of a debate and my grandmother said to me, Julie, are you losing your faith? And here was the irony. I was actually finding it.
I’m Julie Lyle’s Carr. I’m so honored to be guest hosting for Erica while she’s out this week for the Bible for Busy People, and we’ve been talking about what it means to truly release our kids into faith walks of their own. We’ve covered what it means to experience launching our kids, and all of the micro moments that lead up to that time. We’ve talked about what it means to truly let them go into their own journey with God, even when we would rather still be able to talk into it, see if we can’t secure them a position, make things go a little bit easier than maybe we had it. And today we’re going to talk about the next generation, the next gen, because this is a place where I think we can get some things really reversed in our care and our keeping of our kids and watching them walk into early adulthood. We often are so reflective on those times in our own lives. When we think back to when we were the same ages and stages, if we were people who walked in a lot of rebellion toward God, it can make us feel very nervous about our kids may be making the same mistakes. We talked a little bit about that yesterday. If we walked into faith in a particular system, or under a particular church denomination, and if our kids begin exploring their faith in a system or in a practice that looks a lot different than what we walked through, that can also make us feel like we’re on some unsteady ground just like it did with my grandmother.
God has a purpose for every generation, that each generation is going to have their own world encounters, issues, challenges… that as a group of world changers may require some unique tools, some different expressions, some things that we might never have thought of back when we were at the same ages and stages. Now, if this sounds like crazy talk, let me just tell you what Jesus said. Mark 10:29-31:
“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age
We can often feel like when our children begin exploring faith on their own and if they end up in a faith community we’re unfamiliar with, or if they end up with a different perspective on a passage of scripture, then we’re comfortable with, it can be very unsettling for us. But they are fulfilling part of what Jesus is talking about here, that at some point for us to become fully fledged in our relationship with Christ, it can’t be about what our brother believes, our sister believes, our mom believes, our dad believes. It has to be about what we have come to believe and encountered in our relationship with him. If I am only practicing a particular kind of faith because of my parents, that’s not really my relationship with God. I think about Moses. Moses was part of a community that had been enslaved for a very long time, but when Moses comes along, God gets up to something new. The game completely changes. They’re going to leave Egypt, they’re going to head out into the desert, and God is going to be leading them over the next couple of generations to a land that he has had for them. And when Moses at the age of 40, comes back to these people and gets ready to start leading them out into the desert, it is a complete change. It’s a sea change literally. And then he has to split the Red Sea for them to cross. The Hebrews out in the desert begin to say to Moses, We just need to go back to where we were. We want things the way they were. And yet for them to pause, for them to turn around and go back would not be the progression that God intends, that God has prophesied over this people. And so they have to be in this place of being uncomfortable for a generation in order for them to walk fully in the next generation into all that God has promised. It’s a new generation that actually is able to go into the promised land.
God is up to something in every generation. It can be hard for us to see. It can be confusing at times. Sometimes it might not make sense to us, but God is going to call forth leaders who have a unique way of doing things, a new perspective, a new type of power. And when we can be looking for what he’s doing in the next generation, that is a moment we can celebrate because we can see people doing exactly what Jesus was talking about, not being so concerned about what brother, sister, mother, father are saying about how things used to be, but being willing to say, God’s doing something new. I’m going to follow where he’s leading. I am part of the next generation that is going to take people closer and closer to what God has promised. That is really powerful. I don’t want in and of myself to do anything that would constrict the next generation from what God is doing.
It reminds me in the book of Joel, this idea about the next generation, and the things that God will do. In the book of Joel chapter two in verse 28, it says,
“And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth.
What is so powerful to me about this passage of scripture is that there’s room for all the generations in what God is going to do next. And it shouldn’t scare us to see God do something new in young men and women today. The next generation of those who are walking out their lives, their paths, their experiences with God. It’s probably not going to look like what it looked like for you and I. It probably isn’t going to feel the same. We might even feel a little weird about it sometimes because they’re going to have these new prophecies come in, these new dreams and visions. But to know that that is part of how God operates and to say to our kids who are heading out in those directions… be empowered. God is up to something in this generation that can be an incredible gift we give them. I’ll see you next time on the Bible for Busy People.
Thank you so much for listening to the Bible for Busy People. If you need prayer or you’re ready to go a little deeper in your faith, we’ve posted some resources for you in our show notes. We’d love for you to share this podcast with a friend and leave us a review. It helps us reach even more people with the hope of Jesus. This podcast is part of Purposely, a podcast network designed with practical podcasts to help you find and live in God’s purpose for your life. Find more podcasts that will recharge you at onpurposely.com.