Turning Hearts: The Bible on Bridging the Generation Gap
by Betty Miller
“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:5-6, KJV
The Bible talks about a time of tribulation and chaos right before the return of Christ to this earth; yet, He also promises us that He will send us the spirit of Elijah, the Old Testament prophet who performed miracles in his day. Satan has a plan to cause tremendous disunity and mistrust between the generations. This is already happening in the world in a greater measure than we have ever seen. Satan has come with his curse on our children. Nevertheless, Satan will ultimately fail, because the Lord has already ordained that a key movement in the end times will be one of restoration among the generations! God is going to anoint His overcoming people with a spirit of miracles that will touch the hearts of our children to return to God.
Take heart all of you praying parents, if your children have strayed from the Lord or, if they are in rebellion; the Bible says that the seed of the righteous shall be delivered and blessed. We, as parents, need to continue to stand for our children in faith and trust the Lord to turn their hearts back to us if we are estranged from them, or if they are walking in rebellion against us.
“Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished: but the seed of the righteous shall be delivered.” Proverbs 11:21
“His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.” Psalm 112:2
Throughout the Word of God, the righteous declare that their purpose is to declare the glory of God to the next generation. Psalm 71:18 says, “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.” Likewise, Psalm 145:4 declares, “One generation shall praise thy works to another, and shall declare thy mighty acts.” From these, and many other scriptures, we can see clearly that each generation is called to build on the foundation left by the previous generation. Therefore, all generations are in great need of each other to complete the work that God has called His corporate Body to fulfill.
Since my husband and I are in our senior years, we have the same desire to leave to this generation the truths we have received by walking with God for many years. Many of the things we learned were through trial and error, because we had no instructors in the Overcoming Life Message in our early walk with God. However, since we were hungry to know the truth, the Lord revealed it to us through the study of His Word. When we had a problem, we sought the answers in the Bible. We found out that as we prayed and applied the Word of God to those problems, we were able to solve every one of them and walk in victory.
One of the first lessons we must learn, in order to walk in victory, is that of yielding to the Holy Spirit and humbling ourselves to do His will in everything. Some of the scriptures that we have applied time and again over the years are these:
“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.” James 4:6-8
From these scriptures we find that we are to humble ourselves, repent of any pride and ask for God’s grace to follow and obey the Lord. Once we have submitted to God, then we must also rise up and resist the devil. How do we resist the devil? The same way Jesus resisted him when the devil came to Him to tempt Him. Jesus resisted the devil by quoting the Word of God to him.
“And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:3-4
When we quote the Words of God from the Bible, in faith, during the times we are faced with temptations, the devil will flee. Notice the scripture does not say maybe he will flee, but that he will flee from you.
There are many admonitions in the Bible about how the generations are to relate to one another. God wants us to be respectful to our parents and all authorities. We can see how important that is, as we see so much lawlessness in the world today. Lawlessness leads to anarchy and anarchy leads to the destruction of society. Here are some of the Bible scriptures that pertain to the subject:
“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ; Not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but as the servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart; With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. And, ye masters, do the same things unto them, forbearing threatening: knowing that your Master also is in heaven; neither is there respect of persons with him.” Ephesians 6:1-9
“Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is he minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” Romans 13:1-4
“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” Hebrews 13:17
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.” 2 Timothy 3:1-5
Satan has a plan to try to destroy God’s people; that is why we can expect that there will be great generational warfare at the end of the age. However, we read in the Bible that God will ultimately prevail and the wicked will be removed from the earth and God and His Saints will rule and reign in this earth during the millennium when Christ returns for His bride. Let us prepare for His coming by preparing our hearts and watching and waiting.
“The righteous shall never be removed: but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth.” Proverbs 10:30
“And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.” Luke 1:17
May the Lord grant us His heart for our children and that we learn His wisdom.
To gain the wisdom of the Bible, BibleResources.org has provided an online daily devotional called God’s Wisdom for Daily Living.
Additional teaching on Bridging the Generation Gap can be read here:
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Topic: Bridging the Generational Gap
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