God of All Generations
Think about it: Individuals from your generation will surface as leaders in every field—business, art, politics, economics, math, technology, medicine, [and] religion. Those men and women will shape the future during your lifetime. Nobody knows who they are. You might as well throw your hat into the ring by leveraging your gifts and opportunities for all they’re worth—Andy Stanley1
I WAS PREPARING TO SPEAK at a breakfast meeting to a youth group on how they can be relevant as Christians in this age. “What am I going to say to them” I asked myself? The continuous thought of having nothing to say kept haunting me. This youth group I was preparing to speak to were also “unfortunately” my contemporaries. This means that the probability of them knowing all the things I know was very high. Thoughts of that aggravated my fear. During my waiting and preparation period, a number of messages kept flooding my mind and the message I finally settled on is what has become the title of this book.
A week before the breakfast meeting, the word generation kept prodding my spirit. Before this time; during one of my personal Bible study times, a scripture had “popped” out of the pages of the Bible ministering to me what I took to be a message from God. So when the word generation kept coming back to me, I quickly took a pen, paper and opened to the scripture that “popped” at me; Genesis 15:13-14. If you look closely at the scriptures above, when God was speaking to Abraham, I believe He had two generations in mind.
· vs 13: Joseph’s Generation.
· vs 14: Moses’ Generation .
If you are familiar with the biblical accounts of Abraham’s descendants’ servitude in Egypt, it is clear that it was through Joseph the Israelites went to Egypt. Genesis 15:13 was fulfilled through Joseph. After he was sold into slavery, his brothers later joined him in Egypt. Exodus 1:6 captures Joseph and his brothers as a generation.
And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation.
After Genesis 15:13 was fulfilled through Joseph, God, who works with generations set in motion the fulfilment of vs14 by the birth of Moses.
And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. And the woman conceived, and bare a son [Moses]…. (Exodus 2:1-2).
Remember it was Moses who took the Israelites out of Egypt with “great substance” after four hundred and thirty years (Exodus 12:36; 40). Let me at this point exhort you that no matter what you are going through in life; God’s promises and words concerning your life will definitely come to pass. You will come out from any challenge a better person if you continue to hold on to God’s promises. God has not run out of ideas. He hasn’t gone to “sleep” on your issue. Whatever you are going through, though it seems delayed, just hang on in faith— God surely has a plan to see you through …
The Oxford WordPower Dictionary also defines generation as:
1. All the people in a family, group or country who were born at about the same time.
2. The Average time that children take to grow up and have children of their own, usually considered to be about 25-30 years.6
THIS IS OUR TIME
In every generation, God has an agenda. Now, the current influx of young, youthful men and women participating in business, politics, sports, entertainment, education, technology, religion and other spheres of life is not a mere coincidence. It is an indication that a new breed of young men and women are rising up to take over the affairs of their generation. There is an older generation out there that will definitely “hand over” to a younger generation who will become the future leaders of tomorrow.
One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh… (Ecclesiastes 1:4).
I believe this is the right time for every young person to pursue their God given abilities because the opportunities of today will produce the leaders of tomorrow. What “burns” in your heart? What gives you fulfillment? What dreams do you have in your heart? It’s time to put your hands to the wheels and start working towards those dreams.
YOUTHFULNESS AND HISTORY
The United Nation officially defines youth as persons between the ages of 15-24. However, in many countries, there exists a wider margin for who a youth is. In Ghana, The National Youth Authority (NYA) defines youth as “young people between the ages of 15 and 35 years.” NYA further explains the reason behind this categorisation of who a youth is. Two reasons were given:
1. The process of socialization…begins at 15.
2. Ghanaians tend to assume full adult responsibility at age 35.
Now this book speaks specifically to a generation of youths, combining both UN and Ghana’s definition of who a youth is. To further my submissions for this book, I will delve into a little history to provide you with precedents of young people’s involvement in different spheres of life in every generation. I believe we cannot separate our future from our history. To know where you are going, you must know where you are coming from. History helps us to make informed decisions about the future.
Bishop Dag Heward-Mills wrote in his book The Art of Leadership that
The most important subject for a young leader is history. A young person does not have the benefit of experience. He has to tap into the experiences of others. His only chance of avoiding certain mistakes is to study those who went before him…Every good leader will learn a lot from history.7
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