Generational propagation includes more than just physical procreation. The natural order, however, gives the model upon which the others are established. The generations that follow us are a testimony of our faithfulness, our training for and test of our leadership, and are to be the triumph of our warfare.
And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.
15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
The Bible presents us with an illustrious list of adoptees. Moses was adopted by Pharaoh’s daughter. Jacob adopted Joseph’s sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, and their names became synonymous with fruitfulness. Esther was adopted by Mordecai and was instrumental in saving all Israel. Topping the list is Jesus, who was adopted by Joseph. He and Mary would subsequently have at least six other children after she gave birth to the One she conceived through the Holy Spirit.
Along with natural and adoptive children, our fruitfulness is extended through faithfully discipling others. Paul’s relationship with Timothy is a great example of this.
1 Then came he to Derbe and Lystra: and, behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timotheus, the son of a certain woman, which was a Jewess, and believed; but his father was a Greek:
2 Which was well reported of by the brethren that were at Lystra and Iconium.
3 Him would Paul have to go forth with him; and took and circumcised him because of the Jews which were in those quarters: for they knew all that his father was a Greek.
Paul took charge over Timothy when the latter was a young man. Later in life, Paul would refer to Timothy as his “beloved son” who was able to remind the church of Paul’s way of life. The apostle’s impartation to Timothy wasn’t meant to end there. It was intended to continue “generationally” through the discipling of others.
2 Timothy 2:1-2
1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.
Timothy was fruit from Paul’s ministry. Like all good fruit, Timothy was to take the seed that was within him and propagate it to others who would do the same. In such ways is the kingdom of God carried forward. Our fruit is not destined to fade, but ordained to remain.
Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
For hundreds of years, the church has been saddled with the false duality of clergy and laity. The special people get “the calling” and are tapped to minister to the rest of us mere mortals. This is not the way of the kingdom of God. Jesus chose us and ordained us to go and produce fruit. The fruit that flourishes through us as we remain attached to the Vine is meant to remain, not rot or wither.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. [Emphasis added]
Like Aaron’s rod, Jesus is the dry branch that blossomed and bore fruit. In the dreadful darkness of that day, all looked lost as Christ died on the cross. But all was not lost, all was given. On Calvary, the grain of wheat died to become a fruitful harvest.
11 For both he that sanctifieth and they who are sanctified are all of one: for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren,
12 Saying, I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst of the church will I sing praise unto thee.
13 And again, I will put my trust in him. And again, Behold I and the children which God hath given me. [Emphasis added.]
Leaders Are Proved in their Generations
Families provide the proving ground for leaders. From a biblical worldview, those who mistreat or neglect their families are disqualified from public service, be it government or church leadership. This principle is emphasized in both the Old and New Testaments. The Davidic Kingdom is a type of the Millennial Kingdom. As David set up his administrators and established the temple orders for the priests, one term shows up repeatedly regarding the men chosen to lead.
1 Chronicles 27:1
Now the children of Israel after their number, to wit, the chief fathers and captains of thousands and hundreds, and their officers that served the king in any matter of the courses, which came in and went out month by month throughout all the months of the year, of every course were twenty and four thousand. [Emphasis added.]
It was the chief fathers, those distinguished by wise management of tribal affairs, that received the top appointments to lead in government administration, war, prophecy, choral direction, musical bands, and gatekeeping. The qualification for leadership in the church is no different.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
Our Wars Are Won Generationally
God’s command to man in the beginning to subdue the earth and have dominion still stands and will continue so long as the Lord shall tarry. The edict is epic. It extends beyond the lifespan of mortal man. The only means left to us to accomplish it is through our children and subsequent generations.
3 Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate. NIV
Because of generational iniquities, our foes are no friends to our children. Many social ills that run in families—alcoholism, drug abuse, domestic violence, divorce—can be stopped as we turn from our sins and the sins of our fathers and raise our children in righteousness to overcome through Christ. They become like the arrows in the hands of a warrior that are shot at the gates of hell to deliver those trapped behind them. This is a portion of our inheritance in the blessing of Abraham.
That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
Overcoming the gate of the enemy is possible because God the Father engaged in generational warfare and won. He sent the Son to save us and be the devil’s undoing.
1 John 3:8
He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
When we recognize the following nature of our future, that it comes behind us in the lives of our children and our children’s children, then the Christian walk ceases to be the chasing after a destiny somewhere before me. It becomes instead the preparing of the way for those who come after us. Our destiny is in them, for they are in us and we are in Christ.