Joshua 24:31 – “Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had known all the works of the LORD which He had done for Israel.” NKJV
As I read this passage, the Holy Spirit quickened to my heart the words of my title, “Every Generation needs a move of God.” When I first came into the Way, the Faith, and became a Christian I heard about what God had done. Most of those telling me about what had happened in previous revivals or moves of God had not witnessed those things but had heard about them from others. Some were still around that had been in the brush arbors, town reshaping revivals, and seen the mighty move of God with the signs, wonders, and miracles that accompanied those moves. I longed to SEE IT personally.
Historically, every move of God the church has experienced diminished when those who saw it personally passed on to the other side. Tragically, in the Church, I have observed through historic study and personal observation that with each new move of God the old move tends to be antagonistic to the new. WHY? Often it is because those who were personally part of that move are no longer alive on earth and the adherents to that move are second-hand witnesses which allow the flesh to become involved. The flesh will always seek to protect and preserve its territory. A new move is a threat to “The Way We Do Things.” I cannot tell you how many times I have heard, “We never did it that way before” or “That is not how we do it.” We, humans tend to get into routines and depend on WHAT WAS (past experience) rather than seeking WHAT IS (present experience).
The tragedy of the text is a tragedy that has been witnessed in the Christian world from the beginning of the Church. I weep when I read the words, “Israel served the LORD all the days of Joshua, all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had known all the works of the LORD which He had done for Israel.” The clear revelation is that the commitment and reliance on God waned once the leadership and congregation of Israel were no longer there to say, “I WITNESSED IT.” It became theoretical and historical rather than an experienced reality.
We will never be saved because our parents or grandparents were saved. Their experience will not transform our lives that must be personal and only through the Grace of God. We can be encouraged by the experiences of others and they can serve as inspiration for us to press in, but they are not sufficient to carry us through the storms of life. I preached on Moves of God in Church History once and was told, “I am not interested in what some previous generation had, I want a move of God today!” That caused me to stop and think, “Are we sometimes satisfied with WHAT WAS rather than being determined to have WHAT IS?” Are we trying to survive on the experience of others? Are we allowing history to be our foundation rather than pressing in and receiving a NOW WORD and a NOW MOVE of God for our own lives? I had a man tell me about how wonderful his marriage was and how incredible the power of love is when two people are united in God. That was inspirational and encouraging but I had no desire to live vicariously through his experience, I wanted that Love and Relationship personally. The same is true in the things of God. I don’t want to live vicariously through the reports of yesterday I want God today!
If each generation does not press into God and receive a move of God we will be like Israel and once those who experienced God die we will be left with history and history cannot replace experience. If you have never experienced a move of God in your personal life, I encourage you to set yourself to seek God for the outpouring of His Spirit in your life and your situation. If you have ever been in a move of God where His presence was so powerful that you could hardly stand and did not want to leave, you will never be satisfied with what someone else has experienced. The fire of commitment and the confidence in God’s Promises must be experienced realities not theoretical and historical memories.
Never be satisfied with anything but God’s Presence! God, bless you richly is my desire and prayer!