Then the LORD said to Moses, “Write this for a memorial in the book and recount it in the hearing of Joshua . . . .” (Exodus 17:14, NKJV)
I am currently working on a seventy-fifth anniversary history project for my church, and I’m finding it both fascinating and frustrating. It’s fascinating because of the miracles I’m discovering in our church’s history. It’s frustrating because I have questions that can’t be answered. Those with the answers are no longer among us. Someone on this committee jokingly said, “Let’s leave good notes for those who do the hundredth anniversary.”
I also have many questions about my personal history, but the generation that can answer those questions has long been silent. I have no idea about the faith of my paternal grandparents. Were they religious, indifferent, or non-believers? I know part of my father’s story and some of the miracles he experienced before I was born. But I wonder who first told him about the Pentecostal experience. How old was he when he decided to live for God? When was he baptized and Spirit-filled? Questions without answers. I wish he had left a written testimony to pass down. Those were questions I never asked while growing up.
I realize that history is not everyone’s passion, but knowing our history, especially about our spiritual heritage, is important. It is a gift we receive and then give to the next generation, and we must be intentional in passing it on. Would the Israelites at the time of the Judges have been so easily led in false worship if the previous generation had been more intentional in passing on their knowledge of God and His commandments?
“When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel . . . And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger.” (Judges 2:10-12, NKJV)
It only takes one generation’s silence for the generations that follow to lose their way. Knowing our heritage and the wonderful works of God will help us to make better decisions and follow the right path.
Recently a friend gave me a journal with instructions to “write my story.” I think it’s time I got started. I need to record that I was baptized in the name of Jesus on a March day when I was in the second grade. I must tell that I was Spirit-filled when eleven years old at youth camp. I can record the times God answered my prayers and tell how He opened doors I would never have dreamed possible.
God has given me—and you—the responsibility to pass this glorious truth on to the next generation. They are waiting to hear our story of God’s amazing redemption and how it changed our lives. We need to write it down.
- “Now go, write it before them on a tablet, and note it on a scroll, that it may be for time to come, forever and ever.” (Isaiah 30:8, NKJV)
- ‘This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD.” (Psalm 102:18, NKJV)
- “That the generation to come might know them, the children who would be born, that they may arise and declare them to their children.” (Psalm 78:6, NKJV)
Lord, help me to be intentional in passing Truth to the next generation. My testimony is only effective when I tell it. Others need to know of Your love, Your power, and the miraculous that You are willing to perform in their lives. It is my responsibility to preserve Truth and to pass it on.