Have We Become a Hand-Me-Down Generation?

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Have We Become a Hand-Me-Down Generation?
When I was a boy, my grandmother would take the long Greyhound bus trip from the San Francisco Bay area to the little mountain town of Quincy up in the Sierra Nevada mountains to visit us. She was a pistol of a lady, was smart, deeply loved God and wasn't afraid to tell it like she saw it. I remember listening to her talk about the first outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the early 1900's. She was a first-hand witness of a great revival that birthed the greatest missionary movement in our history. She told of encounters with the Holy Spirit that they had never experienced before. She witnessed miraculous healing and saw whole families come to know Christ. She told me to never settle for what she experienced back then, to not be satisfied until I had my own first-hand experience of the power of the Holy Spirit.

Read chapter 3 of 1 Samuel. There is something profound, yet tragic in the story of the young boy Samuel and Eli, the High Priest. For a little background on this story, read my blog post on "Positioning Yourself to Hear God's Voice." The next morning, after God spoke to Samuel, Eli summons him to tell him everything that God said. What is tragic is that the night before, when he realized that the Lord was speaking to Samuel, Eli stayed right where he was and let the boy do the listening for him. Eli goes back to sleep and waits until morning to get a second-hand account of what God said. In verse 1 we are told that the word of the Lord was rare and that there were not many visions in those days. I think it if it were me, I might have knocked Samuel over trying to be the first one back to the temple to hear God's voice. But he didn't. Eli was comfortable with second-hand revelation. Samuel was different. That wasn't good enough for him. He only settled for first-hand, personal revelation.

Are You Comfortable With Second-Hand Revelation?
After hearing my grandmother's stories about the great outpouring of the early 1900's I found myself growing up with a burning desire to experience that for myself. It wasn't good enough to live off her experience. Sadly, many today are comfortable just reading about other people's encounter with God and never experience it for themselves. We have become a hand-me-down generation of Christians. Jesus told the disciples not to settle for what they experienced while he was with them. He told them they would do even greater things. They hadn't seen anything yet. The best was yet to come.

Let's be a generation of believers that has a burning desire to see even greater things happen than did with previous generations. My prayer is that we would never settle for second-hand revelation, but would only be comfortable with our own first-hand encounter with God.

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