Dear People Who Keep Company With God,

Becky and I have been blessed with the privilege to help raise up and minister alongside the next generation. We foresee getting to do this with their children. We already have some spiritual grandchildren as these young men and women are now raising up spiritual sons and daughters.  Psalm 145:4 speaks of this, “One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.” It really is one of the great blessings and privileges of our lives.

We don’t feel old or think old. On the inside we still feel like the young believers we were back in the 1970’s. We were hungry, teachable and full of hope and vision for our lives. To this day when I walk into our church or any gathering of believers I still have a sense of anticipation of what could happen. I think perhaps this is the day that the manifest glory of the Lord will come in an unprecedented way.

I keep reminding myself I am an adult now, but I hope I never lose my youthful heart. We all are a year older and for some in my generation time is catching up with our bodies. We need to take care of our bodies, but even greater care of our hearts. We do not need to grow old in our hearts. Yes, I appreciate the elder statesman in the church, but the ones who continue to be effective have a young heart.

From time to time I like to assess my life in relation to the age of my heart. Am I still youthful in my heart? Have I allowed disappointment to discourage and age me prematurely? Am I still full of expectation, hope, dreams and visions for my life? Have I become critical, cynical and judgmental of others and especially of the younger generation and their music, clothing, philosophy, etc.? 

Sadly, I think a lot of believers become jaded, as they grow older. They lose their teachable heart and sense of awe and wonder toward the Lord. I have noticed as we grow older our faults, quirks and sins become more pronounced if we do not allow the Holy Spirit to deal with them.  I suspect that most dirty old men and nagging old women were that way before they became old. I wonder if old age becomes the final revelation of what really lies deep within our hearts.

The Message Bible gives us a poignant look at what can happen, as we grow older. Speaking of Herod in Acts 12:23, “Down he went. Rotten to the core, a maggoty old man if there ever was one, he died.” That is extreme as Herod was a godless man, but the language illustrates what can happen in our hearts apart from the ongoing renewing power of the Holy Spirit.

In the Old Testament there was an old priest named Eli. He seemed to love the Lord, but was full of compromise concerning his sons. It says in 1 Samuel 3:3 “the lamp of the Lord was about to go out.” Eli was almost blind when he died. We can love the Lord, but compromise can slowly blind us, as we grow older.

According to theologians David was around 50 years old when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and had Uriah killed. You would think after all he had gone through, his revelations and passion for the Lord would have kept him, but it didn’t. We can’t live out of yesterday’s victories, revelations and encounters.

At that point it did not look good for David, but the scriptures reveal the final 20 years of his life were the most fruitful (see 1 Chron. 23-25). The Lord had restored David. That is the good news for all of us. None of us have lived our lives perfectly, but however long we have left on this earth can be our most fruitful. “They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing.” (Psalm 92:14)

Many Blessings, BW

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