I was challenged in something this morning that, to be honest, I’ve never thought about in quite this way. At least not extensively. I think when you are a parent, you become consumed with the futures of your own children and grandchildren. If you’re like me, you probably spend a lot of time on your knees interceding for their decisions, both large and small. But have you spent much time thinking about what you are doing now that will affect your great-grandchildren? Beyond that, have you really thought and prayed for the next several generations?

In my current study on faith, I’ve been reading about Abraham. If you go back to Genesis and read the account of Abraham and how he was called to leave his family and go to the land of his inheritance (the promised land), he was obedient even though he didn’t receive that inheritance physically, in his lifetime. Still, he trusted the One who promised him and passed the blessing of that inheritance on to his son Isaac. Isaac didn’t receive it either, but, still trusting, passed the blessing on to his sons, Jacob and Esau. This passing of the blessing continued on through Jacob’s son Joseph and onto Joseph’s sons. The actions of this generation ushered in the time of Moses and the subsequent exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt and into the promised land.

The really interesting thing to remember is that the average life span was a LOT longer in those days. These generations spanned hundreds of years, not to mention that the Israelites were enslaved in Egypt for 400 more before they finally entered that land! (Genesis 15:12-18). I say all that because we get frustrated when we don’t see God working in our lives and making things happen on a weekly, daily, hourly basis! Abraham believed God for the promised land, no matter how long it took, no matter how He worked it out. He passed on the blessing KNOWING it would come to fruition whether he saw it or not. And, if you read those blessings each time they were passed on, they refer to future generations. They all believed the promise for their great-great-grandchildren and beyond.

In Hebrews 11:13, it says:

All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance.

It sort of reminds me of a relay race. Each generation passed the baton to the next, not seeing the winner’s circle individually, but knowing that they were doing their part to bring the race to a successful finish.

Which makes me think about the following verse in Philippians anew:

…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6

God hasn’t just given the Patriarchs of the Old Testament promises. He’s still giving them to you and me today. While we may not see the fulfillment of those promises in our lifetime, He still began a good work in us that will continue on and on, through the future generations of our own families, NOT UNTIL WE DIE, BUT UNTIL CHRIST RETURNS! We are part of a generational relay. What blessings are we passing on to the future of our families and how often are we praying for them, trusting God to complete that good work He started in us…no matter how long as it takes, no matter how He chooses to do it?