By John Miltenberger
It shall come to pass in that day that there will be no light; the lights will diminish. It shall be one day Which is known to the LORD–neither day nor night. But at evening time it shall happen that it will be light. [Zechariah 14:6-7; NKJV]
“Everyone’s a winner before the contest begins.”
The Lord said to me, “Today I am putting the young lions in the front lines of the fight, and I’m replacing the old Lions, the ones who’ve been scarred by combat, the ones who’ve seen the horrors of battle, the ones who have laid awake on their couches in the dark, awaiting My healing or death, the ones who have born the brunt of battle in their time, and I’m putting young lions into the lines of battle, and who will teach these young lions the lessons of their warfare? Who will show them how to fight? Who passes on such knowledge?”
This is what the Lord spoke to me several nights ago as I was praying, and His words have been loud in my mind ever since, and the memory of them is almost painful.
So many young lions have begun roaring for their chance to join the battle. They proudly have begun proclaiming the victory, as we once did, and they raise their fists to the heavens saying, “We are more than conquerors; we are fierce.” And I wonder, who will tell them that my generation was once ‘fierce’? Many of us fell in the wilderness, and those who crossed the Jordan left some giants in the land? The giants have always been ready. Are you?
Yes, you’re fierce now, roaring with the other young ones, hungry to test their teeth, but will you be as fierce when you seem to be by yourself in the dark nights of your souls, when the giants approach seemingly unhindered by your faith? How fierce will you be when your courage lies hidden in the circumstances, and drains away like water in a bucket with holes? How fierce will you be when you cry alone for comfort and there seems to be no comfort. Who will show you what to do then? There is a way, and many of the old ones found it, but have they told you about it?
My generation of remnant warriors perhaps failed to pass on to you the horrible and costly lessons that they learned through great difficulty, as the casualties around them mounted. Many of their peers fell as they crossed the beaches of invasion into enemy territory, and the casualties around them were so shocking! Scores of young men and women, young lions in their generation, fell on either side, taken down and out by sin, disease and tragedy; taken too early out of the battle by the unmerciless enemy.
Now your turn is beginning, and our turn is ending, and those of us who made it this far across our portion of the beaches, are watching your generation, fierce young lions, coming in with the tides of the Lord. We are watching their eager, expectant faces as they enter into the front lines of combat. Only the shock of battle can season, and for most of them, it is only the beginning. As they enter the lines, I can see on their courageous faces the reflection of their hearts; they’re all winners of the contest that for them, has not even earnestly begun.
Where are the generals, the tried veterans of combat in my generation? Many are still slashing left and right with swords dripping in enemy blood, for their combat never relents, even though they desperately need the added strength of the young ones. I wonder, do they realize their turn is running out? Do they know they are being systematically replaced in the front lines? Are they open to learn the new roles God has for them?
Who will soon be left to teach and instruct the young ones how to find the Way when there seems to be no way? Who will teach them about the abiding fellowship of the Spirit of God, when He seems so distant, and so long in coming? Who can testify to them the trials of faith? Who amongst the generals are taking responsibility for the young ones, and who else feels the burden of that responsibility?
Yes, I am concerned, for these young lions the fight will intensify, more for them than it was for us, because time now is much closer to the end of the war. Much more power will be provided for them because much more will be needed, but have they yet seen the reality in time and space of the Bible’s words, ‘To whom much is given, much will be required.’?
The spoils of their victory will be much sweeter than was for my generation, and it will be more glorious in scope and magnitude, but the victory may well come to them at greater cost than it did for us. May God forgive us old ones for wallowing in so much comfort and fighting so self-centered a combat that we failed to look ahead and prepare these young ones to take their place in the lines.
Perhaps we failed to give them battle tested, battle-hardened foundations. Perhaps we never found it ourselves…remember, we left giants. In my generation, we were not told the fight would be so long lasting, and the casualties so numerous. We were told we were the last generation, and we turned inward upon ourselves.
We failed to see past ourselves in many ways, but now that our turn is coming to an end, and their turn is beginning, I am grimly reminded of our shortcomings, and I am more and more desperately cast upon God for their welfare, for their victory. Now is the time for the generals of yesterday to shake the walls of heaven in increasingly earnest prayer on behalf of these new fighters.
May God give us a voice to these young lions, and may they be humble enough to listen. I am trusting in Almighty God that all will be in order…all will be made right in due time. For The Day is coming….
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