To live in the present is important. When you are aware of the times you’re in, it provides you an advantage that most aren’t sensitive to. The sons of Isaachar in Israel were noted for knowing the times and what to do in them.
As important as that is, it’s incredibly important that we train ourselves to think generationally. When we do this, we come to a fuller realization of the way that God works in our lives. What I mean by thinking generationally is that we think about our present habits, the choices we make, and the relationships we establish, with the future impact in mind.
Our thinking is usually individualistic, and so we tend to think about ourselves, our personal plans for the future, and our immediate circle. Yet in the Scriptures, God would do things in the lives of particular people because of the impact it would have on the people around them, and the generations to come. The consequence of thinking only about ourselves, whether in the present or the future, is that we aren’t sensitive to the work that God is doing in us and in our situations, nor do we pray as intentionally as we could.
Think about it. If you knew how far-reaching the plans of God are for your life, wouldn’t it change the way you approach your life and your petitions to God? If we think generationally, our outlook would become more selfless.
For example, instead of working out so you can look good, you’ll work out and eat right because you need to be in great health for you, your family, and your church. Even our search for a spouse would change for the better because we are looking for the right qualities that would make the marriage work and how we would serve others through the union.
God thought generationally when He chose Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. When He called Abraham out of Ur, he obeyed, yet I’m sure he still wondered what it all meant. He must’ve had questions like, “Why move when my family is doing well here? What’s the point?” Yet God saw far beyond them, and by Abraham trusting in Him, he was used to fulfill God’s will.
There are situations we’re in and relationships with people who are more important than we may realize at the time, so we should stretch ourselves and think about the place we’re at in our lives and pray that we are responding to those relationships and situations with wisdom and discernment.
Your life will make an impact, and the choices you make aren’t just your own personal choices. These choices establish mindsets and habits that impact those around you and the generation that’s behind you. May generational thinking cause you to see the greatness of God and His plans for your life.