Driving home the other day, two kids in tow, my son was asking me questions. I don’t honestly remember all the questions he asked in typically four-year old fashion; what I do remember is thinking how they suddenly changed my perspective on my role in life, with my children, with the next generation, and where my own focus should be.
We are constantly wanting the new this or the perfect that. Or, we tell ourselves if we just had this other thing it would make life better or easier. We are a culture focused on ourselves and all the things that we can obtain. We’ve been self focused for so long that it is evident we are no longer moving forward in our culture but are instead digressing. We view cultures that have come before us as primitive, but there is growing evidence that they were not as “primitive” as we might have once believe. Cultures were quite scientifically and historically advance. They knew the secret to growing stronger and better as a culture. What was their secrets? And why are we lost today at how their culture existed and what they knew?
The secret is KNOWLEDGE PASSED DOWN. Cultures suddenly disappear, we knew they existed only because of the things they left behind, but what we will never know is what they KNEW, the value of life they could share. What are you leaving behind? A house? A car? What do those things say about you? Only that you had them. What about a personal biography? I wonder how many biographies were in Cleopatra’s Library before it burnt down. The only knowledge that is protected from destruction is the knowledge we pass on to the people around us, knowledge that is kept in the vault of our memory and passed to the vault of someone else’s.
I sometimes think we take knowledge for granted. We know it’s in a book or on the internet or something contained by someone else so we don’t try to learn or understand it. It’s a sad state of being in our culture when we start to believe that someone or something will take care of it for us or that it isn’t essential for us to pass knowledge on. My Grandpa was like that, he was a mighty man of God, and was so smart. One area of knowledge he contained was how to garden but he refused to pass it along to us for whatever reason, and with his passing, we had no knowledge of how to continue his garden. We now struggle to gain the ground he could have so easily shared and taught us.
“You shall therefore lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and you shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.” – Deuteronomy 11:18
I don’t think God would have left the words above if it wasn’t important to grasp and obtain knowledge. Faith has lasted generation after generation and culture after culture because it was knowledge passed from one persons mouth to another persons ears…when there was nothing written to read there were words to share between people and the memory to grasp and obtain the knowledge.
“The law of God is in his heart; his steps do not slip.” Psalm 37:31
“I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8
“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” – Psalm 119:11
Stored up! David stored up the knowledge given by God so that he would always know what to do whither it was sitting in front of him or not.
“My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart.” – Proverbs 4:20-21
“Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over you; and when you awake, they will talk with you.” – Proverbs 6:21-22
My goal in life shouldn’t be to obtain all the physical elements that I think will make me and my family happy. As a mother my goal in life is to provide my children with the knowledge that will carry them through their life, that they will pass on to the generations who follow. The most important thing I can obtain in life is knowledge, wisdom, and understanding! The most important calling is to pass that on to others whither that is our children or friends or a stranger in need of the love of God or sound advice.
Obtaining knowledge and passing it on to the people around us is what has propelled cultures into the future. My knowledge in Christ builds my character, the knowledge of Christ I pass on to my children builds their character, the knowledge we pass down to everyone that touches our lives builds the character of a culture.
Driving home that day I suddenly realized how pointless it was to build and obtain a physical house that would say what about me, my style. The obsessive focus of the future I wanted that made me sadder about where I was than happy about where God had me. All of that suddenly seemed so superficial it made me feel sick to my stomach over how long I had let it occupy a place in my thoughts and worse in my heart. What was important was teaching the next generation, my next generation, my children…how important their faith was…the knowledge of that faith…and how to become men and women of character with heavenly and earthly knowledge, wisdom, and understanding! We have not because we ask not(James 4:2)…we perish for lack of knowledge(Hosea 4:6)…we die from lack of faith(John 5:24). There are two things in this life that are important: FAITH and PEOPLE; what binds them together is KNOWLEDGE.
…my people are destroyed from lack of knowledge. “Because you have rejected knowledge, I also reject you as my priests; because you have ignored the law of your God, I also will ignore your children. – Hosea 4:6
Why do we hope for the moment that our children go to bed? Why are we not more proactive over who is teaching them? Why do we let them fall through the cracks because they are too much or not enough? Why do we work so hard for things with shelf-life and so easily forget about the things with real-life? My calling is to pass on the knowledge, wisdom, and understanding I have to others…most importantly my children…so that they can grow up as a prosperous generation with a hope and a future because that is the plans God has for them!! “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”(Jeremiah 29:11)
But this is not a solitary calling, the Lord calls all of us to be disciples for Him! We all have the responsibility of passing the knowledge, wisdom, and understanding that has been imparted to us by God to the next generation!
What suddenly became so clear that drive home was how important the knowledge was of the children that God had seen right to knit together inside my womb, to place in my charge; he had uniquely created me and their father to pass on the skills they would need for His calling over their lives. How precious my job is, how sweet is the time spent with them, and how important it is that I stay before his throne always for their care so that I may gain the knowledge I need to pass on. All this is by his design but it is only through my obedience to my calling that their character can be fulfilled and it is with the passing of knowledge that I create in them wisdom and understanding of both faith and life.
It is with knowledge that they learn to be mighty men and women of faith and grow in stature and strength before God and man. Prayer is powerful and can change the hand of God, but it is with obedience that Gods hand is able to extend to the generations. It is our responsibility to make sure that we through the gaining of knowledge and by obedience pass on that knowledge to our children so they have the ability to become people of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding and pass it on to each generation after them.
Knowledge…it’s important that is comes from you to them. Pass it on!