See, I will send you the prophet Elijah before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers; or else I will come and strike the land with a curse. Malachi 4:6,7
In the past few days since The Call Nashville, my conviction of the need for the spirit of Elijah to be embodied within the generations increased a hundredfold. This must begin with the hearts of the fathers turning to the younger generation. In 1997 the Promise Keepers summoned men together on the mall in Washington, DC to seek God. It appeared that God was indeed doing something significant in turning the hearts of the fathers to the children—yet, we must honestly assess the current landscape today. Have those intentions brought forth fruit on a generational level? Is there an organic movement of spiritual fathers and mothers seeking to raise up spiritual sons and daughters for kingdom impact?
Recently I heard James Goll share that many prophetic voices have spoken for years that the next great move of God would be a move of the fathers. He noted that during the Jesus Movement of the late 60s and early 70s, there were many teachers, but few fathers. Spiritual fathers are paramount to releasing sons and daughters in the Lord that sustains a move of God in the earth today.
My wife and I are extensively involved with the Emerging Generation Ministries (EGM) at our church. Our responsibilities include leading a home group for young adults. One of our young adults, Ronnette Cooper, is a precious woman-of-God who is on the core leadership team for EGM. She is also an instructor for the upcoming Burn Intern that EGM is launching this fall for those who are seeking preparation for future ministry in the house of prayer. She is extremely gifted prophetically as indicated by the dream she shares below. This dream is an encouragement for those willing to pursue the call of becoming spiritual fathers and mothers.
Ronnette wrote the following in her own words.
Back in early January of 2006 I had a dream. I knew it was one of those dreams. You know the ones where you know it’s not the pizza you had the night before but God Almighty communicating something special with you. It was only a couple days later when I found out how significant the dream was and how intimate it was for the person it was about.
The dream—I was in an Olympic stadium and we were watching a race. The place was complete packed with people. On the field you could see a runner stretching. On the back of his uniform (resembled a football jersey) it had his name on it: SIMMONS. When he went to the starting block beside him was his son, who also had a similar jersey on with his name—SIMMONS JR.
The race started. Although there were other runners, SIMMONS JR and SIMMONS SR were the first across the finish line. JR outran SR by just fractions of seconds. Everyone was so excited but overwhelming amazed at how Simmons Senior celebrated genuinely about Simmons Junior’s victory. There was such amazement that the news crew was focusing on the father’s encouragement rather than the son’s win. Simmons Sr. was hugging his son, saying, “I am so proud of you!”
REAL LIFE INTREPRETATION
Two weeks later, I spontaneously decided to attend a conference hosted by The CAUSE USA. It was there that the dream kept coming to my mind. At this point I was thinking I might need to share the dream with one of their head interns, simply because I felt there was a real encouragement to the older generation that we the younger generation need you. That without your guidance and example and encouragement we will not make it to the finish line.
Well I shared the dream. The head intern—Roger Joyner—was flabbergasted by the dream! Immediately he started asking questions. His first question, I must admit caught me off guard: Do you know who Dick Simmons is? My reply was “no”. After several more questions it was quite clear that I was completely ignorant of the significance of the dream to both The Cause and to a guy name Dick Simmons. Roger proceeded to take me up to Lou Engle and had me retell the dream. Lou began to sway back and forth and say in his husky voice…”you have no clue, you have no clue”.
Later in the service, Lou tells the whole conference the dream. And much to my amazement after he tells the dream he says, “Dick Simmons will you come up here.” He was right there in the congregation! Lou proceeded to tell everyone a little bit about Dick Simmons. Dick is an intercessor who has been praying in Washington DC for over 25 years. The Lord spoke to him saying that he would live to see the day where a company of young people would come to DC and pray night and day. This would be the beginnings of revival. (Paraphrased).
I watched at Dick Simmons came up to the microphone and people stood and clapped for his faithfulness in the ministry. I do not know who looked like he was going to cry more—Lou or Dick. Lou looked at me and said, “You don’t have a clue, this man can die with the kiss of God on his life, knowing that what he started will be completed [by his sons and daughters in the spirit”].
When I first heard Ronnette share this dream with me, I knew I had to share it with my readers. The dream highlights what we've been discussing the past few weeks here on this blog. It captures both the need for the emerging generation to humbly acknowledge their need for the tutelage of the older generation—and, it is an encouragement for the fathers not to give up on the younger generation. If you are seeking to raise up spiritual sons and daughters, you can be assured in the Lord that your work is not in vain.
How can you be a spiritual father or mother to those within your sphere? What would the Lord have you do? Please feel free to contact me if you need further clarification on this whole issue. We are all in this together!
And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. Luke 1:17