I saw mantles. They had been carefully and beautifully crafted from wood by my father and they were just lying around. There were several larger ones and several smaller ones, each one beautifully carved and finished. A couple was standing nearby wanting to purchase them and I was looking at these mantles wondering why. I was not using them and was now faced with a decision about their value. The offer that was made seemed extravagant and I realized I was thinking more about the money I would make than I was about the mantles.
In this recent dream, I woke up knowing that the Lord was highlighting an urgent reminder to the Body of Christ about GENERATIONAL MANTLES that are lying around and must be picked up again. These are unique gifts and calls, spiritual assignments, and blessings that are passed down through the generations. I knew the mantles in the dream represented these priceless gifts and blessings that were lying around in many families going unnoticed. For some, it is actual assignments or spiritual gifts in a particular area. For others, it is a supernatural grace to continue the family’s legacy of faith and reap an inheritance of spiritual sons and daughters.
In the Old Testament, not only were mantles passed from one person to another (Elijah to Elisha), but families would pass on their influence, favor, and spiritual authority through generational impartation, from fathers to sons (Abraham to Isaac in Genesis 18, Jacob to Joseph in Genesis 48, and Aaron to his sons in Exodus 28). The power of these blessings was highly significant and sought after in order to maintain the family inheritance, both in the natural and in the spiritual.
However, just as in the dream, we can totally miss the value of these blessings and give away our legacy for a bowl of soup like Esau (Hebrews 12:16). Without understanding the covenant call and blessing we’ve inherited, we will forfeit our promise. Our adversary, the devil, will see to it that an illegitimate heir will try and exploit our gift and call for their own purpose and sabotage what is rightfully ours. Will we sell out simply because we’ve forgotten what we have?
I believe the Lord is calling us to consider how we are stewarding the call and blessings of God in our families. Do we understand the spiritual victories that have already been won in our generational line? Are we honoring and embracing the gifts and talents that God has placed within each family member – probably passed down from previous generations? Do we recognize the unique grace upon our households to accomplish a mission or assignment from the Lord, probably started generations earlier? Is each generation getting consistently stronger in their faith or weaker?
God’s intent has always been to work generationally. He established a pattern for this through Abraham:
Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation, and all nations on earth will be blessed through him. For I have chosen him, so that he will direct his children and his household after him to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is right and just, so that the LORD will bring about for Abraham what he has promised him (Genesis 18:18-19 NIV).
Abraham’s greatest legacy was his descendants. Through his faithfulness to the Lord, He imparted the ways of God to his children, grandchildren, and future generations. The mantle and assignment that the Lord gave him was faithfully passed down in each successive generation and it expanded and grew until an entire nation was born. The blessings of Abraham are still in operation today because of the reality of generational mantles being faithfully passed (Galatian 3:7-9).
Even in the New Testament, there was always a passing on of blessing, anointing, and grace from spiritual fathers and mothers to sons and daughters (Philippians 2:22). These mantles need to be picked up, embraced, and celebrated for their significant value in fulfilling God’s purposes in this season. Zacharias was told in Luke 1:17 that his son, John, would …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. Zacharias blessed his son with this God-given mantle to prepare the way of the Lord and this promise is still unfolding as the generations are being drawn together.
The Lord expounded on this principle the following night when I had another dream.
I was watching two older ladies driving their car down some ancient paths. They were reminiscing about the past and fondly recalling their journeys and life lessons. The only problem was that the roads they were now on were eroded, filled with potholes, and even dangerous. The roads they remembered were no longer there and they had now driven up a mountainside, hanging on a cliff with no way down. I looked below and there were some young people looking up at the women. However, they were not concerned, nor did they rush to help. They merely looked and then continued on their way.
The scripture that immediately came to mind was Jeremiah 6:16: This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it’ (Jeremiah 6:16 NIV).
This is a call to BOTH generations to pay more attention to God’s generational purposes. Many faithful believers in the older generation (50’s and over) have already walked the godly ways, winning victories and gaining ground in the call to share their faith and expand the Kingdom on the earth. Yet, they may be so preoccupied in remembering “the good old days” they are forgetting to pass the baton to the younger generation. The victories they won will be forgotten if they do not share their stories and inspire and encourage their children and grandchildren in kingdom ways. This may be why the ancient paths have eroded. Those paths were forged through the pioneering efforts of those who have gone before and these roads need to be maintained by sharing the journey together.
The dream also revealed a common trend in the younger generation. They sometimes see the older generation as getting “hung up” on the past (in the dream, they were literally hanging from the cliff). Their initial response is to hear the stories as irrelevant or outdated. Yet, regardless of the cultural differences between the generations, the spiritual realities and principles still remain. There are time-tested and “familiar ways” that are eternal and powerful regardless of generational approaches, methodologies, and communication styles.
Both generations need to reach out towards one another in order for the baton to be passed. Just as in a race where there is a point of contact in passing the baton, there needs to be a coming together of past, present, and future in order for the race to be finished. The gifts and call of God are irrevocable and for some, the call of their forefathers is still active, looking for future generations to finish the task. Without remembering, honoring, and embracing these blessings, we will be destined to repeat our mistakes and miss our intended breakthrough.
These were all commended for their faith, yet they did not receive what was promised. God had planned something better for us, so that together with us they would be made perfect (Hebrews 11:39-40).
Even as I was writing up this word, I received a text from a previous ministry associate who just had a dream about this same topic. A dear friend of ours who has gone on to be with the Lord, showed up in this dream to tell my associate he needs to “…tell his children and grandchildren about the Lord.” The urgency of this encounter shook my friend as he realized the significance of his commission to his own household.
There are generational mantles lying around that need to be picked up. They are the calls and gifts of God that have been nurtured through time in YOUR family, waiting for you and your descendants to complete. We are all on the same mission and each generation must do their part in fulfilling God’s assignment.
An entire nation can be re-born if we do.