JOHN WIMBER & BOB’S ANGELIC VISITATION
Bob Hartley: “In 1988, I was a youth pastor, and I was lamenting and was so frustrated with the youth! I was writing a book called “They are all against me!” I needed a new view that shifted my perspective of the next generation. I even had a whole teaching on why children were so frustrating in that moment. It was called “The Rebellious All Against Me Generation.” I had just met John Wimber while I was staying in a house with him. John was a real patriarchal figure to me. He asked me how the youth were. I told him; they were ‘communist infiltrators’, and how hard they were for me, but I was just teasing. John Wimber paused and gazed out the window, after a moment he replied, “Hartley, they are beautiful!”
“Later that night when I went to bed, I looked and the wall was gone. I saw a blue night sky and the stars were brilliant. I saw an angel writing in the sky and the first thing He wrote was; “Oh the beauty and the wonder and the dignity and valuable worth of a human being in Gods sight.” The angel wrote in a gold script and it entered right through me for the purpose of changing me. The second thing that the angel wrote was: “In kindness proclaim truth to human beings” The last thing the angel wrote was; “If you can’t help them, don’t hurt them”. There was a sensitizing in this place of grief to the heart of God towards people in their grief.”
THE DEFINITION OF GOD’S HOPE IN THE NEXT GENERATION
Look into the eyes of the next generation and see them as Jesus sees them:
See them as beautiful (Gen 39)
See that their future is worth fighting for (Psalm 111)
See them as a blessing, and not a hindrance.
John Wimber’s Hope in the Next Generation Impacted My Heart, in the following ways:
A REDEMPTIVE VIEW OF THE NEXT GENERATION
A redemptive view awakened in me, a Jesus view!
I saw God’s angel write: “If can’t help them, don’t hurt them
WHO THEY WERE vs WHAT THEY ARE NOT.
I started to shift to a new perspective of the next generation that focused on who they were versus what they were not.
THE FUNDAMENTAL LESSONS I LEARNED
1) THEY’RE BEAUTIFUL
Yes, their ways and behavior may be unsightly at times, but they are beautiful to the Lord, I needed to see them through the eyes of Hope. They are not generation A, B, C or X. Hoping in the Next Generation is ultimately looking into their eyes and seeing Jesus. When I began to see the next generation as beautiful through John Wimber’s encouragement, the following things began to happen:
2) MY VIEW WAS HEALED & I SAW GOD’S PLANS FOR THEM
When I realized that they were beautiful, it healed my view of God’s plans for them. I began to understand that God is willing and able to redeem the next generation. (Psalm 102:28- The children of Your servants will continue, And their descendants will be established before You.”)
3) I SAW THEM AS ONES WITH GREAT POTENTIAL FOR GOOD
When I realized that they were beautiful, I began to see them differently, not as a disappointment, but as ones who had great potential for good. (Psalm 102:18- This will be written for the generation to come, that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD)
4) I REALIZED & THE YOUTH REALIZED THAT THEY WERE BEAUTIFUL TO GOD
When I realized that they were beautiful, it healed their hearts, as they began to believe that they really were beautiful to God. (Song of Solomon 7:10- I am my beloved's, and his desire is for me)
5) IT HEALED THEIR ENTRANCE INTO GOD
When I realized that they were beautiful, it healed their entrance into God as they saw his delight in them even in their weakness, and they desired to draw near to God as a result.(Psalm 18:19-…”He delivered me because He delighted in me.”)
6) GOD’S GREATNESS IN THEM WAS REVEALED
When I realized that they were beautiful, I began to see the reality of God’s greatness in the youth. (Psalm 144:12 – Then our sons in their youth will be like well-nurtured plants, and our daughters will be like pillars carved to adorn a palace.)