|"From the anointing in the soil comes the fruitfulness of future generations."
A MAN PLANTED A SEED and watered it now and then. It sprouted, scraggly, on a weak stem with a few crooked leaves. He glared at it. Some plant you are. See if I give you any fertilizer. And stomped off. Left to grow on its own, though it tried its best, the plant died. And the soil where the plant grew consumed it. The sun rose, and the sun set just the same.
A man planted a seed in the womb of a woman, and it grew there until time for birth. Birth came and the child came into being, a son made in the image of his mother and father. Formed from them and for them, the child sought them, to walk after them, but found in his growing no sustenance, no encouragement toward growth, and in his adulthood, no legacy to fall back upon. Left without an example, he created his own and faltered, and his son after him, and his after him.
Placed in the soil beneath this land, beneath your land, are the words of previous generations spoken over it. Our words hold great weight. Our actions, blood spilt, hold an anointing that carries the curse or the blessing of what has been said and been done. This affects not just the present and ourselves (we are so selfish) but those we have made, who will create from it. From us.
A man was raised up in Lakeland, Florida, generations ago, to pastor here and shepherd the flock. Despite the obstacles raised before him, he followed the wind of the Spirit and created a legacy for his children and his children’s children. For those who sat under his ministry and those who heard him speaking, far and wide. His memory is blessed here by those who were changed by him. But though the work of time, fed by the voice of the enemy, seems to have erased his life altogether, the Spirit of God who sent him, who blessed him and worked through him, says nothing is further from the truth. For from the anointing in the soil, reaching down to the depths in the earth and spreading wide across our streets and byways, comes a new generation whose footsteps are guided by the truth that man has spoken.
Our words never die when blessed by heaven, and the words of that man, Rev. Karl D. Strader, which remain in the hearts and minds of so many, which anointed the soil where his earnest, fervent prayers were spoken, have carried forward now to the next generation, to more voices. Though his body has gone, his memory has not. Not in the minds of his family, nor the minds of his congregation, nor most importantly in the heart and love of his Father who called him to be here and gave him His blessing and saw to it that where he once stood, where he spread the gospel of the kingdom, was guarded by the Spirit and the angels of heaven, so that no one from that day forth would taint it or destroy it. Nay, it cannot be destroyed. You cannot remove the work of this family from this nation, from this city, from this soil, nor the anointing which has already spawned a future in the hearts of Lakeland’s youths.
I sat under his ministry from my girlhood into my adult years and can only say what a blessing the Strader family has been to me. They have changed me and supported me, whether directly or in my heart, where the words of one man, which created a legacy in a family, will continue into the future, forever, until God recreates this earth.
Why do I speak this way today, and how can I prove these things with the Word? For all things should be proven by what is written in testament. Where there are many examples in both Old Testament and New, one of the easiest is in the life of Naaman the Syrian leper who came to Israel to be healed by the prophet Elisha. Given the action to wash in the waters of the Jordan, he grew angry and point-blank refused. “Are not Abana and Pharpar, rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean? So he turned and went away in a rage.” But what he did not see was the great miracle which had pushed back the river and created an altar within it many generations ago. There, in its waters, the people of Israel walked across on dry ground, and left behind them an anointing that has remained and never left. In it, the Savior, Jesus of Nazareth, would be baptized, in the then future, and from it He rose, and the Spirit fell upon Him, and the voice from heaven spoke. So when Naaman listened to reason from his servants’ pleading, later that day, he obeyed the prophet’s direction and rose up from the waters, youthful, his skin healed, his heart made new.
There are other examples. One most noted are the words of the prophet Ezekiel who spoke blessing over the land of Israel following the Babylonian conquest. The Lord God had him bless the mountains that had been made desolate, and the hills and the valleys that had been made wasteland. “But ye, O mountains of Israel,” he said, “ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come. For, behold, I am for you, and I will turn unto you, and ye shall be tilled and sown: And I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it: and the cities shall be inhabited, and the wastes shall be builded: And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit: and I will settle you after your old estates, and will do better unto you than at your beginnings: and ye shall know that I am the LORD. Yea, I will cause men to walk upon you, even my people Israel; and they shall possess thee, and thou shalt be their inheritance, and thou shalt no more henceforth bereave them of men (Ezekiel 36:8-12).” From the anointing in the soil, placed there at Israel’s conquest of Canaan’s inhabitants came the fruitfulness of its future generations.
And because of its wasting, came the prophet Jeremiah’s lamentation. Not words spoken from his mind and emotions, but those of the Almighty, who wanted abundance and blessing for His people but saw them choose the sin and condemnation of the enemy instead. For from them, in a future generation, would come His Son, the Savior, sent to earth to redeem all men, Jew and Gentile. And for this reason, theirs would not be a divided kingdom, as prophesied by King Solomon’s judgment over the two infants, one living and one dead. Nor would they be a people whose light appeared to be as that of the idolatry which surrounded them. They were to walk holy, set apart, for Him.
We trade our anointing over our children for material things. We treat lightly what we speak and what we mean, even before our words emerge, and as a result, there is damage done to innocent thinking from what we should not have said. But see here, in God’s blessing from the past and those who walked with Him, all of heaven pleading with us in this hour, to turn again as they did and give blessing instead. We must speak the words of our forefathers, who consecrated this abundant land, and take a stand for truth and victory amidst the turmoil which seems to have taken over. For from our youths, this next generation by whatever name, will come tomorrow, and it is our part to make of them what our wonderful God in heaven would have this people in this nation, in this state of Florida, in this county, Polk, in these cities to be for Him. So that when we are gone, the legacy of tomorrow, which we have written, will carry forward in the eyes and ears and voices of our children, as ours did from our parents and teachers, from apostles, prophets, pastors, and teachers, from the people before us, who listened to God’s voice and spoke His truths so that today, we would have what through them God has blessed.
“Obey your father’s rules, my son. And never forget what your mother taught you. Do not forget their words. Think about them often. When you walk, they will lead you. When you sleep, they will keep you safe. When you wake up, they will speak to you. Their rules and what they taught you are like a light. They told you when you did wrong things. And that showed you how to live.” (Proverbs 6:20-23 EasyEnglish)
Image by Nanne Tiggelman from Pixabay
Suzanne D. Williams, Author