Spiritual Growth

Two Generations, One Mandate – A Word by Nathan Shaw


Over the last six months I have repeatedly heard God say, “I am releasing a grace to take people out of the generation that doesn’t possess the land and put them in the generation that does.” Two generations of Israelites were involved in the transition from Egypt to the Promised Land. The first generation died in the wilderness. The second generation entered the Promised Land. The exact same mandate to possess the land was given to both generations. However, both generations were markedly different in speech, in mindset, and in action.

Different in Speech

The distinctive mark of the first generation was grumbling and complaining (Numbers 12, 16). Initially they cried out to God and He powerfully delivered them from their Egyptian taskmasters (Exodus 2:23-25). What they spoke from their deep heart opened the way for them to come out of slavery. But then they grumbled and complained. Now what they spoke led to aimless wandering in a wilderness where they were boxed in by limitations on every side.

The second generation was different. Their distinctive mark was speaking God’s word (Deuteronomy 6:6-9, 11:18-23, Joshua 1:8). They spoke God’s word and possessed their inheritance. This generation not only learned God’s ways, they taught God’s ways to the next generation. They were trained by being trainers. What they spoke led to a purposeful reality free from restrictions and limitations.

The cry of the first generation for deliverance from slavery was heard by God. But God also heard it when they went on to grumble and complain. Finally God heard His spoken word on the lips of the second generation. Both generations received the fruit of their mouths. The first generation died young and frustrated. The second generation died old and fulfilled. It’s an important question to ask: What am I saying?

Different in Mindset

The two generations had radically different mindsets. God rained down manna from heaven and brought forth water out of a rock, but all the first generation could do is fantasize about leeks and onions (Exodus 16:1-17:7, Numbers 11:4-6)! No matter what God did they were never satisfied. Their mindset was give me, give me, give me. They were like the leech described in the book of Proverbs: The leech has two daughters. “Give! Give!” they cry (Proverbs 30:15 NIV). The fruit of this mindset was frustration and anger. They wanted to kill the very ones who would have led them into the Promised Land (Numbers 14:10)!

You Will Love the Encouraging Words (Just Like This) That Are Sent to Your Inbox Every Day

Join over 50,000 Email Subscribers. Our heart is to uplift, challenge and encourage the body of Christ EVERYDAY. Fuel for growth in your spiritual life! Get articles just like these in your inbox daily.

privacy We value your privacy and would never spam you


The mindset of the second generation was training, training, training. They used the time allotted to them to prepare for their moment of destiny. They continually declared God’s word, God’s heart, God’s promises and God’s ways. Their declaration had a creative and prophetic authority that brought forth the exact reality in their lives. Put simply, they began to see what God sees. The fruit of their mindset was vision.

Like the Israelites, we get to choose our destiny. We can have either the fantasy of leeks and onions, or the reality of a land flowing with milk and honey? A second important question poses itself: What is my mindset?

Different in Action

Our speech and our mindsets direct our energy and ultimately dictate our actions. The first generation used their energy to fight God. The second generation used their energy to fight the enemy. When the first generation wasn’t happy they resorted to blaming and attacking the leaders God had appointed. The second generation, on the other hand, took personal responsibility whenever they were challenged. Here’s the lesson: If you don’t fight to overcome your own attitudes and weaknesses you will attack others. A third vital question confronts us: Who and what am I fighting?

What Will We Do?

When God says, “I am releasing a grace to take people out of the generation that doesn’t possess the land and put them in the generation that does,” He is making a phenomenal offer. This is an exceedingly powerful grace. It will radically transform all who receive it. Instead of being aimless wanderers they will become purposeful warriors. The only way we can cooperate with this grace is by letting it challenge and change our speech, our mindsets and our actions. Let me make it personal: You are a talker, you have set ways of thinking, and you are a fighter. How you talk, what your mindset is, and who and what you fight will determine whether you become like the first generation or the second generation.

The book of Deuteronomy was the training manual for the generation that possessed the Promised Land. They were trained to fight real enemies, not each other. Their biggest enemies were attitudes hidden in their hearts. The training was intense. The battle to possess the Promised Land was both rigorous and exhilarating. But more importantly, the possession of the Promised Land became the platform to release God’s government into the earth. We live in a strategic prophetic moment. If we respond correctly history will change. When Israel possessed the Promised Land the social fabric of the entire region totally changed. We stand on the brink of a social transformation that will be no less radical.

Nathan Shaw
View Bio