“Leaders, have we slain the giants on our watch? Or are we passing them on to the next generation?”: Rev Naomi Dowdy
by Tan Huey Ying // June 24, 2022, 5:07 pm
“The only legacy I want to leave my spiritual children is a burning passion to serve Him. And awareness of working and walking in the power of faith and miracles and the Holy Spirit," said Rev Naomi Dowdy at the APCCS Lift Conference to pastors and church leaders. All photos courtesy of APCCS.
“God did not begin with us. And God is not going to end with us,” Rev Naomi Dowdy reminded pastors and church leaders at the closing session of the Lift Conference organised by Alliance of Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches of Singapore (APCCS).
“God is a generational God. So we have to begin to think about generations and the future.
“What are you going to pass to your spiritual son and daughters, as well as your natural sons and daughters?” challenged Rev Dowdy, who was the Senior Pastor of Trinity Christian Centre for over 30 years.
Attended in-person by more than 250 people from 45 churches at Grace Assembly Of God, the three-day event from June 15 to 17 sought to inspire and equip leaders for the new season ahead.
Fired up, not watered down
“Pastors and leaders, you’re not to serve this generation and the next generation with leftover, faded passion, locked up in the old revelation of our past generation,” Rev Dowdy said, adding that the fire which the Holy Spirit deposits in hearts could unintentionally be extinguished through neglect.
“You wake up one morning and realise, like Samson, that there may be some action, but there’s no power nor presence of God.”
She challenged the audience that, even though they might have started with a great passion for God, they still need to guard against being “bogged down and doing the routine things of ministry”.
“This doesn’t happen overnight,” she warned. “It just fades. You wake up one morning, get to the pulpit and realise, like Samson, that there may be some action, but there’s no power nor presence of God.
“We cannot be too careful. We need fresh bread, fresh revelation, fresh encounters with God with a fresh fire from His altar, like God took the fire and put it on Isaiah’s lips to wake him up to realise his anointing.”
God doesn’t want us to pass down a neglected, watered-down or dead faith, but He wants us to be so filled with passion, power and commitment that the next generation around us will catch even before we say anything, added Rev Dowdy.
King David left a legacy of having “served God’s purpose in his own generation” – not just as the leader of Israel, but as a man after God’s own heart. But what would serving God’s purpose in our generation look like for us?
Lessons from a man after God’s own heart
Rev Dowdy shared four lessons about faith legacy from the life of David:
1. His life of passion
David was a passionate worshipper, Rev Dowdy said, noting that he wrote many songs to exalt the Lord.
“If you live a passionate life for God, you will do things that maybe others don’t do.”
What is pleasing unto God is our worship of Him, she said. David was so passionate that when the ark came into Jerusalem, he stripped off his outer garments in joy and danced before the Lord.
David was open with God about his frustrations, challenges and enemies, but he was also open about the greatness of God.
“If you live a passionate life for God, you will do things that maybe others don’t do,” Rev Dowdy said. “That didn’t make his wife happy. But he made God happy.
“His complaints did not overshadow his great awareness of God,” she pointed out. “And even in his old age, he did not cool down.”
2. His life of miraculous provision
David was filled with God’s miraculous provision as part of his daily life and work, Rev Dowdy said.
“David is a model that we need to demonstrate for our generation; to leave a faith legacy, we need to take care of the things on our watch.”
Though David was not drafted into the army to go against Goliath, he still went. David welcomed the challenge to go against the enemies of Jehovah and chose to war against Goliath despite his modest age, size and lack of experience.
Provision was not always about money, although David was able to accumulate a lot and he was able to give a lot, she added. Rather, God’s provision was of victory over the enemies. For wisdom and knowing what to do in each situation.
“What a challenge for us!” Rev Dowdy exclaimed. David is a model that we need to demonstrate for our generation; to leave a faith legacy, we need to take care of the things on our watch.
“You’ve got to think with a warfare mentality,” Rev Dowdy said. “Not a hold-the-fort mentality. You do not win a war holed up and in a defensive position. You only win when you’re on the offensive.
“Have we slain the giants on our watch? Or are we going to pass the giants of our generation on to the next generation?”
3. His life of honour
David honoured Saul even when Saul was desperately trying to kill him. Even when they were in the same cave, David chose to honour Saul as God’s anointed king, forfeiting his opportunity for revenge and a chance to finally stop running for his life. (1 Samuel 24:11)
“All of us have made mistakes. But there is a God in heaven who says, ‘I see past your mistakes.’”
“David followed the principles of heaven,” Pastor Naomi said. “Let God fight your battles.”
She encouraged the audience: “Listen, we need to model not just receiving honour, but also giving honour. Give honour to whom honour is due.
“Yes, we know David was not perfect. He made some horrible mistakes in his life and some terrible choices in his lifestyle. (2 Samuel 11-12)
“But only David is described as a man after God’s own heart. God saw a repentant heart. God saw a man that was seeking to please God. This is good news for all of us!
“I love that. It gives me hope, because I’m not perfect. All of us have made mistakes at some level in both life and ministry. But there is a God in heaven who says, ‘I see past your mistakes.’”
4. His passion to build leaders
“I believe David had a heart for the underdog. Those whom others would overlook,” Rev Dowdy said.
David himself was an underdog, he knew what it was like to be overlooked and left out. He was overlooked by his brothers and his father, and even the prophet Samuel who had been sent to anoint the next king of Israel.
“Your faith legacy is not how many buildings you have. Your legacy is people.”
“Notice the kind of people that God sent him,” she pointed out, adding that the men who first joined David’s ragtag army at Adullam were “those who were in distress or in debt or discontented”. (1 Samuel 22:2)
“I love that part of David’s life,” she said. “David built one of the greatest armies of Israel ever with that kind of raw material.”
Making the application for leaders, Pastor Naomi added: “Part of serving in our generation is to prophetically see potential in the life of young men and women.
“When you don’t see it in the Spirit, you’re not going to be able to draw it out of them. Then you will use them but not trust them nor develop them. You will keep them running errands without giving them leadership.”
People are a very important aspect of your leadership, she added.
David decided to attack an oversized Ammonite army to recover the wives and children of his men. “He did not neglect the sorrow and needs of his men,” she pointed out.
“Your faith legacy is not how many buildings you have. Your legacy is people.”
Passing on the faith legacy
“We must be able to understand that the major portion of our assignment is to take the victories we have won, and be able to pass them on to the next generation,” she exhorted leaders. “I took care of my giants, I’m not passing on my giants.”
“The best thing that God has given you is somebody who will stand with you and walk with you.”
Referring to the well-known verse in Malachi which talks about the turning of the hearts of fathers to the children (Malachi 4:6), Rev Dowdy said: “That’s really about the older, experienced warriors, those who’ve experienced successfully going through the battles of God, breaking off cycles of curses and dysfunctional mindsets, dealing with hatred and rejections. Nurturing the orphan spirits, standing with them and embracing them and affirming them, so that the next generation will be stronger and more impacted than we are.
“Elisha picked up Elijah’s mantle, and struck the waters to see where the God of Elijah was. Would the waters open for him? They did.
“The best thing that God has given you is somebody who will stand with you and walk with you.
“I want to see my spiritual sons and daughters go further, faster, higher. To accomplish more and produce more fruit than me.
“The only legacy I want to leave my spiritual children is a heart for God. A burning passion to serve Him. And awareness of working and walking in the power of faith and miracles and the Holy Spirit.”
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