The Old Testament closes out with this glorious prophecy: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:5-6 NKJV).
Jesus said of John, “If you are willing to receive it, he is Elijah who is to come” (Matthew 11:14). Jesus was saying, “John the Baptist has the spirit and power of Elijah upon him, if you could just see it.” We are told the angel of the Lord prophesied to Zachariah that his son John would “go before him in the spirit and power of Elijah, to ‘turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (see Luke 1:17).
I believe Malachi's prophecy is also meant for us. Once again, God will place the spirit and power of Elijah on his chosen servants. These men and women will be mightily used to bring about the restoration of families. Divorces will be canceled, and children will be restored to their parents.
This prophecy is being fulfilled even today! In a Texas town, an unassuming young pastor recently began to pray for the salvation of the young people in local schools. God anointed him with the dynamic spirit and power of Elijah, and not only have hundreds of local students been saved, but the restoration is spreading to schools wherever he goes. Thousands of high school students are being convicted of their drugs, alcohol, sexual sins and rebellion. Young people are going home from outreaches and reconciling with their parents, and their hatred has turned into repentance. This will continue to spread throughout the land because of God’s promise to restore parents and children.
I am so excited about what I see coming that I can hardly write these words. Humble young men and women are being directed by God to “go forth and restore! For the day of the Lord has come.” Because of God’s promises, we can be confident that he will destroy the cankerworms of sin that eat away at the lives of our nation’s youth.
Note from the Editor: The events described in this devotion are from many years ago, but ministry to the youth was near and dear to David’s heart throughout his entire life, and those of us at World Challenge continue to pray for the current generation of teens.