Thursday, April 26, 2012

A time to step aside

As I have mentioned before I am reading through the Bible this year. If I succeed I think this will be my third time through. You would think that after reading the same books, the same verses and the same words time and time again I would glean less and less from it but the opposite seems to be the case. It seems that the more I read the same verses over and over the more I get out of them. Just the other day I was wrapping up the book of II Samuel. I have read this book numerous times but this time a series of verse seemed to speak to me as though it was the first time I had read them. Here is what I came across for the who knows howmanith time!

II Samuel 21:15-17 - 15 Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines, and he became exhausted. 16 And Ishbi-Benob, one of the descendants of Rapha, whose bronze spearhead weighed three hundred shekels and who was armed with a new sword, said he would kill David. 17 But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David’s rescue; he struck the Philistine down and killed him. Then David’s men swore to him, saying, “Never again will you go out with us to battle, so that the lamp of Israel will not be extinguished.”
This passage takes place towards the end of David's life and he is still trying to go into battle with his men. At first this might seem admirable but as we saw from the passage it just about got him killed and who knows what that might have done to his army's morale. With this said, there is coming a day when our time to lead and be in the forefront will be over. Whether it is leading a church, a Bible study, team at work or our family. There is coming a day when we will have to step aside and let others step up lest we get in the way and hinder what God is trying to do. It will be difficult but if we are training and disciplining others they will be ready to step up, if we are not preparing the next generation heaven help us! If we are humble and realize it is not all about us it will be a smooth transition, if we are arrogant and think it is all about me then it can get really ugly.

Look at Paul's instruction to Titus:
Titus 2:1-8  -  1 You must teach what is in accord with sound doctrine. 2 Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.

 3 Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. 4 Then they can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, 5 to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

 6 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. 7 In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness 8 and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
Paul also gave instruction to Timothy:
I Timothy 4: 11-14 - 11 Command and teach these things. 12 Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. 13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. 14 Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
Paul knows his time is coming to an end and instead of going out kicking and screaming or going out making an ugly mess he bows out gracefully, he hands over the reigns realizing that it is not all about him, he realizes that God, through the Holy Spirit, will continue to work and move through men who would come after him.

We need to stop thinking that it is all about us. Pastors, elders, committee chairs, etc. need to train those around them to share the load, to disciple the next generation in preparation of leading long after we are gone.

This is not just for good advice for churches but for our families as well. We need to be raising our boys and girls to find their role in society, in ministry and in their families one day. If we spent half as much time teaching them God's word as we do teaching them how to throw a baseball or shopping for a dress there is no telling how God could use them for his glory. Unfortunately many have forgotten this and have shifted focus to things that hold no eternal significance.

There is no denying that we will one day be gone and the next generation will take the reins. The question is will they be prepared?

No comments:

Post a Comment