What Will Be Your Legacy?


chariot of fire And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.” 2 Kings 2:9

This weekend our family laid a dear man to rest. We mourned the loss of a friend, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, yet, at the same time rejoiced over the home-going of one of God’s children. I was privileged to get to join in the celebration of a life lived serving God.

I listened as the pastor who preached the funeral spoke to the family about passing along a mantle, just as Elijah had done when he was taken up into Heaven.( 2 Kings 2 ) It was such a touching moment as the pastor passed out gifts to the children and grandchildren of items that had belonged to their father and grandfather. He then charged them to carry on the mantel of this dear man just as Elisha had done for Elijah.

 In the story of Elijah and Elisha, this mantle was a physical piece of clothing that was sent down from Heaven to Elisha after God had taken up Elijah. Elisha had asked Elijah for a double portion of his spirit to be passed onto him when he was gone. This mantle, or cloak that fell from Heaven was meant to be a symbol of the wisdom and the leadership that was being passed down from one man to the other.

As I sat in the service and observed all that was taking place, God began to speak to my heart. We all carry a mantle. However, the mantle of which I speak today is not a physical covering. I am talking about a legacy, the part of you that will remain in the hearts of those still here when you have passed from this life into the next, the part of you that will be remembered and passed along to the generations that follow.

My question for you today is this: What kind of mantle will you leave for your children?

What kind of legacy will you leave behind? You may be thinking that it does not matter, that no one is really watching what you do or say. You may think that the way you live your life does not affect anyone but yourself. I am here, today, to tell you that whether you realize it or not, you are passing along a mantel, a legacy, to those around you.

Sure, you will be remembered by how hard you worked, by how much money you had, or by how much land you possessed, but what I am talking about this morning goes much deeper than the physical and monetary possessions you leave behind. This morning I want us to focus on the spiritual mantel that we carry. Every thing we do and every thing we say adds to or takes away from our mantel. It is up to us to make sure that we are creating a Godly mantel that our children can hold onto, and can pass along to the generations that follow.

You see, Elisha had spent many days following Elijah and learning from him. Elisha knew that when Elijah was gone from him that he would need something to hold onto. Elisha wanted to make sure that he could carry on the legacy that Elijah had started. God sent down Elijah’s mantle as a symbol for Elisha to carry with him as he continued what Elijah had started.

I want to encourage you today. Take the time to examine your life, look at your mantle. Is it thin and frail, full of holes where you have neglected your relationship with God? Is it thick and strong, something that your children can hold onto when you are gone? Is it something that they can learn from and joyfully pass along?

Only you can answer that question. If in examining your life today, you realize that your mantle lacks something, you have been blessed with an opportunity to change that. You have been blessed with another day. Seek God right now, ask Him to help you. Allow Him to strengthen your mantle. Then you will have something strong and powerful to pass along to those around you when you are gone.

Step Out in Faith


Photo Credit: DBackwoods

Photo Credit: DBackwoods

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,

the evidence of things not seen.”

Hebrews 11:1

FAITH- such a small word, yet it seems to be one of the hardest concepts for humans to grasp.

 

EXAMPLE:

1. We can not see the wind, yet we believe ( have faith ) that it is there.

Why is this true? Possibly because even though we can not see the wind, we can feel it when it blows.

If I am standing outside and a breeze comes through, I can feel the wind on my face and know that the wind is blowing.

If I am standing outside and the wind begins to blow, the trees begin to sway, and the sky grows dark, I can not see the storm coming, but I trust the evidence that I feel, and I seek shelter.

 

I believe that the same is true with our faith in God. We can not see God, but when He moves we can feel it. Sometimes God comes to us in a still small voice, and sometimes He comes to us in a mighty, powerful way! Either way, if we will step out in faith and listen for His call, He will guide us in the direction we need to go.

One of my favorite people to read about in the Bible is a man named Elijah. You can find the whole story here: ( 1 Kings 17-19:14 )

Elijah was a prophet of God. He had seen God work many, many times in his life. He had seen God work miracle after miracle:

1. Elijah is fed by a Widow ( 1 Kings 17: 9-16)

2. Elijah heals a child ( 1 Kings 17: 17-24 )

3. Elijah calls fire from Heaven ( 1 Kings 18: 19-39 )

Even after all of these miracles by God, Elijah finds himself in a scary place. There is an evil woman named Jezebel who, hearing that Elijah has had all the prophets of Baal put to death, sends word that she plans for Elijah to be killed. ( I Kings 19: 1-2)

For fear of his life, Elijah runs and hides. He goes so far as to ask God to just go ahead and let him die right there.

God, of course, being the great God he is, does not let him die. Instead  God provides food for him.

Elijah then travels until he comes to a cave where he decides to hide. You see, Elijah is discouraged and ready to give up, but God is not done with him yet.

God comes to Elijah while he is in the cave and asks him why he is hiding there. I can almost hear Elijah as he tells God all of his troubles and complains about how bad things are.

What happens next is my favorite part:

God tells Elijah to get up and go stand on the mountain. When Elijah does, God shows Himself to Elijah, but not in the way you would think. We read in I Kings 19: 11-12:

“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord.

And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord;

but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:

 And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”

Elijah had the faith to do what God had said, and God came to Elijah, in a still small voice. It was then that Elijah realized that God was not finished with him. You see, God had great things planned for Elijah, but he could not do those things as long as he was hiding in a cave. Elijah had to step out in faith and listen for the voice of God. When Elijah stepped out in faith, God revealed Himself to him and then was able to use Elijah to do even more great and mighty things.

I do not know what kind of trials you are facing today. I do not know if you have a “Jezebel” chasing after you, but I can promise you this: God has not left you. He has not forgotten about you. God has great plans for your life. You have to be willing to step out in faith first though, just as Elijah did.

“You will never accomplish what you do not have the faith and courage to attempt.”

I want to encourage you today. If you are facing hard choices, if you are wondering where God is leading, or if you are tired and ready to give up, step out on the mountain in faith! Seek God and His will for your life, and then be ready to move when He tells you to move.

God’s Word tells us this:

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses,

let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us,

and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,”

Hebrews 12:1

 

I pray you find encouragement in these words today! I pray that you will remember the story of Elijah, and how God used him in great and mighty ways. Step out in faith, and you will be amazed at the things God will accomplish through you.

God bless you, friend.