On Tuesday, I was checking Facebook at work. Now, I know I really shouldn’t be. But bear with me here. I had been doing some solid submission writing for a couple of hours. It’s mind-numbing stuff. So I just needed a moment to chill.
As I opened my Facebook app, I found that my friend Wendy Yapp had tagged me in a post. The post belonged to Rae-Helen Fisenden and it went something like this: “I’m looking for a new home for my books and CDs as I no longer have space for them. Does anyone want to collect them from my place?” And Wendy had tagged me.
I like to think it was more than the greedy Asian in me, but I immediately messaged Rae-Helen and offered to pick up the books and CDs. By that evening, I had ended up with a massive box of resources which Rae-Helen had collected over her years in ministry.
Rae-Helen is a pioneer musician, vocalist and worship leader in Perth. When she was worship pastor at Churchlands Vineyard, her live worship recording Winds of Worship 11 probably became the first internationally distributed worship album recorded in Perth. She has inspired many worship leaders in our city and taught many world-class musicians.
So, whilst I like books, but these were most than just books. These were books that have graced the shelves of a spiritual giant!
As I flicked through some of the books, there were highlighted passages, dog-earred pages – thoughts and ideas that have shaped Rae-Helen’s thoughts and from which she must have taught countless others. I felt that I was holding a mantle of anointing – a legacy gift – and it gave me goosebumps.
Rae-Helen told me that she was so glad she her prayers were answered – that she had found a good home for her collection so quickly and that her legacy could now be passed on.
What sort of legacy will you leave?
The way I see, God has his mind on “generations”. Psalm 71:17,18 says:
Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.
Everything God has taught us or gifted us with, we are to declare now. But not just that. We must continue to declare them to the next generation, to those who are to come after us. This is the highest call of succession planning in the kingdom of God.
And then I think about the legacy that Christ has left us.
God’s law says in Deuteronomy 5:9 that God “punishes the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation.” In charismatic circles, we call this generational curses. Now, I for one don’t really understand why Christians like to build an entire doctrine around such a macabre subject.
But I don’t believe in generational curses. I believe in generational blessings!
In verse 11 of that same passage, God promises that He “shows love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.”
No one has ever fulfilled the requirement of keeping all of God’s commandments, except Jesus. Romans 5:19 says that:
For just as through the disobedience of one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
By Christ’s perfect obedience, I am made a beneficiary of God’s blessings. I haven’t counted the number of generations that have passed since the time of Christ, but I am pretty sure I’m in one of the thousand generations!
What am I going to do with the books I inherited? Well, the first thing I did was give about a third of them away. A friend of mine had told me how one day he would like to start a library of Christian books. So now he’s got a pretty good start!
Then, I want to read the books I’ve kept, teach the principles I’ve learned to others, and ultimately pass the books onto others, but not just the books. I also want to pass the mantle that God has given me to the generation that comes after me!