What is our legacy? In the movie Pay It Forward, a little boy releases the power of passing on a good deed. By doing something good for someone, they in turn do something good for three others, each of those three then do a good deed for three more, and so on. A multitude of people are impacted for good. In a similar way, by passing onto others our testimonies of what God has done or is doing in our lives, coupled with encouraging them to do the same with others, we can cause a multitude of people to be impacted and stay close to God. Pay it forward!
In Judges 2: 6–15, we see a desperate situation:
'After Joshua had dismissed the Israelites, they went to take possession of the land, each to their own inheritance. The people served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and of the elders who outlived him and who had seen all the great things the LORD had done for Israel.
Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of a hundred and ten...
Ater that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the LORD nor what he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD ...'
How was it that, after having been led to the Promised Land and having seen so many of God’s mighty exploits, such as the parting of the Red Sea and the sun standing still so they could win a war, the next generation did not know any of this and turned away from Him in a colossal way? There was a gap in time when the Israelites lived without Joshua and the elders around, those who knew and had told of all that God had done, those who did failed to pass down the legacy, the history and the amazing testimonies. Why was this?
Did a spiritual numbness set in, where those who remained just took for granted what God had done?
Did those who remained become narrow-minded, self-absorbed and introverted?
Judges 1 and 2 talk about how the Israelites disobeyed God and suffered the consequences. Did the last of that generation become negative and fail to pass on the legacy, only recounting disparaging thoughts and comments instead?
When I think about why the Israelites might not have passed down their legacy, it makes me think about us today. It can be the same with us.
Do you feel spiritually numb? If that is happening, and it can to us all, write down all that God has done over the years, and all that He is doing now, Remember. Look out for those times when we think things have ‘just worked out’ a certain way; it’s God, but we’ve forgotten who holds us in the palm of His hands.
Has your focus gone astray? We can all get bogged down with our own lives and stop focussing on God’s plan for our lives, or stop focussing on supporting and encouraging those around us. Take stock of where time is spent the most and evaluate with God if this is right.
Has negativity set in? Hurts and disappointments can so easily cause us to become negative in what we say and to live lives where there is no expectancy of all that God can do. We can pass this negativity on to others around us. It’s time to think about those areas of disappointment and to lay them down where they belong: in the past. There is no need to analyse ‘why?’ any longer; instead, move forward with the Holy Spirit.
What spiritual, God-proclaiming, legacy are we leaving behind? Are we remembering to be thankful to God and telling others about all that He has done and is doing? Are we sharing testimonies of what God has done? Are we looking to inspire others about God? Are we negative or positive about our God? What are we doing to pass on our spiritual legacy to the next generation, or to those new to the faith, to encourage and inspire them and to stop them from turning to the wrong ways? We can impact the future. Pay it forward!