Last week I was conducting some staff in-services for a couple of Christian schools in Georgia. The first thing that went through my mind was that these schools were starting way too early. After all, it was still July! While I was waiting to begin one of these workshops, the thought hit me that this was my 49th year of going through staff orientation meetings. I was amazed at how good God had been to me over those first 48 years of teaching and wondered how many more times would I get to do this in the future.
Earlier that week I was visiting Word of God Ministries in Shreveport, LA and had the privilege of attending all three of their Sunday morning worship services. If I had to choose one word to describe those messages, it would be the word legacy. The pastor referenced the time in King Hezekiah’s life when he was deathly ill and the prophet Isaiah came to him with some bad news. Isaiah told Hezekiah,
Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live. 2 Kings 20:1
Most of us know the story how Hezekiah wept and cried out to the Lord. The Lord heard his prayer and granted him 15 more years of life. In the message, the pastor suggested that Hezekiah wept because he knew his house was not in order. He had not prepared any of his children to take his place and lead the nation of Israel in the way of the Lord.
Hezekiah new that he only had 15 years left in his life. Three years later his son, Manasseh, was born. Even knowing his time was short, Hezekiah failed to train his son to be a godly heir to the throne. We find in 2 Kings 21 verses 1 and 2 that Manasseh became king at age 12, reigned for 55 years, and did evil in God’s sight throughout his time as king.
Even though a prophet probably won’t show up at my doorstep and announce that it is time to get my house in order. The truth of the matter is that, if the Lord tarries, all of us will come to the end of our days sooner or later. It is my responsibility to get my house in order right now. If I wait until I get deathly ill, it may be too late. As the pastor preached this message, I started thinking about my legacy. Have I prepared my children to walk in the ways of God so that my legacy will continue long after I am gone? What will happen with Kingdom Education Ministries when I go to be with the Lord? Are there people ready to pick up the mantle and declare God’s plan for educating future generations to those who will come along after I am gone?
My mind immediately went to a verse that God laid on my heart about 5 years ago. Psalm 71 has the heading in my Bible of An Old Man’s Prayer. This man had experienced God’s blessing and power throughout his life. Because of God’s great work in his life, he was determined to have God’s praises and glory on his lips right up until he died.
Verse 18 was the one that God burdened me with at that time. It reads,
Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, do not forsake me, until I declare Your strength to this generation, Your power to everyone who is to come.
I started asking God to give me one more generation to teach His strength and power to. At that time, I thought that God was going to allow me to teach another generation of young people at the school I was leading. Little did I know that He would redirect my life in a matter of two short years. What I realize now is that God was going to open up a door for me to train up another generation but it would be a new generation of Christian educators, not students.
It is my prayer that I will see young men and women embrace a biblical philosophy of education and cause the body of Christ to address the issue of education biblically long after my time of ministry is over. However, it won’t happen unless I am diligent about getting my house in order TODAY! What about you? Who are you preparing to carry on your ministry when your life is over? If we are not diligent about doing this, when our life is over, the enemy may come and destroy what we have worked so hard to accomplish. Now that would be a tragedy!