The Legacy Trap

Has God called us to build a legacy?

I believe many men try to create a legacy that lives beyond their generation, but is this God’s plan?  It just seems to me that if God wanted a man to affect two generations, He would give that man two lifetimes.

What am I saying?  Simply this: I am choosing to stay busy affecting change for the Lord in my generation!  I am not going to spend my time setting the table for my “legacy,” or putting into place policies and procedures that will ensure the next generation adheres to my plan.  This seems to be a colossal waste of time.

We often seek to perpetuate our work by setting up an organization or society or system!  How much of my training was wasted in telling me how the current leaders wanted me to “carry on” their plan?  I’ve heard more about my responsibility to my spiritual forefathers than I have about my responsibility to the Holy Spirit of God!

I can no longer check my path by their plan.  In fact, to do this is to act in direct opposition to “God’s Legacy,” if you will.  God’s work is spiritual to the point of having no earthly roots, and no smell of earth on it at all.

“God’s Legacy” is the Holy Spirit, not man.  He transcends all generations to lead men for the needs of the current generation.  To subscribe to a previous generation’s playbook is to deny the living power of the Holy Spirit inside of you!

His Holy Spirit is in fact “The Old Path” – not the secret of erecting a tent and putting down a sawdust trail.

“Everything to do with the Church must be up-to-date and living, meeting the present needs of the hour. Never must it become fixed, earthbound, static.  God himself takes away his workers, but he gives others.  Our work suffers, but His never does. Nothing touches Him. He is still God.” -Watchman Nee

So however will the Work of Christ go on?  He might have already figured out this part of the plan when He gave us the indwelling Holy Spirit!  Funny how many are trying to improve on His plan.  I think I’ll just get on board.

David “a man after God’s own heart” got it right: “For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:”  Acts 13:36

The men that lay the responsibility of their “legacy” on the backs of their followers are, whether they intend to or not, handcuffing the next generation!  Think of it this way: it’s much like a business man, who enjoyed his successful years in the 70’s and 80’s, is now handing the family business to his son, the next generation.  Now, in 2012, the son is operating a dead business while, according to his dad, right!  In fact, every time he tries to bend one of dad’s old rules to reach new customers, one of dad’s old friends writes a strongly worded letter or article, telling the world that the son is illegitimate as a businessman and the old man is now turning over in his grave!

The Bible-belt is on life support when it comes to our churches, yet so many are still preaching “daddy’s programs” instead of God’s principles.  

Serve your generation, raise the foundations, die, and let God take care of the next.  No human legacy needed!  Hear the Holy Spirit as He says in a still small voice: “I got this.”

To read the rest of the article… visit Bob’s blog.

GUEST POST by Pastor Bob Ritter

@Bob_Ritter

Bob is the Senior Pastor of Nebo Crossing and currently blogs HERE.

To hear my Savior say “well done” to me would be great! But, to hear Him say “well done” to those I’ve pastored — that’s a goal worth living for! Every member a minister!

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2 Responses to “The Legacy Trap”

  1. Thanks for this bold post – I was reading Mark 7 this morning and challenged when Jesus scolded the Pharisees for raising their traditions to the level of Scripture. It’s sad that these are in competition in churches & with pastors/leaders… I still struggle with this, but you helped me so much!

    Pleasing God > Pleasing Men

    I know this post was a personal one; keep up the good word – God is using you!

    – Patrick

  2. Michael Nichols Reply 09/30/2012 at 6:37pm

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post Bob. Whether or not one should prioritize leaving a legacy depends a lot on their understanding and definition of a legacy.

    Some might equate my life purpose – connecting people with God more substantively – with leaving a legacy. I’d imagine that you remember 2 Timothy 2:2 well. 😉

    Yet to me, it’s less about leaving a legacy and simply about connecting people with God more fully.

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