“Reinhard Bonnke attended the Bible College of Wales in Swansea when he was 19 years old. After graduating from the Bible College, he had a free day to spend in London and got on a double-decked bus. As the bus was moving along, all of a sudden, he felt the Holy Spirit say to him – “Get off this bus”.
Bonnke obeyed the prompting and found himself walking along one of the streets of London, uncertain of where he was. Then he came upon a plaque on a gate of a house which read “George Jeffreys”. He thought to himself if this could be the house of the great George Jeffreys, a Welsh minister who founded the Elim Pentacostal Alliance in Britain. George Jeffreys was considered one of England’s greatest evangelists, after John Wesley and George Whitefield, and was also saved and transformed during the Welsh Revival.
Reinhard was unsure and it was then that the Holy Spirit said to him, “You will never know if you don’t ask”. So he knocked and a woman came to the door. Bonnke asked if the house belonged to George Jeffreys, the George Jeffreys who shook England, and she said yes.
“Is he alive?”
“Does he live in this house?”
“Is he now in the house?”
“Can I see him?”
And it was then that he heard a deep voice coming from the inside, “Let him come in”. When he walked in, he saw a frail old man and after some introduction, Mr. Jeffreys laid his hand upon Bonnke and blessed him. Bonnke staggered out of the door because the presence of God was all upon him.
He then left London to return to Germany the next day and his father met him at the railway station. His father said, “Reinhard, did you hear the news?” “What news?” “George Jeffreys just passed away.” “No, that can’t be; I was just with the man.” All of a sudden, he realized that he caught something from the previous generation. One generation was passing and handing over their mantles to the next generation.
Reinhard Bonnke is perhaps the greatest evangelist we have seen in our generation. He has seen more people saved than any other person alive. And he has been found worthy to obtain the mantle of a great evangelist and his act of obedience to the Holy Spirit positioned him to receive grace from God.”
The Time Has Come
A parent will often pass along a blessing to their children at the time of their passing. And in ministry, a mantle of power, anointing and ministry is oftentimes passed from one generation to the next at the end of life. And now here we see this happening with Moses.
Make no mistake. Moses was fit and healthy even as an old man (Deut 34:7). But he had disobeyed the Lord in front of the people and his discipline was that he would see the Promised Land, but not enter it. So when they came to its edge, the Lord told Moses to look at the land, and then pass the mantle and commissioned Joshua.
The painful part of reading this text is that it mean Moses did not get his life desires because of his one public act of disobedience. That hurts. But the greater our influence, the greater our discipline is necessary from the Lord.
But thankfully Joshua had been mentored by Moses throughout his life. And Joshua was “a man who has the Spirit in him” (Num 27:18). So at the direction of the Lord, Moses laid his hands upon him and commissioned him in the sight of all the Israelites. Eleazer, Aaron’s son and successor was present also. Everyone knew from this point on that it was Joshua who would lead the people.
We have a responsibility to the next generation. It’s written in many places in Scripture, and there are two facets to it.
First we must tell the next generation of the Lord’s great acts.
“One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts” (Psalm 145:4).
A lot of ceremonies and events and even the tassels worn on the Jewish clothes were so that the people of Israel would remember and not forget what the Lord has done. These were staggering corporate events in the life of Israel.
It makes me think of the organization I worked with for a number of years. They often told in books and in messages the stories of God’s great faithfulness from the beginning of the ministry and ongoing. We remember those things such as the fish miracle, the boat miracle, the miracle of property acquisition offering 1.8 million when there wasn’t even money to get to the other side of the island. And then the noon Continental flight.
It makes me ask questions:
- What signs and symbols help us to remember the great acts that God has done within our nations, community, and even family?
- Are we telling those stories to the next generation in writing and in Word?
Secondly, we have a responsibility of passing the baton. That means we have something to give. It could be a blessing, a ministry, a commission, or something deeply personal. But when our life nears it’s end, it’s important we have something to impart, and that we do so.
It raises some questions for me:
- What do I have to impart? Or what am I setting in motion that will beyond me?
- Am I passing along the great things God has done to the next generation even along the way?
- The next generation isn’t discipled in a moment but throughout a lifetime. Who am I discipling throughout my life?
With this coronavirus and more impactfully a life’s situation I’m in, I realize my time on earth is very limited and much of it has passed. It’s a harsh reality as I feel like I haven’t even started yet compared to others I know. And as I write that, I am reminded of a former post–“Comparison is the Death of our Joy.”
I’ve always yearned in my heart so deeply to do one thing with my life, and it hasn’t seemed to happen much. Or very limited that I can tell. But now I realize if I have my own way, I can only reach a certain number of people. But what if I actually set some things in motion that could live beyond me?
And so I’ve been strategizing. I actually may even need some of your help. But these questions are real.
What am I setting into motion that will live beyond me?
What do I have to impart?
What will I give to the next generation that remains after me?