The Legacy

“God’s purpose was to do such a deep work in Job that every generation after him would benefit from it.” ~Bob Sorge, The Fire of Delayed Answers

what is my legacy

Through the fires of this life and the waiting for God’s answers, we are inevitably changed at our core—one way or another, for good or for ill, toward the face of God or away from it. We have a choice about which kind of change will come. And that choice can leave a legacy of faith and victory or a heritage of bitterness and self-pity.

Before all Job’s afflictions, he was a man of faith and great material success and wealth. But Sorge says Job “was living in a dimension of limited fruitfulness spiritually” and was unsuccessful in “igniting his own children with his love for God.”

After he had come through the fire, we see in Job a radical transformation—from a man who genuinely loved God, but was missing out on that deep, intimate understanding of who God really was and what His purposes were, into a man whose “faith had survived the crucible, and now he owned an intimate knowledge of God that would radiate to others a profound confidence in his Lord.” He had come forth as gold. And that spilled over into his new life and children.

The father Job can be on the other side of his suffering is a father who gives his second set of children a glimpse into the Father’s Heart, a testimony of deep and abiding faith and obedience to God and the knowledge and understanding that God will accomplish His purposes. He can teach his children about God’s love and mercy, about restoration and about perseverance and victory in difficult circumstances.

Because of his suffering, Job could be a man who bore spiritual fruit and could reach his children and every generation after, for God’s Kingdom.

And so I ask myself, what kind of legacy am I giving my kids?

Am I lighting a spiritual fire in my children and showing them what true and deep faith and utter dependence on God looks like? Am I living a life that produces fruit in the kingdom of God? When times are tough, do my kids see a mom who perseveres and is faithful and willing to suffer according to God’s will?

Maybe, but is it enough?

And if it is not, I am not only cheating my children, but I am also cheating myself by merely scratching the surface of the deeply intimate relationship that God desires to have with us. I want to show them that there is more.

It is hard to acknowledge my inadequacies as a parent. But it is only more proof of how desperately I need Jesus and His mercy and His work in my life. I want to go deeper and I pray that He will do that deep work in me that will produce lasting changes that bear fruit, so that I can pour that out into my children to the glory of God, for His Kingdom, and for the generations to come.

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I am excited to be joining in on a weekly book discussion led by Jason Stasyszen  and Sarah Salter. Please visit them to see other posts in response to The Fire of Delayed Answers by Bob Sorge, at Jason’s blog—Connecting to Impact, and Sarah’s blog—Living Between the Lines. And even if you are not reading the book, please feel free to jump into the discussion!

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9 Comments

Filed under Faith, Kids, Parenting

9 responses to “The Legacy

  1. Pingback: Saturday Shortcuts | Planned Peasanthood

  2. There is a real truth in the working that pain can do to, and for, us, especially in a spiritual sense. It took a lot of pain in my life before I could acknowledge the truth of God, and of the Christ, and what they really mean for me and my family 🙂
    I have one deep regret though, and that is not finding the truth before my child was grown and gone from the nest – but I guess, just like all of us, she has her own road to God to travel 🙂

  3. I used to be all “No pain? I’m game!” – I lacked the wisdom that is only born of pain. Since my childhood had been such a horribly pain-filled place, you’d think I could have come out of that a lot wiser. Well, I did – but not about God’s call or His purpose. The pain of those years was not wasted at all – only stored for later.

    Now? I don’t go looking for painful things to throw myself into them – they find me, and I no longer run from them because it is not always my pain but that of another placed in my path by the same God who called us all.

    Good stuff here, Joell 🙂

  4. The purifying fire of God as parenting class? Absolutely. I can’t say I’ve always liked going through it, but it does effect every aspect of our lives and transforms us. How we live, how we relate to others, how we parent–it’s all covered. Love the direction God took you in this post, Joell! Thank you.

  5. sarahmsalter

    Oh, girl, I know what you’re talkin’ about! Well, not that I have kids. But that what I do/say/think affects others. In the other book I’m currently reading, one of the parts of the reading this week talked about how our spiritual inner reality reflects in an outward expression. So, when I’m a spiritual mess on the inside, it’s going to show on the outside. And what kind of legacy does that leave? One of the hard things about having non-Christian and non-churched friends is that every time I have a bad day, or I doubt out loud, or I judge someone, I come home wondering, “Sarah, when you act/talk like that, how are they ever going to come to believe?” But the good news is that, as Rufus Moseley said, “When we give our mess to God, He unmesses the mess and makes an asset out of the messer.” 🙂

    • Absolutely! This hit me from a parental standpoint, but it is so true for every relationship we have. We are constantly giving a voice to our faith–whether it is a voice that points people toward Jesus or away from Him, but we are constantly pointing. And those who are not believers are looking especially closely at how we live our lives, talk the talk and walk the walk–or not. I am so grateful that God is THE Unmesser!! Cause girl, I got a whole lotta mess! LOL!

  6. Wonderful post. I echo your prayer as a mom and Christian.

    Your post really touched my heart. I had 3 miscarriages before God finally blessed me with my son. While I have peace about that, your post helped me understand that all those “fires” have helped me be a better mother today than I would have been had I not gone through those flames.

    • It’s like Sorge said in the book–something to the effect that, even though you understand that God is refining you, it doesn’t mean there will be no pain, it just means the pain won’t be wasted. I am so sorry for the babies you lost, and I am grateful that you were encouraged by my post. Thank you so much for your kind words.

I always love hearing from you! :-)

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