Yesterday, as I studied the end of Numbers, I realized that much of the book deals with an inheritance. The Israelite people are wandering through the desert waiting to come into the land that God promised them. It is their inheritance.
And then I thought about the good and bad inheritances the people got.
The spies that went into the land gave an inheritance of fear and despair.
They also robbed an entire generation of receiving their inheritance.
Moses gave his people an inheritance of the spirit of leadership and prophecy.
Zelophehad’s daughters gave all Israelite women a chance to have an inheritance.
The Bible is supposed to confront us. It is supposed to make us examine our own lives. It is supposed to make us change the way we think and the way we live. Therefore I will celebrate Numbers by sharing with you some things that I want to leave behind for those that come after me.
I want to leave a good inheritance.
These may seem a little scattered and are pretty specific to my own context, but I want to share them with you anyway.
Multi-Ethnic Bible Teachers
I work for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, a ministry of and for college students. This week I was in Dallas with other IVCF staff studying Luke for a huge missions conference in December. The majority of the Bible teachers at that conference are white men, like myself.
But what would it be like if there were teachers from every nation? Every Ethnicity?
I think that would be amazing. There is already a guy who will teach who is from Kenya. That means that about 300-500 American college students will learn Luke from a Kenyan. Yes!
I want to raise up minority men and women who can lead those students in Scripture.
That means I will have to pray for God to lead me to them. I will have to leave the places I am comfortable and go to where they are. I will have to learn. I will have to be ok making mistakes. I will have to work through conflict and misunderstanding. I will have to be humble.
And it will take a long time.
But it will be worth it.
Asking Hard Questions
When I think back on the people who have influenced my life the most, one pattern becomes clear: They all asked me difficult questions about my life. They didn’t let me get away with stuff. They didn’t let me settle for something that wasn’t good.
And I remember them. And I am a different person because of them.
Now I am in their role. I work with college students. And more often than not I chose to act out of fear and not ask the hard questions.
I want to leave an inheritance of challenge. I want to ask the hard questions. I want to courageously challenge my students to follow Jesus with everything they have. I don’t want them to settle. I don’t want them to take the easy way out. I want to inspire them to hope in a God who is making all things new.
That will mean I will have to get in their lives more. It will mean I will have to risk. It will mean I will have to get uncomfortable. It will mean I will have to listen. It will mean I will have to spend time praying for them and dreaming for them.
But it will be worth it.
Those are two things I want to leave as an inheritance.
What about you? What do you want to leave as an inheritance?