Progress on Purpose: You Want to DIE EMPTY!

by Rick

Today we continue our series, “Progress On Purpose.”  I told you that God wants us to walk in “NEW LEVELS IN 2021!”  But if we are going to do so, we must be intentional about our progress.  With that in mind, as we lay the foundation for the year, I told you that I would discuss  “Leveling Up” in five areas: 

1.  Spiritually

2.  Financially

3.  Physically 

4.  Internally

5.  Externally

In the last area, I am addressing leveling up your external relationships.  I will cover the following topics in this section:

1.  The three people you need in your life (the roles you need filled)

2.  Discerning when to let people go

3.  The importance of choosing the right friends

4.  Surrounding yourself with people of like-precious-faith 

Setting the stage:

God wants us to pour out everything He deposited down inside of us while we are in the land of the living.  It is the will of God that we complete our divine assignment before we die.  Part of that assignment is leaving a legacy.  If you open your heart to God and His grace, He can use you to not only make a divine impact on the planet while you are here, but He can also use you to leave a legacy that outlives you.

In this series, I have been teaching you about intentional progress.  I keep driving home the importance of being intentional.  Why?  Because if you are not careful, days can turn into weeks, weeks into months, and months into years, before you realize what happened.  You can exist without living.  Time can pass by without you being productive.  That is why the Lord wants you to make a conscious effort to grow in grace and in the knowledge of Him.  The Father does not want you to get to the end of your life, only to be full of regret because you never actively or intentionally pursued your purpose.  Part of that purpose is ensuring that your impact outlives you!

The richest soil on the planet is the soil found in graveyards because they are full of people who died with their best still inside of them.  Don’t let that be you.  You don’t want to die with God’s treasure for your life still locked up inside of you.  You want to get it out, but to do so, you must be both intentional and relentless.  This is what this series is about, and I pray it is helping you.

So what does this mean for you today?  A few things.

1.  Make the most of every stage of your life – especially your last stage!

I have taught you about times, seasons, levels, and stages.  Dave Steward, a Godly businessman and a man I am honored to call my friend, said this to me, “Rick, there are three stages in life: learn, earn, and return.”  God has used Dave to amass great wealth, and he is now at the return stage of his life.  He is using the wealth God placed in his hands to make Kingdom impact and to leave a legacy that will outlive him and his wife Thelma for generations to come.  

I told you about the three people (or three types of people) you need in your life:

a)  A Paul (someone you look up to, who is pouring into you)

b)  A Barnabas (someone on your level, who gets to “do life” with you; your friends)

c)  A Timothy (someone who is looking up to you; something you can take the things that have been poured into you and pour it into them)

I have covered the first two thus far.  Today’s message will address the last.  You need people in your life that you are investing in, especially when you get to the return stage.  I know people say, “You cannot take it with you.”  That may be true for money.  But if you fail to invest in others, the wisdom, grace, and anointing that God has given you may actually DIE WITH YOU!  This is NOT the will of God!

2.  The Power of a Legacy – Investing into the Lives of Others.

(2nd Kings 2:8-14 KJV)  And Elijah took his mantle, and wrapped it together, and smote the waters, and they were divided hither and thither, so that they two went over on dry ground. 

(v.9)  And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. 

(v.10)  And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so. 

(v.11)  And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. 

(v.12)  And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces. 

(v.13)  He took up also the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and went back, and stood by the bank of Jordan; 

(v.14)  And he took the mantle of Elijah that fell from him, and smote the waters, and said, Where is the LORD God of Elijah? and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.

— Elisha STARTED off at the level that Elijah FINISHED!

— When you pour into somebody, your ceiling can become their floor because they have THEIR anointing + YOUR anointing.  They have everything God has been doing in their lives, but the additional benefit of receiving and spiritual impartation from you.  This is why your children (both natural and spiritual children), can and should go much further than you have.  God is a God of progression and not regression.

— When you make an INVESTMENT in the life of someone else, God can take them places you were not able to go.  God can take your life and take it to the next level IN THEM.  But the good news is, the impact they make is attributed to your account in heaven because you invested in them!  Their life becomes part of your legacy.  Without Elijah, there is no Elisha.  Elisha is part of Elijah’s legacy.

— Think about the people you are investing in.  They have what YOU taught them + what GOD has taught them directly.  They have access to YOU + GOD.  This puts them at an advantage.  It is the same with you.  Think of all the people God used to POUR into your life.  Many of those people may be in heaven now, looking down at you, knowing that you are a continuation of what they started.  You are part of their legacy.

— Part of leveling up in your relationships is getting to the point where you realize God’s promise for you is NOT JUST for you.  God is too big of a God, and His anointing is too strong for Him to JUST focus on you.  He is focused on you, your children (natural and spiritual), and your children’s children.  God wants your legacy to be passed on to the second and third generations.  Once again, this applies to the people in your life who are NOT your biological children, but you are investing in them nonetheless.

— Live legacy-minded.  Your life is bigger than just you!

3.  The Danger of Dying with Your Best IN YOU!

(Read 2 Kings 13:120, 21 NASB)

(v.20) Elisha died, and they buried him. Now the bands of the Moabites would invade the land in the spring of the year.

(v.21) As they were burying a man, behold, they saw a marauding band; and they cast the man into the grave of Elisha.  And when the man touched the bones of Elisha he revived and stood up on his feet.

— Elijah never died because God took him.  Thankfully, the anointing on Elijah’s life was transferred to Elisha, and Elisha became part of Elijah’s legacy.

— Elisha died a normal death.  Unfortunately, he did not have anyone to pass continue the legacy.  Unlike Elijah, who built up a ‘Fathering’ relationship with Elisha, Elisha had a servant, Gehazi, whom he was investing in.  But Gehazi tried to steal some money, and things did not end well for him.  After Gehazi, Elisha never poured into anyone else.  As a result, he did not have anyone to pass the legacy of His anointing on to.

— Elisha received a double portion of what Elijah had.  Elisha could have done the same for someone else.  But that did not happen, so Elisha died with God’s best still inside of him.

— Year’s later, a dead body was placed into Elisha’s tomb.  All that was left of Elisha, in the natural, were bones.  But in the spirit, the anointing was still there.  When the dead body touched Elisha’s bones, the man came back to life.  Why?  Because the anointing was lying there dormant, in a grave.  Don’t let this happen to you.  Don’t die with your best still in you.  Determine to DIE EMPTY!

That’s enough for today.

Declaration of Faith:  

Father, I thank You for calling me, blessing me, preparing me, and anointing me.  You have sent people to me to POUR into me, and for what I am eternally thankful.  I honor the investment You have made in me, and I honor it enough to ensure IT WILL NOT DIE WITH ME!  I refuse to die with my best still inside of me.  I declare that I shall die empty.  I will pour out everything You poured INTO me before I die.  I will leave a mark in this world that will not easily be erased, and my impact will be felt for generations to come because I am focused on investing in those You send to me.  I have natural and spiritual children, and my legacy shall outlive me.  I LEVEL UP my relationships in 2021.  GREATER IS COMING FOR ME!  I declare this by faith!  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.

This is Today’s Word.  Apply it and prosper!

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