I discussed last about the mistake of King Rehoboam, he ignored the counsel of the elders and consulted his peers, listened to them and needed to run for his life eventually. What exactly should we copy from elders and brethren around? I am still young and still learning a lot but permit me to share a few things out of several I have learnt from walking with elders…
1. Their Faith and Confidence in God (Psa 23)
I could not help but notice a strong, personal and deliberate faith in God. These elders believe God! They know there is a God, and relate with Him as practically as possible. Their Faith is not church based or works based, they were not Christians because of what church they went or what they did in church but because of their private personal relationship with God. I saw them take deliberate steps and decisions based on God’s personal word to them, I watched them go through life without anxiety and fear but with total rest and reliance and a strong faith in the God they are following!
2. They lived a Simple life (Jh 3:27)
I have heard the privilege of relating with a few elders and one thing that is usually strong to me is their simple life. These men have got much, much knowledge, much understanding, great walk with God, deep experiences of God and sometimes great material things but have remained simple. You hardly hear them talk about any of these, they still dress as simply as possible not wanting to display their physical worth. They have retained their modest taste despite their high earnings…they have kept their experiences of God in godly balance, knowing that we receive all things from God! Hmm…I must learn this!
3. They prayed about everything (Phil 4:6 Living bible)
One thing I learnt from from my mum is the eagerness and confidence to pray about everything. She taught me to commit everything to God, ask questions from God, and say everything to God. Whenever I was looking for something (my notebook, an important document, just anything) she would say ‘Go and pray and ask God to show you where it is’. I became baffled at the way God answered such little prayers. Of course, when it came to the ‘big’ issues like school fees, when I needed new clothes, when I started working and needed to buy things I ordinarily cannot afford with my income, I learnt to pray and ask God for them…He has never failed!
4. Those Elders fasted (Matt 17:21, 2Cor 11:27)
I saw the effect of fasting in the lives of elders around me. I saw them not only pray but fast. I watched as they denied their bodies of food so they could properly concentrate on reaching God. And when I thought they had just finished a 3 days, I saw them begin another 7 days. They must have learnt it from Jesus and Paul who fasted often and got spiritual results. May we learn this despite our situations and culture!
5. They gave their life and all they had (Acts 4:32)
I have watched and seen an absolute commitment to God and His people. They willingly gave themselves to service, free and selfless service. They volunteered to do physical labours like cleaning, cutting, washing…and they did these as unto the Lord. Also, they gave what they had, knowing it was not theirs afterall. I saw them ready to open their homes for others to come in, they gave their time, their resources and indeed their life unto God. They also gave their money and materials. Many times my mum would ask me to check through my clothes and shoes and find one I have not worn for 2 months, she’s gonna find someone to give.
Go and DO LIKEWISE!
We, particularly as young people have a lot to learn from the elders. We would get the same kind of results they had, the same results Jesus and the disciples had in their lives, if we learn these and live the kind of lives they lived, valuing the same things they valued, and following in their footsteps.
A deep experience of God has no age restrictions, even You as young as you are, can have great experiences with God and walk with Him.
Phil 2:5 “In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus” (NewCentury)