While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, and day and night shall not cease. Genesis 8:22 (NKJV)
He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30 (NKJV)
You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. 2 Timothy 2:1-2 (NKJV)
Can you imagine, we can observe the same starry skies that Abraham saw when God took him outside his tent and asked him to count the stars? From one generation to another, those celestial points of light have guided the way for explorers, as well as, the common man. The constellations have remained largely unchanged throughout the centuries. They have been a chart, a map, a beauty and a joy to all those who take the time to look.
This is the great thing about God. The message and the purposes of God remain unchanged while his messengers take turns on the planet. The actors change, but the stage remains the same and the show must go on. William Shakespeare said,
“Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player who frets and struts his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more. Tis a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”
Such pessimism could get a hold of anyone without divine revelation of the greater purpose of life. But we do know for sure that the persons involved in the unfolding history of man will frequently change while the platform of purpose will go on.
The night sky is a temporary glimpse into eternity. It helps us see the immutability of God and His plans. He does not change. But He does entrust new generations with His supernatural abilities to carry His intentions to the ends of the earth. These are transitions and there have been great ones.
Life on planet earth is full of transitions. If there is one consistent characteristic of this earthly life, it is change, and that change is constant, as one season flows into another on a repeated cycle.
In life, there are transitions in family. Not necessarily planned— the time just comes and families adjust. They are like pieces of the puzzle that must be placed and fit in order to go on functioning and nourishing the family unit.
In the family of God, life goes on, but leadership must change carefully and prayerfully in order the maintain Holy Ghost momentum and a strong biblical foundation from one generation to the next. John the Baptist knew he was scheduled to transition at the coming of the Messiah. Jesus made a major transition when He commissioned His apostles and disciples, poured out the necessary power upon them and ascended into heaven.
The apostle Paul describes passing the torch from himself to his son in the faith, Timothy, who was also commissioned to find faithful men who would have the ability to teach others also. And thus the history of the church has brought us through multiple generations. There were others- Paul and Apollos, Abraham to Isaac, Jacob to Joseph, Moses to Joshua, David to Solomon- one kingdom to another, one patriarch to another, one father to a son and so on.
In selecting successors to carry his truth, the Lord looks through time for star-gazers. They must see the same stars Abraham saw. In today’s smog filled world, these new leaders may have to scale a mountain or find a dark and deserted place- in order to see clearly. But they must see what other visionaries have seen- the stars, the constellations, the lights, the hope, the future. When the Lord finds those kinds of eyes, He reveals things to them that will enable them to navigate the pathways of change in order to stay on the chart of the unchanging ways of the Star-maker.
Here we go again. Time to change. But fear not. The stars have not moved, the purposes of God are still at work and the Lord who called the past few generations, is calling yet another one- to step up and lead with stars in their eyes.
– Pastor Wendell Smith (Pastor’s Perspective August, 2009)