II Timothy 2:2 “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”
Paul takes pen in hand to leave final instructions for his friend, companion, comrade, and understudy; a young man named Timothy. Of the numerous subjects that Paul will stress, one such topic will be the importance of discipleship; training those that are to follow in the work. In our text Paul emphasizes training one generation which is to train the next, which is to train the next, and so on. On numerous occasions, I have sat in a service that stressed this principle. I was asked, “Where is your Timothy?”
While I know the importance of accepting the responsibility of training others; I would like to pause for a moment and put the shoe on the other foot! Instead of asking; “Where’s your Timothy?” I would like to ask you; “Where’s your Paul?” Where is your mentor; the person that challenges you to pursue great things; to get out of your comfort zone and aspire to rise above the status quo? In the process of choosing His disciples, Jesus would often say, “Follow me” (Matthew 4:19, 9:9). The word “follow” is made up of two words; one means to go or come hither, and the other means to the back, after, or get behind. Thus the idea is to assume a position in the back of or behind. Who have you chosen to get in behind?
Elijah is commanded of God to “anoint Hazael to be king over Syria: And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room” (I King 19:15-16). When Elijah finds Elisha, he cast his mantle upon him and immediately “he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee” (I Kings 19:20). Elisha is telling Elijah that he will walk after him and Elisha became known as the man “which poured water on the hands of Elijah” (II Kings 3:11). Elijah fueled the desire of Elisha to do great things for the honor and glory of God; “And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. 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” (II Kings 2:9-10).
Paul reminds us that there is no place in our Christian journey to become complacent; “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:13-14).
Who you chose to follow will determine where you go and how far you’ll go! Where’s your mentor?