First, let me flatly state, until we start living like we believe what we say we believe, nothing is going to change. Christians are said to be living “in the world” but not “of the world.” But when the unbelievers look at us what do they see?
Everybody wants change, apparently. Our current president campaigned largely along those lines. But what do believers want to change?
Do we want to be more prosperous than our unconverted neighbors? Do we want to be unruffled during times of trial? Do we want to be able to share our conversion testimony with ease? Listening to a lot of Christian talk radio has led me to believe that these are a few of the concerns of Christians. After all, Christian broadcasters must pay bills too (and they never let you forget it, either).
What Does Jesus Want to Change?
OK, so why are we here? After you were enlightened, don't you sometimes wish you could have just gone on to heaven instead of being here knowing what you know? If you have never struggled in this area I'd like to ask you to pray for me. Walking with God is both the most exhilarating experience in all creation and the most painful. Many say, “That's life” (whatever that means) but let's dig deeper.
The Great Commission is why we're still here. We're here to be witnesses of Who Jesus Christ is. We are here to make disciples. You can study this in all four of the gospels, and the rest of the New Testament teaches us how to do that. We are here for them, not solely to enjoy the blessings of the Lord. We are to share them with others as the Lord directs.
It's not easy to know that salvation is in Jesus Christ alone, to tell friends and loved ones for years and to watch them bristle and draw back. It's not easy to know hell awaits unrepentant sinners, the Bible is true and we ignore it to our eternal peril. But we know that it is God's will that everyone be saved and God lives in us here to continue his work of changing hearts.
How to Be an Instrument of Change
Jesus told those listening to him that they were the “light of the world” and the “salt of the earth.” Repeat, those listening to him. So this might want to be the first point of consideration. Are we listening to the Lord? How do we know when we are? Point number one, then, in being an instrument of change is LISTEN TO THE LORD. If you don't know how, ask the Lord to show you.
“Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven,” he said (Matthew 5:16). First comes the being, then the doing. An old Christian byword is, “We are human beings, not human doings.” I have heard this for decades. Have I believed it? That's another question. So, the second point is BEING BEFORE DOING. Again, the Holy Spirit is your best teacher.
So then we come to “good works.” Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus (Ephesians 2:10) that, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” This is our third point. FIND OUT WHAT THE WORKS ARE AND DO THEM. This principle should govern our search for employment, our conduct on the job and whatever future plans God has for our lives.
So, as we go about our business (to coin a phrase), do the people in the world see faces beaming with joy? Do they see peaceful, confident and compassionate co-workers, supervisors and employees? Remember, ladies and gentlemen, we serve a risen Savior who is coming again and has left us to be His ambassadors in this dark and often terrifying world. Lately, the Lord has exhorted me in I Thessalonians 5:16-18 in a version quoted in the front of Merlin Carothers (1970) book, Prison to Praise, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you!” Go in peace, my beloved.
This article will appear in the Fellowship of Christian Jobseekers Newsletter for July 2014 in "Carolyn's Perspective"