The Key to World Transformation
August 11, 2017
by Stan Key
"Jesus answered them, 'My Father is working until now, and I am working'" (John 5:17, ESV).
When one's eyes are opened to the overwhelming needs around us and then you realize that the Lord Jesus is calling us to help change the world, it can feel overwhelming, even paralyzing. What can I do? Where should I begin? Should I volunteer for the food pantry? Share the gospel with my neighbor? Go on a short-term missions trip? Help tutor inner city students? Give more money to the Missions Fund? All of the above? To help cut through the paralysis that comes from analysis, let me suggest a plan that is both profoundly simple and simply profound: find out where God is already working and join Him there!
This idea is hardly original. Though it has been popularized by Henry Blackaby and others, it was Jesus Himself who first implemented it. He just walked around with His eyes wide open. When He found where His Father was at work, He got in on the action!
"So Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing...'" John 5:19-20, ESV).
Getting involved in missions and evangelism is not complicated. It has little to do with education, gifting, funding, intelligence, abilities or even spiritual maturity. While these things certainly have their place, the real key to effective ministry is this: open your eyes and discover where God is already at work in the world around you and join Him there. Whether in the family, the workplace, the community or the neighborhood, just open your eyes. God is already there working: in the college student asking questions, in the widow living with fear, in the addict struggling with guilt, in the colleague battling depression, in the sales clerk struggling with whom to vote for, in the boss facing cancer, in the neighbor who just lost her job, etc. You don't have to cross the ocean to be involved in the Great Commission. Just look around you! Find where God is already moving and become a co-laborer with Him (1 Corinthians 3:9).
The story is told of a day some 300 years ago in London when the famous architect Sir Christopher Wren visited the work site of his most famous construction, Saint Paul's Cathedral. The workmen did not know his face so they had no clue that the architect himself was in their midst. Walking over the construction area, Wren asked various workers to explain what they were doing. "Are you blind?" one workman snapped. "I'm cutting a piece of stone." A second man simply said, "It's a job. I need the money to provide for my family." A third laborer smiled and stepped back from his shovel. Pointing to the rising edifice around them, he proudly said, "Me? I'm helping Sir Christopher Wren build the world's greatest cathedral to the glory of God!"
Dear friend, today Jesus Christ Himself is inviting you to join him in the glorious labor of helping to establish the soon- coming kingdom of God. Those who don't respond to such an incredible opportunity are either blind or disobedient.