Being part of the next generation, I constantly hear Christians say they want to change the world. And I get it. God is big. Nothing is impossible with God. And Christians live with the power of the Spirit.
I will be the first to tell people there is nothing God can’t do. I intentionally surround myself with people who expand the greatness of God and not put it on a leash. Christians should never diminish God’s power.
But trying to change the world is cripples the mission. Like many phrases or statements, wanting to change the world is founded on good intentions. Eventually, however, a well-intentioned rally cry morphs into a dangerous dead end road.
I am not at all trying to squash passion and fearless living. Those can (and must) remain without trying to change the world. So can our desire to accomplish great things for the Lord.
Having said that, I want to highlight 5 reasons Christians should stop trying to change the world.
1.) God never commanded Christians to change the world.
“Say what? You are speaking blasphemy now, Frank!”
No, not really. God hasn’t called Christians to change the world because no one is up to the task. And no one is capable of the task (except Jesus). Noah. Moses. David. Peter. Paul. None of these individuals changed the entire world. Yes, they were passionate. Yes, they were bold. But if Peter or Paul were seeking to change the entire world, they failed.
The world is a dark place with a lot of injustice. Even Jesus said during his ministry the poor would always be with us (Mark 14:7). Yes, the power of God is enough to wipe poverty from this earth. But if you believe you can change the entire world, you are misguided.
We serve. We love. We proclaim. We live every moment of our lives for Jesus because we know one day he will change the entire world…again. The world will be eternally restored. Until then, Jesus makes it clear brokenness and suffering will be present on earth.
So, pursue the passions God has given you. But understand you can’t change the entire world. You are a piece of the puzzle. And that’s ok. We rest in the truth we serve the One who will one day change the world…and change us as well.
2.) Trying to change the world means Christians will change nothing.
Here is the danger of wanting to change the world. The attack is too broad. And it ultimately means Christians won’t change anything. God has given each person a unique set of passions. Your heart breaks for things my heart doesn’t necessarily break for. I am passionate about issues you are not necessarily passionate about.
Ask yourself this question, “What breaks my heart?”
And “everything” is not an appropriate answer. I understand the world is full of injustice. I understand you want to eradicate world hunger, homelessness, poverty, abortions, sex trafficking, and every other injustice in the world. But trying to eradicate every injustice on earth means you won’t have an impact on any of them.
Find those areas that really stir your emotions and your passions. Here’s what breaks my heart. Orphans in the world, racial inequality, and the next generation. God has given me a deep passion to attack these injustices. And I want to pour God’s transforming power into them.
God hasn’t called Christians to change the entire world. But he has called us to change something.
God hasn’t called Christians to change the entire world. But he has called us to change something.Click to tweet
So, “What breaks your heart?”
3.) Changing the world creates a “boom or bust” Christian life.
Christians who believe God called them to change the world throw themselves into a situation where they must do something great or their lives are meaningless. Living for Jesus becomes about metrics and comparison. Someone has to write an autobiography about you. You must be on the news. Not the local news. ABC News.
And the success of your walk with God is determined by whether you achieved these things. Not necessarily by a faithful, obedient life. But an extravagant, spotlight-filled life.
But God doesn’t look at metrics the way the world does. I believe God is concerned with numbers. But God doesn’t keep score the way the world keeps score. His metrics and statistics are eternally woven. Ours are confined to a short period. God can see how our lives fit in the eternal scope. We don’t have that power. And it is possible a successful Christian journey can be marked by changing one life as much as changing thousands.
A successful Christian journey can be marked by changing one life as much as changing thousands.Click to tweet
Be careful about trying to live a “boom or bust” life for God. Americanism and fame are often the catalyst for this mindset…not God’s will.
4.) Changing the world clouds the work God is doing in the present.
I understand Christians want to do great things for the Lord. But changing the world often clouds the work God is doing in the present. I struggle with this in my life. I want to do something amazing for God. I want to do great things for God. And I am so fixed on future events I fail to see how God is working in the present.
God is calling Christians to be faithful with the small things. God wants to use day-to-day situations to draw us closer to him. And if we can’t be faithful with the small things, God won’t continue to give us larger missions. He shouldn’t. He wouldn’t get the glory.
The real challenge in this life is not trying to do great things for God. It is living in faithful obedience to God daily. Don’t expect God to give you a platform if you won’t glorify his name without one.
5.) Changing the world is more an abstract idea than a banner to eradicate injustice.
I hear this talking to other Christians. I also see this looking in the mirror. I love the idea of changing the world. I love to tell people I want to change the world. It makes me feel like I am “tight” with God. I am fearless.
But many times changing the world is nothing more than an abstract idea. It is not a legitimate banner to eradicate injustice. The reason we exist is to love God and love our neighbor. If we decide to change the world but have no desire to transform lives, we grossly miss the point.
God doesn’t need any more spokespeople. The world doesn’t need Christians passionate about opening another orphanage or building another. The world needs Christians passionate about people. Voiceless people. Hungry people. Marginalized people.
The homeless in our communities are not projects. They are not causes for us to eradicate. They are real people with real names. And Christians will not honor God until we realize that underneath the causes we are trying to eradicate are people created in the image of God.
We do not exist to change the world. We exist to love God and love our neighbor. If orphanages and schools are built, praise God. But let’s not build under the banner of causes and injustices. Let’s build under the banner of transforming lives. Let’s build under the banner of impacting men and women created in the image of God.
I close with this…we must live with passion and boldness. And Christians should never underestimate what God can do through us. We need to show the world God can do mighty things through limited people. He has a track record of it.
But let’s not get caught up in an attractive idea or a tagline. Let’s get caught up in glorifying God. Let’s get caught up in making the name of Jesus famous. Let’s get caught up in transforming lives.
I love you all. To God be the glory forever. Amen!