Look anywhere you wish in the Bible and the significance of the individual servants of God stands out. There is Noah surrounded by wickedness. Abraham in Canaan, a land of idolatry. Joseph in Pharaoh’s prison. Moses in Pharaoh’s court. Samson surrounded by the Philistines in Gaza. Elijah against all of the prophets of Baal on Mt. Carmel. Esther in the palace in Persia. Paul and Silas in the jail in Philippi. The Apostle John taking dictation on the island of Patmos.
In each of these instances one person of faith made a great difference. All of these cases belong to ancient history. They are separated from our lives by so much time that they may appear unreal or not applicable to our situation. But the principle is still valid: You, with the help of God, make a difference in your world. You are important. God is counting on you.
Each day that we live is filled with meaningful activities, because we are on task with God. Thus, we realize the importance of “making the most of every opportunity” in life. (cf. Ephesians 5:16) We really need to keep this in mind as we reflect on our life’s purposes.
Think back over your own experiences. Aren’t crucial things often done by one person? One player sparks the team’s comeback. One teacher inspires an entire staff. One member energizes the committee. One nurse lifts the quality of service on a hospital floor.
Contemplating the importance of the individual may suggest the need for change in our lives. How can we continue to complain about the way things are, without making a personal contribution to change? When you see trash strewn across the street in your neighborhood is your first response, “Whom should I call to report this?” Why not just pick it up? Changed people make a changed neighborhood. Changed neighborhoods produce a changed community. Sometimes, we are so busy complaining about what is happening to us that we do not have any time or energy to consider what could be happening through us.
It is so important to remember that God is working through our lives. This is underscored by the Holy Spirit when He guided the Apostle Paul the words of Ephesians 3:20-21, “20Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Just as God has worked through the great movements of history to accomplish His purposes, He also works through individuals who are part of these movements. One person with faith in God in any situation, in any place, in any time, can make a difference!
© Bill Williams, September 18, 2006