“The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise,” Prov 11:30
I agree, and share these same concerns. However, I have also come to recognize a few things over the years, which have helped clarify my perspective, and assuage some of these frustrations:
- Satan has always been in charge of the culture, and through the centuries has disrupted, derailed, distracted, distorted, and destroyed every human effort to establish a “utopia” of faithful believers on earth.
“The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them,” 2 Cor 4:4 (KJV)
- Satan fights dirty, but we have a higher calling backed by a greater power:
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,” 2 Cor 10:3-4.
- We will not win if we fight in the flesh, as the manner of the world fights:
“Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight,” John 18:37.
For we are urged rather to love our adversaries, and to:
“not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good,” Rom 12:20-21
- God has given humanity a free will. People can either choose to love God, or they can:
“love the world or the things in the world . . . the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life,” I John.
- Jesus’s Kingdom through salvation is also a free choice. His great commission to believers was not to “subdue the world” in the name of God, but instead to:
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned,” Mark 16:15-16.
- Lastly, culture is controlled by what the majority of people believe, falling into one of two creeds :
“Everyone [does] what [is] right in his own eyes,” Judges 17:6.
“If you love me, [you will] keep my commandments,” John 14:15
So if we want to impact our culture, and fulfill the ONE THING that Jesus charged us to do, we must lovingly and prayerfully plant seeds of faith in unbelievers. He has transformed us into Life-Changers for the Kingdom of God because the ways of this world are a dead-end. In order to impact the culture, we have to impact the lives of unbelievers around us. We will never be able to “save the world” (someone already did that), but we can be the faithful servant who helps to save a life.
Every week I will post a new article that shares some simple ways I have planted seeds in the ready hearts of non-believers. You’d be amazed at how little it takes—we just need to be willing, and have our hearts and ears open to the Lord. You may not use all of these suggestions, but certainly some of them will be the right arrow in your spiritual quiver when the Lord opens an opportunity. I’ll share stories and surprising lessons I’ve learned over the last 20 years, and occasionally, I’ll offer one of my faith-centered short fiction pieces that you can share with friends or family as a potential ice-breaker.
Come along on this journey and you’ll find that God has already formed His faith-seeds in your delicious Fruits of the Spirit. Jesus’s calling to be a life-changer is personal, and individual. He is faithful to to equip us spiritually and to tailor His assignments to our unique character and personality. Thankfully, we don’t cause the seeds grow—He does. We are just His planted trees, His faithful friends, who are ready, willing and able to hear His voice, and to follow His lead, and to drop the little seeds in His timing.
He does all the real work, but we get the joy.
Unless noted otherwise, all scripture will be in NKJV.