What does it take to intentionally change the world? We know sudden events (like tragedies or fortuitous windfalls) can bring instant change. However, those are usually unforeseen and seldom within our control.
On the other hand, there is the idea of a meticulous, deliberate, fail-safe plan. In one of my favorite movies, "The Shawshank Redemption", Andy Dufresne escapes from Shawshank prison. After his escape, his friend Red made an observation. Andy loved the study of Geology, a science that essentially observes the effects of time and pressure. With the application of pressure, over enough time, a man can move a mountain by spoonfuls. In Andy's case, he had used a tiny rock hammer to burrow through the wall of Shawshank Prison one pocketful at a time . . . for twenty years.
Jesus told us, "if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'move from here or there,' and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20." Now here is a good question, was Jesus advocating instant gratification of enormous requests? Can we just arbitrarily pray or demand something and expect it to be done? Is faith just believing God will do whatever we ask?
Fortunately, the Bible clarifies this when we consider all God says about faith. In James 2 we are told living faith is only expressed by a constant flow of good works (James 2:17). In Hebrews 11 genuine faith is presented with a list of examples of people in Bible history and ends with a telling observation, "all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised" Hebrews 11:39. Did you hear that!?!? They each had the very faith Jesus spoke about, and were active like James 2:17 says, but without receiving what they desired.
That is why I love what Paul told the Galatian churches in chapter 6. They were in the middle of several severe trials of faith corporately, and beyond that there was the messy reality of ministry among individuals. Weaker Christians are going to sin, and mature believers are to help restore them when they fall. Mature believers are to privately assess how God has used them without making public boasts of their accomplishments. Several facets of personal ministry are considered in a very dense passage that culminates with this truth, "Let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."
That's the secret to intentionally changing the world. With faithful confidence in the Gospel, we commit our lives to one continuous exertion (time and pressure) in absolute faith of God's plan to be glorified in Jesus Christ. Then, whether in our lifetime or eternity, we know it will not fail. After all, it was Isaiah who prophesied that when Jesus returns, "every mountain and hill will be made low." Isaiah 40:4. Asking God to remove a mountain is a prayer that is already and ultimately answered in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
What kind of challenge do you face today in your church or perhaps in a difficult relationship? Don't get tired!! Don't give up!! Eventually God will bring your faith reasoned efforts to harvest.
Thank you God for Galatians 6:9!!