We were talking about the general state of the world last week in the Bible study that I’m in. The overall feeling of the group is that the world is falling apart. I don’t necessarily agree with this view, not because I think the world is in great shape but because I believe that the world has always been chaotic. This is part of the struggle that we have to deal with because we live in a fallen world. It wasn’t just humanity that fell whenever Adam and Eve gave into temptation; it was all of creation. Romans 8:22 tells us that, “The whole creation has been groaning.” We see the impact of a fallen world every single day. Unfortunately, so has everyone else who has ever lived. I don’t think the world is in any worse place now than it’s ever been but that it’s been in a perpetually terrible state for all of human existence.
We then started talking about what we could do to make the world better. We didn’t stumble upon any groundbreaking discoveries but said the same things that you would hear in any Christian group. We need to pray, we need to share the Gospel, we need to love one another, and stay rooted in our faith. I think that everyone could agree on this list. We continued to discuss how that would look in our daily lives when someone said, “We can do that, but I feel like it’s just a drop in the ocean.”
Is that how you feel? Do you feel that living out your faith is having minimal impact on this world? There are plenty of times in my life that I have felt this way. If you went to your nearest ocean and put one drop of water into it, what would change? I’m not a scientist, but I feel confident in saying nothing would change. I’m sure that you are now feeling encouraged.
There are a few significant issues in looking at changing world through the “drop in the ocean” perspective.
Firstly, none of us are doing this alone. Not a single person has been tasked with the mission of changing the world by themselves. This is the call of the Church; it goes out to all of the followers of Christ. According to most statistics around half of American’s claim to go to church at least once a month. A lot of people see that as a sad truth because the number used to be much higher, but I think that it is encouraging. In Matthew 9:37, Jesus told us that “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.” Our issue isn’t that we don’t have an ample workforce but rather that our workers need to get to work. Can you imagine what it would look like if roughly 165 million people took the Great Commission seriously?
The second issue is that we don’t have to add just one drop to the ocean. Every day gives us abundant opportunities share God’s love and to tell people about Him. Every single time you minister to someone, you add another drop to that ocean. It is entirely up to you how many drops you’ll add each day. Never turn down an opportunity to be the hands, feet, and mouth of Christ to somebody.
The pastor of the church I went to in college would often say to me, “Who shared the Gospel with Billy Graham?” I don’t know the answer to that, but I do know what Billy Graham went on to do. Billy Graham would have never gone on to preach to millions if not for someone sharing the Gospel with him. You never what will happen when you tell people about the love of Christ. It could lead to the next great evangelist who will add countless drops into the ocean.
The final issue I have with this mindset is that it’s viewing prayer as something small. When we pray, we are going to the highest authority, and His power is unlimited. We aren’t just adding a drop to the ocean when we pray; we are going to the God who created and filled the oceans. Mother Teresa said, “God shapes the world by prayer. The more praying there is in the world, the better the world will be.” If we want the world to change, then we must first go to God. Why would we try to do this with what little power we have when we have access to the One with immeasurable power?
John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church, said, ”Give me one hundred men who fear nothing but sin and desire nothing but God, and I care not whether they be clergyman or laymen, they alone will shake the gates of Hell and set up the kingdom of Heaven upon the earth.” Do you want to change the world? Do you want to establish God’s kingdom on Earth? The only thing that can hold you back is yourself. If we all add our drops to the ocean daily then, before we know it, the ocean will be overflowing, and this world will be overflowing with God’s love.
This will not be accomplished in a day or a week, but over time we can change the world. If the church will take the call to prayer and preach seriously, then the world will never be the same.