God uses regular people like you and me to change the world. Experience it for yourself when you follow these 6 steps.
6 steps to change the world:
- DRAW near to God.
- LOOK at the world through Jesus’ eyes.
- ACT on your good impulses.
- Give God the GLORY every time.
- BOLDLY share the “Good News.”
- Expect a POSITIVE response when things start to change.
We don’t know all the details of Jesus’ 40 post-resurrection days. But we do know from several accounts that he spent His time investing in His followers: praying, teaching and living alongside them.
He was preparing them for their next assignment.
Jesus was asking them to finish the work He’d begun while he was on earth, which of course was the work His Father had started thousands of years before.
THE DISCIPLES’ ASSIGNMENT
Starting in the garden when He clothed our first parents, God was sending us an unstoppable tsunami of grace that was offering the powerful gifts of forgiveness, reconciliation and atonement. That tsunami wall of grace is still roaring today, and it’s carrying with it people like you and me who want to change the world with the Gospel.
Here are Jesus’ instructions:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8
Can you imagine Peter’s response to this statement? I’m guessing something along the lines of:
“Hey, John, there’s a hundred and twenty of us. Is He joking? I mean, He may come through the wall and give us some assurance or something again but, I mean, a hundred and twenty of us. We’re going to go to the ends of the earth?”
Exactly, Peter. The truth is: it’s impossible.
It’s going to take a movement.
It will require the power of an unstoppable force.
It’s going to take a tsunami wave of grace to make that happen.
But Jesus’ followers were people who, despite having walked right alongside Him, had fears and doubts and uncertainties … people just like us.
Jesus knew this, and yet he still told them to go to the ends of the earth sharing the News. He told them to change the world, and He’s given us the exact same instruction. Let’s get to the bottom of this mandate and discover what that looks like today for you and for me.
How do regular people like us change the world? Experience it for yourself when you follow these 6 steps.
1. DRAW near to God to begin changing the world.
Focusing on Acts chapter 3, we see how God encourages Peter and John to draw near to Him — in small, everyday ways.
In the story, the men walk past a fixture of the temple gate: a crippled beggar as he asks for money.
“Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God.” (Acts 3:4-8)
At the start of the story, Peter and John are headed to one of the three daily times of prayer. Although it’s a faith practice and sounds very disciplined, it was a pretty typical and ordinary thing to be doing on any given morning.
Here, we get a glimpse of the men being faithful in the everyday tasks of life. Baby steps of obedience. After all, it’s faithfulness in the ordinary that prepares us for the extraordinary.
As for the healing, Peter and John didn’t have any more power than ordinary people like us! The difference is they made efforts to draw near to Him.
When we spend time in relationship communicating with God and listening for Him, we recalibrate our soul. We’re ready and our eyes are open to what He has for us — on that day and the days after.To change the world, first, draw near to God in the ordinary. “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much, and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.” Luke 16:10 Click To Tweet
2. LOOK at the world through Jesus’ eyes.
The Christian life is not about seeing the works of Jesus and trying to be like Him in our own power. That’s not what He taught!
In Acts 3 again, let’s recall what Jesus said before he went up to Heaven:
“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you…”
God sent His Spirit to those followers, and in the same way He sends the Spirit to empower and enlighten us. Through Him we can see things we’ve never noticed before, like Peter seeing the beggar. He had walked past him many times, but because of the Spirit, he was seeing things anew.
Every one of us needs to start looking at life through new eyes. Things like:
- Needs of ourselves and others
Through a “Jesus lens” we see hope, and come to realize that just because something “is” doesn’t mean it has to be. We can see all of these things differently through His eyes.
“Now 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.” Ephesians 3:20Looking through the lens of Jesus shows us “the way it is” is not the way it has to be. “Now 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.” Ephesians 3:20 Click To Tweet
Learning to see through the lens of Jesus takes practice. Get tips and examples in my Daily Discipleship series on YouTube, Unstoppable.
3. ACT on your good impulses so you can participate in changing the world.
I won’t pretend this one is easy. It’s sometimes difficult to act on those good impulses, or to acknowledge you even hear them.
During a recent visit to a local grocery store, I felt a prompting from God to pay for the groceries of a woman in front of me. She was struggling a bit with her son and then couldn’t find her credit card, and the Holy Spirit told me to pay her bill.
Guess what? I gave into the awkwardness, making myself look busy and dragging my feet. Finally, she found her card. I’d blown it.
God gave me a second chance when I drove past her in the parking lot. This time I decided to listen to that good impulse, and I stopped the car and spoke to her. I said, “I hope you don’t think I’m following you or anything, but I just got this strange prompting from God. He wants you to know that He loves you and He wants to take care of your groceries today.” The look on her face was a mix of surprise and gratitude.
I followed a good impulse and became light to a mom and her son.
Daily, God prepares divine appointments for you to be the answer to someone’s prayer. Are you ready? Better to try and have a misstep than not try at all.
“Let your light so shine before men that they might see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16God daily prepares divine appointments for you to be the answer to someone’s prayer. Here’s how: “Let your light so shine before men that they might see your good works and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 Click To Tweet
4. Give God the GLORY every time.
After the healing of the beggar, which quickly drew people to the men, what’s the first thing Peter said?
“Fellow Israelites, why does this surprise you? Why do you stare at us as if by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?”
Can you imagine for a minute how tempting it would have been to — even for a moment — soak in an ounce of that glory? But Peter recognized immediately that it was by God’s choosing and by His power the beggar was healed.
Here’s the key: Peter did not want credit. Period.
The world has yet to see the extent of what God will do through someone who does not care who gets the credit.
Pride is sneaky and it has made its way into the lives of many believers. Be alert and careful, watching for ways it sneaks into our attitudes about ourselves and others.
It’s our job to share the truth in grace, and the Holy Spirit’s job to convict. Love is giving a balance of both truth and grace from a heart that really cares.
“I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not yield my glory to another or my praise to idols.” Isaiah 42:8How Do Regular People Like Us Change The World? Start With These 6 Steps Click To Tweet
5. BOLDLY share the “Good News” with the world.
The #1 priority of the church is to build up fellow believers SO THAT those who don’t know might know — not just because of what we say, but because of how we live.
When we share the Good News, we can’t overlook the bad news first. As humans, we’ve all blown it and fallen short of a Holy God. But here’s the Good News: God loves you and sent His Son to die for you!
CALL PEOPLE TO A DECISION
Frequently we miss a key step in the process: We need to call people to a decision.
Back to the Acts 3 event of Peter and John healing the beggar, Peter lovingly calls those listening to a decision:
“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord.”
Boldly share the Good News. Is it uncomfortable? Yes.
Is it done in your own power? No.
If people can’t see their need through the not-so-good news of being separated from God, they can’t accept the Good News that He freely offers. It’s up to us to share the bad news as well as the good.
As you apply this step, I can’t wait for you to experience God as you openly share Him with others.
“How will they know if we do not tell them; and if not you, then who; if not now, when?” Romans 10:14When sharing the Good News with others, believers need to first share the bad news. Then call people to a decision. “How will they know if we do not tell them; and if not you, then who; if not now, when?” Romans 10:14 Click To Tweet
Ready to learn more about prayer? 3 Essential Elements for Effective Prayers
6. Expect a POSITIVE response when things start to change.
You can expect things to feel great once you’ve drawn near to God, acted on your good impulses and shared Him with others, right?
Again, take a look at Acts. Things are not “great” in the typical sense of the phrase. In chapter 4 the scene continues, and Peter and John are thrown into jail (negative). But what else happens? People come to Christ and the movement has begins (positive!).
The fact is, the student isn’t greater than the teacher. In other words, Jesus lived a perfect life, loved people perfectly, and when He told people the truth out of love from a tender heart, some people responded – it changed the course of their eternity.
And other people rejected Him.
That’s why I want you to move from taking baby steps to walking in the power of God. There will be negatives, but you will also get to experience the supernaturally POSITIVE responses, too.Just because you’re drawing near to God and acting on His behalf, don't assume every result will be positive. Draw near anyway. “A student is not above his teacher; the gospel always brings both power and persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12 Click To Tweet
As you read through this powerful tsunami movement of grace that we observe in Acts, you see a fearful little group of people begin to change the world. They began with baby steps, but as they grew in understanding and faith, they started walking in the power of God.
Will you try it, too?
You’ll be empowered to —
Draw near to Him.
See the world through the lens of Jesus.
Act on your good impulses.
Give Him the glory.
Boldly share His news.
Expect a positive response.
As we learn to recognize His movement and grow in faith and spiritual understanding, we begin walking in His power.
This is how normal people like you and I change the world! After we pick up our pace and confidence in Him, we can ride along on the tsunami of grace, being witnesses “to the ends of the earth.”
Hang on. It’s a wild ride.
Find more life-changing principles and faith-strengthening exercises when you watch my Daily Discipleship Course on YouTube, Unstoppable.
Founder & Teaching Pastor, Living on the Edge
Chip Ingram is the CEO and teaching pastor of Living on the Edge, an international teaching and discipleship ministry. A pastor for over thirty years, Chip has a unique ability to communicate truth and challenge people to live out their faith. He is the author of many books, including The Real God, Culture Shock and The Real Heaven. Chip and his wife, Theresa, have four grown children and twelve grandchildren and live in California.More Articles by Chip