This Is How We Change the World
We often look at holiness from an individual perspective, but your decision to pursue holiness doesn’t affect you alone. You and I are involved in something bigger. We’re part of God’s church. So our individual decisions to live in holiness (or not) have implications on our communities, our societies, and our world.
The Bible tell us that lawlessness (disobedience to God) is a mystery at work in the world around us. This shouldn’t surprise anyone. The good news is there’s a force that can hold it back:
The mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He [the Holy Spirit] who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way. (2 Thessalonians 2:7 NKJV with author’s clarification)
I’m more than fifty years old as I write this. Never have I witnessed such a rate of increasing lawlessness in my nation. I’ve never seen such determination by government, media, and society to label lawless behavior as good. There’s a reason. The restraining force—the Holy Spirit—is not as prevalent today. God’s presence is rapidly diminishing in the West.
Why is this? Imagine that each of us is a container, a potential carrier of God’s kingdom into the world. We’re intended to be clean (holy) so God can fill us with His Spirit and manifest His presence through us.
But many Christians have begun to proclaim a gospel that doesn’t emphasize the need for transformation. We’ve subscribed to a lesser idea of grace, believing it only covers our mistakes but doesn’t empower us to live righteously. This leaves a deficit of clean containers, which creates a shortage of God’s manifest presence on the earth.
Does this surprise you? Remember that when Jesus died on the cross, the veil in the temple was rent from top to bottom. God’s presence moved out of a man-made container to be poured out on new vessels: the hearts of reborn men and women. If the vessels are dirty, the presence of God in society diminishes and lawlessness is less restrained.
Look at it like this... If I put a light bulb in a closed cardboard box, no one can see the light. If, however, I put the light bulb in a glass container, all who come near see the bright light.
Many are crying out against the evidence of lawlessness around us. But do we realize we can do something about it? The best way to battle lawlessness isn’t in the way we vote or what we protest. It’s in yielding to the empowerment of God’s grace and living a godly life. This is how we give stronger voice and influence to the Holy Spirit in our society. It starts at the ground level.
I don’t know about you, but I want to see the world around me influenced by the goodness of God. I want to see our societies shaped by His wisdom, and I want everyone to have the chance to encounter His love.
We have a role to play in displaying God in our world. So let’s proclaim God’s goodness. Let’s embrace His call to holiness. Let’s see lawlessness held in check by the restraining force of the Holy Spirit, which will result in a harvest of souls for the kingdom of God.
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