In my younger days, like most young men and women, I dreamt of doing BIG things to change the world. I wanted to lead mass revivals for the cause of Christ, tear down idols, storm castles, and break down the gates of hell itself. That righteous angst that is so much a part of youth filled me to the brim, and it left me unsatisfied with thinking small.
As I have grown older and hopefully wiser, I have realized that the secret to changing the world is in the small things. The small, simple, everyday disciplines of life is what makes or breaks an individual. How many pastors, celebrities, philanthropists, or politicians have seen their lives’ works undone by some scandal of personal moral failure? They were doing BIG things for the world, and yet it all came crashing down because they neglected the small things that form their character and integrity.
Everyone wants to do BIG things for God and the world, but they balk at doing the little things.
As a disciple of King Jesus, I believe that the world will change as more people become more like Jesus. That’s not something you can legislate or mandate. That takes hard work and heart change. That takes a thousand little steps made by each individual. In order for Christians to change the world, we must first commit ourselves to do the little things daily and weekly that overcome our own selfishness. We must daily take up our cross in order to crucify our pride until we think, love, and act in this world the way King Jesus would. Then, we teach and encourage others to do the same.
So what are these simple, life-changing, and ultimately world-changing practices? They are what Christ-followers over the centuries call spiritual disciplines. There are many of them that are worth exploring, but the three core disciplines are simple: Bible, prayer, and community.
The three core spiritual disciplines for life-change: Bible, prayer, and community.
- Bible – If you are not DAILY engaged in the Word of God, there is no time like the present to start. I encourage people to start with the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Get a Bible translation you can understand. Read, highlight, write down questions you have. Above all, learn who Jesus is and how Jesus acts. Spend some time in Gospels, even up to a year. Then, move on to the Book of Acts and the rest of the New Testament.
- Prayer – Talk with King Jesus daily. You do not need fancy words, just talk to Him as you would a close friend. Share your highs and your lows. Ask your questions. Lay out your heart. As you do, you will grow in your understanding that He is present with you at every moment, not far off and distant.
- Community – This is the one so many Christians struggle with. We were never meant to be Lone Rangers, doing life and faith all by ourselves. We were made for community with others. Frankly, an hour on Sunday morning does not cut it. Who knows you? Who can come alongside you when you are struggling? Who can help you wrestle with your questions about life and faith? If you do not have a small group of Christian brothers and sisters who you meet with regularly, you are missing out on a vital piece of your spiritual life.
If you practice these three disciplines regularly with the goal of knowing, loving, and following King Jesus more closely, your life will change. Your relationships will change. The people around you will begin to change by your example. If enough of us do this, guess what? The world will change.