Over 200 years ago a bill was passed in the House of Commons outlawing the slave trade in all parts of the British Empire. A great injustice to humanity was ended and a practice that had been around for thousands of years ceased overnight in many parts of the world. It was largely the work of one man that brought this momentous change about. His name was William Wilberforce, and he was a Christian.
Britain at the time, though a professed Christian nation, was a nation full of uncommitted believers. Many people were more concerned with the gratification of their fleshly desires rather than playing their part in bringing to earth the Kingdom of God. The Bible to some people was relegated to a book of good ideas and morals, not actually holding any direct authority in their own lives. Yet one man, who knew his God, who held the Bible as authoritative and inspiring, changed the world.
And that is what we are all called to. Christians need to realise the power of their God and the authority of His Word. To many Christians today – and especially young Christians – the Bible is not the authority in their lives that it should be. We have relegated its power, demoted truth and celebrated emotion. Sensation is the measure of faith of our fellow believer. We fight with other denominations, even squabble amongst ourselves over how we operate. We look for instant results and keep track of successes for only that week without strategising for the future or celebrating our history.
There are many injustices in the world today. There are still people being sold into slavery. There are governments abusing their citizens and there are many people dying of starvation. The church will be able to do nothing about these things unless we get over ourselves and get out of watered-down, hyped up, good looking, microwave societal, flashy, giddy, day-care centres and realise that what we are sitting on is dynamite. The word of God has the power to change lives, societies, countries and the world. William Wilberforce knew the authority of the Scripture and acted upon it, will we?
But a word of warning to those seeking instant results. The truth of our calling is not measured by the progress we can observe in a week, a month, a year, a decade or indeed, a lifetime. We may never see the fruit of our labour in whatever area we are called to, but then again, we have no entitlement to it. When we acknowledge that all glory belongs to God, then truly we are free to labour tirelessly for those holy callings he has given us with all of the strength he has given us.
nb. This is a revised copy of a previous post.