AGENTS OF CHANGE

The word of God is light, the Psalmist wrote that the word is the light unto his path. However, this word is resident in us and in fact we are walking letters from God to the world. How do we shine this light? Is it just in preaching the gospel alone? Well, preaching the gospel is very important but we don’t only shine this light in words we also shine it in deeds. We already have so many resources geared towards encouraging people to preach the gospel but I want to talk a little about living the life. Jesus said in Matthew 5:16

Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honour and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.” – MATTHEW 5:16 AMP

Note the words very carefully. To let means to allow. We ought to deliberately allow the light to shine just for the sake of others to the glory of God. This means we are the ones to make it a disposition of our heart, it should be a vocation that we deliberately give ourselves to. He said that people will see the good things we do and will praise our Father in heaven. In agreement to this, Peter wrote

“Keep your behavior excellent among the [unsaved] Gentiles [conduct yourself honorably, with graciousness and integrity], so that for whatever reason they may slander you as evildoers, yet by observing your good deeds they may [instead come to] glorify God in the day of visitation [when He looks upon them with mercy].” – 1 PETER 2:12 AMP

Do you see that? It isn’t just about preaching, it is also about living our lives in good conduct. The beautiful thing is that we have been empowered to live like Christ. The desire doesn’t come natural but we can cultivate it because we have the ability to live to God’s glory. We have been empowered with the fruits of the Spirit. Paul wrote

“But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things, there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature together with its passions and appetites.” – GALATIANS 5:22‭-‬24 AMP

The fruit of the spirit is the character of the Spirit, it is the evidence of the indwelling of God’s presence in us. It is not necessarily what we feel but what we have been empowered with. We can burden the flesh with it even when the flesh desires otherwise. Sometimes our flesh would want to be selfish but we subject upon the flesh the desires of the Spirit. The flesh may want to be unkind to someone who wronged us but we exert on it, the desire of the Spirit which is kindness. It is to this regard that Jesus said

The word of God is light, the Psalmist wrote that the word is the light unto his path. However, this word is resident in us and in fact we are walking letters from God to the world. How do we shine this light? Is it just in preaching the gospel alone? Well, preaching the gospel is very important but we don’t only shine this light in words we also shine it in deeds. We already have so many resources geared towards encouraging people to preach the gospel but I want to talk a little about living the life. Jesus said in Matthew 5:16

“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honour and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.” – MATTHEW 5:16 AMP

Note the words very carefully. To let means to allow. We ought to deliberately allow the light to shine just for the sake of others to the glory of God. This means we are the ones to make it a disposition of our heart, it should be a vocation that we deliberately give ourselves to. He said that people will see the good things we do and will praise our Father in heaven. In agreement to this, Peter wrote

“Keep your behavior excellent among the [unsaved] Gentiles [conduct yourself honorably, with graciousness and integrity], so that for whatever reason they may slander you as evildoers, yet by observing your good deeds they may [instead come to] glorify God in the day of visitation [when He looks upon them with mercy].” – 1 PETER 2:12 AMP

Do you see that? It isn’t just about preaching, it is also about living our lives in good conduct. The beautiful thing is that we have been empowered to live like Christ. The desire doesn’t come natural but we can cultivate it because we have the ability to live to God’s glory. We have been empowered with the fruits of the Spirit. Paul wrote

“But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things, there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature together with its passions and appetites.” – GALATIANS 5:22‭-‬24 AMP

The fruit of the spirit is the character of the Spirit, it is the evidence of the indwelling of God’s presence in us. It is not necessarily what we feel but what we have been empowered with. We can burden the flesh with it even when the flesh desires otherwise. Sometimes our flesh would want to be selfish but we subject upon the flesh the desires of the Spirit. The flesh may want to be unkind to someone who wronged us but we exert on it, the desire of the Spirit which is kindness. It is to this regard that Jesus said

“…the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” – MATTHEW 26:41 AMP

We don’t know what the Spirit wants by what we feel, the word of God already told us what the Spirit of God and our regenerated Spirit is like, it cannot desire evil,  it cannot desire selfishness, it is full of love. There is no such thing like ” my Spirit despised him at first sight”. The Spirit of God in your and your regenerated spirit cannot despise anyone. It is your flesh that is playing that trick. So, we can impose upon the flesh the fruits of the Spirit. You can love without feeling like loving, you can be kind without feeling it.

The fruits and gift of the Spirit are for earthly impact and exhibition. The gift of the Spirit is for the training of believers unto maturity but the fruit is what makes us act like Christ! The gift of the Spirit is solely for ministry but the fruit is the character that plays out in every activity, whether in the school, on the karaoke or on the beach. So, how does this answer our question as to whether we are change agents?

The gospel is preached to men in the language of men, it is lived among men in expressions familiar to them. We communicate the life-giving word in consonants and vowels that the human brain can decode, we live it through activities and characters that humans can interpret.

We can position ourselves in places of influence including schools, politics, organisations and so on with the character of the Spirit. Anyone can be a president, but we can be presidents with a difference, anyone can be a teacher but we can be teachers with a difference.

By the fruits of the Spirit in us, we can create policies that align with God’s plan and purpose. We can position ourselves in an office and become an influence there. I remember years ago, I served in a particular organisation and I was able to draw many souls to Christ from that office. While I worked there, I didn’t subject myself to things that would speak bad of me or show Christianity in a bad light. I didn’t judge them when they do things I don’t approve of but I remained different in my conduct. I was admired by all,  they didn’t admit it but they expressed it.

A president who has the fruit of the spirit is better than the one who doesn’t, this is because he will lead with patience, with eyes fixed on God’s purpose and with sincere submission to God. A school teacher who has the fruit of the Spirit is better than the one who doesn’t, he will train kids with the exhibitions of the gifts and fruits of the Spirit. I have seen kids trained by genuine Christians who express the character of God, those kids are very different.

He wrote in his letter

“Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men” – COLOSSIANS 3:23 AMP

Here, he was not referring to being in Church or working in a Church service, he wasn’t referring to preaching the gospel. He was referring to things that we engage our lives with on a daily basis. God is interested in those aspects of our lives too. A president who has the fruit of the Spirit and subjects himself to the leading of the Spirit will lead a country as though he is serving God and not men! A lecturer who is a believer and willing to do the word will work as though he is working for God! Same applies in all sphere of life. In this regard, a Christian is a change agent because he comes to the table offering what is only possible by the fruit of the Spirit. Unfortunately, we hardly get close to those places of influence because we have limited ourselves with the wrong understanding of the word of God.

To affirm that the only essence of our calling is to gather every Sunday is the hallmark of deceit. To shine as a light among men isn’t just in the preaching of the word but also in the living or doing of the word. Jesus said we should shine like lights and people will give glory to God on the account of our good deeds! When a Christian leader leads a nation and allows the love of Christ to be seen through his leadership, many people will be drawn to God on that account alone. I am not talking about leaders who are religious but ones who love God!

I would prefer to work under a boss who lives the word and not just the one who doesn’t. A boss who loves God and obey his word will treat staffs differently. I would prefer to have a staff who lives the word, I would prefer to send my kids to school with teachers who live the word. The fruit of the Spirit is what makes the difference, it makes our life so different on earth, it makes people look up to us!

This is not about people who parade themselves as believers but make a mess of Christianity, people who abuse others and mischievously deceive others with the label of Christianity. I am talking about believers who have removed the old clothes and put on the cloth of righteousness. We do know that there is a difference between being righteous and living righteously. One can be English and not speak English, in the same way, one can be righteous and not live righteously. We were called into righteousness and unto righteous living.

This is how we are change agents! The Holy Spirit works on our conducts, making us good examples in all spheres of life. To debate this is to argue that the word of God does not change lives. In Colossians chapter four, we see Paul directing Masters to treat their servants with the principles set out in the word, it wasn’t just about being witnesses of the gospel. In verse 5 Paul wrote:

“Conduct yourself with wisdom in your interactions with outsiders (non-believers), make the most of each opportunity [treating it as something precious].” – COLOSSIANS 4:5 AMP

As we venture into politics, we conduct ourselves with wisdom, as we interact with other people, we apply wisdom, when we work in any organisation, we apply wisdom and conduct ourselves as believers. We bring in the character of the Spirit into any place we find ourselves and that way, we are change agents! Where we would revenge, we forgive. Where we would be unkind, we express kindness. Where we would hate, we love; this way, people look at us and say “we are different” and the Father is glorified.

Blessings.

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