The apostle Paul encourages the Corinthian believers, “You should imitate me, just as I imitate Christ” (1 Cor. 11:1). What a bold claim! Yet when we study the life of Paul, we see that he truly did exemplify extraordinary Christlikeness. This is because Paul successfully internalized each of the principles we’ve examined for becoming God’s cultural change-agents.
So thoroughly had Paul internalized these principles that it seems everywhere he travelled either a revival or a riot occurred. Paul was highly informed and incredibly vocal. Never was there a doubt where he stood on any given matter—even if that position was likely to result in persecution and great suffering on his part. If ever there was a powerful example of a Christian faithfully contrasting the world, it is Paul. Likewise, if ever there was an example of how transformative the faithfulness of one man equipped with the truth of God’s Word and the power of the Holy Spirit can be, it was Paul.
Nothing beyond ourselves is preventing us from having an impactful ministry like that of Paul. God can use each of us to transform our communities if we are willing, and if we are faithful. All that remains is for us to count the cost and determine whether we are willing to undertake this incredible journey, as Jesus teaches:
Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciples. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, “This man began to build and was not able to finish.” Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple (Luke 14:27–33).
Having counted the cost, are we ready to begin our heavenly assignment of serving as God’s cultural change-agents? Are we adventurous enough to step out in faith and begin a journey to cultural transformation? The Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu once said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Over the course of many posts, we’ve examined several steps. Let us then begin this incredible journey by choosing to take our first step.
“Lao Tzu.” BBC, October 27, 2006. https://web.archive.org/web/20061027065217/http://www.bbc.co.uk:80/worldservice/learningenglish/movingwords/shortlist/laotzu.shtml.
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved. Biblegateway.com.