“We must not forget that, in the Roman Empire, Christ won, and won against tremendous odds. He won because the faith in Christ really changed the lives of countless weak men and made them bold as lions. He has taken poor creatures who could not even understand the language of moral philosophy and shaken the world through them.” (Elton Trueblood. The Predicament of Modern Man. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1944, pp. 62-63.)
But Christ and his way did not win by the usual path of overwhelming human power. He won the adoration and devotion of people, and their changed lives won over the world. The testimony of others was, “See how they love one another.” Is our faith community as transformed as those earliest Christ followers? Do our lives powerfully recommend the reality of Christ and His way—not only in words, but in lifestyle and character? Were we weak and now strong in Christ by grace?
The way of Christ won through those with little worldly capital to their credit. They were not sophisticated. They were not humanly impressive. They were not captains of industry. They were not world-class athletes. They were mostly poor, mostly small, mostly uneducated, mostly weak. It wasn’t their greatness that won the world, but Christ’s.
So what do I think contributes most to my own influence? Is it my physical stature? My education? My experience? These are certainly God-given, but my greatest source of spiritual influence is Christ making Himself more and more at home in my heart through tested faith. It is only as I am coming to more fully trust the goodness, the power and the real presence of Christ with me, in me and through me that my life has lasting influence.
In what ways has Christ already changed your life from those earliest moments of entrusting yourself to Him? Take time to reflect and thank Him.
Where in your life do you feel need for further transformation—your spiritual habits, your response to temptations, your engagement in extending the word and compassion of Christ to others? Talk with God. Invite His Spirit to bring about the change for which your heart hungers.