This World Needs Us

My favorite tv show of all time is the Andy Griffith Show.  I have seen every episode countless times but I still enjoy it and laugh at all the funny lines.  There is nothing complicated about it – it’s just good clean humor set in simpler times.  I had much rather watch it than anything being produced by Hollywood today.  I have often said, “Jesus, Andy and Barney have gotten me through a lot of hard places!”

One of the reasons I probably like the Andy Griffith Show is it reminds me of the small town in which I grew up.  Hugo, Oklahoma in the 60’s and 70’s was “Mayberryesk” to say the least.  I think all the characters in the sitcom actually existed in real persons in my hometown!  Family and friends were important to us.  Things like morality, honesty and respect really mattered.  God and the Church were at the forefront of all we did.  I know things were not perfect, but looking back, they seemed pretty close.

When I compare where we are now in the world with where we were in my growing up years, I see two vastly different existences.  Things are far more convenient now and the advancements of modern society in so many ways are mindboggling.  But…the depravity, lawlessness and disregard for God and His Word make this time extremely uncomfortable for me.  I don’t recognize my own country these days.  I quite frankly don’t feel at home here anymore.

Every now and then I just get tired…tired of sin and ungodly lifestyles…tired of carnality and lukewarmness in the church…tired of the stress and strain of everyday living…tired of the suffering and pain of loved ones/friends…just plain tired!  If I could hide from it, I would hide.  If I could run away from it, I would run.  If moving to a deserted island would be a true escape, I would be willing to head that way at sunrise.  Sometimes I just get really tired.

Jesus surely knew these times would come when He prayed for us in John 17.  He said to the Father, “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.  I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.” (John 17:14-15)  I hear Him saying He knew we would face attack, hostility and hardship in this world.  He did not pray we would be removed from these things, just kept safe in the Father’s hand.  He prayed this prayer, not only for His disciples, but for us and it’s a prayer for which we are seeing an answer everyday!

When I read this beautiful prayer in John 17, it becomes crystal clear to me God has a plan for His children in this world today.  Jesus even said to the Father, “As you sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” (John 17:18)  When I am tired and tempted to run and hide, I am reminded I am part of God’s plan.  I cannot grow weary and give up.  I must draw from His strength and fulfill my mission.  God has called me and this world needs me!

The realization that God has called me and this world needs me is sobering.  I know me…my flaws…my weaknesses…my baggage.  I do not feel I have that much to offer and what I do have does not seem significant enough to make a difference.  Yet the One who knows me better than I know myself has chosen me to bear His name and represent Him in these chaotic times.  This is His idea – His plan!  “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in my name, He may give you.” (John 15:16)

What could I possibly possess that the Father could use to impact this world?  What contribution can I bring to the table that can make a difference?  The answer is so simple, yet powerful when it is fully employed.  It is not our talent, charisma or accomplishments.  It is our presence, prayer and availability for the Holy Spirit to flow through us.

PRESENCE.  God simply wants us in the game.  He calls for our presence in the neighborhood, marketplace, seat of government…wherever people are He wants us there.  He knows we will not be comfortable – we aren’t supposed to be.  He knows we will stand out – that’s the idea.  He knows we will be hated – that’s why He prayed for us.  He wants representatives – people to reflect Him – and that’s us! 

The attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11/2001 brought the responsibility of first responders clearly into focus for us.  These brave men and women knew the danger of the situation but they ran to it anyway.  Their instinct probably told them to run from the danger but their training told them to run to it.  They ignored their flesh and obeyed their calling.

Perilous times have enveloped our world.  It is dark and getting darker every day.  We want to find a safe place to hide but the call of God is to invade the darkness.  His plan is to move through us to bring light, hope and direction to people desperately in need.  He intends to use us to be ministers with our presence. 

PRAYER.  Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound – that is what they said about Superman.  This mythical super hero of my childhood could overcome any challenge thrown at him during a thirty-minute tv show.  He was the man!

Well…Superman is not real.  He was a made up character intended for our entertainment.  But there is a powerful force accessible to us that can overcome challenges, change situations and accomplish the impossible – that powerful force is prayer.

When righteous people fervently pray something happens.  Reading about prayer doesn’t do it.  Talking about prayer doesn’t do it.  Serving prayer as an appetizer will not be enough – it must be the entrée’.  When prayer becomes priority, the most difficult of situations will change.  God is calling and this world needs us to be people of earnest prayer.

AVAILABILITY FOR THE HOLY SPIRIT TO FLOW THROUGH US.  A lot of pressure is removed from me when I fully understand all I am is a vessel through which the Holy Spirit flows.  God is not depending on my talent or ability – He has everything and is everything.   He just lets me be involved in what He is doing by serving as a portal for the flow of His Spirit.

Again, this is His plan.  He could do His work through any method of His choosing – His chosen method is us!  He positions us in places where He wants to work.  These places may bring pain and be unpleasant at the time but He is using us.  We may not see any value or benefit from our situation but He is working.  We may not understand or even see an outcome in this life but His plan is being achieved.  Our responsibility is simply to be available and obey.  His great delight is when we surrender to His will and His work is fulfilled through us.  Our testing time becomes a testimony and our obedience becomes an answer to someone’s prayer.  In all of this process Jesus is glorified and a difference is made through us.

6 thoughts on “This World Needs Us

  1. Your words greatly encouraged me this morning, Les! I’ve been feeling much the same as you… just simply tired of everything that’s happening in our world today. Thanks for the reminder of the importance of submission to His will and being available for whatever He wants us to do! Blessings to you today!!


  2. Reminds me of a song—
    This world is not my home
    I’m only passing through
    My treasure is laid up
    Somewhere beyond the blue…
    I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.
    Thank you for reminding us one more time that as long as we are here we should be in prayer for the world around us!


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