As Christians, we are called to subvert the world. That’s what Jesus did, and (if I read my Bible correctly) that’s what we’re supposed to do as well.
I use the word, subvert, because we don’t like it. We’ve been trained to think that anything subversive is automatically bad. Remember what it means. To be subversive (among other things) is to be revolutionary. It means to cause destabilization. We REALLY don’t like that definition.
But isn’t that exactly what Jesus did? He destabilized an entire way of thinking because he was so radical—revolutionary. We hear it all the time about Jesus but seldom think how that should translate for us. How could such a concept work its way into our lives?
“The world needs people who have come alive.”
The late Baptist minister and civil rights leader, Howard Thurman, once said this: “Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” Ponder that one for a while.
Jesus didn’t show up merely to meet the needs of some people. He certainly did that along the way, but what he ultimately came to do was inject life where there was only death. He was (and is) the most “alive” person ever. He was alive to his
Heavenly Father, alive to himself, and alive to those around him. His aliveness resulted in the gift of life and salvation that he offered to the world.
What really makes you come alive? What turns you into a vehicle for joy and excitement? How often do you actually do it?
I suspect Jesus really enjoyed the majority of his time on this earth. He was doing something he loved—something that made him come alive. And while his greatest gift to us is that of salvation, his greatest example may be that he did what he was born to do. How many of us actually do that? How many of us even try? How many of us even think about it?
We are so caught up in our daily struggles to put bread on the table, fight traffic, or maintain a certain standard of living that we ignore who we’re meant to be. What important desire has gone unfulfilled in you? What should you be that you would never become? It’s probably not as impossible as you think.
“You are a world changer…”
If the Lord has planted a dream inside you that has thus far gone unfulfilled, maybe you should look into pursuing it. Some dreams lie dormant for years until the Spirit of God motivates us to give it one last shot.
I didn’t become a preacher until I was thirty. I finished seminary when I was thirty-five. I became a Harley-Davidson owner and rider when I was fifty-five. I published my first book when I was sixty-five.
You are a world-changer—a subversive. Don’t give up on that thing that makes you come alive. Walk in the footsteps of Jesus.
[Dave Zuchelli is a graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and is currently the pastor of Smith Chapel, in Great Falls, VA.]