This summer I decided to read a few biographies. To date I have read about four different lives that have impacted their generation in significant ways. I have read about Will Rogers, Winston Churchill, Queen Elizabeth I, and John D. Rockefeller. Will Rogers wasn’t as dynamic in view of history, but he impacted the entertainment industry in the beginning stages of the medium of vaudeville, newspapers, radio, movies and television. He was the entertainment megastar of his day. Winston Churchill kept Europe from being transformed by Hitler. Elizabeth I impacted England which led the United States to become the nation it is today. She was the catalyst for change of the Church of England and the religious freedom we enjoy today in the US. She believed she was being used by God. And she was, because God can use anyone to impact the world.
John D. Rockefeller was an interesting man. In the beginning of the industrial revolution, he was the titan of change. There were no regulations in business until he began his mission to become the world’s biggest oil refiner. The change he initiated was on a massive scale. The fortunes he gathered from his vision was massive as well. He came from a humble background and was a devout Baptist throughout his life. He believed the wealth he accumulated was by God’s favor. But he also knew that he was given the wealth for a purpose beyond his benefit. He believed the maxim to much is given much is required.
After his retirement from the oil business, he began to give millions of his money away. In doing so, he changed the nation medically and educationally. He started medical research. He started colleges and universities. He helped the south to become educated by adding high schools which were lacking at that time. He eradicated hookworm in the south. He looked beyond meeting immediate needs and went to the root of needs. The lack of education and the lack of medicine kept people in a state of poverty. He believed in giving a hand up not a hand out.
I look at these great leaders of their times and have a sense of God’s greater purpose. Yes, they all helped the world at pivotal periods in history. They had lives of significance. In August, I began a new Bible study by Priscilla Shirer called Jonah. In the first week, we are told that God interrupts our plans to create divine appointments (interventions) that will lead to significant purposes for God’s kingdom. We are told that Jonah was not well-known as a prophet until the book of Jonah and a big fish story. But the impact he made through his obedience created the greatest revival in history. He changed the greatest city of his time by his obedience to God.
It’s hard to believe that through our obedience we too can have a great impact for God’s kingdom. We might not see everything though in our lifetime. We may start something that is not really that significant now, but the chain reaction could grow massive in a few years time. It might take a generation or two before the significance is revealed. The question is: Can we release our desires to see the greatness to God’s timing and plan? The ball has to start rolling at some point. God may use us to give the first push. And we have to be able to let God do what He wants with our efforts. We just have to be available to be used and say yes to whatever He asks us to do; even if it’s just to push a small ball into the next court to let someone else take it to the next level of significance. We all might not make millions. But whatever God gives us, we have to remember it’s for His glory and His Kingdom purpose.
The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Matthew 25:20-21