Evan Almighty: A worldchanger

Friday, I had a pleasant evening, with dinner at a small Mediterranean place near our home, followed by a movie, Evan Almighty. The dinner was passably good, but the movie, to my surprise, touched me deeply, and has had me thinking ever since.

The story is about a guy, Evan, who is out to change the world, and who gets elected to Congress on that platform. His life is radically rearranged when God takes his "change the world" talk seriously, and gives him a job to do: build an ark.

I won't go further with the story, because I don't want to spoil it for anyone who might want to see it. But it's easy to imagine the response when Evan begins acting in what everyone considers a radical, probably insane manner - saying God told him to build a big boat. He doesn't get much support. I was thinking about the response that Noah might have gotten from folks in the area as he began a similar project, but in real life. A big boat, with no water nearby, no precedent, and his only explanation is, "God told me to." Right. Whacked out.

God, I am happy to say, has never told me to build an ark. Probably a good thing, since I wouldn't have a clue how to begin, though if it were a sailboat, I would be happy to learn. No boat. But he has told me to do some other things, not so obviously radical. In most cases, it wasn't that difficult to obey, and I have moved long distances, for example, because God said so. Some others were different, and much harder.

I wonder how many of us - myself included - simply refuse to consider what God has clearly told us as his will for us - written in black and white in both the Old and New Testaments - because of fear of the response of others. We don't want to take risks, or face ridicule, or do anything that might make us look foolish. So we ignore the clear instruction of God. And then we call ourselves his people, the ones who have the truth and who worship him.

I remember once interviewing a young woman who wanted a teaching job at a school where I was the principal. After answering my endless questions, it was her turn, and she asked me why I was there. Nobody had ever asked me that, but without a thought, I said, "I want to change the world. I want it to be different because I was here."

I think I am not all that unusual. We all want to be significant, though perhaps we don't think of it in the sense of changing the world. But that's what God has called us to be: worldchangers. He has called us to radical obedience, a kind of discipleship that can only have profound results. He has called us to continue the work that Jesus began, to be the physical representatives of Jesus where we are, standing before the world in the place of Jesus. Pretty radical, actually. "Hi, I'm Larry. I'm here because God sent me so that you might see and know Jesus."

But that's the reality. That's the clear teaching of God's word. And we ignore it at our peril. Not only is there an accounting at the end, but we guarantee ourselves a small, empty, insignificant life as we disobey God.

At some point, I want to stand before God and hear, "Well done, son. I'm pleased with you." How about you?

4 Comments

Larry,

My greatest hope is that I stand before God and hear "You are forgiven". A
forgiving God who doesn't judge (accounting at the end) is my hope. A
saviour that is really a Saviour, that's Good News.

John,

Thanks for your comment. Forgiveness is, indeed, a great gift from God to us. However, I believe scripture teaches that we can have assurance of having been forgiven, and that God would not have us live in uncertainty about our relationship with him. I have no doubt that I have been forgiven and have been a recipient of God's lavish grace. So, having been set free of my guilt, I want to live my life in such a manner that it honors God. I want to see God's smile when I stand before him.

Amen Larry, good for you! I'm glad to hear that! I cringe a little when
people feel their works (behavior etc..) are the engine of their salvation.
Honor God with gratitude for the free for nothing gift he has given to all of
mankind.
Best wishes,
John

Let the blessing's go on! Through out the world and generations to come!
Good deeds,
Jerry

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  • Jerry Pacheco said:
      Let the blessing's go on! Through out the world and generations to com...
  • John said:
      Amen Larry, good for you! I'm glad to hear that! I cringe a little w...
  • Larry Baden said:
      John, Thanks for your comment. Forgiveness is, indeed, a great gift f...
  • John said:
      Larry, My greatest hope is that I stand before God and hear "You are ...

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