How to Do Something
- 2010 22 Apr
Editor's Note: The following is a report on the practical applications of Miles McPherson's recent book, Do Something: Make Your Life Count, (Baker Books, 2009).
All around you in this broken world, people are suffering. So many unmet needs exist that it can all seem overwhelming. But it's not naïve to think that you can make a significant and lasting difference for the better. As a Christian, God calls you to do so, by representing Jesus in the world. God doesn't intend for you to shrink back from the needs around you; He wants to use your life to help others. In fact, God has uniquely created you to meet certain needs and is hoping you'll accept your mission.
So don't hesitate to take action to answer God's call to make the world a better place. Here's how:
Acknowledge your own brokenness. Just as Jesus identified with people's brokenness by subjecting Himself to the struggles and temptations of this world before dying on the Cross to save them, you must identify with your own brokenness before you can do something to help other people. Humbly admit your weaknesses, failures, and mistakes to God, and ask Him to heal you so He can work through you to heal others.
Trust that God has prepared you well. God has created you to do great work in the world, and He has a plan to help you do it. Ask God to help you recognize the abilities He has given you and notice the opportunities to help others that He brings to you. Keep in mind that God will give you the faith to overcome your fearful feelings if you trust Him, and that He wants to use you powerfully in spite of your weaknesses. Read the Bible often, and let its words soak into your soul and strengthen you to follow where God leads you. Apply biblical principles to your life, using their wisdom to help you make decisions each day. Remember that God Himself is with you all the time as the Holy Spirit; ask Him to make you more aware of His constant presence with you and know that you can rely on Him to help you do whatever work God wants you to do. Communicate regularly with God through prayer - talking with Him honestly about your thoughts and feelings, and listening carefully to what He has to say to you. Thank God for the many ways He has prepared you to do great work in the world, and commit yourself to doing your best for Him.
Fulfill God's purposes for your life. The foundation of everything you do should be to love God and the people He has made. Decide to express your love in the way God asks you to - by bringing every part of your life into obedience to His purposes for you. Ask God to give you a heart transplant, replacing your selfish heart with a new heart that wants to fulfill His desires rather than your own. Pray for the ability to see people as God sees them and love them according to their real needs. Be willing to reach out to people who seem unlovable to you, such as those with persistent problems or personalities that irritate you. Ask God to teach you the lessons He wants you to learn from people who are less fortunate than you are. Also, ask God to bring someone into your life who you can mentor in the faith. Keep in mind that the key to what God asks you to do in any situation is to be present with hurting people who need love, and to share their burdens in the ways He asks you to help.
Learn from the pain you experience. Trust God to use the pain you go through to teach you valuable lessons and help you grow closer to Him. Realize that pain can keep you from making the wrong decisions and motivate you to make the right ones. Don't try to escape from pain, but don't let it define you, either. Instead, walk through the pain with God and use what you learn to encourage other people who are in pain. Be willing to go through whatever pain is necessary to help someone in need as God leads - stepping out of your comfort zones and making the sacrifices God calls you to make.
Acquire and use the spiritual power that God has set aside for you. Be confident in the fact that God will empower you to do whatever work He has planned for you to do. Surrender your own desires and plans to God so you can pursue what He wants for your life. Then, when you obey Him, He'll give you the power to do it! Notice all the evidence that God has been faithful in your life so far, and count on Him to continue to be faithful in your future. Ask God to bring someone into your life who you can comfort with the comfort God gave you when you were dealing with a similar type of problem or challenge. Then encourage that person to continue to pay it forward by ministering to someone else. Stay connected to God in prayer often so you can keep tapping into the power He will give you to serve Him by serving others.
Complete your work with passion. Don't walk away from tough situations that God wants you to endure to complete a mission He has given you. Pray for the passion you need to push through the challenges. Remember that Jesus didn't quit - He carried out His work all the way through dying on the Cross - so as one of His followers, you shouldn't quit on the work He wants you to do. Pray for the strength you need to remain committed to obeying God, no matter what. Ask God to help you make sure that your desire to please Him will supersede your desire to please yourself by avoiding discomfort. Stay focused on each mission God gives you, until it's completed. Imagine meeting Jesus at the end of your life on Earth and hearing Him say to you, "Well done, good and faithful servant."
Adapted from Do Something: Make Your Life Count, copyright 2009 by Miles McPherson. Published by Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, Mich., www.bakerbooks.com.
Miles McPherson is always doing something. He was the first student from the University of New Haven to be named All-American and be drafted into the NFL. Two years later, after battling a cocaine problem, he stopped using in one day. After the NFL, McPherson founded Miles Ahead Ministries, through which more than 45,000 young people have given their lives to Christ. When he started the Rock Church in San Diego in 2000, more than 3,000 people attended on its first day. The predominantly young, urban congregation has grown to an average of 12,000 with more than 60 volunteer-led community ministries. McPherson has appeared on Larry King Live, Good Morning America, The O'Reilly Factor, and Fox & Friends. He and his wife have three children and live in San Diego, California. To learn more, visit www.MilesMcPherson.com.
Original publication date: April 22, 2010