What One Can Do
- 2009 17 Jun
Paul Havsgaard was a pastor who faithfully served the Lord for many years at Harvest Christian Fellowship, the church where I pastor. One night after a service, his young daughter Tobe was tragically killed when she was hit by a car.
Like any other parents, Paul and his wife Kathy grieved over the loss of their daughter. But they rejoiced in the hope they would see her again. And instead of becoming bitter, Paul and Kathy took their tragedy and used it for good by starting a ministry to grieving parents.
A few years later, our church began participating in Operation Christmas Child, the Samaritan's Purse outreach. Paul wanted to help deliver some of the shoeboxes, so he went to Romania with Samaritan's Purse. He saw firsthand the plight of the homeless street children there.
Deeply moved, he knew he had to do something. So Paul and Kathy moved to Romania, where they started reaching out to the street children. Since then, they have established a number of children's homes, and hundreds of young lives have been saved.
I have heard it said, "I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do. What I ought to do, by the grace of God, I will do."
God is looking for that one who can make his or her mark. 2 Chronicles 16:9 tells us, "For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him" (NKJV).
In the Book of Exodus, we find an example of someone who fits this description, a man who influenced thousands of people and lived such a godly life of integrity that he kept two-and-a-half million people from turning to idolatry. His name was Moses.
We remember that Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, where they witnessed miracle after miracle as God protected and provided for them.
But the moment he left the scene to meet with God on Mount Sinai, they fell apart (see Exodus 32). In essence, they said, "Moses is gone. We need something tangible. We cannot relate to an invisible, supernatural God."
So began the plans for making a golden calf, which led to a pathetic scene of sexual immorality and full-tilt idol worship. It seems their faith was not in the Lord, but in His representative, Moses. Their first idol was not the golden calf. Rather, it was Moses himself.
We can't blame Moses for his influence on the Israelites. In fact, he should be commended and emulated, because his life demonstrates the power that just one godly person can have. So how did Moses do it?
First, Moses was a man of personal integrity. Integrity is the same as character. Character is what you are in private when there is no one around to impress. You might say that it is the real you.
Will Rogers once said, "Live so that you would not mind selling your pet parrot to the town gossip." You could have sold Moses' parrot to the town gossip any day of the week.
Second, Moses was a man of prayer. When God told Moses that He was ready to destroy the Israelites and start over, Moses stood in the gap as their intercessor. Exodus 32:11 tells us, "Moses pleaded with the Lord his God . . . " (NKJV). As a result, "The Lord relented from the harm which He said He would do to His people" (verse 14, NKJV).
God wants us to intercede in prayer for those who don't know Him and for those who are rebelling against Him - and to keep praying until we see some changes.
By living a godly life, one man - Moses - helped keep two-and-a-half million people from idolatry. How about you? Would you be willing to do what you can where you are with the influence that God has given you?
If nothing else, pray for people who need the Lord and be willing to speak up for Jesus Christ.
You might be the only Christian in your family, your workplace, your classroom, or your neighborhood. Maybe the Lord has put you there to be an influence and, in a godly way, move people in the right direction.
A little influence can go a long way. Our lives can make a difference. It's the power of one.
Original publication date: June 17, 2009