We all have dreams, desires and passions that we constantly hope will take us to places we never imagined. Within these yearnings rest the longing to move things forward in society, bring justice into unfair situations, improve the circumstances around us and bring life to the dead areas of others’ spirits and souls; and enclosed in these desires and dreams breaths the intense craving to make a difference. While we don’t always know how we are going to do such things or understand why we’re so passionate about seeing justice unfold, the truth is such dreams, desires and passions exist within our heart because God put them there with every intention to see them fulfilled. We see the faithfulness of God calling us into a life of impact and influence as we look at the life of Jesus. Early in Jesus’ ministry, He spoke to the crowds saying, “…the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many,” (Matthew 20:28). Jesus then confirmed this truth by abandoning His social status by spending quality time with the rejected and abandoned, forgiving those whose sin should have lead to their death, healing the blind and leprous, all while ultimately suffering a brutal death on the cross so we would have the opportunity to be redeemed back into an intimate, eternal relationship with God. Jesus understood His life’s purpose was not just to reveal the glory of His Father in heaven, but to truly make a difference in our lives for all eternity. In this week’s message, guest speaker Mike Komara, reveals how God – our dream maker – has created us to live a life as difference makers, just as Jesus did, through our presence, voice and decisions.
The tension between our dreams and their fulfillment often times resides within the internal conflict of understanding why we are where we are. We fall into a false belief that before we can make a difference, we must obtain a particular status, level in our career or be well known by those far outside our circle of friends and family. This belief cripples us from impacting those around us, because it is the small steps of influence God gives us each day that ultimately lead us into becoming the difference makers He’s created us to be. As we believe we are not in the proper position to influence and bring forth real transformation, we limit ourselves from walking in the small, yet monumental actions of our everyday lives that have the power to bring forth magnificent change in the world around us. We start to believe we don’t have anything to give and therefore, begin focusing on what we can get from others; however, by looking at our lives as one moment after another – one moment where we can simply be present, speak the words of faith within our hearts and make even the smallest decisions contrary to society’s standards – we take a stand against the false belief that we must arrive at a destination of influence and begin walking in the power and authority God gave us to change the world every where we go, just as Jesus did.
We begin making a difference when we start seeing ourselves as difference makers. Jesus commanded His disciples to let their light shine before others that they would see their good deeds and glorify their Father in heaven, revealing their identity was one rooted in the light already present within them. (Matthew 5:16). Jesus revealed that by simply walking according to His ways and being present with those who are weary, burdened and hopeless we have the power and authority to bring light into their dark places. Our influence begins when we believe our actions alone share the fullness of God’s message with the same power and glory as miracles, signs and wonders. Our journey of making a difference continues as we raise our voices for the purposes of God. Many of our dreams and desires to bring change are sparked by conversations we hear and situations we observe centered around the brokenness of our world. They get our blood pumping to see God transform such situations; yet in these moments while we often look for God to change the outcome, He’s calling on us to stand up and speak out as He’s given us the power in our voice to bring forth life and grace (Proverbs 18:21). Just as God’s word spoke everything into existence, we have the opportunity to bring peace to the anxious, healing to the sick, freedom to the captive, joy to the mourning and value to the unworthy by speaking the very nature of God into existence in their lives (Genesis 1:3). And while we’re able to bring forth change through our presence and voice, every ounce of our impact rests in our conscious decisions to act on the fire inside us. The hope of seeing our dreams and passions fulfilled is a powerful force, but it requires our cooperation. It requires us to step out of the position where we think, “wouldn’t it be cool if…” and run into the position which does everything to find a way to make it happen. It requires us to carry the weight of seeing generations we may never meet forever changed by our actions. It requires us to abandon our comfort and embrace the creative journey God has designed to mold us into everything He created us to be, so we can make every bit of difference He created us to make.
- What may be limiting you from making a difference in the lives of others? What lies have you believed that stop you from stepping out in boldness in order to live a life of significant? How can you break through those lies and start seeing yourself as a difference maker?
- What dreams has God placed in your heart? How will those dreams change the world around you? What steps can you make, whether big or small, in order to begin seeing your dreams unfold?
- As someone who believes in Jesus, how does your presence carry power? How does your perception of yourself influence how you walk into a room, knowing Christ in you, can bring light to others? How can you become more aware of the difference you can make simply by being present?
- What power do your words have over those around you? What may cause you to walk in fear from raising your voice for the glory of God? In what ways do you typically see yourself using your voice to bring life to others? In what ways do you see yourself using your voice to bring death to others? How can you focus on making sure you use your voice to bring life and encouragement to those around you? What steps can you make to lift your voice in the moments when you may feel ashamed, embarrassed or even unworthy?
- What decisions/risks have you been avoiding? What causes you to avoid them? What steps do you believe God is asking you to make in order to make a difference in those around you? When you feel disqualified, how can you remind yourself you have been made to not only dream of making a difference, but to actually make a difference?
Thank God for creating you for glory and honor. Thank Him for placing the dreams and passions that you have in your heart. Praise God for the opportunity to influence those around you in the same manner and measure as Jesus changed your life, through those very dreams and passions. Praise God for placing His light inside of you. Pray that God would use you to shine as light in the darkness. Ask God to help you see yourself as a difference maker. Thank God for the opportunity to confess the name of Jesus. Ask God for more of the Holy Spirit’s power and boldness to speak God’s word to others. Pray for guidance and wisdom as you look to make your next steps towards greater purpose and influence. Thank God for taking you on an uncomfortable journey. Ask God for strength and endurance as you walk with Him, abandoning your own will. Thank God for making you a blessing to others.
Encourage them that they are made for greatness and significance. Remind your group members even the smallest of moments can make great life change and transformation. Help identity any thing in your group members that are limiting them from stepping out in the fullness of their purpose. Help them discover what their next steps are to make a greater difference. Remind them to ask themselves, “What should I know about this situation, should I do this, and will I win?” when facing an important decision.