The world needs a change. It almost always has. Controversy abounds about how to change it. Christians know that Jesus is the source of successful change. A handful of first-century Christians changed their world by teaching Jesus was the Christ (Acts 17:6). Paul made remarkable changes in the highest places of the world by teaching the truth about Jesus (Phil. 4:22). A scandalous Samaritan woman changed the world around her by introducing them to the Messiah (John 4:1-42).
Modern change-theorists call for understanding, tolerance, and equality. Jesus called for these same things—philosophically. However, He never intended for us tolerate and promote selfish and sinful choices. Jesus also never intended for his followers to wait until they thought conditions were perfect to start changes. A popular song claims the current youthful generation is “Waiting on the World to Change” before deciding to change the world themselves.
I am not satisfied with the direction of our nation or world. Nor am I satisfied with waiting until others are motivated to change. I am glad first-century Christians did not wait until Rome fell before preaching the truth on her streets. I am thankful Paul did not wait for Roman officials to grow a conscience before telling them his life-changing account. I am grateful the woman did not wait on the stubborn Samaritans before telling them the Messiah was giving water at the well.
Therefore we must ask, “Why am I waiting to change the world?” Luckily, the Samaritan woman in John 4 serves as a wonderful model for how to stop waiting to change the world:
A changed life changes the world. Jesus convinced the woman that He was the Messiah by revealing the knowledge of her personal life and explaining the truth about worship. This revelation motivated her to go tell others about Jesus. Part of her testimony was, “He told me all that I ever did” (John 4:29, 39). The logical implication is that she was remorseful about her sinful choices. When Paul was making the defense of his ministry in 2 Corinthians, he included, “We put no obstacle in anyone’s way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry…” (2 Cor. 6:3). We cannot afford to put obstacles in the way of introducing the world to Christ. May our selfish and sinful choices cease as we submit our lives to Christ. Only then can we change the world.
Changed steps change the world. The woman’s reaction to Jesus is astounding. She leaves her water jar behind, showing a change of mission. She then goes to town to proclaim Christ instead of going to hide in shame. We would see more fruit of the Lord’s work if we would just go into the world and tell people about Jesus just as He has commanded (Matt. 28:19; Mark 16:15). May we change our steps so that we go to those who need Jesus.
A changed thirst changes the world. The inner change within this woman was her focus on the spiritual over the physical. She replaced physical water for eternal living water (John 4:14). This fueled her as she changed the world around her. Our thirst must be spiritual if Christ is to change the world through us. Jesus says later in John 4, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me.” Our desire for the spiritual work of the Lord should boost our world-changing endeavors.
If we are going to follow in the steps of this humble woman, we must change the world today! She immediately left the well to tell others about Jesus. Back in 2 Corinthians 6, we see that Paul says, “Behold, now is the day of salvation” (2 Cor. 6:2). Today is the day of salvation for us if we do not know Christ as our Savior. It is also the day of salvation for the world that so urgently needs a change. May we stop waiting to change the world.