If We All Sit Around and Wait for God to
Work Reformation Will Never Happen
by Stuart DiNenno
When I question Christian men as to what they are doing to try to advance the kingdom or reform the church, or what plans or ideas they might have for doing so, I often get the knee jerk response “the Lord needs to bring reformation (or revival).” This sounds quite pious but what they really mean is “I’m going to do nothing until I see something happening.”
Most seem surprised to be confronted with my question and it is clear to me that few have given the matter any thought. They know that something needs to happen, and they are waiting for it to happen, but they have not thought about actually doing anything to make it happen. They will complain about the state of the church on social media to no end but if you ask them what they are doing about it, you are likely to receive an incredulous “Who me?” response, as if they believe they have no responsibility beyond pointing out the problems.
God both builds and reforms His Church through human agents. Even the new birth, or regeneration, happens through the human agency of the preaching of the gospel. God could do all things without us but he typically chooses to do them through normal human processes by ordinary men who see what needs to be done and get on with the job of doing it. Martin Luther did not wait for a sign from heaven before taking a public stand against the corrupt practices of the institutional church. He saw what needed to be done and he did it.
When Paul planted and Apollos watered, then God gave the increase. If no one is planting and no one is watering, then there can be no increase. It is as foolish for a Christian to wait until he sees signs of God’s working before he does something to advance the kingdom as it would be for a farmer to wait until he sees signs of God’s working before he plants seeds and waters them.
I know that some are not in a position to do much beyond raising their children “in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (which is important work) and some are in other limiting circumstances, but every Christian man at least should be thinking about what could be done to bring reformation to his little corner of the world and doing what is in his power, however limited, to bring it to fruition.
If we all sit around and wait for God to work before we do something, the only thing that will happen is we will be sitting around waiting for God to work.