Are you a follower of Jesus that stands out from others? Now, I am not talking about being strange, but being a testimony. It can be easy to go with the flow of American Christian culture and miss the blessing of pursuing hard after Jesus. So the question is, “Would others select you if asked to identify a person that not only identified with Jesus but lived in such a way that Jesus’ character was reflected through you?”
The well known evangelist, Dwight L. Moody, once said, “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him. By God’s help, I aim to be that man!” Moody went on to having an incredible impact for Jesus. It has been estimated that as many as a million people made professions to follow Jesus through his ministry. Solomon in Ecclesiastes chapter 7 makes a similar statement from a negative perspective. He writes speaking of looking for a godly person, ““which my soul has sought repeatedly, but I have not found. One man among a thousand I found, but a woman among all these I have not found. See, this alone I found, that God made man upright, but they have sought out many schemes.” (Ecclesiastes 7:28–29) Solomon in his quest to figure out life “under the sun” or without God, only found one man out of a thousand that was wise. What he saw instead was a mass of humanity, including those proclaiming to be followers of God that sought out many other schemes. The challenge before each professed follower of Jesus is what will others see in us? What will our coworkers see in us across the break room table? What will our neighbors see in us across the back yard fence? Will they see a person that demonstrates Godly character or a person that is seeking avenues and satisfaction in life. Solomon refers to these as the “other schemes.”
The quote that changed Moody’s life was not original with him. The quote was shared with him by British revivalist Henry Varley in 1872. A year later Moody asked him if he remembered the words he shared a year earlier. Varley recalls the conversation with Moody. (as recorded in Paul Gericke’s Crucial Experiences in the Life of D.L. Moody)
“Do you remember your words?” Moody said.
I replied, “I well remember our interview, but I do not recall any special utterance.”
“Don’t you remember saying, ‘Moody, the world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to him?’ ”
“Not the actual sentence,” I replied.
“Ah,” said Mr. Moody, “those were the words sent to my soul, through you, from the Living God. As I crossed the wide Atlantic, the boards of the deck of the vessel were engraved with them, and when I reached Chicago, the very paving stones seemed marked with ‘Moody, the world has yet to see what God will do with a man fully consecrated to him.’ Under the power of those words I have come back to England, and I felt that I must not let more time pass until I let you know how God had used your words to my inmost soul.”
The Lord also used those words to speak into my life as a young man that He would use to direct me into serving Jesus. I wonder about you? Will you be the one in a thousand that Solomon found? Will you join me in our journey to follow Jesus?
-Pastor Joe Parkinson