Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Today we celebrate a man of faith and courage, who changed our nation forever in fighting for freedom, equality, and justice. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. risked his life for the sake of what he believed in: that all men and women, regardless of color, would have the same civil rights and that love would win over hate. As a Korean-American pastor, I am thankful for the rights of minorities and all that MLK fought for as a minister of the Gospel. He laid down his life for what he believed, and we as a country are forever changed because of the courageous and faith-filled decisions, commitment, and purpose of this individual.
As we come into a season of what I believe will result in historic social reformation, I want to encourage you to reflect on those who have gone before you as reformers. Martin Luther King Jr. was a forerunner in the faith who had great vision and purpose, and made incredible personal sacrifices for the cause of reformation. He believed that he could change the cruelty and injustice he saw in society—and so he did.
We are called the “light of the world”- and therefore, called to change nations and cities for the sake of God’s glory (Matthew 5:14). We are meant to be influencers, leaders, and reformers that identify injustice and step out in faith to make a change.
A Legacy of Destiny
As a minister of the Gospel, Martin Luther King Jr. was rooted in the fundamental belief that we are all equal before God, that we are to love one another, that we are not to advance in hate. Social discrimination and racial segregation were ingrained into the political and social system, enforced by laws that restricted black people in every area of life, public and private. Martin Luther King Jr. believed that together, all races, genders, and backgrounds could change society using nonviolent methods.
Martin Luther King Jr. was a major leader in the Civil Rights Movement, and is perhaps most often remembered for his “I Have a Dream” speech at the 1963 March on Washington. His words, which rang out on the Washington Mall in front of 250,000 people, were powerful, Biblically-rooted, and filled with hope:
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
Martin Luther King Jr. chose faith in the face of what must have seemed like impossible circumstances. He quoted Isaiah 40:4-5, which declares and decrees transformation of the land and the coming glory of the Lord. This is the kind of hope and faith that we can all have as reformers today.
A Historic Season of Opportunity
As the Church, we are entering into a historic time of shift, change, and transformation of society in America and all over the world. There are multiple circumstances in both the social and political realm that are lining up to converge into what I believe will result in a great reformation of culture and usher in a great harvest. We need to return to values of life, justice, family, and love rooted in Christ. And not just in this nation—in every nation of the world. I believe that leaders across all mountains of society are crying out for Godly influence and counsel—and as the Church, we are to step in with the authority that God has given us to influence people with truth, hope, and wisdom for today. Just like Martin Luther King Jr., we must take hold of our true identities as influencers and leaders, as ambassadors of heaven on earth. Jesus said:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Who are the people God has put in front of you to influence? What area of society do you feel the Lord calling you to? God has given you authority, and a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7). Remember that the Lord has empowered each of us to walk with influence. He is calling you to a great purpose-to bring heaven to earth.
Here are some resources to equip you and inspire you further, to honor the legacy of social transformation that has gone before you, and to step into your identity as a reformer and influencer!
- What are the areas of social change that stir your heart and ignite your faith? The Reformer’s Pledge is a collection of essays I put together that will spur you on to action, with insights from leaders and influencers in the Body of Christ including James Goll, John Arnott, and Bill Johnson.
- Unstoppable, by Christine Caine, will inspire you and equip you to persevere in the purpose to which God has called you. Even in the face of great difficulty, He is more than enough to empower you to finish the race well!
- If you missed the Prophetic Destiny Conference, you can still watch sessions online! Speakers and teachers including James Goll, Kris Vallotton, Brian Simmons, and Havilah Cunnington prophecied breakthrough, fullness, and greater glory that is coming in 2017!