Something needs to change. How many times have you uttered those words? Even though I could not put my finger on exactly what the something was, I have muttered those words too many times to count in my life. We are able to recognize the situation even while the specifics of it are vague. When David Platt announced a new book called “Something Needs To Change” — A Call to Make Your Life Count In a World of Urgent Need, I knew I had to read it.
The Background Story
You have most likely run across David’s name and maybe some of his work. Prior to becoming the President of the International Mission Board (the foreign mission board of the Southern Baptist Convention, he released a book called Radical. The book changed his directory and put him on stages with some of the best known Christian speakers including Francis Chan and John Piper. After leaving the position at the IMB, he now pastors a church in the DC metro area.
What you may not have known about is the trip to some of the most remote villages in the world. Platt took a weeklong trek into the Himalayan mountains led by a Christian missionary to encounter people who have been left without any light of Christ for hundreds of years. There are very few practicing Christians in the region. Quite literally, it is highly probable that someone could live their entire life and never hear the words of Christ or even encounter a Christ follower.
Throughout the pages, the reader feels like they are traveling right alongside Platt and the other travelers in his party. Through the journey, we encounter people who have immediate needs of basic medical attention, food, and water and also encounter a few burial traditions while journeying up and down the mountains. In case you did not know, the Himalayan mountains are some of the most beautiful mountain ranges in the world, but they also contain unparalleled danger. It is very easy to lose your footing and go falling down the side of a mountain as the paths are quite narrow not to mention the bitter cold that could easily cause a person to freeze to death.
It would be easy to simply shrug your shoulders and brush off the people David encounters; however, you cannot help but be a little optimistic. There is hope that is underlying the culture there with new churches sprouting out of the icy ground. It seems the believers in those remote regions understand the message of the Gospel deeper than those of us in a more modernized world. They recognize that a follower of Christ mean shares in the burdens and stands in the face of persecution.
Platt writes, “Would you and I be content with belonging to a community that is simply committed to seeking God, loving each other, and sharing the good news of God’s love with the world around us no matter what it costs us? Isn’t this the essence of the church according to God’s design?”
The Path Forward
The path forward is both clear and also vague. Is God calling me to this remote region to do his work among these people? Not right now. Does that mean that I may be called to a remote village somewhere in the world? Absolutely. Wherever we spend our days, we are called to share the light and love of Jesus. We are called to do something.
The modern church (whether mega or not) has spent too many resources valuing position and comfort over the things of God. When we spend more on a steeple than we give to missions, we have a problem. If we give our lives to the temple of Applebee’s, something needs to change. Both Platt and myself would not argue that having material possessions is sin in and of itself; rather we must guard our hearts from becoming too attached to the things of this world that will be but dust as eternity passes.
Platt’s prayer is that we would not only pray for these people, but that we would do something for them. We live in great excess and have the ability to give more. When choosing between the newest iPhone and the eternal life of a person, the choice ought to be easy for a Christ follower. We all know something needs to change. What are you willing to do to change it?
Other Notable Quotes
“We talk a lot about the need to know what we believe in our heads, yet I wonder if we have forgotten to feel what we believe in our hearts.”
“For more than two thousand years, these spectacular mountains may have been declaring the glory of God, but not for one second have these majestic peaks ever said a thing about Jesus.”
“God doesn’t just love the cords — he loves the one”
“There’s really only one thing worse than being lost. What’s worse is being lost when no one is trying to find you.”
Notice: I received this book for free for an unbiased review. My review is my own and has not been influenced in any way outside of the written manuscript.