The butterfly effect is the cool term used to describe the concept of sensitive dependence on initial conditions, a theory based on the earlier works of Edward Lorenz. What has this geeky topic have to do with your faith? A whole lot! My theory based on scripture is that every act of obedience has the potential to change the course of destinies. That is to say that our destinies have a sensitive dependence on our obedience to God.
One example is a man called Ananias. At a time when Paul was known as one of the greatest enemies of the Christian faith, God asked Ananias to go and lay hands on Paul and pray for him to receive his sight and the Holy Spirit. The guy must have been dumbfounded but God insisted and he eventually obeyed and unwittingly unleashed a new Creation in Paul, who went on to become one of the most prolific authors of the bible. This seemingly innocuous act of obedience in hindsight became a seed that grew into tremendous fruit in Paul’s life. Lost people became saved, whole cities were liberated from darkness, and the Gentiles got to know the one true God.
Don’t ever lose sight of the fact that every single act of obedience you carry out as a Christian means a lot to God. Contained within it is the key to the furtherance of the Kingdom. Nothing you do in faith and obedience is insignificant. You are uniquely created to fulfil a very specific task in your lifetime. It is the butterfly effect at work here. And it is like God to link up and interweave our destinies together so we have to sensitively depend on one another.
Whatever it is that God is asking you to do for Him today, I urge you to choose the path of obedience. It may well lead you on to a destiny that will leave a lasting legacy and impact generations to come. Every single thing you do will echo into eternity.
A modern day example of the Butterfly Effect in action is the remarkable story of renowned gospel artist, Israel Houghton. His mother was pregnant for him at the tender age of 17. Being white, her parents wanted her to solve the ‘problem’ of carrying a black man’s child in her womb by having a quickie abortion. When she refused, she was kicked out by her parents.
Young, pregnant, broke and all alone, this young girl was forced to fend for herself on the streets of San Diego. She was homeless. Being close to the point of hopelessness, God intervened by interrupting the routine of a random lady driving along the streets in a Volkswagen. Prompted by the Holy Spirit, she stops the car and walks over to this young pregnant girl and tells her about the joy and hope of knowing Christ. Then and there she makes the decision to follow Christ and is given a bible as a gift. She draws strength from her new found relationship with God and has her baby. She’s so in love with the word of God that she’s inspired to name him Israel.
Today, through his music, Israel Houghton who might have ended up as a statistic, has taken the message of Christ across the globe and countless lives that would have otherwise ended up in hell are now destined for eternal rest with Christ. Thank God that woman in the Volkswagen was sensitive enough to discern and obey the Spirit’s prompting in the midst of her normal daily routine. What she didn’t know is that her act of obedience that day would result in a series of events that would bless God’s kingdom with an anointed worship leader.
If you were driving that Volkswagen that fateful day, and you sensed the Spirit prompting you to stop and deliver a message of hope to a complete stranger, what would your response have been? I wonder how many chances of being a part of the Butterfly Effect we miss out on a daily basis. God doesn’t have to use us but He graciously chooses to involve us in this beautiful mosaic of interwoven destinies. Your next act of obedience could sow the seeds that will echo into eternity.