Did you ever have one of those friends who could listen to a song on repeat a million times and never grow tired of it, but it drives everyone else crazy? I am that friend. I don’t get tired of songs easily and when I like a new song, it is the only one on in my car for weeks at a time.
Recently the Pastoral staff went our on yearly planning retreat, the ride was two and a half hours each way and we listened to the new Kristine Di Marco too many times to count. There is one song on that CD that I have on repeat and have mulled over in my thoughts on a daily basis. It’s called “I am No Victim”. The song itself declares statements or truth in who God says we are and the person we should be walking as in Christ Jesus.
But the part that gets me, that has left me pondering these last few weeks, has the following lines:
“He’s not just reviving, not simply restoring.
Greater things are yet to come. Greater things are yet to come.”
The first time I heard these words I was almost offended to say “just reviving” or “simply restoring”. In my own life I have been revived and restored and it was anything BUT simple. But as I thought of the words ‘greater things are yet to come’ I began to ask myself the question, “Have we finished our journey at ‘restoration’ and stopped asking for the greater things?” Then I began to wonder why would ever stop from asking for greater things if Jesus in His Word promised them to us? (John 14:12)
So this brings me to this blog. As I attempt to unravel why we have stopped short of greater things. I think I have narrowed it down to 2 reasons:
- We believe we don’t deserve greater things.
I have been forgiven much. I have been restored MUCH. Sometimes we can look to God as having forgiven of us so much already that we don’t dare ask Him for greater things. We forget that He WANTS to give us more, that He desires more for us than to be restored and forgiven. Not that either of those things should be taken lightly. But when we have reached forgiveness and restoration, then what? We live a normal life of church attendance on Sunday and try to be a “good person”? Jesus didn’t die on the cross a gruesome death and then conquer sin and death for all eternity just so we can be “good”. But we have convinced ourselves that we have already asked too much for Him to forgive us so we dare not ask for one more thing. But, yet, He said we can ask for ANYTHING in His name! That doesn’t mean we name and claim anything we want, we have to align ourselves with the heart of the Father and He will do GREATER things!
2. Greater things are costly.
The second reason we stop short of greater things, is because stepping in to greater things means greater commitment from us. It’s easy to live the Christian life that is sitting in church on Sunday and being a good person. But if we want to be a people who experience GREATER things, we have to be willing to step out and believe him for greater things. Greater things rarely happen in the convenient hours of and 9 and 12pmon a Sunday morning. Greater things happen when we offer to pray with someone at work on Monday morning. When we offer to help the single mom who needs help with her kids and expect nothing in return. When we decide to serve in the local soup kitchen on a regular basis instead of doing an activity just for us. Greater things happen at inopportune times and inconvenient moments. Greater things come when we are ready and willing to let God use us in any place at any time of our day.
I am reading a book by Rick Lawrence called “Jesus Centered Life” that mentioned a New York City restaurant that gives a gift to its employees who show the highest level of servanthood. That gift is a shirt that says “Be the Pig”. This phrase is based on a saying they have that says, “the chicken gives an egg, but the pig gives his life.” If we want to see greater things in our life we need to “be the pig”. We have to give it all. Not just an hour of our day, or that volunteer thing we do one time a year, but all of us, nothing held back. It is costly? You bet! Is it painful? Yup. But it’s worth it. For once you experience greater things you will want nothing less.