Expect great things from God; Attempt great things for God. – William Carey
This quote was used a couple of weeks ago at my church in a powerful sermon based off the words from John 14:12 (click to listen). I could not stop thinking about it. Like flour slowly making its way through a sifter, were the thoughts my heart finely was processing about the challenge in these words. Do I really expect and attempt great things for God?
Realization. I find myself sometimes expecting God to do great things…that are within my level of comfort and that are within a minimal standard of expectations. Would it not be surprising to then know that what I would then attempt for God, is therein reflective of what I expect from Him? Hmm.
Over the course of the last week or so, I felt like there was this constant back and forth. Me trying to convince myself, trying to convince God, that I do expect great things from Him. But, as many times as I stubbornly held fast to those words, were the same amount of times He gently set before me these questions: Why do you think you personally should expect great things of me? Do your prayers reflect your expectation of what I can do? Do your actions reflect the great things I can do?
So, I began to think about these questions and break them down. As I went through them, I began to see and understand. Today I wanted to share with you a few thoughts I had as I went through the first question He set before me – Why do you think you personally should expect great things of Me?
In Isaiah 43:7, I see that those who have received His redemption, through His grace, are created for His glory. Which I note – that while God, as the author of creation, can be glorified through all His creatures, we as the redeemed, who He has called by name, are to reveal His glory. Here are a few things that, after time spent thinking about this particular question, I want to share with you:
- My story of redemption is not to be kept a secret. If I am to bring Him glory, then it means to first acknowledge and share the great things He already has done in my life – to show the power of His mercy and grace, the magnitude of His love, and the sweetness of His redemption. It means that when people see me and watch my life, they should be saying – “Wow, God”, not, “Wow, Melissa”. In other words, I should not inspire them, the God living in me and through me should. How could any of that happen if I am not willing to share all that He has done?
- I should expect that He can use me to bring Him glory. I know how God can use other people to glorify Him and bring awe to His name, I see it all the time. For me, it is a matter of stepping out in the knowledge that living a life for Jesus is not contingent on my own self-expectations. While my own capabilities are easily limited, God’s are not. Understanding that when I give my all to Him, everything I have to offer immediately changes. When I intentionally come before His throne everyday, I draw closer to Him and I become less as He becomes more. When I seek Him, trust Him and OBEY Him – He can use me in ways I never imagined, for His glory.
- My summary of points 1&2: Though I spend a lot of my days changing an unholy amount of diapers, breaking up various spats between children, reading books to little ears, and losing my cool in moments of frustration…I understand that my life is not meant to be one of mediocrity – it is, in fact, to be a glorious life lived for Him. My testimony is to be shared with others and to reveal a life that shines the mercy and love of God, the father, the redemptive power of Jesus, God’s Son and the work and movement of the Holy Spirit. It is knowing that God is not looking for “certain occupations” or a “certain status” of people to shine His glory. He can and will do great things in all ages, stages, and walks of life. I don’t need to wait until the children are older so I will be free to do more, I don’t need to wait until we are financially secure, I don’t need to wait until I have accomplished x,y, or z. My expectation? It is to embrace where I am and live fully for Him in every part of my life…expecting that He will do great things for His glory.