Go BIG for Jesus?
Have you noticed the present-day ambitions of the body of Christ? The Team wants to GO BIG for Jesus – do greater works, redeem the “wealth of the wicked” for the kingdom, take authority and prepare to judge the world (1 Corinthians 6:2) and so forth. So many of us are praying for God to give us a deep, “freshhhh” Word – when we haven’t come close to mastering the fundamentals.
Basically, many of us are begging for meat while we’re spitting up milk.
As I pondered this “BIG” phenomenon during my study time, you’ll never guess who I ran into…
And, oddly enough, Peter gave me a glimpse of this very issue that plagues some of us – the disregard for little while pursuing or boasting of big, weighty things.
Jesus Has Something Important to Tell Us
When you look at the Last Supper account in John 13 or Luke 22, Jesus had a lot going on. The fulfillment of His purpose, the end of His earthly days was near. Yet all the while, the disciples quarreled over which of them was the greatest, the devil and Judas teamed up to betray Jesus, and Peter asked inappropriate questions all night.
Knowing His death was imminent, Jesus drops some final knowledge on His disciples in John 13:30-35 (read), ending with the new commandment to love one another. Love would ultimately be the sign of true discipleship.
But, what was Peter’s first response after that whole dialogue:
Where are you going, Jesus? Why can’t I go?
You know… I would lay down my life for you.
Thank you for the example, Peter.
Have You Been Faithful Over Little… the First Works?
How many of us are like Peter? We skip right over the simplicity of love and begin to boast about the BIG things we’d do for God.
How many of us are so focused on the BIG works of Christ – conferences filled with thousands, service projects where we feed the masses, the number of zeroes behind our annual offering – that we overlook the simple gesture of love and kindness towards our neighbor?
As we fall prey to the prideful pursuit of BIG things, we forego the opportunity to “rule much” because we won’t be faithful over little.
Here’s how we get tripped up – and how to regain our footing. Do you find yourself in any of these scenarios?
1. We have a misconception of what’s important to God.
Some of our hearts are in the right place, but with a misguided understanding. Take Martha, for instance, who wanted Jesus to tell Mary to help her with the preparations for Him and the disciples (Luke 10:38-42). True enough, Martha’s heart was in the right place – she wanted Jesus to have a comfortable stay in her home – but she lacked an understanding of God’s priority. Sitting at the feet of Jesus, consuming His teachings was more important than meal preparation.
The same principle applies when we pursue God’s great purpose for lives. Has God called you to be the CEO – by way of the mailroom? Are you resisting your mailroom experience because you “know what God called you to do”? Welcome to an even longer stint in the mailroom *smile*!
Know that it’s important to God for us to have a solid foundation on which to build His greatness in us. Seek first the kingdom of God, which includes His guidance, timing, and provision (Matthew 6:33).
2. Our ambition lacks focus on God’s glory.
While it’s noble to desire to do great things for God (He did say “greater works” we will do), we must be mindful of our motives.
What is your why? Why are you pursuing ____? Will the achievement bring you accolades, while glory to God is a mere byproduct? God expects us to do all things in love, and as unto Him. And, we prove our readiness when we do so with the basic tasks God gives us. When selfish motives disappear, we’ll see clearer what’s important to God and pursue that with all our heart.
3. We equate BIG works with God’s biggest smile.
We all want God to be happy with us. We all seek that stamp of approval from our Father. But, we miss the mark when we equate God’s approval to the typical “big things” that impress man.
Sure, it’s a huge deal for us to empty our bank accounts for the poor or “give our bodies to be burned” (1 Corinthians 13:3), but if we don’t honor God’s simple play call to love, we’re wasting our time.
God will always be a quality over quantity type of God. He does not give brownie points for BIG sacrifice with little obedience. The reason God blesses us to “rule much” is because our obedience proves that He can trust us. God wants to know He can depend on us just like we can depend on Him.
So, What’s the Play Call?
In all of our great, wise pursuits for Christ, let’s get understanding (Proverbs 4:7). Spend time with God to know His heart and how you should care for the little things placed in your hands.
Know that the source of God’s biggest smile is when we honor and obey the little things as unto the Lord.