With nearly two months of 2012 under our belts, the motivation to make big changes that pumped through our veins so easily as we yelled “Happy New Year!” seems in much shorter supply these days. The new year is a good reminder to set our sights on big goals, but the reality is that God is in the business of challenging us to do big things 365 days a year. In fact, God loves to stretch His people to do bigger tasks than they ever could have imagined, and the result is often a God-sized victory for the Kingdom.
As I chip away at the Daily Bible Reading Challenge, I’ve felt a new sense of wonder as I’ve read stories of individuals chosen by God to do HUGE things.
People like Moses who stuttered and lost his temper, and yet God called him to lead His people (did you know there were millions of them!) to the Promised Land. Now that was a big assignment.
People like David who was tasked with many big jobs, my favorite of which was to fight a literal giant who stood nine feet nine inches tall. Big stuff, indeed.
People like Esther who had to fight some serious laws and customs to save her people. Big odds were stacked against her, but the victory for her obedience was no small thing.
People like Paul who was tasked with building the church in an era that was hostile toward him and his message. Big job. Big challenges. Big victories.
In fact, I haven’t found many examples where God calls His people to little tasks, to safe missions, or to risk-free discipleship. And that’s got me wondering … does this year hold a God-sized assignment for me?
More and more I want to be stretched. I want to be challenged. I want to be pushed toward a task that is bigger than I could have imagined, because the end result is likely more than my little brain can fathom.
And then there’s this:
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him (1 Cor. 1:27–29).
I can do everything through him who gives me strength (Phil. 4:13).
God doesn’t hide the fact that it’s part of His plan to use our weaknesses to showcase His strength. And He promises that we can do everything He asks of us if we depend on Him.
That means, for example that:
- There is no one you cannot love (Matt. 5:44).
- You can give thanks in all things (1 Thess. 5:18).
- There is no one you cannot forgive (Mark 11:25).
- You can be sexually pure (1 Thess. 4:3–4).
- You can honor your parents and respond obediently to their authority, even when you disagree with them or they are imperfect (Eph. 6:1–3).
- You can tell others about Jesus and what He’s done for you (Matt. 28:19).
- You can say no to sin (Titus 2:12).
Some of the items on that list may feel as difficult as leading millions across the desert or planting churches in hostile territory to you. For some of you, the items on this list may seem easy, but God is calling you to something bigger, so big in fact, you’re frozen with fear.
Either way let me encourage you to ask God to bring you a big challenge this year. It’s a scary prayer to pray, for sure, because it is one that God is likely to honor with a plan that will push you waaaaaaay beyond your comfort zone. But let us remind ourselves of this, if Moses had stuck to small potatoes, he never would have moved beyond herding sheep in the desert. David would have watched his brothers remain captive indefinitely by their fear of the enemy. Esther would have seen her people die. Paul would have missed the chance to lead the charge in the most important revolution in all of history.
Yep, small is safe. Small is comfy. Small is easy. But small is, well, small. Are you ready to invite God to do something bigger with your life this year?