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Let’s start today with a question: How big do you believe God is?

The Christian answer is big, right? Bigger than big. We might try to sound theologically smart by saying, We finite human beings cannot wrap our minds around how immeasurably big the Creator of the universe is.

Yeah, yeah. I know.

I agree.

But that’s not what I asked, or rather, not what I wanted to know.

Go back and look. I asked how big you believe God is. You. Because it’s important. That little detail affects your life more than you think it does.

A Legend to Consider

With the goodness of God to desire our highest welfare, the wisdom of God to plan it, and the power of God to achieve it, what do we lack? Surely we are the most favored of all creatures. ~AW Tozer, American Christian pastor and author

To get your mind thinking in the direction I want you to go today, let me tell you a story. The words below originate from the book Not God Enough by JD Greear (page 214).

Rich enough and generous enough.

According to legend, one of Alexander the Great’s generals approached him after many years of service and asked if Alexander would pay for his daughter’s wedding. Considering the general’s loyalty, it seemed a rather small request, so Alexander agreed. Alexander told the general to request the funds from his treasurer.

Alarmed, the treasurer returned to Alexander and told him that the general was requesting funds for the most extravagant wedding Greece had ever seen. Clearly, he said, the general was abusing his generosity.

Alexander thought for a moment, then said, “Give it to him. For my general pays me two honors. First, he believes that I am rich enough to afford his request, and second, that I am generous enough to grant it.”

Big Asks

Born in the 1930s, my parents struggled early in life. Mom’s mother died young and Dad’s parents divorced. Both spent time in a children’s home. Growing up through the end of the Great Depression and World War II, hard times sunk deep into their being, coloring a lot of their decisions for the rest of their lives.

In her 79 years, I’m not sure Mom ever completely put down the fear or feeling of scarcity.

I sensed their history growing up. Add in times when money was tight and stories from their early years of marriage when money was even tighter, and I chose a type of contentment. I settled for what they gave me. Please understand, we were rarely what anyone would call poor, and I never did without the basics. But I also didn’t ask for a lot of things that I wanted.

Even today, decades after leaving their home, a blend of my upbringing, my personality, and my own journey with God, and it’s not in my nature to ask for eye-poppingly big things like Alexander’s general did.

Oh, but remember our big God.

Perhaps different issues come to your mind. Maybe in your home asking for things brought down quick judgment or punishment. Or basic needs were of such concern that outlandish items were only distant dreams. Even now, you might fight shyness in asking or pride of earning the money to buy it yourself.

But all of that aside, we cannot forget who God is. We must sometimes fight to remember what He is capable of doing. From saving Noah and his family in the great flood to using a motley crew of disciples to spead the Gospel around the world, we have a lot of history to remind us that God not only wants to use ordinary, broken people to do fantastical things, but He can’t wait to! He loves to use the weak things of this world to showcase His strength, love, and faithfulness.

Remember Jesus’s words in Matthew 7:7-11.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

And the apostle John’s words in 1 John 5:14-15.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Thou art coming to a King, Large petitions with thee bring; For his grace and power are such, None can ever ask too much. ~John Newton, English Anglican clergyman and abolitionist

Imagine praying with the confidence that whatever you ask of God, no matter how outrageous or unrealistic it is. Dare to believe that if it is within His will, He will say yes. Yes! Not grudgingly or half-heartedly but enthusiastically. Even if it is along the lines of the most extravagant wedding your country has ever seen, saving your family from tragedy or taking the good news to a country you have to look up on the map.

Yes, God really is that big. That gracious. We serve a big God. So go ahead. Find the courage to seek His will and ask for big things that will increase His glory among the nations. Incredible things that will make a powerful statement among your family and friends.

In this new year, why not? Dare to think bigger, to pray bigger. And get the chance to be astounded at what God will do.

 

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