I hope you have a semi o.k. day tomorrow. What? No, I hope you have a really, really average day. That doesn’t sound much better does it? What if someone told you to have a GREAT day or on your birthday told you to have a GREAT year? Wouldn’t that feel better, more exceptional or affirming? What is the difference between an average, good or great day? I think it is the presence of God in our lives. The Psalmist thought so too:
“For THOU art great and doest wonderous things; thou art God alone.” Psalm 86:10
“Great is our Lord and of great power; His understanding is infinite.” Psalm 147:5
So if God makes the difference why do so many ignore Him? If His touch, blessing or favor increases our joy and lives why do we put Him last on our list? What if He was First?
Reflecting on Billy Graham’s life, David’s life and Daniels life – they all sought God multiple times per day. Their lives were flourishing and refreshing others. We can’t get their results without their disciplines. Or was it their desire? Or possibly nothing to do with anything they did other than surrender to a great BIG God? We can’t pour out unless we have first let God pour in. Was it that they were great men or that they yielded to a great God? We heard a sermon this weekend (David Christian) that talked about how not to be (Gen.11) and how to be great for God (Genesis 12). It pointed us to allowing God to be great in our lives rather than building great monuments to ourselves. It was powerful.
After studying greatness recently the sermon ministered to my heart because it talked about how to download that greatness and the purpose of doing so. (Greatest commandment, Great commission) I think of Joseph who said, “God sent me before you to preserve for you a posterity in the earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance (Gen.47:5). His life was a mere vessel, tool in God’s hands and His yielding to God allowed the entire nation to be blessed and become great. The great God was displayed in his life rather than a great name for merely him or his family. The cost was great but the benefit for his family and nation was HUGE. God plays big or goes home. He does not do things just so we can get chill bumps on our arms but so people, families and nations can be DELIVERED.
What or who are you contending for today? Do you see yourself, your family, your church 100 years down the road? Are you asking for God to be great in your and their lives or merely praying for a parking spot at Walmart? Are you saturating the nation in prayers with your tears or perhaps just hoping you can get a great tan before the next church meeting? I wonder if we really believed God was great, would that affect how we live, how we pray? If we really and truly believed that God was, is and will be great…. How does that play out in our daily lives? Would it calm our fears, impassion our praise?
I think part of God’s greatness is to affect those who worship Him. He redirects our gaze to higher things and quenches our lust for having our name in lights. If God puts eternity in our hearts and excellence in our work, can He make our families, churches and nations great again? It reminds me of the prophet Habakkuk in 3:2 where he tells God that he has heard of His fame and he stands in awe but then the prophet cries out DO IT AGAIN IN OUR DAY. God is still great so it is logical and possible for Him to repeat those great works. Does God stand and wait for our petition?
Our kids returned from camp Friday. They stated they had a good time but it wasn’t until I saw their sprawled out bodies on the front room floor that I realized they were physically spent from that great time. When the older kissed the younger on the head the next day, he yelled out, “dude, you smell like lake water.” He had not just heard about the experience but completely saturated himself in it. Camp was not just around them but on them, in them and they talked about it for days after. God’s greatness should be like that in our lives. Did you hear how life giving He is? Do you know how constant He is? Did you realize He was infinite? Did you soak yourself so much in Him that others around could smell it for days?
God’s greatness isn’t a theme posted in some art gallery – He has the heavens for that. His greatness isn’t for Broadway – He has given us the Old Testament so we could remember His acts. God’s greatness isn’t just a note suspended in time – it’s larger than Handels’ Messiah. When we embody, embrace and acknowledge His greatness, yielding to his plans, obeying His direction, we bring that greatness near, not for our glory, but His.
God, we stand in awe of You, remembering Your works of old, longing to see them in our day. Renew them we pray. You are great and you do great things. Move in us so the world will see Your greatness in all Your glory.