I grew up reading about people who did truly great things for God. Built orphanages by faith. Rescued children from the jaws of torture and death. Cut through jungles and defied wild animals to carry the gospel to more villages.
I always thought maybe I would do something kind of like that. Something great.
I remember hearing sermons about living for a cause greater than yourself and attempting something so great that unless God was in it, it would fail.
I thought I’d like to do something like that. Something so great that it was actually impossible.
But unfortunately, if you saw my to do list for this week, you would know that I don’t do anything great. Every day, my list is mundane. Even my goals for this new year are relatively average. Compared to George Müller, Mary Slessor, Amy Charmichael, and David Livingstone, my to do list is bland. So is my résumé.
Maybe the key to doing something great is doing more? Doing so much mundane that it’s astounding.
That kind of great hasn’t worked well for me either.
But I’m learning that living for something bigger than me and attempting something greater than myself isn’t always seen in dramatic experiences or remarkable achievements.
Attempting the impossible isn’t the same as loading my to do list with more than is humanly possible or with setting goals I can’t reach. It is being involved in work that only God can do.
It’s waking up in the morning and realizing that I can’t do the tasks in front of me in my strength. Sure, I can go through motions and check items off a list. I can make that phone call, edit that page, write that letter, spend time in that discipleship session…but I can’t touch hearts as I do it. I can’t convince that girl of her spiritual need, make those words stir a soul, change someone’s mind, or engage someone’s faith.
I can go through the motions, but I can’t change lives.
That’s something only God can do. And it’s something great.
Do you want to attempt the impossible this year?
- Remember that God values weakness. We value strength, or at least accomplishment. But God always chooses weakness as the platform on which to display His strength. In fact, God is never attracted to our strength, but to our weakness. So rejoice in your weakness.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.—2 Corinthians 12:9
- Remember that God blesses faithfulness. When we stand before the Lord, He will not compare our lives to David Livingstone’s or Amy Charmichael’s. And He will not commend us for our talent or opportunities. He will reward us based on our faithfulness.
His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.—Matthew 25:21
- Remember how God defines greatness. It’s not by accomplishment, and it’s not by résumé. It is by service. If you want to do something great, find someone to serve.
But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.—Matthew 20:26–28
Do you want to do something great for God this year? You don’t have to be a great missionary or a famous Bible hero. You just have to do the things God has called you to do with diligent faithfulness and joyful dependence on God.
Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.—1 Corinthians 10:31