Expect greater things
I love reading the letter to the Hebrews, especially chapter 11. It is a mind-stretching retelling of the acts of so many disciples of God. Almost every line begins with the phrase… ‘by faith….’ and as you read through the passage your heart soars at the way in which God’s people have achieved so much as they made choices to follow Him, and expected that he would keep His promises to them. Sometimes I think we fall into a trap of thinking that achieving something for God depends on our determination or effort or the size of our ‘faith’. In fact actually faith is all about God. It’s about His absolute trustworthiness, His power, His Holy Spirit. And, in my experience, it’s about my willingness to take steps to join in with Him as he works through me and others in His world.
Faith isn’t really about me at all. It’s about God! That’s why the stories of God at work through his people in history inspire us to expect that God will do even more in the days ahead. 2 Corinthians 4v7 reminds me daily that I don’t need to be someone of great ability or skill or influence to be used by the Lord in these days…but I do need to be open to all he can and will do through me as I expect Him to fulfil His purposes through me – one of his followers. ‘For we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us’
One incredible missionary movement founder, William Carey, was used in his generation (the 1761-1834) by God to lay the foundations of the Baptist Missionary Society (now BMS World Mission). Last year I met a young GB woman from Scotland who joined BMS World Mission for a year to serve God in Nepal.
I wonder if William Carey knew that his faith, his expectancy of God, his discipleship would lead to a world-wide movement where women and men today are involved in life-giving mission? He certainly expressed the challenge of this well through the words of his now famous quote “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.”
In the 1890’s women in Ireland set out on an expectant journey with God as they began to reach in to the lives of girls in their community….I wonder if they expected that The Girls’ Brigade would emerge from their ‘jars of clay’?
Let’s continue to expect God to move us on and call us further and use us in existing and new ways as His mission people through GB in 2015!