Monday, June 2, 2014

Is that it?

We expect far too little from God.

I know this might be something you've heard a lot.  I know I have.  Sermons, conferences, leadership books, the list goes on and on.  We expect too little from God!

As I was reading John's gospel this morning, I came to the passage early on where Jesus calls Nathanael to be his disciple.  This passage gets a bit of attention from time to time because of Nathanael's question, "Can anything good come out of Nazareth?"  While that is certainly a good place to pause, there was something else which struck me about this passage.

There is a fascinating interaction between Jesus and Nathanael.  It goes something like this.

Jesus: Here is a true Israelite; no deceit is in him.

Nathanael: How do you know me?

Jesus: Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.

Nathanael: Rabbi, you are the Son of God!  You are the King of Israel!

Jesus: Do you believe only because I told you I saw you under the fig tree?  You will see greater things than this.

Jesus is letting Nathanael know that he shouldn't be too impressed.  Sure, Jesus did a "little" miracle, but there was much more which Nathanael was going to see in the next few years.

As I read this interchange, I was considering my life, and even the life of my church.  Are we expecting too little from God?  Am I?  I mean, sure, I hope I have a good day, and when I lose something, God will help me find it.  We want good church services, and to be able to pay our bills and do good things for people outside of our congregation.

But is that enough?  Shouldn't we be looking for more?  After all, Jesus said we would do greater things than Him, so isn't that what we should look for?

In my personal life, shouldn't I expect God to not just save me from my sins, but to also give me the power to overcome temptation?  Shouldn't I expect God to not just help me "be a good Christian", but to also impact the lives of people around me?

What about our churches?  Instead of looking to have our congregations happy and our seats full, shouldn't we expect God to actually bless us and bless others through us?  Instead of being satisfied with a handful of people coming to our church, shouldn't we extend our hopes to the place where we are reaching the lost with the gospel, and actually impacting people, families and communities beyond us?

I have come to expect far too little today, and it needs to stop.  Not tomorrow, but today.  So I ask myself this question: what can only God do today that I can be part of?