"For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His…." 2 Chronicles 16:9, NASB
Are you ready to break out? If you ever find yourself inadvertently stuck in a boring mold of traditional thinking, the monotony of life, stereotypical church, or living a routine life – remember, with God, all things are possible!
Sometimes, if we aren’t careful, we will default to small thinking. We will make excuses for failures that haven’t even happened. For example, over 25 years ago, we knew the Lord had called us to start a church and we knew the Lord had called me to write books; however, I remember thinking these small thoughts: “We aren’t connected to the ‘who’s who’ in the Christian world. How can God use us to start a church?” And, “I'm a 'no name.' I don’t know any publishers or editors – how can I write a book?” There were plenty of reasons to go small.
As it turned out, our inexperience, lack of connections and lame ministerial pedigree made us the perfect candidates to start a church and write books. We couldn't take any credit for the success – Jesus could have it all! We were simply first generation Christians, on-fire for the Lord, idealistic, full of faith and as green as they come. We believed that with God all things are possible – so we decided to get busy about His business.
Perhaps these two stories will encourage you to break out of small thinking in your own life:
A Mega Church in Kalamazoo
When the time came for us to start a church from scratch, we felt that God wanted us to break the tradition of "average-sized churches" by raising up a mega church in Kalamazoo. Kalamazoo is a town with a crazy name. It’s an average-sized town in Southwest Michigan. Today, the city of Kalamazoo has roughly 75,000 people and the entire county is 256,000. We believed God wanted Kalamazoo to be an example to encourage other pastors/churches of what Jesus can do in an average-sized town when people will believe Him for big things! Indeed, Jesus is building His Church and to date over 4,000 people call Valley Family Church their home.
We are not unique. We know several churches with a story like ours. Some churches are bigger than the actual population of the city they are in – now that is breaking out of small thinking! How about you? God wants to do big things through you, your ministry and your church. Don’t settle for small thinking – believe God, work smart, be led, mobilize people and go for it!
A 'No Name' Writing Books
Back in 1979, one of the first things God put in my heart as a new Christian was a literal vision of writing books. It seemed odd at the time since I was in college as a biology major with plans to be a dentist.
Ten years later, the Lord led me to write “Getting a Grip on the Basics,” the first book of now over 20 published. I found out that writing a book is the easy part. Having a book published, distributed and selling over a long shelf-life is the hard part.
In the publishing world, I was what they called a "no name." (Yes, they told me that!) I was unknown, didn't have a large ministry, TV show or massive public relations platform. My secret to being a “no name” author, being rejected twice by the same publisher and yet ultimately seeing “Getting a Grip on the Basics” published, land on the top 40 best-sellers list for over 10 years, being translated into over a 17 languages and used by thousands of churches around the world is simple: Prayer!
It was during a five-hour drive when I began to pray about how God wanted to use my newly released book. I prayed something like this, "Lord, I ask You to use the Get a Grip book to help the Body of Christ all over America." I felt the Holy Spirit speak to my heart, “Why stop with America?” I prayed again, “Lord, I ask You to use the Get a Grip book to help the Body of Christ all over the world in every English speaking country.” I felt the Holy Spirit speak to my heart again, “Why stop with English?” I prayed again, “Father, I ask You to use the Get a Grip book to help the Body of Christ all over the world in any and every language You desire.” Fast-forward 20+ years to today and He answered those very prayers.
When it comes to breaking small thinking, we just have two rules. One: as long as it’s not unbiblical, unethical, illegal or immoral – go for it. Two: as long as God blesses our efforts and produces eternal fruit, we are all in.
So today, break the barrier of small thinking in your life. Pray, believe, and work together with God to do big things in whatever vision, purpose or ministry He has called you to fulfill. Remember, with God, all things are possible!
Say It: "Father, I am sorry I have had such small thinking. I believe You are a big God. I ask You to do a big work in and through me for Your glory and purposes. (Go ahead and talk to the Lord specifically about your calling, giftings, ministry and purpose!) In Jesus' Name. Amen."