Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Dreaming Big and Praying Hard

Charles Finney once said, "When you attempt great things for God, you can expect great results from God."

I was recently reading through Kirsten Strand’s “Community 4:12” Blog. Kirsten leads Community 4:12, a ministry of Community Christian Church (CCC) of Naperville, Ill, which brings compassion, social justice, and community development to under-resourced communities. CCC has adopted the inner-city community of East Aurora, as they seek to live out the Biblical mandate to serve needy, marginalized people. Kirsten has served as the catalyst in this community, through organizing servant evangelism and community outreach projects.

In her most recent blog entry, Kirsten included a hit list of big dreams she is praying for; things she would like to see happen in 2008. At first glance the list looks like wishful thinking, but, as the title of her post (Mountain Moving Prayers #2) suggests, her faith is not in what she can do, but in what God can and will do through her. I got to thinking about Kirsten’s Big Dream list. It’s not too much different than my own. Yeah our dreams are big, but God is infinitely bigger. We serve a big God who compels us to dream big.

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us (Eph. 3:20)

Ephesians 3:20 is a verse that I regularly camp out in, because it tells me that His power is at work (within us), to accomplish all that He places in our human hearts and minds, and so much more; that combined with my life verse of Proverbs 3:5&6,

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight (Prov.3:5-6)

I am thoroughly convinced that what God desires to accomplish through us is far beyond anything we can rap our minds around. Many times I find myself trying to manage the vision God has given me, when He's simply asking me to be obedient and faithful and let Him do the rest. It is surprisingly refreshing when I am reminded that it is His church and that it is He who gives the increase.

I really appreciate reading about what Community 4:12 is doing. Our God is encouraging me through what they are doing; that others are successfully making His name known in their own community and if we (here in upstate NY) follow the example others are setting, we will see similar success as we make His name known here in Troy, New York. We truly reap what we sow. Dream big. Pray hard. Trust in the God who gives us big dreams, and wait expectantly to be blown away by what He will do with faith the size of a mustard seed.