from JO’s sermon tonight:
we all have dreams and goals. we do our best to stretch our faith, and believe that one day if we work hard enough, get the right breaks, meet the right people, we’ll see that dream come to pass. in our mind, that would be big, a great accomplishment, but what’s big to us is not big to God; He created the universe, spoke worlds into existence. God’s dream for your life is so much bigger than your own. we think, “if I could just pay my house off, that would be a dream come true”; God says, “that’s too small! I want to bless you so that you not only pay your house off, but so you can help others pay their houses off.” or we think, “if I could just get that promotion at work, be able to run my department”; God says, “that’s too small! I want you to run that whole company.” or, “if I could just overcome this illness, just get back on my feet again, that would be so great”; God says, “that’s too small! you’re not only going to get back on your feet, you’re going to run again. you’re going to feel better than you’ve ever felt.” we think ordinary; God thinks extraordinary. whatever you’re dreaming about, whatever you’re believing for, God, is saying, “it’s too small.” He’s going to supersize it. He’s an overflow God. Ephesians says:
Ephesians 3:20 (NKJV)
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us
why don’t you take the limits off of God? you may not see a way, but God has a way. one touch of God’s favor can take you further than you could go on your own in a lifetime. God did not create you to live a little life, with little dreams, little goals, little passion, little influence, little house; God thinks BIG, He thinks abundance, He thinks expansive. He told the Israelites:
Exodus 3:8 (NIV)
8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey
God has something bigger, something better, something more rewarding in front of you. don’t get comfortable where you are. it’s easy to think, “God’s blessed me, I’m happy, I’m healthy, I have no complaints”; that’s good, always be grateful, learn to be happy where you are, but don’t settle where you are. God never performs His greatest victories in the past; they’re always in the future. what God has done, the promotion, the good breaks, the favor, in God’s mind that was a small thing. you haven’t touched the surface of what God has in store. He’s going to open doors you never dreamed would open. He’s going to bring talent out of you that you didn’t know you had. you’re going to see explosive blessings, blessings that thrust you to a new level. what you think is big right now: that house God blessed you with, the scholarship, the promotion, the contract, one day you’ll look back and realize that was a small thing. in the scripture, Joseph was falsely accused and put in prison:
Genesis 39:6-20 (NIV)
6 … Now Joseph was well-built and handsome, 7 and after a while his master’s wife took notice of Joseph and said, “Come to bed with me!”
8 But he refused… 19 When his master heard the story his wife told him, saying, “This is how your slave treated me,” he burned with anger. 20 Joseph’s master took him and put him in prison
I can imagine him praying year after year, “God, please get me out of this prison. God, you know I didn’t do anything wrong”; that was his dream, to one day be free. but God said, “Joseph, that’s too small. I’m not only going to bring you out of prison, I’m going to make you ruler over the whole nation.” in a few years, when Joseph was in charge over all of Egypt, I’m sure there were nights he went outside, looked up at the stars and thought, “God, I never dreamed You would put me here. I was just praying to get out of prison, but God, you supersized what I was dreaming about.” he realized he was thinking way too small. like Joseph, no matter what you’re praying about, whatever you’re believing for, it may be big in your mind, but in God’s mind it’s a small thing. “God, just help me to pay my bills, help me to make it through this month”; God says, “that’s too small.” He wants to bring you into overflow. He wants you to lend and not borrow. “God, I’m so lonely, just bring somebody into my life, I don’t care at this point, I’ll take anybody”; no, you may have settled, but God didn’t settle; He’s going to bring somebody into your life greater than you imagined, someone that honors Him, somebody who loves you, that’s fun, talented, well-off, good-looking. you’ve got to stir your faith up; the only way this is going to help is if you let the seed take root. it’s easy to think, “this isn’t for me today, you don’t know my situation, I’ve been through a lot of disappointments, my dreams look impossible”; no, don’t talk yourself out of it. you don’t have to figure it out; all you have to do is believe. just say, “yes, God, this is for me. I believe Your plans for me are bigger than I could imagine, that you have something amazing in my future, so I’m taking the limits off of You.” when the Israelites were in slavery, they were forced to make bricks all day long:
Exodus 5:6-8 (NIV)
6 That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and overseers in charge of the people: 7 “You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. 8 But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the quota.
no doubt they prayed, “God please give us straw. God, You know these supervisors are going to get upset, we’re not going to make our quotas.” they had been pushed down for so long, they had such a limited vision, when they were praying for more straw, in effect they were praying to become a better slave. God said, “that’s too small. I don’t want to make you a better slave, I want to bring you totally out of that bondage. I created you as the head and not the tail, the victor and not the victim.” too often, like them, we’re praying to become a better slave: “God, just help me to endure this sickness. God, just give me a roof over my head and I’ll be happy. God, just help me to learn to live with my depression.” no, it’s not your depression. quit praying to become a better slave; that’s too small for you. God want you the reign in life. you have seeds of greatness on the inside. you are destined to leave your mark on this generation.
you have to enlarge your vision. what God has planned for you is not little, to get by, to endure, to take the leftovers, to be second class; God has a big life for you. He’s bringing you into a wide land, a place of abundance, something that you’ve never seen. He’s not going to just make you a better slave, He’s going to set you totally free: free from addictions, free from sickness, free from depression, free from poverty and lack. no matter what level you’re at, no matter where you are, receive this into your spirit; it’s too small. God has something better, something bigger: more influence, creativity, connections and resources. He’s going to release the favor that’s going to thrust you into a new level of your destiny. the reason you feel something igniting on the inside, that stirring in your spirit, is God speaking to your destiny; that’s your spirit bearing witness with the greatness God’s placed in you. in Isaiah 49, God was telling Isaiah about his future and all He had planned for him:
Isaiah 49:5 (NIV)
5 And now the Lord says—
he who formed me in the womb to be his servant
to bring Jacob back to him
and gather Israel to himself,
for I am honored in the eyes of the Lord
and my God has been my strength—
and how he would be a great prophet. Isaiah was so honored; he said, “yes, God, I’ll do it, I’ll help bring all of Israel back together. God said:
Isaiah 49:6 (NIV)
6 he says:
“It is too small a thing for you to be my servant
to restore the tribes of Jacob
and bring back those of Israel I have kept.
I will also make you a light for the Gentiles,
that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.”
Isaiah’s vision was limited. when he said, “God, I’ll do it, I’ll help my own people, no problem, that’s awesome,” God said, “that’s too small. I’ve got something bigger planned. I’m going to supersize what you’re thinking about; I don’t want you to just help the Jews, I want you to help all of the Gentiles too.” in other words, Isaiah thought he could touch a nation; God was thinking nations. sometimes, like Isaiah, our vision is limited; “God, if I can just go as far as my parents, God if You just help me get out of this old neighborhood, help me to make it to sales manager.” God is saying to you what He said to Isaiah; “what you have in mind is too small.” your plans, your goals, that’s a part of it, but what God has planned for you, if He showed you right now, it would boggle your mind; the doors He’s going to open, the places He’s going to take you, the people you’re going to impact, is going to be much greater than you imagine. it’s too small a thing for you to just accomplish your own dreams; there are God-sized dreams you haven’t even thought about. it’s too small a thing for you to just go as far as your parents; God is a progressive God, He wants you to go further. He’s already designed you to supersede previous generations. don’t put it on autopilot, “well, I’m doing good enough”; good enough is not your destiny. it’s too small a thing for you to just get out of debt; that’s one part, but the next part is to be blessed with such abundance that you can be a blessing to others. the scripture says:
2 Corinthians 3:18 (NKJV)
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory.
my encouragement; don’t get stuck in this glory, there’s another glory coming. if you’ll keep honoring God, living with expectancy, His blessings will chase you down. the right people will show up, doors will open for you that you never dreamed would open, God will bring talent out that you didn’t know you had; He’ll get you to where you’re supposed to be. God loves you too much to let you stay in mediocrity. God can see what you can’t see: He sees potential, gifts, talents. He’s already lined up an incredible life for you. it’s easy to get satisfied, “I’ve reached my limits, this is as good as it gets,” no, God is saying, “it’s too small. I’ve got more in store.” don’t put your stakes down; you wouldn’t be alive unless God had something amazing in your future. think about David. as a shepherd boy, he was out in the fields taking care of his father’s sheep, day in and day out, feeding them, protecting them, fighting off the wild animals; he was faithful, he didn’t slack off, he just kept being his best. God said, “David, this is too small a thing for you. it’s part of your destiny, but it’s not the end of your destiny.” he went out and defeated Goliath, became a national hero.
King Saul asked him to come work in the palace; a dream come true. I’m sure David thought, “this is it, this is fantastic, I’ve made it,” but God did not create us to reach one level and stop. when we think, “Oh God, thank you, I’ve accomplished my dreams,” God says, “I appreciate your thanks, but I’m not finished with you. it’s too small a thing for you to stay there, I’ve got something bigger.” in our mind it could be huge; “just got the promotion, just met the person of my dreams, God did more than I could ask or think”; the whole time, God’s in the heavens saying, “you haven’t seen anything yet. I’m glad you’re happy, but that’s a small thing.” God’s idea of big is much different than our idea of big. David not only ended up serving the king, he became the king. he thought, “God, wow, you’ve amazed me with your goodness.” God said, “still, it’s too small a thing, David. I’m going to put one of your descendants on the throne for the next 1000 generations.” where you are, in God’s eyes, is a small thing. whatever level you’re at, God has something in your future so much bigger, better, more rewarding; God loves you too much to let you stay where you are going. He’s going to keep pushing you, stretching you, even at times making you uncomfortable, to get you into the fullness of your destiny. God’s big is much different than our big. scripture says:
Isaiah 55:9 (NIV)
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
my big was to maintain; God’s big was to multiply. my big was to hold on; God’s big was to propel forward. our big is to pay our bills; God’s big is to be debt-free and have plenty left over. our big is to get that promotion; God’s big is to own your own company. our big is to just make it through the illness; God’s big is to come out better than you were before. I’m asking you to stir your faith up; get ready to go where you’ve never been. God told the Israelites:
Joshua 3:4 (AMP)
4 … you have not passed this way before.
there are new mountains to climb, new opportunities coming your way. where you are may be big in your mind; you feel blessed, you’ve reached a certain level, but in God’s mind, that’s too small to stay. whatever you’re dreaming about, God’s going to supersize it. He’s going to do more than you can ask or think. the real question is; are you ready? are you in agreement? there’s about to be a downpour of God’s favor, an abundance of rain; like a flood, it’s going to thrust you where you could not go on your own. God knows how to supersize your dream. what you’re believing for, it may be big to you, but it’s not big to God. no matter where you are, you haven’t touched the surface of what God has in store. why don’t you take the limits off of Him? “this would never happen for me, I don’t have the connections”; you may not, but God does, you have friends in high places. “I come from the wrong family, we never get any good breaks”; no, you come from the right family, you’re a child of the most high God, your heavenly Father owns it all. He makes streets out of gold. start taking steps of faith; do what you can, and God will do what you can’t. do the natural, and God will do the supernatural: He’ll bring the right people, give you the right breaks, cause things fall into place. there’s a young lady in the scripture named Ruth. her husband was killed in a battle, and she and her mother-in-law Naomi moved to another city:
Ruth 2:2-3 (NIV)
2 And Ruth the Moabite said to Naomi, “Let me go to the fields and pick up the leftover grain behind anyone in whose eyes I find favor.”
Naomi said to her, “Go ahead, my daughter.” 3 So she went out, entered a field and began to glean behind the harvesters. As it turned out, she was working in a field belonging to Boaz, who was from the clan of Elimelek.
they were sustained that way, it was fine for a season, but God had something better. Boaz noticed Ruth, he liked her:
Ruth 2:15-16 (NIV)
15 … Boaz gave orders to his men, “Let her gather among the sheaves and don’t reprimand her. 16 Even pull out some stalks for her from the bundles and leave them for her to pick up, and don’t rebuke her.”
now, when she went out in the morning, she didn’t have to work nearly as hard; the wheat was right there in her path. she could’ve lived that way the rest of her life. but this shows us the heart of God; God said, “Ruth, that’s too small a thing for you; I’ve got something bigger in store.” Boaz and Ruth fell in love and got married.
(NB: more precisely, she asked him to “redeem” her, and he agreed, which included marriage:
Ruth 3:9-11 (NIV)
9 …“I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family.”
10 “The Lord bless you, my daughter,” he replied… 11 And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask.
Ruth 4:9-10 (NIV)
9 Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelek, Kilion and Mahlon. 10 I have also acquired Ruth the Moabite, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from his hometown. Today you are witnesses!” )
from that point on, Ruth never had to go pick up the leftovers again; she came into an explosive blessing. she went from working in the field to owning the field. that’s God’s dream for you, to bring you into overflow, to where you have more than enough. here’s the key: Ruth was content picking up the leftovers, she didn’t complain, she was faithful where she was, but she didn’t settle where she was. deep down, she knew God had something bigger, and that sustained she and Naomi for a season. but God doesn’t want you to live off the leftovers. He didn’t create you to constantly struggle; He created you to live an abundant life. you have royalty in your veins. you may be there for a season, but don’t let it become permanent in your thinking; that’s too small for you. you have greatness on the inside. you have the favor of God. the forces that are for you are greater than the forces that are against you. keep helping others, being your best; you’re not only going to come into your handfuls on purpose, but you’re going to see these explosive blessings, where you go from working at a company to owning your company, from teaching at the school to running the school. have a big vision. make room for God to do something new. one thing I’ve learned is, you cannot out-dream God. God thinks big. He thinks overflow. He thinks more than enough. whatever you’re dreaming about, you need to get ready; God’s going to supersize it. my prayer for you:
Deuteronomy 1:11 (GNT)
11 May the Lord, the God of your ancestors, make you increase a thousand times more and make you prosperous, as he promised!
can you receive it? 1000 times more creativity, influence, resources. we think, “God, if you’ll just give me that $1.20/hour raise, I’ll be happy. God, if You just keep my children out of jail”; that’s too small. God wants your children to be mighty in the land, and He wants you to set a new standard for your family. I’ve learned to take the limits off of God; you may not see a way, but God has a way. scripture talks about:
Deuteronomy 6:10-11 (NLT)
10 “The Lord your God will soon bring you into… a land with large, prosperous cities that you did not build. 11 The houses will be richly stocked with goods you did not produce. You will draw water from cisterns you did not dig, and you will eat from vineyards and olive trees you did not plant.
God knows how to line up your handfuls on purpose. now don’t go around praying to become a better slave; God wants to bring you totally out. He’s not thinking addition; He’s thinking multiplication. and if you’ll keep honoring God, you’re going to come into explosive blessings. God is bringing you into a wide land, a place of abundance, 1000 times more than you are.