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Thinking big enough and starting small enough are two sides of the same coin. So I not only want to motivate you to dream bigger dreams for your life. Let me show you how these two ideas work in tension with each other. It is true that we often settle for dreams and visions that are far less than those God has for us. And He wants us to experience much more. Preacher Dwight L.

You do have to be willing to think big. Meet my friend Lysa. Her story inspires me because it showcases how God will often launch a vision that is larger than life by bringing a person to a starting point that is small and seemingly insignificant. Continental Confusion Chances are, my friend Lysa is standing on a stage in a big city right now talking to thousands of women about Jesus. But she insists that a few years ago she spent more than one afternoon doing exactly that.

The closet was the closest thing Lysa had to a vacation from her grueling new life as a homeschool mom. Day after day she spent hours sitting at a sticky kitchen table teaching multiplication and grammar to her five children. But it was the life she had been called to. And finally the stress and exhaustion overtook her. There was nothing left to do but weep. Her daughter Ashley was in Brownies, and each girl in her troop had been assigned a different country to study that year.

The grand finale was an end-of-the-year festival of countries. Her oldest daughter informed her that Liberia was actually on the west coast of Africa. When they walked into the rural church where the festival was being held, Lysa—freshly informed of what continent Liberia belonged to—took a seat. And the story behind the music was so compelling. Rebel forces had gone from village to village slaughtering the men, women, and older children, leaving the infants to fend for themselves.

Yet here they were singing from the depths of their souls about the joy of the Lord. Something about their faces, radiant with unadulterated gratitude for the faithfulness of God, left Lysa undone. Would she be capable of singing that kind of praise to God if she lost everyone and everything she loved? If she could just get back to her normal life… But Lysa sensed that God was doing a greater thing.

So she stayed. When the event was over, she had a question for the choir director. You will know how you are supposed to help. Soon they found themselves in conversation with two of the choirboys. A lot. They prayed about what to do.

Greater Devotional: Forty Days to Igniting God's Vision for Your - Elian International

Then they attended a second concert together and together felt the same impression from God. And then they knew. God was inviting them to step into a much different life than they had ever imagined for themselves. And then they took the next small step. They said yes. They were about to discover that with greater opportunities comes greater opposition. They would both have to start at kindergarten. And since the state of North Carolina requires students who want a degree from a traditional high school to graduate by twenty-one years of age, time was short.

The only feasible solution, Art and Lysa decided, was to homeschool the boys for two years to get them up to a middle school level. That way they would be on pace to graduate in time. But that solution led to another big challenge. As founder and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa was in demand as a speaker and author. Now, instead of ministering to tens of thousands, she would be teaching multiplication tables around the family table in the kitchen.

A lot of people would have seen that as a lesser calling. But Lysa had been walking with God long enough to know that whatever He calls you to do is the greatest thing you can be doing at that moment. So overnight she became a homeschool mom—to all five of her children. In place of writing and speaking to crowds, she now managed daily lessons and tests and went after the daunting task of educating two teens through six grades in just two years.

And of course Lysa was no longer doing what came naturally to her. She was no longer an expert in anything. In fact, day after day she felt totally inadequate to do what God had clearly asked her to do. Before long she felt as if she were drowning. As she was kneeling there in the closet, a question rushed into her soul. Lysa, are you a woman of faith? That is where you will live by greater faith. The vision they received from God was big and audacious. The steps of faith they took to ignite it in their lives were small and ordinary.

But all that was just blah-blah-blah and rhetoric until they took the first step to make it happen. In other words, a big dream without a small start is nothing but a daydream. God initiates the biggest changes in our lives through the smallest starts. Faith is about action. In fact, faith is action. Faith is work. And no one demonstrates this kind of blue-collar, get-your-hands- dirty approach to believing God for greater things more than Elisha.

Mood Music One thing that set Elisha apart was his ability to trust God for bigger things than anyone around him dared to believe. He looked at every obstacle as an opportunity to prove that God is greater than the confines of any situation.

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He did something about it. They are the divine results of small steps of faith-filled preparation. It demonstrates the principle that small steps and hard work precipitate a move of God. That human action prepares the way for supernatural favor. It comes from 2 Kings 3, and it goes like this: King Joram is ruling over Israel during the years when the kingdom is divided. When the king of Moab rebels against him, the frightened king enlists King Jehoshaphat of Judah and the king of Edom to help him.

Their combined military force should be fearsome against the Moabites—but they almost immediately run out of water for their armies and animals. Now they are preparing to face a terrifying foe while facing an even more terrifying fate: dying of thirst. King Jehoshaphat asks if there is a prophet who could consult God for them. A servant reminds him of Elisha, the artist formerly known as Mr. So the three kings and their entourages go looking for Elisha. And prophets do not have short memories when it comes to injustice. But Elisha is still loyal to King Jehoshaphat of Judah. And Elisha is just getting warmed up.

What he says next seems eccentric, given the circumstances. The nation is on the verge of collapse. It was common for prophets to summon musicians who were trained to play background music. It was a practice used to facilitate a sensitivity to the presence of God. Consequently, Elisha gets his background music, and the word of the Lord begins to flow from his mouth. Well, not exactly. Blisters and Bandannas Elisha confirms to the kings that water will flow from Edom by the time the sun comes up the next morning.

Their armies and their animals will have plenty to drink. The drought is almost over. God is going to deliver Moab to His people just as they prayed for. Hallelujah, somebody? But he tells the kings to take a small, ludicrous step first. The kings wanted a miracle. They would get their miracle. But first they got a work order: This is no time for the power of positive thinking. Tie a bandanna around your head and pick up a shovel. It would have been great if all the army had to do was sit around thinking hydration-related thoughts or had a few guided exercises to help them visualize the water.

Do your part. If you will do what I asked you to do, I will be faithful to My word. The next morning the water arrived. As promised. As always. The newly installed ditches were full of water, the armies and animals were refreshed, and the joint army easily overtook the Moabites. I think Elisha used the process of ditch digging to teach Israel this important paradox of great faith: Only God can send the rain.

God's Vision For My Life

But He expects you to dig the ditches. We all want something greater until we have to start digging for it. Imagine yourself in the biblical script. Hard dirt. Pitch-black night. Nothing but a few sentences from an erratic preacher to guarantee that X marks the spot. Still, God expects you to grab a shovel and start digging. That a greater life is all up to you?

Of course not. But God has assigned a part to you. And it involves a shovel. We are commanded to prepare for the move of God before He makes the first move. Sitting in that choir concert, Lysa knew in her gut that God wanted her to adopt two Liberian boys. Things you just know. Maybe they seem ridiculous. Maybe they seem like too much work. It took a sacrifice of hard work for a thirsty army to dig ditches all over the valley.

It took sacrifices of faith and obedience for Lysa to give up a successful ministry in order to adopt and teach two boys from Africa. But can you really call it a sacrifice? After all, God is only asking you to make room for a larger-than-life blessing He wants to send your way. Dig It? Yet God is with you, developing your spiritual muscles with every turn of the shovel. You can dig a ditch in a valley. That means becoming a person of integrity in the face of temptation. That might mean putting the Xbox controller down, ironing your best button-down, putting some product in your hair, and joining the greeter team at your church.

It really comes down to this: What small steps and practical preparations is God asking you to make for the greater life He wants you to live? What ditches is He asking you to dig? Big dream. But you can pray ten minutes a day beginning tomorrow. Small start. But you could start praying for him every day. Instead, make this valley full of ditches. Believe that God is going to send a lot of rain. If we really believe God is an abundant God, ready and willing to bless our lives in greater ways than we could ever imagine, we ought to be digging all kinds of ditches.

In our relationships. In our careers. In our ministries. In every area of our lives, there ought to be heavy- duty equipment on site. Moving dirt. Making preparation. And we ought to dig ditches using every means available. We can dig ditches with our words. With our prayers. With our expectations. Even with our thoughts. How many ditches are you willing to dig? How deep will you dig them?

God has a downpour scheduled in your near future. The deeper you dig, the greater the rainfall has the potential to be. The day that yellow school bus appeared over the horizon, Lysa danced the MC Hammer dance around her kitchen. When her son Jackson turned twenty-one, he graduated high school with a 2. At the end of his senior year, Lysa received a letter from his principal inviting them to the academic awards banquet. She thought it was strange for her family to be invited, since a 2.

So Lysa and her family sat through the ceremony until the end, baffled by their personal invitation. Normally, it goes to the student with the highest GPA. This year, he said, the faculty had decided to give the award to the student with the richest amount of character facing the greatest odds. Lysa spent many long days digging ditches in the valley. Some of them culminated in crying sessions in a closet. But now the rain is falling steadily on her life. Meanwhile, her husband, Art, owns and operates a Chick-fil-A in Charlotte. Art is a great man. Is full-time vocational ministry the image of greater … and running a Chick-fil-A the image of lesser?

God forbid. But I digress. He invests in his workers and makes them better leaders and better people. He has no plans of leaving to pursue a greater life. Neither is the greater life always about making heroic sacrifices or doing things worthy of a Kirk Cameron special feature. Whatever it looks like. The choice is ours. Yes will mean different things to different people.

Some people will follow God into their greater lives by leaving suburban comfort zones and setting out for mission fields. Not launch into something new, but take what they are already doing to the next level. Which one is greater? Whichever one God calls you to do. While you are raising your children. Greater things are possible for you—right in the place where God has positioned you. Green with Humiliation Sometimes I get hit by a random wave of panic because I think I may be screwing up my kids somehow. Like I might accidentally send them out into the real world without first passing on all the basic skills.

Especially when it comes to teaching guy things to my little boys. Currently my six-year-old, Elijah, needs to learn how to ride a bike. One without training wheels, like a lot of the other six-year-olds do. The other day, though, I had one of those ten-second bursts of self- confidence. Now the easy part: teach Elijah to ride his bike without them. I could do this. I had a good dad. He taught me how to ride a bike. Plus, I had done my homework. Not about whether Elijah would ever learn to ride a bike. I secretly hoped Elijah would forget about our training program for a while.

Maybe I could book a relative of Lance Armstrong to baby-sit one night soon and get this whole ugly thing behind me. It was coming up in two weeks, and he needed help. Then it got better. Forget you, stupid green bike. Or teaching you to do sports and stuff. But if you want to learn to preach, I can hook you up. Then get me two huge pieces of drawing paper and at least four or five different colored crayons. One more thing: get two glasses—one for me, one for you—and get a bottle of Diet Mountain Dew for us to share, because, boy, those are the basic things you need to write a sermon.

You need the Bible, you need the Holy Spirit, you need something to write with, and you need caffeine. I was even more excited but trying to play it cool. This was one of those moments when, simple as it may seem, I sensed God was revealing something important about how He had made my son and me. Our greater potential was being unleashed—to embrace what was right in front of us and to use exactly what God had already given us.

I was just checking him. How many letters does gift have? So it would be like g-i-f-t. Would that work? What can we use with the letter i? We messed with some stuff. Impartation … no. Then I hit on an idea. Now you need to do it too. We put the joke in a different color. What do you know about life being hard? You know what? Who knows what other fatherhood challenges I will face in the future?

I have likely blown my opportunity to impress Elijah with my mechanical skills. If he turns out to be an all-star quarterback, it will be in spite of me, not because of me. Nobody can do that the same way I can. I wish I could teach my kid how to preach. That would miss the point badly.

Not in the way you would typically define a great dad. If I stay engaged in a wholehearted way to lead my family, God will see to it that my kids get all they need, despite my mechanical ineptitude. I can always pay someone a few bucks to remove the freaking training wheels. It means giving up on what others can do that you wish you could do and what you would do if you had certain gifts that you, candidly, do not have and may never develop. When you embrace the limitations of your current life situation and decide to trust God completely and cooperate with Him fully in this season of your life, even greater things are possible.

Mothers, God is just as pleased when you teach your daughters how to cook as He is when I teach my kid how to preach. It will lead to greater blessings in her future than she could ever imagine right now. Unless you ask my kids. It starts where you are. You have everything you need to do all that God is calling you to do right now. Not only has she lost her husband, but now the creditors are coming to take her sons away as slaves see 2 Kings —7.

In this tragic situation it seems like the great prophet would miraculously meet her need or at least offer some encouraging words. Instead he asks a question that strikes me as bizarre: Tell me, what do you have in your house? This woman came seeking his help, yet he begins by asking for an accounting of what she has in her house. The widow is about to find out that all God needs is all she has.

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Elisha tells her what to do next. Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side. She collects empty jars. She goes home and closes the door. And she starts pouring. And she pours. And keeps on pouring until every jar is filled to the brim. At that very moment the miraculous flow of oil ceases. God has supernaturally accomplished what the widow could not. And how did the miracle start? It started with something that seemed to amount to nothing.

Elisha, on the other hand, was interested in her exception. And it was her exception that became the vessel for an exceptional miracle. Lack of resources. Awkward social skills.

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Insufficient experience. Whatever the reason, something keeps us from realizing that what we have is more than enough for God. He has a history of using what little someone has in order to do great things that only He can do. All God needs to take your life to a higher level is all you have. A God who created something out of nothing can certainly create something greater out of little. God can do exceptional things with your exception. If my children were in a different stage of life, then I could get it together.

If my church had a state-of-the-art facility, then we would grow. If I had more money, then I could provide my family with a nicer house, and the kids would be well balanced, and my wife would be more content… This mind-set imprisons us in the lesser loser life. We spend all our time dreaming about where we wish we were and what we wish we had and no time investing in where we are and using what we have.

And so what we wish we had never comes because we never use what we do have. You may have encountered this kind of thinking in the corporate world. But out-of-the-box thinking can actually breed frustration instead of innovation. The author, Ernie Schenck, points out that everybody has a box. It just makes you frustrated. What we call out-of-the-box brainstorming can really be more like wishful thinking. The box is what it is. For now. So you have to work with them. Of course you should.

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  4. But your box is never going to expand to accommodate the dreams outside of it until you learn to trust God in it. It sounds strange, but if you really want to see God expand your vision, I challenge you to think inside the box. Stop waiting for what you want, and start working what you have. This can turn your greatest frustration into your greatest potential innovation.

    How much money do you have? What talents has God given you? How can you grow your church or business with the assets and resources you currently have in place? Put that to work. And God will begin to work with it, making something much more out of it. Think of your limitations as fish and loaves that Jesus is eager to bless. He can bless only what you bring. So bring it. What has God already placed in your hands? Or, as Elisha would ask, what do you have in your house? At least I hoped they were ready.

    Because there were pages of Crayola-marked notes spread across the coffee table and an upside-down toy crate on which my son would stand. We prayed, and I asked him if he was ready. He nodded. With that, we marched downstairs to where the partygoers—I mean congregation—sat on the couch. Elijah preached. I filmed it on my Flip. I saw God making me a greater father right in the middle of a birthday party. What do you have? Who works in your office and needs to know the love of Christ?

    Share it with them. And maybe your coworker will be the next Billy Graham. Probably not. But that act of obedience will lead to other, greater opportunities. And the act of opening your eyes and heart to a need around you will catapult you out of lesser living into greater purpose. Is there a local need your church has identified that you can contribute to this Saturday morning? Start something. A fifty-dollar-per-month pledge might be just the thing to stretch your faith while making a big difference through meeting a small need.

    God has shown this to be true time and time again throughout the pages of Scripture. It was just a staff—a common tool used by a common worker for a common purpose. But God used it for something greater, transforming it into an extraordinary tool for the extraordinary purposes of turning the Nile into blood and parting the Red Sea. So there must be something greater He wants to do through your limitation. His ways are much higher than our ways.

    Start saying yes to God right where you are. Take what little I have and make it overflow. Stands to reason it would be self-centered and egotistical and slightly, if not outright, sinful to pursue a greater life. Not always with tidy answers. But from a biblical perspective. They are questions worth asking. And yet we have explored at length the rewards of a life of obedience, the blessings that are on the other side of doing what God asks of us.

    An avalanche of Scripture passages reveals the ways God honors obedience. The greater path really is the better way. But the stark reality is this: The journey toward greater things is marked with setbacks and real suffering. Sometimes as your faith is getting greater, your situation is getting worser. The ditch stays dry. You still have only one jar of oil. The road to greater things is not neat and linear.

    It is marked not only by the messiness of real life but also by tragedy. Sometimes the heavens are silent. But your spouse left you anyway. And it blew your box to pieces. But then it failed, and you were back to square one—or worse. The faith of all the saints through the ages is not enough to eliminate the reality of suffering. Because suffering is not a detour on the road to greater. Discouragement is a marker, often not of being on the wrong path but of being on the right one.

    We are realists who recognize that even though we have witnessed great moves of God, we will also experience pain, dark nights of the soul, and the death of hopes and dreams. Even great prophets like Elisha sometimes come up short. Her promise from God is lying dead on the bed of the man who gave that promise to her. As she stares at the horror of a miracle gone wrong, she remembers the first time she met Elisha. The dead son on the bed—the bed she had made for Elisha years ago—was an agonizing confirmation of her greatest fear and deepest suspicion: those who ask God for greater things only end up disappointed in the end.

    The Bible gives her no name. She is just known as the woman from Shunem or the Shunammite woman. Her life had been just fine until God got involved. She is wealthy but generous of spirit. She loves to cook. She and her husband loved to show their hospitality to the enigmatic prophet, making a home for a man who never seemed quite at home in this world. For the itinerant man of God, this was a safe place to experience the laughter and comfort of family, surely a welcome break from the high highs and low lows of all-consuming prophetic ministry.

    Her heart was so tender for Elisha that one day she told her husband they should build a room onto their house just for him. That room became a second home for Elisha. One day as he lay in the bed inside the room built just for him, Elisha called for his servant, Gehazi, and asked him to bring the Shunammite woman.

    Longing to give her something for the incredible generosity she had shown him, Elisha was reminded that the woman did not have a son. Most people would have reacted with either unrestrained jubilation or somber gratitude. But not the Shunammite woman. A baby? It was too late for her.

    Her husband was too old. To anyone outside their intimate circle of friendship, her instant reply probably would have smacked of irreverence. In due time the Shunammite woman bore a son as had been prophesied. Everyone has high hopes for their children. But what kind of hopes does one have for a son who was not supposed to be, who was born out of a word from God? Everything about that squirming, vulnerable little body was swaddled in promise. Surely the God who so mysteriously provided a son would be faithful to protect him. But that day out in the sun, he is overcome by a sharp, piercing pain.

    My head! Concerned but hardly rattled, his father sends him with a servant back to his mother to lie down. Surely he just needs a nap. The Shunammite woman cradles and rocks her son, feeling the warmth of his little body—the promise of God snuggled in her arms. Around lunchtime he dies. She had long ago learned to endure the social disgrace that marked a childless woman in her culture. She had loved Elisha like a brother and had never asked the traveling mystic for anything, much less for a son. She had begged him not to deceive her with hope. Now, in a moment, she is filled with rage.

    Then, after saddling her donkey, she rushes toward Mount Carmel, where the man of God lives. When Elisha sees her, he knows something is wrong. She falls down before him and takes hold of both his feet. Gehazi tries to intervene, but Elisha stops him. It is an accusation. The prophet and the woman follow behind. What is she thinking as she travels homeward? It could be his staff, or it could be a tennis racket—who cares?

    Gehazi goes ahead and does as Elisha directed, and when Gehazi comes back to meet the woman and Elisha, I think hope has already risen again, along with the color in her face. Anticipation rises. Faith bubbles up. Curse you, Elisha. Sometimes people hear from God, or think they hear from God, and they burn their plows. Or they dig their ditches. Or they pour the one jar of oil. And instead of being given beauty for ashes, they are given ashes for ashes. All they seem to get for burning their plows is the smell of smoke in their clothes.

    All they seem to get for digging ditches is muscle spasms for weeks to come. Or it can feel like you just got robbed.

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    I know a guy who felt certain God had called him to full-time vocational ministry, so he quit his comfortable job in the music business. His heart was as pure as it could have been. But his decision cost his family dearly and created tension between him and his wife. After years of languishing, long after burning every plow he ever had, he went back to his former business, embarrassed and unrewarded.

    He had to provide for his family. One of my closest friends in ministry and his wife have been married many years without children. Their lives have been rich and fulfilling, populated with many spiritual sons and daughters. Some who barely know her ask if she has physical issues that keep her from having children. And still there is no child. I could share hundreds of heartbreaking stories about unfulfilled desires in the lives of believers.

    But some stories hit closer to home than others. They are one of the original couples who burned their plows and moved to Charlotte with us to start our church. John built the first deck I had on the back of my house. I take great joy in frequently giving him a hard time about overcharging me for it, but it was a nice deck. Heather was the first ministry assistant I ever had.

    She did it all gracefully. I love the Bishops. It was a personal call to faith for Holly and me—to believe God on behalf of this couple who are so precious to us. I remember how nervous I was when my wife laid her hands on Heather at a staff retreat and asked God in bold faith to give the Bishops a baby. Then she smiled at me. That was the end of that conversation. I was relieved, and Holly was vindicated, when Heather announced in that she was pregnant.

    It certainly seemed that way. The Bishops bore a son. They named him Jeremiah. He was completely healthy and very handsome. And the Bishops were elated. Six months later, full of expectation, they began trying to conceive again. And they believed. And prayed. And waited. They knew they were already far more blessed than they deserved. And for the entire week he was there, he was moved by the joy he saw from believers in the midst of dehumanizing poverty, by the hope he saw in communities ravaged by HIV. On one of the last days of our stay in Kampala, while we waited at a busy intersection, John looked out the window and noticed a small boy, about eighteen months old, sitting on the sidewalk with his little hands cupped in front of him, begging for money.

    John rarely heard God impress anything on him more clearly than in that moment. He felt God telling him, That boy needs a father. In that moment John resurrendered his plans to the Lord. He realized he had been trying to hold God hostage to his plans of having a second child their way.

    Now he sensed God gently trying to reveal that He had a different plan for their family. That night, November 15, , he skyped with Heather. And so they started the adoption process, deciding to adopt locally. After months of meetings, paperwork, reference letters, and long conversations with Jeremiah about the prospect of a new baby brother or sister, they finally got the call. A mom had picked their profile, and she wanted to meet them. So on October 2, , they met Karrine not her real name. In spite of their fears, they bonded with her instantly. It just felt right.

    They went to the hospital and helped her through the entire delivery.

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    7. It was overwhelming for all of them. Together, they named him Malachi David Bishop. A few days later John and Heather brought Malachi home from the hospital. They had waited two and a half years. Struggled through infertility. Wrestled with doubts, frustration, anxiety, anger, and resentment. She wanted to see them and the baby. Since John and Heather wanted to make the process as easy as possible for Karrine, they happily drove to her house. But when they got there, things had changed.

      Karrine said everything she could think of to make a difficult situation easier, but the gist of her message to them was that she could not be away from Malachi anymore. She wanted to be his mom. She was reversing her decision, which she had a legal right to do within seven days of the delivery under North Carolina law. Devastated and in shock, John and Heather loaded Malachi into his car seat and drove home with him. That night they sat down with Jeremiah and told him that Malachi was not going to be their baby anymore.

      John kissed Jeremiah on the cheek, and he asked some questions they did their best to answer. They broke down and wept as a family. The next day, one week after they helped with his delivery, Malachi was taken away. They spent the day cleaning up all the baby stuff they had bought or received from friends.

      And in the midst of all the grief, they started asking God why. Why had He let His promise be taken away from their house? They were tired. Had their faith been wasted? But you have your own broken dreams and broken hopes— and they may have nothing to do with a child. Perhaps you hoped for a man or woman you would meet, marry, and live with happily ever after.

      Perhaps you have offered prayers for healing in earnest faith and yet you lost the person you loved anyway. I would never attempt to insert something as blasphemous as an answer into your sacred grief. And in one of the most profound moments recorded in Scripture, the wisest teacher in history did not offer a word of explanation or even comfort.

      What He did was cry with His friends see John — And where God is silent, the power of His presence is most profound in how He grieves with us. Because God meets us when we grieve, grief is not sinful but can in fact be holy ground. If you prayed … then hoped … then lost, what could possibly be the point in asking God to move in your life now? And what could possibly convince you that His plan could somehow be greater when your dreams have been unfulfilled?

      Or, worst of all, your nightmares have come true? I prayed, invested, believed all that time for what? We chalk it up as wasted faith. I prayed earnestly for God to help me sell a house that continued to stay on the market for more than two years. And that was after I lowered the price three times and promised God to give whatever little bit of profit I made back to Him.

      I rejoiced when the transplant was successful. Only to feel a little like God was playing games with us a few years later when much more serious health problems picked up where the liver cancer left off, causing my dad to lose his livelihood, his ability to walk, and almost his sanity. Not an ounce of it was wasted.

      Even when it seemed as if He was deaf to their prayers, He was collecting their faith and making a plan to use it in a greater way. I think of this as a heavenly trust fund. And the way it can impact our view of what it means to trust God has revolutionary implications. When the beneficiary reaches that age, a trustee is responsible to make sure that the beneficiary receives what has been held in trust for him or her. A trust is managed according to the rules under which it was created.

      That goes for everything from the actual amount of money to the timing of its release and the method of distribution. And all of this is recorded in a legal document, usually known as the deed. You never have to spend another minute wondering if you sought the Lord in vain. He gave him a son named Isaac.

      He made him the father of many nations. But not right away. Not by a long shot. Abraham spent years accruing faith in the trust fund. Even though he sometimes doubted and took many major missteps in the process, he kept believing that his Trustee was faithful. It paid off in the end. You have your own trust fund set up too.

      Even if I never connect the dots between what I ask for and what God gives, why should that stop me from believing He is at work in the circumstances of my life with only my best in mind? In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

      And I have a hope in heaven. Amen to that, Garth Brooks. But God never wastes our faith. He never has, and He never will. We all have honest moments when we're gripped by a desire to feel that what we're doing matters more. That who we are matters more. And according to one of the most shocking verses in the Bible, Jesus wants the very same thing for every one of us:. Unfortunately, most believers have only tried and given up on vague notions of greatness… then settled into a life that's just good enough.

      If you're feeling overwhelmed about where to begin, it's time to start smaller. It's time to ignite God's Greater vision for your life. In his book Greater, pastor and author Steven Furtick encourages readers to pursue "greater" instead of good enough or greatness. Steven Furtick. But there is a third way.