Sometimes I long to see God do more. A new thing. Around me and in me and through me.
When I pray and then stop and think what that might require, it pretty much always boils down to this: Less me. More Him.
There’s no doubt I need to become much less satisfied with everything chocolate-covered and comfy-cozy and much more resolute in the Kingdom work that will bring Him glory. More Spirit-directed intention. Less off-the-cuff, on-the-fly and on-my-own.
I wonder how many miraculous happenings occur inside comfort zones. I’m thinking not many. Sometimes God brings us to a place outside our comfort, outside our own strength, outside the box – sometimes maybe even outside of the possible. It’s often in that place of squirming that He shows up biggest.
No, I’ve not seen a lot of amazing things born of comfort zones, but thorny places? That’s a different story.
As the apostle Paul recounted to the people in Corinth, “A thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to torment me so I would not exalt myself. Concerning this, I pleaded with the Lord three times to take it away from me. But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Therefore, I will most gladly boast all the more about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may reside in me. So I take pleasure in weaknesses, insults, catastrophes, persecutions, and in pressures, because of Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).
Want to see God do more? A new thing? In you, around you and through you? Sometimes it happens in the thorniest places. It’s accomplished in His strength and His ever-so-sufficient grace. And here’s the kicker. Whatever you can dream, He can deliver more. By His strength and grace, it’s bigger. Better. More glorious.
As Paul was telling the people in Ephesus about his desire that they be filled with “all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19), he reminded them of the God who is “able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us” (v. 20). The Amplified Version expands on verse 20 like this: “Now to Him who is able to carry out His purpose and do superabundantly more than all that we dare ask or think, infinitely beyond our greatest prayers, hopes, or dreams.” More. And even more. And then superabundantly more.
His “mores” will always result in the right kinds of “lesses.” Less of my self-focused distractions. More of His glory. Less fretting about my comfort zone. More of the kind of service that will bring Him glory.
(EDITOR’S NOTE – Rhonda Rhea is a pastor’s wife, mom, speaker and author; her latest book, Messy to Meaningful – Lesson from the Junk Drawer, is coauthored with her daughter Kaley Rhea and Monica Schmelter. Rhea and her husband Richie serve at First Baptist Church in Troy, Mo. This column first appeared in The Pathway, mbcpathway.com, news journal of the Missouri Baptist Convention.)