I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, and have even spoke about it a couple of times. So, i figured I would write some of it here.
I believe that the reason we do not see God doing much larger things in our lives is simply because we have an improper recognition of His authority. Several years ago, I can remember having a discussion with my best friend George about this topic. The conclusion to which we came was this: we are a generation that seeks the hand of God more than we seek the face of God. Let me explain.
Most of us would agree about God’s authority and His capability to do all things. We would all agree with God’s Word when it says that what is impossible with man is possible with God. We all would agree that we so desperately want to see God do great and mighty things for His Kingdom. So, we all agree about His capability to do great and mighty things, and His authority to do so. That’s not the problem.
The problem is our recognition of His authority when it comes to my life and your life. We are more than willing to recognize God’s authority in the big things, but we are probably equally unwilling to recognize His authority in our own lives. That, we too often feel, is hands off!
Dr. Richard land tells a story about a discussion he had some years ago with his daughter (who was 6 years old at the time). They were riding in the car and listening to a fairy tale story on a cassette tape. During the story, the daughter curiously asked her father what a king was. Dr. Land struggled through several definitions, only to have his daughter look at him more confused. Finally, Dr. Land, hoping to satisfy her curiosity, simply said, “a king is someone who tells other people what to do and they do it.” Finally understanding, his daughter looked back at him and said, “Daddy, I don’t want anyone to tell me what to do.” Dr. Land went on to say that in that moment, he was able to see the sin nature at work…even in a 6-year-old girl.
Plain and simply, we do not like authority. We rebel against it. But, we MUST come to understand that Jesus is Lord and that He has ALL authority…including the authority over our very lives. As long as we resist that authority, we live in rebellion, and it is very difficult for us to build for the Kingdom with great success. We must understand that God moves on behalf of the ones who first recognize His authority over their lives. Notice Moses in Exodus 33. We often refer to the encounter where he asks God to show him His glory. But, notice in verse 13, Moses first asks God to show him His ways, so that he can walk in them and find favor in His sight. Before he asks to see God display his authority through His power in showing him His glory, Moses first recognizes God’s authority over his own life. What is the outcome? God moves.
On the adverse, today I keep hearing that we are seeing a great revival among young people within the Passion & One Day movements. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against Passion & One Day. I love the music and hope to go to one of these events myself one day. However, what I see are floods of young people who travel to these events in order to encounter God’s Hand, but the question I ask is, where is the change that should result from these encounters as students return to their campuses and to home? I see students who want to encounter the glory of God and see His authority displayed through His power during these events, but when they return to their everyday lives, they simply refuse to begin to recognize God’s authority in those lives. They refuse to sacrifice the world and self, and change in order to deepen their discipleship.
Understand that we do not make Jesus Lord, nor do we give Him authority. God’s Word explicitly tells us that one day EVERY knee will bow and EVERY tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. Either we will recognize that now, or we will recognize it then when it is too late.
However, we must come to the point where we recognize that authority. The application is simply this: when we begin recognizing God’s total and complete authority over our lives (meaning He calls the shots!), we will begin to provoke our great God to action, and He will begin to put His authority on display through His power! Only then will we begin to see God do great things through us in building for His Kingdom! But it must begin with a declaration (in word and action) that Jesus is King of our own lives.