Where to begin? The last few months have been full of adjustments and learning curves. All good, but all challenging. Radiant Life is now a two-service church and many of our fall programs have launched, programs I like to call ‘babies’ because they are new and still in the developing process.
I’m not one to walk into new things with high expectations, I tend to set them pretty low and then am pleasantly surprised when things get knocked out of the park (in a good way).
Our new kid programs (Glow & Illuminate) launched on September 21st. With little expectation (shame on me), we had 45 kids show up! The following Wednesday, we had the same give or take a couple more. But this Wednesday, we had 75 kids in count! I’m sure I looked like a crazed lunatic running around for more materials and space. But shame on me for expecting less.
Jesus said, “Go and make disciples.” Go and make, that’s more, not less. So why do we expect so little of God when it comes down to our finances, our families, our futures and our jobs? If God can do a new thing and Jesus can multiply, why do we not live into that truth? Why do we plan new programs to grow the Kingdom of God but expect only a few to come? Why do we commit to changing our lives but give up too soon because there is no way God can redeem? Why do we tuck our struggles in closets (like children cleaning their rooms before parent inspection) and pretend that we don’t need accountability or the power of Jesus to intervene?
Our expectation bars are far too low when it comes to our faith in Jesus Christ and what He can do. It’s no wonder the enemy thinks he has it easy.
“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” [Matthew 28:16-20]
This is the Great Commission and our mission, not only as a Church, but also as a people of God. We are called to go and make. That’s more, not less. But even in Jesus’ time, followers doubted. Still Jesus said, “I am with you always.” And I believe that expands beyond proclaiming the word of God to the nations, I believe it applies to proclaiming the word of God to ourselves and to our expectations of what God can actually do.
Allow me to explain. There IS power in the name of Jesus, there IS hope in the Holy Spirit and there IS life in the Father. So often we say we believe that, but don’t live as if we do. So let us be challenged. Let us work diligently and dust off our struggles and expect Jesus to heal. Let us lift up our finances and our families expecting God to multiply and redeem. Let us plan our programs and our dinners and our days, expecting God to show up and do a new thing and behold, “He is with us always.”
Shame on us for expecting so little from a God who offers so much.