Learning from my Pastor - Expanding my God Story
The most powerful Story ever told is still being written in our lives today. From Creation to Calvary, Pentecost to modern day miracles, God's faithfulness, generosity and power are being seen in people that trust Him beyond their experiences AND follow Him outside of their comfort zone. God is calling His people to evangelize a dying world by showing them the church’s most powerful witnessing tool - our corporate testimony (Rev.12:11) also known as, Our God Story.
While many of us say that we want more of God, we often ride the spiritual coattails of our grandmother’s prayers and our pastor's preaching without personally or corporately seeking God's Kingdom and righteousness. Jesus reveals that we can't even experience the fullness of His presence unless we actively connect our faith with someone else's (Matt. 18:20). God gives us faith to live victorious lives for His Glory, so it's time to put our faith to work the way that it was designed to work - together. Romans 1:8 gives us a glimpse of how the faith of a few can impact the nations. 'First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.' How could that be? How did they maximize their God Story?
Explore it - Take inventory of all of the amazing things God has done and is doing in our lives today. Psalm 48 is the blueprint for examining what God has done for His people in a way that pushes us towards greater! 'Walk about Zion, and go round about her… (vs. 12)'. Exploring our past helps us appreciate how far God has taken us. The old saints used to sing, 'Look where he brought me from!' 'God is known in her palaces for a refuge (vs. 3)'. Is God 'known' in your life today? In our churches today? We sing modern songs like 'I give myself away so you can use me', so, who have you told about God's protection, provision, or prosperity? God's blessings are worthy to be praised (Psalm 40:1-5), so let's explore the entirety of our God Stories and 'Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits...' (Psalm 103:2)
Expect it - The quickest way to disqualify yourself from receiving from God is to lack expectation (Jam. 1:6&7, Matt 17:20a). On the contrary, no thing and no one can stop godly expectation (Matt. 17:20b, Mark 9:23.) '...and character strengthens our confident expectation of salvation. And this expectation will not disappoint us…' (Rom. 5:4b&5a NLT). Note the collective expectation 'will not disappoint us', not 'you'. WE must move from a level of purely individual expectation (faith) to a collective expectation. We must believe God together for things that eyes haven't seen, ears heard or hearts imagined. Remember Romans 1:8, corporate expectation impacts nations! What are we expecting God for together?
Expand It - '…and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. (Acts 1:8b)'. God's power is never stagnant. On the contrary, it is always progressive and expansive. It is progressive in that each manifestation meets the immediate personal or corporate need, while it prepares those being blessed to be the conduit for expansion. This brings maximum Glory to God as our testimonies grow and gain spiritual momentum. Jesus told Peter 'But, I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.' (Luke 22:32). Jesus clearly outlines the expansive nature of God's POWER to reach far beyond the 12. Peter's emerging God Story would certainly bless Peter and the apostles, but would also expand to bless countless others.
IF your God Story seems limited, Explore it! If your God Story has grown stale, believe God for greater, Expect it! If your God Story is shrinking and only touches those close to you, Expand it! We will overcome every trial as we reach for more of God and Expand Our God Story!