You’ve heard of “Jack-in-the-box”…I want to tell you about “God-out-of-the-box”.
One of my all time favorite scriptures is Ephesians 3:20-21, “2 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (NKJV), the NIV version uses the term, “Ask or Imagine”. I like the word “imagine” because I have a rather vivid imagination and I can come up with some stuff. And if God is bigger than my imagination….well, that’s HUGE (in Texas we say UGE…that so big you don’t hear the “h”). I imagine one day, the Hubs and I living off of 10% of our income and giving away 90% and still being millionaires. I imagine having babies and maybe even ending up with 5 or 6 kids (which is really more of something God put in me because that has never been a goal of mine). I can imagine stadiums filled with people who I prayed for!!! My God is able and will blow me away! (God, please give me big dreams!)
This is one of my all-time favorite quotes: “Pray the largest prayers. You cannot think a prayer so large that God, in answering it, will not wish you had made it larger. Pray not for crutches but wings.” – Phillips Brooks
Pray something BIG!!! You cannot out-ask or out-give God.
After the speaking event on Sunday night, I’ve been energized. If you have ever spoken publicly, especially in a “God-setting” you might understand this…despite some spiritual battles going on in our home and despite some other distractions, all last week the message was on my mind but I let it simmer for 4 or 5 days without working on it and then worked on it again Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Even though I did work on it quiet a bit (I’m really not sure how pastors come up with a message for 4 to 8 services in a month…I think I could maybe come up with two and one would probably be better than the other) when I got up there to speak, I said a few things that weren’t in my notes. The things is, all day on Sunday, I could feel the Holy Spirit hovering all around. The Sunday morning service at our church was powerful…it was one of those “easy to worship” services. I’m not one for cheerleading worship leaders (actually, it’s a huge pet peeve of mine), I feel like when people love Jesus, they will worship. If worship isn’t going on in a church then it isn’t being modeled because like prayer, worship is better caught than taught. The worship was thick, it was easy and not at all forced on Sunday morning and we were able to soak it in. By Sunday night, I was ready to unleash. That’s when you feel God putting the words in your mouth (Isaiah 51:16, Jeremiah 1:9)
I am not a big believer in “If….then” Christianity. I’m going to call it “programmed Christianity” because of my computer programming days. In programming a computer, especially “old school” language like Fortran, a common way of programming included, “If…then” statements; “If x = 3, then open z” or something like that…rough example. Programming languages are all logic based. In the Kingdom, we often make statements like this, “If you will do this, then God will do this” or “If you will do x, y and z in this order, then God will do this or this will happen”. But God isn’t logically,actually, He is….He is infinitely more logically than anyone we can imagine…His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and His ways are higher than our ways. (Isaiah 55:8-9) There are different thought levels in the world. I sometimes think that I am pretty smart until I talk to someone who is really, really smart then I’m pretty average. God’s thoughts and ideas are far higher than any person you can think of. Seriously, think of the smartest, wisest (smart and wise are two different things) person you know…God knows more and is able to do more!!! He is the most brilliant person you know!
You see, we want someone to come along and give us a formula. Do this and God will show up. Sing one fast song and two slow songs and you will feel God. Or what about this one….if we sing “You are Holy” and “How He Loves Us” then God will show up. We tend to think that God is in a specific thing, a special scripture a certain song and if He worked in that way once, He will do it again. Maybe. Let me give you the formula for God “showing up”. First of all, God never left…He is always with us. Second, God responds to our pure response. That’s the formula…get real with God and He will get real with you.
During the message on Sunday, I found myself making the statement, “Get God out of your box!” Seriously, you cannot keep God in a box. Letting Him out is scary in a way, especially for all you control freaks…you just cannot predict what God will do. I can guarantee one thing, if you will let Him out of the box, the adventure will be ON! His plans for you are greater than your plans for yourself. His thoughts toward you are good and not evil….and they are so much better than anything you can ask or imagine or even think.
God-out-of-the-box is so much better than God-in-the-box. God doesn’t care about your formulas, He cares about being real in your life.
Sunday we sang, “He won’t relent”. The lyrics say, “He won’t relent until He has it all….” It’s a powerful song (Click here to listen). The truth is, if you are in relationship with God, He isn’t going to relent until you let Him out of the box. He will keep working on you until you allow Him to do something great in your life. I’m not saying He’s pushy but He will get in your business. He wants the very best for you and He knows when you are settling for less. Just let Him have His way. I promise, it will be good. It may look crazy at first but I guarantee He will work it all out…it may look and even get messy but He sees the end and His logic is greater than yours and He knows way more than you do. He knows you better than you know yourself. He’s got the end in mind at the beginning.
Let Him out of the little “God box” you have squished Him into….that box is busting at the seams anyway.