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The lust to expand
- Jacob Ninan
God has a specific plan for every one of us (Ps.139:16). We would be most fruitful and find maximum fulfilment in doing just what He has planned for us and what He has designed us specially for. His grace will be sufficient for us (2Co.12:9) when and only when we are in the centre of His will. If we venture outside His plans there is no guarantee that He will help us to do things that He never willed for us, even though He will never leave or forsake us (He.13:5).
There are many people who stay put wherever they are and do not dare to step out into the unknown. It takes faith to go where God calls us to when we don't even know where it would take us (He.11:8). But as long as we are walking with God we can be sure that He will take care of every need (Mt.6:33) and cause us to be more than conquerors (Php.4:19). At such times we can do with some exhortation and encouragement to step out with God.
On the contrary, there are those who are being driven by a desire to accomplish more, who are itching to go out and do more. But such desires may not all be from God. They may be also from our flesh which wants us to seek after fame, glory, recognition, power, influence, wealth, etc. For such people the exhortations from well meaning Christians to dream big, to do great and mighty things for God, etc., can be actually temptations to go outside the will of God (Je.45:5). We need to know where we are with respect to such desires.
If we step out of God's will we will find ourselves lacking His special support. We can still do many things with our 'natural' strengths, but we will find ourselves feeling the strain and that things seem to be going out of control. God may still help us when we cry out to Him, but not with any great delight (Ps.106:15). We may find problems coming up from unexpected sides and even the things we used to do with ease earlier become a struggle. We may get involved with people who can later become like thorns in our flesh.
God warns us not to think too highly of ourselves but to dwell within the limits He has planned for us (Ro.12:3). We must remember that we have lusts in our flesh that cry, "More, more." Otherwise we may misread the calls to dream big and to challenge the impossible with Christ which are really meant to stir up the sluggish to help them expect great things from God. Certainly God can do much more than we can naturally imagine (Ep.3:20). We should not miss out on what God has planned for us by thinking only within our natural experience or strengths. Abraham is called the father of faith because he believed God and ventured out beyond his natural abilities or knowledge. But at the same time we cannot jump forward thinking that what God did for someone else He will do for us a matter of course. Each of us has a certain part to complete in God's overall plan for mankind and the church. Let us learn to pray, "Lord, help me to be what You want me to be, and do what You want me to do."