The following is a guest blog post by Daniel Im, Director of Multiplication for LifeWay Christian Resources. Daniel is one of our 50+ speakers at the Exponential Regionals this fall:
Doing Great Things For God?
“I want to make my life count. I want to do big things for the kingdom. I only want to do things that have an eternal significance.”
Have you ever prayed such prayers? I know I definitely have.
In fact, when I was getting serious about my relationship with Christ, this is what I regularly prayed for because I wanted my life to count. I wanted to make a difference in this world. I didn’t want to live for what was temporal—my fame and my glory—but for what was eternal.
I wanted to be like the great missionary, William Carey, who famously said, “Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.”
If I wanted to see great things from God, I figured that there was only one way to get there—by doing “great” things for God. Not small and insignificant things, but rather, big, significant, and influential things.
My intentions were right; the only problem was my heart—my prideful and self-centered heart.
I judged doing “great” things for God and kingdom significance according to size. Here’s what I thought:
- Pastoring at a small church = Small impact
- Speaking at a small conference = Not significant
- Having a small platform = Lack of the right gifting
So to do “great” things for God, I had to do. I had to be the pastor. I had to be the speaker. I had to be the preacher. I had to be the hero.
I wonder what would’ve happened if I knew earlier that God wanted me to be a hero-maker, rather than the hero? I wonder if I would’ve gone through as much heart break and sorrow?
After God broke me and stripped away everything I had, I realized my ambitions weren’t as pure as I made them out to be.
Sure, I said that I wanted to make a big impact for the kingdom, but that was contingent upon me making the big impact for God. Yes, I obviously wanted to do things that had an eternal significance, but only if I could share that eternal significance with God. I wanted to be the hero; not the hero-maker.
Though I tried to sanctify my ambition with the right words; it was all a sham.
Now to be fair, I wasn’t doing it intentionally; it was just that my heart was deceived. I thought that if I said the right things and did the right things, I would eventually believe the right things, but boy, did I ever have it backwards.
Isn’t that why it says in Jeremiah 17:9, “The heart is more deceitful than anything else, and incurable—who can understand it?”
Friends, you can’t accelerate maturity or spiritual growth.
We try to sanctify ourselves, when in fact, it’s God who does the sanctifying in us as we lay ourselves before him. So instead of focusing on doing “great” things for God, what do you think would happen if we instead focused on worshipping our great God? And then let him take care of our opportunities and legacy?
Don’t you think he’d take care of us like he said he would?
25 “Therefore I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Consider the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? 27 Can any of you add one moment to his life-span by worrying? 28 And why do you worry about clothes? Observe how the wildflowers of the field grow: They don’t labor or spin thread. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was adorned like one of these. 30 If that’s how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and thrown into the furnace tomorrow, won’t he do much more for you—you of little faith? 31 So don’t worry, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be provided for you. 34 Therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:25-34, CSB)
Special Invitation from Daniel
Hero Maker Conferences
Hero Maker is the theme for Exponential 2018. The theme focuses on the shift from being the hero to coming alongside others for them to become the heroes in our church’s unfolding story. At each conference, we will unpack the 5 essential practices for leaders to multiply leaders: multiplication thinking, permission giving, disciple multiplying, gift activating, and kingdom building.
|5 Main Sessions||10+ Speakers||FREE Equipping Labs|
Regional Conference Locations
- Washington, DC: September 10-11
- Southern California: October 2-4
- Bay Area: October 22-23
- Houston: October 24-25
- Chicago: November 6-7
- New York City: December 5-6
To learn more and to register for any of the 2018 Hero Maker conferences, click here.