by MARTIN WILLOUGHBY
Sometimes I find myself drifting into a view of God that is just too small. J.B. Phillips in his short but impactful book, Your God is Too Small, does a great job of unpacking this issue. Phillips notes that there are many reasons for this challenge including the fact that many people believe, “Christ and the Christian religion is a soft and sentimental thing which has nothing to do with the work day world.” He points out that Christianity is not just a religion. Instead, it is a “revelation of the true way of living, the way to know God, the way to live life of eternal quality.” As I have been re-studying Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God, I am challenged to refocus on my love relationship with God and to reflect on how truly big God really is.
I read in Scripture of people who encountered the bigness of God and how it changed their lives. For example, Moses worked through his fear to lead the Israelites out of captivity. Peter and John were regular people but became men of boldness and courage that healed in the name of Christ (Acts 3:6). I am encouraged that this type of life change is not just in the Bible. I have met countless people who have shared with me their story and report of God’s grace and transformative impact on their lives. While some Christians may disagree, I have seen and heard reports of too many ways in which God’s supernatural powers still exist to believe that God does not still work in mighty ways.
God is moving all around us in mighty and powerful ways. The question is whether we have our eyes open. I had the opportunity recently to visit with Tammy Brun, member of Rehobeth Baptist Church in Pelahatchie, to learn about some of the miraculous ways God is at work. She and now many others have become involved in a ministry called Ever Reaching Community Outreach (ERCO) that is serving the needs of the poor in our community. They are not following a grand plan or fancy methodology. Instead, they lean into God. As Brun shared, “When we hear of a need in our community, the group comes together, pools our ideas, resources, and funds, and then we hit the ground running.” The amazing way in which ERCO has grown and helped so many in need is simply a work of God. We need more of this in our society. As Blackaby notes, “Our world is not seeing God because we are not attempting anything that only God can do.”
One day (hopefully some years from now), I will lie on my deathbed. As my life on this earth drifts away, I will cling to the eternal hope and assurance I have in my faith in Christ. The reality is that we all cross the final valley alone. As I have spent time with people in their final months and days, I see the intensity of the hope in the bigness of God to help them with that final challenge. Unfortunately, we have a hard time having that level of clarity about our daily lives and God’s bigness. Surely, the Creator of the universe who raised Christ from the dead is worthy of my worship, love and surrender. The sin of pride can creep in and delude me to think that I have it all under control. The reality is that we miss God’s real plan for our lives and the peace and comfort in knowing who we are and what our ultimate destination is if we make our God too small. As we enter the New Year, perhaps now is the time to reflect on the bigness of God, and what God-sized plans He has for our lives.
Martin E. Willoughby, Jr,. is Chief Operating Officer of Butler Snow Advisory Services, LLC located in Ridgeland. He and his wife, Nicki, have two children, Ally and Trey, and live in Madison.