When does good become not good enough? When does good become bad? The answer is simple – when good stands in the way of great. God has called each of us to greatness. With that said, we should strive for it – in everything. I'm not talking about pursuing selfish ambition, where we look for notoriety, self-importance, or accolades. I'm talking about not settling. I'm talking about pursuing excellence in all that we do, so that God can be glorified fully in our lives.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. – 1 Peter 2:9, ESV
If God wants us to be great, then why do we settle for good? There are many reasons such as laziness, lack of vision, or feelings of unworthiness, but today I want to focus on a different issue. I want to talk about fear.
Many of us are afraid to chase after greatness because it requires us to let go of familiar territory. Many of us are willing to remain right where we are at, even though it is not an ideal situation. Change can be scary, even if it is for the better. We become comfortable where we are. The bottom line is that we are not willing to trust Jesus completely with our lives.
I once saw an illustration of an interaction between a child and Jesus. The child was struggling to hand over her teddy bear to Jesus. What the child couldn't see was that there was a giant teddy bear behind Jesus's back that He wanted to bless her with. The child had a hard time trusting Jesus to allow the exchange. Sure, the first teddy bear was perfectly adequate and good, and the little girl grew quite fond of it. But, the one Jesus wanted to give the child was great.
This illustration had a big impact on me. I wondered in what areas of my life haven't I trusted Jesus. When did I allow fear stop me from pursuing the great things that God had in store for me?
Ladies, this fear can be present in many areas of our lives. We settle for good relationships, but God wants to bless us with great relationships – where each person honors and supports the other in Christ-like fashion. We settle for a good job, but God wants us to give us a great job where our passions and dreams are being fulfilled – a job where our gifts and talents are being fully utilized. We accept that our health is good enough, but God wants to bless us with great health so that we may go out and do the things He has called us to do.
Sadly, the biggest enemy to being great is being good. We feel good is enough. But, it is not. God wants better for us. The problem is that “great” requires effort and trust. It requires stepping out in faith and pursuing the things that God wants us to have. It requires letting go of what we know, to achieve something even grander. If we don’t let go, our hands will not be open to receive the great things that God has in store for us.
“Sometimes, we have to let go of what we have in our hands in order for God to give us what’s in His.” – Ashley Ormon
The pursuit of greatness is a sign of spiritual maturity, fully understanding God’s plan for our lives. Greatness cannot be achieved in our own strength. We must fully rely on the Lord to get us there. And we must trust Him explicitly with everything we have, recognizing that His ways are better than our own. It is time to stop letting good cloud our vision. Good is not enough – not when we serve a Great God!