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Thomas Merton said, “The biggest human temptation is to settle for too little.” This reminds me of something that one of my seminary professors said in a sermon. He argued that the greatest temptation for most of us is not to do that which is wrong. Many of us have that temptation, but it is not the greatest one. He said, the greatest temptation is to do that which is “good” rather than that which is “great.”
Here the temptation is to stop because what you have accomplished is “good” or “good enough.” how many preachers do you know are stagnant in their preaching ministry. They are “good” but never go through the effort and pain to push on towards the fullness of God’s purpose. I am sure we all have fallen into that trap more than once in our lives. God may have given us a vision, but we stop for whatever reason. We then rationalize that what we are accomplishing is “good enough.”
God has called us all to some particular work. Like Jeremiah, God knew us before we were born and apointed us for a particular work. (Jeremiah 1:5)
Now this work is not always easy. It may not be the work where you will make the most money. It may not be the work where you will gain the most noteriety. It may not be the work that grandma, momma, and daddy want you to do. It may not even be the work that you think you want to do, but many of us know that work and that calling.
Natural Ability Is Not Enough
Now you may have a natural ability for this work, but remember we are not talking about being “good” at his work, we are talking about doing a God-given “great” work. It will not be easy to move from Good to Great. This requires more ability than you have. In addition, it requires more power and endurance than you have. In short, your God given task is something that requires your faith so that you can grasp ahold of the One who is mighty and desires above all things to bless us. We will literally not be able to see where God is taking us unless we look by faith. (2 Corinthians 5:7)
You will be tempted to only do that which you could have done without the Spirit of God empowering you. But God has enough of the “good,” God needs someone willing to follow God into “greatness.” Some Christians use their own power and end up coming short of where God wants to take them.
Doing What Is Easy For You Is Not Enough
God needs someone to speak to Pharoah to let my people go (Exodus 5:1), but many would instead speak to their friends and collegues abouth where they wish they could go. God has placed in someone’s heart to start agencies to feed thousands when there are not enough funds to accomplish this, but instead they settle for giving a dollar to the man on the side of the street. I don’t mean to belittle the one on one helping of others. that is important and needed. but if God has called you to something else, you might be using these “good” works to keep you from your God given mission.
Let me put it this way, if you can fully see the way of the road you are walking on. If you understand fully where you are going. If the path you are following doesn’t require faith to accomplish. If the path you are on doesn’t require more of you than you think you can do. Then you might be contemplating a path that is “good” rather than pushing to “great.”
Move Forward To Great
Good may get you accolades, good may cause someone to pat you on the back, Good may cause you to wreck the house. But great will unsettle the “present evil world.” (Galatians 1:4) Great will throw the evil one’s kingdom off its foundation (Acts 17:6). “Great” will do what “good” can’t even attempt.
Stop settling for good, God has called you to great. Be like Abraham. God found him in a good situation. He was comfortable living in the land of his parents in Ur. (Genesis 12:1) But God had other plans for Abraham, and God has other plans for you. God called him to go to a land that Abraham didn’t know of, the promised land. In leaving, Abraham was making that long trek from “good” to “great.
God has called you to greatness, stop settling for good.
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