Living in the Power of the Holy Spirit
Stop Dreaming and Start Building Your Dream with Jesus
Your dreams are inspired by God’s dreams
Question for class discussion:
In thinking about God’s dreams, what are some of the reasons for “smallness thinking”? What handicaps you (or people, generally speaking) that blocks Big Thinking? What might God’s dreams for you make you want to learn about why we can break free from “smallness thinking”? God’s dreams for you are BIG!
Reasons for smallness thinking: I’m too busy. It will be wrong to over-commit and do nothing well.
Handicaps to Big Thinking: Feeling that I have too many dreams, that I should focus on one thing; that I’ll be seen as too ambitious.
Why we should break through: so as not to limit God, I guess.
Response from Terry:
You raise an excellent point: It is not God’s will that we over-commit. Being too busy or having too many dreams are both handicaps that make us less available to God. To do whatever Jesus asks us to do, this always involves giving up something to make time for it. Often, we are called to give up something good in order to do something even better. It’s how God helps us grow.
C.F. raised some interesting questions, which I respond to below:
Smallness thinking is perhaps trying to be humble – do little things perfectly, with great love as Mother Theresa says. Wouldn’t that suffice? Another aspect could be fear! Or first we crawl and once we have become seasoned crawlers then we try to stand, falling quite a bit and only when we can really stand on two feet do we walk unaided but of course with God’s guiding hand! Or is it a case of not totally trusting and abandoning everything to the Father? I think for me personally everything is between me and my Saviour and I do not want to advertise or let people know what I am doing but ‘big thinking’ is like it’s so big that everyone would know and another thing is that what if I thought big but it didn’t happen altogether or did not happen as well as it should have.
I have a question. Does God call every one of us to be prophets? So then not everyone should have big thinking??? I was just watching a video of a soul in purgatory appearing to one Sister M. It says “do nothing extraordinary; lead a hidden life, but one that is closely united to Jesus. Even a tiny sacrifice which was known only to God and to the soul, may be far more meritorious than a great one that was loudly applauded. One must be very interior in order not to take for oneself any of the praise given one”.
Last question – I think God wants us to know that we are NOTHING; absolutely nothing. We are imperfect little beings but we become perfect only in Him and through Him. We are weak but we become strong only because of him. God wants us to know that we only become great with Him. So he wants us to realize that and break free from the smallness to achieve more than the ordinary only with Him?
When I speak of “smallness thinking” in the video, I am referring to the false humility of “I’m not able to do anything of important value”. It comes from feelings of inferiority (low self-esteem), not humility. Inferiority says, “I am nothing, because I am worthless and inadequate.” It’s root is a belief that we are not really lovable, we are not loved because don’t deserve it.”
Humility says, “I am nothing compared to God, but he created me because he values me. I am not inferior to anyone but God. Though I sin and am not worthy of God’s love, Jesus died for me and took my unworthiness to his cross. Lord, I am not worthy, but say the word and my soul shall be healed. Though I am inadequate, the Holy Spirit in me is more than adequate, and whatever good I accomplish, it is because of God working in me and through me.”
Big thinking, in the holy (not worldly) sense is: “Because of God who is working in me and wants to work through me, I am called to make myself fully useful to the Lord. He wants to accomplish big things, because this world needs God in a big way, and I want to be his willing servant, no matter how big and impossible the task seems.”
Big dreams, when they are God’s dreams, require doing little things perfectly (or to the best of my current ability, always striving to do it more perfectly today than I did yesterday), one step at a time, one thing at a time, loving one person at a time. Mother Teresa of Calcutta did a very big thing — she fulfilled God’s very big dream of spreading his love and compassion throughout the world, raising up Sisters to join her in the work, being a witness of love that even non-Christians respected. And she did it through lots of very little acts of love. Her humility did not interfere with doing something HUGE. It was her humility that made her a willing servant of the Lord’s Big Dream for her life.
She did not advertise what she was doing, but she did communicate it so that others could join her in the mission. Jesus said that we are not to hide our light under the bushel basket. What light is that? It’s the light of Christ in us. So therefore, if what we “advertise” is Christ working through us, then we are not prideful, we are holy, and we are obedient to the call of God’s dream for us. How else is anyone going to be inspired to serve the Lord except by the example they see in us?
And by the way, some people do have the calling to remain hidden at all times — to lead a hidden life. However, these are usually cloistered people who’s “big” thing is a life of prayer and sacrifice for the sake of the world’s salvation. Those of us who live in the world — in families, in the workplace, etc. — are called to be witnesses to those around us, to be the hands and feet and voice of Jesus. We cannot do this if we hide, because there the danger is hiding not just ourselves and our deeds but our faith, which is counterproductive to the mission of Christ.
One last comment on this: Prophets are only one of the callings listed in Romans chapter 12 and 1 Corinthians chapter 12. Prophesy, serve, teach, encourage, give generously, lead, show mercy …. of these, only “give generously” is most effective when hidden.
In summary, we are to hide ourselves in Christ and let him work through us in as huge of a way as he wants, determined not to handicap him by our fear of losing humility. If we can remember that it is always God and only God who is the reason why we can do good, then we are safe from pride.
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