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See Big

"Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." Ephesians 3:20, 21

We cannot overestimate God; though, we often underestimate Him. We really don't intend to, but we simply do not give God enough credit for all that He is and does. Maybe it's because of our humanness and the fact that the flesh is weak even though God's grace has made the spirit willing. Underestimating God steals His glory and causes us to miss a lot of blessings. It is true that we have absolutely nothing to do with our eternal salvation. God saved us solely by His grace, having chosen us in Christ before the foundation of the world. Christ Jesus died for us on Calvary's cross even though we were sinners and His enemies. Actually, we were children of wrath the scriptures say!

If anything ought to make us "See Big," it is the fact that we are saved by grace. It seems though, that we easily take our salvation for granted. Our lifestyles often imply that God owes it to us. Yes, salvation is a big thing! It cost God the life and blood of His only begotten Son. And though this great salvation is free, to enjoy God and benefit from His blessings, we must "See Big!" God will not force us to go the straight and narrow way, nor will He lock us in a room full of abundant life when it comes to our faith and religion. It boils down to our perspective of God and His work. It is also true that the most important thing about a person is what that person thinks of God. When and what we think of God should not be restricted to Heaven and church, but to every day life experiences as well. To "See Big" means that God is valuable, precious even, and that He can do all things. When believers fail to "See Big," worry sets in. The reason church attendance is dwindling is that God is not considered valuable; salvation is not "BIG!" Stress and distorted priorities can sap our enthusiasm for God and for the life He has gifted us to live. Things aren't going to get any better until we start seeing bigger.

If forest landowners wish to know how much their trees are worth, they might have a timber cruise made on their land. This cruise is an estimate of the market value of the merchantable standing trees on the property. It is performed by taking systematic point samples at certain places on the tract and then expanding that cruise data to reflect the total tract value. Sawmills and procurement foresters would use the same procedures to determine how much they would be willing to pay for a given forest area. Thousands of dollars are at stake and depend on the accuracy of the evaluation in the woods. In other words, it depends on how the forester sees it. A distorted view, a bad sample, or an inaccurate call can make or break a sawmill or cause a landowner to lose a lifetime of savings. I remember an incident in a Hardees restaurant in Elberton, Georgia during breakfast one morning. A competing forester sitting at the next table from me knew I was working on a certain timber tract that he was also interested in. He said to me as he was leaving his table, "Don't see big out there today now." What that guy really meant was that he didn't want me to put too much value on those trees because that would mean he would have a better chance of making the deal. The devil did the same thing to Adam and Eve in the garden.

"And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die." Genesis 3:4

Satan downplayed God's word and Eve took off her spiritual glasses and put on a pair of selfish shades that drastically scaled down her value of God. The greatest defense when temptation comes is to "See Big." That's the way Jesus handled the devil when He was tempted in the wilderness. Remember, Satan tried hard three times to get Jesus to see His hunger, His life, and worldly power to be bigger than anything God could offer. Yet our Lord would not be deceived and He magnified God's written word so He and we could "See Big."

If we, as God's children, want to please our Heavenly Father (and we do, don't we?), then let's quit squinting and squirming and open our eyes so that we may "See Big" and be bold. Maybe this would be a good time to ask God to open our eyes that we might see Jesus. Seeing Jesus is seeing big. I believe too that if we really look for Jesus we can see Him, whether that be in church worship, a hospital room, or on a deer stand. We have to "See Big" though. If God is NOT so important or we think our trials are too large, then we'll not see Jesus. Should we be big eyed enough to catch a glimpse of Him though, things change for the better. Some of the Lord's followers' eyebrows were raised, and their vision went from being blinded by tears to 20/20 "See Big" vision when they saw Jesus after he was crucified.

"And when he had so said, he showed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord." John 20:20

(Note: It is no scriptural coincidence that these disciples had 20/20 vision as recorded in John 20:20)

Here are four important points to improve our spiritual eyesight and to help us "See Big."

As born again believers, we are destined to live in Heaven with God and each other forever. Sometimes we tend to see this world and what it has to offer as being bigger and better than Heaven. Although that is a false view, it nevertheless affects how we act and react to life on Earth issues. I just took a dime out of a cup sitting on my study windowsill, closed one eye, and held the dime over my open eye and completely shut out my view of the whole blue sky above. The position of that dime made all the difference. This example teaches us that insignificant things can distort the larger, more important things in life like God and eternity. When David killed the giant Goliath, he did so by "Seeing Big." That giant may have been much of man, but he was no match for God. See, David viewed the whole battle as God doing it, not himself. To "See Big" is not to think of our abilities but only God as the power within us. That's what our text verse says and that's how we must adjust our God given glory glasses to have the proper view of things. Do you really believe that God can do anything? If that's the case, then your belief should really impact the problems you are facing right now. Are you seeing your problems and trials as being bigger than God?

The older I get, the bigger I see God to be. This perspective has given me much peace in that I have concluded there are some things I cannot do; things that may never get done, and things I do not know how to do. The peace in all this is doing all I can do for the day, with what God has given me to work with, and leaving the results and future to Him. That is how I "See Big." The big picture of life is framed in the mercy, love and wisdom of Almighty God and when we understand that He is the author and finisher of our journey, we get smaller and He gets bigger. Then we see clearly that we are not put on Earth to be remembered, but to be prepared for eternity. Corrie Ten Boom said, "If you look at the world, you will be disappointed. If you look within, you will be depressed. If you look at Christ, you will be at rest." The right perspective is to see all of life with the end in view - to "See Big!"

We have probably never reached our full potential to the possibilities of prayer. Really, prayer itself implies that God is sovereign and very great. Else, why would we pray to a being who could not help us when the going gets tough? Seeing big means that we pray large prayers, asking God for great and big things as well as small ones. In the model prayer, the Lord Jesus sets the context of all our petitions by teaching us to see big; to see Him as our Father in Heaven, holy and interested in big things, like His kingdom. Although God takes care of little things too, like our daily bread, the structure of prayers that please God are intended to make us "See Big." The prayer begins and ends with very big reasons to pray; God's kingdom to come and gratitude for His forgiveness. Actually, when believers engage in genuine, fervent prayer, they know not whether they pray or not, because they are not thinking of the prayer, but of the God to whom the prayer is made.

We honor God when we ask for great things. It is sad and depressing to see that we are satisfied with such very small results.

"Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full." John 16:24

Billy Graham said, "Heaven is full of answers to prayers for which no one ever bothered to ask." Joshua sure must have had big eyes for God when he asked the Lord to make the sun stand still. But God answered that prayer and the result was victory for the Israelites. Probably whatever has been attained and achieved by God's people through prayer has touched but the fringe of the garment of a prayer-hearing God. We honor both the riches of His power and His love only by seeing big when we pray.

Alexander the Great had a famous but indigent philosopher in his court. This man, adept in science, was once in a bind for funds, so he implored to Alexander the Great, the Conqueror of the world. What better source could he have gone to. His request was no sooner made than it was granted. Alexander gave him a commission to receive of his treasury whatever he wanted. He immediately demanded in his sovereign's name ten thousand pounds. Alexander's treasurer was surprised at so large a demand and refused to comply without consulting with the king. He told the king that he thought the request was unreasonable and exorbitant. Alexander listened to his treasurer's words but replied, "Let the money be instantly paid. I am delighted with the philosopher's way of thinking; he has done me a singular honor; by the largeness of his request he shows the high idea he has conceived, both of my superior wealth and my royal magnificence." We can't see too big when we pray to God. In answering, God will only wish we had asked for more. Maybe instead of praying for crutches, we ought to pray for wings.

"He that spared not his own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things." Romans 8:32

What you see has a lot to do with what you are looking for. Some people look at a picturesque green valley meadow and pick out one spot of cow manure. Ten of the twelve spies sent to view the promised land saw only the giants and reasons not to go there. Believers can see "Big" whether or not they wear glasses, contacts, have cataracts or blind spots. Believers receive faith in God's salvational package; and, the purpose of faith is to enable them to "See Big." The disciples and we, though, need a lot of practice to increase our faith so that we can "See Big." Practicing spiritual perception means we focus on the Lord Jesus Christ, not on our problems or circumstances. The Apostle Peter saw big by looking at Jesus and he walked on the water during a storm. When he let the waves splash in his eyes, he only saw his little old self and he went under until he cried "Lord save me!" That's when practice made perfect for Peter.

Every day is a "See Big" day for the child of God. To live on God's created earth and not notice how wonderful and wise and powerful our Lord is, would be a waste. If you want to "See Big," try counting your blessings! Nothing in life is boring when your eyes are wide open to the love and faithfulness of the Heavenly Father. We don't need a heavenly vision or a jolting spiritual impulse to be blessed. Living a life looking for God enables us to act on a sustained principle called grace. The flash of summer lightning is a poor thing compared with the steady luster of the moon and stars. When your spiritual eyes get floaters, open your Bible and read how God loves you, has died for you, and will never leave or forsake you. Ask God to open your eyes to His prevailing presence even when you seem to be overwhelmed with problems.

"And Elisha prayed, and said, Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, that he may see. And the Lord opened the eyes of the young man; and he saw: and, behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha" II Kings 6:17

The testimony of our lives as Christians will be determined by how effectively we practice our position in Christ. Temptations are real and often fierce, and we will fall if we donít "See Big." I remember many years ago about this time of year at football camp, every practice was ended by running wind sprints. Now, wind sprints are not fun, but that exercise prepared the team for the game on Friday night. Following Jesus is a lot like running wind sprints because denying self and taking up our cross is also not fun and it hurts. It prepares us to fight our battles though by reminding us of the reality that "He that is in us is greater than He that is in the world." Obedience, sacrifice and walking by faith is what God likes because such practices conform us to Christlikeness. (As we decrease, He increases). We "See Big" when God is in view of everything we do. In addition, our lives will shed light on the big picture that God is real valuable and we all desperately need Him.

Forgiveness is the greatest need and should be seen as the biggest blessing we have. We were created for relationships. Relationship with God, others and ourselves. Forgiveness must be seen as very big in all three. Our fellowship with God, marital success, sanctity of singleness, church, family, or work all require much forgiveness to survive. The bigger we see forgiveness in our lives, the better our associations with others will be and the more humble we will act before God. It can be the death of our faith if we forget that forgiveness is a miracle. We can't "See Big" out of the eye of forgiveness without seeing big out of the eye of love. That's because we pardon in the degree that we love.

Not long ago, as I was ordering lunch at a local McDonald's drive through, the attendant asked if I wanted to supersize my order. I did not need the extra calories, so I said no. When it comes to forgiveness though, we all should supersize our order. The prodigal son got tired of eating junk food and called for homemade forgiveness from the father. Though he didn't order it, the father supersized his forgiveness by giving him a robe, a ring, and a feast. What if we could supersize all of life's important attributes: love, humility, faith, joy, zeal for God, and forgiveness? Wouldn't it be wonderful to "See Big" in all those areas and receive an increase in the important things of life? Is it possible that we are missing great blessings because of a faith deficit? How tragic to live life and miss out on what God has in store for us simply because we set our sights too low or were too lazy to ask for something more. When Elisha told King Joash to strike the arrows on the ground to get direction from God regarding the battle with Syria, he made three strokes and stopped. The word of God says Elisha was angry because he didn't do more.

I'm pretty sure I still have the SEB record for the most fumbles in a football game. On Monday morning after that Friday night game, my coach met me in the hallway on my way to class with a football. He handed me the ball, making sure it was tucked securely under my right arm, even bumping it a few times to make sure I held it tightly. I had to carry that ball with me all week and every time I crossed paths with a coach or fellow players, they would try to knock the ball out of my arm. You see, carrying the football in a football game is primary. If you run one hundred yards for a touchdown, it doesn't count if you fumble the ball! Likewise, you can go to church every Sunday, read the Bible every day, go on a mission trip to China, but if you are not bearing spiritual fruit, it won't count for much. The great news is that we don't have to do any of the above, we can just set up a spiritual fruit stand right where we are. If you're like me though, and are prone to fumble a lot, maybe you should carry a "fruitball" with you every day for a while. It's worth the effort when you consider the difference in a peach and a pinecone.

"And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice." II Kings 6:17

Our God view is much more important than our world view. Let's ask God to help us "See Big", every day, in every way

Yours for better, bigger looking,
Brother Randy

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