Expect Great Things From God

Dan Lenington on March 12, 2014

Tightrope walker

It was William Carey, the father of modern missions, who said, "Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God." Carey had to battle the mentality among fellow Christians of his day that said God would save people when He was ready without man's help. I believe this attitude is rampant in many of our conservative churches today. We have become so discouraged at our lack of fruitfulness that we have come to assume God will just do whatever He will do with or without our prayers and outreach. William Carey proved the fallacy of this argument through Scripture and experience, but will we continue to accept defeat today. Because God promises revival by faith (2 Chron. 7:14), we can and must claim His promise. So how can we honestly expect great things from God? Paul tells us in Ephesians 3:20-21, "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."

First, we must accept the possibility of great revival. Paul's appeal ("Now unto him") is made to the God of the Bible not a god of our own imagination. This means that we can count on God to fulfill His revealed promises in Scripture because God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). God's promise to send revival must be claimed once the conditions of humility, confession, and prayer are met (2 Chron. 7:14). This is easily done once we recognize that God's ability is exceedingly abundant. God will perform His promises when we ask in faith. The problem is not His ability but our weak faith (Matt. 21:21-22). God will not reward doubt (James. 1:6-7). Don't blame a lack of revival on God's inability to act! He's waiting for us to get busy and get serious.

Second, we must activate the proccess that God has established for seeing revival. Some debate whether God will just wave a magic wand and send revival while others maintain that it is all up to us. Paul presents a balance between the two. We are expected to ask for and anticipate God's power and work in sending revival. He "is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think." God is able to perform far more than we can ask or imagine. The main limitation is our failure to ask for and anticipate great things. Have you limited God's ability to bring great victory like the Israelites entering Canaan (Ps. 78:41)? Next, we need to recognize our responsibility to act. God will do great things by activating His "power that worketh in us." Revival is possible through the power of God (Ps. 85:6), but this power is meant to effectively activate us to produce revival (John 15:16). Are you ignoring God's promises and attempting little for Him?

Finally, we must appreciate the plan that God has laid out for revival. The whole point of revival in the church is to bring glory to God. Revival is not meant to make me feel comfortable, vindicated, famous, or in the majority. These are all selfish motives for wanting revival and will eliminate any possibility for our involvement in it. Only when we constantly abide in Christ will we glorify God. Make sure you are abiding in Christ if you want to see revival in yourself, your church, or your community. Lastly, let's make the final application to ourselves. Paul says, "throughout all ages, world without end. Amen." These promises are true for all ages of the world, even ours. We cannot say that this generation or society is beyond hope. God's power hasn't diminished and the gospel is still the power of God unto salvation. The final word is "Amen." That means no argument permitted, so stop doubting and do what God says is required for revival! Do you still believe revival is impossible for us today?

God has promised to send revival to any of "His people" who turn from their wickedness and in humility call upon Him for revival. Believing this promise is not believing it could happen but instead believing it will happen when we fulfill His conditions. Saving faith is not believing God could save you but that He will save you. We have a month until our revival meetings. Will you spend this time examining yourself before God? Will you ask Him for cleansing and faith to believe His promise for revival in you and in our church? Will you expect great things from God and attempt great things for God?