I’m meeting more and more believers who are unsatisfied with the kind of Christians they’re becoming and the version of the Christian life they’re experiencing. These aren’t bad people. They aren’t gangbanger and ungodly pagans. If they were, their discontent would make more sense.
The thing is, most believers aren’t in imminent danger of ruining their lives. They’re facing a danger that’s far greater: wasting them.
These are some of the very people Jesus talked about in John 14:12. People who are supposed to be doing greater works than—forget about Steve Jobs—Jesus Christ Himself.
Yet it’s not happening. For most of us, the experience of our daily lives is a far cry from the greater works Jesus talked about in John 14:12. Or even the achievements of a luminary like Steve Jobs.
We’ve had some big dreams about what God might want for our lives. But so many of us are stuck in the starting blocks. Or are dragging along at the back of the pack.
We know we were meant for more. Yet we end up settling for less.
We’re frustrated about where we are. But we’re confused about how to move forward.
I wonder if you can relate. What a life.
We all know instinctively, even if we can’t articulate it exactly, that something is squaring up. There’s a huge gap between what God said in His Word and the results we see in our lives.
It’s like we’ve been lulled into comfortable complacency. Then we wake up one day to find ourselves stuck in miserable mediocrity. So we tuck away any dreams and notions of the great things we’d like to do for God.
After all, we’re doing good. Good enough. It kind of sucks. But it’s all we know.
If that’s where you are today, I need to share a strong word of warning with you.
You can’t keep living like this. It’s not fine for you to settle for going every day to a job you’d prefer to quit, doing decent work, being a pretty good person compared to your neighbor, paying your bills on time, and sporadically reading the Bible as though it’s your guide to the great things God did in other people’s lives in the past.
Baseline living is not okay. Not for a believer in Jesus.
There’s a price to pay for Christian complacency. If you keep living on this level, your heart is going to shrivel. It might already be shriveling. Your dreams are going to die. They may already be on life support. Will you look up one day and be overwhelmed by the stack of regrets staring back at you? The frustration that’s simmering on the back burner right now might boil over one day, and you’ll be bitter about the opportunities you missed. Opportunities to be used by God, to touch lives, to get outside yourself and be a part of something greater. I know it’s not easy. But don’t tell me it’s not possible. Jesus Himself said it was.
The fact is, we are so much better than we’ve become, because God is so much greater than we’re allowing Him to be through us.
Steven Furtick, author of the bestseller Sun Stand Still, is the founder and lead pastor of Elevation Church in Charlotte, NC, which in only six years has grown to more than 12,000 attendees in six locations. Since 2007, Outreach magazine has named Elevation Church among the top 10 fastest growing churches in America with it ranking second in 2011. Furtick holds a degree in communications from North Greenville University and a Master of Divinity degree from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He and his wife Holly have three children and make their home in the Charlotte area.
Excerpted from Greater by Steven Furtick Copyright © 2012 by Steven Furtick. Excerpted by permission of Multnomah Books, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.