My husband recently prayed, “Father, I want to live a big life.” He doesn’t mean a life that makes him wealthy or draws attention to himself. Rather, he wants to make a significant impact in God’s kingdom. He wants God to trust him with tasks impossible to accomplish apart from His doing and to see answers to prayer for which there are no human explanations.
My hubby knows, though, that living a big life isn’t as much about awards and accomplishments as it is about character—who he is when no one’s looking. When that’s in order, then God can trust him with the responsibilities (and the pain) that come with living a big life.
During this Christmas season, I often think about Mary, the teenager who bore and raised God’s Son. I’d say she lived a big life, wouldn’t you? But it’s more than what she did. It’s about who she was—her character. From that flowed her Kingdom impact.
When I look at Mary’s life, I see three vital character qualities:
Mary recognized her dependence on God, and it showed when she called herself “his lowly servant girl” (Luke 1:48).
Men and women who live big lives recognize their dependence on God, too. They realize that their own strength and wisdom fall short. They trust God’s power in them to do whatever He calls them to do.
- Spiritual maturity
Mary, though a young girl, had already developed an intimate relationship with God. That’s the only explanation for why she responded with pure, surrendered faith—an instantaneous yes to Gabriel’s message and then songs of praise. “For he, the Mighty One, is holy, and he has done great things for me,” she said. “His mercy goes on from generation to generation to all who fear him. His mighty arm does tremendous things!” (Luke 1:49-51)
Men and women who live big lives are intentional in their pursuit to know God. They “get” what it means to abide in the Vine (John 15). They know they’re not perfect, but they’re being daily conformed to the image of Christ, and their relationship with God consistently grows sweeter and deeper.
For Mary, living a big life meant saying yes despite certain fear and discomfort. Imagine the pain she endured at telling Joseph about her pregnancy, and at being the focus of her neighbors’ gossip. And yet she said yes. “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants,” she said. (Luke 1:38).
Living big lives requires the courage to say yes at whatever God assigns. We trust His sovereignty, wisdom, and love enough to agree with His terms, and we leave the details to Him.
My husband’s prayer has become mine. Here’s what I say: “Father, I want to live a big life because You’re a big God.” I have no clue what this will involve as the future unfolds, but I look forward with anticipation to seeing how He’ll answer.
God’s looking for more men and women who want to live big lives—making significant impacts in His kingdom. Will you join me in this prayer?
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