ONE VOICE WORSHIP
Artistry. Discipleship. Worship.
Am I Living Safe?
by Greg Hitchcock on May 1st, 2015









 











Are you living safe? Or are you living what you were created for?

Safe usually allows us to trust in our own abilities, strength, and sufficiency - to dream and set goals that may stretch us a little, but not so much that we get uncomfortable and feel like “we can't possibly accomplish this or achieve that". I think Pink Floyd called it “Comfortably Numb” back in 1979:

“When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye.
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown,
The dream is gone.
I have become comfortably numb.”


Two years ago, we started to ask ourselves these questions: “Are we living safe? Are we living comfortably numb?” Then, we started to pray and ask God: “What are we built for? What were we created for? Help us to see with Your eyes; and with Your abilities, strength, and sufficiency. Help us to leave the shore of safety, and sail into a life of God-sized trust and living.
This is what I have found about God sized dreams:
 
1.  God is waiting for you to ask Him to be part of the equation.
How?  You just pray, right? No… you PRAY BIG!
 
Human equation looks like this: Me + my sufficiency = Comfortably Numb-small dreams living 
God’s equation looks like this: Me + Gods sufficiency = God sized dreams and abundant living
 
John 10:10 (HCSB) says, “A thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it in abundance.”
 
2.  If you ask Him to enter the equation… He will.
Why?  God longs to be active in our lives; we must, however, be patient for Him to reveal His plan. Satan screams for attention and wants you NOW. But God whispers and guides you in direct proportion to your faith and trust that He WILL speak into your life.
 
Always remember that in order to hear someone whisper, you must be very close to them. To really hear God whisper we must get close to God, and to do this we must spend time in prayer and in the Bible.  It is also seeking out prayer and wisdom from others who are close to God, listening for His whisper.

James 4:7-10 (NLT) – “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come close to God, and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. Let there be tears for what you have done. Let there be sorrow and deep grief. Let there be sadness instead of laughter, and gloom instead of joy. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up in honor.”

3.  God sized dreams don’t usually make sense.
Why?  Because they are bigger than “me” or “you” sized dreams… but do it anyway or things could get “fishy” (keep reading…).  People might think you are crazy (including yourself), but God-sized dreams will always have an eternal impact and meet specific needs that are not your own.  They burden your thoughts to the point that you can’t let it go, and then continue to show up through the Bible, prayer, people, or even something crazy like a bumper sticker on a car…not as the sign, but God absolutely uses crazy stuff to get the attention of humanity and reaffirm His will through repetition.  God be like, “Don’t make me put you in a fish to get your attention like I did Jonah!’

Jonah 1:17 (HCSB) says, “Now the Lord had appointed a huge fish to swallow Jonah, and Jonah was in the fish three days and three nights.”   (You see, Jonah heard God but chose to run from him… not a good plan.)

Yup, things can get “fishy” when we don’t get on God’s program.  If God is calling you and you are letting Him go to voicemail, just read Jonah chapters 1-3 and get in the game, man!

4.  Big, God-sized dreams always have a cost.
Why?  Because you are faced with the decision of whether or not you will give whatever it takes to get it done… Sell your home, move, make less money (or no money), give up a position or lifestyle you have worked your entire life to achieve, leave comfortable relationships, and the list goes on. Yes, we are back to the “doesn’t make sense” stuff that only makes sense when you realize that this life on earth is very short… and, that it is far better to live with God-sized dreams than it is to live comfortably numb.  And, after all, it is sin to know what you are supposed to do… but choose not to do it.  Check out this passage from the book of James:
 
James 4:14-17 (NLT) “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, ‘If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.’ Otherwise you are boasting about your own pretentious plans, and all such boasting is evil.”

We tend to focus more on the sins of commission and easily forget sins of omission – you could call it a state of  living comfortably numb.

5.  God puts people in your life with the same vision.
Why? He has to do this because God-sized dreams are never accomplished with one person, but instead they are accomplished with a team.  Yes, God always rises up a leader with a vision, but the vision can only be materialized if the team God is speaking to steps up to use their gifts, experience, resources, and commitment to be all in.

Romans 12:3-6a (NKJV) says, “For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them…”

God dreams are too big for an individual to accomplish alone because He longs to rise up a team or community to serve together in His name.

6.  Following God-sized dreams invites spiritual warfare.
Why?  There is a force of evil trying to keep you in a state of living safe and comfortably numb - away from invading the enemy’s camp.  Following God-sized dreams means that you are enlisting in the war of spiritual conflict to fight for the eternal souls of humanity.  If life is going great and you are not struggling with anything or anyone, the evil force has no reason to give you his attention because you are no threat to his kingdom of darkness.  However, if you feel like you are being slammed from all directions, then you just might be dreaming big for God and threatening the one who will lose ground in his effort to deceive the hearts of humanity.

Ephesians 6:10-14a (NIV) “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm…”

7.  When you decide to do 1-6 of the above, you must keep your eyes fixed on Jesus.
Why? Because Looking at your own abilities, strength, and sufficiency in a God-sized situation gives the enemy an open door to speak into your life about your past failures, your lack of qualifications or abilities, the impossibility of the vision, and stir within you a longing to return to the state of living “safe”, in control…yes, a state of living comfortably numb.

But, here’s the good news… He also promised that He would be with us in those storms and that if we have faith bold enough to believe in His power and sufficiency, we can look to Him and walk on water in the midst of the storms.

Matthew 14:24-29 (NLT) says, “Meanwhile, the disciples were in trouble far away from land, for a strong wind had risen, and they were fighting heavy waves. About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, ‘It’s a ghost!’ But Jesus spoke to them at once. ‘Don’t be afraid, he said. ‘Take courage. I am here!’ Then Peter called to him, ‘Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.’ ‘Yes, come,’ Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus.”

This is what I have learned over that last two years as we have prayed for God’s direction.  I hope it inspires you to start dreaming big for God, to find a community of believers where other people are dreaming big for God, and where you can use your gifts and passion to fuel their God-sized vision because God is worthy of such a response from His people.

We are thankful for those people who have supported and prayed for our worship ministry over the last 13 years, as well as those who have prayerfully walked alongside of us as we’ve sought God’s direction for our next steps in ministry over the past two years.

And now, with much excitement, we invite your prayer support and partnership over the vision God has given us to start a new church - Transformation Church - in Carroll, Ohio this year! 

We are especially grateful to our family and close friends for praying and walking with us to dream big for God. We are also grateful for our Pastor Rick Williams, as well as the entire Pastoral staff at Violet Baptist Church, for their prayer support, encouragement and leadership as we have sought God’s will for our ministry the past two years. Please continue to pray for us as we continue to dream beyond our own capabilities so that God is always in the equation for His glory!

Transformation Church
The vision: Love God. Love people. (Mark 10:30-31; Luke 10:27; Romans 12; Acts 2)
 
The mission: Seek the lost. (Matt. 28:16-20; Romans 12; Ephesians 2:10)
 
The outcome: Life-changing transformation within individuals, families, and communities through Jesus Christ. (Romans 12:2)    
 
If you are interested in being a member of our Prayer Team, please let us know by email to either greg@ovworship.com or heather@ovworship.com or by liking our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/transformationchurchcarrollohio.  As a member of Team Transformation, you will be invited to join a private Facebook group for our Prayer Team, giving you a front-row seat to watch God at work as an active, prayerful participant in His miraculous movement of transformation in Carroll, Ohio and surrounding communities!  And you can share your prayer requests and praises with us also, so that we can be interceding for and celebrating with you.
 
We look forward to continuing our ministry partnership with you and we are excited to share about God’s transforming power as it unfolds in the life of our church!


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