Summary: Are you ready to open your imagination to the possibility that God has a vision for your life that is greater?
We all have honest moments when we’re gripped by a desire to feel that what we’re doing matters more. That who we are matters more.
And according to one of the most shocking verses in the Bible, Jesus wants the very same thing for every one of us:
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” -John 14:12
That single promise—“even greater things than these”—should be enough to shatter our acceptance of spiritual mediocrity. Unfortunately, most believers have only tried and given up on vague notions of greatness…then settled into a life that’s justgood enough.
Good enough = Baseline living that is marked by mediocrity, stuck in spiritual survival mode, and controlled by complacency.
Greatness = Vague, unrealistic aspirations of doing better that don’t work in real life and lead to endless frustration.
But there is a third way.
Greater = The life-altering understanding that God is ready to accomplish a greatness in your life that is entirely out of human reach—beyond anything you see in yourself on your best day, but exactly what God has seen in you all along.
In Greater, Pastor Steven Furtick draws on the biblical story of Elisha to empower you to:
• Take a God-given dream from idea to reality
• Stretch your limited resources and abilities in ways you never thought possible
• Replace the images of yourself that keep you feeling stuck in the past
• Make a significant impact with your life starting today, rather than making endless plans for tomorrow that you never get around to
If you’re tired of being ordinary, it’s time to dream bigger. If you’re feeling overwhelmed about where to begin, it’s time to start smaller. It’s time to ignite God’s Greater vision for your life.
Review: When I got started reading this book, which is centered primarily around the life of the prophet Elisha, I wondered if I had gotten into a book of the prosperity gospel ilk. Seeing as he pastors a Southern Baptist church in Charlotte, North Carolina, I’m guessing he doesn’t subscribe to such a philosophy. What led me to think this initially were several statements that spoke of doing bigger and better things. Fortunately, Furtick addressed this line of thinking later on by saying living the greater life doesn’t always mean increases in income, responsibility, or fame; rather, sometimes to live greater is to seek to do the very best with the circumstances in which we find ourselves.
One quote to this effect is as follows: “He’s not onstage, but he uses his profession as his pulpit every day. … He uses the gifts he’s been given by God to make an impact right where he is.” I found this encouraging and a little shaming because I’m certainly guilty of wasting the opportunities that I do have while wishing for bigger ones. Another quote: “Instead of always praying, ‘God, bless me with more,’ dare to pray, ‘God, use what I have. Take what little I have and make it overflow.'” Like the widow with the one jar of oil that filled many or the five loaves and two fishes in the Gospels, God can multiply the smallest of offerings to do miraculous things.
He also addresses when things don’t go as they seem they should have. “Most of us give up too soon on the greater life God has for us. Don’t lose hope. With God, nothing in your life is ever beyond resuscitation. and even in situations that feel wasted, wrapped in sorrow, cold to the touch, He has the power to bring forth one thousand new lives.” These are words I need to hear again and again, because it is all-too-easy to get caught up in the good things that went wrong and forget the greater things God has in store.
Through personal stories, the stories of people he knows, and Scripture, Furtick demonstrates that God is with us through the good times and bad, even when it seems like He has asked us to do something and then answered in a completely different way than we expected. And he shows that God desires we step out on faith and live the greater life.
I especially appreciated Chapter 11 where he addresses those people and forces that will conspire to drag us away from/back out of the greater life. One of the most impressive suggestions he makes is that we need to intentionally surround ourselves with people that God desires in our lives as well as removing from our lives those people who have negative impacts on us. It sounds harsh, but Paul’s statement in 1 Cor. 15:33 is good backing for this type of thinking (Furtick points out that this sort of action doesn’t mean refusing to care about certain individuals, but rather putting your spirit in a bubble and only allowing certain people inside to affect it).
All factors considered, I’d rate this book 5/5.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 <http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html> : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”