Introduced in 1977, the original Star Wars movie quickly acquainted us with a young man by the name of Luke Skywalker. If you remember that first movie, and somehow I believe you do, Luke was living on a moisture farm on the planet Tatooine with his uncle Owen and Aunt Beru when his life suddenly took a dramatic turn. Luke encounters two droids named C-3PO and R2-D2 but is not immediately aware of how they are going to change the course of his life. When R2-D2 goes missing Luke sets out to find him and encounters an old hermit by the name of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Luke soon discovers that R2-D2 contains an important message from Princess Leia Organa of Alderann asking Obi-Wan to help her defeat the evil Galactic Empire. In a defining exchange Obi-Wan asks for Luke’s help and Luke rejects the offer. You can almost here Luke saying, “Nah, that’s OK. Life is pretty good here on the farm and your deal seems kind of, well, complicated. But hey, thanks for the offer and good luck saving the universe.” What Luke didn’t realize was there was more for him than just leading a quiet life of survival. He was called to so much more but he was also going to have to be willing to leave what was comfortable.
Sound familiar? It does to me. It seems very similar to stories I’ve read in the Bible where ordinary men and women encounter God and he essentially says to them, “I have more for your life. Follow me and watch what happens.” Think about it. God encounters a man named Abraham in the book of Genesis and says, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars–if indeed you can count them. So shall your descendants be.” In other words,Abraham, I have so much more for you than you realize. Follow me. God later encounters a young man named Jacob in Genesis 28 and says something like this, “I have more for you despite your checkered past.” Really God? It’s pretty messy. He encourages a man named Joseph who had been betrayed and sold into slavery by his own brothers and says, “I have more for you beyond these painful circumstances. Just wait and see.” He speaks to a king named David and says, “I have more for you and your family than you could ever imagine. Trust me, it’s big!” Each of them; however, had to trust God and leave what was comfortable in order to experience the more God had for them. And so will we if we want to experience the more God has for us.
Over the past few weeks we’ve been exploring this God of MORE and have asked the question–could God have more for us? Could God have more for you? Do you think God could have more for you even after your greatest successes? Probably. Do you think God could have more for you even after your greatest failures? Yep. Do you think God could have more for you despite your flaws and weaknesses? Most definitely. Do you think God could have more for you even though you might think you are too young, too old, too…you fill in the blank? Yes! I really believe he does because he’s the God of more. We never come to the end of him. Look at how Paul describes God in Ephesians 3:20, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
Ok, you’ve convinced me, I believe that God could have more for me. So how do I receive more from the Lord? I believe there are four keys in scripture (FYI-these are not exhaustive nor is it a formula):
1. Are you thirsty for more of God? Look at what Jesus said in John 7:37-38, “On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, ‘If anyone is thirsty, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him.'” When we are consumed with anything, and specifically the things of the world, we aren’t thirsty for God.
2. Prioritize your relationship with God. In Luke 18:18-25 we see a rich, young ruler encountering Jesus. He had a desire for more but was unwilling to let go of some things in his life like his wealth, lifestyle, and position. At the end of the exchange, Jesus says something profound to his disciples in verses 29-30, “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brother or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.” Our relationship with God is the most important relationship we have.
3. Ask God for more. Look at what Jesus said in Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
4. Be willing to take small steps of faith. Many times in life the seemingly small, insignificant decisions can set the course for our lives. I love what famous artist Vincent Van Gogh once said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.”
So what are the small steps you are possibly being asked to take that could bring you into more of God and his purposes? Maybe for you it’s just taking the small step of reading God’s word and asking him for understanding? Maybe it’s taking a step of faith and attending a Bible study or church service? Maybe it’s taking a step of faith to reach out to someone, start a conversation, and reconcile with them? Maybe it’s being willing to share your faith with a person God has been stirring your heart for? I don’t know what your more is or the steps that God is urging you to take. I do know that he is the God of more and he does have more for you. Just as Luke could not have realized the more he would experience by ultimately making the decision to follow Obi-Wan and jumping on a ship called the Millennium Falcon with two unknown characters named Han Solo and Chewbacca, we too will never know the new things God has for us if we aren’t willing to take small steps of faith.