Break Out of Mediocrity

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Shirley Arnold
Shirley Arnold

To increase your territory, you have to take it from the enemy. You have to fight for it! You can't settle for the status quo.

God's kingdom is an ever-increasing kingdom. The very nature and essence of His kingdom requires increase.

For us, the people of God, the challenge to enlarge the place of our dwelling and expand to the outermost bounds is intrinsic. It's who we really are! As Romans 8:37 says, we are "more than conquerors."

God has placed the desire in our hearts to excel, to increase our territory, to pursue something greater. And when we do that, we become more like Him.

After all, He is Jehovah-Jireh, the God who is more than enough. His love for us is extravagant; He lavishes us with His grace and mercy; He calls us to abundant life. He desires to bless us more than we could ask or think.

Big Dreamers
Of course, frustration can plague those who desire to exceed expectation. When "more than" people dream, they dream big dreams. Oftentimes they do not see the complete fulfillment of those dreams.

When I served as a pastor at Oral Roberts University in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I noted that Oral Roberts had a sign on his desk that read, "Make no small plans here."

I marveled at the grace God gave him to build a university and a hospital with the help of God's people. He was a simple man of faith who believed in a big God.

Some of Oral Roberts' dreams have yet to be fulfilled. But thank God he decided to dream big! As a result, God has been able to do many great things through his life and ministry.

Three qualities distinguish "more than" people such as Oral Roberts from the rest of the crowd:

"More than" people are people of action. This world is full of dreamers who are observers. But you must take action to bring your dreams to fulfillment.

During nearly 25 years of ministry, I have had numerous people give me suggestions for "good" things we should be doing as a church. Interestingly enough, their suggestions have almost always resulted in more work for me or my staff—while requiring nothing of them.

I love to dream with dreamers, but there comes a point at which you must be willing to roll up your sleeves and work to become part of a dream's fulfillment.

"More than" people love to dream it and do it. They look for opportunities to do ordinary things in extraordinary ways.

Several years ago I was part of a planning committee for a women's retreat. I was excited about the opportunity to impact women for God.

After a few weeks, one of the women resigned from the committee, saying: "All I want to do is have a meeting. Shirley wants to have a production! This is too much work."

I know there are times when activities need to be streamlined and simplified. But I've often found that God is in the details.

One of the projects I suggested was to print a scripture on individual ribbons to give to each woman. Yes, printing and preparing the ribbons did require more work—but after the retreat, many women said that this little gift was one of the most significant blessings they received that weekend.

"More than" people have a can-do attitude. Our God loves to use impossible situations to prove His power and strength. He is constantly looking for people He can entrust with the impossible.

The story of Gideon is a perfect example. Though we tend to think there is strength in numbers, God's view is completely opposite.

When a large army of Midianites threatened Israel, the Lord said to Gideon: "'The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying "My own hand has saved me"'" (Judg. 7:2).

Through a series of qualifying tests, God reduced Gideon's army from 32,000 to 300—then sent him off to fight. Gideon's army was severely outnumbered, yet God led them to victory.

Like Gideon, "more than" people have learned that their strength does not lie in their own ability, but in the supernatural ability of God. Their attitude is, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" (Phil. 4:13).

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