s soon as children are old enough to speak, one of the first questions parents ask is, “How big are you? Children always give the same answer, “I’m sooooo big!” They generally raise their hands to get additional stature, as if to say, “I’m huge. I’m enormous. There’s no telling how big I may be.”
This is not a scientific answer. You can’t use it in every context. For example, if your spouse were to ask, “How big do my hips look to you?” you might not want to throw your hands high over your head and exclaim, “Your hips are sooooo big.”
Pastor Ortberg explains we teach our children to say “sooooo big” because we want them to know they are growing. We don’t want them to think they are small, weak, or lacking adequate strength to handle the challenges of life. But then he asks a far more important question, “How big is your God?” John Ortberg says:
“I strongly believe that the way we live is a consequence of the size of our God.”
When we have a “small God,” we live in a constant state of fear and anxiety because everything depends on us. We are always vulnerable and our mood is governed by our circumstances and held captive to what others think of us.
“When human beings shrink God, they offer prayer without faith, work without passion, service without joy, suffering without hope. It results in fear, retreat, loss ofvision, and failure to persevere.”
So how do we change our perspective? How can we live in a way that reflects the fact that we follow a God who is “soooooo big?” Have you ever wondered why God insists on being worshiped? It is through worship we come to perceive and declare the vastness, worthiness, and strength of God. Worship changes our perspective.
We are to worship God, not because his ego needs it, but because without worship, our experience and enjoyment of God are not complete. We worship God not so much because he needs it, but because we do.
atthew 14:22-33 is the story where the disciples were trying to get to the other side of the lake in a boat. A storm comes up and the disciples are in trouble fighting heavy waves. Then they see Jesus approaching, walking on the water. Verse 26 says, “…they were terrified.” But then Peter gets out of the boat.
That is why the story of Peter walking on the water must end in worship. Worship, in a sense, closes the loop on the whole story. Worship consolidates and expresses the disciples’ new understanding of who Jesus is. When Peter gets back into the boat and the other disciples ask him, “How big is Jesus, anyway?” He throws up his hands high over his head and says, “Jesus is sooooo big!”
When human beings get out of the boat, they are never quite the same. Their worship is never quite the same. Their world is never quite the same. This is true for you. From this point on, for the rest of your life, every time you walk on the water, each time you trust God and seek to discern and obey his calling on your life, your God will get bigger, and your worship will grow deeper, richer, and stronger.
This Thanksgiving, we invite you, as we do ourselves, to trust God. To worship him. To risk with him. Jesus is still at work. He is not finished. As Ortberg says, “He is still looking for people who will dare to trust him. He is still looking for people who will refuse to allow fear to have the final word. He is still looking for people who refuse to be deterred by failure. And this is your chance of a lifetime…”
Thank you for your prayers and partnership with us at LOGOI. Your financial support is helping national missionaries (men and women born and raised in their local communities overseas) dare to “get out of the boat.” May we dare, too!