by Gloria Copeland
There’s something about Christmas that inspires children to begin dreaming. Maybe it’s the sparkle of Christmas lights on houses, the stockings hung and waiting to be filled, or dazzling packages nestled under the Christmas tree.
Somehow, anything seems possible this time of year. Many youngsters will even rush to bed much earlier than normal because they are so excited about the possibility of what will be under the tree when they wake up the next morning.
That’s what is so wonderful about children—their hopeful expectation. They dream big and expect miracles. Perhaps that is why Jesus desires for us to have childlike faith (Matthew 18:2-5).
What about you? Are you childlike in your anticipation this Christmas? Anticipation has always been a huge part of Christmas, as Jesus was the most anticipated gift ever received!
Put yourself in Mary’s shoes. She must have experienced months of anticipation as Jesus, the Messiah, grew in her womb. Moreover, the Jewish people had been taught for centuries to earnestly await the One who would save them, and here she was about to give birth to Him!
We also know the Magi traveled a great distance to see Jesus because they expected Him to be the king of the Jews. In the book of Daniel, we learn that the Magi were among the highest ranking officials in Babylon. When they arrived in Jerusalem, they began asking, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?” They had not seen Him, but expected to see Him.
Just imagine what the Magi had to be thinking and dreaming! They must have been overwhelmed with excitement at the possibility of finding God in the form of a human baby.
They had to believe it was possible and put faith in God’s Word! They couldn’t afford to think ‘small’ or they may have never made that trip to find baby Jesus.
Small Thinking Limits God
Small thinking and small expectations limit God’s ability to work on your behalf. That’s why He often asks His people to raise their sights right before He does something remarkable.
For example, God wanted to do great things for and through Abram. While Abram was just looking for a plot of land to pasture his flocks, God wanted to give him all the land stretching out beyond the four points of the compass.
In the same way, Abraham wanted a single heir, but God wanted to make his descendants as innumerable as the dust of the earth.
God instructed him to “lift up your eyes.” In other words, “Raise your sights! You’re thinking too small.”
Abram believed God and caught His vision for his life, and what God spoke to him came to pass.
This Christmas season, God is telling us to raise our sights. To stop thinking small. We need to allow ourselves to dream about the possibilities that come along with believing God.
You don’t have to wait for the new year either; God is waiting to do more for you right now—in this season.
Expand Your Vision
Looking up and raising your level of expectation will impact every area of your life. Just as God had to move Abraham from thinking of only one son to thinking in terms of whole nations, God wants us to lift our eyes beyond being concerned only for our immediate needs and wants and only for those things that seem possible. He wants us to expect mighty things and to bring whole nations into His kingdom.
In what ways can you begin to think bigger? With the spirit of anticipation and excitement in the air this season, it’s a perfect time to start. Here are three ways to shine His light on possibilities:
- Raise Your Expectations
As long as you’re willing to live without God’s best, you will. In order to raise your expectations, you must look to God’s Word and His promises. Those promises, and nothing less, should be your expectations.
Here are a few promises from God’s Word every believer should have his or her sights on:
- God’s best for you is healing (Isaiah 53:5). So, don’t expect sickness or disease.
- His best for you is financial prosperity (Psalm 35:27, KJV). Therefore, don’t settle for lack or poverty.
- His will for you is an “abundant increase of favors” (Genesis 12:2, AMPC). That means you should believe for favor in every area of your life. And you don’t have to earn it or be qualified for it in the natural!
Since God’s Word provides much better promises than anything this world has to offer, your expectations should be much greater than unbelievers’.
- Walk in Obedience
God’s will for you is to dream big and receive big. But, there is a condition. You must be obedient to His Word.
For example, if you are believing for health and healing, you must mix your faith in Isaiah 53:5 with obedience in taking care of your body (1 Corinthians 6:19). Whether that be eating properly, exercising, or any other specific instruction that the Lord has given you personally—obedience is key.
Most people tend to associate obeying God with drudgery and pain. But the truth is, obedience is always to our advantage. We need to change our expectations accordingly. When, in answer to the call of God, you leave behind your old lifestyle, your old habits and your old patterns of thinking, you experience great advantage.
- Refuse Fear
Once you have begun to expect more and walk in obedience, the devil will send in doubt and fear to try and rob you of your blessing. This is a critical moment in receiving all that God has made possible for you.
We know that faith and fear are opposing forces, so you can’t have both at the same time. This requires an intentional effort to reject fear and only speak words of faith. James 4:7, KJV, says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” That means, the devil has to go when you resist him. Fear cannot stay when you fight with faith.
Don’t Limit God
Dreaming big was never meant to be limited to Christmastime. All of the wonder, hope and expectation that is felt at this time of year is to be in the heart of the believer each and every day. Purpose to live expecting great and exciting things in your life every day.
Dare to Shine His Light on Possibility!
- As you watch your kids and grandkids dream this Christmas, look for ways to exhibit that same childlike faith in God and endeavor to “lift up your eyes” to greater things.
- Identify an area where you have been limiting God. Look up verses to support God’s promise for you. Confess to God that you’ve been thinking small, and tell Him that you believe His Word over your circumstances. Have faith in God, and expect Him to move accordingly.
- Spend some time dreaming with God about the possibilities for your life, and then, dare to ask Him for what you really want in your life. Reference a scripture that backs your claim, and ask—expecting to see great things.
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