When my husband and I went out to dinner one night we were served by an extremely helpful waitress. This woman seemed to anticipate our every need; she even suggested an item that was not on the menu.
Throughout the evening, she served us with both joy and efficiency. She made our evening so pleasant that the next time we went to that restaurant, we requested her as our waitress. In a society in which mediocrity has become the standard, she distinguished herself by her excellence.
In the same way our waitress rose above the crowd, believers in Christ should strive to shine as lights in the world's darkness.
The Bible is full of stories of people who chose to live their lives at more than a mediocre level. Moses is described as a man who was more humble than any other man on the face of the earth. Nehemiah is described as a faithful man who feared God more than others did. John the Baptist is described as more than a prophet. And the Bible says that Jesus was anointed with the oil of gladness more than His companions.
All of these were "more than" people-people who could not be satisfied with the ordinary or the usual. Consequently, God used each of them in an extraordinary way.
Three qualities distinguish "more than" people from the rest of the crowd:
First, "more than" people are people of action. This world is full of dreamers who are observers. But it's not enough to dream. You must also take action to bring those dreams to fulfillment.
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.
Second, "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, NKJV).
Through a series of qualifying tests, God reduced Gideon's army from 32,000 to only 300-and 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). They are can-do people because they know God is a can-do God.
Third, "more than" people have an all-or-nothing nature. Once when Jesus was teaching in the temple, He observed a poor widow putting her meager offering in the temple treasury. Knowing that she was giving all she had to give, He commended her before His disciples. "'Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all,'" Jesus told them (Luke 21:3).
Certainly, the rich people in the synagogue gave their offerings in greater quantity, but this woman gave hers in greater quality. Throughout the Scriptures, this kind of wholeheartedness is the mark of a "more than" person.
Abraham left everything familiar to follow God to a new land. He even put his son Isaac on the altar out of radical obedience to God's word. Ruth gave up everything to follow her mother-in-law, Naomi. The disciples left their livelihoods to follow Jesus. All of these "more than" people had an all-or-nothing nature when it came to the things of God.
Becoming a "more than" person is not hard, because God has placed in us a desire for greater things-a desire that reflects His own character. As Ephesians 3:20 says, God "is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us" (NIV, emphasis added). But it does require us to step up to a place of greater faith. Let's take that step and become "more than" believers today!
For a limited time, we are extending our celebration of the 40th anniversary of Charisma. As a special offer, you can get 40 issues of Charisma magazine for only $40!