Ever feel as if you’re stuck in the spin cycle – spinning your wheels so fast that you constantly spin out? You keep waiting for your big break, but it’s brokenness that you get. You pray, as Jabez did, that God will enlarge your territory, but the only thing that enlarges is the gulf between you and your dream. Okay, so don’t get me started on the whole Prayer of Jabez thing.
From childhood, we’re taught to keep our eyes on the big stuff – the big opportunities, the big names, the big bucks. Don’t sweat the small stuff, people tell us.
But truth be told, if you want the big stuff, you have to sweat the small stuff. It matters.
If you don’t think God is a God of details, study a flower, look up at the night sky, behold the features of a newborn baby or look under a microscope. God is in the small stuff, so much so that the God who holds the whole universe in His hands allows Himself to dwell within the confines of the human heart.
In Numbers 20:8-12, we read how God commanded Moses to speak to the rock to cause water to gush forth for the thirsty Israelites. But Moses, in a temperamental meltdown, instead struck the rock, causing him to lose his ticket to the long-awaited Promised Land. He died without seeing his dream fulfilled.
And take the example of Achan. (See Joshua 7:1-12.) Finally in Canaan, the Israelites had God’s assurance of victory over their enemies, provided they obeyed. When it came time to overtook the land of Ai, God required the soldiers not take any of the items that were to be set apart.
But Achan took for himself a cloak, some silver and some gold – mere trifles in light of the abundant spoils – and his disobedience resulted in death and defeat.
The widow who gave her meager two coins to the temple treasury understood the importance of being faithful in the small things. Her gift was nothing compared with those of the rich people all around her, but it had greater weight in God’s eyes.
“I tell you the truth,” Jesus said. “This poor widow has put in more than all of them. For all these people have put in gifts out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in all she had to live on.” – Luke 21:1-4
The widow acted on faith. Faith is a certain path to God’s favor.
Without faith, it is impossible to please God. – Hebrews 11:6
And God doesn’t even require great faith. We must act upon whatever small amount of faith we have, and God grows our faith until it is a strong tree that can withstand any storm.
“If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” – Matthew 17:20
The nobleman’s slaves learned the importance of faithfulness in the small things. As the nobleman prepared to leave the country, he gave 10 minas each to 10 servants and asked them to “engage in business until I come back.”
At his return, having received the authority to be king, he summoned those slaves he had given the money to, so he could find out how much they had made in business. The first came forward and said, “Master your mina has earned 10 more minas.”
“Well done, good slave!” he told him. “Because you have been faithful in a very small matter, you have authority over 10 towns.” – Luke 19:15-17
Pay attention, my friends, to the little things – the few minutes of time daily in the Word and in prayer; the little, menial job that no one else in the office will do; the momentary kindness you can offer; the seemingly insignificant promise you made; that unimportant confidence with which your friend entrusted you.
Think small, and watch God do big things in and through you.