The vastness and greatness of God are unfathomable. When we consider the works of God, from creation to salvation, it is plainly evident that God is big (or as my daughter would say, “ginormous”). I wanted to lay that out there lest what I say next is misunderstood. The Bible is clear; we have a big God! But here’s the catch–We have a big God who delights in doing small things. The fact that God even loves you is proof that small things matter to him. King David plainly understood this. Consider the words of Psalms 8 & 144 where the Psalmist ponders, “What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” How can a God so interminable be so intricately acquainted with the ways of a creature that is so infinitesimal?
And yet, that is our God. Through His willingness to do the small things, He made way for every person to partake of His greatness. Consider Christ and His gospel. What human being would ever devise a plan that would appear as foolish as the gospel seems to the human eye (1 Corinthians 1:18)? God, in His greatness, to bring the hope of salvation to all mankind, would come… in the middle of nowhere? To a poor, unpopulated, uneventful, undesirable region in an otherwise wealthy and majestic Roman empire? To a dismantled nation? As a carpenter, not a king? As a servant, not a tyrant? To twelve nobodies whose potential for global impact was negligible, to say the least? To perform miracles to an audience of uneducated peasants during a time where his mighty acts would be unappreciated? To die as a common criminal? Would a prideful, ambitious human being ever write such a story for themselves? I think not. Yet this is the story our God wrote.
Why does it matter so much? Simply put, if God delights in faithfully choosing the small things to accomplish the more significant things, so should we. “Go big or go home” is a subjective mantra in God’s economy, for the seemingly small might be significant, and visa versa. As I contemplate our culture and Christianity’s impact, I fear in my heart that our lust for fame and accolades will be the death of our effectiveness and fruitfulness for His kingdom. While we long for higher numbers in our sanctuaries, we neglect our next door neighbor’s need. While we strive for more social media likes, we overlook social justice. While we long for public adoration, we disregard private devotion. We have pastors that pray beautifully in front of the camera while our churches drown in seas of prayerlessness. We have productions that wow the human senses, but service that neglects the human condition. This culture has trained us to become discouraged when God chooses to use us in something seemingly small; as if small equals unfruitful or ineffective. In reality, it is our faithfulness to those things that God uses to impact the eternal and unseen in significant ways. It is also what is preparing us for greater responsibility in His kingdom (Luke 16:10). May we never be those who despise the day of small things (Zechariah 4:10)!
…if God delights in faithfully choosing the small things to accomplish the more significant things, so should we.
So, here’s my exhortation. Go small and watch God go big. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking the impact of large, visible, attractive ministry, but shame on us if we are convinced that is the only way God gets anything done. Jesus was the one who reminded us that small seeds move big mountains! The one co-worker you lead to Christ is just as valuable to God as the 10,000 that respond in the crusade at a stadium. The fervent prayer in your closet is just as impactful as the eloquent prayer in a sanctuary of thousands. What you do for, “The least of these“ is far more important than how “great” people perceive you to be. Don’t become discouraged if you view your ministry as “small and insignificant.” God uses “small and insignificant,” and the church needs “small and insignificant.” After all, compared to God, is there anything any of us could do that is a “big deal?” Last time I checked, none of us can command creation with the sound of our voice, call the dead back to life through inherent power, or possess the authority to judge the living and the dead! No matter what you or I do, at the end of the day, we are really small, so let’s do the small things well to the glory of God.
“This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness.” -Elizabeth Elliot