Today, I had two devotions in my email that seem to go together. I believe when we receive a message from more than one source, God is trying to get our attention. Lord, I’m listening – and I am sharing both messages in one post. If we are obedient to our Lord God in small things, He will give us more opportunities to grow our faith. If we submit ourselves and our efforts to Him, He will use us in ways we can’t imagine for His purposes. Our faith will increase exponentially because we’re willing to use it.
Dr. Charles Stanley says: I’ve had people tell me, “I wish that I had great faith.” While most of us would like God to just drop that kind of confidence into our laps, it’s not the way He operates. Faith increases as a result of our obedience in little things. We all marvel at Abraham’s willingness to offer up Isaac at the Lord’s command. But have you ever stopped to consider all of his smaller steps of submission that prepared the way for this enormous test?
Throughout his lifetime, Abraham obeyed God. At the Lord’s command, he left his country (Gen 12:1-4), was circumcised (17:10, 26), conceived Isaac in his old age (21:1-3), and sent his son Ishmael away (21:9-14). By the time he was asked to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, he already knew that his God would always be faithful to His promises. His previous experiences had taught Him to trust the Lord.
In the same way, each small step of obedience solidifies our confidence in God. Then, when He challenges us with a more difficult assignment, a firm foundation of assurance enables us to trust andobey Him. Great acts of faith flow from our past interactions with the Lord. By neglecting His simple commands, we miss priceless opportunities to witness His faithfulness.
Having trouble trusting God for something big? Maybe it’s because you’ve ignored those “small” and “insignificant” promptings of the Holy Spirit. The Lord considers each of His commands important and promises to reward every act of obedience, regardless of size. Great faith begins with little steps.
“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” (Matthew 12:35) Dr. David Jeremiah says: You get what you put into it. It’s simple math. You can’t plant carrots and expect to harvest watermelon. You can’t fill your piggy bank with pennies and expect a hundred dollar bill to emerge. We may wish for results to magically appear, but the cause and effect principle remains.
Of course there are exceptions. When a child puts his newly pulled tooth under his pillow, a coin appears in its place, as long as his parents didn’t forget. The most important exception is Christ’s gift to us. We surrender our sin and failure to God, and He replaces it with the flawless righteousness of Christ. God’s commitment to us includes an eternal home and purpose for today. He delights in transforming us to bring forth good treasure. We become His lights, impacting and encouraging the people around us.
Submit yourself and your efforts to Him, and you will gain more than you could ever give. It is the “harvest principle”: you harvest more than you plant!