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The Great Way of Small Things

Blog / Produced by The High Calling
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In our world’s value system, we tend to notice the best and the brightest: large buildings, super-size products, crowded stadiums, impressive degrees, cathedral-like malls.

God’s value system is different. Throughout scripture, God most often uses small things to exhibit His glory. He employs otherwise insignificant people, seemingly inconsequential events, and lackluster numbers to accomplish his purposes. Trace the Old Testament history of God’s actions through Abraham and Sarah (Gen. 12-25), Moses (Exod. 1-5), Gideon (Judg. 6-8), Ruth and Naomi (Ruth 1-4), David (1 Sam. 16-17), and Jeremiah. You will discover that God accomplishes enormous tasks with people outside the seats of power.

In the New Testament, Jesus arrives in humble circumstances. He grows up in a remote and unimportant place. He calls 12 unimpressive disciples. He touches and cares for people that the world ignores. As the gospel expands into the Greek world, Paul reminds the Corinthians to expect the unexpected: “God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise” (I Cor. 1:27).

Inconsequential events are pivotal in the hands of our great God. The apostle Paul believed he must take the gospel to a place named Bithynia to advance the mission back toward Asia. But the Spirit prevents him from going that direction—though we don’t know how the roadblock was manifest. Then his vision of a man of Macedonia propels Paul into a completely different direction—toward Europe—an enormous turning point (Acts 16: 6-10).

The tiny book of Zechariah tells the story of a new start for God’s people as they leave exile in Babylon to return home. Rebuilding Jerusalem is an enormous undertaking, but Zerubbabel initiates the project. At a certain point, God gives word to Zerubbabel that His work is done "not by might, and not by power, but by my Spirit says the Lord" (Zech. 4:6). Rebuilding always involves lots of what Bill Murray, in the movie "What about Bob?", called “baby steps.” Some of those steps seem insignificant. Then in Zechariah, we are urged “not to despise the day of small things” (Zech. 4:10).

In your own life, remember that God’s greatest work may happen in and through small events and “unimportant” means. We wait for something big to affect our lives. Rather, we must look for small ways that God opens our lives to His wonder and power.
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