Divine Direction: Faith To Start
The Bible is replete with stories of God doing amazing things through some pretty unamazing people. He chose an 80-year-old shepherd and made him into a Moses. He picked out a timid teenager and made a Jeremiah. All these people weren’t “right” for the job, yet when God called to them, “follow me,” they did. Sure they were scared, and a few even questioned the logic of God’s appeals. But despite feeling intimidated, they all decided to trust in the Lord to accomplish what could not be done by themselves. Their claim to fame, along with ours, is the same: they made themselves available to God, trusting that as they stepped out in faith, just that first step, God would do the rest for them.
Bottom Line: You don’t have to have the faith to finish, you have to have the faith to start.
Something To Talk About:
Remember this general rule of greatness: If you want to do something great, chances are you are going to have to get good at doing the small jobs first. Start small, and watch God step in.
- Start small: It is fine to think big, but it’s problematic to start big. It is better to start small. Everything has a beginning. Every person, every idea, every journey starts somewhere. So does yours. Dream big…pray big…see the future vision. But today…start small. Start with what you can do today. So many believers want their lives to count, but they are impatient with the slow pace at which spirituality grows. Many of us struggle to embrace the faithfulness required to show up day after day after day. But when we are doing the small things, when we are stepping out for God, those small, seemingly inconsequential actions can lead to tremendous and lasting results. It all starts with taking the step of faith involved in saying “yes” when God calls you to follow Him. Stepping out can be scary, but you will never accomplish your big dream and goals unless to do take those first small steps.
- You take the next step: We have learned from the Scriptures that God has a plan for our lives, that it includes every detail of daily living. The problems is all the details and wanting to know the big picture; a big picture that includes big things. The problem with the big picture and being focused on big things is that we are likely to overlook the next small detail of direction that God is trying to give us. The first basic principle of divine direction is this: God leads us one step at a time. Psalm 37:23 tells us, “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” It is no accident that He used the word steps. While God has the whole journey mapped out ahead of time, He conceives of that journey as a successive series of small steps, and that is the way He makes it known to us. Some steps are giant strides. One decision can commit us to a certain course for years to come, possibly for a lifetime. But however big it may be, it is still one single step. And it will be followed by many other single steps as we walk in a divine direction day by day. If we run ahead of the light to see what lies beyond the next step, we shall find ourselves in the dark again. Wherever you are at this moment in your Christian experience, God is ready to show you the next step in His plan for your life.
- What’s your last decision you can remember, big or small? How did you make it? Was God part of the process? What happened?
- Proverbs 20: 24 says, “The LORD directs our steps, so why try to understand everything along the way?” What does that verse mean to you?
- It is easy to start something, but it is much more difficult to finish it? Agree or disagree and why? Are you more of a starter or a finisher? What makes you say that?
- God creates, provides for, and directs every one of our paths. The only way to walk God’s path is to walk it with Him. Discuss how you might know if the path you are walking is led by God or led by you. What do you need to do to know it is God directing you, and not yourself?
- In what area of life are you most tempted to settle for mediocrity when God is asking you to kick it up a notch and experience more of what He has planned for you?
- Read Zechariah 4:10. Do you think of God as one who rejoices over small beginnings? How does this affect your decisions?
- What can we do this week to put this teaching to practical use?
Take one Thing Home With You:
We often see a big God in the small stuff. And big accomplishments often start with one small step. Nothing we do for God is insignificant. When we have this as our mindset, then we won’t get big-headed if God allows us to do something big and we won’t get discouraged if we feel stuck in the small things. The goal is obedience to God, effectiveness in whatever He gives us to do.
So whether we are called to live life on a big stage or behind the scenes, we cannot forget the words of Jesus in Matthew 23: 11-12, who modeled this mindset for us: “The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”