Desired and Required

October 25, 2009

There is an unmistakable correlation between the miracles God accomplished throughout the Bible and the unusual and sometimes seemingly unnecessary or even banal commands he gives to his servants.  Over and over he asked his servants for obedience in little things, as a prelude to some big thing he is going to do.

Obedience is desired and required. 

Miracles occur, when they occur,  on the other side of obedience. 

Abraham had to leave his familiar surrounds (little thing) to become father of a nation(big thing).  Moses had to stretch out his hands over the Red Sea (little thing) to save a nation (big thing).  Bartimaeus had to throw his cloak aside (little thing) in order to receive his sight (big thing).  Peter had to cast his net on the other side of the boat (little thing) to become the first leader of the whole Church.  

Sometimes little things look like big things, but they’re not in light of the really big thing God wants to do: Noah had to build the Ark (looks like a big thing) to save his family and humanity from the flood (real big thing).  David had to go out and fight Goliath (looks like a big thing) to become the greatest king in the history of Israel (really big thing).  Paul had to stop persecuting Christians (looks like a big thing) in order to bring the Gospel to the gentiles (real big thing).

Either way, obedience is desired and required.  

Where is God calling you to obedience in some “little thing” or some “little thing that looks like a big thing?”  I was trying to think of that in the context of our Church and the planning we are currently involved in.  

I think that there are probably a lot of little things we hold on to because we like them, but God is calling us to bigger things. We had a successful high school program on Sunday nights for several years.  Just having a high school program kind of set us apart from many churches, much less a successful one.  And we got a lot of good publicity for that program. Why touch it, right?  This fall, Chris, our Student Director, moved the program to Thursday nights, because we believe it will work even better on that night. I will have to get back to you on how that works out…but could be a little thing for a bigger thing.

An example of a “little thing that looks like a big thing” would be our Advent Giving Program. In fairness, the Program was big, it was huge, if you ever saw our annual Display of Giving, you know I’m not exaggerating. But this year we’re not collecting toys and gifts, instead we’re working on water, clean sustainable sources of water for two communities in Nigeria. Maybe you could call that a big thing for a great big thing.  

In the coming year, we are going to get way out of our comfort zone and into our community, with a program of evangelization in Lent and Easter…that’s a little thing for a big thing. And we know there are some important decisions ahead about direction for the future, that are going to require effort and sacrifice.  We need to rely more on God and pray for his direction and courage to be obedient.  Obedience is desired and required.

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