A pearl of great value is started by a worthless grain of sand
your roots (1 Sam 15:17). The temptation is to get proud when God works through us, thinking by our own power and ability we have achieved the victory, when in fact it is all His doing; we are only the channel through which He works, and His glory He will not share with us (Deut 8:17,18; Jdg 7:2; Ps 60:12; Isa 42:8, 48:11; Zech 4:6; Act 12:23). Be reliant and dependent upon Him recognising that of ourselves we can’t do anything of lasting spiritual value without Him (Jn 5:30).
It was only one small stone, directed by the God-honouring, youthful David, that downed the armour-clad giant Goliath and turned the tables between the Israelites and Philistines (1 Sam 17:45-52). Gideon said, “My clan is the weakest, my family the least” yet God displayed His power through this humble vessel in an outstanding way (Jdg 6:15, 7:7,22, 8:10). A mustard tree grows from a tiny seed so don’t despise the day of small beginnings (Zech 4:10; Mt 13:31,32). A rudder and the human tongue are small and almost insignificant yet each has a powerful influence (Jas 3:3-6).
Similarly, don’t disregard or treat as of no consequence any sin in your life – it can rapidly grow and get out of control, so deal decisively with it recognizing how a small amount of yeast has a powerful effect on a huge amount of dough (Mt 13:33; 1 Cor 5:6; Gal 5:9).
A long journey is made up of numerous seemingly insignificant steps – it is the cumulative effect that brings about the result of completing the journey. As each member of a local church does their part, faithfully fulfilling their calling, using their initiative to make their mark for God, there will be a valid witness into the community (Eph 4:16). Sometimes there is a temptation to think because my role is small no one will notice if I don’t carry it out, however this only puts a bigger burden on others. Contribute in a positive way to life.
Little becomes much in God’s hands
Do we see the potential in the ordinary? The shepherd rod of Moses was only a piece of wood until touched by God’s power (Ex 4:2-5). Allow God to demonstrate His grace through you; place yourself at His feet. Don’t make excuses why He can’t use you, rather in humility say like Mary, “I am the Lord’s servant, let it be as you have said” (Lk 1:38). Be available and He will give the ability. God delights to use what society overlooks. Mary was young, female and poor – none of these factors were to her advantage in the natural realm in her day, yet she was the instrument God used to bring our Saviour into the world. Jesus said if we fail to show kindness to the least or unimportant people, in effect we fail to do it to Him (Mt 25:45).
Paul said, “Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me to preach…the unsearchable riches of Christ” (Eph 3:8). He humbly acknowledged of himself he was not worthy to be a recipient of God’s mercy, yet grateful he had and so devoted himself to the Lord’s service. We must maintain this attitude too, regardless of how the Lord works through us (Col 1:29). We are insignificant; He is mighty. Our prayers might seem insignificant, yet when voiced in faith to a powerful God, along with our corresponding actions will accomplish much.
See also: available, growth, humility, inferior, influence, potential, pride, self-esteem, significance, trivial, value.