<<miscalculate, underrate>>

“Don’t despise the day of small beginnings…What a great fire is set on fire by a small spark” (Zech 4:10; Jas 3:5). The longest journey begins with the first step, and progress is made as more are consistently taken towards the desired goal.  Even though it may start small like an insignificant seed, faith will grow and achieve much if nurtured rightly (Lk 17:6). Do not under-rate the significance of each part contributing to the overall benefit of the whole, whether it is a machine, our body or the church (1 Cor 12:12-30). Ten of the 12 spies who explored Canaan underestimated what the nation could achieve under God’s direction (Num 13:28-33). In contrast David was confident in God’s ability, he was not intimidated by the size of the obstacle (1 Sam 17:34-47). Where is our focus centred – in our lack of ability or God’s powerfulness?

Some people underestimated Jesus, saying He was only the local carpenter’s son, yet He went around doing good and healing all those oppressed by the devil (Mt 13:54-57; Jn 1:46; Act 10:38). Timothy was told not to let people misjudge or intimidate him even though he was young, but instead to continue to set a good example, living a humble, God-honouring life, free of pride (1 Tim 4:12).

We must not underestimate or under-value the cost of our salvation or the resources made available to us by the cross (1 Pet 1:18,19).  Are you utilising those resources to bring about the extension of the Kingdom of God in your life and sphere of influence?

We need to be realistic in our thinking, neither rating ourselves too highly or lowly, rather understanding we are ‘vessels’ in whom the Holy Spirit lives and ‘channels’ He flows through to bless others (Zech 4:6; Rom 12:3; 1 Cor 6:19; 2 Cor 4:7). Humbly endeavour to be the cleanest and most useful instrument you can be for Him to work through.

Do not misjudge the power of love to transform people, or what God can do in and through your life by loving others through you. If we make ourselves available, He will provide the ability. Allow the calling and ministry He has given you to blossom, being diligent to walk humbly with Him to accomplish what He desires, for He can do a lot with a little if it is surrendered to Him – Jesus fed 5,000 people from a lad’s lunch (Jn 6:5-13). Eternity will be the richer for all you have sowed into the Kingdom, the sacrifices you make for the Lord, the input into the lives of others (including your children), the words of encouragement given and the tears shed in prayer. Conversely, the snubbing of another, the cutting words of criticism or mean action can also do irreparable damage.

Never under-estimate the deceit of our cunning enemy, for although he has been defeated he isn’t dead, so don’t give him a foothold as it will quickly escalate into a stronghold (2 Cor 10:4,5; Eph 4:27). He knows our weak areas where he can focus his attack on us. 

As Satan is ever watchful we need to constantly be on our guard and resist him, besides increasing our intimacy with Christ and protecting our vulnerable areas including how we react to the unexpected (Job 1:7; Jas 4:7,8; 1 Pet 5:8). The evil nature of wrong desires, ungodly attitudes and

It is important to make right choices even                                               in the little things

lust still resides within us. Although we are seemingly in control of the carnal nature it can spring into life through the stimulus of an insignificant comment or action by another, derailing us completely or even destroying our character in a moment if given the slightest chance (1 Cor 10:12).

God is with us, so we are a majority and more than conquerors (Rom 8:31,37). Act like it! The world needs to see more expressions of those attempting and accomplishing great things in the name of Jesus, not being concerned about their own comfort and dreams but rather motivated by the love and mandate of God to impact this world with the gospel (Mk 16:15-18; Rom 8:36; 2 Cor 8:9; Phil 3:7,12,13).  Do not disregard the power of a consistent life lived for Jesus, even if in obscurity, nor the progress over time made by steady, consistent, seemingly imperceptible movement. Likewise, don’t minimise the potential of minor misdeeds. A seemingly insignificant sin can, if left unchecked develop into a huge problem that wreaks havoc, just like the pain caused by a single grain of sand in your shoe. We must give account of all we do, and even giving or withholding a cup of cold water in the Lord’s name will not go unrecognised (Mk 9:41; Rom 14:12).

See also: assessment, potential, value.

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