One of the greatest lessons I’ve learned so far whilst in Nottingham is the beauty of transparent living. In Heart Church and amongst my group of friends, we can be who God designed us to be. There is no need to act pretentiously or to put on a show.
And if I’m being transparent and truly sharing my heart, I feel like I should also show the less flattering side of my writing life.
Writing devotionals is difficult. It is a spiritually tiring and an emotionally draining thing to do. The goal of a devotion is to draw people closer to God and His Word.
My heart for Dwelling Place is just that. I want people to have life-altering encounters with God. I don’t want to simply write something random and put it out there for people to see. I want you all to feel the mighty hand of God teaching you.
This isn’t something I just snap my fingers and it happens. There is prayer and preparation. There are lots of moments of frustration where I want to throw my hands up and my laptop out.
Some days I feel as though no one has been touched, as if there has been no encouragement found in the words at all. And it’s discouraging.
Sometimes I look at social media and realize that I’m just a small fish in a big pond. I’m just one person from small town, America. What can I do?
And if I’m being really, really honest, there are many days where I consider quitting. I don’t see firsthand the fruits of the labor and I wonder if it’s even worth it. Why be consistent when nothing comes of it?
I’m not sharing this to whine, complain, or have a pity party. Seriously. If you know me, you know the heart behind it. I’m just sharing the less glamorous side of things.
But in the midst of all this inner turmoil, I can heart the voice of God whisper in my ear morning after morning: Do not despise the day of small beginnings. . .
In Luke 16:10a, we see Jesus saying “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much;”
If you are anything like me, zeal can be your greatest ally and most formidable foe. (Prov. 19:2)
Why start small when we can serve God in big ways? We could be speaking to arenas full of people, publishing books, creating EP’s, etc.
Our natural tendency is to pursue and desire the bigger things, the things we think can reach more people and honor Him more.
In Zechariah 4, Zerubbabel is called to rebuild the Temple of God. Along the way, Zerubbabel is faced with some obstacles and discouragements.
6 Then he [the angel of the Lord] said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel saying, ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.
7 ‘What are you, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel you will become a plain; and he will bring forth the top stone with shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!”‘”
8 Also the word of the Lord came to me, saying
9 “The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, and his hands will finish it. Then you will know that the Lord of hosts has sent me to You.
10a For who has despised the day of small things?
You see, people were comparing the Temple to Solomon’s grand building. They had this image in their mind of what God’s house was supposed to look like. Solomon’s elaborate gesture had become the standard of expectation.
The angel of the Lord came to encourage Zerubbabel to continue his work because the Lord’s hand was upon Him. Though his work wasn’t like Solomon’s, Zerubbabel was still honoring God in a mighty way.
The Lord has continued to remind me that He is honored by the willingness to build a foundation. He is honored through our consistency in the face of opposition. He is honored by our seeking after Him wholeheartedly.
Unlike us, He doesn’t compare our work to the work of another believer. He sees our small beginnings, the humble efforts of our hands, as a worship offering unto Him.
If I can encourage you in any one thing today it would be to embrace these days of simplicity. Yes, things can be frustrating and your flesh may want to give in, but God is using these moments to humble and grow us in His way.