I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve opened up social media this year and been met with yet another tragic headline: sickness, violence, fires, hurricanes, political upheaval, death, and sorrows of every kind. There’s a longing in my heart to see these wrongs be righted and to somehow be used by God to contribute to that cause. But what could I possibly do? I’ve wondered. As a wife and mom of four little kiddos, I can’t just up and leave. And even if I could, what good would it do?
In those moments as I’ve taken these burdens to the Lord, He has reminded me of this: Be faithful with what I’ve given you to do today.
Faithfulness in the Little Things
It’s all-too-easy to underestimate the small, daily acts of obedience we are called to. In the moment, these don’t feel important: making another meal, planning another lesson, sweeping the floor, instructing a child, speaking life-giving words to a spouse, praying with a friend, or a thousand other activities we do on any given day. However, God calls us to view these moments from His perspective rather than from ours. No act of faithfulness―large or “small”—is ever wasted in God’s Kingdom. What seems insignificant to us may be the very thing He wants to use to point many back to Himself.
We see this all throughout Scripture. Do you think the widow who gave her last two coins to God would have dreamed her obedience would be used as an example for millions of people (Mark 12:42–43). Do you think David would have dreamed that the humble work of caring for his sheep would ready him to slay a giant and one day be king of Israel (1 Sam. 16)?
Think of other examples throughout history of those we would call “heroes of the faith”: people like Amy Carmichael or Hudson Taylor or Elisabeth Elliot who are known for their great devotion to God. We hear the accounts of their most significant sacrifices and endeavors, but we can be sure they, too, had a thousand moments of “small” faithfulness that were witnessed by very few (though we occasionally catch glimpses through their biographies). We simply don’t know how God might want to use everyday, hidden moments of faithfulness to impact this world for His glory.
Obedience in the Moment
How do we stay focused on obeying God right where He has us?
1. We fill our minds with Truth.
How can we gain God’s perspective for our lives? By searching it out in the pages of Scripture. If we are to understand anything about ourselves, we must first know who revealed Himself to be. And the more clearly we see God, the more clearly we will see how we are to live in light of who He is.
God’s Word offers plenty of encouragement to stay faithful in the “little” things:
- “She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness”(Prov. 31:27).
- “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all those who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way” (1 Tim. 2:1–2).
- “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Cor. 10:31).
2. Pray for God’s perspective.
We can easily become distracted and confused by this world’s definition of what is important, and it can cause us to question what God says. So, along with filling our minds with truth, we need to ask the Lord to continually give us grace to walk according to what He says is important.
Pray for wisdom and integrity in your job. Pray for selflessness and humility in loving your spouse. Pray for patience and perseverance in training your children. Pray for joy and contentment in caring for your home. Pray for a heart of service toward your church family. And thank Him for every moment you have to live for His glory, whether or not anyone else sees.
3. Be eternally-minded.
I’ve discovered that there are generally two kinds of people: those who are long-term thinkers and those who are short-term thinkers. The long-term thinkers are visionary, which can cause them to miss out on the small tasks God has for them today. The short-term thinkers love their routines and rhythms; they often become too caught up in today to see what God might have for them next. But both kinds of people (or whatever mix of the two there may be) need to learn to be eternally-minded. We need to be ready for whatever God is asking of us, big or small. We need to be willing to accomplish another day of mundane tasks when we would rather be out doing big things. And we need to be ready to do something extreme even if our knees are shaking beneath us.
God equips us by His grace for whatever He calls us to. He asks us to be faithful in little things and in big things. One is not more significant than the other: they go hand-in-hand. All that is important is that we are ready to obey in faith no matter what He puts before us.
He Will Use It All
No matter what God is asking of you today, remember: it’s all for Him. Make that meal for Him. Write that email for Him. Sweep up those crumbs for Him. Go proclaim Truth to thousands for Him. We may not see the full outcome of our obedience in our lifetime, but we can be sure that God can and will use it to further His kingdom in this world.