Keys to the Kingdom
When my daughter and son were young enough to play outside without hands-on supervision, yet not old enough to be entirely trusted, they played within the boundary of our fenced-in yard. As they grew older and proved themselves to be trustworthy, they were allowed to leave our property and play down by the creek bank just west of our house. Mariam and Aaron learned about nature and mastered the art of catching crawdads by placing a cup behind them as they shifted into reverse when threatened. I could always depend on the kids to return home whenever I blasted my athletic whistle. Because of their maturity and obedience, they were continuously rewarded (blessed) with the fun of expanded freedom.
Our heavenly Father is kindly watching our steps of obedience and disobedience. He watched the steps of the Israelites as they wondered all over the wilderness for 40 years. As a test, He gave them simple instructions on how to collect the miracle manna. “Then the Lord said to Moses, ‘Look, I’m going to rain down food from heaven for you. Each day the people can go out and pick up as much food as they need for that day. I will test them in this to see whether or not they will follow My instructions‘” (Exodus 16:4 NLT). By their disobedient actions when collecting the manna, they proved they didn’t think God’s voice was important. They also proved that they weren’t trustworthy.
As believers, most of us are willing to do great things for God, but few are willing to do little things for Him. But God tests us in the little things first and if we flunk that simple test, we can’t be promoted to bigger things. “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities” (Luke 16:10 NLT).
Christ followers need to make the wise decision to start obeying God’s instructions in the little things. If we won’t obey the gentle voice of God and do little stuff, we can’t be promoted to bigger stuff because of our spiritual immaturity. We pray, “O Lord, what do You want me to do? I’ll do whatever You tell me to do,” thinking it will be something glorious in the limelight. Then when He gives us a small task and we ignore His voice because it’s not what we expected, or appears to be unimportant, we get to stay in spiritual kindergarten.
What are examples of little things? Picking up trash as you walk down the hall at work, not parking in the handicapped stall when you’re able-bodied, being kind to harried cashiers, reaching out to people the Lord has put on your heart, etc. Small acts of obedience are big in God’s eyes. “For I was hungry, and you fed Me. I was thirsty, and you gave Me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited Me into your home. I was naked, and you gave Me clothing. I was sick and you cared for Me. I was in prison, and you visited Me” (Matthew 25:35,36 NLT). If you haven’t heard God tell you to do something specific lately, He’s probably still waiting for you to do the last thing He told you to do. God will give you greater responsibilities once you follow His previous instructions.
The Key: Stay within the boundary of God’s authority so you can hear and obey His voice and be blessed.