Thursday, July 9, 2015

The power of the insignificatly great.....

When the sorcerers of Egypt couldn't duplicate the power of the plague they said to Pharaoh, "This is the finger of God." (Ex. 8:19)  Almost every translation uses the word 'finger,' meaning it was quite specific.  Now I wouldn't call a huge swarm of gnats a minor sign, it's the impossible made possible, but I love the picture here of the use of something that sounds small, God's 'finger'.

A plague of gnats with his finger.  Creation with His voice.  Think about the possibilities of what God can then do with His whole Being.....

It seems, however, that God often chooses to work through subtle, small things like words, choices and minor steps of faith and obedience.  And that's how great things begin.

Growth begins subtle and small:

"Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."
~Romans 12:2

Being 'conformed' to this world' doesn't have to start big.  It simply requires a focus on it, a leaning into it----like a pillow leaving marks on your face.  It doesn't require active action, passive will do.  It's a consistent choice in the small stuff, a nod to the life of the road most traveled, taking the easy way out.

Transformation to become more like Christ also isn't necessarily strongly active in application, except for our focus. Transformation can happen just by consistently leaning away from the world and towards the Father---and in the quiet space left, God renews.

So many voices shout and cloud our minds making His will hard to discern.  But when the mind is renewed the other voices become silent and we can hear His 'still, small voice' speak---and that is no small thing.

I read the other day some similes told by Jesus that illustrate the power of transformation kind of stuck in between parables, so simple that it's easy to just breeze on by:

"He said therefore, "What is the kingdom of God like?  And to what shall I compare it?  It is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his garden, and it grew and became a tree, and the birds of the air made nests in its branches." 

And again he said, "To what shall I compare the kingdom of God?  It is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, until it was all leavened." "
~Luke 13:18-21

The small, hidden, private things can become great in the Kingdom despite seeming insignificance or outside appearances.  Seeds WILL grow.  Yeast WILL permeate the surrounding dough.  Things 'of the kingdom' will impact and infiltrate and multiply the seemingly insignificant things that surround it.  Part of transformation is planting that simple seed, adding the yeast of His Word, allowing His Presence to be planted in our hearts to grow.

My cat adores me.  Not because of any great achievement of mine, I'm sure, but because I'm the hand that feeds her.  Right now she's sitting on a railing about a meter away whirring and purring for no other reason than because she's near me.  When it's her idea (cat owners will understand!) to sit on my lap she expects not only to curl up there, but she wants my hand to rest on her as well, hemming her in secure, protected, and comforted.

"You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me."
~Psalm 139:5

Our 'master,' our Source is holding us each moment as well.  Like a cat we may or may not choose to acknowledge Him----but He's there all the same.  Hemming us in, leaving the loving imprint of His hand (or even His finger!).  Transforming, renewing, planting seeds, adding yeast.  So lean right on in.

Feel like nothing's happening in your world?  Seeds are growing.
Think you have nothing to give?  Yeast is quietly rising.
Disappointed in yourself right now? The imprint of the Maker is transforming---just give it time.

Frustrated with someone in your life?  Give them time as well.  You have no idea what's been planted and what seemingly average material in their lives may be destined to gloriously rise.  Love them where they are NOW and give quiet transformation a chance.

Small, insignificant things grow with purpose to become great. "Do not despise these small beginnings...," (Zechariah 4:10) in our own lives----OR in the lives of others.

More photos by Anita van der Mespel because they're so amazing! 

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