Chapter 4 – The Little Things
You remember that song by Bush from back in the 90s? Probably not, cause you were good little Christians who didn’t listen to “secular” music. Me, as I said was a pastors kid, so I listened to lots of “devil” music.
The main line was “it’s the little things that kill.”
That is not a false statement. But I have one for you that is just as true. The little things bring life if you are willing to have an eye out for them. The little things can unlock things in your heart and turn things around.
I am finding this to be massively true in these days in my life. Which is actually counterintuitive to how I tend to live my life. And I think lots of people live the way I tended to.
(Hold on for a sec… This is going to seem like a different point I am making for a minute. But I promise it is the same. Just kind of the round about way. Hehehe.)
My normal bend in life has been to see something big and give up. I decide that the task is to large and I live defeated before I make any attempt at it. I think in large chunks and not the little steps it might take to get there. Let me give you a for instance. It’s a little embarrassing.
I’m not a small dude. Well at least as I currently write this. I hope to be a smaller man in the not to distant future. But anyway, I’ve never been little. Words like “big boned”, “husky” and “large and in charge” have been regularly used to describe me. I damn Bugle Boy jeans for using the word husky as a size term when I was a kid. (I know I just dated myself.) At the end of the day, I am fat. Let’s just be straight about it.
Well I have a goal. My goal is to lose 100lbs. That’s a lot of weight. In fact, it’s a daunting amount of weight to lose. How could I ever accomplish that?
So I’ve spent quite some time avoiding the entire thing. Or I will start and give up cause I don’t see anything happening. In short, I’m afraid that if I start and nothing changes, I will just be a failure and disappointment and feel even worse about myself. I selfishly desire instant results. So I miss little changes.
On a deeper level, when I have struggled with heavy things in my personal life, I have dealt with them in large swings. Big sine wave style lows and highs.
A while back I was dealing with some of those heavy things in my life. Things that mattered to my identity. Even more they mattered to my identity in Jesus. The first week after I learned of all these voices that I was agreeing with, I ignored the entire thing. I did absolutely nothing. I didn’t do any of the things that some of my leaders suggested I do. It was too much. It was too big. It was more than I could handle.
“Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.” – Robert Brault
Well after that first week, I had a great conversation with my keys player as we were returning home after church one morning. I was the worship leader at my churches campus that was about 45 minutes from home so we had some time. He had struggled with some of the same voices several years before. He told me something that changed my outlook. He gave me a simple prayer.
So I started the next couple days with it. “Jesus, I don’t believe what you’re saying, but I want to and I am open to being convinced.” It was easy. I could do that. So I did.
That led to starting other small things. I found a few short devotionals on the you version bible app that I started reading about hearing the voice of God. Every day, I was taking small steps.
In my stupidity and my bend towards only seeing the big picture, I missed the transformation that was happening. Until it was revealed to me in a flash one night. Jesus had been changing my heart. And continues to. There was all of a sudden joy spilling into my life where there was nothing but frustration. My time with my baby girl and my wife looked different. My circumstances looked different. It was actually in that night of realization that Jesus told me to write this book.
See here is what happened. Even though baby steps are seemingly not that effective, they were steps towards Jesus. Steps towards his cross. And at the foot of his cross is where he could start burying and casting out the voices that the enemy had started speaking into me and I had chosen to agree with.
Yes the little things can kill. It was small whispers that built and built that led me to where I was. Small whispers I ignored that grew to a roar and were on the verge of taking me out.
But it was small steps towards Him that drew me back in. I didn’t have to take huge bounding leaps to experience freedom. Small things. Small steps. Small yeses sparked a large, lasting heart transformation.
All that leads to the point for my life and hopefully yours. Keep your eyes open to the little things. Listen for the small whispers of the Holy Spirit. It’s in the small whispers where Jesus speaks. Do some small things this week that draw you to Him. It’s crazy how scripture can speak to our lives. It’s not like I was spending 3 hours in reading all of the book of Revelations. That’s not the only way to hear from God.
In fact, I have always grumbled about studying His word. I thought I had to pull out a huge King James bible and take tons of “quiet” time. Therefore I avoided it. Instead, I was taking 15 minutes of my day in the morning to spend with him. Maybe you want to start with 5 minutes. Find some scripture, pray to hear His voice and thank Him for another day to experience Him.
I quickly started to feel a difference in my day to day. On the days that I start my day with my 15 minutes and the days that I don’t. I end up doing much more “work” on the days that I miss that time. Much more striving and way too much unneeded thinking. The days that I take that time in the morning, I am much more free those days. And I start seeing little gifts throughout my day. I see my circumstances differently.
Keep your eyes open. Be aware. Do the self leadership that it requires to seek after God. I promise that if you do small things and take small steps that the little things bringing life will be far more true.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 MSG)
We just have to walk with Him. It’s far simpler than we often try to make it. But the truth is that we just have to get away with Him.
The enemy will find any little crack in the armor and try to throw you off. From that moment I gave my life to Christ on September 29, 2007 I was secured with Jesus. My sins were erased past present and future. I was assured of heaven and the enemy no longer had my eternal soul. But that just means he hates me even more. He can’t keep me from heaven but he can manipulate me to not live my life out to the fullest and keep me from choosing the plans Jesus has for me.
He’ll take any window and is a master manipulator. But my Jesus is even bigger than that and knows me even better. He knows how to draw me in if I will just listen and silence the voices of the accuser and listen to the voice of my savior.
What are some little things that you can start today that will help you get back to Him?
See you next week!