Pop Quiz: The Test of the Small Things
BY: Pastor Justin Werven (BEULAH CAMPUS), PASTOR MARC EIDAHL (BISMARCK CAMPUS), PASTOR JOSH HEILBRUN (JAmeSTOWN CAMPUS)
To listen to the corresponding messages click on the campus linked:
- Beulah Campus: Pastor Justin Werven
- Bismarck Campus: Pastor Marc Eidahl
- Jamestown Campus: Pastor Josh Heilbrun
In our culture today, there’s much to be said about doing everything we can to get ahead and make a name for ourselves. Jesus had a very different attitude about how he viewed Himself. Jesus was God, but he didn’t claim any special privileges while he was on earth. Jesus served people.
If we are to live our lives like Christ, we need to adjust our attitudes and our perspective on what matters and who is really important.
The "Test of the Small Things" comes when we are asked to do something beneath our potential and talent. It proves how faithful we are to commitments and whether we are ready for greater opportunity.
We all like to be first (or at least close to it!). When we do well at something, we like recognition. We like to be told we did a good job. Sometimes we look at accomplishments of others, but don’t know the process - the steps it took them to get there. It's easy to despise the process and the small beginnings.
There is a process involved in every plan of God. It’s the test of small things.
In Luke 16 (verses 1-14) , Jesus is sharing a parable of an unjust steward. In this parable, there's a steward who gets caught not doing well with his master's belongings. The master calls the steward on his poor stewardship, and now the steward is going to owe the master. So the steward gets some people to pay their bills and does some shenanigans to get the money to pay his master. It's really dishonest. But I want to point out verse 10:
"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much," Luke 16:10 (NIV).
God is looking for faithfulness from your life. He wants you to be faithful with the opportunities that are in front of you. Jesus is saying here that you should make the most of every opportunity in front of you- even if the opportunity in front of you looks small.
A lot of times we like to overlook the small things because we feel that we qualify for greater things, better things. And then we become prideful in the sense that we don't want to do the small things.
Get ready for a small things test in your life. God will put many opportunities in front of you to do the small things. I can tell you how you'll know it's a test- you won't want to do it! You know you're supposed to, but you don't want to- you'll begin to argue with yourself and you'll hear the Holy Spirit whispering to do it, because He wants you to do the small thing.
There are things that we should be doing every day to maximize our potential. One of the "Small Things" we should practice every day is being people of God's Presence. If we aren't about God's Presence, we're doing people a disservice. We can practice God's presence by shutting off our minds, shutting our mouths, shutting of YouTube, inviting the Holy Spirit to speak, and then waiting on Him. We need to practice God's Presence so we can be aware of those little things- those times when He prompts us.
We see a great example of this in the Old Testament in Joshua. Joshua was Moses' successor. In Exodus 33:11 (NIV), it says:
"The Lord would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then Moses would return to the camp, but his young aide Joshua son of Nun did not leave the tent."
We have to become people of God's presence. Joshua didn't leave the tent. He resided in God's presence longer, and God passed on the mantle of leadership from Moses to Joshua. If you want to see promotion, you have to become a person of God's presence.
Sometimes we get a word from God on our future- maybe it was prophetically spoken by someone, maybe it was a dream or a promise from the Bible. We say, “Yes! That’s for me," and we hold onto it.
In Genesis 37, we read the story of Joseph. He had a two dreams of promotion that he shared with his siblings and they hated him for it. In fact, they despised him and eventually sold him into slavery. Joseph received a picture of his future. He was so excited that he tells his entire family and it did not go over well with is older siblings. And Joseph in his immaturity, upset his brothers. However, skipping ahead to the end of the story, Joseph eventually becomes the second in command of Egypt and saves his family from famine.
It was roughly 22 years from dream to fulfillment.
What if Joesph had given up in the small steps? Our tendency is to hurry the dream. To make it happen. To skip the steps and the small things, but it’s the small things and the steps that prepare us for dream fulfillment. A dream realized before it’s time becomes a nightmare. What if the small things position and prepare you for the bigger things? Don’t despise the day of small beginnings.
This is a message of action. Maybe God has given you something small to do that you haven't done yet. Ask God for forgiveness and then ask the Holy Spirit to help you. The "Test of Small Things" is lived out in every day life. If I want to be successful in finances, I have to do my budget. My Small Thing today is creating a budget so that in the future I can be free to give more and do things that I can't do today. Whatever your "Small Thing" is, it's time to do it!
What are you in charge of? What opportunity is in front of you? There are some of you who have a calling from the Lord, but you're not operating in the level that you want to operating in. Let me say this to you: you have everything you need today to fulfill your calling tomorrow. Your obedience today puts what's needed in your hand to be ready for what God wants to do tomorrow. Many times people are ill-equipped when God says "go" because they've despised the day of small beginnings. Take a serious look on the inside and take advantage of the opportunities in front of you.