Yes, I want to follow God where He leads. I long for Him to use me in big ways that impact His Kingdom. But I also admit to you I’ve missed many of His small things – today opportunities – because I was looking for some great thing, some long-term calling.
I missed the “right now small thing” while looking for “tomorrow’s big deal.”
God hit me with this truth about myself the other day as I read the story of Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch. You can read the story in Acts 8:26-40.
Philip didn’t miss the small things
Philip had just come off a “big thing.” When persecution first began in Jerusalem after the martyrdom of Stephen, Philip left Jerusalem and took the Gospel to Samaria. The people of Samaria heard and believed. “So there was much joy in that city” (Acts 8:8). God used Philip to transform a city. That’s big work indeed.
In my human thinking, I would expect God to then use Philip to transform a whole region or transform an entire country. But that’s not what God did. Nope. Instead, God told Philip to go out in the middle of nowhere, to a desert place, and talk to one guy.
Philip obeyed immediately. When he got there, an important official from Ethiopia was on that very road in his chariot. The Spirit prompted Philip to join him and Philip obeyed.
It just so happened that this man had been to Jerusalem to worship God and right then, in his chariot he was reading from Isaiah about the Messiah. Philip needed no other prompting. He knew just what to do. Using that very passage from Isaiah 53, Philip told the Ethiopian the Good News about Jesus. The man believed and was baptized.
The God-given task was complete. The Ethiopian went back to Ethiopia. God took Philip somewhere else. One small, right now thing. Philip was sensitive to the Spirit and obeyed immediately. A life was eternally changed.
God orchestrated a perfect opportunity. He had already prepared the Ethiopian’s heart to believe. The man simply needed a guide, someone to show him that Jesus was what he had been searching for. So God chose to use Philip. He led Philip to the right place at the right time. If Philip hadn’t obeyed right away he would have missed this opportunity to be used by God.
Every work matters. Every soul matters. Every act of obedience matters.
My pride often gets in the way of seeing God’s small thing
Philip didn’t miss the right now small thing. But I do. All. The. Time.
Especially after God has allowed me to be a part of something “big.” I’m sure it’s a pride thing. Look at this way God used me! Surely He has something even greater for me next! Oh, but wait… this isn’t about me at all. And I don’t have the power to do anything…
Philip’s example really challenges me. I want to be like him – sensitive to the Spirit’s leading and quick to obey. Even if it seems small, insignificant. Because I never know what God has orchestrated.
What about you? Are you sensitive to the Spirit’s leading? Even in the small things? When was the last time you followed God in a small thing? What did He do?!
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I admire those able lead. I have friends that are leaders. I used to hope and pray that God would use me for great things. I finally looked at my life and realized God had used me for great things all along. They just came in much smaller packages than I expected…a friend to a leader when things go wrong, lunch with a friend who’s having a bad day, an encouraging note, an unexpected smile to a stranger, support staff for an event. Thank you, God, for small packages. May you continue to use me in ways I cannot even see for your glory. I pray that each day someone would see Jesus in me….Amen
Amen! Thank you Jamie for sharing this. The apostle Paul could not do what God called him to without Barnabas and the other encouragers God brought into his life. God has obviously used you to support and encourage your friends. That work is vital! And who knows where God may use you next!