There’s an old saying: “God always throws the little pebbles before He drops the boulder.” In other words, God always gives us little warnings and signs about things before the big event happens. Even though the big event may be what people always pay attention to, God sends us many signals, signs, and messages over time that are for our attention and awareness. If we pay attention to these little things, maybe we can divert the big event that is to come, or, at the very least, be warned of its arrival. I do believe in this precept. If I look back at bigger things in my life, I can now, in hindsight, see the pebbles, stones, and other “little things” that were there warning me way before the boulder arrived. God wants us to realize that little things do matter. Even though “big” may be far more preoccupying and fascinating than “little,” it is the “little things” that often trip us up or get us off track. In that same vain, it is “little things” that demand we pay attention.
God has been teaching me about this precept of late, but in a different way – I would, however, still count the issues as “little pebbles.” Since November, little things here and there will come to mind. Maybe I’ll have a flashing, fleeting thought. Maybe I’ll say something and just not know where it came from. Maybe I’ll know something and it will be dead on, 100% accurate. Because these were “little things,” I didn’t give much attention to them. I figured, “Nah, it’s just you.” I didn’t forget them, obviously, but I didn’t regard them the way I should have. I am honest enough to say that it didn’t cross my mind the fleeting thoughts and words were God, or prophetic. My first response to all of them was, “Why in the world would God give me foreknowledge about this?” Some of the things didn’t seem that important or relevant, at least not in the course of most people’s lives. Why would God make sure all these “little things” were revealed…and of all people, why to me? God knows I am not a gossip, nor do I like to run around with people’s stories.
The more appropriate response is, “Why wouldn’t God let me know about this?” The Word tells us, “Whatever the Lord God plans to do, He tells His servants, the prophets.” (Amos 3:7, CEV) In some translations, they translate the passage to indicate God tells His prophets “His secrets.” The Bible doesn’t just give us the impression that He only tells people important and big things, but God is revealing things to those He has appointed for His service that are ordinary, everyday, and purposed. He doesn’t necessarily let us know everything so we can go and proclaim it to everyone else, but so we can pray, we can prepare, and if possible, we can warn.
God is reminding me in and out that the little things matter, and God does not just reveal to us about the big things, but about the small things, too. It’s easy to want to chase after God, looking for a big revelation in our lives, but if we think about the way many prophetic words came about in the Bible, they tended to pay attention to the deep, small details of individuals, things other people wouldn’t have easily known about. It’s easy – and not particularly prophetic – to walk in a room and “speak” big things over people – you’re believing God for a financial breakthrough (isn’t everybody?), you’re believing God for someone close to you to be saved (once again, aren’t most people?) or “God’s going to provide for your every need” (that’s a part of what God does). It takes far more to be in-tune enough with the Spirit to hear what God is saying to someone in the little details – the things and details that people tend to think are so small, they don’t even consider them worthwhile to speak themselves.
So many Bible verses attend to “little things” (All verses from the New Living Translation) – “I tell you, My Father in heaven does not want one of these little children to be lost.” (Matthew 18:14) “Out of them came a little horn which grew in power toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land.” (Daniel 8:9) “Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are too little to be among the family groups of Judah. But from you One will come who will rule for Me in Israel. His coming was planned long ago, from the beginning.” (Micah 5:2) “God clothes the grass of the field. It lives today and is burned in the stove tomorrow. How much more will He give you clothes? You have so little faith!” (Matthew 6:30) “For sure, I tell you, anyone who gives a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he follows Me, will not lose his reward.” (Matthew 10:42) “Because you have so little faith. For sure, I tell you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to over there,’ and it would move over. You will be able to do anything.” (Matthew 17:20) “It only takes a little yeast to make the whole loaf of bread rise.” (Galatians 5:9) “Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that are destroying our grape-fields, for the flowers are on the vines.” (Song of Solomon 2:15). Just on these few examples alone, we, as Christians, need to be very aware of the “little things” in our lives, both good and bad – because they make all the difference.
The church today is preoccupied with empire building. It’s not enough to just be grateful for having a great congregation, great people we cover, and satisfied with the blessings God has given to us right now. In the pursuit of the chase, in pursuit of this never-ending void, looking and longing for more, believers today want an empire without realizing that before you have an empire, you must first govern a city well. Before you can govern a city, you must first govern yourself and those immediately around you. The vast number of empires all around us, built on sand, sinking, closing, and demolishing day in and day out needs to make us stop and seek God in smaller things. The devil promised Jesus that he would give Him everything if He would only bow down and worship. If the devil tried this with Jesus (from Whom all things were created, so, therefore, they were already His), imagine what he tries to do with us! Therefore: the devil knows how to tempt people and he always rides in, tempting through “big” and “better” when it is completely and totally out of season. Instead of lusting (yes, I said it), desiring, and yearning for things other people have…pay attention to the small things. Be aware of how God speaks to you in “little pebbles,” and learn to listen to Him so you can see why you are receiving those “little revelations.” Pay attention to how you treat others, your leaders, and those around you. Make it a point to have a strong, daily faith that is not easily shaken, nor corrupted. Most of all…listen to those little things. See what God is calling you to do, to change, and to be more aware of so you can fully embrace and appreciate whatever season you are currently in, and whichever one is next, waiting on the horizon, for you.
(c) 2014 Lee Ann B. Marino. All rights reserved.
Our lives are made
In these small hours
These little wonders
These twists and turns of fate
Time falls away,
But these small hours
These small hours
– Rob Thomas, “Little Wonders”