Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin… Zechariah 4:10a
Christine Caine in her book Run to Win, uses this above verse when talking about how marathon runners lay a foundation for their long distance running. Her point is you don’t start running 26.2 miles when you first decide to become a marathon runner. You have to first do the work to build up to the long run. Over the last year, I suffered an injury and I have had to basically start all over again. This last week I finally have reached the base run I had done over the last three years, but it took time. In my previous blog, I talked about not moving ahead of God because sometimes our arrogance can get the best of us. In her book, Christine talks about how she had to start out teaching in small venues to show her faithfulness to God and her dream to have a global ministry. God gave her the favor as she developed the groundwork and now her ministry is global and touches thousands of people. Let’s discuss some practical ideas we can do to start small in preparation for the larger capacity God will put in our lives as long as we are faithful to His dream He puts in our hearts.
The first quality we need to have an awesome attitude. As the above verse states, don’t despise the small beginning. We want instant results this day and age, most people want the “holy weight loss” pill that will help them lose the weight without the work. Many have undergone gastric bypass and lap band surgery to help them lose weight. These surgeries are quick ways to lose weight, but can have bad side effects on your body. God made our bodies a certain way and to change something in them for just weight loss can have dire consequences. Even the weight loss programs that make your own food for you are not a great idea, because when you achieve your goal what have you really learned. I accepted the attitude that I had to do the work to make something happen, so with that in mind I found the determination to keep moving forward toward the goal. We do the same in our godly goals.
Being teachable is another quality that we can employ in our godly goal pursuit. I learned the proper weight loss methods of exercise and proper eating to get to the fat burning stage. Having a teachable spirit keeps our minds open to new directions God may send us. Sometimes the “perfect” will we see is nothing more than our personality getting in the way of what God’s perfect will is for our lives. Small beginnings in our ministry, get larger as we are faithful to them.
Faithfulness is the quality that keeps us moving forward. As we see the dream or goal God has for us we have to be faithful to it. Sometimes the goal starts out so low that we have to do things we think are beneath us. Walking around being 449 pounds with a 20-pound oxygen tank strapped to my back was not a desirable position for my pride or ego. I was faithful to the goal and did not let the “foolish” way I looked get in the way. Then as the weight started coming off, the amazing thing was that people were so supportive of my efforts when they saw my progress. Serving faithfully sometimes takes time, but when we are in the low position we learn a lot about ourselves which helps us with a larger capacity when the time comes.
This brings us to our next quality and that is humility. I have heard someone once say that humility is strength under control. I think that humility is not allowing your circumstances or people dictate how you feel. Knowing who you are goes a long way to knowing who people think you are. Humility allows you to allow God to give you the strength you need to be faithful to the cause.
The last quality is the one that binds all the other qualities together and that is being a life-giver. When you love God, love yourself and love others this makes you a life-giver. Life-givers have an awesome attitude for life, they are teachable, they are faithful to God and their relationships, and they are humble. Unconditional love is the strength that they always show. These qualities lay a firm foundation to find the endurance you need to get to the godly goal that you have dreamt about and have in your heart. If you start with being a life-giver, you start transforming your life in the most effective and impactful way. God is the ultimate life-giver and He will bless your effort.
© [David Howard], [David’s Body Temple], 2011-2015.