As I am reading Rees Howell Intercessor I am realizing an interesting fact about my life. This fact is based on the idea that it is from a place of humble obedience that the power of God is able to flow for intercession, but in my estimation for everything else as well.
In Rees Howell’s life God built up his obedience in small things in order that when he was called to do big things he would have the grace and position with God to accomplish it. This makes sense.
I am beginning to realize that in my life I have done the opposite. I have obeyed and had faith for God to move in many large and public ways, but often failed in private obedience. I have stepped out in faith and put my family and financial future on the line. In doing so I was admired my some as having a bold faith that they didn’t feel they could ever have. But all the time that I was doing this I was struggling in my own personal discipline of following the Lord, reading scripture and pursuing prayer. How truly backward!
What I now understand is that all of those bold steps of faith (even the ones that God blessed) could not have the full effectiveness possible because they were not undergirded by a humble following of the Spirit in the small things.
Obedience to God in the smaller areas of life are spiritual victories. The smallest thing, like choosing to read scripture rather than watch TV is a genuine victory in the Kingdom and to be celebrated. It is these small victories that pave the way to the greater victories. The scripture teaches that if we are faithful in the small things that God will give more, and this is true. As we are faithful in following Him personally and in connecting with His Body locally as the scriptures command, then we will be allowed and enabled to be faithful in greater things and mighty works of God.
Too often Christians live like I have lived, jumping off the cliff without first putting on the parachute and training to know how to use it. As they are falling they might get the parachute strapped on and the string pulled in time, or they might go splat at the bottom as so many have in the past.
The better way is to go slowly. To ask God how He would direct you to die to yourself in this moment, and then in this week and this month. He might make you fast, He might take away a hobby so that you can focus on Him, He might even make you destitute so that you can empathize with the lowest of society. But, rest assured, whatever He has for you in the first steps of discipline, it is only a preparation for the jumping off the cliff that is to come. The difference is, when you have prepared, and you step up to the edge of that cliff, you will be ready, you will be confident, you will jump without hesitation, and it will be more glorious than you ever imagined.