“Little by Little” Encouragement

Today’s text: “The Lord your God will drive out these nations before you little by little. You will not be able to destroy them all at once; otherwise, the wild animals will become too numerous for you.” (Deut 7:22)

“Little by little.” God had promised to give His people the land quickly (Deut 9:3), but He would determine what that meant. He would drive out the nations according to His plan and time schedule, and that plan meant He would do it “little by little” lest the land and the people not be ready for a quick overthrow. His timing would be His timing–and it would always, always be right.

“Little by little.” I need to remember these words when:

  • The church I lead isn’t growing as quickly as I might wish
  • The plans I thought we’d accomplish easily keep hitting a wall
  • God is taking His time in fully answering my prayer
  • My non-believing friend doesn’t seem to be moving much toward God
  • My church ministry context is hard, and I need to see anything that gives me hope
  • My wayward adult child isn’t much willing to talk
  • The gospel soil in my community is hard
  • I’m simply tired of waiting on God

Maybe you know other times when you need to remember “little by little.” If so, I hope this post today is encouraging to you. 

1 Comment

  • Robin G Jordan says:

    We tend to forget that God does things in his time, not ours. We want to see signs and wonders, miraculous transformations, explosive growth, an entire nation embracing Jesus. We forget that Jesus compared the kingdom to yeast. If you mix flour, water, yeast, and sugar or honey in a bowl and put it in a warm place, the dough will begin to rise. You then need the dough to work the yeast through it and put it in a warm place to keep rising. The dough rises because the yeast multiplies in the dough and produces carbon dioxide as it multiplies. The ingredients we use, the quantities, the freshness, the temperature of the place in which we put the dough to rise, how much we need the dough—they all can affect the outcome. The dough may rise too much and then collapse. Or it may barely rise at all. Yeast takes time to multiply. Here the freshness of the yeast may be a factor. In the time of Jesus’ ministry housewives did not use dry yeast and sugar and honey. They used something like sour dough starter. They mixed this leavening agent with the flour and the water. What happened next depended on the vigorousness of the starter and the warmth of the place where they put the dough to rise. Bread making requires patience and perseverance. You learn from your mistakes.
    In an age of immediate gratification, of instant this and that, we chaff at the slowness of things. But the slow drip of water on limestone will wear the limestone away. Take a trip to Mammoth Cave, Kentucky, or Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico. Water carved their underground chambers from the rock.
    An analogy that I have found useful over the years is to compare life and ministry to a cave in which there are veins of coal and diamonds. Some people see only the coal; others see the diamonds. If we ask the Holy Spirit to open our eyes and to show us where God is working, we may be surprised. We discover that we are surrounded by sparkling diamonds where we once saw coal.

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