Do Not Despise Small Beginnings
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You’ve probably heard this quote from the Bible used in varied ways before; do not despise small beginnings! We may have heard it or read it but at the end of the day, small beginnings can be frustrating for just about anyone!
It doesn’t matter if you are a blogger or starting a business or going to school, it may even be a relationship; we all want the next step to come faster! We want things to move along quickly and having to take one small step at a time can feel like we are just not moving at all! We all want to see SOME evidence of progress, don’t we?
But many times, that evidence just doesn’t come right away. So how do you make the most of those times when things don’t seem to move as fast as we would like? Read on to learn how!
Don’t Despise Small Beginnings – Elijah and the Cloud
Elijah is one of my favorite biblical figures for a variety of reasons. I admit, that sassy and sometimes sarcastic side of myself loves reading about how he mocked the prophets of Baal. I probably shouldn’t love that story as much as I do, but the important thing is how can you not when the Lord of Hosts shows on up that way?
But I digress! Let’s move on to the story!
Elijah was a major prophet of God and, in this account we will look at, the land was experiencing a period of drought.
He had a promise from God that He would send rain upon the land. So, Elijah goes to Ahab, king of Israel, and says, in 1 Kings 18:41:
Now, at this time, there isn’t a cloud in the sky, but Elijah had faith! He trusted the Word of the Lord.
So, King Ahab actually listens to him (go figure!) and he goes off to do just as Elijah said. He heads off to eat and drink, but Elijah had other plans.
He goes up to the summit of Mount Carmel. And what does he do?
Do Not Despise Small Beginnings – Do Some Cloud Watching Instead
He got down on the ground, put his face between his knees and he prayed!
But that is not all he did. While he prayed he sent his servant to look for signs of rain!
Let me say it again – while Elijah prayed, he sent his servant to look for the answer to his prayer.
When we are praying, are we looking for the beginnings of our answer?
In 1 Kings 18:43 it says:
Now that is faith! He prayed expectantly! He prayed with faith. He KEPT looking for the answer he KNEW was coming because he trusted the Lord.
He sent his servant to check for rain not once! But 7 times!! Each time the servant came back and reported nothing! But Elijah stayed on his knees and kept sending his servant back.
1 Kings 18:44 says:
Seeing Past How the Situation “Appears”
A cloud the size of a man’s hand! Now that is one small cloud!!
But upon hearing about that cloud, he sent his servant to tell King Ahab to get a move on before the downpour of rain stops him!!
He saw a cloud the size of a man’s hand and, in that, he saw the promise of what was to come! He saw past the small bit of evidence in front of him to the great things he knew his God would do.
We see clouds in the sky all the time that never result in rain! But Elijah saw rain in that cloud because he had faith in God’s promise.
He saw past the small beginning to the downpour! He saw the big God he served. There is no such thing as an impossible prayer in the eyes of the Lord!He saw a cloud the size of a mans hand and in that, he saw the promise of what was to come! He saw past the small bit of evidence in front of him. Click To Tweet
Do Not Despise Small Beginnings – Keeping Your Faith During Hard Times
Keeping your faith in God during hard times is not always easy! It is really difficult when you are starting a ministry or a business and things just don’t seem to be moving.
As a blogger, I can tell you it happens to us all the time.
Bloggers play the comparison game. We look at what other bloggers are doing and we wonder if we are cut out for it. We think we aren’t as good or as smart and we question whether we are doing what God wants us to be doing.
We measure our speed of growth against others thinking our progress should be the same and, if it is not, we wonder if we are cut out for it!
And we see them getting lots of followers or earning an income doing what they love, and we sit back and look at our pageviews or mailing list and think maybe we heard God wrong.
And sometimes look right past that cloud the size of a man’s hand. We sometimes look past the little things thinking we missed God but God is working to bring a harvest out of that small seed.
Look at a garden. We don’t plant a seed and then think God didn’t want us to grow those tomatoes because they didn’t sprout the next day! But yet so many times we look at our work or our ministry or our relationship and think we got it wrong because it is not progressing as fast as someone else’s.
And we miss the cloud.So many times we look at our work or our ministry or our relationship and think we got it wrong because it is not progressing as fast as someone else's. And we miss the cloud! #elijah #proverbs31 #faith Click To Tweet
Despise Not the Day of Small Beginnings – God Is Working It Out
Zerubbabel was a descendant of the House of David and the son of Shealtiel. His family was forced into exile in Babylon, where he was born. Zerubbabel made his way to Judah after King Cyrus II allowed the captives to return and he was subsequently made governor.
He was tasked by the Lord to rebuild the Temple but he had faced obstacle after obstacle over many years.
The Prophet Zechariah had a vision of a menorah, which was a furnishing in the Holy Place of the Temple, as well as two olive trees (the details of which will be for another post but you can read about in the Book of Zechariah).
In this vision, he was instructed to encourage Zerubbabel to continue the rebuilding of the Temple in spite of the obstacles he faced, which Zechariah likened to mountains.
Do you ever feel as though your obstacles are like mountains standing in your way? Well, our friend Zerubbabel knew that feeling as he tried to follow the Lord’s instructions.
Zechariah 4:7 says:
Verses 8-10 then go on to say:
Who despises the day of small things?
God was saying the foundation of this Temple was laid and yes, there are obstacles in the way but the one who laid the foundation WOULD finish it.
Yes there may be mountains in the way but each small step toward the goal, each external opposition we may face, each of the open doors we go to step through that seem to slam in our face, will result in rejoicing as we reach our God-given goals.
The plumb line in hand of Zerubbabel was used to measure out and build the Temple according to the specifications in Torah. What it represents here is that he will continue the work the Lord called him to. He WOULD build the House of the Lord. And the eyes of the Lord which go throughout the whole earth would rejoice in the building of His House.
And He will rejoice with you as you continue forward with each small step.
Do not despise small beginnings!! Trust that it is just that; a beginning!
If He called you to ministry, trust that God is working it out!
You are in this, hopefully, for the long haul. It is not important to get to the finish line first. You are not in competition with other bloggers or other people in your business or your friends and their relationships.
It is so easy to talk yourself out of what God wants you to do!
The enemy loves to use this time to discourage you and defeat you. He loves to whisper in your ear that God isn’t using you.
He loves to tell you that you aren’t as good as other bloggers. He enjoys nothing more than telling you that you are not as talented as others in your industry or niche.
The enemy loves to make you believe that pageviews and subscribers are what defines you!
He wants you to feel that God couldn’t possibly use you!
He wants you to feel like you’re not good enough for a relationship and shows you all your friends getting married and you’re still single!
The enemy loves to tell you there must be something they have that you don’t! He wants you to think you need to push harder to get things to move faster.The enemy loves to make you believe that pageviews and subscribers are what defines you! Click To Tweet
Faith in God Includes Faith in His Timing
Elijah knew that faith in God includes faith in His timing! He knew that it was just a matter of waiting! He didn’t doubt the rain would come!
Elijah got on his knees in prayer while watching for that cloud. He prayed and anticipated!
The best thing you can do is not play the comparison game the enemy wants you to play, but pray and have faith and do not despise small beginnings in your life!
Express thanks to God for where He has you positioned right now and enjoy the moment! He has you where you are for a reason!
If you are a blogger, pray and write for that audience, even if it is an audience of one in the beginning!
Write for God! Write for the people He WILL send to you!
It doesn’t matter if it is 10 people or 10,000 people a month! If those 10 people are helped by something you wrote about, if those 10 people benefited from a product you sell, if those 10 people found a solution to a problem, then you are more successful than you know!
So Do Not Despise Small Beginnings – Use Them to Watch God Move
So do not despise small beginnings in your life or business for it is in those small beginnings that you see God the most!
It is in those small beginnings you can build and exercise your faith. It’s in them that you can look back and see what God did in your life/your blog/your business/your relationship.
Pray and have faith! Avoid comparison because your walk isn’t supposed to look like everyone else’s. You are unique and God is using you in a unique way!
Instant gratification would rob us of the growth we gain in the waiting!
So do not despise humble beginnings! God is using them in a big way!
Have you experienced small and slow beginnings where you were able to look back and see how God was using that time in your life?
When we say ‘do not despise small beginning’, how can you apply that in your own life and walk with the Lord? Share in the comments!Instant gratification would rob us of the growth we gain in the waiting! Click To Tweet
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CJB – Taken from the Complete Jewish Bible by David H. Stern. Copyright © 1998. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Messianic Jewish Publishers, 6120 Day Long Lane, Clarksville, MD 21029. www.messianicjewish.net.
Tree of Life (TLV) – Scripture taken from the Holy Scriptures, Tree of Life Version*. Copyright © 2014,2016 by the Tree of Life Bible Society. Used by permission of the Tree of Life Bible Society.
Diane I love this message. We all start small. Every blogger. Be patient, believe in you and the tide keeps turning.
Thank you Ryan! I so appreciate your encouragement!!
I wake up with this inspiration. Despite not the small beginning and glory, I got a detail, a glorious one of this motivation. Thanks, sister Diane. Your study is reaching millions. I am Michael from Ghana
Bless you Michael for all you do and for your amazing encouragement!
We always come out on the short end of the comparison game, and I just love getting to the heart of why we write and share our heart. It makes all the difference! So glad you shared this encouragement on Fresh Market Friday. I’m also putting your link-up on my calendar to join in the fun:)
Thank you so much Crystal!! I’m so happy you’ll be joining in!!
Trust God’s timing. A good reminder as I experience a setback in my health. Thanks, Diane.
I’m so sorry Debbie…please know I’m praying for you!
What a beautiful post!! Such a good reminder that our walk is uniquely our own, the one God has specifically designed for me!! My goal is that I always keep the mentality that I’m living for the audience of one, the One. Thank you for sharing what God put on your heart!!
Amen and thank you so much April!!
As I am transitioning during this time of a Pandemic this message was very encouraging. Im leaving a work place, The Salon closed due to Covid-19)that I’ve been for 19yrs as an independent Hairstylist( not the owner) I have to relocate to a much smaller space ( Salon Suite) I’ve already been out of work for 10wks . My faith isn’t strong , but I know God can do anything but I was confused, scared, depressed and frustrated and pretty much embarrassed because I know better . All this morning I’ve been praising God through inspirational music and I kept hearing God say “don’t despise small beginnings“ So I looked it up to find scriptures pertaining to that. I clicked on to your blog and it was everything I was feeling this helped me to realize God has me just where he wants me to be . My life is set up for my destiny so I can’t compare it to anyone else. Thank you 🙏🏽
I am so blessed that this post gave you encouragement. I am so sorry for all you’ve been going through and I am keeping you in my prayers!! Bless you!! He has you!
I swear you are in my head! I’ve been struggling with this lately. I’m going to spend time in the Word reading what you’ve shared here. Thank you, as always, for such a timely post. <3
I am always in your head LOL I don’t go away! Seriously though…I am glad you found it helpful!
Thank you the encouragement and focus
Thank you so much Sarah!
I love Elijah’s faith. A faith that didn’t require seeing anything. He only wanted a glimpse of God’s hand so his servant would believe and so there would something tangible to report to Ahab. Can you imagine King Ahab’s face when the servant said hurry, before you get drenched but it hadn’t even started sprinkling yet. I pray for that measure of faith. Just knowing and believing what God can do without any evidence. That’s what faith is. The substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Oh I know!! I love all the stories around Elijah because he just had this holy “sassiness” about him that I so admire. It wasn’t an attitude about himself but about the God he KNEW would always come through and I wish I always had that today!
Here in 2022, I am touched once again by God’s Word. As the Lord has recently allowed me to relaunch our blog this year, I thankful for this post. It’s a sweet reminder from God. As I was spending time with the Holy Spirit and I read this chapter and verse, God spoke to me. Don’t despise small beginnings (yes) but the second part of that verse says “for the Lord rejoices to see he work begin”. For He rejoices, He delights, He finds joy in the work starting. That truth made my heart smile.e God is faithful! Thank You Holy Spirit. The Word is alive!
I am so glad you found it encouraging!! And congrats on relaunching your blog!!