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Spiritual Growth - Living a Life of Faith

Do Not Despise Small Beginnings – Elijah and the Cloud

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You’ve probably heard it many times before; do not despise small beginnings!

Many of us have heard that saying but, come on, 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 things to move faster!  We all want to see SOME evidence of progress.

But many times, that evidence just doesn’t come right away. So how do you make the most of those times things don’t seem to move as fast as we would like?

 
An image of a man with his hand out in front of him flat with a small cloud hovering over it and text that says Do Not Despise Small Beginnings – Elijah And The Cloud

Elijah and the Cloud

Elijah was a prophet and 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 King Ahab and says, in 1 Kings 18:41Do Not Despise Small Beginnings - Elijah and the Cloud 1

“Then Elijah said to Ahab, ‘Go up, eat and drink, for there’s the sound of rain.'”

TLV

Now, at this time, there isn’t a cloud in the sky, but Elijah had faith! He trusted the Lord.

So, Ahab actually listens (Go figure!) and he goes off to do just as Elijah said. He goes off to eat and drink, but Elijah had other plans. He goes up to the summit of Carmel. And what does he do?

Elijah prays!

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.

He sends his servant to look for signs of rain!

In 1 Kings 18:43 it says:

Then he said to his servant, “Go up now, look toward the sea.” So he went up, looked, and said, “There’s nothing.”

Then he said, “Go back”—seven times— 

TLV

Now that is faith! He prayed expectantly!

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:

…and it was the seventh time that he said, “Look! A cloud as small as a man’s hand is rising from the sea.” Then he said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Harness your chariot and go down before the rain stops you.’”

TLV

Seeing Past How the Situation “Appears”

A cloud the size of a man’s hand!

That is one small cloud!!

But upon hearing about that cloud, he sent his servant to tell 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. We see clouds 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!Do Not Despise Small Beginnings - Elijah and the Cloud 2

 

Keep Your Faith in God 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.Do Not Despise Small Beginnings - Elijah and the Cloud 3

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 measure our speed of growth against others thinking our progress should be the same!

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.

Despise Not the Day of Small Beginnings – God Is Working It Out

Zechariah 4:10:

“For who despises the day of small things?”

TLV

Despise not the day of 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!Do Not Despise Small Beginnings - Elijah and the Cloud 4Do Not Despise Small Beginnings - Elijah and the Cloud 5He loves to tell you that you aren’t as good as other bloggers. The devil 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.

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 don’t 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!

Ecclesiastes 3:1

“For everything there is a season, a right time for every intention under heaven —”

CJB

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!

An image of a planner open on a desk with pink flowers in a vase on it

So Do Not Despise Those Small Beginnings – Use Them to Watch God Move

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? Share in the comments!

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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.

54 Comments

  1. Your post shows a lot of thought and insight. You are exactly right – we bloggers are not defined by page views and followers. I have only been blogging for about 9 months. At the beginning I found myself checking my stats compulsively every day and writing a title for each post according to what would generate the most traffic. Now I write only what I feel compelled to write, and title each post how I believe it should be titled. I still check my stats, but only once a week or so. My purpose is to allow God’s light to shine through me, not garner new followers. Thanks for the great post!

    1. Thank you so much Laurie!! I did the same thing early on so I am writing from my own experience LOL I used to live on my analytics and I was constantly comparing!!

  2. Thank you so much for writing this- It was perfect for me today, I have been feeling this exact discouragement, over small beginnings and that is a perfect story of faith.

  3. Hi Diane, I just like to see that someone is reading and enjoying it. I don’t have a lot of traffic but I hope to have more. We talked yesterday about offering something as a freebie. How about a bookmarker or some sort of printable prayer or blessing, my friend at Garments of Praise does that sort of thing.

  4. Thanks for the encouraging words. This is actually very relevant for me at the moment as I’m thinking about certain things to pursue next. I’ve been wondering whether to actually go for it or whether to hold out for something bigger. But we need to start somewhere, even if it is small. We never know how God is going to work in that situation and where he will take us, and how a big tree can grow from a small seed.

  5. When we started our blog 3 years ago, we followed this concept of “writing for one” and continue to share our #biblequiltjournal with “the one the Lord brings” before us. It’s a humbling way to proceed in an early business when the pressure is to grow fast and big. Thank you for the reminder…love the image of the one cloud!

  6. “If God called you to ministry, trust that He is working it all out! It is not a sprint, it is a marathon!” Yes, when we get impatient we need to remember that God’s timing is perfect. It’s not about how popular we are but are we following His leading. Blessings to you! I’m a near neighbor at #HeartEncouragement.

  7. Hello Diane, I am inspired by this. I am also beginning a new journey of my own. I’m glad with your intention to share this with us. Thanks a lot!

  8. 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:)

  9. 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!!

  10. 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 🙏🏽

  11. 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

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