Big Isn’t Always Best
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A pastor told me his heart ached when he attended his church’s annual ministers conference. When the ministers discussed their churches, one of the first questions they asked of one another was, “Is your attendance growing?” It seemed to my friend that many pastors had “big, bigger, biggest” attendance as their primary goal.
But it’s easy to want bigger and more impressive things. It is easy to fall into the “bigger is better” syndrome. I have launched projects that I thought would be a great blessing to God’s Kingdom. Then watched as my efforts fell flat. But then God would show me something else to do that would be more pleasing to Him. He hates pride and loves us too much to let us stumble into success.
Are you suffering from some defeat? Have you ever wondered why God hasn’t come to your rescue? Usually, it’s because He has something better for you. God has plans for you. He doesn’t want your success or failures to hold you back. He will put up the necessary roadblocks to get you to turn around and go in another direction.
When we fail to achieve our goals, in our life’s work, or marriage, or parenting, God doesn’t want us to be overwhelmed with discouragement. Rather, He wants us to believe that He is helping us.
God loves us too much to respond to our grumbling, complaining or self-pity. Get a pen and underline that last sentence – it’s important. Believe it, and you can be spared hours, days and years of suffering! Much of my own suffering has come from my failure to believe that God was always working for my good. On each occasion I thought He must be ignoring my pain. But now I see that He was permitting me to fail so He could prepare me for something else that He wanted me to enjoy.
Psalm 127:1 says, Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it (KJV). We all want to build good things, and to do good things, but sometimes we labor to accomplish something God hasn’t called us to do.
Sometimes He wants our hearts to be in “little things.” He is more interested in our desire to please Him than He is any of the things we want to accomplish. Think of all the good things Stephen may have wanted to accomplish with his life. Yet, in God’s plan he was permitted to be a martyr for Christ.
God’s plan is simple: “Do what you can. Leave all the rest to Me.” (Reprint from October 1995)