Encouragement for Today - Sept. 27, 2007




September 27, 2007


Faithful in The Little Things

By Renee Swope

“But the world must learn that I love the Father and that I do exactly what my Father has commanded me.” John 14:31 (NIV)


Are you ever hesitant to say "yes" to one thing, not knowing if another good opportunity may present itself next week? Do you wish you could hear God's direction for your future? Me, too! In yesterday’s devotion, I shared how God called me to live in the hear and now. Here’s what happened next…


I had been pretty well behaved when it came to listening to God in the big things - the ones everyone could see. It was when God called me to obedience behind the scenes - in my home, in my car, in my attitude and even in my closet - that I was challenged.


A few weeks after my commitment to live in the hear and now, I noticed my husband's side of the closet was disheveled. God reminded me that J.J. enjoys things being orderly, although it's not his natural inclination. I remembered how frazzled he seemed the day before. Then I heard God's voice in my thoughts, "One way you could really love J.J. and bring peace to his world would be to reorganize his side of the closet.”


My response: "He's a grown man; he can organize his own side of the closet. I have two kids, two dogs and myself to keep up with.”


God's Spirit nudged me: "Did you hear me? Are you going to obey me now?"


I had recently read the parable of the talents in Matthew 25, and realized my attitude was like that of the third servant. He hadn't been entrusted with much so he buried his talent in the ground. Maybe he thought, “I wasn’t given much so why even worry about being faithful with it? I’ll just take it easy on this assignment. The master probably won’t notice.”


Sometimes I saw my role as a wife and mother as "average" responsibilities - one-talent kind of assignments. Plenty of people have the same assignments, I thought. Without realizing it, I thought it wouldn't matter much if I were a little selfish, inconsiderate or impatient here and there. But God wanted my willingness in every area of my life - here and now.


Why does God want obedience? Because He wants us to trust Him. Obedience means actively exchanging our will for His. God also knows that when we are faithful with the little things, He can "put us in charge of many things" and give us a deeper joy than we have ever known. (Matthew 25:21) Author Beth Moore reminds us that "the answers God gives us in our tomorrows often flow from our faithful todays."

God has been so patient as I learn to trust Him in the big and little things in life. It’s in my relationship with Him that I have found the purpose and meaning I long for. Now my calling and my calendar reflect my love for Him, not my need for fulfillment or the desire to be important in anyone's eyes but His.

By the way, I reorganized J.J.'s side of the closet. I am almost sure I heard God chuckle and felt the warmth of His smile. May He smile on you today as you commit to live in the here and now - acting on what you hear and living it out now.

Lord, when You look at the assignments You have given me, do You find me faithful? Am I living and listening the way You want me to? Sometimes I fall into the trap of waiting for a better tomorrow or an easier assignment so that I can be faithful. Help me trust You. I want to have Your heart and be Your hands today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:

The Journey of My Heart with Renee Swope


Searching for God in Everyday Life Women’s Retreat 4-CD Set by Renee Swope

What Happens When Women Say Yes To God by Lysa TerKeurst


Do You Know Him?


Application Steps: 
List the assignments God has given you as a woman. Are you being faithful in the little things? Are you willing to listen and obey God in every thing, believing you will discover His plans for tomorrow through your faithfulness today?”


Ask God for a special assignment today - one that allows you to be Jesus with skin on in your home, at your office or for a friend in need.



Is there an area where God is calling you to be obedient? Is He asking you to trust Him with your finances instead of working more hours? Do you hear Him calling you to forgive someone who has hurt you, or restore a relationship that is strained? Does He want you to submit to your husband when you'd prefer to lead? I'm praying for you to trust Him and experience His peace and joy today.


Power Verses:

John 10:4, “His sheep follow him because they know his voice.” (NIV)


John 10:27, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” (NIV)


Proverbs 31 Ministries

616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road

Matthews, NC 28105


Originally published Thursday, 27 September 2007.