Last year I was really struck by something that Mark Ritchie said whilst preaching at C3: give your little to God and watch what He does with it. It was challenging and intriguing and has stayed with me. I’ve been thinking about what we have, what God does, and the relationship between the two.
A lot of us only have a little. Probably most of us in fact. Few of us have all the money, time, energy, skills or influence that we need. Our dreams always exceed our resources, and that’s the way it should be. As Bishop T. D. Jakes said, “your vision should always exceed your provision.” That gap in-between is the realm of faith, the place where God operates.
What role do we leave for God if we think we can do it all by ourselves, or, knowing that we can’t, try to anyway? I don’t think God blesses that approach. Often we’re like little children trying and failing to do something for ourselves while God watches on like a Father, knowing that it will only get done when we turn to Him for help.
The truth is that it doesn’t matter how much we have. What matters is what God does with it. God can grow, increase and multiply what we give Him, often beyond our wildest dreams. When we give God a little, He can turn it into a lot.
Abraham gave God his little: a small amount of faith (Genesis 15:6) and a single child (Genesis 22:15-18), and God turned it into a lot: a nation of millions from which all God’s blessings would flow to the world. Every good thing that happened after that in the Bible and since would never happened if Abraham hadn’t given God the little he had.
David gave God his little too – his little stones killed the giant Goliath and his little self became Israel’s greatest king (1 Samuel 17). In 1 Kings 17 the starving widow gave God the little food she had and God multiplied it in a time of famine. In 2 Kings 4 another widow in debt and poverty gave God the little containers she had and God multiplied her oil so much that she had to get more containers and was able to pay off her debts.
Perhaps the best example of a little becoming a lot is the feeding of the Five Thousand (John 6:1-15). A little boy gave Jesus his five loaves and two fish and Jesus turned it into enough to feed thousands of people (John 6:9). What would have happened if the little boy hadn’t given Jesus his little packed lunch?If he’d thought it was silly to do so, because it was nowhere near enough. A lot of people would probably have gone hungry. Jesus didn’t just magic food out of thin air, He used something that was already there, something which was given to Him, and multiplied it.
There’s an important lesson here. God doesn’t do it all for us. He wants to partner with us. He wants us to give Him what we’ve got so He can use it. If just gave us everything with no contribution on our part then we’d have no real role to play. That’s not how faith grows, and throughout the Bible that’s not how we see God operate.
So we need to give God our little. We shouldn’t hold back our little things because we don’t think they’re enough. That denies God the opportunity to move in our lives. We won’t see Him do amazing things until we give Him what we’ve got. All we have to do is give it to Him; He’ll do the rest. As it says in Zechariah 4:10, don’t despise the day of small things. Small things grow into big things. From Abraham came all of the Jewish nation. From a small frightened group of disciples came the worldwide church of billions of believers spanning the globe. Every great enterprise starts with something small.
Our little becomes a lot in God’s hands. Don’t wait till you’ve got a lot before starting. If you do, you’ll never start. Give God the little you have, and watch what He does with it. He’s there, waiting for us to do just that, daring us to trust Him.
How many amazing things have we not seen because we haven’t given God our little? How many potential blessings and breakthroughs have we missed out on because we thought we didn’t have enough to get started? These are questions we should all ask ourselves.
God can use our little to defeat any enemy. He can use our little to meet any need, whether for ourselves or others. God can use our little to achieve any dream or vision. What are you waiting for? What big thing do you want to see happen? What little thing can you give to God to get started? As Mark Ritchie said, give God your little – however little – and watch what He does with it. I dare you!