Little decisions

“Ordinary people who faithfully, diligently, and consistently do simple things that are right before God will bring forth extraordinary results.” David A. Fednar

More and more as I work with people, I feel challenged to describe how to receive the Holy Spirit and have that “born-again-die-to-yourself” experience. Obviously, it is different for everyone and all I can do is allow this living spirit that I became aware of when I was twenty-two to manifest itself in my life. The human intellect is challenged to define or describe this process so others can seek to duplicate it. The Scriptures teach us all the facets of spiritually transforming ourselves but unless we believe and have a grain of mustard seed of faith, it’s impossible to find a point at which to begin. If anyone would have told me fifty years ago when I first experienced the new creation I was becoming, that I would end up in Texas County, Mo., worshiping God through sharing Jesus Christ with inmates at the county jail, I wouldn’t have believed it or conceived that it was possible. But each moment going forward from my spiritual birth, I began to make little decisions for Christ that brought me to this point. I’ve made mistakes along the way as I made self-preservation decisions, lack of faith decisions and “I’m too afraid to trust” decisions which took me on a different tangent at times. But God always showed me the way back and eventually I became more and more conscious of the sacred process that I was discovering incrementally.

As God allowed unpleasant outcomes in my life that removed me from dysfunctional relationships that I didn’t think I could take the next breath without and the material security that was keeping me from experiencing the relationship with him that I needed to move on to the next step of my journey, everything changed. The born-again experience happens over and over as we discover God our Father through Christ our Advocate and the ongoing instruction he painstakingly gives us through the smallest of details we can imagine – some we are totally unaware of. Even when we make what we consider the biggest mistake of our life, God is there to pick us up and set us on our path again. We may be a little more worn and broken but we are always loved and guided, healing with scars that make us stronger.

“When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son. But the more they called, the more they went away from me. They sacrificed the Baals and they burned incense to images. It was I who taught Ephraim to walk, taking them by the arms; but they did not realize it was I who healed them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love. To them, I was like one who lifts a little child to the cheek, and I bend down to feed them.” (Hosea 11:1-4 NIV)

Helen Keller, who was born without sight and hearing, was not that patient with her sighted friends as she recalls one friend telling her after an hour long walk in the woods that she saw nothing worthy of note. Helen remembers thinking “I, who cannot see, find hundreds of things to interest me through mere touch. I feel the delicate symmetry of a leaf. I pass my hands lovingly about the smooth skin of a silver birch or the rough, shaggy bark of a pine. In spring I touch the branches of trees hopefully in search of a bud, the first sign of awakening Nature after her winter’s sleep.”

From “Three Days to See” by Helen Keller.

When Jesus spoke of the grain of mustard seed in context with the amount of faith we need to begin to believe, we start to see just how very small the details are that we need to be aware of if we are to become spiritual beings with the power that comes from discovering the kingdom within us.

I Corinthians 4:20 states: “The kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” It’s not about how big should our faith be but how small can our faith be for us to begin?

I seek and find God in nature. God created the little puffer fish who demonstrates faith in his mating ritual. The puffer fish lives off the coast of Japan. When it is time, the male begins to create a beautiful design in the sand at the bottom of the sea, that no one sees but the potential mates he attracts to it. He makes a large perfect circle that is 6 to 7 feet in diameter with pie-shaped furrows made in the sand by the continuous side to side swishing of his tail that go from the outer circle’s edge to the edge of another concentric circle in the center. He spends hours creating this design, perfectly carrying out the innate drive that is imprinted in him to make it the very best he can. Nothing less than perfection is acceptable to him. Every minute detail is tended to. In the center circle, he spends time fluffing the sand to his high standards for the many tiny eggs that will be laid and fertilized to ensure the next generation of puffer fish. He doesn’t decide one day that he really doesn’t have to make it perfect and can settle for less than his best. He is compelled by the God-stuff from which he is made to give his very best as it is directly related to the survival of his species. He is faithful in that which is least, the smallest detail of his design that will gradually just disappear with the movement of the water and other sea creatures.

In the first part of Luke 16:10 it says: “He who is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much.”

All of nature demonstrates this attention to the smallest detail as they live out their lives in innate activity just glorifying God their Creator. If you’d like to check this out further for another example, learn about the bower bird.

You can find “Little Decisions” in its entirety on the Houston Herald Website.

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