Monday, 14 July 2014

Little by little {how to win our battles}

Did you ever think about things that you need to accomplish, and feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the task?

Situations in our life can sometimes tower above us, making us feel rather overwhelmed. Often, in my role as a wife, mother and housekeeper, I look around and think "How in the WORLD am I supposed to get this all done?"

I look at my spiritual life, too, with thoughts of how challenging it is to make changes, and to work on the areas that I feel are lacking.  I feel my weaknesses, and wonder how I will ever improve and grow in certain areas.

This morning, as I was reading through my Facebook feed, I read a report about a little boy who had suffered a head injury a few days ago.  Things had looked bad, but a little improvement had been made, and the pastor sharing the update mentioned a verse he had shared with the family.

"By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land." 
Exodus 23:30

Did you know that verse was there?

It's one that I have most certainly read, but the Lord had not really applied it to my heart and life.

God had promised that the Israelites would conquer the Promised Land.  He reminded them, here, however, that it was not an instant take-over.  It would happen "little by little".

Life today is filled with "instant" things.  Everyone wants what they want NOW.  No waiting.  No patience.  No being satisfied with "baby steps"  in what they want in life.  It's the toddler attitude generation.

"I want it, and I want it NOW", whilst throwing a mini "tantrum" if it doesn't happen for them, like a small child would do.

God doesn't always give us the victory, which He promises, in an instant.  We need patience, and a continual trust in His perfect way and His perfect plans, in order to see the end result coming to fruition.

Maybe it's your marriage. Things need to change, but nothing seems to be happening in a hurry.  You need to change, or your husband is not all he should be. Maybe both... Don't expect everything to change overnight. Look out for God's "little and little", and rejoice over the small victories.

Child training, and encouraging them to do right, is ALWAYS a challenge. It's so much easier to see the lack of big changes, and overlook the "little and little". Look hard, though. IT'S THERE! As we patiently train their attitudes, mould their behaviour, and pray for their hearts, God is working.  We may not see big changes, but if we look carefully, there are little victories to rejoice over.

In your personal walk with the Lord, you may be struggling with sins that easily beset, or attitudes that are hard to change. Sanctification is definitely the domain of "little and little".  We don't instantly switch to sinless perfection when we come to a saving knowledge of Christ - it's little victories on a daily basis, and a little growth day by day, that makes us conquerors.  We ARE victors - conquering small things is no less significant and rewarding, than conquering the big things.

It's interesting, if you look at  the passage in Exodus, to see WHY God told them that they would only conquer a little at once.  Like the Israelites, we serve a great and mighty God, who can do ANYTHING. He is all powerful.  He could have given them an instant, all-conquering victory, just as He could do in our lives and situations.  However, He didn't, and He doesn't.  

Here's the reason why.

"I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee."

If they had made a swift victory, the country would have become desolate, and filled with wild creatures roaming around.

The number of Israelites coming in would not have been enough to sustain the agriculture, industry and settlements that already existed, and wild animals would have then taken over, instead of people.

The relevance to us, being WHAT?....

If God gave us immediate and complete victory over things in our life, we would soon get other challenges come up in their place, and more work would need to be done than in the first instance! Apart from anything else, the danger of complacency and self reliance would push their way into our life, and cause as many, if not different, problems.  

Having struggles and trials, that are only conquered "little and little", forces us to rely more upon God for our strength and hope, instead of upon ourselves. 

What is also worth remembering is, little victories are STILL victories.  We're not being defeated.  We are still making progress. We are still winning the battle.  As God's children, we are NEVER on the losing side.  We can NOT lose the battle.  If we are fighting with God, and fighting His way, we are on the victory side!

Don't be discouraged this week - keep gaining ground - keep on getting the victory - little and little.

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