Little Faith?

I pastor a small church, in a small urban neighborhood that no one would drive through unless you were trying to go there. There are times when it can feel like what is done simply doesn’t matter in the big scheme of things.

I don’t think this is a unique feeling to pastoral work, as many Christians feel that their lives of faith never really extend to national movements or are documented in videos that receive thousands of views. Their lives are full of just little faith with little moments and nothing that really warrants the type of attention that our culture seems to be fueled by.

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I love narrative Scripture. There is something about stories that speak in very human ways that can be missed when all preaching is based on propositional Scripture alone. I recently was able to preach through Genesis 14 and find the narrative rebuking my feeling of little faith in a little church.

Genesis 14 is the opposite of little. It is a chapter full of international importance with military alliances, battles, rebellion, and suppression. The biblical narrative provides plenty of detail about movements of armies and how long countries have been ruling regions. But as the narrative rolls along it consistently narrows its focus from empires and nations, to Abram.

Abram is out of his league in comparison to the empires from the east and yet is able to rescue his nephew Lot and return home, where the narrative narrows even further to focus on one decision from Abram: where he receives blessing.

On his return trip Abram is met by two kings: the King of Sodom—who the text clearly presents as a dubious character—and the King of Salem, named Melchizedek, who was also a priest of the God Most High. Abram receives the blessing from Melchizedek, and by extension God, and refuses the blessing of the King of Sodom.

In a chapter with kings and armies, God’s word decides to build to the climactic moment of one man choosing to find his blessing in God. The moment doesn’t seem to fit the scale of the situation and yet it is where the text purposefully arrives.

The narrative drives home a truth: God cares for our little moments. Walking away from the text, it is evident in God’s eyes one moment of little faith was more important than the shifting of the entire international scene. More hinged on Abram’s derivation of blessing than on kingdoms rising and falling.

Our church is little. There is very little happening in my life and our church that would place it on the level of international news. But I have moments of little faith every day. Times when I can find my blessing in God.

It is easy to look at the struggles in the world—natural disasters, racism, nuclear missiles, etc.—and throw your hands in the air in desperation knowing that you will never move the needle on the big issues that ravage humanity. And then you read Genesis 14 and realize that, while God does care about those big moments, he also cares deeply for your little moments of faith.

Little moments of being faithful to God matter.

This is, after all, the God who is most clearly known in the suffering Christ. God incarnate comes to earth and does not stir up global revolution or attempt to move into the focus of the political world—in fact every time a crowd tries to throw him to the center he literally hides—instead he walks around with a small handful of followers for three years living, doing what I would have to call, “a life of little faith.”

There is no mega church. No radio deal. Sure, there are some moments that rise in social importance but the bulk of Christ’s life is lived in complete obscurity.

Christians need to be encouraged, your little faith is not little to God. Forgotten moments of little faith that no one will ever see are incredibly important; always fight to find your blessing rooted in God. No one else may see you wipe your child’s nose for the thousandth time. No one else may care about how you mow a lawn. CNN will not interrupt their regularly scheduled programming to announce your morning devotions. But God Almighty has never really been about the things the world views as newsworthy; so wipe noses and do devotions with renewed importance.

Faith placed in God is never a little thing.

 

 

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