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Mustard Seeds & Mites: The Amazing Economy of God

by | Jan 31, 2015 | Devotionals

Have you ever felt like you have nothing to offer God? I know I have. Some days it just seems like all my efforts amount to nothing, and that I am not accomplishing anything for the kingdom of God. The interesting thing is that God knows our efforts are meager, yet He delights in us as we yield them to him. Jesus told his disciples they only needed faith the size of a tiny mustard seed to move mountains (Mt. 17:20). If you think about it, all the great men and women in the Bible did was offer what little they had, and God met them there. When God called Moses, he was more than reluctant to take the job, because of his inadequacies (Ex. 4:10).  In the Psalms, David often referred to himself as poor and needy  (40:17, 85:1, 69:6, 86:1, 109:22). The usually bold prophet Elijah gave into weakness. He ran away and asked God to take his life after his amazing showdown with the prophets of Baal (1 Ki. 19). Even reluctant Jonah prompted a miraculous revival in Nineveh when he finally surrendered to God. When Paul brought his limitations to God, the response was “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” The deal is this: we give God our weakness, and He gives us his incredible power (Eph. 1:19). Paul says it is the same power that raised Christ from the dead!

 What an incredible exchange! What a privilege it is to be his child! Still, as weak as we are, for some perplexing reason, we tend to be full of pride and God resists the proud. However, He gives grace to the humble (Jas. 4:6).  Therefore, if we humbly come to him, and bring him what little we have, his sufficient grace will carry us and his power will be perfected in us.  God allows his Spirit to radiate from weak vessels “to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us” (2 Cor. 4:7).  What glory would He receive if his people showed no sign of weakness? How could we offer help to others struggling with weakness? The only option would be to try and save them ourselves. Wait, doesn’t that sound a little co-dependent? We are meant to shine his light, not to be the light. Honestly even the strongest of us are very limited. It is so much better to run to and point people to the limitless One who will stoop down and meet us in our frailty. We honor him when we offer the little we have, just like the widow in Mark 12. Jesus observed her giving the smallest offering of all that had been given that day—just 2 mites. Many others had given very large amounts, but Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor woman has put more into the treasury than all the others. They gave out of their wealth; but she out of poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on” (Mk. 12:44).

 So there you have it. Jesus is not seeking supermen and women. He does not delight in our valiant efforts or great aptitude; He delights in our full surrender. Great men and women of God are those who simply bring what little they have to him, and He miraculously multiplies it.  So if you are feeling inadequate, wonderful! If you know you are weak and needy, fantastic! You are exactly where God wants you! He wants to become your all-in-all. When you recognize that you can do nothing without him (Jn. 15:5), you are half way to victory. Too many of us stop at that point, and begin to wallow in self-pity and doubt. Without faith it is impossible to please him, but thank God you only need the tiniest seed of faith to find victory. Rather than allowing your doubts to consume you, will you choose to exercise the little faith you have and commit yourself to the One who loves you most? Make a choice to believe his promises, and watch what He will do. When I look back over my life, I see that the greatest times of spiritual victory came in the wake of the greatest weakness on my part. In those times, when there was nothing left to turn to, He showed up in mighty ways. Paul said he could boast in his weakness, because that is where God’s strength is best revealed. Everything He does seems contrary to the world’s economy. The world teaches us to be strong, and be all we can be, but in God’s economy we simply have to surrender what little we have and watch him move. Just think about it. The omnipotent God who created the universe has made his power available to us! When we are weak, then He is strong. I don’t know about you, but this weakling stands in utter awe.