Erica has been writing ever since she received her first journal. She is also an avid reader, which she believes aids her inspiration.
Something Stuck Out
Several years ago, I was at a bible study with some friends. A couple of us would teach on whatever God had placed on our hearts that evening and then we would end the night with prayer. Simple! Well, one night my friend prayed over me and the only thing I remember him saying during that prayer was, "God is telling you, 'Don't despise humble beginnings.' " That one line resonated so strongly with my heart that I knew it was something I had to pay attention to. That word was specifically for me, I just knew it! I did not, by the way, know that this was a scripture out of the bible at the time. Haha,I just thought it was some good advice. God will speak to you wherever you are at on your journey with Him.
Old Times, Same Word
Recently, God has been bringing Zechariah 4:10 back to my heart. I have a tendency to get ahead of myself when it comes to crossing items off of my list. If you don't learn to appreciate small beginnings, you won't easily appreciate large outcomes. While scripture is meant for everyone who's willing to receive from it, I believe this scripture in particular is for those task-oriented learners. The ones who can hardly focus on what's actually occurring because they're consumed with what's going to happen next. The ones who tend to overthink and so they don't quite allow themselves the time to just relax and really live in the moment. The ones who are perfectly content swimming in their thoughts and avoiding what others call reality because,well, their thoughts are their reality. In essence, I am this person, when left unchecked. I absolutely love people and spending time with them but when it comes down to it, I would rather read about someone going to a get together with a lot going on rather than actually go myself. I don't think that's a trait that's uncommon among writers. Anyway, when we tend to spend the majority of our time as daydreamers, it becomes very easy to allow ourselves to bypass the now in exchange for what we believe will happen then!! Are we only going to start praising God when we start seeing big answers in our life? It comes naturally to thank someone after they have done something for you. But it takes a little (sometimes a lot!) more effort to enjoy them right now for who they are right now.
A Humble King
One of my favorite stories in the Bible concerns that of Jehoshaphat. He was given some news that an army was coming up against him. Now the Bible does say that he feared this news (2 Chronicles 20:3), but his actions differed from that of most people. In the very same verse, it says he "...set himself to seek the Lord...." When he did that, he did receive an answer from God, but he still had to wait to see it come to pass in front of his eyes. But God told him he was going to win! So what did he do in the mean-time? Did he try to manipulate the system and get the answer on his own terms and in his own time? If he would've done that, both him and his army might have been killed. Instead, he chose to spend his waiting time praising God and getting others to praise God as well. Jehosaphat chose to surround himself with the presence of God on his way to see his big answer. Verse 22 blows my mind and reveals the power of praise. It says, "And WHEN they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten" (emphasis mine).
Different Perspective- Small is Big
What appears to be small in our eyes can be a major thing to God. He knows what we will be doing in the future but that's not always what He's concerned with. He wants to know what you are going to do with what He has placed in your hands right now. He wants to know that you will praise Him with a joyful heart as Jehoshaphat did, even on your way to your big answer. He's asking if you'll be obedient in even the smallest of things so that God almighty Himself will be able to trust you with larger events when that time comes.