God Loves Baby Steps – A Devotional Based on Zechariah 4:10
God Loves Baby Steps
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin.” (Zechariah 4:10, NLT)
You’ve probably heard of Steve Jobs, the Apple co-founder and marketing genius behind such high-tech innovations as the MacBook, the iPod, and the iPhone. You might also recognize the name, Steve Wozniak. “The Woz,” as he is often called, was the programmer and engineering mind behind the hardware and operating system that in 1976 led to the birth of Apple Computer.
But what about Ronald Wayne? Does the name ring a bell? Probably not. Yet Wayne was the third co-founder of Apple. He drew the company’s first logo, wrote their first computer manual, and served as the “adult supervision” in the room. But less than two weeks after the Apple partnership was legally formed, Wayne decided that the venture was too risky and that his partners were too eccentric for his liking, and he sold his ten percent stake in the company for $800. Today, that share would be worth $75 billion.
Of course, hindsight is twenty-twenty. You might wish you knew the future before making any big decision in life. But the fact is that you will always have limited information to work with, which can make navigating complex situations seem daunting, perhaps impossible. Even after you’ve made a decision and committed to a course of action, it’s easy to grow impatient or nervous at the lack of progress because you’re not yet seeing fruit from your labors. Or maybe you are in fact moving forward but at a much slower pace than you’d like. Your little baby steps just don’t seem to be making a real difference.
In chapter four of Zechariah, the prophet saw a vision of a lampstand that was directly connected to the source of oil—two olive trees. He was seeing a vision of a time when God’s people would be filled with God Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit. Talk about a reliable power source! But in their present circumstances, in which the Jews were faced with the difficult (and long-term) task of rebuilding the temple from ruins, this promise seemed inconsequential and far off.
Yet Zechariah’s vision was meant to encourage the Israelites that a better day was indeed coming and to let them know that God was pleased that work was underway on the temple. An angel of the Lord told the prophet, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin” (Zechariah 4:10, NLT).
So whatever your circumstances, whatever the kingdom task that looms before you, don’t despise today because your initial efforts seem small and insignificant. God delights to see His work begin. And He promises that He will see the work through to completion (Philippians 1:6).
What is your attitude today? Are you thinking that bigger is always better? That sooner is always better than later? Is there a place in your plans for divine delays? Maybe you know where you want to go and you just want to get on with the program already. But God is sovereign and holds the future in His hand. He knows exactly what is best for you, how and where it should come about, and when the ideal time is for accomplishing His will.
So be patient and don’t lose hope. Wait on God. He will take the lid off in His perfect timing; it’s not your job to force it.
Most of our progress in life is made up of many small steps. You might desire to move ahead by leaps and bounds, but that’s not typically the reality. Instead, you take two or three steps forward, followed by an unavoidable step backward. So you keep plodding along, and whether you realize it or not, you are making slow and steady progress.
Take a good look at yourself today in light of the past. Hopefully, you are spiritually and emotionally more mature today than you were five or ten years ago. If this is true, it’s most likely the result of many small and disciplined steps taken day in and day out. I pray that when you examine your life a decade from now, you will be encouraged by your growth in character, faith, hope, and love.
As you wait patiently, what can you do this week to celebrate baby steps with your spouse, your kids, your coworkers, or your friends? Remember, God has big plans for His children, but they almost always begin with small steps.
Heavenly Father, I know you will accomplish your perfect will. I want to be obedient and ready to do my part when called upon. Help me not to be timid or lose hope or become impatient in my zeal to get things done. Thank you that your Spirit empowers me to recognize and obey your will. Help me to be ready and willing, even when the task seems small, knowing that you are sovereign and have a plan that is much bigger and wiser than I can comprehend. Your will be done on earth and in my life as it is in heaven!
Walking by faith and enjoying the homeschooling adventure of a lifetime!
© 2017 Davis Carman
Davis is the president of Apologia Educational Ministries, the #1 publisher of Creation-based science and Bible curriculum. He is the author of four illustrated children’s books designed to help kids learn a biblical worldview. He believes that if there was ever a time to homeschool, it is now! Davis’s four books include: Good Morning, God, based on Deuteronomy 6, A Light for My Path, an ABC book based on Psalm 119, In the Beginning, based on the Creation account in Genesis, and Psalms to Know Early.
If you enjoyed this article by Davis Carman, check out 4 Action Items to Help Your Homeschool Last More Than 4 Years or My Graduation Speech.