How many times have you heard the phrase “Bigger Is Better”? Some people live by that motto, always searching for the next big thing. This is also true for believers as well. In-fact, many believers whom I have talked with are always searching for the next big revelation about God and the scriptures, and they just aren’t happy unless it’s a mind-blowing earth-shattering revelation that causes everyone’s jaw to hit the floor.
Now there is certainly nothing wrong with a healthy enthusiasm regarding insights and wisdom, but we should also remember that the Bible teaches us to be satisfied with small things as well, or we may miss some things that God is trying to show us. This is the subject of our study today.
We as humans usually love big things and tend to ignore or disregard the smaller. Walk into any electronics store and most people will gravitate towards the largest T.V. screen while ignoring the smaller ones.
However when dealing with the things of God, we must always keep in-mind how vast He is, and realize that if He were to dump all of His wisdom on us at once, we would never be able to manage or contain it all. This is one of the reasons that I always advise people to read scriptures for quality instead of quantity. It is better to read one verse of scripture and meditate on it – pick it apart – chew on it and get everything you can out of it; rather than reading 10 chapters in one sitting and learning nothing.
The Holy Spirit speaks softly and gently. He may want to teach you something using just one verse, but if you rush past that verse trying to read more than you should, you will totally miss His voice and your study time will fall flat. Always remember that God is a gentleman. He will not shout over you to get your attention and He will not force Himself on you if you do not invite Him.
Let’s examine 1st Kings 19:11-12::
“And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD. And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:
And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.”
Elijah had to wade past and ignore all of the boisterous distractions in order to hear the still small voice of God. Have you ever noticed that whenever you really want to study the Bible it seems like everything in the world will try and distract you? This is when we must stay focused and persevere. God can be heard, if we remain calm, stay quiet and listen. I have heard quite a number of people claim that God does not speak to them and upon examination found that none of them actually listen for Him.
Now here is the key: Don’t just listen for the big things!
I know that I have stated this already in the opening, but it needs repeating. Nd this is true among pastors and leaders as well, so if any pastors and leaders are here today… Not every revelations needs to be something big. Sometimes some of the most profound and helpful insights are things that seem small. One person who receives revelation abut a single verse can bless everyone they share it with. Another person who reads 100 verses but earns nothing is not even blessed by themselves let alone anyone else.
Furthermore, remember that God’s wisdom is vast and it is manifold. We as humans can only digest it in small amounts, and God knows this. An example that I often use is of the rain and the snow. God sends the rain drop by drop and the snow flake by flake because f it is released all at once the sheer weight and pressure of it is destructive. Yet God in His wisdom and mercy sends it a bit at a time, and not even the most delicate of flowers is disturbed.
Another example from the Bible is that of the manna. Let’s read Exodus 16:14-15:
“And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground.
And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said to them, This is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat.”
I want you to remember that phrase small round thing. For that is a picture of the way the Holy Spirit typically enlightens us today. Let us also remember that Jesus today is our true manna and our bread of life (John 6:35, 58). So we can see from these verses that as we meditate on scripture and listen for the still small voice of God, the Holy Spirit will enlighten us with the truths of Jesus in those verses.
So then the question arises, how do we know how much to read? I’m glad you asked! The answer is in the next verse of Exodus 16:16:
“This is the thing which the LORD has commanded, Gather of it every man according to his eating, an omer for every man, according to the number of your persons; take you every man for them which are in his tents.”
Notice the first part: Gather of it every man according to his eating. Up to an “omer” (one day’s supply) for the day.
Start with one verse. If nothing clicks and the Holy Spirit does not illuminate anything to you in that verse for today, then read another, but read slowly and listen. When the Holy Spirit causes the verse to get your attention – stop. Meditate on that verse, learn what He wants you to see. Then if you feel the urge to continue, read on until the Holy Spirit stops showing you things. You have then received your “omer” for the day.
This is how to be attentive to the Spirit and allow Him to teach you when you read the Bible. This is how your Bible reading can be productive, interesting and fun, instead of boring and unproductive. Because the Holy Spirit will always point you to Jesus and teach you things that will bless you and open your eyes to new truths of Christ. Do not go for big things only, and do not forget to listen. Remember that God can use even the small things to bless.
Just like the Israelites, as you continue to gather the manna (which was a small round thing) you will find your baskets full of the provision of Jesus Christ every day.