“Small things repeated consistently produce the biggest returns in the shortest amount of time” has been a theme of Financial Grace teaching for many years. God’s word also tells us, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand” (Zechariah 4:10 NLT).
In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, Zerubbabel led the first group of over 42,000 Jews (Ezra chapter 2, 3, 4) after 70 years of captivity in Babylon. In the second year after the return, he erected an altar and laid the foundation of the temple on the ruins that had been destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar. Zerubbabel occupied a prominent position during this time because he was a descendant of the royal line of David. His name means a stranger at Babylon and dispersion of confusion after God confused human languages at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11). God confused languages to prevent the kind of human arrogance and independence that intended to demonstrate control and power.
There is much wisdom to be gleaned from these passages that applies to our modern day thinking and financial reality. Whenever we make financial decisions based on what we can see or reasonably expect to see we limit God’s ability to work through our lives. That doesn’t mean we ignore our current reality and live as though there are millions of dollars already in the bank, and carry on doing whatever we like – of course not! That’s testing God and not living in His presence and trusting Him to guide and lead you through each of the steps He intends for you to take to realize the dreams and goals He has planned for your life.
Our human tendency is to look around and take matters into our own hands. We get a sense of a desire, then look at our circumstances and either immediately through the idea out because we don’t see ‘how’ it could ever become a reality based on the time, money, knowledge, resources we have at our disposal at the time. Over time, this approach begins to limit thinking so that God-sized ideas and creativity towards magnificent dreams and goals don’t even enter your mind.
Zerubbabel teaches us to pay attention to the ideas God lands in our mind, and to take them to Him prayerfully for guidance on small first steps – if there is to be one. If we attempt to determine if and when and how we might act on an idea, we are attempting to take control of a situation, rather than pressing in to God for His timing and His plans for completion (or not).
What are the small steps you can take towards the realization of a worthwhile dream? Perhaps the first small step is to learn to dream again and to step outside of your current financial reality to listen to God’s voice, as opposed to the voice of what seems to be the language everyone is speaking.
There are so many examples of the financial language commonly accepted, that has shaped out thinking and our culture, that tomorrow (Monday morning) we will begin to pray about how financial language is shaping the foundation of our society, and how small changes repeated consistently can produce the biggest results in the shortest amount of time in your life and the life of our communities.
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