"Little Moment" Faith
Updated: May 4, 2021
“Little Moment” Faith
One day, a 14-year-old girl named Amelia noticed that her older brother had drifted away from God, so she committed to pray for him 3 times a day until he found peace with God. About 30 days into praying, Amelia’s mother went on a trip and spent an afternoon praying for her son to have peace with God. At the same time, 45 miles away, Amelia’s brother picked up a Christian book and read the Gospel. It was something he had heard many times before, but this time it became real to him. He finally believed and gave his live to Jesus Christ. The boy’s name was Hudson Taylor, and he would go on to be one of the most impactful missionaries the world has ever seen.
The story above is summarized from a book about Hudson Taylor’s life, one of several books I have been listening to this summer from a series I found called Christian Heroes: Then & Now (Plug: You can listen to these and many other books for free online through a service called “Hoopla” if you have a library card). As I listened to stories about impactful missionaries like Hudson Taylor, William Carey, Mary Slessor, and Samuel Zwemer, I noticed there were certainly many “great” moments of faith in their lives but something that stood out to me was the “little moment” faith that so often played such big parts in their stories.
What I mean by “little moment” faith is a faith, compelled by Christ’s love, which leads people to be faithful in seemingly small and insignificant ways. When Amelia and her mother began to pray for Hudson, they were not doing it in order to receive any recognition, and they had no idea how God would use Hudson. They were simply compelled by love and a belief in the Gospel. If we’re honest with ourselves, most of us know how easy it is to get caught up in the day-to-day duties of life and justify our lack of faithfulness by saying that we will be faithful when it’s important. We might be thinking about saying “Yes” if a pastor asks us to do something or even dreaming about a moment of testing when we have to take a stand for Christ, but what we may really be saying is that we’ll be faithful when others are looking, or when the “reward” (in an earthly sense) makes it worth it. While I can’t make any promises that our “little moment” faithfulness will have the same kind of clear “reward” that Amelia and her mother’s did, what I do believe is that God cares just as much, and perhaps more, about our “little moment” faithfulness than He does our “big moment” faithfulness (1 Corinthians 10:31, 1 Corinthians 13:1-3, Colossians 3:17). I say all of this as someone who still struggles with “little moment” faithfulness, but I’ve seen God use these moments in big ways, and it makes me want to grow more in this area.
God calls each of us to live life united to Him by the Holy Spirit, and only He can guide us through the specific “little moments” of faithfulness we’re being called to. These might look like: stopping to talk to a neighbor while on a walk, speaking with gentleness to your spouse, choosing to pray or have someone over for dinner (instead of watching a TV show), or simply doing the dishes (without needing recognition). The tricky part about this though is that we can’t make ourselves want to be faithful in these situations. The power for “little moment” faithfulness comes through relationship with God (check out Rob’s blog post) and soaking ourselves in the same Gospel that transformed Hudson Taylor.
The Gospel is the reality that God, out of an overflow of His love, created the world that we live in and filled it with life and beauty (Genesis 2:9). But all people, starting with Adam and Eve, have rebelled against God, preferring to follow their own way instead of God’s way and yet never finding any peace. It’s not just other people, or the generations before us -- it is you and I as well (Romans 3:10-18). The murder and adultery in our hearts, the lies told to preserve ourselves, the desire for our comfort at the expense of others, and ultimately rejecting God. For all of these things, we will face judgement, and the one who will judge us is the one we have rejected. The just punishment for our sin is death and separation from God (Romans 6:23). Even the idle words we have spoken will be brought against us as evidence, and everything done in the dark will be brought into the light (Luke 12:2-3). In short, there was no hope for us.
There was no hope that is, until God, the very one we rejected, came to earth as God and man in Jesus Christ. He lived the perfect life that none of us could live, died the death that we all deserved (2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 5:8), and rose again. All who receive this good news by faith, believing and following Him, He unites to Himself by His Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14, 1 Corinthians 1:21-22, John 17:3). We are given his record of faithfulness and a living relationship with God that goes on into eternity (John 3:16-18). It is in this relationship that we can walk in “little” and “big” moments of faithfulness, because He promises He is with us always (Matthew 28:19-20, Isaiah 41:10). I pray that each of you find rest in this good news, peace with God, and the Holy Spirit’s power to faithfully follow Christ.