I’ve had people tell me, “I wish I had great faith.” While most of us would like God just to drop that kind of confidence into our laps, it’s not the way He operates. Our faith increases as a result of our obedience in little things. We all marvel at Abraham’s willingness to offer up Isaac at the Lord’s command. But have you ever stopped to consider all of his smaller steps of submission that prepared the way for this huge test?

Throughout his lifetime, Abraham obeyed God. At the Lord’s command, he left his country (Gen. 12:1-4), was circumcised (17:10, 26), conceived Isaac when he and his wife were old (21:1-3), and sent his son Ishmael away (vv. 9-14). By the time he was asked to offer Isaac as a sacrifice, he already knew that God would always be faithful to His promises. Abraham’s previous experiences had taught him to trust the Lord.

In the same way, each small step of obedience solidifies our confidence in God. Then, when He challenges us with a more difficult assignment, a firm foundation of assurance enables us to trust and obey. Great acts of faith flow from our past interactions with the Lord. By neglecting His simple commands, we miss priceless opportunities to witness His faithfulness.

Having trouble trusting the Lord for something big? Maybe it’s because you’ve ignored those “small” and “insignificant” promptings of the Holy Spirit. God considers each of His commands important and promises to reward every act of obedience, regardless of size. Great faith begins with little steps.

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Allen Tilley is senior pastor at First Baptist Church in Carthage.

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