The Little Things Matter Too :: By John Lysaught

There are so many details to each of our lives.  We all face common “big” things like work troubles, financial burdens, etc., but there are details in our lives that make each of us and our situations unique from others.  It’s these little details that make us who we are and affect our relationship with Jesus.  The details of each one of us creates our own individual barriers in our relationship with Jesus; and, on the same token, show our strengths and gifts from Jesus.  The great thing is, the Bible addresses anything and everything we face and will face in our lives.

From the Book of Genesis through to the last word in the Book of Revelation, we can gather the nuggets of wisdom and gain the guidance we need to strengthen our walk with Jesus and help us with the challenges we face day in and day out. How do we find these nuggets of knowledge? Read, my friend; read the Bible.

In our uniqueness, the details of our lives contain an innumerable amount of challenges. It seems our lives face more trouble than successes. And even when we have successes, they’re short-lived because another challenge steps up and forces its way into the front of the line, causing us to be yet again absorbed in another pitfall. We wonder if it will ever end, if this downward spiral will ever hit the bottom, so we can just move up and up instead of up and down, up and down.

Sure, big occurrences take a lot of our time to tackle, but the little problems we face in summation will at times exceed the larger challenges.  The stacking of minute problems takes most of our energy and will likely cause the most stress we have daily.  We don’t go out and seek minor issues, but they come nonetheless.  It’s how we face them and rub them out of our lives that will show our fortitude in Christ’s love, grace and power.

I know I tend to ignore the minor troubles in lieu of the major problems. I think to myself that if I can resolve the big issues, then the little ones will either go away or resolve themselves. Never works.  I try to convince myself of this, but it just doesn’t happen.  If I ignore the little challenges, they either nip at my heels all the time or they morph into larger problems.  I tend to forget that Jesus is my strength for the bumps in my life and not just for the mountains I come upon.

The bumps in life will slow you down in your relationship with Jesus, just as a mountain will do.  We seek the level ground to keep our paths free of impediments so we can walk with Jesus more and more without interruption, but it just doesn’t happen that often. Satan is always ahead of us digging trenches and placing other obstacles in our way to try to stop us, and better yet, to try to get us to turn around and cease moving forward with Christ.

Satan, don’t forget, wants to “kill, steal and destroy.”  He wants to kill our relationship with Jesus; he wants to take us away from Him; and he wants to destroy our hope and joy in Jesus.  Yes, Satan does this by placing mountains in our way, but also smaller obstacles as well. Unbeknownst to us, these smaller obstacles can and do slow us down in our walk with Jesus.  We sometimes don’t notice or recognize these small obstacles for what they are. They are designed to destroy us and turn our relationship with Jesus on its head.

Satan will place booby traps through the field of our lives.  He wants us to step on them to kill us and have us turn from Jesus. For those who don’t have a relationship with Christ, he uses traps to keep them far from Christ.  We need to be able to recognize these traps in our lives, as well as others’ lives to help them steer clear and walk to Jesus, not away from Him.

Satan is wily in his efforts; he is not dumb.  He is keenly aware of what he faces. He has had millenniums of time to refine his craft and bring opposition into our lives, to have us turn from Christ.  He uses others and society to execute his plans, and never rests.  He has plenty of fallen angels and man to aid him in his attempts to kill our relationship with Jesus.

Satan condemns us at every possible opportunity.  He knows we are drawn to sin. He tempts us by taking advantage of our sinful natures. He knows we are easily persuaded creatures.  Look how easy it was for him to sway Eve in the Garden of Eden.  How much more, now that time is running short for him? Because time is running shorter for him as each day passes, Satan is doubling his efforts to tangle us up in his snares.

Satan has interwoven temptation and tribulations towards us through society.  These temptations and tribulations are not just huge hurdles, but are intertwined within the details of our lives.  We can’t escape them, but we can face and overcome them.

The ills of society seep into our lives each day and in every way possible.  We can’t avoid them unless we close ourselves in a deep cave, but we can surround ourselves with Jesus, so the details of our lives are protected from Satan.  Jesus will help us keep guard over the details that make us who we are and what we are.

Let’s look at false idols for a moment. Many are duped into believing false idols are things like the gods of ancient Rome or from the Greek culture.  True, but it also involves the subtler idols of today. Put plainly, anything that you worship other than Jesus is a false idol. False idols include the material world or people in life that take precedence over our love and focus of Jesus.  Would you miss church to watch your sports team play?  Would you rather have a beer or watch television than read your Bible?  How about that poster in your garage of the sports star or movie star?

See, false idols are everywhere around us. Anything society offers us to distract us and get us to focus on anything other than Jesus is false.  When we follow the lives of movie stars more than we follow the life of Jesus, whom are you worshiping?  You may not think so, but they are false idols.  In ancient times, there were gods for every facet of life. It is the same today; we just don’t physically bow down to the goddess or god of this or that. Don’t be deceived; the gods of ancient times are still worshiped today, just in different forms.

So how does this relate to troubles in the details of our lives.  They matter because they affect our relationship with Jesus. Each detail of what Satan throws at you through technology, media, societal belief systems, etc., play a role in the small details of our lives.  How we face these will affect our relationship with Jesus.

Jesus is our power and strength. He is in the big tribulations of life and the small troubles in life as well.  There are clear-cut things in life that we know are against the will of God, such as abortion; but there are smaller things in life that don’t get as much attention, such as being able to say something about our faith in public or at work.  We have been conditioned to be more “sensitive” to others in what we say or proclaim. Because of this, we have adapted how we talk in daily interactions with people, in the small things.  This should not be so.

Jesus did not come to conform to the world or want us to conform either. He came to set us free from the world.  He didn’t sacrifice Himself so we can do what we want, or bend to other belief systems or ideas; but He was our sacrifice so we can have eternal life with Him. He came to set us free from the small troubles, not just the big issues we face.

can’t tell you what the small things in your life are; it’s your life, not mine.  Only you and God know what the minor challenges are that you face. But Jesus came and died for us to live and also gave us the Holy Spirit for guidance and the strength to overcome both big and little challenges.

If you stop, think and pray, the Holy Spirit will reveal to you those minor details in life that are, or are becoming, obstacles in your life.  It could be the music you listen to or what you read for pleasure, or whatever.  There is a plethora of little things in life that trip us up and withhold our true potential in life for Christ. The Holy Spirit will show you what these are, if you ask and listen to Him.

Satan is ever changing in his efforts to destroy us. Society is ever changing in how we should live and act. But, you know what? God is steady and never changing. He is the same and will not change with whatever direction the wind is blowing.  He is perfect, and perfection does not change.  He is true and never false.  He is love and without evil.  His promises are never broken, and He will never forsake us.

When facing the bumps and trenches put before us in life, in both the major and minor details, remember that Satan is already defeated, and Jesus is victorious.  We need to kick through the small bumps in our walk with Jesus so that we stay on track and grow in Him, not turn from Him, or stop where we stand.  The God of the universe is on our side. The little things of life can affect our relationship with Jesus, but with the strength through Christ and the Holy Spirit’s help, we’ll find and stay on the straight path to heaven.