Following Jesus is a massive undertaking. It’s hard to imagine anything more monumental than dedicating one’s life to following any one person, much less the Creator of the Universe! When we decide to forsake everything to follow Jesus, it is not a trivial matter. This decision is not a momentary whim for true followers. This is an agonizing realization that we are nothing without Him and we can no longer live for ourselves, but rather must expend all our days to glorify Him. In this magnitude of a decision, it is easy to get lost and feel overwhelmed. We can see what the finish line looks like, but we often are clueless as to how to get from where we are to there. The old axiom of “How do you eat an elephant (the answer is – with apologies to my fellow animal lovers – one bite at a time)?” comes into play here. If we try and do everything Jesus commanded us to do in one fell swoop, we are destined to fail. In fact, I think many of our failures arise from our trying to do too much at once and perhaps too much too soon. God’s Sovereign story has been unfolding for thousands of years. There is an element of divine patience woven throughout history. The key movements are in the subtleties of life. Jesus is constructing His Kingdom from the bottom up rather than from the top down. He is building His dominion through the freewill of those who love Him rather than by dictating to those who do not. God is in the little things, the details, of life.
Rather than trying to make great strides in our walk with God each day, we should instead strive for small, consistent steps. As Dave Ramsey is fond of saying, “When I read the story of the tortoise and the hare, the tortoise wins every time!” There is great wisdom in that old story. While it is very important to not only see the big picture but to also keep it clearly in focus each day, it is equally important to concentrate on the small snapshots that make up that bigger picture. Every day we are faced with situations in our life that force us to make choices. Many times these choices will cause us to choose for Christ or against Him. We must choose between lying and telling the truth. We must choose between acting justly or unjustly. We must choose between compassion and selfishness. Each of these decisions and countless more are the details of life. They are the minutiae that form our character and determine the integrity of our devotion to Jesus. While none of these choices on their own appear to be of much consequence at the time, the truth is that it is the accumulation of these choices that ultimately determines whether or not we will live a life of following Jesus.
Never underestimate the weight of little choices. These choices are creating who we will become tomorrow. It is vitally important that we take captive every thought, every choice and every emotion as we determine to follow Christ. Nothing must slip through the cracks. While this is of course nearly impossible in application, it is through disciplining ourselves to monitor the moments that we will develop into the image of Christ. It is by focusing on Him every second of our lives and in every opportunity. Following Jesus is not a onetime decision, but rather a life long journey of countless steps. Each step either brings us closer to Him or it moves us further away. Take care of the little things in life, the details of every day. By choosing Christ in the small, unseen moments, we will mature into a true and devoted follower of Jesus. The big things in life will take care of themselves if we are slowly and steadily building a life that looks like Jesus in the small decisions of our everyday lives.