Our minds are always in battle with the enemy. This is where he convinces you that God does not love you, he doesn’t exist, he has abandoned you and he has refused to bless you. When things get rough and your back is against the wall, who do you run to? Who do you speak to? Are you in the early stages of your career? Are you starting a business from scratch? Are you a new mum? Are you a stay at home wife or husband? Are you starting a new job? Are you starting a new research? Are you newlyweds? Have you been rejected by your family for choosing a different path to what they expected? This message is for you and I am here to remind you to embrace your humble beginnings. The bible says in Zechariah 4:10 “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin, to see the plumb line in Zerubbabel’s hand”. Just as the Lord knew Zerubbabel’s destiny and how far along he has come, so it is with us his children.
Humble beginnings are usually not easy because you will have lots of criticisms, setbacks and failures. The uncertainties are scary because you have left your comfort zone, and many a times God does not give us as full description of what we will face while we start out on this journey. Now, I know that if God had shown me the trials I would face in South Africa, I would not have taken that step. He keeps these mysteries hidden for our own benefits, and he assures us that at the end of that road is our breakthrough. Just as an example; I hate taking medications of any kind and Lord knows I can complain. My husband on the other hand is an expert, he can tell just by looking at the medicine if it will be bitter or not. So now while he encourages me to take the medication, he does not reveal to me if it will be bitter or not but rather he focuses my attention on the dessert that is waiting after the horrible pill. Brethren, it is not about where or how you start but where and how you finish, Amen.
These beginnings are more spiritual than we realize because as a man thinks in his heart, so is he (Proverbs 23:7; Proverbs 4:23). Whatever your calling may be, as long as you see it and think it, I believe the grace of God is sufficient to make that dream a reality (Genesis 13:14-15). Sometimes we get overwhelmed by the situations we are in and we begin to doubt and compromise because we want to get out of that stage faster. My advice to you is that you remain honest in that situation, take it one day at a time and thank God for the journey. When your enemies attack you, it is not a sign of weakness but rather a testament to your walk with God because those enemies will be your footstool to success (Psalm 110:1). Whatever stage of life you are in now, trust that the favor of God is able to change the ordinary to extraordinary, tests to testimonies and impossible to possible.
My biggest growth happened in South Africa and I experienced many humble beginnings. I went from moving flats 7 times in South Africa due to rent issues to owning one. I went from eating once a day to having three meals. I went from wearing worn out or handed down clothes to affording new ones. My earthly father abandoned me but God replaced him with many others that supported me financially and spiritually through University. Never despise your humble beginnings because in the end it will bring prosperity (health, peace, financial strength) (Job 8:7). It took a lot for me to get to where I am now and as Joyce Meyer says “thank God that although I am not where I need to be, I am glad I am not where I used to be”.
Even now as I write to you, I am faced with a lot of challenges. People ask me many times, why did you quit PhD? Are you just a wife now? What was all that suffering at University for? The Lord began to remind me again not to despise this new beginning. He says “the world seeks excellence but I seek your heart. The journey you went through for those degrees have enabled you to learn how to pray when all hell breaks loose, enabled you to stand when the enemy kicks you at the knee and now you are at the point where you can speak my word without fear of what people think.
John Bunyan was called an illiterate, and yet he wrote The Pilgrim’s Progress which has spread across many continents, showing people the life of a Christian in search of God. When you move from grace to grace, you cannot help but see how much God loves you. Every beginning is a stepping stone for God to do wonders.
I have a friend who studied with me in South Africa and has returned to Nigeria to chase his dreams. Whenever he made progress, no matter how little, he would say Chichi come and see my humble beginning. His parents would not support his dreams of being a real estate agent and starting his own company because their expectations of him were different. That dream was so strong that he left his father’s wealth and relocated to another state. One faithful day, he needed a taxi to get to a certain destination but he could not afford the full payment. He pleaded so much with the taxi man to take what he had now, and he will pay the rest later but the man refused and drove off. My friend stood there helpless with only 150 naira to his name, until a certain man who was watching the entire time offered to give him a lift for free. He then prophesied to my friend saying “don’t worry, one day you will pass by this area in your own car and the same people will marvel at how successful you are”. Fast forward two years later, my friend had started his own company, had his own car and happened to drive by the same area that represented his humble beginnings. The same man that prophesied to him, jumped for joy on seeing him and revealed to people the story of the man who could not afford his taxi fare 2 years ago. Our God is good and he is more than able to meet you at the point of your needs.
Jesus reminds me in Mathew 13:33 that without yeast, you are just a lump of dough that will not rise. Your trials and your beginnings represent the yeast that God adds, so that when you rise people will know that your God is at work. Brethren, your humble beginnings are the most defining moments in your life. It is very important to know that you should not define yourselves by what you have but by what you know. Chichi what do you know? I know that the favour of God is upon me (Psalm 5:12; Psalm 84:11; Psalm 90:17), I know that I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:21), I know that I am the head and not the tail (Deuteronomy 28:13), I know that with long life he will satisfy me (Palm 91:16), I know that he has perfected all that concerns me (Psalm 138:8), I know that his words are life to me and health to my flesh (Proverbs 4:20-22), I know that I am a living and anointed witness and that no weapon fashioned against me shall ever prosper (Isaiah 54:17).
When you have the wisdom from above, you can never go wrong in anything you set out to do. That is why I believe that parents should pass down wisdom rather than wealth to their children because the bible says in Proverbs 14:24 “Wisdom can make you rich, but foolishness leads to more foolishness”. The bible is full of people with humble beginnings like Abraham, Joseph, David, Esther and Ruth, who later on became very important people in history. The greatest example of all is the King of Kings who came to us in human form to show us the benefits of humble beginnings. He was mocked and rejected because they saw him as the carpenter’s son. In the end, the faithful lamb was crucified and God has set him on high and gave him the name above all names (Philippians 2:8-9). This tells me that those who begin with God get promoted in the end. Isaiah 52:13 says “Behold my servant will prosper, he will be highly exalted.
What small beginnings are you facing today? People will never give you a chance to take the steps you need to get to your success and they will judge you by their own standards and expectations. I encourage you to remain strong and believe that the Lord who started the good work in you will see it to completion (Philippians 1:6). Embrace the small beginnings my friends and do not be in a hurry because God says in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”. Be blessed.