This devotional is Day 4 of the 25-Day Advent Series “The Wonders of His Love.” Follow along with us as we grow in grace through the Christmas story by subscribing or bookmarking the home page above!
Scripture: Micah 5:1-5
From the beginning of time, God was doing His work in small places. He didn’t choose the mighty or the clever. He worked in the small, quiet places and in ordinary, unremarkable lives.
When Micah foretold of Christ’s unremarkable birth in the manger in Bethlehem, he wasn’t telling us anything new about God.
Bethlehem, the City of David, was the hometown of the humble shepherd boy who defeated a giant with a slingshot and ruled the nation of Israel during its Golden Age. Micah’s words call us to remember the humble beginnings that God has always used for His might.
No one anticipated the Savior of the world being born in a lowly place. They expected thunderous applause and honor that attempted to show proper respect for the Creator of the Universe, the One chosen to make all things right.
From the beginning of time, God worked in the unexpected ordinary.
And the foretelling of the birth of Christ reminds us that God hasn’t changed, and will continue to use the small, ordinary place and small, ordinary people to accomplish His purposes.
In my life, I’ve often felt insignificant in the Kingdom. My daily life feels like it lacks eternal value. I doubt that God is big enough to work in little, old me. But I forget the truth prophesied by Micah.
When spiritual battle needs to be done, the key players aren’t the mighty – they are the forgotten, the ones too small to even be counted.
“Now muster your troops, O daughter of troops; siege is laid against us; with a rod they strike the judge of Israel on the cheek.
But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days.” – Micah 5:1-2, ESV
God spoke to Israel and told them to prepare for battle. But the battle had been raging since the dawn of time when Adam and Eve doubted God and tasted the forbidden fruit between their lips.
The battle wasn’t simply for their borders or even their physical freedom, it was for their very souls.
The Israelites weren’t strangers to captivity nor were they strangers to see God work in mighty ways. They’d watched Him make a mockery of Pharaoh and his priests and part the Red Sea to lead them to safety. They had been sustained by His provision of manna in the wilderness. They’d watch the god of the Philistines fall down before His presence.
All of these stories show God’s ability to show His mighty power in ordinary people for extraordinary purposes.
So why do I doubt that He can work powerfully in my life?
Why is my day to day service on His behalf the exception? I confess with my mouth that I believe He works in the ordinary but my heart shows that I fear this. I try to establish my worth. To assert that I am good enough, organized enough, committed enough, devoted enough, holy enough.
But I know I will never be enough.
Micah’s words remind me that I don’t have to be.
In a season that cries, “More, more, more!” I am reminded that I don’t need to be more. Jesus reminds me that He is more than enough.
God will use me exactly where I am. His power is more than enough to make up for my own insignificance.
Christ’s birth is Bethlehem reminds us of this. And Micah’s prophesy reminds us to expect God’s work in the ordinary.
So expect His work today as you go about your normal pre-Christmas planning. Expect to be used in the grocery line, in preparing dinner for your family, and in delighting in the latest Hallmark movie.
Don’t let yourself become dismayed but, like Mary, offer yourself up as a handmaiden of the Lord.
Christmas is a time I see the big, beautiful, life-transforming power of God up close and personal. I sing about it. I celebrate it. I feel it in our hearts.
But as I celebrate the bigness, I cannot forget the small places in which it happened.
Because long after the lights fade and carols cease, God will still be working in small, ordinary places in me and around me to accomplish His magnificent, redemptive purposes.
Questions for Your Heart:
- Do you believe God works even in the smallest of moments and most mundane of tasks?
- How does the humble nature of Jesus’s arrival halt our materialistic mindset this time of year?
- What does it reveal to you about the heart of God?
About the Author
Bailey Suzio is passionate about drinking copious amounts of coffee and equipping believers to see God’s work in their daily lives and church communities. You can connect with her on her site The Thin Place (where her Advent Prayer Guide is waiting as her Christmas gift to you) as well as on Facebook.