Obeying God in the Small

By: Elizabeth Vale
*originally published on May 15, 2021

"What if God is calling you to just be?
To be like Christ.
To be His hands and feet.
To be the church.”

God, anything, I’ll do anything for you!”

That’s a prayer I prayed a few years ago after reading Jennie Allen’s impactful book, Anything. At the time, it was a scary prayer (it still is, if I’m honest),but the reason it was scary was that I was worried that God would ask me to do something scary or dangerous or something that would deeply impact my family (although, he still might). However, something I never considered was that God might ask me to do something even more uncomfortable - something small and invisible to everyone around me.

When we talk about God’s plan for our lives, we often think of grandiose ideas, such as going off to a foreign country to be a missionary or leading a church or becoming an evangelist. Still, it’s less often that we think of God’s plan for our lives as simple daily obedience. In today's Instagrammable society, danger and glory seem more palatable than hiddenness and obscurity.

“In today’s Instagrammable society, danger and glory seem more palatable than hiddenness and obscurity.”

But what if your "anything" is having your neighbors over for dinner and talking about Jesus?

What if your "anything" is asking a friend to coffee and telling them about what Jesus has done in your life?

What if your anything is sitting in your front yard, talking to your neighbors, and sharing the love and light of Christ with them?

What if God, right now, is simply calling you to love your neighbors?

No, not your “neighbor” in the biblical sense, but the actual person who lives next door or down the street.
You might think that loving your neighbor doesn’t sound like much of a plan or purpose for your life, but what if God is calling millions of us all over the world to be Jesus to our neighbors, every single day, and millions of us actually heeded the call? What if God’s plan for revival starts in the hearts of Christians all over the world, who will choose to walk away from their computers or phones and walk across the street.

A few years ago, God called my husband and me to do just that – to walk across the street and start a conversation with our neighbors. From there, God called us to start a microchurch in our home, and we have been ministering to people in our home every week for the past four years.

In the beginning, I thought our microchurch would soon grow, we would get a building, and eventually, grow into this large impactful ministry. However, it soon became clear that God’s plan was different than ours. God continued to call us to love our neighbors and to host 20-30 (many weeks less) people in our home every Sunday. While I can’t say that God will never call us to anything else, I know God is working in our neighborhood as we follow what seems like a small calling on our lives.

During this pandemic, loving our neighbors and reaching out to those around us is more important than ever. People are isolated, lonely, lost, and depressed. They need community, but oftentimes, they don’t know how to find it, or worse, don’t know they need it. They may not feel comfortable attending a large church gathering or going to their normal hangouts; however, they may feel comfortable having a conversation with a neighbor.

Could you be that neighbor?
While we may not know God’s ultimate plan and purpose for our lives, we are all called to love our neighbors, and for some of us, that may be more literal than others. So, to those of you who are feeling a tug on your heart right now, I implore you to put down your phone, step out of your comfort zone, and walk across the street. Who knows where it will lead?
“’Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Matthew 22:36-39)

Questions about creating space for authentic community in your home or neighborhood?

Author: Elizabeth Vale
Dan and Elizabeth Vale live in Hobe Sound, Florida, and are the parents of four wonderful children. Dan works in administration at a construction company, and Elizabeth is a grant writer and editor as well as a homeschooling mom to her four children. They have led a microchurch together since 2017 and are passionate about sharing the gospel and God’s love on the Treasure Coast. They believe the best way to be the church and spread the gospel is to love their neighbors in real and tangible ways every day. 

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