Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth, and was subject to them…-Luke 2:51a
Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem. He grew up in an obscure village called Nazareth in Israel, one of the smallest countries in the world. Even now, the tip of Israel can only claim 7 miles in width. Fulfilling earlier century prophecy, Jesus was called the Nazarene. Also, as prophecy predicted He was despised, rejected and considered insignificant by the men of his day.39
Yet, Jesus impacted His world and the worlds to come with His good news message. After His sacrificial death on the Cross His name was exalted by Father God as the name above all names. In fact, God has declared him sitting at His right hand until all His enemies are made His footstool.
How did Jesus gain such significance with the Father and with man? First He overcame an enemy called insignificance. Jesus prevailed over the rumors about his virgin birth. He didn’t listen when the voice of insignificance whispered to him, “You’ll never amount to anything! Look at how they whisper about your mother being pregnant before married.”
He didn’t let the fact that he was born in a stable or grew up in the insignificant little village of Nazareth stop him from doing the works of the Father.40 He didn’t allow the fact that he didn’t start his public ministry until 30. No one declared that he was a child traveling minister.
Insignificance has a voice. That same voice of insignificance plans to kill, steal or pervert God’s plan of significance for your life. It can speak through others, or it can bombard you as your own thoughts. It taunts, “You’re nobody. Do you think anything you are doing will make any difference?”
“After all who will care,” he whispers urging you to give up. You can know the plans of the enemy have been behind every circumstance that has said: you are unimportant, unnoticed, meaningless, trivial, unknown, inconsequential, defamed, undistinguished, forgotten, obscure, strangers, and a foreigner to God.
Subtly, he steals from us by devaluing our gifts or contributions to the Body of Christ. The housewife, the career woman in the workplace, the volunteer in the local church are led to think they have made no real contribution. To the evangelist he says, “Your words mean nothing.
You aren’t stable so who listens to you. Then to the struggling pastor he undermines with, “You’re not well traveled and sophisticated like others. Your whole congregation can fit on one pew.
He robs us of purpose by getting us to grow weary with ever walking in our destiny. Or he pushes the child of God on to the path of compromise.
I’ve learned compromise not only detours us from God’s path but it always lead us farther than we planned to go and we stay longer than we planned to stay. When we don’t know or believe God gifted us with significant lives we will find it hard to combat the lies of our enemy.
Our enemy Satan wants to assign a name to our destiny (final outcome). He wants to give us a name that will perpetuate an unexpected end. For years the devil has tried to give me a name of shame. Through a set of circumstances designed to destroy and a couple of wrong life choices, I received that name. God has since revived and restored my true name of holy and righteous.
Maybe there is a name or two that he has tried to assign you. Our Lord has restored our name of righteous and holy; the one intended for us through the finished work of Christ at the cross. The name connected to our purpose and destiny is holy. The family that you are most a part of now is righteous and peculiar.41 God has taken great measures to make sure we know we are significant. To develop an overcoming spirit toward insignificance guard against these classic statements of insignificance:
- God doesn’t know me. He said to Jacob and now to us, “I have redeemed you and called you by name.” I know when you sit and rise, your comings and goings…42
- God doesn’t care about the details of my life. You are worth more than many sparrows, even the hairs on your head are numbered. Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.43
- I am a stranger to God. You are no longer an outsider…you belong to God’s own household. My sheep know my voice and a stranger they will not follow.44
- He has forgotten about me. Even if our mother who birthed us forgets, He our heavenly Father will not forget. We are engraved (tattooed) on the palm of His hands. God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.45
- God doesn’t like me. God blesses the righteous and with favor encompass them as a shield.46
Maybe God changed his mind. He is the Lord God who changeth not. His gifts and calling are with out repentance.47
- I am poor. He raiseth the poor and needy out of the dust and dunghill to set them among princes, even the princes of his people.48
Throughout Scripture, we know Jesus overcame the circumstances of his birth and humble beginnings by humility, submission to the authorities in His life and obedience to the Father. He exemplified a pattern that increased his wisdom and favor with God and man. We can follow in His footsteps and overcome any voice of insignificance with the word of God. I know like never before that He fully knows me and calls me by name. Won’t you join me as I plan anew to embrace more and more what God has said about us?
Earma Brown, author of W.O.W. Women of Worth! Becoming an Extraordinary Woman Using Ordinary Tools inspires women around the world to become women of destiny, purpose, and victory through speaking engagements, her books, and Bible studies. Sign up for her free ecolumn Destiny Notes at http://www.wowontheweb.com
For more information, also visit http://www.earmabrown.com