ONE BITE AT A TIME

"God wants us to take our cities." Wow, what a powerful mission statement! It’s exciting. It motivates me. It is the stuff that dreams are made of. But when I take a moment to think about how big a city actually is, and consider all the factors involved: religion, education, politics, culture, etc., my momentary enthusiasm wanes.

How do you take your city?

"Why do I think I will ever make any difference in something so big? How do my miniscule efforts even make a dent in such a formidable wall?" In a few short moments, I have gone from dreamer to doubter. How do you take your city? To risk sounding cliché: the same way you eat an elephant, a bite at a time! You may scoff that I am oversimplifying. But, eating is an activity we underestimate. You, reader, in your power alone, eat about 2,000 pounds of food a year. THAT is an elephant! One bite at a time, day after day, adds up.

Joshua faced a city. A city that was not only big, it had a VERY BIG wall! God didn’t direct Joshua to take his city in a day. He didn’t win it with one inspired song. God’s strategic plan was to take the city of Jericho one obedient step at a time: One bite at a time.

You change the atmosphere of your city when you take steps of obedience.

Your obedience, just like eating, is often underestimated. You change the atmosphere of your city when you take steps of obedience.

A few years ago, I found out about a woman who was dying of a brain tumor. I didn’t know her, and barely knew her husband, who had done some work on our furnace. As soon as I heard about her, I knew God was telling me to go to her house and minister in praise and worship. How awkward is it to call up your HVAC guy and tell him, "I sing and my husband and I would like to come to your house and minister to your wife?" Well, in case you were wondering, it is VERY awkward. He was a gracious man, and gave us directions to come to his house.

I just knew what God had told me to do, and I was determined to do it.

When we arrived at their house, I wasn’t sure how to proceed. I just knew what God had told me to do, and I was determined to do it. We were shown to the bedroom where the woman lay. She was badly swollen, and we were told she couldn’t respond to us. Her nine year-old son laid on the bed beside her, held her hand, and stared at us with curiosity. With nothing left to do, we began to sing. As we sang, God’s presence came into the room. Suddenly, I was no longer singing in a room with a dying woman, but I was worshipping, surrounded by Heaven. It felt like a swirling cloud that came into the room and made eternity come close. I will never forget that moment.

Your little steps of obedience don’t get applauded. They usually go unnoticed.

A week later, the woman passed away. That wasn’t what I expected. I thought the least God would do was raise her up, since I was being obedient. But that is the funny thing about great victories. Your little steps of obedience don’t get applauded. They usually go unnoticed. They feel small, insignificant, and ineffectual. BUT THEY ADD UP.

Little by little, a bite at a time, you are participating in a divine strategy to conquer your city.

Step after dusty step, walking around the wall, something is changing. Maybe something in YOU is changing; maybe something in your Jericho is changing. But keep walking!

Little by little, a bite at a time, you are participating in a divine strategy to conquer your city. You are not alone! Each of us is walking together, one step of obedience at a time. Though we seem small as individuals, together we are a force to be reckoned with! Don’t let that elephant of a city intimidate you. Join us in taking it down, one bite at a time!