Zero multiplied by zero equals zero.
We all learn this from an early age. How then, do we get caught up in the thinking that if we give nothing, God will multiply it into something? Yes, God can and does make something out of nothing. But, regarding us, that is not his modus operandi. God is a God of multiplication, and putting that principle to work requires us to deposit something into the equation. And despite what we may tell ourselves, we all have something. Even if it is as tiny as a mustard seed.
I believe this is a time where God is asking us to take that mustard seed, ability, resource, measure of time, or even mental or emotional baggage—whatever it may be that he has been highlighting to you, regardless of how unconventional, unfit, or insufficient it may seem—and step out and plant it.
Isaiah chapter 55 reveals great promises about this. The entire chapter is full of powerful application, but for this post I will focus on the last few verses:
9-11 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.
As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.”
—God is sending forth his word and he has a mission for it to accomplish. Are you hearing it? What is the word he is giving you to send out for him? And what form is that word coming in? Do not think because it doesn’t fit into your mold, expectation, or comprehension, that it is not him speaking. This world needs his words for growth; for refreshing; to yield a harvest that will sustain, fill, and nourish them. Don’t hold back. Don’t exclude yourself. You can be confident, when God sends his word to you, it WILL accomplish what it is meant to accomplish. Nothing can stop what God desires to do when he sends out his word (what he is saying), to perform his purpose (what he is doing). “God-of-the-Angel-Armies has planned it. Who could ever cancel such plans? His is the hand that’s reached out. Who could brush it aside?” Isaiah 14:27 MSG
12-13 “You will go out in joy
and be led forth in peace;
the mountains and hills [obstacles]
will burst into song before you,
and all the trees of the field [leaders]
will clap their hands.
Instead of the thornbush will grow the juniper [an evergreen],
and instead of briers the myrtle will grow.
This will be for the Lord’s renown [fame],
for an everlasting sign [testimonial],
that will endure forever.”
—God promises that we will have joy in our going, and that his peace will lead and guide us. His peace is our guiding star, telling us where to go and how to get there. The challenges will become a celebration; leaders will look on you favorably. Things that once were painful will be replaced with things that flourish with life in the harshest environments. And all of this will be a sign to the world, to show them how grand and attentive and gracious and attractive our God is.
We are his ambassadors, the channels through which his heavenly kingdom is established on this earth. That is our call and our great privilege as his people. In being obedient to the steps he is asking us to take:
We can expect loss turned to rewards; disadvantages turned to advantages; insufficiency turned to greatness.
We will reflect his infinite generosity; redeeming capability; and distinctive quality.
All to make him famous.