February 16, 2009 Ration

Exodus 23:29-30

“I will not drive them out from before you in one year, lest the land become desolate and the wild beasts multiply against you. Little by little I will drive them out from before you, until you have increased and possess the land.”

Be encouraged to be faithful with the portion, artists. Impatience and lack of perseverance will thwart our possession.

The Lord has reasons for acting as He does. Who but the Lord would have considered that desolate land teeming with wild beasts would be a good reason for leaving an enemy in the land a while longer. The Lord will drive out the Hivites, Canaanites, and the Hittites just as He promised with the hornets, but not sooner than serves His peoples' greatest good.

“Little by little” - this phrase is key to our development in anything. How do you digest a full plate? Is it not little by little? How do you build a house? Little by little. How do you learn your scales? Little by little. How do you progress in time and rhythm? Little by little. How do you tell a story? Little by little. How do you mature? Little by little. So how would you conquer and possess a land most profitably other than little by little?

“Little by little” is a grace to us. The Lord doesn’t need the extended time, we do. We are the ones who need to develop, grow, and mature before we can handle the complete blessing of the Lord’s promise. If the Lord gave the Israelites more than they could settle at once, it would actually be a disservice to them as the land would digress and the wild beasts would multiply. The current inhabitants, however, would be tilling the land, developing vineyards, raising livestock, and keeping order in the balance of the wilds. The enemies were to be driven out by the Lord. That was His promise. But not all at once, and that is a tender service to the Israelites.

Artists, consider the Lord’s wisdom as you consider His rationing for you. He knows what He has for us. We do not. He knows both His ability and ours. We too easily forget His and presume upon ours. We must simply trust Him and be faithful with the portion He lays before us, as this is the way of possession.

Wandering through is not possessing. Establishing firm boarders is possessing. Playing a song beautifully one time and flubbingly the next is not possessing. Having it burned into your mind, your heart, your soul, and your chops is possessing.

So let’s be patient and faithful with the Lord’s portioning of our days, artists. His promises are far more effectual than are our dreams or persuasions. He works for us when He only grants little by little. Do not be discouraged, but encouraged! This is evidence that God is mindful of our frame. We need time to increase. Our ability to possess, on our part, depends upon our maturity. Little by little, then, may we faithfully mature in what the Lord is pleased to little by little give for our possession.

Jason Harms


© 2009 The Gaius Project