Little Means Much: Laboring Like the Ant

Author: C. H. Spurgeon

Zealously, in dependence upon God, do the little you can do; do it well, and keep on doing it. You and I are not called upon to regulate the world nor to stay the raging sea of human sin. Let us not attempt to wield the divine scepter; it befits us not. Naturally, you would like to set all people right, and make all preachers orthodox. But, my brother, the task is beyond you. Be careful to be right yourself in your own life, and be resolute to bear your complete, honest, obedient testimony to all truth you know; and there leave the business, for you are not responsible beyond your possibilities.

No one of us is much more than an emmet [ant] on its little hill. Now, if a tiny ant were to indulge in serious reflections upon the state of London, and forget to assist in the labors of the insect commonwealth, it would be a foolish creature; but if it will let those great matters alone, and go on doing its ant-work, as an ant, it will fill its little sphere, and answer the purposes of its Maker.

A mother teaching her little ones, and doing all she can to bring them up in the fear of God; a humble village pastor with his score or two of people around him; a teacher with her dozen children, or a quiet Christian woman in her domestic circle bearing her godly testimony; a young man speaking for Jesus to other young men—there is nothing very ambitious about the sphere of any of these, but they are wise in the sight of the Lord. Leave the reins in the hand of the Maker of the universe and then do what he has given you to do, in his fear, by his Spirit, and, more will come of it than you dare to hope.

We are like coral insects building each one his minute portion of a structure far down in the deeps of obscurity. We cannot as yet war with those vaunted ironclads which sweep the ocean, and hurl destruction upon cities; and yet—who knows? We may build and build until we pile up a reef upon which the proudest navies may be wrecked. By the steady, simple, honest, Christian up-building of holiness and truth, defying no one, attacking no one, we may nevertheless create a situation which will be eminently perilous to the boastful craft of falsehood and skepticism. A holy, earnest gospel church is a grand wrecker of superstition and infidelity.

The life of God in man, patience in suffering, perseverance in well-doing, faithfulness to truth, prayer in the Holy ghost, supreme zeal for the divine glory, and unstaggering faith in the unseen God; these are our battle-axe and weapons of war; and, by the aid of the Holy Ghost, we shall win the battle ere the day comes to its close. Till then, O Lord, when our heart is overwhelmed, lead us to the rock which is higher than we are!”

—C.H. Spurgeon, The Sword and the Trowel, March, 1878

Copyright © The Sword and the Trowel, March, 1878 C. H. Spurgeon.
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