Though vastness is, and grandeur its appeal,
Smallness is a greater is,
Or so it is I feel.
The highest peak of pride is lower than the lowliest form of worship:
Prostration at His feet.
The word inversion is a multi-definitional word, but the way in which I am using it is as follows: “A CHANGE IN THE POSITION, ORDER, OR RELATIONSHIP OF THINGS SO THAT THEY ARE THE OPPOSITE OF WHAT THEY HAD BEEN” (Merriam-Webster dictionary online, emphasis mine). We see this law all throughout Scripture and His creative works. Because we are so enamored with largeness we often fail to realize the grander grandeur in smallness, in those things more humbly sized. As great as a mature and mighty oak is, how much more extraordinary is the idea that that great tree came from the small and supposedly insignificant acorn?
Though God no doubt designs, desires, and accomplishes with us our adult version of ourselves, the potentiality inherently born into our infant person is the foundation of, and the greater part of, that which eventually matures and grows large. Indeed, “You (God) formed my inward parts; you wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; WONDERFUL ARE YOUR WORKS” (Psalm 139:13-14). “I know everything God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, and nothing can be taken from it, for God so acts that humans might stand in awe before him” (Ecclesiastes 3:14).
Perhaps the best example of this inversion law—that God uses always to instruct man—was made when the Almighty God expressed Himself as a powerless and puny infant human, when the omnipresent God was found wholly present in but a few pounds of human flesh.
Another example: “He (Jesus) said to them (in response to His disciples asking Him why they could not drive a demon out of someone), because of the littleness of your faith [that is, your lack of firmly relying trust]. For truly I say to you, if you have faith [that is living] like a grain of mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, move from here to yonder place, and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you” (Matthew 17:20). Also, “And He said, with what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use to illustrate and explain it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all seeds upon the earth; yet after it is sown, it grows up and becomes the greatest of all garden herbs” (Mark 4:30-32).
Throughout the years I have heard much preaching on faith, and most talk about increasing faith, but I don’t think that is what Jesus is saying here. Perhaps the translation or the wording is misleading. The phrase Jesus uses, “littleness of your faith,” cannot possibly mean the size or quantity of faith because He follows up that statement immediately with statements about how only a mustard seed quantity of faith is needed to move mountains. It is not the size as concerning quantity, but the size as concerning quality. Creator God made the mustard seed both the smallest and the largest; smallest in inception-al size but largest in exceptional potential.
The Example of Paul’s Life and Ministry
“Who hath despised the day of small things?”—Zechariah 4:10
It is not coincidental that the name Paul means small, and that from a name, Saul (which means desiring) of Tarsus (which was a city of great consequence, a place of high education), and from which I infer the lofty idea of AMBITION, he fell to a humble and often maligned-as-insignificant apostle of Jesus Christ. It is he, above all other apostles, who glories in his weaknesses. That great religious zeal, that mighty ambition to know God and to purge the whole world of heretics and false arguments and vain imaginations, is more personified in him than perhaps anyone else.
His very press, the strain of his life, was always there; before he knew God really, as he pressed so hard as to curse, as he zeroed in on Damascus to eradicate the Christian sect there, he instead encountered the utter and inverted truth, the Lord Himself as Jesus Christ in effulgent glory. Damascus, which represents material completeness, the furthest extent of the human mind and eye, also represented the goal of Paul’s ambition. But the intervening reality, the pin-prick effect of God as Jesus Christ, popped his delusional bubble. The height of Paul’s pride, which could never have elevated him to the place his ambition drew for him in his imagination, was now being accomplished in him, but in its inverted form.
I would suggest to you that Jesus Christ was always what Paul wanted, as many do, BUT they, like him, go about it in the throes of their own ambition and in the pride of their own separate elevation; they try to become all they can be in way that will really diminish them, a way that will, if accomplished along that track, snuff them out completely. The intervening Christ is the inverted truth, and always, humility comes before honor.