Think Small When You Dream Big

Jennifer Kennedy Dean
Jennifer Kennedy Dean

Like Alice’s adventures in Looking-Glass Land, where everything she encountered was the mirror-image opposite of what she thought to be true, the kingdom of heaven seems upside-down and inside-out when we first enter. Learning its biosphere and how to navigate its landscape becomes the adventure that defines our lives.

The way up is down.

The way to life is through death.

The way to greatness is through servanthood.

Kingdom living turns all of the world’s platitudes and conventional wisdom on its head. The two are diametrically opposed. The first exposure to kingdom-life principles is mind-boggling. It seems it would require a mind transplant to absorb the absurdity of it.

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So, mind transplant it is. When you are born into the kingdom, the kingdom is born into you. Your mind is reformed and regenerated. The old operating system is replaced with a new one.

The new operating system runs all the programs differently. Old things have passed away, and everything has become new. You have the mind of Christ, and He can make direct deposits from His mind into yours. He can think His thoughts through your mind. The Lord has taken out your hard-as-rock, stubborn mind and transplanted a mind that is open and living and receptive.

The mindset of the world tends to value big. The bigger the better. Flashy, sparkly big. So, when you first notice that the kingdom gives small all the value, it takes a while to absorb it. We are so used to being oriented toward big that the reorientation toward small feels unnatural. But small is where all the action is in the kingdom.

Small Is the New Big 

Think of something big. A mountain? A tree? Get a mental picture of something you call big. Now consider that it is made up of tiny, tiny atoms. Atoms are made up of even tinier neutrons and protons. Neutrons and protons are made up of elements so small, they can’t be seen with the strongest microscope.

No such thing as big. Everything we call “big” is just a whole lot of “small.”

Small upon small upon small finally equals big. There is no big without lots and lots of small.

Nature as God created it is the image of the invisible kingdom of heaven. His creation illustrates the principles of His kingdom. In kingdom living, small matters. Small is the key to big. Choice by choice, act by act, decision by decision, obedience by obedience—a large life is made up of a whole lot of small.

Nanotechnology is all the rage—the technology of the future, some say. The possibilities are endless, and the power comes from the size of the nanoparticle. It is tiny. The nanoparticle is so small that it can pass through the skin and through the outer layers of organs. Medicine can be delivered by nanoparticles. Skin treatments can be delivered by nanoparticles. Because the delivery system is so small that it can pass through barriers like skin or organs, it can deliver medicines or chemotherapy or vitamins deeper and more efficiently. The power of small in action.

The Word of God, delivered by the Holy Spirit, is—like a nanoparticle—transdermal. It is more than skin deep. The Spirit carries the power of the living Word deep into the heart and life and transforms from the inside out. "Spiritual nanotechnology" means that the healing and renewal that might otherwise sit on the surface can be absorbed in the deep and hidden places. It takes the power of small to bring big results.

Jennifer Kennedy Dean is executive director of the Praying Life Foundation and a respected author and speaker. She is the author of numerous books, studies and magazine articles specializing in prayer and spiritual formation. Visit her website for more information about her ministry.

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