Bit by Bit – The Last Bit


This is the final part to my little three part series, “Bit by Bit.” If you need to catch up go here first and then here, and that should get you all squared away. And I can wait. I got a little bit of time…



So what’s the bottom line for what Bill Hybels calls, “The danger of Incrementalism?” Well, the bottom line is the loss of an adventure, a dream or a vision of great things for God’s kingdom. Nothing great is ever done by a lifetime of incrementalism.


Because incrementalism is missing one active ingredient—faith. The Bible says in Hebrews 11:6, “And without faith it is impossible to please God…”

Not difficult to please God.

Not a bit tricky to pull off pleasing God.

Not nearly impossible to please God…


Without faith it’s game over. Without faith it’s just you running your 5 year plan. Without faith it’s you and the goals you set. Without faith it’s structuring a business, selling a product, and status quo. Anyone can do that. No, faith means you venture out into the great unknown—where all you are absolutely sure of is that you are doing God’s work and have His support. Other than that, a lot seems up in the air for those who live by faith.

True, God gives the vision and reveals His path bit by bit, but He’s the only one who can play the bit by bit card successfully. Remember, He does not live by faith. He already knows all things. So revealing His will bit by bit to us is for our own good. Any more than a bit and we’d have a serious melt down. A little bit is all we can handle. On the other hand, we need that little bit to encourage us to take the next step of faith—without it we’d wither and fade away from doing great things for God. Check out what He says about the bit by bit strategy here in Psalm 119:105,

Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path.

Unto my feet? What’s up with the lighting around the feet bit?

It’s just that—light for your very next step and maybe a step or two beyond—but no more.


Light the whole path and who needs faith? Shine a light three years into the future and you’ll say, “See ya, God. I can take it from here. I mean, I can see there is a nasty sharp left about a mile ahead and three forks in the road immediately after that and the light goes right first, then left, then right again. Thanks for the info, don’t call me, I’ll call you.”

God knows this about us—all of us. We like things mapped out, safe, comfortable, predictable, no scary curves along the way. But the problem with this again is that it completely deactivates faith. And without faith…

Well, you know the rest.

What about incrementalism? Incrementalism is man’s answer to God’s flashlight with the limited three foot beam. When we pull up, slow down, stop altogether or reduce life to a very slow crawl, we are telling God we will not risk going ahead of that limited light He’s shining on our path.

Too risky.

But in doing so, we are telling God that we don’t believe He will keep moving the light on down the path. In doing so, we are saying that we think God will set us up in that once we pick up speed we will get ahead of the light and run into darkness and the great unknown. I’m talking about the great unknown of no light whatsoever. And that’s simply too scary for most Christians. No matter how tough a lot of us act, we are still small children inside—afraid of the dark.

But every now and then—every once in a blue moon someone trusts God enough to take giant steps and pick up speed on God’s lit up path. And once they do, they notice God keeping that light right where He promised. And their faith begins to build. So does the size of their steps! And those who know this type of journey won’t go back to crawling like a baby for anything.

Gang, reality is that you will hit obstacles and challenges along the way in the Christian life. You will have heartache and setbacks, but don’t let that move you to a life of incrementalism—moving just bit by bit.

I know the kiddy rides are fun when you’re a child—and fun for your kids as a parent. But never forget the giant thrills that await those who venture out into the park—the roller coasters and adventures available for all who live by faith.