June 29, 2021 — There has to be a First Step

“It seems to me,” I said to Stan one morning, “that you have a pretty good idea of what you are supposed to be doing for and with God. Do you think that’s a fair statement?”

“Fairly fair!” Stan replied with a smile. “And it also depends on which hour of which day you are talking about. Maybe even which minute! And it certainly wasn’t always the case. For way too long, I really had no interest in what God might or might not have for me to be and to do.”

“What caused the change?” I asked.

Rather than answering, Stan asked me a question: “You familiar with the expression about the longest journey only begins with a fist step?”

“Sure,” I replied.  “Seen and heard that many times.”

“Well,” Stan said, “that expression was an exact reflection of me in failing to take the first step on the journey with God, the journey He had and has for me.”

“Why do you think you were reluctant to take the first step?” I asked.

“Fear,” he replied. “I didn’t know which way to step. I was afraid of stepping in the wrong direction and starting on a journey God didn’t intend for me.  So I did nothing.”

“That’s understandable,” I said. “Better safe than sorry!”

“I guess,” Stan replied, “but God soon made it clear that without stepping out I was never going to get to where He intended for me to be.”

“No first step, no journey!” I responded.

“Yes and no,” Stan said. “By just sitting there doing nothing, I was on a self-defined journey, just being carried along by what I thought was best.  God showed me that was not what He had in mind and that He wasn’t worried about whether I would step out and fall down, as long as I got back up.”

“Did you step out and fall down?” I asked.

“Many times,” He replied.  “My walk with God was clearly not a straight path, and I am not sure it was or is intended to be a straight path.”

“It seems to me,” Stan continued, “that there are a lot of things God has for me to see about His will, things that I can see a whole lot clearer if I take the first step, then the second, knowing and believing that if my third step is not in accordance with His will He will make that clear.”

“For me,” Stan then said, “it was better to take small steps, little by little, being guided by God.  Over the years, I have seen several people who thought they knew what God had for them to do.  They took off running in the direction they thought best, ran into a brick wall, fell down, and never got back up.”

Concluding, he said, “It is not about how many times you fall down, it’s about how many times and how you get back up.”

___________________________________

Bible verses to consider:

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.  Ephesians 2:10.

And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” Luke 9:23.

So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure. Philippians 2:12-13.

Prayer:  Thank you, Father, for the free and gracious provision of life eternally with you when it’s time. Thank you for those who brought me to that truth so I could accept it by faith. Thank you, too, for leaving me on this side of eternity so I can work out that salvation by drawing ever closer to you in an ever-deepening personal relationship. You know and I know how many times I have been reluctant to step out seeking what you have for me to be and do in working out my salvation because I was afraid I would make a mistake and go in the wrong direction. Please help me in following every step of your lead, knowing without a doubt that you will show me if I will have my eyes open. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Think on this: Do you have salvation to work out because you have the assurance of salvation? If no, why? What is holding you back from accepting by faith God’s free and gracious gift of life eternally with Him when it’s time? If you do have the assurance of salvation, how are you doing with working out that salvation on this side of eternity. Have you begun your journey with God by stepping out? If no, why? Are you afraid of making a mistake and going in the wrong direction? If so, what is that all about? If you need help in stepping out in faith, where is that help going to come from?

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