Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Steps of Faith

Growing up I always saw steps of faith as God asking me to do something scary, or intimidating. My perspective on this has changed in so many ways as I have grown in relationship with God, and learned to trust God in new ways. I now understand that a step of faith is simply trusting God, and that the more I take them the more I trust, the more I trust the less scary the next step is. This is simply because each step of faith I have taken before, God has proven faithful. He has proven that He hasn't failed and that He won't start failing me now.

God put a desire in my heart from the time I was a small child to want to be a full time missionary. I loved the heart of it, sharing Jesus, and helping people. I loved the idea of the adventure of it, I loved the idea of knowing God so well I was willing to trust Him to go places and do big things for Him. Through these first 10 years of my adult life I have learned that the trusting of God to do big things does come from knowing Him more and more, but even more than that it comes from trusting Him with what may seem like small things. The big things are important to trust Him with too, however they only truly come up now and then, but the day to day, the everyday obedience to Him is where you grow in your trust, the trust to do new and big things later on down the road.

For me some of the biggest examples of these day to day steps of faith, where I need God to show up and prove Himself are the things like serving in my local church when God asks me to serve, talking to someone in the grocery store, that I may have otherwise passed by, and calling and praying for a friend even when I worry it will feel awkward. It can also be listening to the Holy Spirit's prompting on what my children actually need from me throughout a specific day. Most recently God has shown me it can also be asking Him to intervene and give me the energy and disciple I need to accomplish what I need to accomplish that day. This is more than just having Christ on the throne, this is an intimacy, one that come from years of serving Him. This is also not asking God what kind of ice cream I should buy, or if I should vacuum, that day, but just being simply aware and sensitive to what He is doing, and being involved.

Some of the big things so far for me have been deciding to want to have kids, and being willing to try again after the loss of our first baby. Buying a house, this one was big not because of the actual act of buying our home, but because at the time in my heart, it represented the laying down, the dying of a dream. Choosing to fight fear in my life head on, and consciously choose to trust God instead of walk in fear. (Fear has been a big issue during a lot of my life, this was a scary choice and a big step of faith to tell God that I truly believed He was bigger than my fear.) The sacrifice of my dream and never knowing whether or not that dream would get a chance to come through. Having God bring that dream back, and offer an opportunity to pursue it, and trust Him even more. This was a huge step of faith because it meant giving up, letting go of the new comfort and vision God had given me for our time here. (more to come about this specific step of faith in the coming posts)

As I take these subsequent steps of faith I am always more and more encourage because I know my God doesn't fail, I know He won't start now. I also know that contrary to how many believers speak He is good, and He is trustworthy. He does not walk us into something to see how we squirm or handle it. He walks with us into seasons, and despite what His perfect plan was, He pulls the good out of the new one that was effected by our world, people, and ourselves.

God has proven to me that the steps of faith I take everyday, are steps closer to Him, to understanding His heart. Steps that can be taken in confidence knowing that He is not out to punish me, Jesus took that, He isn't out to make me uncomfortable to no reason, but that He cares deeply for me. He cares for the desires of my heart, and He doesn't just want me to be content because I made myself content, but He desires for me to be content in Him and Him alone.

Sunday, March 8, 2015


What are you afraid of?

What holds you back?

Often times as Christians we know we are called to live a fearless life. Yet so often we walk in fear, we just cover it up. We mask it with insecurities, or doubt, and don't recognize it for the fear that it is. We fear that we will miss an opportunity that God has provided or we will take the wrong step so we don't. Or we fear we will miss it so we jump out of fear to take every step, sacred to stay. Does this sound familiar? I know I have lived a lot of my life fluctuating between a fear of not taking the right step, and a fear of missing the next step.

About a year ago my husband and I made a huge life change. We decided that we didn't want to live our lives in fear. We didn't want to make any decisions based on fear. We wanted to live lives based on truth, on what we know is true and never fear. This sounds great, it has been a long walk of seeing what it looks like to truly live like this and I am convinced it is a life long journey. We went from always saying " well I'm scared of..." Or "my fear is..." To basically eliminating the word from our vocabularies. This really made me stop and evaluate what I was really thinking and feeling about things that came up. I noticed that often fear was the root but the cause was usually something simple. How silly it seemed that I have been allowing that fear to control so much of my life. I can say that a year later, a year of retraining how I think, how I process things, and how I speak, I am less fearful than I have ever been, and God has been faithful to renew my mind in this area.

How have I allowed God to do this in my life? The key was focusing in on Him, on the promises from His scripture of a sound mind, of peace, and not of a spirit of fear. Of focusing on what I know from the bible is true about God. He isn't out to get me. He isn't trying to make me uncomfortable at every turn. He knows my heart, He knows me, He knows what I need, and what my family needs better than I do. He is where who I am comes from. He established my identity long before I formed my fake one. Understanding these truths changed everything for me. I'd always known these things, but to force myself to walk them out and live it out is an animal totally different for me. He has changed me through this process. He has expanded my perspective, my understanding and challenged me to take steps of faith I wouldn't have before. When you look fear in the face and see that compared to your God, compared to Jesus they are so small it makes it easier to let go of that fear and trust.

Sometimes the biggest step of faith is staying where you are doing what God has called you to for that season. Sometimes it's dropping everything for a new adventure. Whatever it is take that step of faith. Combat the fear with truth, and when you find yourself saying "I'm sacred of..." Or "I'm worried about" look at why. How do you really feel? What lie are you believing that feeds that fear you have? What do you not believe about who God is? What do you kneed to know?  We are called to stand in truth, not fear. We are called to walk in truth. To know who we are in Christ. Our descisons that we make cannot be based on fear, they must be based on the truth of the gospel and who we are in Christ. The truth that he has never failed and He won't start now. The truth that God is good and He is trustworthy.

Walk in truth not fear, it has changed my perspective and life, and I cannot wait to see what God does as I continue to learn how to live my life in this way.