I wrote this piece for my church bulletin and wanted to share it here as well.
One Small Step
I make hundreds, possibly thousands, of choices every day. Only sometimes do I stop and contemplate the outcome before making them. The longer I have been on this Christian walk, the more I notice how much say God wants to have in the choices I am making – even the seemingly insignificant ones. My choices determine the path I walk and have a huge impact on not only my future, but the future of others as well.
God places before me an abundance of opportunities to turn toward him in obedience, to set my agenda aside and listen for his prompting. Since I am his sheep, I believe I hear his voice. No, not announced from a megaphone, but stirring in my spirit and whispering words that I know did not originate with me. Then, the direction I take is up to me.
I want to go where he wants me to go. I long to have an amazing ministry. I want to be a source of overflowing love for my family, acquaintances, and perfect strangers. But how do I get from where I am now to where I want to be? I take one small step at a time.
I don’t think that the spiritual giants we all admire simply became that way overnight. Each one began by taking a small step toward God in obedience. Then, they took another step, and another. They trusted God in simple matters and obeyed when the spirit spoke to their hearts. The men and women time remembers got accustomed to hearing his voice and obeying quickly. When they proved trustworthy in small matters, God put them in charge of great ones. Even the Apostle Paul had to start somewhere. He turned toward God so often, turning his back on God ceased to become an option.
Clare DeGraaf, author of The Ten Second Rule observes that, “True godly character is forged less by a few, big dramatic decisions than the cumulative impact of thousands of small acts of simple obedience.” He says that prompt obedience, acting seconds after feeling a spiritual nudge, is ideal. When we wait and consider if we really have time for this interruption to our day, we are less likely to obey. We can always rationalize our way out of a seemingly silly suggestion that may or may not be from God. However, I would rather follow God’s lead without fully understanding why, than have to ask myself, “What would have happened if I had done what I believe he was leading me to do?”
Hebrews 4:7b says, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.” Stop. Listen. Then, take a step toward eternity. I assure you, it will lead to your heart’s deepest desire: intimacy with God.
God, I thank you that I can hear your voice when I am still long enough to listen. Help me to be looking for opportunities to follow your lead daily. I want to be known as someone who reached out beyond my comfort zone and showed you love to others whenever possible. Amen.