Has God been speaking to you lately about stepping out? I believe this is a message He is sharing with many in His body today. As you sense His calling on your life, you may be asking the same questions I have asked for years, such as “If I step out, will I be successful?”, “If I step out, will it be worth it?”, “Will it make a difference?”, “Will I fail or be disappointed?”
When God began to call me to step out to follow Him, I have to admit, there was a part of me that wished God would just supernaturally transport me to the place He wanted me to be. You know, like on Star Trek, “Beam me up God, I am ready!” It wasn’t the destination that I most feared; it was the journey. I would have at least liked Him to give me a step by step road map showing me clear directions to my destiny and a “head’s up” about the potholes and pitfalls along the way. But it doesn’t work that way.
God does not always give us the play-by-play moves before we make them, nor does He typically supernaturally transport us to our destiny. Instead, following Him involves a journey, and there are lessons to be learned along the way.
Sometimes during the journey, God will lead us to impossible places, places where our own resources are insufficient for the task. It is in those impossible situations that God is most glorified and we begin to understand His power and His glory all the more. I could cite hundreds of examples in scripture of this very thing. As a matter of fact, it is during those times that God loves to show up in some very miraculous ways. It is also during those impossible situations, that He tests our faith, our perseverance, and our resolve to follow.
To be successful on our journey, we cannot leave one foot back in our past or places of bondage, as the Israelites did, and try to follow God with the other. Continuous looking back robs us of our blessing. Instead, God wants us to exercise our faith like the disciples did when Jesus stopped beside their boat one day and said “Follow Me.” Notice that Jesus didn’t say where they were going, or how they would get there. He didn’t even tell them why they should follow. He simply said “Follow Me” and they did. Scripture says that the disciples immediately left their nets, their families, their businesses, and their past and followed. They dropped everything, risked everything. What if God had told them up front that their leader would be tortured and crucified? What if He had told them that they too would die horrible deaths as martyrs to spread His message? They may have been much more hesitant to follow. However, what if he had also shown them the fruit of their ministry, that countless generations would taste salvation and eternal life with God because of their sacrifices? Do you think they would have gone? But their motivation was not in the knowledge of what would happen or how things would turn out. Rather, their motivation was their faith in the One they followed.
Following God into the Unknown is a courageous move that most are not willing to do. Most are more content to sit on the sidelines watching others take that leap of faith. Stepping out feels risky and we are not always guaranteed every single success. However, if we don’t step out, we are guaranteed never to experience success or the joy of our destination.
In my fear to follow, I have not moved. God has told me before that if I’ll just move, He’ll take charge of the steering wheel. But in the past, I’ve wanted him to steer me while I stand still. Today, I am taking the risk, getting out of the comfort of the sidelines of the crowd and choosing to follow Jesus into the great unknown.
Church, will you go with me? I believe it is time to go! He has something great in store for us, if we are willing to take hold of His hand and move.