April 15, 2011
Yesterday my oldest daughter came face to face with one of her biggest fears: the fireman pole at the local playground. This contraption has caused great distress and fear in her life for the greater part of a month. Me being the overprotective parent havent helped matters either. Luckily, my wife has been encouraging both of us to be brave.
With Madison now in 1st grade, she is tackling things that once terrified her all in the name of being a big girl. Climbing the stairs confidently and placing two hands on the pole, she was going to laugh in the face of danger. Yet, as quickly as the confidence appeared, it disappeared. In an instant, the second she looked down, all her momentum vanished. Even though in reality she was only a few feet off the ground, to her it must have felt like miles. The view left her frozen. It wasnt until she looked at her parents on either side of the pole, cheering her on, that she mustered the courage to jump and slide.
In our efforts to have Christs heart formed in us, we all face situations similar to Madison and the firemans pole. Our eyes play tricks on us and we are left feeling intimidated and completely out of our comfort zone. In these moments, living out our One Word terrifies us. When we are in the heat of a situation it is often difficult to achieve any clarity of what should be done.
We are so quick to trust our own eyes without realizing how deceiving they can be. Intimidating obstacles and self-doubt cloud our judgment and distort our view. We get to the edge of taking that next step, but instead settle for what we know. Putting our word into action can be so frightening that many of us would be quick to give up and live in the midst of our status quo.
However, if we dont take those little steps of faith we can never get to our ultimate destination: a life defined by our intense trust in God. How do we take off our limited view blinders and gain a God perspective? This change doesnt happen overnight, but these few tips will help aid in the process:
- Take A Step Back and Reflect. All of us experience spiritual amnesia when it comes to remembering Gods faithfulness. We get so caught up in the here and now that we forget how many times God carried us through challenging times. Journaling allows us to look back and see how Gods story is unfolding and what role weve played in it.
- Refresh Our Eyes. Many times we become our own worst enemy when it comes to taking a step of faith. We define our self-worth solely by our own standard. The moment we think God is asking us to move, we instantly dismiss it by saying, He cant be asking me to do this because.(fill in the blank). Everybodys excuse is different, but if we are honest with ourselves, we know what excuse we use to justify our standing still. As challenging as this might be, we must begin to define ourselves by who we are in Christ.
- Create A Mental Mosaic. We will never get the entire picture of what God wants us to do all at one time. If we did, there would be no need for faith. We must take time to understand the pieces of the puzzle that God has made clear. These little pieces often provide some insight to what direction God might be leading.
- Practice The Next Step. Focusing solely on the destination can be so overwhelming that we think the entire task is virtually impossible. What we dont realize is that God isnt asking or expecting us to jump from point A to Z in one quick action. All He wants us to do is take that next step. Yet, dont be fooled. This wont lead to a more comfortable life. God will always direct us to places that require greater faith.
Wed love to hear your response to the following question: One way to gain a deeper perspective on how God is shaping you is by taking that next step of faith. What does the next step of living out your One Word look like for you? What are you risking by taking this next step? What is at stake by staying where you are?