Updated: 4 days ago
One of my favorite things to listen to is “God stories.” These are testimonies of people sharing instances God worked through them to meet a need, provide prayer, or give encouragement. For so many years I viewed the people who shared these stories like some sort of super heroes - the Super Spirituals.
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. Ephesians 5:1-2 ESV
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. Ephesian 5:15-16 ESV
I wanted to imitate Jesus and do what He did while He walked this earth. We only get one go around here, so I wanted to be smart with my time. I longed to see God move in people’s lives through me, but I knew how “normal” I was, so that seemed to explain my lack of experiences. But I was wrong. It wasn’t that the people who were talking of how they prayed for strangers were so special. It was that they realized a few things that I finally began to figure out.
I realized even though we are all unique, we are all human. Our qualification to be part of God’s work is because of Christ and not that we are more special than someone else. So, yup, yours truly just became “qualified.” It was also freeing to understand it wasn’t about trying harder or doing things to gain God’s love or favor. It had to do with living OUT OF HIM and acknowledging His love for others AND me. In addition to accepting God’s desire to involve us in His plans, I finally understood the “risk factor.”
Stepping out in faith can feel like we are taking a risk sometimes. We shouldn’t be surprised if He encourages us to step out of our comfort zone - He’s already established the victory, and there is no fear in Him. If we are waiting until we are full of courage, completely comfortable, or feeling spiritual, we may never begin. We may actually get a bit nervous to do what we feel we are being prompted to do. But it comes down to turning our back on fear and holding the hand of a Father who wants us to live in the identity and abundant life Christ died for us to have.
Life with God is to be our greatest adventure. When we embrace what God has for us, we will find fulfillment and, yes, excitement. I have huge adrenaline rushes while following Him. He stretches me, challenges me, and pulls things from inside me that only He knew about.
God wants to include us, but He doesn’t force us to help Him in what He’s doing. He suggests and asks. There is that moment when we have an idea, a nudge, a suggestion come to mind. In that moment we have a choice. Sometimes after the Holy Spirit makes His suggestion, our flesh or the enemy will try to talk us out of it. This may sound like our thoughts, making it easy to assume we simply decided against a passing thought.
At some point I stopped trying to talk myself out of that first idea. It then meant I had to step forward into the unknown. I have sent letters and received replies back that God encouraged them on the exact day they needed it. I have seen tears as God has placed me in the right place at the right time to share His heart with those He loves.
All this began with a single step, taking what I perceived to be a risk. I only became a risk taker as I came to understand more of this good, loving, all-knowing God. As I grow understanding, these “risks” become less that and more of the fun God lets me in on when we are hanging out together. Because of Him, these steps of faith are tied to something secure - His wisdom and guidance.
When someone tells me about their pain, whether physical, mental, or emotional, I see that as an opening God revealed to gently share the soothing balm of His Presence. One time while paying for groceries, a cashier mentioned she was tired. A conversation ensued in which I discovered this hardworking precious momma had a young son that kept her up at night. He was having some developmental challenges. I was reminded of the Scripture we had recently covered at a Bible study for moms and shared it with her. How convenient, right?!! (Thanks, God.) Tears filled her eyes as she received God’s encouragement. He knows the concerns we have in the depths of our heart tucked away. He knows. He cares.
Sometimes I get it wrong. I do. (Still a normal human being here.) I don’t grab hold of every prompt He sends, but I learn and try again, relying on God’s love for me and His ability to make something out of any mistake I make. I have seen God at work enough that I’m now looking forward to the nudge and stepping out in it just to see Him do it one more time. He has grown an insatiable curiosity in me. What is He going to do next? How is He going to express His love and Presence to them? After we take that step we will often find ourselves on the front row, watching God do something amazing and so personal for someone. Talk about a faith rush.
So where can you start? Start in the small things. Call someone when they come to mind. Engage with the people you come in contact with. Try to hold possessions more loosely, in case God asks that a larger tip be left, a gift be purchased, a book be shared, or those yummy cookies be given away that you tucked away in your freezer. You may find yourself praying for someone while shopping like two different First Love ladies did recently - just imitating Jesus, walking in love, making the most of their time…
If you haven’t ever considered your Christian walk as an adventure, well, I am excited for you. Today things are going to change, if you are willing to take one small step of faith at a time. Let God know you will be more aware of those nudges He sends your way. And would He give you a little courage to take that first step.
Us - risk takers?!!! Who woulda thought?
P.S. Our community member, Lexie Selting, took step after step into the unknown and recently started a site called “God Moments.”
Check out “God Moments” at https://lselt14.wixsite.com/godmoments or on Facebook. She’s looking for people to contribute their “God Moments” to encourage others. If you feel that nudge...