Category Archives: Taking a Step of Faith

Keep Your Eyes on God ~ not your difficulties

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Eyes on God

“Then Peter called to him: ‘Sir, if it is really you, tell me to come over to you, walking on the water.’ ‘All right,’ the Lord said, ‘come along!’ So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he looked around at the high waves, he was terrified and began to sink. ‘Save me, Lord!’ he shouted.”

Matthew 14:28 – 30 TLB

We may not walk on water, but we do walk through periods of tumultuous circumstances in life. If we focus on the swirling waves of difficulties surrounding us, we can easily feel like we are being swallowed up by the surge of life’s problems.

Peter experienced a rather unusual example of God’s power when he went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. His faith in Jesus gave him the courage to throw his leg over the side of the boat and step out into the stormy sea.  However, his faith wavered when he realized what he was doing. Once he took his eyes off Jesus and focused on the crushing waves around him, he began to sink.

Like Peter, we often start out with great intentions. We may be “prayed up” and filled with holy confidence before we begin to face the day. But once we wade into the undulating sea of life, our faith begins to falter, and we sink in despair. We feel ill-equipped to navigate the storms that batter us. Yet this doesn’t mean that we have failed. When Peter’s faith faltered, he immediately reached out to Jesus. In his time of greatest fear, he called on his Savior to rescue him.

When you are afraid of the troubles that swirl around you, keep your eyes on Jesus’ power rather than your own inadequacies. Call out to Him for help, and He will rescue you from the stormy seas.

“We have to pray with our eyes on God ~ not on the difficulties.” ~ Oswald Chambers

“Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “truly you are the Son of God.”

Matthew 14:31-33

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Your Irresistible Future with God

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Beware of looking back

Go in confidence and grace—no rushing, no frantic escape.
    There’s no need to be anxious—the Eternal One goes before and behind you.
The God of Israel paves the way with assurance and strength.
    He watches your back.

Isaiah 52:12 (VOICE)

“Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it is true that we have lost opportunities which will never return, but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ. Leave the Irreparable Past in His hands, and step out into the Irresistible Future with Him.” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest (1956). Section “December 31”).

God is the God of your yesterdays, your todays, and your tomorrows. Often memories of the past keep you from fully experiencing God’s grace and joy for today. It’s possible that you are longing for days gone by because they were happier times (the good ‘ole days), or it could be that you are wallowing in the junkyard of past memories, allowing the blunders of the past to overshadow God’s blessing for today. In either case, you are stuck in the quicksand of yesterday, and you can’t move into the future that God has in store.

Just remember, that God’s got your back! He’s your rear guard, and His hand can reach back into your past and settle any claims against your conscience. He can use yesterday’s mistakes and turn them into today’s ministry of growth for your future. He has a grand plan for your life, so let the past rest in God’s sweet embrace. He’s paving the way ahead with assurance and strength, so step confidently into your irresistible future with Him! “And He will be leading you. He’ll be with you, and He’ll never fail you or abandon you. So don’t be afraid!” Deuteronomy 31:8 (VOICE)

The Door To Your New Life

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Open Door to Your New Life

“Look! I’m making everything new.

Write it all down—each word dependable and accurate.”

Revelation 21:5(MSG)

On the first day of a brand New Year, are you looking forward to closing the door on your past and opening the door to your future? Perhaps you are glad for the chance to breathe in the freshness of the new possibilities that the coming year might bring. Are there pages (or entire chapters?) that you would like to delete from your life’s story? “My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in.” Ephesians 3:14 – 17 (MSG)

By opening the door of your life to Christ, He promises to bring about a glorious transformation inside of you, and you’ll be renewed from the inside out. There’s no better way to start out the new year than by accepting the gift of a fresh start with God. He alone can erase the pain of your past and the mistakes you’ve made along the way. You don’t have to spruce up for God or clean up your act before turning to Him. He meets you right where you are with His limitless love and grace. By inviting Christ to be the center of your life, He’ll be the compass guiding you along the path to your very best future.

“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” Romans 12: 1-2 (MSG)

Now take a deep breath, close the door to your past, open the door to your best future, and step through to a new life with God!

  • “In the same way I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born,” says the Lord. Isaiah 66:9 (NCV)
  • Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2(NIV)

On We Go!

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Go Forward

 

 

“Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the Israelites to move on. 
Raise your staff and stretch out your hand over the sea to divide the water 
so that the Israelites can go through the sea on dry ground.”
Exodus 14:15 – 16 (NIV)
 

Is God telling you to “move on” today? Is there something you have been praying about, and you sense that God has told you to move in a direction that seems humanly impossible? You can always be sure that if God leads you to it, He will lead you through it.  If you listen carefully to your Heavenly Father’s divine directives and follow His guidance, He can turn dead ends into miraculous detours.

With mountains on one side and the red sea at their backs, the Israelites felt trapped as Pharaoh’s pursuing army closed in on them.  There was no obvious route for their escape, and the people were terrified. But God told Moses to stop crying out to Him and start moving…into the direction of the Red Sea!  The people had no idea that God would part the sea for them to cross on dry land.  As God’s chosen leader, Moses told the people, “Do not be afraid.  Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today.  The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” (Exodus 14: 13)  Moses had just witnessed God’s incredible deliverance of the Israelites out of bondage from Egypt, and he had faith that God would again protect His children and provide a way of escape from the approaching army. Moses obeyed God’s command, raised his staff, stretched out his hand over the sea, and watched the miracle unfold before his eyes as the sea parted and made a way of escape for God’s children.

So there comes a time when we need to stop praying and start doing. If Moses had doubted God’s directives and continued praying for another answer, the Israelites might have been doomed. Often we refrain from doing whatever God is calling us to do because we are fearful and we doubt our abilities.  But even in your most desperate situations, you can be sure that God is whispering in your ear, “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsakeyou.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)  So with God by your side, you can have confidence to move on. Absolutely nothing is impossible for the God of all possibilities.  Never doubt His power nor His abilities.  His thoughts are higher than our thoughts, and His solutions are beyond our imagination. God’s greatest work is accomplished through our weaknesses.  When we are weak, He is strong, and in our weaknesses God can shine!  On we go!

“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man, this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.'” Matthew 19:26 (NIV)

“I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” Philippians 3:14 (NLT)

Seeing with Eyes of Faith

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Faith is like a radar
“The path we walk is charted by faith, not by what we see with our eyes.”
2 Corinthians 5:7 (VOICE)
 

If you have ever driven through a dense fog, you know how difficult it is to navigate safely through the dangerous conditions, especially if you are unfamiliar with the road. Your visibility is limited, and you can’t see what hazards lie ahead.

Sometimes your journey through life can also feel like you are passing through a thick cloud bank of uncertainty.  You can’t see what lies ahead, and you feel scared and unsure of which direction you should head.  But the Author of Life sees your future clearly. After all, He wrote your story, and He knows the beginning, the middle and the end.  If you place your faith in Him and allow His divine guidance to be your radar, you can be certain that He will chart the BEST path for your life. Trust Him for all the things your human eyes cannot see.

 

Your ears will hear sweet words behind you: “Go this way. There is your path; this is how you should go” whenever you must decide whether to turn to the right or the left. Isaiah 30:21 (VOICE)

 Teach me your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths; Guide me in your truth and teach me, for your are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. Psalm 25:4-5 (NIV)
 
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV)

Get Up and Go!

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Get up and go
 
“While Peter was still thinking about the vision, the Spirit said to him, ‘Simon, three men are looking for you.  
So get up and go downstairs.
Do not hesitate to go with them, for I have sent them.'”
Acts 10:19 – 20 (NIV)

Has God given you a vision or dream for your life? Has He gently whispered His plans for your future? What are you doing about it right now?

Like Peter, God may be telling you to stop thinking about the vision and start doing something about it.  The Holy Spirit instructed Peter to “get up and go” without any hesitation, fear, doubt or second-guessing. Do you feel God nudging you into action today? Is it time to take the first step ~ or leap ~ toward making the dream a reality?

You can be confident that if God has given you the vision, He will give you the provision and wisdom to successfully bring it to fruition. If you feel inadequate to accomplish His plans, you can rest in God’s promise that where you have weaknesses, you are strong in the grace of Jesus. So take that first step and pray for supplies of divine strength and grace to fulfill His vision for your life.

Stop thinking…start doing….get up and go!

“Each time He said, ‘No. But I am with you; that is all you need. My power shows up best in weak people.’
Now I am glad to boast about how weak I am;
I am glad to be a living demonstration of Christ’s power, instead of showing off my own power and abilities.”
2 Corinthians 12:9 (TLB)

The New You

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Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
2 Corinthians 5:17 (NIV)
 

Like a caterpillar metamorphosing into a beautiful butterfly, you are divinely transformed into a new creation when you become a child of Christ. At the moment you place your trust and faith in Jesus, you are emptied of the old self (the old has gone) and divinely reborn as a child of God (the new creation has come)! And just like the caterpillar after its mysterious metamorphosis process, that old life of yours is gone ~ it exists no more. Your newborn soul is fresh and unique, crafted by the Creator of the universe for His glory.  You are a brand new person, re-created on the inside, not simply an upgrade of an older version. Your mind, thoughts and purposes become God focused.

Don’t let the shame of your past or the guilt over former mistakes hold you captive ~ or cocooned ~ and keep you looking back with regrets. Through God’s unfathomable love and grace, your shame, guilt, and mistakes were nailed to the cross with Jesus.  Your Savior’s blood covered each and every sin so that you could become a new creation through Him.

Each time you see a beautiful butterfly, remind yourself that you are a marvelous new creation in Christ ~ the old has gone, the new is here!

“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.'” Revelation 21:5(NIV)
 
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV)