Wednesday, June 10, 2015

One Small Step

Yesterday, we saw how in battles and big moments, God goes before us and comes up behind us. Another way of saying this, and more related to how we must live in light of this knowledge, is to say that God takes the first big step.

We take the next ones.

This is difficult for a lot of us. We spend our Christian lives wanting to follow God wherever He may lead. After all, isn't that what Jesus asked the disciples to do? Follow me. But even Jesus didn't let everyone follow Him. Some, He sent. 

Some, He told to go back into the city. Some, He told to go to the Temple. Some, He told to go here and there. And even those who were following Him? At times, He sent them out as part of His holy mission. 

See, the message of God is not always Come. Sometimes, the message of God is Go. And as we've seen over and over again in His story, at least in battles and big moments, He takes the first hard step.

All we have to do is trust.

It's easier said than done, really, and I'm not claiming to have it all right or to even be good at this sort of thing. Some days, I do okay. Others, it's a challenge. Others still, a complete and utter failure. Some days, I'm more likely to stand in the Jordan with God, waters parted, and ask Him what we're doing here. 

I only mention it because it is so difficult. We love a God who leads us in battle, but we forget that if God is to lead us in battle, we must go into battle. We love a God who coordinates our biggest moments, but we forget that if they are to be our biggest moments, we have to be there for them. 

It's far too easy for us to have a passive faith, a faith that says, "The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still" and forgets that "still" is an active word. Then we sit around on our duffs, almost forgetting there's a battle at all, because God will probably fight it. It's a passive faith that says, "God is working out everything for good," which is half a sentence. The other half is, "so I don't have to work on anything at all." It's a lie! Passive faith is a lie. And you know why?

Because you cannot passively trust anyone. You cannot passively believe anything. Trust and believe are active words. You have to be engaged with your God or He cannot be your God. Period. He can only ever be your good idea.

But there's something else about all this, too, and we have to go back to what we learned yesterday to see it. The God who goes before us is the God who takes the first big step. So what about the God who comes behind us?

That is the God of glory.

See, God takes the first step and asks us to take the next ones. But that doesn't mean the rest is ours. It doesn't mean that everything that happens afterward is ours. If that were the case, the waters of the Red Sea would still be pulled back. The waters of the Jordan would still be stopped.

On our own, we will always come up just short of glory. 

As we should, because glory was never ours in the first place. Glory belongs to God alone. And He's made a way for that. It's why the God who takes the first big step also makes the last move. So that everything, every battle and every big moment, belongs wholly to Him. From start to finish, beginning to end.

...Alpha to Omega.

...A to Z.

Are you starting to see a pattern here? 

So the question is this: in battles and big moments, when God has taken the first step, are you willing to take the next ones? Or are you standing in the Jordan, waters parted, wondering what we're doing here?

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