Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Take the First Step

What does it take to follow Jesus? Well, it takes a lot. Look through the Bible and you'll find countless attitudes and practices you must adopt if you wish to enter the Kingdom. But before you get down to all the specifics, there is one thing you should start with: an open mind.

Maybe the whole Jesus thing isn't for you. Maybe you don't believe in God, or maybe you are on fire with His love right now. Perhaps you want to feel that connection with Him but don't know where to start. Wherever you are in your faith journey, it is inevitable that you will doubt God at some point. It is human. We have all fallen victim to it. But we don't need to let this doubt sever our relationship with God or prevent this relationship from forming in the first place.

Open-mindedness entails willingness to listen to what God has to say. If we discredit Him immediately as a result of our doubts, then we don't even give Him a chance to reveal Himself to us. If we want to grow close to Him, or even if we think we may want to, we've got to take that first step. We must abandon our doubts and our insecurities. We must bring our worries to Jesus. Only then will we have clarity. Only then will we see that God has a plan for us, and that He wants for us to take that first step toward Him.

What do you have to lose? What do you have to lose by at least trying this whole "open-mindedness" thing?

If you don't make that choice to take a chance with God, then you miss out. Whether or not you think you are, you are missing a chance at a joyful life with a purpose. A God-filled life is not a perfect life, but it will bring you more satisfaction than any other earthly substitute can. Only God can fill the hole in our souls, a hole designed specifically for Him. Everything else will fall short.

If you do make that choice, however, a new world of possibilities will be opened to you. You will have faith to lean on and support you and a Father who cares for you even when it seems like no one else does. You'll have the chance to enter the narrow gates of Heaven, and you will be able to experience God's presence in your life constantly. You will come face to face with a God who loves you regardless of any times you have ignored Him.

Peter said to [Jesus], “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” And He said, “Come!” And Peter got out of the boat, and walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But seeing the wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and took hold of him, and said to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind stopped. And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!” (Matthew 14:28-33).

Peter took that chance. He stepped out into the water and let Jesus work His miracles, trusting that He would protect Him. But the second He began to doubt that Jesus would come through for him, he faltered. He saw the wind around him and he didn't think God could overcome it. Peter began to sink and the only thing that could save him was Jesus.

If you make the choice to follow God, there will be wind to distract you. The wind of those who laugh at you, the wind of other temptations...all of it will be trying to lead to you away from God. Despite our human doubts, we must realize that God can triumph over it all. We must be willing to make that first step and then continue to actively pursue Christ without fear or doubt.

It's not a girl thing, boy thing, "Jesus freak" thing, nun thing, priest thing, or anything other than a YOU thing. You, no matter who you are and what you have done, have the chance to establish a relationship with God. If you're reading this, maybe you've already made that step. If so, let your light shine for all around you. Or maybe you're not too into your faith but just curious. If this is the case, if you haven't made that first step, ask anyone who is worth it! The peace and comfort that only God can bring are at your fingertips. All it takes is an open mind, a choice to step out onto that water and abandon your doubt. All it takes is that first step towards Christ.

Related Song Links:
Keep Your Eyes Open by NeedToBreathe
Lead Me to the Cross by Chris & Conrad
Marvelous Light by Charlie Hall

No comments:

Post a Comment