In the movie version of Dr. Seuss' classic tale, "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas," the Grinch's heart grew three sizes when he realized "Christmas doesn't come in a store!" In other words, He found Christ! (Poetic license folks - poetic license!)
When his faithful, but abused, dog Max senses the change in the Grinch's nature, he jumps on the Grinch and starts licking his face ferociously! Although the Grinch is enjoying feeling "all toasty inside," his response to Max was, "One step at a time Max, one step at a time!"
We so often miss the point that God deals with us "one step at a time!"
When we truly receive Christ into our hearts, like the Grinch, we are changed to the core. We too may feel "all toasty inside." Our nature is no longer to sin but to do good, no longer to rebel against God but to please and obey Him!
We decide to change and now present ourselves to God as "living sacrifices," choosing to live the rest of our lives for Him and not for ourselves. (See 2 Corinthians 5:15!)
When we present ourselves to any mentor or trainer, we submit to whatever curriculum or training methods he or she may choose. He may tell us to do things which do not immediately make sense to us but eventually, we will realize their value. At the start, we may be impatient and want to progress faster, bored by the mundane parts of the training which bore us at the time.
Every musician must learn scales and every athlete must run laps before learning the finer points of his particular skills.
God often trains us in that way. We initially come to Him with great enthusiasm and want to fix every problem and be instantly changed. Though our inward man is instantly regenerated at the new birth, training the outer man is a process!
So, like any trainer, God starts with the basics. Go to church - Read your Bible - Pray - Witness. Because we are impatient, we want to move on quickly from the basics and have great adventures and do great exploits for God.
So we overlook the importance of whatever STEP God is giving us to take and focus on some future imagined accomplishments. We want to go from being out-of-shape novices to seasoned men or women of God!
THE STEPS OF ABRAHAM'S FAITH
9 ...For we say that FAITH WAS ACCOUNTED TO ABRAHAM FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS.
11 ...THAT HE MIGHT BE THE FATHER OF ALL THOSE WHO BELIEVE, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also,
12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, BUT WHO ALSO WALK IN THE STEPS OF THE FAITH which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.
Romans 4:9, 11-12 (Edited for brevity.)
WOW! Abraham's faith involved STEPS and was a journey not merely a turning point!
The first biblical reference to God speaking to Abraham was when he lived in Ur of the Chaldees. God gave him a simple step. Leave your family and your home and go to a place that I will show you." No blueprint of the future - no manual to follow - no further instructions. Just go!
Along the way, God appeared to Abraham and updated His instructions to Abraham and revealed Himself more fully. Twenty-five years after their first encounter, the son God promised him, Isaac, was born. Eventually, as Isaac grew, God spoke to him again:
1 Now it came to pass AFTER THESE THINGS that God tested Abraham, and said to him, “Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.”
2 Then He said, “Take now your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah, and offer him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains of which I shall tell you.”
Notice that God did not tell Abraham about Isaac when He first appeared to him but "AFTER THESE THINGS!"
Each step of the way, Abraham had a choice to make and a STEP to take!
He did not take one single step of faith which forever sealed his destiny but HE TOOK MANY STEPS OF FAITH! Each time Abraham was confronted with a choice, he chose to act in faith and deny the natural inclinations which cried out to him!
18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.”
19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.
20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,
21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”
It must be noted that, in the matter of Ishmael, Abraham did not choose the path of faith but tried to "help God" by hastening the birth of the promised son. This should encourage us because, although there were dire consequences to his actions, it did not invalidate the promise of God completely. It teaches us that it is better to wait patiently for God's promise than to waste time and suffer the consequences of going off on "spiritual tangents!"
THE STEPS OF OUR FAITH!
God is not calling us to go from point "A" to point "Z!"
HE IS CALLING US TO TAKE A STEP!
Don't stumble over the step which is right in front of you because you are looking too far ahead to see it!
What step is God calling you to take right now?
"But that is such a small step. What will that accomplish? I still have so far to go before I become strong in Christ. What good will it do?"
The Chinese philosopher Laozi said, "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."
We cannot leap a thousand miles, but we can get there if we simply take the step God is asking us to take right now. It may seem small. The step may be simply to wait. Just submit to God's capable training and do it
It may seem slow at times or it may seem like it is taking forever. You may even feel like it is a waste of time!
But if you keep walking, one step at a time, you will find yourself farther along the road and even a journey of a thousand miles will be possible - ONE STEP AT A TIME!
If you agree, disagree or would like to add an insight or comment…
CLICK ON THE WORD "COMMENT" AT THE BOTTOM OF ANY POST!"
CLICK ON THE WORD "COMMENT" AT THE BOTTOM OF ANY POST!"