As we begin a new year, do you sense God encouraging you to make changes in your life? But — you aren’t sure you’re ready to take the first step? Isn’t it time to stop listening to your own voice of discouragement and start listening to God’s voice of encouragement and hope?
The first step in any new direction is always the hardest. Maybe you need to press the send button to submit your application for a new job, call to schedule an appointment with a Christian counselor who can help you process your pain, or agree to meet with the very person you’re avoiding, because of a wounded heart. No matter what God is encouraging you to do, the fear of taking the very first step can paralyze you and keep you from experiencing the joy and freedom God wants you to embrace. I know, I’ve been there.
Don’t Put It Off
There were times, I believed it was easier, sometimes even better, to put things off, look for painless solutions or simply stay put. But, that’s not what God would have us do. In fact, throughout scripture, we see God pushing people out of their comfort zone, calling them to tasks they’re unprepared to handle and challenging them to set aside their wants and wishes for His plans for their lives.
God called Abram (Abraham) to leave his native country, his relatives, and his father’s family, and go to a land that He would show him (Genesis 12:1). Not knowing what was in store for his future, or his family’s future, Abraham trusted God and left Haran (Genesis 12:4). Though Abraham experienced various hardships and made numerous mistakes along the way, God honored Abraham’s faithfulness with many blessings. Abraham became the father of all nations and all the families of the earth are blessed through him (Genesis 12:2-3; 22:18; Galatians 3:14).
Over the past twenty years, God has called me way out of my comfort zone. About fourteen years ago, when I finally chose to surrender to His plans for my life, God set me on an adventure beyond my wildest dreams. Since that time, God has given me the courage to birth a ministry, speak in front of large crowds, write books and a teaching curriculum, lead international mission trips and even co-host two Christian TV shows. All things I would never have experienced, had I not embraced my God-given courage, set aside my paralyzing fear, and taken that very first step.
In the same way God promised to bless Abraham and others through him, He promises to bless you (Deuteronomy 28:1-2). Remember, when God calls you to change, and when He calls you to a new adventure, He is with you all the way and will see it through.
“Jesus looked at them intently and said, ‘Humanly speaking, it is impossible.
But with God everything is possible.’”
What courageous change is God calling you to make? Are you willing to set aside your fear, embrace your God-given courage, and take your first step? Let this year be the year you stop listening to your own voice of discouragement and begin pursuing God’s calling on your life!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!