When attempting to start any faith-based goal, the most important element is faith, but you also need action. When you step out on faith, you display action. Then, God can steer and guide movement. But, he can’t propel you to begin.
He has given each of us free will to make our own decisions, whether they are good for us or not. He will never force us to do something against our own will, but if our actions align with God’s will, you can rest assured he will help us accomplish that plan.
So, whether you need to forgive someone, want to spend more time in prayer, begin a systematic daily Bible study, volunteer somewhere, embark upon a new career or take advantage of an unexpected opportunity, then taking that first step is the most crucial.
It is even more crucial when seeking guidance on an important decision you need to make. You should certainly seek input from God first before taking action. But, eventually, action is what leads to accomplishment of the goal.
In Chronicles, there are several examples recorded of people who made decisions without first inquiring of the Lord, and the results proved to be disastrous. For example:
- 1 Chronicles 10:13-14 – “Saul died because he was unfaithful to the LORD; he did not keep the word of the LORD and even consulted a medium for guidance, and did not inquire of the LORD. So the LORD put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jess
- 1 Chronicles 15:13 – “It was because you, the Levites, did not bring it up the first time that the LORD our God broke out in anger against us. We did not inquire of him about how to do it in the prescribed way.”
It is very important to seek God before making any major decisions. It is also important to seek God when you have trouble doing what you know you need to do.
Philippians 2:12-13 tells us to “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”
If you take a baby step toward complying with what God wants you to do, you can rest assured that God will step in and help you fulfill that action. Overcoming a sin problem is impossible without God. But, we know God wants us to avoid sin, especially those stronghold sins that keep us bound to things we do not want to do.
When we exert just a small amount of effort on our own, God follows through with his strength to help us finish. But, the first step is faith, followed by action.
When we say to ourselves, “I know I need to do this, but I can’t do it on my own,” it is the simple act of stepping out on faith that puts the kingdom of heaven into action to help us complete the task.
In a scene from the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Jones has a predicament. He needs to cross a deep, dark abyss to get help for his father, who was shot. As he looks down into the endless pit, the task seems impossible.
But, when he steps out in faith, a path mysteriously appears that allows him to walk to the other side.
The same happens to us when we step out on faith. Mysteriously, our course appears and the next step becomes visible.
It has been said that it’s impossible to turn a parked car, and that’s true. Anyone who has ever had to push a car knows that to be true as well. Yet, the slightest of motion makes it much easier to navigate. A ship stalled in the water can do nothing except drift. But with the slightest of wind and minute movement, the small rudder can be employed to steer the big vessel.
It only works if faith and action are aligned with God’s will. If it is outside of God’s will, don’t expect the right path to appear, and don’t expect his help to make it happen.
So, if you’re thinking of divorcing your spouse and starting over with someone else, that’s outside of God’s will and it really doesn’t require a leap of faith to pursue selfish actions.
If the path is unclear and the task appears overwhelming or even impossible; yet, you know in your heart it is something you need to do – and it aligns with God’s will – then take that first step. Show God you are serious and you desire to carry out his will.
Remember Proverbs 3:5-6, which says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”