Last week I wrote about God being our rest (What’s God Teaching You These Days?). I am so thankful that He had brought that attribute of Himself to the forefront of my mind in preparation for what would come this week.
Let me backup a bit. For months, my husband and I have been praying over one particular decision. We’ve prayed. We’ve fasted. We’ve asked questions of wise friends and family. And we’ve prayed some more but we did not feel any clarity. Neither option that we had was a bad one. In fact, both options were quite good, which seemed to make the decision even harder. We wrestled in our minds and in our hearts. Which was the one God wanted us to do? What was the best option for our family? What if we were listening to our own desires instead of the desire of God?
What if we chose wrong?
Those were some of the questions lingering in my mind last week as God reminded me to fix my eyes on what was known, Him. In those few days surrounding posting my blog, I felt the shift happening in my heart. I also felt the Holy Spirit within me gently guiding me to a decision. It was as if a kind friend had put his arm around my shoulder and led me safely down a road that I couldn’t see. The Holy Spirit was leading me to deeper trust. He was leading me to obedience. He was leading me to deeper faith.
What was amazing was that while the Holy Spirit was gently guiding me, He also was gently guiding my husband in the same direction.
Saturday morning came and we were in the car on our way to hike. Phillip looked over at me and said, “Meredith, I think God is wanting us to take a step of faith. We need to do it.” My response should have been, “Yay!!” Instead it was, “Ughhhh…” I had felt the Holy Spirit guiding me to take the step of faith but man, when it came down to it, I was terrified! The “what-ifs” started racing through my mind. The control of the decision that I had been surrendering to Him all week was immediately taken back. I wasn’t ready. It was too scary. If I could just know a few more things, if I could just control a few more things, then maybe I would release the decision again.
Raise your hand if you can relate!
I continued to wrestle all day in my mind about what was best, while Phillip continued to feel fully assured of what we needed to do. Sunday morning came and I read the account of Jesus entering Jerusalem. “As they approached Jerusalem…Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me.’” (Matthew 21:1-2). Yes, the disciples had Jesus instructing them with what to do, but they still had to be the ones who took the step of faith and obeyed. They still had to walk into that village, trusting that what Jesus said was true. They still had to have faith.
So as I prayed about that, God reminded me once again that I may not physically have Jesus telling me what to do but I do have the Holy Spirit within me guiding me. “OK, God. I’m trusting you. We will take this step of faith.”
Phillip walked in and he, too, had felt the Holy Spirit confirming our decision when he read Matthew 21:21-22, “Jesus replied, I tell you the truth, if you can have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Where is God asking you to take a step of faith? If you’re like me, then you have a lot of “what-ifs” rattling around in your mind. Ask God to quiet your mind, draw you to Himself and remind you of His presence.
Phillip and I confirmed our decision together in the presence of the One who led us there. We still didn’t know exactly how everything was going to play out but we felt confident. We knew we were taking a step of deeper trust, acting in obedience and walking in faith. No one knew our decision except God, the Father.
Little did we know that Monday we would get a phone call that would knock our socks off.
The scariest part of our decision was the unknown. Were we making the right choice? But God is faithful and He has a way of working things out! And not only working things out for our benefit (Romans 8:28) but working things out so that He receives the glory, because He is the only one who deserves it (Romans 11:36)! The phone call affirmed our decision completely. Again, no one knew of our decision except us so the phone call felt like a tangible way of God saying, “Thanks for trusting me, I’ve got this.” To say that we were overwhelmed is an understatement! We both dropped to our knees in thanksgiving and worship to the One who does immeasurably more than all we could ask for or imagine.
Friends, I recognize that this is not always how it works out. Sometimes, we take a step of faith and obedience and the road gets harder. Sometimes the door gets slammed in our face. Sometimes the path forward remains foggy. I cannot assure you that every single time you take a step of faith it will be packaged in a pretty box with a bow on top, but what I can assure you of is this – when we respond in obedience to the call of our Father, He will bless you. Often, when we think of blessing, we immediately think financial, but that’s not always the case. Yes, it may be financially but it can also look like a strong marriage, it may look like children who surrender their lives to Christ, it may look like you getting turned down for the job only to open the door for something better. It may not look like the blessing you were hoping for and you may never see the result while you are living, but He takes our offerings, your obedience and He uses that for His ultimate glory!
God, you deserve all the praise and all the glory.