2007-09-12 / Religion

The first step is the hardest

by: Rev. Benjamin Miller

by: Rev. Benjamin Miller

Now the LORD had said to Abram: "Get out of your country, from your family and from your father's house, to a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing" (Genesis 12:1-2).

Nashville was 420 miles away that separated us from our home, but it was even farther removed from the lifestyle that both of us were accustomed to, yet my wife and I were called to go. I remember vividly the last night we were physical residents of Miller County. I suppose one of the hardest things I have had to do in life thus far was take the first step towards that car that would shuttle us to an undetermined future. In the car I took one last longing look at the home of my childhood, then started the engine and backed down the driveway.

Christian life is a difficult journey for the child of God. I have heard many folks talk about how easy things are in the faith, but, to be honest, I have determined it a constant struggle. That night it was as if the forces of heaven and hell had met in their cosmic struggle right over my head. It is terribly difficult to do that which God has called us to do. I imagine that it was difficult for Abraham as well. He was well established in his homeland of Haran. All of his family, his livelihood, and everything that was secure in life were located inside those city limits. Now God was calling Abraham to go, not to a specific destination, but to a land yet to be shown. Would Abraham go? Would he dare to trust in God and venture that first step into the great unknown? Abraham took one last look over his shoulder; heaven hung in anticipation of his decision. Finally, having set his face, Abraham stepped that first step away from the only home he'd known.

I wonder what would have happened had he not taken this first step. I'm no philosophical giant, but I don't know of any journey that can take place without that crucial first step. It is equally true in our experience as Christians. God desires to make us a great nation, a blessing to draw others to Himself. But if we choose to remain in the lands in which we are most comfortable, these promises remain unfulfilled in our life. God cannot end what we do not allow Him to begin in our lives. Is it difficult? You bet. Abraham probably experienced scorn from friends, ridicule from the community, and derision from his own family. But God had called him to go. What else could he do but follow? He is still calling.

Not to sound too "TV evangelist-ish," but there are some of you reading this article that are struggling to take that first step. Perhaps you've felt that drawing of God to find your peace in Him. Maybe He is calling to into a specific ministry or onto a mission field. Only you can answer those questions for yourself. The only thing I can encourage you to do is to take the first step. Faith is only found by those who dare to trust. Perhaps you would like to step out in faith today. God will not lead you where His presence has not gone before you. Take that step before the journey has passed you by.

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