– Martin Luther King Jr.
Steps of Obedience
I remember hearing someone say that obedience comes before understanding, and that is so true. We should obey even without having a complete understanding, and if God’s Word commands us to do something that we don’t fully understand, we should do it anyway. My experience has been to obey without a full understanding; after obedience, understanding finally comes. It is rarely the other way around. That’s why He is God. He can see into the future. If we were headed down the highway and a police officer stopped us and told us that the bridge was out, surely we would obey them by stopping, wouldn’t we? God knows so much more, though, and He knows the future perfectly, so we have to step out in obedience first. We tell our children to do certain things before they fully understand, right? They don’t yet know that greater harm will come to them if they don’t do as they’re told, at least not yet. It’s only after they grow older that they finally see the wisdom in why we asked them to do it. Faith is taking that first step of obedience, even if we don’t know where the staircase is leading us or see the staircase at all!
Steps of Trust
I trust God and His Word much more than I trust my own feelings. My human feelings and emotions are shallow and untrustworthy, but God’s Word never fails, and I can always believe it 100% of the time. I trust God enough to take steps of faith even before I feel solid footing. Jesus says that we believe in God, so we don’t have to live lives with troubled hearts because we also believe in Christ (John 14:1). We can have peace in taking steps of trust because the peace that Jesus gives us is a permanent possession and is nothing like that of the world, which is fleeting and completely unreliable (John 14:27). Any faith that’s not tested cannot be trusted, so step out in trust because we have a God who not only is sovereign over the invisible staircase–He created it!
Steps of Faith
When Peter first stepped out of the boat to walk on the water, he took a gigantic step of faith (Matt 14:29). I don’t think I could have done it. As long as Peter kept his eyes on Jesus, he was fine, but the moment he looked down, taking his eyes off of Jesus, he began to sink (Matt 14:30) because he started looking at the water and not at Jesus. He stopped walking in faith, but stepping in fear and believed what his eyes told him, and that’s when he started to sink. As long as you and I keep our eyes on Jesus, we can step out in faith and not trust our own eyes. We can trust the God Who created our eyes and the staircase, whether it’s visible or not.
Taking that first step is easier said than done, but I believe it gets easier after that first step to take the next and the next. We must step out obediently, we must step out in complete trust, and we must step out in faith in our God because any steps we take in Christ are always on solid ground. All other ground is sinking sand.