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Baby Steps with God.

photo courtesy of simmbarb
Have you ever seen the movie "What About Bob?" starring Bill Murray and Richard Dryfus? Bob, played by Murray, has some kind of dramatic phobia that will not allow him to leave his own apartment with ease. His psychiatrist, played by Dryfus, encourages him to take "baby steps" to overcome his fears. Throughout the rest of the movie "baby steps" is repeated over and over and becomes Bob's mantra for success in overcoming his phobia. I remember that after seeing this movie as a kid, "baby steps" became a catch phrase around our own household. Whenever some grand task had to be accomplished it was always with "baby steps." If one of us kids were dragging after being roused from sleep it was with "baby steps" that we made it to the bathroom to brush our teeth. Over the years I have always remembered that saying and sometimes would pull it out to use in situations and, sadly, I was the only one who got it (Don't laugh, you've all been there too). Then this morning God pulled that saying out of my memory bank and used it for His purposes in my life.

Let me give you a little background to put this into context. This morning I was praying through Dick Eastman's The Hour that Changes the World, something that I am ashamed to say I do far less often than I need to. In short, an hour is broken down into five minute segments and for each of those five minute time periods you focus your prayers in different areas. For instance, the first five minutes is dedicated to praise and worship. The second to waiting on the Lord. The third is focused on confession of guilt and sin, and on it goes for one hour. Incidentally, you would be shocked at how fast an hour goes by when spent in this kind of prayer, it is absolutely amazing and I highly recommend it. Well, one of the last segments during the hour is set aside for listening and one of the things Eastman encourages you to do during this time is ask God, "What is your will for me today?" Dutifully, I wrote the question down in my prayer journal so that I would be prepared to take notes when the answer came. What I was not prepared for was the answer that I got:

To be able to ask that question honestly and without reserve.

And my response to God's response; "WHAT?! Lord, I'm asking for a revelation and your guidance here and you give me this. This is...ohhhhhhhhh, baby steps." To which God replied, "That's right my child, baby steps."

Sometimes God reveals things to us in large chunks. There are times when we are having our quiet time and are struck with a revelation so big we almost want to shout, or maybe we do shout. Then there are times when our Father gives us just enough to take a small step in the right direction. Even after we've been in the faith for many years there can come times, and I will admit to having been here, when we need to relearn some of the old lessons. Today was one of those days for me.

You see, before God goes any further with me He wants my total trust and abandonment. That's what the answer to this question was all about. Can I ask God what His will is for me and honestly want His answer no matter what it is? I hope you understand the real magnitude of this question. This is the "not my will but Thy will be done" kind of thing. When we ask God what His will is for our lives we are opening ourselves up for any number of things. I don't know about you but my mind begins to be filled with a swarm of "what if" thoughts. "What if He calls me to Africa? What if He calls me to pastoral ministry? What if He calls me to go next door and share with my neighbor?" Perhaps the scariest of all, "What if He calls me to suffering or death?"

I cannot tell you what God will or will not call you to do. However, this assurance I can give; His will is perfect and His plan is perfect. Deuteronomy 32:4 tells us;

The Rock! His work is perfect, For all His ways are just; A God of faithfulness and without injustice, Righteous and upright is He.

The next thing I felt the Lord speak to me in His answer was, "Release yourself to Me." In the end that is what it is all about, total trust in God. Oswald Chambers would call it "reckless abandon." It is the kind of trust that almost stupidly throws itself on the object at the first word or request. In the realm of this world it would be called foolishness but in God's economy it is called a necessity because the more we hang on to, the less God can use us. The more I want to control my destiny and my circumstances, the less God will. This may sound good to some but to me it is a fearful place to be. In my heart I know that God's will is the best and that He cares for me and will take care of me. The trouble comes in getting the rest of myself to line up with that. That is why God must tell me to take baby steps. It is why He is gracious to show us, bit by bit, what His will is and how to have a relationship with Him.

I don't know where you are today in your journey with God. If what God spoke to me this morning resonated with you I would encourage you to join me in taking some "baby steps" in God's direction. Do you find yourself being able to honestly ask God what His will is for your life? Is it more than just lip service? If not, maybe we can work on that together. There is no shame is taking baby steps with our Heavenly Father. He loves us and cares for us and will do whatever it takes to bring us along. That doesn't mean it will be easy but it does mean we will find ourselves in the loving hands of the Almighty God of the universe.

Lord Heavenly Father,

I admit that I have not abandoned myself to you as I should. I admit that sometimes I ask you what your will is and then completely ignore it. God, this is shameful and I ask for your forgiveness. Today, Father, I just ask you to help me ask that question with honesty and without reserve or hesitation. Help me to release myself to you and abandon myself recklessly to your will knowing that being swept up in the current of your love and plan is the only place to be. Thank you for your patience with me, Lord God. Thank you for not turning your back on me, you are the Mighty King and Lord of Lords and your are gracious beyond compare. Thank you for your mercy. In Jesus' name,




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