Small Steps Become Big Steps
Last month, I wrote about how easy it is to be more dependent on ourselves than on the Lord. We can get so proficient at “ministry” that we can, over time, find ourselves estranged from the One we serve. This usually happens through any number of small steps that move us away from God rather than toward Him!
What is the anti-dote? Well, there are many, to be sure! For me, when I have found myself drifting away, or getting caught up in a bunch of “sideways energy” stuff, I have found that renewing my love for the Lord helps the most — first! Again, for me, that involves renewing my mind through the reading of the Word of God, through extended times of prayer and through worship of Him through music — be it on Sunday morning or in the car, office, or home.
Recently, after preaching in one of our district churches I had a short six minute conversation with a gentleman about re-kindling his first love. He said he had been “dry” spiritually — he loved his pastor and his preaching — but just felt kind of “blah” in his spirit, soul, and mind. It actually was a very refreshing conversation because the man said it was of his own doing, he’d quit doing things he knew to do and was doing some things he knew he shouldn’t be doing. He was being totally genuine, honest, and seeking to reverse the situation he was in.
We talked about how God loves to answer the prayers of a heart seeking to return unto Him! We looked at John 6 where we read Jesus saying that whoever comes to me I will never drive away. This verse, in context, is speaking about salvation, however, it is also easily read to mean that anyone who has come to Jesus for salvation will not be driven away when he or she draws near to the Lord. As I listened more, we talked about re-reading the book of Proverbs and asking God to give freshness, vitality, and specific application of the words Solomon wrote so long ago to the situations this man was facing.
We talked about prayer and more importantly, our connecting time with God. We talked about giving honor and praise to the Lord. We talked about being silent before the Lord — listening well to what the Lord might say, direct, or impress on us. We talked about praying for those we know who do not know Christ before we get into petitioning God to help our sore bodies or those of our friends.
As I listened further, I realized that like me, this guy loved music of all kinds. He asked me, given the context of what we talked about, what are a couple of songs I thought he should listen to that would draw his mind and heart to the Lord in the context of all we had talked about. Instantly, my mind ran to two songs — the closing song of District Conference in Nampa, ID —“Yet Not I, But Through Christ In Me” by Selah and “Holy Spirit Come” by Patrick Mayberry.
We talked about how God speaks through these ways — and many others — enabling our hearts to go from small steps away from God to taking small and medium steps toward God! These steps toward God can snowball, in a positive way, and help us to go way deeper with the Lord than we have ever been before. As we concluded our time the man said, “That deeper life you spoke about is really what I want.” May that be the cry of our hearts this summer and fall!
What small steps do you need to take?