Personal Study for the Week of January 7, 2018
Do you want to be in a different place this time next year? The steps you take today matter. A willingness to follow in Christ’s footsteps proves that you are willing to be obedient. Even it is baby steps, God is pleased with your desire to follow His direction and He will lead you to a place of purpose, peace, and joy—and yes, success. But not the world’s kind of success. The kind of success that heaven is interested in is the kind that points the world toward Christ.
Abraham was willing to go God’s direction. And though there were times of doubt, he was faithful to continue taking steps in God’s direction. Abraham literally took steps when he left Ur of the Chaldeans and moved his entire household to Canaan. At nearly every juncture, he built an altar unto the Lord and worshiped. When the picture was bleak regarding an heir, the Lord encouraged him, and as a result, Abraham trusted the priceless promises of God. Abraham was faithful and God (as He always does!) came through for His servant, His friend.
Read Genesis 17:1-27
One step of faith can unleash untold blessings and hope to those around you. The world has been forever changed as a result of Abraham’s faith. Because Abraham believed God, all families of the earth have been blessed through His Seed, Jesus Christ (see Genesis 12:1-3, Galatians 3:16, John 3:15-16). When the Lord calls us to something that sounds crazy, like leaving your home as Abraham did, the Lord always has a plan in place. As we step into God’s call, we will witness first-hand the awe, wonder, and surprises that God alone can orchestrate.
1. How has someone’s step of faith unleashed blessings for you personally this past year? What one step is God prompting you to take? Are you willing to go in God’s direction even if the prompting makes no sense to you right now?
Remember, God’s heart is overjoyed when you choose the trek of faithfulness. God’s Spirit may lead in a direction that does not make sense to the world. And know that opposition may come from people in your own family. But taking baby steps for the Kingdom will lead to giant victories if you stay the course. Much like God’s covenant with Abraham, God has initiated a covenant with us through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (Hebrews 8:6). Also, as with Abraham in Genesis 17:9, our responsibility is to “obey the terms of the covenant”. Christ calls us to believe (John 6:29), love (John 15:17), and take up our cross daily and follow Him (Mark 8:34).
2. Psalm 3:8a says, “Victory comes from you, O LORD!” This declaration is exclusive in that real victory does not come from this world or even our best efforts, but victory comes from God alone. How have you seen baby steps of faith lead to giant victories?
Often we are so focused on the ‘next thing’, we underestimate the day-to-day discipline of walking in the light of God’s presence. Persistence not only pays off, but prepares us to hear from the Lord (and obey!) when He speaks. For example, Jesus lifts up a widow’s persistence when teaching His disciples about prayer (Luke 18:1-8). Think about Joseph, Mary’s husband. Had Joseph not been a man of discipline in-tune with God’s Spirit, he may have missed three definitive promptings that kept the Christ Child and His mother safe (see Matthew 1:20, 2:13, 20). Choosing to lean into God’s Spirit daily, through worship, prayer, and Bible study, enables Christ-followers to live into God’s preferred future.
3. The step I need to take today toward God is _____________. Lord, help me to be willing to stay the course, follow you, and be obedient, even if I am only taking baby steps.