Sunday, October 28, 2012

Taking the First Step

Keep me safe, Lord, from the hands of the wicked; protect me from the violent,
who devise ways to trip my feet.

-- Psalm 140:4

There's an old Chinese proverb that says a journey of thousand miles begins with a single step. And so it goes with the faith journey of every Christ-follower. Whether you became a believer at age 15 or 50, the Christian walk is more of a marathon than a sprint. And it starts by taking the first step.

How do we begin? At some point, we have to start moving. And our first step along the journey is to acknowledge that we're sinful and need help. This is often soon followed by our first fall, which serves to reinforce the fact that we can't walk on our own. Next, we have to brush ourselves off and get back on our feet. And we can do that through the knowledge that Jesus is willing and able to forgive our sins. When we admit our sins, it's a bit like a parent helping their toddler learn to walk. When the child stumbles, the parent is there with arms wide open.

Jesus will help us back on our feet. And it's our obedience that reveals if we're still learning to walk on our faith journey. If we're afraid to move forward because we might fall again, our spiritual life can become crippled. Jesus helps us up--not so we'll stand still--but so we'll make progress.

Of course, there's a big difference in this picture of the toddler and the parent. When we teach our children to walk, our goal is for their eventual independence. But when Jesus helps us stand up and move forward on our faith journey, he wants us to grow closer and more dependent on Him.

Throughout our faith journeys--and particularly during the crises we face in life--we'll ask Jesus to stand by us...and even hold our hand. And rest assured that He will take hold and lead us ahead. All the way to the Cross.

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