The first step is always the hardest

in Grow on May 20, 2013by Ben_Read

What is God stirring in your heart? The first few verses of the book of Ezra open with the king of Persia essentially granting freedom to the exiles of God that are within his reign the freedom to go home and to rebuild the temple of God. As Christians, we know the God we serve is great and able to do anything; for example, having the king of the nation who is holding captives, who just 70 years prior was responsible for the destruction of the temple and city, issue a decree setting those captives free to go rebuild. But from a purely human perspective, how terrifying would this have been to live through? What if it was all just a trap? What would possess the king to issue this decree? It’s one thing to have faith that God can do; it’s a completely different issue to have to actually take action on that faith, to take the first step into the unknown. What I love about the first verses in Ezra is in verse 5, where it says

 [quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]Then rose up the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, everyone whose heart God had moved, to go up to rebuild the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem. [/quote]

I love that part: everyone whose heart God had moved; because I know how God has moved my heart and the passions he has put on me that are unique to me, and I also know there are passions he has stirred within you that are unique to you. When I read this verse, it’s the implication of the ones whose hearts hadn’t been stirred and who saw this decree go out and were content to sit on the sidelines, that leaves me with a greater sense of purpose. Has your heart been stirred up by God to do something? Do you see a problem that needs attention, and are you willing to take a step of Faith to act on it? There are students in our youth groups who need to develop the faith to take that first step of action, to stand up for what is right and what God has stirred in their hearts. As we shared last week, many of these students are probably the ones who are the hardest to talk to, but are the ones who will be the first to move. Others of us have had our hearts stirred up to do something wild in our ministries, build a new tradition, or destroy an old one. Sometimes God moves in us and shows us where we need to go, but we get paralyzed with fear in that first step: what if this wasn’t God showing me this, what if the church hates it, what if I lose budget money, if this goes wrong could I lose my job? I can’t tell you what God is stirring you to do, but I can tell you that you shouldn’t let his voice stop at moving your heart. Take action.

The first step is always the hardest. But the hard steps that are certain to be on His path are far greater than a million easy ones not on His path.


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