“Step Where I Step” + LINKUP

 

Step Where I Step - I recently started attending a Bible study taught by a dear friend. During this week’s lesson, she told a story that I loved.

A young man who was an avid hiker wanted to propose to his girlfriend, but he want to do so at a particularly scenic spot in the mountains where he hiked. His girlfriend, an “indoor girl,” agreed to go, but was having a difficult time with the trek. As she struggled with the ascent, he encouraged her by saying, “just step where I step.”

 

Welcome to Mondays @ Soul Survival

 

Step Where I Step

 

And that’s what she did, step by step. That “indoor girl” followed the young man she had grown to love and trust.

She made it. He proposed.

And later she said, even though it was challenging, it was so worth it! In fact, she said, it wasn’t as hard as it looked.

As my friend, Marie, was telling the story, I thought about the Christian walk. It, too, can be a challenging journey. It’s filled with steep ascents, unexpected turns, scary cliffs and falling rocks. It tests our stamina and our courage, at times.

But I wonder, do we make the journey harder than it needs to be, because of our failure to truly follow in the foot steps of our Savior?

 

Step Where I Step - A young man who was an avid hiker wanted to propose to his girlfriend, but he want to do so at a particularly scenic spot in the mountains where he hiked. His girlfriend, an "indoor girl," agreed to go, but was having a difficult time with the trek. As she struggled with the ascent, he encouraged her by saying, "just step where I step."


Follow Me

 

Just as surely as He did to those first twelve disciples, Jesus says to each of us, “follow me.” Just step where I step.

Too often, we’re walking in our own strength, trying to do what we should through self-effort and wondering why it’s so hard.

We end up exhausted, burned out, or frustrated, because the Christian life can’t be done in our own strength (Matt. 9.26).

This isn’t just a problem for new believers. In fact, as we grow in Christ we may be more prone to self-effort. After all, we know the drill. We speak the language. We know what we should say and do. We’re not as desperate for His help and guidance, not clinging to Him one step at a time. We’ve walk the path before and can easily think, “I’ve got this.”

God knows our tendency and out of His love for us will take us on new paths, steeper journeys than we thought possible, so we see our need for Him. When He does, we’re sometimes shocked at our responses.

We may respond with sinful anger that we thought we’d dealt with years ago or find ourselves tempted with another sinful habit.

In our heart of hearts, we sometimes think “after all I’ve done to serve You, Lord, why would You allow this?”

Why would my child rebel after I’ve raised her right?

Why would my business fail after I’ve tithed all these years?

Why would my spouse walk out?

How can I be struggling with this?

It’s not fair!

That’s when we must look to Jesus and the path he walked ahead of us. We need to step where He stepped … when He was betrayed, misunderstood, falsely accused, arrested and crucified. We need to follow in His steps as He forgives those who reject and sin against Him today.

We need to forgive the unforgivable (Rom. 5.8; Eph. 4.31-32).

We need to love the unlovable (Matt. 5.43-48).

We need to submit to the harsh and unreasonable (1 Pet. 2.18-21, 3.1-2).

We need to bless those who revile us and do us wrong (1 Pet. 2.23).

We need to refuse revenge and overcome evil with good (Rom. 12.17-21).

We need to release the prodigal to His love and consequences, yet stand ready to welcome him home (Lk. 15.11-24).

We need to refuse to be like the prodigal’s brother (Lk. 15.25-32).

We need to follow His steps as He loves and forgives us when we turn to other gods and commit spiritual adultery (Jas. 4.1-4).

 

Step Where I Step - We won't make it to the summit by hacking out our own path.


The Impossible

 

We’ll soon realize that we can’t do that in our own strength. We won’t make it to the summit by hacking out our own path.  Continue reading

“The Only Way to Perfect Peace” September 17

 

The Only Way to Perfect Peace - Wars, terrorism, the rise of Islam, North Korean nuclear missiles, riots, and political unrest … Is it possible to have perfect peace in today’s world?

 

Today’s Readings:
Isaiah 25 & 26
Psalm 107.23-32
Proverbs 25.18-19
2 Corinthians 9.1-15

 

The Only Way to Perfect Peace

 

Isaiah 25 & 26:

Perfect Peace

 

Chapter 26.1-4 is a picture of the church and its blessings. Verse 1 says we have “salvation for walls and bulwarks” and verse 3 says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.” The NLT says, “whose thoughts are fixed on you.” And the NASB says He will keep the one whose mind is “steadfast.”

When we belong to Him, our assurance of salvation (Jn. 10.27-30) is a wall or bulwark around our hearts and lives. We can trust that we are secure in our relationship with Him (Rom. 8.31, 38-39).

In verse 3, the word translated stayed or fixed means to “to lean, lay, rest, support, put, uphold, lean upon.”

The word steadfast means “firmly fixed in place: immovable, not subject to change: firm in belief, determination, or adherence.”

When our hearts and minds are steadfast, immovable, resting in the truths of Scripture and supported by God’s faithfulness to keep His promises, we will have perfect peace.

To get there we must spend time in His presence, saturating ourselves in His Word, talking to Him and listening as He speaks to our hearts. It’s impossible to trust someone whose character we don’t know, but as we read of His faithfulness to the generations before us, as we learn how He works in our lives through prayer, as we meditate on His promises we come to know Him. And when we do, we’ll be better equipped to put our faith and trust in Him.

Verse 4:

Trust in the Lord always,
for the Lord God is the eternal Rock (NLT).

Christ is our eternal, never changing Rock. Trusting Him is the only way to true, lasting and perfect peace.

That peace should carry over into every part of our lives as our reading in Psalms illustrates.  Continue reading