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Daily Encounter: A Week-day Devotional by a staff of ACTS International.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Taking the First Step

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced; those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish. Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them. Those who rage war against you will be as nothing at all. For I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, 'Do not fear; I will help you.'"1

Martin Luther King Jr. said, "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase."

Taking that first step in any situation, especially difficult ones, requires a great deal of courage, something I would lack greatly if it weren't for the Lord being with me. I am an introvert and prefer to avoid any kind of confrontation. However, over the years I have realized that our society is going deeper and deeper into sin, and there are things that I cannot stay silent about or "just go with the flow". As Christians we are called to stand out and apart from the darkness, therefore it is a guarantee that we will suffer some type of persecution from those around us. The Bible tells us in 2 Timothy 3:12, "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."

Whether it be defending the lives of unborn children, standing up for those who are not able to, obeying God's Word even when it goes against peer pressure, or loving our enemies and praying for those who hurt us to name a few, it is possible. Not because of who we are, but because of who God is!

If we look through God's Word and see all the people God used to do His work, we find that none of them felt capable. We think of Moses who made all kinds of excuses when asked to go free God's people from Egypt, we see Joseph who was bullied by his brothers because of jealousy, we see David who appeared weak in comparison to his brothers. However, we see all of them take that first step in obedience and God's plan unfold in great ways. They made mistakes along the way, just as we will, but I encourage you to take heart and be courageous. We may not be able to see the big picture of what God has in store, but I can assure you that anything done for God is not in vain. God will be our strength and help us. We can have an impact in this world, but God is asking us to take that first step and trust that He will be what we are not.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, there are so many times I feel in inadequate when it comes to serving you, but this is only because I focus on who I am instead of who YOU are. I have weaknesses, but you say you will be my strength. I pray that you help me have faith and the courage to take the first step in obedience, trusting that your plan is greater than what I can see. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. In Jesus' name, amen."

  1. Isaiah 41:10-13 (NIV).

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