3 Reasons Faith Steps Bring Spiritual Breakthrough
- Amanda Idleman Contributing Writer
- 2022 22 Apr
Joshua 1:9 says, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”
God gave Joshua this command as he was at a point in his life where he was being called to take a huge step of faith. Moses had died and the Israelites had not yet made it to the promised land. Joshua had spent many years as Moses’ assistant but now had to step up and lead the Israelites into the land of Canaan. Joshua is commanded to boldness in God. This highlights Joshua’s weakness; there was a need for such a command, because even a mighty leader like Joshua needed such encouragement.
God knew that Joshua was afraid of what was to come. He knew that the journey to the promised land and the role as leader of God’s very imperfect people was scary. But still, he knew that God’s people would never be able to taste and receive God’s promised land without Joshua physically taking steps of faith into the land they had long searched for. God calls Israel into partnership with Himself to see His will done. Thankfully God graciously promises to be with Joshua and the Israelites every step of the way. God says in Joshua 1:5, “I will not leave you nor forsake you.”
Where in your life is God asking you to take a step of faith? What is holding you back from entering his promised land for your life? How has God asked you to be ‘strong and courageous’ in the midst of so many scary unknowns?
Without that oh-so-scary step of faith forward we may never get the chance to see the fullness of what God has for us. God promises to be with us but he doesn’t promise easy. God may be asking you to embrace a ‘sloppy start’ in order to get unstuck in your spiritual life. We don’t have to be perfect, we just have to be present to be used by our God.
Here are 3 reasons God wants you to step forward in faith to find breakthrough in your spiritual life:
1. Live with an Eternal Perspective
Faith steps become necessary when we start living with an eternal perspective. Everything about God’s Kingdom goes against what our culture preaches to us. If we live by the values of this world our chief goals look like being entertained, successful, secure, comfortable, and self-indulgent. None of these goals align with the Word of God.
God asks us to live with the fruits of the spirit, instructs us to serve one another in love, and says we are to store up Heavenly treasures while here on Earth.
A few years back my husband and I read You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity by Francis & Lisa Chan. I expected the book to give us a few tips on how to get along better and hopefully improve our marriage relationship. Spoiler alert this book really isn’t about marriage at all! I was surprised to find it was all about living a Heaven-focused life as a spouse. Chan's point is that when our priority is together to ‘seek first the Kingdom of God’ (Matthew 6:33) then so many of our other marriage struggles start to fade into the background.
This book changed our lives because it gave us a new set of questions to ask when it came to our marriage and our individual lives. We began to ask God how he wanted to use the gifts he had given us for his glory. What mission did God have for us while we are here in the land of the living? I do believe the answer to these questions changes depending on the season of life you are in. Sometimes being Heavenly minded looks at life doing less, leaning in, and being content. For some of us laying down our tendency to do all the things can be an act of faith all on its own!
In our story, God answered that question by leading us to become Foster Parents. I can’t imagine not being the soon-to-be-forever Momma to our little guy. Yet, it took a BIG scary step into the unknown to get to where we are now. As our family and faith grow God keeps showing us new ways to step out in faith in order to be obedient to the calling he has put on our lives.
Photo Credit: © Getty Images/skyNext
2. God Asks Us to Live by Faith
Hebrews 11:6 says, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” The whole story of salvation hinges on our willingness to live by faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. Christians live for the unseen in a world that relies on the seen to guide it.
Hebrews 11 is called the ‘faith chapter’ because it chronicles those amazing acts of faith that the original followers of God were commended for. Noah built an arc when he had never seen rain and his family was saved from destruction. Abraham was asked to sacrifice his son after years of infertility but God shows up to bring a sacrificial lamb at the last moment. By faith, Moses led the Israelites out of captivity. This list goes on with so many examples of people doing crazy seeming things in the name of an unseen God.
We see in the Bible that God responds when we take action. Be careful to first seek out God’s guidance before taking action. Each of these people of faith was given instruction before they acted. They spent time in the presence of God so they knew God’s heart for their situations. First, seek God’s guidance and then act. This is the example we see laid out for us in the Bible. God honors our obedience.
3. Every Change Begins with One Tiny Step Forward
If we are waiting for all the answers to be given to us before making a change in our lives, we will be waiting until the day we die. The future is in the hands of the Lord. All we have is today and that is what he asks us to bring to him. Graciously God tells us his mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:22)!
If God has given us a dream, a hope, or a vision for the future we will never see it come into existence if we stay put. God inspires us so we might act. James 1:22 says, “Be doers of the Word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”
Sometimes dreams can become overwhelming, and we can become paralyzed not knowing which step to take first. I first felt this feeling of paralysis in college. My studies, tests, friends, job, and more felt like so much I started to get stuck in place. I just didn’t know where to start to get everything I needed to do. Then the Holy Spirit whispered a tiny truth into my heart that I have clung to since that time… He said just to focus on one thing at a time. I just needed to do the next right thing and somehow that equaled my list getting cared for. I had to surrender the big stuff, the homework, the dreams, and focus on momentary obedience. This still helps me as a mom, wife, friend, worker, leader, and so on!
The enemy of our souls wants to stop us from finding forward motion. He is cunning in the ways he blocks us from being strong and courageous. He lies and tells us we are alone. That the dream is too big. That we have to be perfect to be worthy of God’s plan. He can get us so distracted that we have no clue what God really wants from us in the first place. He can get us wrapped up in good things that aren’t God's things. That we have to know it all to do anything.
The truth is that all that is required of us is that we are present in our relationship with the Lord and he promises then to guide us. Just one faith-filled step forward at a time can bring us to beautiful God-inspired places. Remember God wants to do immeasurably more than you could ask or imagine with your life (Ephesians 3:20). Don’t settle for the goals this world gives us but strive for the freedom that God’s word leads us towards.
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/demaerre
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes devotions for My Daily Bible Verse Devotional and Podcast, Crosswalk Couples Devotional, the Daily Devotional App, she has work published with Her View from Home, on the MOPS Blog, and is a regular contributor for Crosswalk.com. She has most recently published a devotional, Comfort: A 30 Day Devotional Exploring God's Heart of Love for Mommas. You can find out more about Amanda on her Facebook Page or follow her on Instagram.