Saturday, March 14, 2009

Baby steps...

Yesterday, I found myself writing in my journal that God was calling me to seek His face and develop a closer intimacy with Him.

Again.

Have you ever been there? Feeling or hearing God calling you to do something for what feels like the eight-eight thousandth time?

If so, what follows that? If the devil immediately starts to throw accusations of failure at you, making you feel like you disobeyed the previous 87,999 times, I have a question for you. Have you really disobeyed?

That's the question that went through my mind when the devil started at it yesterday. Have I, Katie, really disobeyed God's repeated callings to seek His face and develop intimacy with Him? The answer is sort of hard to pin down, since there are degrees and steps to this type of thing. I have sought Him, and I have grown closer to Him. But I haven't done it to the degree that I feel Him calling me to.

And that's when God showed me a picture.

I saw Abraham...the man of faith...the friend of God...making the long journey from Ur where God had called him from, to Canaan where God had called him to. But that's not all I saw.

I saw every single step that he took along that journey. But I also saw God, walking before Abram. He walked backward, with His face toward Abraham and his arms outstretched toward him, saying, "Come on, Abram. You can do it. I am here. I will watch out for you. You may fall, but I am here, watching to make sure you are not hurt too badly. Come on. Now another step."

You recognize that picture, don't you? It's that of a loving parent, coaxing his or her child to take their first steps.

Then God showed me myself in that.

Just as Abraham had to take many, many steps from Ur to reach the land of promise, so moving from the place where I have been to the place where He has called me consists of many steps. It is the devil who lies and tells me that I have failed because I have not arrived in one giant step.

I am no longer a baby Christian, taking my first steps on this journey called walking with God. There are many, many steps behind me. But I am an infant and totally inexperienced in taking the steps that are still before me. I have never been there. So while God stands back, proudly watching as I stand and walk securely on the ground that is behind me, He is also before me, holding out His arms and patiently encouraging me as I face my first shaky steps into new territory.

God will always be calling me to seek Him. And if I ever arrive at a place where I have become as intimate with God as is possible, I will probably become as Enoch who "walked with God" and was taken to heaven early, simply because that was the only way to get any closer. The fact that the devil can clobber me with guilt over something that God wants me to do every day of my life is a perfect example of just how much he twists things.

God doesn't mind that my steps aren't firm and eager, and He smiles with delight in those last two shaky steps I took. When I fell down last month, He picked me up, dusted me off, and taught me a lesson through it. Then He set me on my feet and He is once more gently saying, "Come on. Come to Me. I am here waiting for you. Take the next step...that is all I am asking you to do."

All I have to do is keep walking and keep my eyes fixed on Him. Because it is there, as I behold His face...as I spend time with Him as Moses did up on the mountain...that my steps grow more steady and I am changed.

"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory." -2 Cor. 3:18

This Place

There's a place of wonder--glory indescribable--beyond my wildest dreams
It's a place of beauty where the Lord of Heaven wants to fellowship with me
You have opened the gates of Your presence to me
Told me I can draw near to Your throne
Where Your whispers of love fill my heart once again
Draw me close
Never go...

Here in this place
Here I am changed, Jesus
When I'm touched by Your glory--
In awe of Your splendor
Then all I desire is You
You are my way
You are my Truth, Jesus
Standing here in Your presence
I'm filled with amazement
At the infinite wonder of You

When I'm in Your presence and I see Your power and Your light shines on my face
And I try to fathom that the Lord of Heaven chose to suffer in my place
Then Your arms enfold me, my fears fade away
My desires all merge into one--
That the beat of Your heart would envelop my soul
Hold me close
Don't let me go...

'Cause here in this place
Here I am changed, Jesus
When I'm touched by Your glory--
In awe of Your splendor
Then all I desire is You
You are my way
You are my Truth, Jesus
Standing here in Your presence
I'm filled with amazement
At the infinite wonder of You

You call my name
To seek Your face
And You take me as Your own
Transform my life
Open my eyes
'Till my heart is wholly Yours...

Here in this place
Here I am changed, Jesus
When I'm touched by Your glory--
In awe of Your splendor
Then all I desire is You
You are my way
You are my Truth, Jesus
Standing here in Your presence
I'm filled with amazement...
Just a glimpse of Your glory's
Beyond comprehension...
When I'm here in Your presence
I'm filled with amazement...
At the infinite wonder of You

Oh the infinite wonder of You.

(a song God gave me years ago...)

4 comments:

  • Annie says:
    Sunday, March 15, 2009

    You wrote that?! Have I ever heard it? I don't remember ...

    "It is the devil who lies and tells me that I have failed because I have not arrived in one giant step."

    Amen. So true. God is not agraid or disappointed at the process of growth. So often we are. We think the full tree bearing fruit is the only thing he loves. Or the capable, God-fearing man, victorious in everything he does. But God created seeds. And babies. Puppies. Kittens. It's amazing that humans take so much delight in things when they are first born and oh-so-adorable ... and then think that God is looking at us, toe-tapping, and impatient for us to grow up already. You're right. I think He's much more like a parent - thoroughly enjoying the process of watching us grow. Really good thoughts, Katie.

  • Crown of Beauty says:
    Tuesday, March 17, 2009

    Hi Katie, growth is progressive... and God is like a patient parent. Did you know that Abraham is one of my favorite Bible characters? He was always on the path of obedience. I love the way you think out your faith. Yes, God is a rewarder of those who seek Him!

  • Julie says:
    Monday, March 23, 2009

    Katie,
    Thanks for your "baby steps" post. Thanks for the comment on my "Practice Makes Perfect" post. I urge you to get "into it" (the book) and chew on it in little tiny bites! :-)
    It's awesome inspiration.
    I have always told my kids to "stay bent" towards God. As we walk our paths and weather the storms in this life, as long as we lean into the winds, and keep our direction straight towards God, He will honor and give strength! We will stumble, we will fall, maybe even crawl sometimes, but that "bent" in a specific direction will always be our ultimate victory. There is not guilt because of heart effort!!
    Yes, He is cheering us on as we attempt new steps every day. :-)

  • Crown of Beauty says:
    Tuesday, March 24, 2009

    I'm re-reading the song you posted entitled This Place. Wow, I guess I didn't really read it that well the first time...now reading it again, it grips my heart. Awesome... have you ever sung it? I'd love to learn how it goes so I can sing it too!

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