When I Stepped Out On Faith!
As I reflect back on my life, I can visualize the many moments where I should have but chose not to step out on faith. Honestly, it was never easy for step out on faith because I grew up thinking I needed to see it to believe it. I praise God that I have a completely different mindset today. From a very early age, I began viewing life how society often paints it, that you are your best advocate, you should be a go-getter because when you work really hard, great things will happen. For much of my life, I did just that I worked really hard and so many great things did follow; however, I still felt incomplete, and there was something significant missing. Yes, I had the degrees, cars, promotions and even home yet I always knew it would never suffice for how I felt on the inside. You may be wondering what did I think was missing? I was incomplete because I lacked an intimate relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I had spent several years attempting to do in my own strength what God can do speedily and with all power. Talk about stress, confusion, and frustration I experienced it all because I did not submit myself (mindset, emotions, and flesh) unto the Lord and trust Him with all of my heart. The bible declares faith “is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). Likewise, when you are walking in faith, you believe and can stand firm in knowing that the Lord has full control over the outcome of your circumstance. At the root of faith, is one’s ability to trust and Hebrews 11:6 reminds us that without hope it is not possible to please God.
I grew up for much of my life even into my adulthood struggling with my inability to trust others. I found myself replaying the same scenarios of when this or that person violated my trust, which ultimately led me down a path of desolation. When I felt like this, it was ultimately affecting my ability to walk by faith. I may not have said, “I do not trust” but I felt it in my heart and it showed up in my interactions. Jeremiah 17:9 states “the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”. Our hearts can deceive us into believing that we are okay even when our emotions and actions display to others that we are not okay. When you are sensitive to the spirit of God, you will be seeking to have a heart after God.
While attending a prayer event, I remembered I could no longer put God into the same category as Man. So what is this mean? We cannot treat God in the same matter that we treat others remember He is the author and finisher of our faith. He knew who you were before He formed you in your mother’s womb and better yet He sent forth for a Savior (Jesus Christ) to die for you. When you have a reference for God, you have deep respect and honor for Him for all that He has done to redeem you. With all of that said, it would be silly of us to erect a wall up around our hearts or believe the lies of the enemy that no one can be trusted especially, the Lord. I want you to know that when you have a wall up, you are not only protecting yourself from others but you are also blocking your ability to trust and have an intimate and fruitful relationship with the Lord. I am transparently speaking from experience, the moment when l began to trust God and really allowed Him to be at the center of my heart my life changed for the better. In one breath, I was crying out to the Lord to heal my heart and set me free, yet my heart was hard and I did not allow the Lord to come in and mend those oozing wounds. I found out quickly that there is no room for rejection, pride, jealousy, lust, greed, unforgiveness, or fear. So I may a major decision – I decided to trust God anyway and it didn’t matter what the situation looked like in front of me.
If you find yourself struggling on your journey, I want you to know that you can overcome this current state of your life. Here are a few practical steps that I have utilized and you can also to move from your current mindset and increase your faith in the Lord:
Establish an intimate relationship with the Lord. The best way to engage in a close relationship with the Lord is through prayer. Prayer is a primarily two-way form of communication with the Lord. When we humble ourselves before the Lord through prayer, He hears our petitions, thoughts and even sees our pain but it is crucial that we have settled ourselves in His presence enough to recognize when the Lord communicates back through His still small voice. The settling occurs when you have established consistency - that is in your prayer life, in your daily walk, trusting in Him and silencing out all other distractions. Like any successful relationship, being consistent is an essential quality in establishing an intimate relationship with the Lord.
Submit yourself unto the Lord. In other words, you have decided wholeheartedly to trade your will for God’s will. When you submit yourself unto the Lord, you deny your flesh daily to live a life that pleasing to God’s eyes. You recognize your current ways are no longer fulfilling and hinder you from moving forward for the better. The Lord opens doors that no man can close when you submit yourself unto Him.
Deny your old mindset(s) when challenges arise. Although test and trials may occur in your life, it is important not to resort back to previous negative patterns of behavior. It is in these moments where you will need to practice discipline and have more control of your emotions. You will have to continually renew your mind and arrest those negative thoughts, anything that goes against what God has promised you immediately. Please do not wallow or even suppress those feelings when challenges arise. You can overcome the negative by speaking positively over your situations.
Stand firm on the Lord’s promises. To stand firm on His promises, you must first know what the Lord has promised you as His child. We can hold onto His promises when we study the word of the Lord and spend uninterrupted time mediating and planting scriptures in our hearts. The word of the Lord becomes our source of strength and increases our faith especially when a circumstance in the natural looks dire we can speak the word of Lord over it. Also, it is the same promises that enable us to have the ability to defeat the enemy.
Psalm 20:7 always encourages me that while “some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God”. Despite what you may have gone through my brother and my sister in your past allow God to rest, rule and reign within your heart. When you remember where your help comes from then, you are in a much better position to walk by faith and not by sight.
Larisha Y. Warner