Doug Creamer: Taking steps
At the beginning of the year, my pastor did a series of sermons on taking steps. At the end of the series he gave us each a keychain with a foot on it. It’s on my key chain to remind me that this year God wants me to take steps of faith. So, naturally I asked God, “What steps of faith do you want me to take this year?”
I had an idea for a major step of faith concerning my EncouragingU website. Thankfully I discussed it with a former pastor who has a strong business background. He reminded me that the Bible says to count the cost before building. The wisdom we need about life is often available if we are willing to listen and obey.
Just because the major step I was going to take wasn’t the right one for the moment didn’t mean that there weren’t any steps to take. I have been taking smaller steps to move the website along. I was ready to take a leap and God just wanted me to take steps.
God started stirring in my spirit that He wanted me to take some other steps. I have to be honest, I struggled to obey. Ironically, I was willing to take a leap of faith, but a little less willing to take the steps that He was setting before me.
I have been making videos on YouTube sporadically. I felt like God wanted me to do them regularly. Many of my videos have been done outside, about gardening. It’s winter and I couldn’t think of any topics that would be interesting for regular videos.
I was lying in bed late one night praying and talking with the Lord when I felt His Spirit encouraging me to do the videos again. I asked Him what He wanted me to do in the videos. Isn’t it amazing that we can wonder about something and feel no direction simply because we haven’t asked? As soon as the question was off my tongue, an idea dropped into my head.
Many years ago a traveling minister and artist would come to our church. He challenged the congregation many times with a simple idea. He said that if anyone read a proverb a day and wrote a reflection on some verses from that proverb each day for the 31 days, he would give them a print of one of his paintings.
As I lay in bed thinking about this challenge, God suggested that I read and meditate on a proverb a week and do a short video on my reflections. While the idea was clear and the execution very plausible, I resisted His idea. This was going to be different than what I had been doing and what would people think? Probably more importantly, would anybody care or watch?
When God asks us to do something, He isn’t seeking our opinion or permission. He wants us to take steps of obedience. I admit I wrestled with God for a few weeks. I wanted to be obedient, but the idea felt…well, crazy. Who would want to hear what I thought about a few verses from the proverbs every week?
I decided that obedience trumped my feelings. What I have discovered over the last few weeks is that it is more about me seeking God’s face and meditating on His word than it is about me doing the videos. God wants to talk to me about me and my life through the proverbs. God wants me to spend more time meditating on His word. A by-product of me reading and meditating on His word would be the videos.
It is difficult to understand the Lord and His ways. Sometimes we get the best understanding when we look in the rearview mirror. It’s interesting when I reflect on my prayers recently; I keep telling God that I want to draw closer to Him. What does He tell me to do? Read and meditate His word. What has the result been so far? I have a renewed mind and my heart is stirred even more to want to get even closer.
I want to encourage you to ask God what steps He wants you to take this year. How can God grow and stretch your faith? What steps will you take this year to draw closer to God? If you want to join me on my journey, then look for my videos on YouTube. We serve an awesome God who works behind the scenes to draw us closer to Him and to make us more like Christ.
Contact Doug at firstname.lastname@example.org