God Wants to Take You Deeper in Faith
“And Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has made you well.’ Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road” (Mark 10:52 NASB).
I don’t know what step you need to take next, but I do know that you need to take it. Maybe your next step is to accept Jesus Christ into your life. Or perhaps it’s time to be baptized. Maybe you need to join a church, get into a small group, start tithing, find a ministry, go on a mission trip, or invite a friend to church. I don’t know what your next step is, but I do know this: You have one. God will never be finished taking you deeper in faith. There is always a next step.
If you don’t take the next step, you’re going to get stuck in a rut—and the only difference between a grave and a rut is the length. If you don’t move forward in faith, you will die. Your heart will grow cold, and you will feel more distant from God. He isn’t going to help you with steps two, three, four, and five until you take step one. If you’re asking God to help you with something, he’s asking you, “Why haven’t you done what I’ve already told you to do?” You may have been “aiming” to do something. Stop aiming and pull the trigger.
Before Bartimaeus met Jesus, he was sitting beside the road, a blind man begging for handouts. After he received his sight from the Lord, he “began following [Jesus] on the road” (Mark 10:52 NASB). Which of those two phrases describes your life: sitting beside the road or following Jesus on the road? Which of those two lifestyles do you think is more fulfilling? Which do you think has more joy, more meaning, and more satisfaction? Which one do you want to represent your life?
There’s only one way to follow Jesus on the road: Take the next step.
Faith is more than believing. Faith is more than thinking, talking, or having convictions about Jesus. Faith is action. It is movement; it is activity. Faith is something you do. In fact, the Bible says in James 2:14, “If people say they have faith, but do nothing, their faith is worth nothing” (NCV).
Where do you get the faith to begin a fresh start? There’s only one source: Jesus Christ.
“Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:30 The Message). Bartimaeus had no idea that Jesus Christ was going to pass his way that day. To him, it was just another day. But God gave him an unexpected opportunity that offered him a fresh start. God is giving you the same opportunity. Don’t miss it. Take your next step of faith before the opportunity passes you by.
Talk It Over
What are you waiting on in order to take the next step of faith in your life?
How have you tried to excuse your procrastination for not taking a next step in following Jesus?
What “next step” will you take today to move forward in faith?
Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior?
The Bible says we all fall short of God’s perfect standard. Yet God still loves us — even though we sin and we’re flawed. In fact, God loves us so much that he sent his Son, Jesus, to cleanse us from our sins, and to bring us into the family of God.
If you’ve never accepted God’s love and invited Jesus into your heart, I want you to have that opportunity now. If the words of this prayer express your heart, then let God know that by praying them as a way of saying, “Me too.”
“Dear God, I don’t understand it all, but I thank you that you love me. I thank you that you are for me and that you didn’t send Jesus to condemn me but to save me.
“I confess that I have sinned against you, and I admit I need Jesus as my Savior. I want a relationship with Jesus. I want to follow him and do the things he tells me to do.
“I ask you to save me from my past, my regrets, my mistakes, my sins, my habits, my hurts, and my hang-ups.
“I ask you to save me for your purpose. I want to know why you put me on this planet. And I want to fulfill what you made me to do. I want to learn to love you and trust you and be in your family forever. In your name I pray, amen.”
If you just prayed that prayer, let me know by emailing me at Rick@PastorRick.com. I want to encourage you in your journey with Jesus and send you some free materials to help you take your first steps.
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.