In Experiencing God Henry Blackaby teaches that it is impossible to go with God and remain where we are at the same time.
Our 10-month-old granddaughter is close to walking, but she hasn’t yet been brave enough to let go and step out into the open floor. Hanging on to various pieces of furniture is wonderful for babies as they learn to balance and move with their feet, but if they stayed there, they would never walk.
When we begin leading in some capacity, we usually depend on others for guidance, training, and support. I am grateful for those who taught me how to lead small groups and how to study the Bible. Without the leadership example of many older women, I would not have figured out how to do it better myself. Initially God put me in small group situations with friends, not large groups or strangers. And I was perfectly happy to serve him there—very comfortable.
In time we all grow comfortable in places where we lead under someone else’s guidance, have the support of friends, or know what we are doing. We only move around but when situations are non-threatening, never going to the middle of the room where it is risky.
What happens if God calls us to step out, away from our proven supports, and trust him? It can be not only uncomfortable but downright scary! Yet obedience and opportunity demand that we let go and actively step out.
Paul had to turn his back on his position and influence among the Jews to follow Jesus. The disciples had to leave their homes and jobs to become fishers of men. Abraham had to emigrate from his homeland to go to the Promised Land. Jesus had to leave heaven and take on humanity to become the Savior of the world.
Perhaps God is calling us not to move into a new ministry or go to a new place, but to change how we are doing the things we are doing. Maybe he wants us to grow by daring something new or going on a mission trip.
To what are you hanging on that is keeping you from trusting God and go where he is leading?
Perhaps like me, you are somewhat introverted and don’t really want much attention—and certainly don’t want to invite any. Don’t put me in the limelight. Let me lead from the back of the room. But in God’s economy those who are least comfortable up front are sometimes those he chooses to use there.
Pride, fear of people, fear of failure, perfectionism, and fear of the unknown and the new can hold us back. The fellowship and friendships we have can keep us from going moving on. Less responsibility or workload where we are may hold us back from where we should be. Our worries and fears about what may happen can cripple us from walking with God. We may hold on to our time, our money, our stuff, or our families.
We can hang onto good things or bad things, but once we choose anything over God’s call, it becomes a bad thing. It’s good to hang onto the furniture as a support when we learn to walk, but it’s bad if we never let go and step out into the room.
Take some time to ask God today what is holding you back from going with him. Then step out and trust him to go with him and work for his kingdom.
This article was originally posted on Feb. 3, 2015 on The Aroma of Influence blog.