JUST STEP OUT!
Everything impactful that I have ever seen happen in EvangeLIVING has always hinged on a simple step of obedience to the Lord. It is that moment when “the rubber meets the road,” when Heaven looks down and wonders, “Will he do it? Is he going to step out in faith?” When that answer is “Yes,” I often find myself stepping into encounters with people that only God can orchestrate.Everything impactful that I have ever seen happen in EvangeLIVING has always hinged on a simple step of obedience to the Lord. Click To Tweet
In fact, everything the Lord does through His people requires a step of faith and obedience to His leading. One story in the Scriptures that illustrates this principle is the story of Peter walking on the water, found in Matthew 14.
In a nutshell, the story goes as follows: The disciples are out on a boat in some rough waters. The New King James Version says that the waves “buffeted” the boat, which in Greek is literally translated as tortured. In the midst of these conditions, Jesus comes out to them, walking on the water toward the boat. The disciples are spooked, but Peter calls out to Jesus and says, “Lord, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.” (v. 28) He takes a step out onto the water, then takes his eyes off of Jesus, and begins to sink. Jesus takes him by the hand and rescues him from drowning and the two safely get into the boat.
I think Peter tends to get a bad rap in this story. I have heard many sermons in the past calling attention to Peter’s failure to keep his eyes on Jesus. Granted, this is one lesson that we can glean from the story. But if you take the camera off of Peter for a moment, and turn it toward the boat, you will see it full of disciples who did not step out in faith.
Peter experienced one of the most incredible miracles. Think about how thrilling it would be to walk on water. I believe that moment was available to every disciple. I cannot imagine Jesus telling the other guys, “Stay in the boat. This invitation is only going to Peter.” No, the reality is that Peter was the only one with the audacity to trust Jesus enough to get his leg over the side of the boat and see what happened.
There is something about stepping out in faith that creates room for the Lord to do the miraculous. Those who play it safe in their walk with the Lord tend to see the least happen. This is especially true when it comes to fostering an evangelistic lifestyle. Sharing the Gospel requires that we initiate conversations and engage with people that may not want to hear what we have to say. If we are never willing to take that step, we will miss much of what the Lord wants to do through us.
I am fully aware of the challenge of actually taking these steps of faith. I am not suggesting that this is easy. I would like to think that if I were one of the disciples on the boat, I would have stepped out with Peter. I am certain many of them wished that they had. They must have come away from that day wondering what could have happened had they too stepped out in faith. There are times in my life when I am Peter, and other situations that I react like the other disciples. And it all comes down to the question of whether or not I will simply step out in faith.
I call it the Dance. It is that internal questioning that often occurs when I realize an opportunity to share the Gospel is in front of me. Sometimes it is so much easier to be bold in my prayer time, asking the Lord to open up doors of opportunity. Then, when He does, I start thinking about all the reasons not to step out.
“What will they think?”
“What if they don’t want to hear about Jesus?”
“They are probably too busy to talk.”
The list of excuses go on and on, although they present themselves as logical thoughts in the moment. I wonder how many God encounters I have allowed to pass by giving into that internal reasoning. I am certain that the enemy does this to us to prevent us from stepping out. And at that moment, the only question that needs answered is whether or not we will be willing to step out and initiate a conversation with the person God has put in our path.And at that moment, the only question that needs answered is whether or not we will be willing to step out and initiate a conversation with the person God has put in our path. Click To Tweet
The devil will try to turn your attention on all the times you did step out and nothing seemed to happen. But the reality is that NOTHING will ever happen unless you step out. As I said in the beginning of this post, I have never seen a single God encounter happen without this simple step of faith first taking place in my heart. It is that internal decision that says, “Well, here it goes,” and I open my mouth or hit the send button.
When Peter called out to Jesus on the night that he experienced this incredible miracle, Jesus’ response was simply, “Come.” I believe Jesus is saying the same thing to every believer. “Come and join me in the Great Commission. Take a step in faith. I’ll be with you the whole way.”
So, my encouragement to anyone who wants to grow in evangeLIVING would be, “Just step out!” Do you want to see God do great things through your life? Just step out and do something. Open your mouth, even if you are unsure how the person will respond. You cannot control their reaction, but you can decide within yourself to simply provide an opportunity and allow the Holy Spirit to use it how He wants to in their life.
I am determined, I don’t want to live my life in the land of “I wonder if I would have…” It’s the land of “What Could Have Been.” It’s a place full of regrets and wishing I could go back and do something different. Rather, I am training myself to take that step of faith and see what the Lord will do with it.
Next time the Lord puts an opportunity to share the love of Jesus in front of you, JUST STEP OUT! And see what He can do through a willing person.
DUSTIN RENZ is the President of Make Way Ministries, a non-profit organization that exists to see the world changed one Christian at a time. He has a passion to see the Body of Christ find rich intimacy in their relationship with Jesus and step out in faith to share the Gospel with the world around them. He is the author of Pile of Masks: Exposing Christian Hypocrisy and Something Better. He resides in Dayton, Ohio with his wife and three daughters.