That First Step

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Pacific Crest Trail
My husband and I love to hike. Over the past few years, we've walked many beautiful trails. Some have been through the mountains that border our state with the next and some have been along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. There have been trails in places far from our home and many nearby. The trails haven’t been rated “expert”, but still, at times, there have been many that were challenging. Our love of hiking first began with the admiration of the beauty of God’s creation as we drove along the roads to our destinations. We saw the people with backpacks heading out on adventures through the wooded paths and wished that we could be among those who walked the trails, too.

But, something held us back. What was it? Fear of the unknown? Fear that we lacked ability? Fear of taking chances and stepping away from what we knew to enter into something unfamiliar? Yes, it was all of those things. So, how did we go from passive observers to active participants? We took that proverbial first step.

We just did it.

When we took that first step, we didn't know what would face us on the trail. We didn't even know if we would reach the end of it. There might be obstacles we would face. We might become tired and weary.
Or, we might experience beauty we had never seen before and satisfaction and exhilaration in accomplishment. However, we would never know unless we started the trail. We had to believe that if we could take one step, we could take another and then once moving we would know our way.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7)

Have you ever needed to make a choice and asked God to reveal to you which way to go, only to not quite be sure of His answer? We often sense His leading in one direction but are afraid we might be hearing Him incorrectly. We do all the right things: We seek Him in prayer, in His word and we keep our heart tuned to Him. But still, we are afraid. We seem to lack the courage to make the decision because we don’t have all the details figured out. But, as Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step." 


Once that first step is taken, as we continue to listen to God, He will show us if we should take another. He’ll guide us one way or the other and make the path clear.



“Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, 
saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” (Isaiah 30:21)

We don’t need to have all the answers right up front or have the all the details figured out in order to follow God. We just need to continue to seek Him, take that first step of faith and then follow Him along the path.

Trusting Him,

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18 comments

  1. Oh I liked the quote from MLK. Author Jon Gordon shares this post every year that this reminded me of...my favorite part of his post, "And as I take my leap into the ocean I want to invite you to jump in with me. Perhaps not in the ocean but in the depths of your mind. This jump doesn’t necessarily require water but rather a leap of faith in your belief system and a shift in your mindset. The antidote to fear is trust and it is only a thought away." http://www.jongordon.com/blog/no-fear-in-the-new-year-2014/

    That leap can be "that first step." Even though we may not have all His answers, we take a leap of faith and trust He will continue to lead us. He may change directions on us, and rough patches are sure to come our way, but we continue to trust and keep seeking and asking.
    Okay, hope that all came out the way it was intended.
    Super excited for my soldier to go on a few hikes with you and your husband. :)))
    Love you.

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  2. So difficult for us to take the first step. I decided within the last few weeks that I would do something on a regular basis that was outside of my comfort zone, and have managed a few things so far but I'll have to take a few more first steps too. Thanks, dropping in from Spiritual Sundays.

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  3. Hi Beth!


    Thanks for sharing the passage from Jon Gordon. He's right...the leap of faith begins in our belief system, our faith in God. Once we make the shift in our mindset and take a step forward, God will continue to lead! The whole staircase may seem intimidating, but one step at a time, it is do-able!


    We're excited about our adventure this weekend, too! We're getting up early and heading out...


    Blessings to you, Beth!


    Love, Joan

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  4. Hi Sandra! You're right - it is the first step that is often the most difficult! But when we keep reminding ourselves that our God is with us, it is easier. He'll bring us through! With our hiking, we started with little steps (short hikes, flat trails) and then learned that we could do even more. We're taking that approach to 2014, too. We have some dreams that seem out of our comfort zone. But, feel God's leading to reach them. Trying to figure it all out is overwhelming. However, when we take one small step at a time, God is showing us that with Him, we can reach the goal.


    Blessings, Joan

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  5. Just getting out of bed each morning is an act of faith, but if we never get up we miss so much. My goal is to live with joy and without fear. Knowing I don't have to know the answers as long as I remain close to the One who does.

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  6. Keeping our eyes on the Lord is so important! As we place our faith in Him, it doesn't matter if we can't figure out the answers to all our questions, because we can trust our God who sees the entire picture! He will always lead us in the right direction!


    Blessings, Joan

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  7. God's been taking me back to this truth all week. I don't have to see the whole path in order to take the first step and trust Him to lead. Thank you for sharing this today!

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  8. I'm glad you stopped by today, Janet! Stepping out in faith is something that I'm learning more and more each day. My word for 2014 is courage, and I've learned that to have true courage, we need to place our trust in God! When we follow Him, we know we are on the right path!


    Blessings, Joan

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  9. Love this. One step at a time

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  10. Oh, yes ... stepping out in faith can be scary, but we walk by faith and not by sight.

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  11. Thank you for this loving reminder. The first step is definitely the hardest. Oh how I needed this push this morning.

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  12. Hi Joan,
    I'm visiting from The Weekend Brew.
    My family and I love extreme hiking and living near the Canadian Rockies we have many trails to choose from. The exhilaration of the hike and the fear of the trail can be overwhelming sometimes but just knowing Father created those mountains pushes and drives us to keep going.
    I love how you connected following God as to following a rugged path. How true! We don't need to see the whole path but just what is in front of us at the moment. With God, there is always excitement just around the corner.
    Blessings.

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  13. Oh, yes, that first step! I always think of the Indiana Jones movie where he has to step out into the chasm. I always thought it was a shame that he threw sand over the remaining path after that first brave step, but I find myself doing the same. Thanks for linking up with Recommendation Saturday! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

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  14. Life really is all about taking one step at a time. But I have to take that first step. Trusting that He goes with me enables to to continue to step out in faith!

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  15. Yes, it is our trust in Him that gives us the courage to move forward! I'm so glad He is by our side!


    Blessings, Joan

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  16. Oh, I know what you mean, Denise! But, you are so right! Through our obedience, God will surely bless us! We can count on that!


    Blessings, Joan

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  17. Joan, taking that first step is always the hardest, isn't it? I am thankful that He promises to go before me on the road to point the way. This always fills me with confidence.



    Thanks for linking up at Thought-Provoking Thursday last week! :)

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  18. Oh, yes! Knowing that God is with us gives us the strength we need to keep moving forward! I am so thankful for this gift!


    Blessings, Joan

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