The Next Obedient Step 

 In Jason Bunger

Earlier this spring, we had the privilege of hosting Stuart and Jill Briscoe from ministries.  Stuart and Jill have been friends of our family and Hope Church for a number of years.  I always enjoy being around them!

Over the past 70+ years, God seems to have done so many amazing things in their lives and ministries and I’ve often wondered the secret to their success. This spring, I challenged myself, either through observations or conversations with them, to understand the key to their fruitful lives and ministries. Sure enough, I learned it this time.  From my observation, the secret to their success can be found in four words, “THE NEXT OBEDIENT STEP.”

Quite simply, the success of their lives and ministry was steadfastly taking the next obedient step with God — whatever that was and wherever they were.  When Stuart was a Christian for only a few months, he was told, “It is about time you started preaching, son. You will preach to the youth group this Wednesday and your subject will be ‘Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians.’”  Stuart rushed home, found the book in Scripture, worked relentlessly to prepare a lesson and later that week, as he had been instructed, he nervously delivered it. Because he was nervous, inexperienced and, in an effort to be especially diligent, he had studied and was prepared with excessive material, Stuart was only able to deliver half of his content before the evening was over.

After the message, the same gentleman said to him, “You didn’t finish your message.  You will come back next week and finish it. And, by the way, if you are ever invited to preach and if you are free, the answer you will always give them will be ‘yes.’ And  if you are good and they invite you back, the answer, likewise, will always be ‘yes’.”

It occurred to me that Stuart’s life has simply been a series of “yes” answers to the next obedient task God has given him.  God asks him to do something. Stuart does it. Then God asks him to do something else.

Too many times we stall or fail to start in our Christian life because we don’t have the entire plan figured out.  However, all God expects us to do is simply be obedient to the next thing He calls us to do and then to be obedient to His next call.

I believe that is all God has asked you and I to do.  Simply say “yes” today to the next obedient step.

What is your next obedient step is?  What is the next simple, yet intentional step God has called you to do?  Is it beginning your faith journey by simply admitting you are a sinner and want to be forgiven by the crucified and risen Christ?  Is it making your relationship with God public by being baptized? Is it admitting that something you thought you controlled is now controlling you?  Is it to forgive someone or to ask someone to forgive you? What is it? Identify how you should obediently take the next step and do it. You can’t do everything, but you can do something.  Take the step.

There is a very familiar Chinese proverb that reads, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” You don’t need to have your journey completely mapped out and you certainly don’t need to reach your final destination in one step!  However, we can take just one step! We are asked to do nothing more. Go ahead, take that step.

I am convinced that each of us will be exactly where we need to be tomorrow if we will start today by simply taking the next obedient step.

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  • Buck

    Was good reading and a reminder!! Thank You Jason

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