Stepping Up • Part 5

Simple choices have a dramatic impact on our lives. Obedience always sets us on the right trajectory toward God’s ideal for us. As we have mentioned earlier, God has designed life in such a way that He presents us with challenges and decisions that give us a chance to step up. How we respond to these moments can dramatically shift the course of our lives. Disobedience also has a dramatic impact on our lives. It is said that a plane flying from San Francisco to Los Angeles would miss the airport by six miles at a one-degree variance. A seemingly tiny .01-degree mistake would put your plane in the Pacific Ocean, over a half-mile off course. God has given us an opportunity right now to step up in this moment. 

Picture this scene. You are a kid at summer camp. The first day you set your eyes on the high dive. You finally build up the nerve to climb the steps and walk out to the edge of the diving board. You look down and just can’t imagine falling that far to the pool below. You turn around and climb back down the steps. The second day you do the exact same thing, much to your disappointment and the disappointment of your friends. You do this every single day of the one week you have at camp, getting closer and closer to jumping every time. Finally, on the last day of camp you climb those steps one more time, walk out to the edge, staring at the pool below, your nerves get the best of you again, you turn to walk back toward that descent of shame. This time, without you knowing, a counselor has followed you up on the board and is standing right behind you. He looks you in the eye and says, “Not today. Today is the day you jump. Trust me. Tomorrow you will thank me.” So you turn and step into your choice, fully committing all of yourself. 

There would be nothing worse than the thought of letting fear get the best of you, not taking that step, returning home, and wishing you had. Fear blinds us to tomorrow. Tomorrow is when today’s investment reaps a return. God has given us a chance to choose today what will impact generations to come. What a privilege it is to invest in something that matters for eternity. God has richly blessed all of us to be a blessing. 

Just imagine what return your investment and obedience today will reap for years to come. What you will find is that this kind of choice will get in your blood and it will become a lifestyle ofmore choices just like it. You will keep making choices that commit to things bigger and longer lasting than you. Not only will we thank Him tomorrow, but also generations will give thanks and benefit from our obedience and generosity.

This weekend we looked at Joshua 24 when Joshua draw a clear line in the sand saying, “Choose this day whom you will serve.” He is calling the people to step up. He is warning them that this decision will have a dramatic impact on how the rest of their story plays out. We face a similar decision point today.

Choose today whether or not you will step up. What is the step that causes you to have a knot in your stomach? God just might be calling you into that place. The place where He is all you have. It is in that moment and through that step of obedience that you just might realize that He is all you need. He is worthy of our next step. He is the one saying, “Today is the day you jump. The day you trust me.” Let’s step up together.

TRUE STEPS

My Husband and I and our 10-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter were living in Virginia. We met a man at our church who wanted to open a boys’ home nearby. He asked us to be the house parents and after prayer, we decided we would. We quit our jobs and sold our house. The day before the home was to open, this man told us he decided we were not the ones God would have to be house parents. This was quite a blow to us as we were now jobless and homeless. Some friends took us in while we tried to figure out what to do. In spite of the financial challenge looming over us, we decided to tithe the sale of our house, rather than save it if we needed it. The temptation to let fear rule in our emotions was great but we kept remembering and repeating back to God His promises for our finances and us. Up to this point in our lives, we didn’t have much in the way of finances, pretty much living from paycheck to paycheck. After a few weeks of seeking God’s direction, John got a job offer in another city in Virginia and we moved two hours away. From that time on, our finances steadily got better and better. We were greatly blessed by the church family He led us to and that time in our lives was very precious. We don’t even want to think about where we would be today if we had not been obedient in tithing rather than letting fear and worry rule our decisions. 

John & Sandy

PERSONAL REFLECTION

1. What is in my budget right now that will make a difference in the year 2116? 

2. Is today the day you choose where you will be on The Giving Journey? Are you ready to fully commit?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

1. What was your big takeaway from this past week’s sermon?  How about from this week’s devotional reading? 

2. Would you be willing to share with the group how you answered #1 and #2 from the Personal Reflection questions?

3. How has a decision you made altered your life off course for years to come? 

4. Does it inspire you to think that the way you invest your giving now will have an effect on future generations and even eternity?

5. Which step on The Giving Journey makes you nervous and stretched?

6. Describe the Journey in the year 2026. What would you love to see the Journey be able to accomplish in our community and in the world? “I wish the Journey could ________.”

7. How could your Stepping Up help the Journey accomplish that vision? 

PRAYER DEVOTIONS

Read – Joshua 24:14-28

Stepping Up to prioritize God above all else. 

The outcome of your life is not determined by your good intentions, but by your decisions. Joshua says, “choose this day.” The verb tense Joshua uses for choose isn’t just a reference to a choice that he made one time. Joshua is saying “I chose, I choose, I will keep choosing.” You can make a difference. There is no greater thrill and joy in the world than to leverage all you have in order to accomplish God’s purpose for your life. The only way that happens is when you start making decisions now that determine the outcome of your life. What you choose matters because, by Stepping Up, we change the eternities of people in this community and around the world. Our choice today to commit to Stepping Up will impact those in the years to come and will change the lives of people in our community and in the nation Haiti. That is why we are choosing today to serve God and give our lives to Him. We are Stepping Up!

Pray – Please reveal to me Your perfect desire in my choices; show me what to choose to do today. I pray for sensitivity to the Holy Spirit’s prompting so that I choose no less than Your desire, oh Lord. Would You bring great faith upon me today, the faith that only You can fill me with. Please lay on my heart the exact desire You would have me step up to so that many people will be changed for eternity. Lord, I thank you for the opportunity to serve You. Today I am Stepping Up. In Jesus name, Amen.