Vocabulary.com defines Awestruck as: To be awestruck is to be full of complete wonder, amazement, or dread for something.
I am awestruck by people who make stepping out look so easy. Through the years I have realized that even those where stepping out seems like second nature, they either do it afraid or they have overcome the same negative messages that I have to overcome.
Most of the time, we don’t have the benefit of seeing behind the scenes of these “God go getters”. We see the action, and never hear the journey to get there. We don’t hear about the insecurities and struggles they face daily. We think of them as gospel superhero’s that God has just empowered to walk so boldly. God has blessed me with a few people who have shared those behind the scene battles.
Even in the Bible there are very few people where we really get the behind the scene journey that leads to them being used by God. Three that come to mind are David, Elijah and Jeremiah. When we stop and think about the questions they struggled with, and all that they accomplished for God, we can stand awestruck that God still used them.
David was known as a Man after God’s own heart. He was also openly honest about his weaknesses. He slated a giant, successfully outran and outwitted a king, yet at times David back downed from the assignment God placed in him.
“And David was afraid of the Lord that day, and he said, “How can the ark of the Lord come to me?” So David was not willing to take the ark of the Lord into the city of David. But David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite.” 2 Samuel 6:9-10 ESV
David saw Uzzah struck down after treating the ark of the covenant as common. So instead of bringing back the ark to where it belonged, he left it. He questioned how he could do it.
How often do we find ourselves questioning the same. “How could I possibly do what God is asking of me?” God never brings us to something for the purpose of failure, but for growth. Once David saw that the blessing of the Lord was where the Ark was, he changed his tune. We have to decide we want the blessing of God’s presence more than fearing the “what if’s.”
When David finally did decide to bring it back, it was with reverence, sacrifice and praise. His wife who was upset with David’s extravagant worship, David’s response:
“And David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as prince over Israel, the people of the Lord —and I will celebrate before the Lord. I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in your eyes. But by the female servants of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor.”” 2 Samuel 6:21-22 ESV
When we step out for God, it will be met with His presence. Our response should be extravagant praise and worship when we consider all that God has done for us. We should not be concerned about appearances, but in pleasing God.
Elijah was a prophet for God that saw some amazing miracles and did some amazing things. Even in the midst of stepping out for the Lord, he fell into the negative thought pattern that he was in it all alone.
“He said, “I have been very jealous for the Lord, the God of hosts. For the people of Israel have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword, and I, even I only, am left, and they seek my life, to take it away.””
1 Kings 19:10 ESV
The enemy has a way of trying to convince us that we are alone. He tells us we are alone in the battle. He says we are alone in the way we feel. He isolates into believing we are alone in the way we think. We are alone and no one could possible understand what we are experiencing. He tells us because of this we should give up. Nothing could be further from the truth.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.”” Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV
God asked Elijah just before this passage why he was in the wilderness hiding, after single handedly killing 500 false prophets.
“And the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus. And when you arrive, you shall anoint Hazael to be king over Syria. And Jehu the son of Nimshi you shall anoint to be king over Israel, and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abel-meholah you shall anoint to be prophet in your place. And the one who escapes from the sword of Hazael shall Jehu put to death, and the one who escapes from the sword of Jehu shall Elisha put to death. Yet I will leave seven thousand in Israel, all the knees that have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.”” 1 Kings 19:15-18 ESV
God’s response to us when we back down is the same. Get back out there. If I am for you, who can be against you. Keep running the race, fighting the good fight.
Jeremiah was a prophet that ended up with a lot of cool stories to tell. However when he first heard the call of God, it sounded like he might not step out. His first response was:
“Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.”” Jeremiah 1:6-8 ESV
Many of us respond to God’s call to step out with, “I don’t know what to say or how to say it.” We make excuses “I’m too you. Too old. A woman. A sinner. A…fill in the blank. God’s response is the same, “Go where I send you. Speak what I tell you. I will be with you.”
Even after Jeremiah had been stepping out for a while, he complained to God because people persecuted him. He wanted God to come against those who were persecuting him.
“Righteous are you, O Lord, when I complain to you; yet I would plead my case before you. Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why do all who are treacherous thrive? You plant them, and they take root; they grow and produce fruit; you are near in their mouth and far from their heart. But you, O Lord, know me; you see me, and test my heart toward you. Pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and set them apart for the day of slaughter. How long will the land mourn and the grass of every field wither? For the evil of those who dwell in it the beasts and the birds are swept away, because they said, “He will not see our latter end.””
Jeremiah 12:1-4 ESV
I know that there have been times that I questioned God why things were not as easy as they should be. I have questioned why I feel like my obedience is like pushing a Boulder up a hill. I have questioned why others are against me. I have wanted to see others pay for the turmoil, and then often felt bad when some did seem to have their own turmoil.
Each one of these men of God had questions about stepping out. How can I? Concerns about their qualifications. Questions about the process and the outcome. Yet, God answered their questions. He was not offended by them. And in the end, we can stand awestruck of the things they did and said for God.
We have to willing to ask God the tough questions. We have to be willing to hear the answers. We have to be willing to go ahead and step out. Then we may be the ones awestruck in how God uses us.
This post is part of a 28 days series on Stepping Out inspired by the #Write28Days Blogging Challenge by Anita Ojeda.