I feel like stepping out successfully for God requires that we persistently seek Him. The three areas that I see we need to persistent seek Him in are 1) His presence 2) His Word 3) Prayer.
We can not accomplish anything that God desires for us on our own. If we could, we would have no reason to seek Him. We would think that we do not need Him. We have to stay connected to the vine in order to bear fruit.
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned. John 15:1-6
If you feel like you are stepping out, and you are not relying on Him, you might want to look at the fruit you are bearing in your endeavor. We may accomplish many things, even good things; without the fruit, they are done in vain.
If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. I Corinthians 13:1-3
I love this passage, because so often we look at the spiritual gifts that God has given others when what we should be looking for is the fruit. They go together, but I have seen men (And women) operate in the gifts of the Spirit and seen the fruit of their lives not match up with it. They gain nothing in stepping out. Love is one of the fruit of the Spirit that comes from abiding in Christ, and apart from it we are nothing, because God is love (I John 4:8).
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
Persistently seeking God, is not about going through the motions. It is about abiding with Him by persistently seeking His presence. We need to persistently invite Him into every area of our lives. He is a gentleman and will not go where He is not invited. That is why He stands at the door and knocks (Revelations 3:20), so we can invite Him in. So often we see this portrayed as Christ knocking for salvation, but this was a message or warning written to the Church of Laodicea, the lukewarm Church.
Developing a persistent habit of reading God’s word is important. If I am not seeking His presence while I am in it, there will be things for Him to draw on, but I will not get as much out of it. I need to invite His presence into that time before I ever begin. When I stop and invite His presence into my quiet time, the Word of God comes alive in my life. It speaks to me right where I am at, and often times prepares me for what I am about to face next.
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Joshua 1:8
We need to persistently meditate on the Word of God. And obey it. When we know God’s Word and persistently follow it, He will give us success. It may not look like money in the bank, or the world’s definition of success. It will look like meeting the needs of others right where they are. It will look like walking in peace and joy through difficult circumstances.
Prayer is another area where we need to be persistent. I can spend time talking to God, and see little results. Many times my prayers will become gripe sessions about whatever I am facing in the natural. Yes, God still listens, and He even still responds. He wants so much more out of our time together though. I need to pause and open my spiritual eyes and stop being focused on the natural. When I persistently pray to Him, I enter into His presence with worship, praise, adoration, thanksgiving. He inhabits my praise. His Spirit guides my prayer. I can pray with such passion for things that just a few minutes before where not even on my mind.
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. Romans 8:26
Praying in the Spirit is also part of the the Armor of God that we should be persistent in putting on, and keeping on.
Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end, keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, Ephesians 6:11-18
Staying alert, be persistent, make supplication for all the saints. We need to persistently talk to God and lift of the needs of those around us, especially those in the body of Christ. It is one of the ways that we link arms to defeat the enemy. If God places someone on your heart, lift them up in prayer, even if it is just a “You know what’s going on with ‘so and so’ today. Lord surround them with your presence and meet whatever need they are facing today.” Let your brother or sister in Christ know that your praying for them too.
Pray persistently. If God places something on your heart, pray until you see the answer. Remember the story of the unjust judge and the widow that Jesus shared:
And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:1-8
If it is something that the finished work of Christ on the cross has already supplied, praise Him and thank Him persistently until you see it happen. Stand in faith on the finished work of Christ and on the promises that have been given to us in the Word. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 Once you can see it, it no longer takes faith. Don’t allow anything to cause you to doubt what Christ has already provided.
We serve a God who is faithful to us. He persistently pursues us, and we need to persistently pursue Him. We need to persistently seek His presence. We need to persistently mediate on His Word and obey it. We need to persistently pray in the Spirit, pray for others, and persistently stand on the promises He has given us and the finished work of the cross. We can always be confident to step out for Him when we persistently stay connected to Him.
This post is part of a 28 days series on Stepping Out inspired by the #Write28Days Blogging Challenge by Anita Ojeda.