Summary: We are called to take steps of faith out of an obedience to a command of God, not out of our own presumption. We just might be called to walk on the water.
Take A Step In Faith10/11/2020
We are in the second message of our series, New Season, New Start, New Mindset. Last week, Pastor Toby encouraged us to Dream Again. We often times are forced to Dream Again when something happens in our lives that we had hoped would not happen. Yet God will often send us into places that we do not wish to go.
We are familiar with the story of Daniel, Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego. But none of them desired to be in the place God used them. You see the King of Babylon had invaded their country, when they were teenagers. The king decided some of the people would stay in their own country, but others would be taken away to Babylon as hostages. If the new king in Judah did not follow the instructions of Babylon, these hostages would no doubt be killed. Daniel and his friends were among the older teens who were taken as hostages to Babylon.
Daniel and his friends had no idea of what kind of treatment they would get in Babylon? Would they be kept in dungeons? Would they be treated as slaves? Would they be beaten without cause? Would they be executed? Would they ever be allowed to come back to their own nation of Judah? They were justified in being nervous, anxious, afraid and fearful.
The most important thing Daniel and his friends took with them when they left with the soldiers, never to return to their home of Judah again, was their relationship to their God. Daniel was the first to make up his mind, “no matter what I have to face or the price I will have to pay, I will not forget the laws of my God and I will remain true to God.
When Daniel was presented with food he knew he should not eat that the King of Babylon had provided for him, he faced a dilemma. What was he going to do? I guess he could have eaten it, and then asked God to forgive him.
I guess he could have brought a bag with him to the table and pretended to eat some of the meat, by hiding it in the bag and throwing it away secretly. He could have pretended to have drunken the wine by keeping his lips together when he raised the cup to his mouth. It would have made it look as though he was fitting in with the crowd.
Or he could do something courageous. He could take a step of faith and put himself out there for God. He could expose himself as a true believer. This might get him kicked out of the free three year college the Babylonians had put him in. It might get him a new room in a dungeon cell. At worst, it might cost him his life for disobeying the king of Babylon to eat the food he had provided.
When we talk about taking a step of faith, we often think of something great that might happen in reward for us taking that step. Yet the only reward Daniel expected was the knowledge that he had been faithful to God. He wasn’t seeking some position, power, or blessing. He was seeking to know God and the ways of God. He recognized even though he did not want to be in Babylon, God had sent him there, and that God was already there when Daniel arrived.
Daniel’s step of faith led him to lead others in a deeper walk with God. God’s blessings poured into their lives in a way they could have never dreamed. This one step would lead to those who came into Babylon as terrified hostages, to become people who would change the spiritual life of the entire nation of Babylon.
One of the greatest steps of faith God has called you to step occurred when you heard Jesus say, “come follow me.” That step meant that you were admitting, you were not good enough to save yourself from your sin.
It was a step of faith to believe that God could actually use you and wanted to use you in the kingdom of God. When you took the step, you actually had no idea where Jesus was going to take you or what He was doing or what He was going to require of you.
In our video today, Sujo said he had been a secret Christian. He had no idea that on 9/11 Jesus would lead him into one of the twin towers. The building was on fire and ceilings were crashing around and upon him. When he was huddled with a group of 10 people, terrorized and facing death, that was when he realized, he needed to tell people about on Jesus.