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take the next step

By McKenna Takach
June 30, 2020

Passages of the day: Click HERE ​to read today’s passages.

2 Kings 17:1-18:12
Acts 20:1-38
Psalm 148:1-14
Proverbs 18:6-7

Around Easter this year, a lot of us on staff were tired. I confess, I was exhausted. COVID at that point had felt like we were trying to get through a maze while blindfolded; the direction we wanted to go was often dictated by a wall we had hit. Before our Good Friday service, I prayed with Linda Lee and God impressed me with a question he has asked me before: Did you think this was going to be easy? 

It’s strange, because when you read that question, I would imagine it almost sounds condemning or like a strange form of mockery. But that’s not the way it has ever felt when God has asked me. 

Each and every time, God has asked me that question in moments when I doubt my calling and I question his goodness. It’s always been a gentle question. It’s always been an encouraging question. It’s always been almost a dare to step out of both my fatigue and my temptation to be offended. His voice has always carried with it an unexpected weight and sounds nothing like my own. 

In the passage we are reading today, the verse that jumped out at me was in a letter the writer of Acts records from the Apostle Paul to the church in Ephesus. Paul says in the letter, “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city, the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me.” Paul knew that nothing about spreading the Gospel was going to be easy, and though what was to come would be increasingly difficult, he listened to the compelling voice of the Holy Spirit. 

We’ve been praying as a church for revival and for the Bay to be transformed for so long! We’ve asked the Holy Spirit to change lives here like only he can for nearly a decade – and that’s only our church. Plenty of churches before us have been praying that prayer for far longer.  But in my haste to see God move, I sometimes forget the sacrifice, vulnerability and obedience required to get there. It is not an easy road we walk on, and towing the line between grace and truth is costly. But the beauty is that as we walk, we have the company and protection of the One who already sees the end and who dares us to trust him with just one more step. Every time God has asked me that question, “Did you think this was going to be easy?” my next step turned out to be the one God used to reveal just a little slice of the Kingdom he has waiting for us in full. It’s always been the step that has ended up restoring my heart and my confidence in his goodness.

In our fatigue and apathy during COVID, I think we all need the reminder the “task of testifying the good news of God’s grace” is never an easy one, but every step is always worth it.

To memorize:

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

— Acts 20:24

Prayer to start with: Lord, would you give us a glimpse of your Kingdom today? Open our eyes to see the many ways you are blessing us as we walk with you. Help us to feel your delight in us and to have the courage to step out of our apathy and stale comfort into deeper waters with you.