We just completed a ladies conference in Lake City, Florida called, "Stepping Out" in which God blessed me to be a small cog in a big wheel. I thank God for each and every woman involved and the pleasure of meeting women that love the Lord. I also praise God for my friend, Barbara.....God gave her a vision for bringing her community of christian women together and she put feet to words! I am excited about what God is doing and is going to do in Lake City, Florida! I met some wonderful women during these two days and was reacquainted with two that I haven't seen in some time. On the first night of the conference we took a "Spiritual Gifts Analysis". I had taken one of these before but it had been several years ago. Not much had changed, I'm embarrassed to say that I scored pitifully low in the area of serving. In my next few posts for this blog, I would like to try to recapture the theme that surrounded the conference. I hope that Donna Sandage and Angie Knight will do the same on their blogs (Donna if you don't have a blog, it's time sister-girl!)So here goes, Part I of Stepping Out....
"The Steps we take"
When Barbara told me what the theme for the conference would be..."Stepping Out", I immediately began to think of all the steps we take in life.
-Our first steps are baby steps. Those itty bitty steps that only take us a short distance. These steps are very unsteady at first but confidence is gained with each new step. We resort to these steps often throughout life when we go further or faster than we should have. I believe God takes us back to these steps to slow us down and enable us to reflect. We've witnessed family/friends resorting to these steps in sickness or as they age. Perhaps you are in these steps right now. God wants us to depend on Him because in reality, we are incapable of changing anything. Psalm 119:133 says, "Keep steady my steps according to your promise, and let no iniquity get dominion over me". Only an almighty God is capable of steadying our unsteady steps!
-Then....there is "stepping in". I think of when you "step into" those cool springs located in various places throughout Georgia and Florida. The water is so crystal clear that these areas appear to be only 2-3 feet deep...but...before you know it, you are in over your head and struggling to gain solid footing somewhere. Life can be like this on a daily basis. As women, we can be notorious for "stepping in".
We step into relationships that God doesn't honor, jobs that are unfulfilling, projects that absorb our time and energy, friendships that suck the life out of us, gossip in the name of a "prayer request", as well as other forms of bondage and sin!
-We can also "step over" or "around" things. These steps are taken in order to avoid something that we would rather not deal with. In the story of the "Good Samaritan" (See Luke 10:30-37) people took great strides to step around a helpless man in order to avoid helping him. We do this too, don't we? We step around the difficult relative, the disorderly neighbor, the unruly teenager. We step around dealing with life many times in an effort to keep peace.
-What about "stepping on"? As when we "step on" the gas to speed ahead and get somewhere quicker. We can "step on" the gas often in life and overstep what God wants for us because we are in such a hurry to get to the finish line, we are desperate to reach the end of the story. After all, we are a society of instant gratification. We may even convince our self that something is God's will because we don't want to wait for an answer or we fear His answer and ours won't line up. We can also feel "stepped on" as we attempt to do and balance more than God ever intended for us.
-We "step through" certain phases of life and may emerge victorious or wounded in the process.
-There will be times we "step up" in a time of need. As a believer in Christ we will take one giant "step up" to see our Savior face to face one day.
-When we "step down", it may be because we realize it's someone elses turn to "step up". By the way, "stepping down" is not always a bad thing. We may need to "step down" before we "step up".
-Then there is "stepping out" and that is our primary theme from the conference we just held. God calls ALL believers to step out of their comfort zone and tell a sin cursed world about Him. In Part II of Stepping Out, I will continue with discussing in more detail, the call to "step out"