I appreciate the honesty with which so many Christian writers have shared their lives…
From the perspective of history, though, it may seem like these folks were always holy, always passionate in their pursuit of Christ. But they, like us, had days when it seemed they would never achieve the surrender they desired.
One of my heroes in the faith is Amy Carmichael, a missionary who gave her life to the children of India. Though she struggled with illness throughout most of her ministry, she saved more than a thousand children from temple prostitution.
Despite being bedridden for the last twenty years of her life, Amy wrote thirty-five books, many of which still touch lives today.
The children she rescued called her Amma—“mother.” Because of her passionate pursuit of Christ, Amy was a spiritual mother to many more, including her biographer Elisabeth Elliot, who writes:
“Amy Carmichael became for me what now some call a role model. But she was far more than that.… She showed me the shape of godliness.”
But that doesn’t mean Amy Carmichael always felt totally consecrated and utterly committed to God. From a page in her journal, we get a peek into a heart that struggled just as we do:
Sometimes when we read the words of those who have been more than conquerors, we feel almost despondent. I feel that I shall never be like that. But they won through step by step.
By little bits of wills
Little denials of self
Little inward victories
By faithfulness in very little things.
They became what they are. No one sees these little hidden steps. They only see the accomplishment, but even so, those small steps were taken.
There is no sudden triumph no [sudden] spiritual maturity.
That is the work of the moment.
One Step At a Time
Are we willing to dedicate ourselves to little steps? To the hidden work God wants to do in each of us?
Realizing that God is more interested in the process than the product has transformed my walk with Christ because it allows me to concentrate on obedience, not perfection. The goal of perfection only points out how far I have to go, but obedience marks how far I have already come. Perfection frustrates and torments. Obedience releases and makes whole.
I can’t become everything I ought to be overnight. But I can proceed step by step if I’m obedient to what God asks of me today.
Charlie Shedd once wrote:“Lord, help me understand what you had in mind when you made the original me.” Click To Tweet
That prayer speaks to my heart. For as I glimpse what God sees and respond in obedience to that understanding, God will not only show me more. He will enable me to live in the light I have.
Baby steps, perhaps. But steps all the same.
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I’d love to hear from you…What “baby steps” have helped you grow in your walk with God?