Often when we think of God bringing freedom into our lives, we imagine bright lights and thunderclaps, fireworks, and sudden victory in everything. We want big miracles, a sudden end to our battles and struggling, and for life to feel easy and perfect all at once.
It is true that there are times when God will take someone completely out of an area of bondage in an instant. And hallelujah when He does, that is such a wonderful thing. But there are many times that He works slowly over time. Our sanctification is a process. It is a process that takes a lifetime – literally.
If you had to walk across the country from one side to the other, how would you go about doing that? You would go from where you are standing at one side, pick up your foot, and take one step forward. After doing that, are you going to feel drastically different? Will you see the other side? No! But you will be closer to it. And after that first step you will take another and another. These aren’t necessarily huge running leaps either, but simply a steady process towards where you need to be. Through continuing in that, you will eventually look back and see how far you have come. Now it might feel more exciting if you could just leap half-way across the country, but the chances of that happening are pretty slim. Nevertheless, if you walk one step after another, not getting sidetracked onto other roads, or running back to try to bring extra things that will weigh you down, you will get there. One step may not seem like a big deal. Five steps may not seem significant. There may be times when you wonder after a thousand tiny steps why taking one more is going to be worth it, but with the goal in mind you can find the strength to do it.
The same concept can be thought about for God’s work in our lives. As He shows us areas of our lives that need to change, and we run towards living in the freedom He has for us, we would love to have some huge breakthrough moment with tears and lifted hands – some giant leap forward – but that is not what we are going to encounter all of the time. Sometimes the journey God takes us on is full of small steps. Our day-to-day lives and the small choices we face are used to grow us.
We are probably more likely to remember the big moments in our journey. When the light bulb clicks on, when God does a sudden and drastic work in us, those are what we remember most vividly and think about when we look for change and progress in our current life. It can be easy to get discouraged, or to wonder why it looks like God isn’t working in you, just because the small steps that are being made aren’t very noticeable to us at the moment, but He hasn’t left or forgotten you. He is still working. There are times we may not even feel like we are doing much walking forward, but God’s change in our hearts and lives doesn’t come from us sucking it up and working to fix things. Maybe all you need to do at the moment is be surrendered to His will, and allow Him to freely move around in your heart and make His changes. It might seem like it isn’t “enough”, but don’t become frustrated or lose heart. The slow, discrete work of God is no less glorious or powerful than the big dramatic moments of His work. Just keep your eyes fastened on Him and stay close in His Word. When it seems pointless to keep taking small steps forward, look towards where you are going and let the goal draw you on. And more than what you are reaching for, remember why you are reaching. We press on because we want to honor God with our lives and we want to be with Him and become more like Him. Think about His loving eyes watching you and open arms calling you forward. He will supply you with all the strength you need to keep going. In His perfect way and timing He will bring about the change in you that He desires if you will just follow Him there – whatever that looks like – and He will be glorified through it.
“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.””
– Psalm 46:10 NIV