Sunday, December 30, 2012

Stepping Onto the Next Level

As 2012 leaves us… or maybe, as we leave 2012 behind and embrace 2013, God has brought me to a crossroads of sorts. Maybe He has brought you to one as well. My particular crossroads is, in all actuality... a staircase. There really isn’t a “take this road or this one” kind of situation for me. The path I’m on stays basically the same, but there is another level that I have to get to. And 2013 is time for me to climb. So, I can either stay at the foot of the staircase and meander here at the bottom throughout 2013, or I can begin my climb to the next level, where the Lord is trying to get me to come to.

Sounds a little scary, doesn’t it? What exactly does that mean? What IS “the next level” anyway? I have NO idea! I won’t know until I climb the stairs. But here’s the situation: it is MY decision on whether I climb to the next level or not. The fact of the matter is, if I stay where I am, I will still be where God has led me, but I WON’T ever advance. If I climb the stairs to the next level, “great and mighty things which [I] do not know” await me (Jeremiah 33:3). Now, that’s where it gets exciting to me. For once in my life, I’m not scared. I am truly excited! I don’t know what’s at the top of the stairs, but I absolutely know that God is standing just behind me with His hand on my back, steering me towards those stairs.

And here is yet another twist in this journey: the closer I get to the stairs, the more slippery, bumpy, and gnarly the path is getting. I have slipped up. I have tripped. I have caught myself on many things I should not have said, thought, or done. I have felt awful for messing up and wondered where exactly I “lost” my “oomph!” Because back in May, when God shook me up and gave me a new path to follow, I was “gung-ho” about where I was going. But you want to know something? I am human, not perfect. If I didn’t have mistakes, I wouldn’t learn anything. And because I am still learning…I am still growing…and the last time I tripped, I bumped right into God! Then I realized that not only did I know that God wanted to move me to the next level, but so did the enemy…and he doesn’t like it one little bit!

The thief comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. 
~John 10:10(a)

So, as I showered getting ready for church on Sunday morning, I said a quick prayer asking God to forgive me, and to speak through the pastor and give me a message. Going to church expecting God to show up…don’t you know that He DOES! My slipping, tripping, and bumping the last few steps to the staircase took me right to the base of the stairs. The message God gave me was, “Take the first step. Trust Me.” Well... Okie doke!

In 2013, my life is going to change drastically. I don’t know exactly what I will be doing, but I am confident that it will be a deeper step into this ministry He has called me into. Once I got over and through the intimidation and oppression I suffered for years. Once I got over trying to “read between the lines” every intimidating person was hinting at around me. Once I realized that my life was not determined by what others think of me, but by what God wants of me… I’m now ready to take the steps to the next level.

I am going into a “Sold Out Believer” mode of my walk with God. I will no longer be tolerant of anything less than that. However, that does not mean that I won’t like certain people, places, or things. It just means that, for me, I won’t be subjecting myself to things that do not bring glory to Him. Nor will I subject myself to people or things that will tempt me to slip up… to the best of my ability. I won’t be perfect, nor do I expect to be. But it is the fact that I have set my mind to TRY. And that is all that God is really after. My desire to at least strive for what He wants me to do. In that, I believe I will succeed.

As I say good-bye to 2012, I can truly say that God brought me through it and is now leading me to a new level in 2013. What’s in store? I don’t know. But whatever it is, it will be exciting! I hope you’ll join me to find out! And my prayer is this: 

May God richly bless you and guide you through the New Year and beyond. May you seek Him and find Him, and may He totally rock YOUR world!


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