Faith is More Than Believing: Take the Next Step
By Rick Warren
— September 11, 2012
“And Jesus said to him, ‘Go; your faith has made you well.’ Immediately he regained his sight and began following Him on the road.” (Mark 10:52 NASB)
I don’t know what step you need to take next, but I do know that you need to take it. For some of you, the next step is to accept Jesus Christ into your life. For others, it may be to be baptized. Maybe you need to join a church, get into a small group, tithe, find a ministry, go on a mission trip, or invite a friend to church. I don’t know what your next step is, but I do know this: You have one. God will never be finished taking you deeper in faith. There is always a next step.
If you don’t take the next step, you’re going to get stuck in a rut — and the only difference between a grave and a rut is the length. If you don’t move forward in faith, you will die. Your heart will grow cold, and you will feel more distant from God. He isn’t going to help you with step three, four, and five until you take step one. If you’re asking God to help you with something, he’s asking you, “Why haven’t you done what I’ve already told you to do?” You may have “been aiming to” do something. Stop aiming and pull the trigger.
Before Bartimaeus met Jesus, he was sitting beside the road. After he received his sight from the Lord, he “began following Jesus on the road” (Mark 10:52b NASB). Which of those two phrases describes your life: sitting beside the road or following Jesus on the road? Which of those two lifestyles do you think is more fulfilling? Which do you think has more joy, more meaning, and more satisfaction? Which one do you want to represent your life?
There’s only one way to follow Jesus on the road: Take the next step.
Faith is more than believing. Faith is more than thinking, talking, or having convictions about Jesus. Faith is action. It is movement; it is activity. Faith is something you do. In fact, the Bible says in James 2:14, “If people say they have faith, but do nothing, their faith is worth nothing” (NCV).
Where do you get the faith to begin a fresh start? There’s only one source: Jesus Christ.
“Everything that we have — right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start — comes from God by way of Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 1:30 MSG). Bartimaeus had no idea that Jesus Christ was going to pass his way that day. To him, it was just another day. But God gave him an unexpected opportunity that offered him a fresh start. God is giving you the same opportunity. Don’t blow it. Take your next step of faith before the opportunity passes you by.
Talk About It
What are you waiting on in order to take the next step of faith in your life? What’s your excuse for procrastinating?
What “next step” will you take today to move forward in faith?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional ©2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.