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Two Steps Forward, Two Steps Back

Have you ever felt that life is two steps forward, then two steps back? This is a tough place to be as you feel there’s no forward movement no matter how hard you push or try. Have you been there? I know I have and when you put your all into something, this feeling stings even more. However, I’ve learned this is a part of life and the journey toward a goal has more meaning than achieving the goal itself. That’s because the process of achieving the goal can refine our character and bring out the best in us, but too many people quit because they become frustrated with the timeline. The struggle is real and yet the struggle can bring out the treasure God has in mind for us.

But, this is easier said than done.

Let’s be honest, all of us have wanted to quit something whether it’s God, relationships, business, school, sports, hobbies, our career, family and maybe even life. The wear and tear of two steps forward and two steps back can leave scar tissue in our heart leaving us callused, forming a cynical and skeptical outlook on everything. This reality happens all of the time and it’s reflected in the way we interact with others, including God. If you’re a person of faith in Christ, I bet you’ve felt the tug of two steps forward, then two steps back at some point. The dichotomy of reaching for God and then struggling with God can be real on a variety of levels and in some ways this is not a bad thing. Having this tension shows that we’re invested and that our hearts are reaching for Him in a real way. Being in this place goes past the surface level and now there is a reaching into deeper places which challenge our heart and confronts our stuff. This is what happened to Job, Moses, David, Peter, Paul and more. Notice that these examples all had two steps forward, two steps back with God and with life, but God came through and did powerful things through them. Our struggle doesn’t make Jesus embarrassed or nervous. It’s actually the opposite. Our reaching for Him and struggling with Him brings Him closer to our lives. Our weakness causes His power to rest on us and when we are weak, we are strong. This is why His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts and I’m so glad because He knows everything I need.

Therefore, two steps forward, two steps back can be the catalyst of a deeper faith and connection to Jesus.

We’re as close to God as we want to be which puts the onus on us. He came and opened the door for anyone to call on Him and be saved. He came and made it possible for the Holy Spirit to live in us, so we can walk and talk with Him daily. It’s amazing that imperfect people can have a perfect God in their daily lives. Think of all the times we’ve messed up, missed the mark, did wrong, said wrong and thought wrong. Yet every morning, He gives us new mercies. Wow, this is amazing grace. Our part is to use two steps forward, two steps back as leverage for more of Him.

James 4:8 says –
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”

Notice, we draw near to God and then He draws near to us. This is why being distracted is one of the most powerful tools of the enemy in our lives. It shifts us away from what we need the most to things that are less important. We all have fallen prey to this in both the big and small things in life but what we all need, is more of Jesus. Therefore, I encourage all of us to shake off being doubled minded and make a clear decision, “I’m going to be close to God!” That’s right, we can decide “I’m going to be close to God” because He wants to be close to us. We can make this decision in faith because we know His will for our lives. A lot of times we use, “if it’s His will” as an escape clause but His word reveals His will, our job is to receive it and then do it. What God wants is our focus on Him. What the enemy wants is our focus on anything but God and this why we must make this decision.

Where are you with two steps forward and two steps back?

No matter if you’re moving forward or backward, God is with you. We can take the victories, the failures, the joy, the disappointment, the hope and the heartache as stepping stones into more of Jesus! With this attitude of faith, nothing can stop us because of who is with us. No matter what is happening to you or around you, don’t give up and don’t shut down. God is the lifter of your head, giving you new beginnings and overcoming faith.

So, make this decision today, “I’m going to be close to God.” That’s it. This is the practical step of this blog. It’s you making a decision and never looking back. Whether you’re a seasoned Christian or new in your faith, make this decision. Now is the time and today is the day. Jesus is ready for you! Mark it in your heart, determine to narrow your focus on Him and watch what happens. God is not mad at you, He’s mad about you! So run to Him, He’s ready and the best is yet to come.

May every two steps forward and two steps back be the springboard into more of God. He’s faithful to complete what He’s started in you!

Have a great day and I believe in you,
PD



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