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First Steps

When God Says Move

By Olivia Johnson November 26th, 2018

   
                    Do you remember when you first met Jesus? Can you recall the first steps you took when you decided to follow Him? We are all on a journey. Our life truly begins when we believe the Truth of the Bible and choose to start a relationship with the One True God. He is the one who guides our paths and steers our steps. Share in the journey of Olivia Johnson, a member of the worship team here at Living Hope Church and see that God is faithful to help us all grow.

 

“When God says move…you move!”
    I heard this quote on TV and thought how true and clever a statement it was to describe my life. God has been guiding my path each step of the way and Jesus has been walking next to me along my entire journey. From my early days as a child going to Sunday School in my Sunday dress and shiny, patent leather, black shoes, walking in the hot sun on dirt roads and through the construction site of our island’s very first major highway, to my current occasional 3AM wake up calls from God to have a conversation…He has been there all along.
 
     A few months ago, I was not attending church regularly. I was living in Jacksonville, Florida, struggling with unexpected disappointments and turns that I thought my life had taken in my health, career and relationships. Finding and attending church was simply another line item on my to-do list and I would argue with the best of them on how church was not even a necessity. Just eight short months later, I find myself a member of Living Hope Church, attending service every Sunday, Bible Study each Wednesday night, Hannah’s Haven Women’s Ministry meetings twice a month on Saturdays and the biggest turnaround of all, I’m on stage as a part of the Worship Team. Note that I have not sung in public far less stepped on stage for more than a decade due to old hurts that God has since broken down in me.
 

    How did I get here? That is a great question. For me, this is a question and a statement. The transformation seems supernatural yet it’s not surprising when you think about all that God has done and what He can do. One of the biggest things I notice is that once someone has reached a certain level of maturity in their walk with God, it could be a challenge to recall what it felt like when it was all new. It surely doesn’t happen overnight. As someone who is new to this, some things I feel that we may have in common are a fear of the unknown, feeling inadequate because I can’t quote Bible scriptures, and sometimes I feel underqualified because the majority of the songs sung by the worship team are very new to me. These a few of the things that the devil has whispered in my ear to attempt to make me believe that I am not good enough, but I have to push past those thoughts daily.     So, I believe God wants me to use this forum to help someone that’s new like me or even the mature Christians who may still be dealing with the same feelings or as a reminder of what it was like when it was new so you can evangelize to others. The first thing you need to know is that it is okay that you feel the way you do and you are not alone. What you’re feeling is normal. Below I have listed a few things that I found really help me as I continue on this journey:

APOLOGIZE… Say you’re sorry for trying to do it without Him! Sometimes we think we have all the answers, especially if God is not first in your life. We think that our plan is exactly how it is going to happen. In some cases it does work our way but only if it’s God’s plan.

LISTEN… Yes, that’s right… just listen. As Judge Judy would say, “God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason.” God has been with you all along! The voice you heard that gave you a quick instruction, that saved you from harm, or that said ‘don’t do that’ but you ignored it and ended up in some bad situations, that’s Him and he has been there all along.

DON’T PLAN IT! Many times we want to plan our life away. Try just letting Him take over and following His plan. This means not planning EVERY detail of your life. As a semi-reformed planner, it’s still a constant struggle for me to just let go but there is a difference between goals and plans. Goals are an outcome, plans are human limitations. If you give your goals to God, He will blow your mind and show you better than anything you could plan.

SAY “YES” the Wednesday night Bible Study meeting group was challenged by Pastor Don and Minister Donna to just say the word “Yes” to God. Yes, to Him! Yes, to His direction! Yes, to His plan. Say ‘Yes’ before you talk yourself out of it and then go with it.

PASS IT ON. As Rick Warren said in the book Purpose Driven Life, “It’s not about you!” Whatever you learn, see, feel and happen to be going through or went through could be of help to someone else. God put us here on earth to worship Him and to help His flock. We were assigned to bring other people to Him. This does not have to be some formal program or routine. It could be as simple as saying ‘God Bless’ instead of ‘goodbye’ to someone that may have never heard of God before. Like a whisper in their ear or brush of wind across their face.

    This is all new to me. I feel like God has restored my life, my mind and my spirit. Suddenly, I am seeking out new things to learn and experience. I am amazed by the transformation in what feels like such a short time.     God is amazing and I give Him all the praise, the honor and the glory. I can’t wait to see what He has in store for me and for all of us at Living Hope Church.

Your Sister in Christ,
Olivia Johnson

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