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Taking That First Step

My wife, Cheryl, and I are the parents of four and grandparents of six—newborn to age 5. And we’ve discovered that one of the great joys of being grandparents is experiencing first parenting moments all over again.

You cherish so many wonderful “firsts”: your child’s first smile, first word, and that unsteady first step. I remember guiding each of our children as they would wobble across the room. Often they would only make it a step or two before sitting down with a thud. But, determined to figure out this thing, each one found the courage to push back up and try again.

As believers, we are often called on by God to step out of our comfort zone and follow His leading. Throughout the book of Genesis, we read about individuals who were challenged to follow God in new and sometimes bewildering ways.

Noah was called to build an ark, an enormous vessel without a large body of water nearby. We do not know if he had carpentry experience, but we do know that his friends and neighbors thought he had lost his mind. Despite any misgivings he might have had, Noah heard God’s instruction, picked up a hammer, and took that first step: “Noah did everything just as God commanded him” (Gen. 6:22).

Abram, as he was then known, was instructed by God to leave his father’s household in Ur and move to a new land. This was an enormous undertaking, and I’m sure not every member of his family was happy about it. But Abram understood God’s direction, packed up his things, and took that first step: “So Abram went, as the Lord had told him” (Gen. 12:4).

God still leads His people today. He speaks to us through the pages of His Word, through the nudging of the Holy Spirit on our hearts and minds, and sometimes through His people. But that first step of obedience is not always easy. It may be terrifying. We may wobble and fall, but with His help we can push ourselves up and begin again.

We can rest assured that, like He did in the lives of Noah and Abram, God is guiding us and caring for us each step of the way. Whether you are a new believer or a long-time follower of God, be open to His direction in your life. As we reflect on the courage and faithfulness displayed in the book of Genesis, we can also ask ourselves, “What is my next step today? Where is God leading?”

BY Dr. Paul Nyquist, President of Moody Bible Institute

Dr. Paul Nyquist is the ninth president of Moody Bible Institute and featured speaker on Moody Radio’s program “Moody Presents.” With his theological training, pastoral heart and global focus, Nyquist is leading Moody to go across the globe, cultures and generations to equip people with the truth of God’s Word, using new technology, in an agile and innovative community. He and his wife, Cheryl, have been married for 30 years, have four grown children, and are proud grandparents of three grandchildren.

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