I had no idea what it meant to really walk with God. The concept was foreign; distant, like a misty haze of fog along the horizon.
I remember when I got on the bus. It was taking me away from all I had ever known and lead me into an unknown land: the Navy. I was 18 years old, three months into my post-high school adulthood, and ready to launch into the real world. I was hungry for more; eager to cut the “umbilical cord” of childhood and enter into the mystery of full responsibility.
But, there was more. I was thirsty for it…and that thirst had sat unquenched and dry in my throat for far too long.
I wanted to know Him. I could feel the pull deep inside, drawing me in with magnetic force.
As the bus drove off, I sat down in my seat and watched my family fade away into the distance, and, silently, I prayed:
“Abba, if you’re real, teach me about Yourself. I want to know You. Show me.”
Such a simple, heartfelt prayer of openness.
This invitation of the unknown God before me catapulted my entire existence in a way I can hardly even begin to describe, and it still feels like we have not quite landed….
We can Confidently Walk with God Through the Trials of Life
These last 15+ years of following God have been the most adventurous, least predictable, mind-blowingly amazing, and awe-inspiring years of my entire existence…and we are just getting started.
My Abba has brought me through the treacherous terrains of fears realized and shown me that I can walk through fire when I walk with Him. I still fear the burns from time to time, but the more we go through this life together, the more He reveals that I don’t have to be afraid, for He is with me.
These words…He is with me. They carry so much more weight after walking together through a few storms. But had I understood in the beginning that the Christian walk is a process of unfolding, I think I would have been able to offer myself quite a bit more grace and compassion in the earliest years.
You see, faith is not unlike any relationship. It starts with two people getting to know each other. And that process unfolds little by little over the course of time.
Our relationship with God is no different. Not only, though, are we gradually learning more and more about Him and His Nature, we are also simultaneously learning to trust Him. This is enough to be exposed and vulnerable; naked before His throne of Might, and trust that we are still safe and secure.
A Walk with God is not for the faint of heart.
There is no easy way to simplify the faith walk (here are 35 scriptures to embolden your faith). We can try and put words to the experience, but as words are to the view from the top of Everest, one has to experience it for themselves in order to truly appreciate the grandeur of it all.
If you, too, are engaged in the Walk, welcome. You are not alone in your Journey. Sometimes, truly, it can feel like we are, but that is a lie purposed to keep us isolated and afraid.
The Truth, though, is that our Abba is with us, and He is walking with all of His children one little step at a time. Piece by piece we are led by Him, uniting more and more intimately in this process of sanctification. Gradually, gradually becoming more and more like Christ; becoming One with Him through our union as heirs.
10 Powerful Steps to an Astounding Walk with God
Here are 10 steps that I’ve found to be pretty steady in the life of those who Love God and follow after His leading. Each one builds on top of the former, ultimately leading us into our purposes and callings on this earth. But, as is true with all things, before we can truly take on the more difficult tasks, we must first become masters of the basics.
The fundamentals truly are the KEY to a beautiful walk with God, and in faith this Truth remains.
So, without further adieu, here are my 10 powerful steps to an astounding walk with God.
1. Get to Know His Character
We have this tendency to humanize God, but repeatedly and consistently He declines our attempts.
For My ways are not your ways, nor are your ways My ways.” ~ Is. 55:8
As much as we think that we know God, we are equally as mistaken. He is SO much better than we can even begin to grasp. Every time we place human restrictions of imperfection upon God, we are adding an additional scoop of sand underneath of the castle of our hearts. God is not human, nor flawed by flesh, so we must diligently seek scripture to determine who He declares Himself to be.
2. Learn to Love What He Loves
In addition to His Character, His Word also repeatedly clarifies the things that God loves, and what brings Him sheer delight. He LOVES a cheerful giver. He DELIGHTS in His Children, and REJOICES when we live in Truth. It is we who are inconsistent in our character, not Him.
As we walk with God, openly and intimately, He will cleanse our hearts and minds of our own misunderstandings about love and rightful living and gradually replace them with the Truth of Godly Love.
3. Become Familiar with What He Hates
Besides getting to know what He loves, we must also grow in awareness of the things He hates. Just like any healthy marriage has boundaries and mutual respect, our relationship with God is wrought with releasing the pieces of ourselves that cause God pain and hinder our connection to Him.
We must be open to learning how to see through His eyes and perceive the world as He sees it. And then, when our eyes are opened, adjust our lives accordingly.
4. Expose Your Deepest, Darkest Self
Let’s be clear: NOTHING is hidden from God. Much as we may be convinced that we can just will away the dark pieces of ourselves, the fact is that God is not afraid of the dark. He knows that in order to be truly separated from our darkest parts, we must face them and understand them.
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!” ~ Ps. 139: 23-24
An honest walk with God is full of the hard stuff. Layer by layer, He reveals how desperately we need Him. Experience after experience shows just how little we can do without His hand of grace and mercy upon us.
Therfore, open yourself up to Him, honestly…vulnerably. Admit your fears, worries, anxieties, anger, and whatever else is going on inside of you. He can handle it, and He will help you to navigate the way out without shame. You are safe to be imperfect and human with Him. THAT is the greatest beauty of this relationship.
5. Receive His Ultimate Love and Acceptance
When we come to Him openly, fully exposed, naked and vulnerable, we experience an astounding thing: LOVE. True Love. Godly Love. Our Abba is not under a false illusion that we can be anything of value outside of Him. It is US who need the reminder and the perspective.
But, as we come to Him to be uncovered, have our eyes and ears cleansed, and have our burdens removed, we are set free. Our greatest chains of bondage come in the belief of not being good enough, but He proclaims us as beloved children.
He does not deal with us according to our sins,
nor repay us according to our iniquities.
For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;
as far as the east is from the west,
so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
As a father shows compassion to his children,
so the Lord shows compassion to those who fear him.
For he knows our frame;
he remembers that we are dust.” ~ Ps. 103: 10-14
6. Be Washed by Forgiveness and Grace
Not only does He extend His love to us in our deepest, darkest times of incredible need, but He then goes a step further and washes us white as snow. We are FORGIVEN. And we, the children of a post-Christ world, have the proven existence of the One who redeemed and paid the penalty for us. So many who came before us had only the hope of the Savior.
Now, we must lean into that forgiveness and welcome it with open arms. We are redeemed. Yes, YOU are forgiven. Now it is time to begin the process of recognizing that forgiveness. We can begin to rewrite the way in which we see ourselves and learn how to see ourselves through God’s eyes.
Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” ~ Is. 1: 18
7. Recognize Your TRUE Identity in Him
If you are anything like me, this concept has been spoken to you for years and years and years as you have enjoyed your walk with God, but maybe it still has not sunk in. Honestly, it took me a long time to internalize this pivotal Truth. What does is mean to have our “identity in Christ”? First, our Father/Daddy/Abba is the Perfect, All-Loving, All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Compassionate, Kind, Generous, Just, and Righteous God Almighty.
So, that makes us children of a perfect Father, who never messes up or makes a mistake; a loving Daddy, who always says the right thing, comforts us in our times of need and never runs out of empathy or compassion; a powerful Abba who defends and protects us against the enemies who seek to destroy us; an omniscient Father, who is never surprised by the events of our lives or the paths that we take; and a righteous Daddy, who knows what is best for us to bring us to the place of wholeness and fullness in Him to benefit us for all eternity.
Meditate on these truths and what they mean for your life. Let them wash over you with assurance of provision and protection, no matter how hard things may be.
8. Discover Your Built-in Design
As we embrace the ultimate Love of a Perfect Father, we will begin to be emboldened to step out in faith. In His confidence we can follow the unique and custom-made life for which God has prepared and designed each of us. It took me a long time to embrace myself entirely; to love my introverted, but not shy, and analytical, while also compassionate and caring, mind and rebuke any words slung my way throughout my life that I was somehow “less than.”
Inadequacy is a feeling that has plagued me for most of my life, and it especially hit hard in parenting. But, as I’ve come to learn, perfection only exists in God. We are all only pieces of His total package, incomplete without Him and each other. Hence, we will always lack something, and that’s ok. We don’t need to be perfect, or all things for all people, since HE is enough to be all things for all people.
I felt such intense freedom when I really internalized that I could be myself entirely and that it was good enough; that I didn’t have to fill or figure out how to fix the many gaps in this life for those I love! You were created to be YOU. In the fullness of Him alone is where we can understand the fullness of ourselves. It is here alone where we are free to be who He made us to be.
Take some time to embrace all the pieces of yourself, even the things you aren’t fond of. I personally have found my personality type to be especially relevant with all its bits and pieces. It helps me to understand that my perceived “flaws” are just part of my package.
9. Tear Down the Walls that Stop You from Using your Gifts
Let’s face it: we have a very real enemy that is working diligently to stop us on our paths. We will face oppositions in this life; it is inevitable, but the maturing of our souls only comes through the fires that such trials provide.
As much as our flesh may covet a struggle-free existence, the fact is that we benefit from the fortification that comes in waging war against the true enemy. We learn to fight with our spiritual weapons. We can lean into the battle, running into the fight marked out for us, and declare with total confidence that He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. Then, we will begin to truly break through the barricades and walls that stop us from stepping into the fullness of a life lived in Him (check out my post on How to Live a Balanced Life to Enjoy Greater Peace here).
As a result lean into the discomfort and face problems head on, no matter what it is that gets in your way, whether fear, insecurity, or people pleasing. Our Abba has given you all you need. Trust him.
10. Walk in Total Freedom in Him
Because we are able to internalize the amazing glory of what it means to be a child of God; realize the amazing Love extended to us, even in our constant imperfection; welcome the grace offered to us as a covering for all we do that we do not want to do; see ourselves the way we are seen by the One True God, as cleansed, worthy, beloved, forgiven, and so much more; embrace the unique aspects of our carefully crafted designs in Him, then we can see fully how we are to walk.
Then, we can freely forgive others as we have been freely forgiven. We can extend grace and mercy to others, for we have ourselves already accepted it. And, we can walk without fear of what others may think.
We can love our unique way of doing life, for we do it solely for the glory and joy of our Abba.
The beauty of reciprocated love is in its simplicity. It just flows. While our Abba pours into us, we overflow that love, grace, and forgiveness onto a world of others around us. They then have opportunity to enjoy the same glorious graces that we have. And THAT is a beautiful thing.
Be FREE in Him
Finally, when we are unencumbered by sorrows, anger, and fears we find a strength we never knew existed. Our hope is built on Solid Ground: the never-shaken, everlasting Love of a Good, Good Abba.
[bctt tweet=”Our hope is built on Solid Ground: the never-shaken, everlasting Love of a Good, Good Abba.” username=”Julie Ann Filter”]
Therefore, I invite you to jump into His pool of Grace with both feet. The water is fine!
…He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” ~ Phil. 1:6
Which of these steps have you experienced? Which one do you yearn to experience? I’d LOVE to hear all about your walk. Comment below to share your story.
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