STEPPING UP: Overview
Have you ever had a moment where you knew you needed to step up? Maybe you always sat on the bench during the basketball game, and your coach finally called you in to play. Or maybe you got selected to take a really advanced course in college. Or took a really important and high paying job. No matter the situation, you knew that you had two choices: either step up to the opportunity or step back and miss it altogether. And while these challenges aren’t just limited to school, college, or your job, we do have the chance to start becoming a step up kind of person right now. This was exactly where a man named Joshua found himself in the Old Testament. Joshua was just a normal guy facing some really challenging circumstances. Through his story, we can learn to step up and reach the potential God has for us the process.
STEPPING UP 1: Minority Report
Stepping up means seeing God in your situation.
What makes you nervous? Is it speaking in front of people? Starting on the basketball team? Asking someone on a date? Starting a new job? Whatever it is, there’s a pretty good chance that it has to do with one thing: failure. We’re all afraid we’ll mess up, fail, and look foolish. In fact, that fear is the very reason that most of us step back from challenges in moments where we could step up. That was certainly the case for a group of guys in the Bible that were sent to check out the Promised Land. For most of them, the report was simple: don’t do it. Don’t go there. Step Back. Almost all of them agreed that the new land was too scary, too dangerous, and that failure was too much of a possibility. Along with his friend, one of the men had something different in his report. And as we follow along with how Joshua learned to step up and out of fear, we’ll see how God can help us do the same.
STEPPING UP 2: Who Am I?
Who God is matters more than who you’re not.
Who are you? Have you ever thought about how you’d answer that question? A long time ago people were known by a label that went with their name. Alexander the Great. Richard the Lion Heart. Winston Churchill. So when you’re asking yourself that question—who you really are—you’re essentially asking yourself, what adjective goes in your blank. Who do you think you are? Because who you think you are directly impacts everything about your attitude and performance in the face of challenge. Unfortunately for a lot of us, we tend to focus less on who we are and more on who we are not. When we look at Joshua, we find him in this exact same position—unsure of who he who is. And to help him step up, God gives him a pep talk of sorts that not only helps him discover who he is but, more importantly, whose he is.
STEPPING UP 3: Wall Street
God knows what He’s doing so keep walking.
Most of us probably hated being told what to do when we were growing up. Even if you weren’t a hardcore rebel, you still probably didn’t like being ordered around, especially if the order made no sense to you. Being asked to do something that you can’t fully understand or explain is frustrating. Chances are you’ve probably had that experience with something God says to do as well. We’ve all had those moments where we heard something in church or read a Bible verse or had someone tell us something about God and we just weren’t quite sure about it. Maybe it didn’t feel comfortable to us. Or we didn’t understand why God would say that or ask that of us. But we’re not alone in that thought. Joshua found himself in the same position as God asked him to do something that made no sense at all. And what Joshua learned—and what we can learn with him—made all the difference as he stepped up and stepped into a new adventure.