Sometimes, while we’re seeking to know God’s will or direction for our lives, He may be leading us just to take a first step. It may be that we are thinking we need to have everything figured out before we do anything. But this can lead to what Pastor Joe calls “the paralysis of analysis.” Since we don’t know everything, we don’t do anything. Here’s some more helpful thoughts on this from Elisabeth Elliot’s book God’s Guidance:
Before a man begins building he must make sure of the foundation. Hearing and doing the word – this is the bedrock of faith. Jesus made this simple enough for children to understand in his story of the two men who built houses, one on rock, one on sand. We all know what happened in the storm. The stability of one house is the picture of the man who hears the word of God and does it. For me, it is wonderfully reassuring to know that this does not mean knowing all the word, at one time.
Hearing one thing, doing that one thing, is what is required.
This puts me in touch with God, which is precisely what we mean when we speak of an ‘act of faith.’ ‘It is only when we obey God’s laws that we can be quite sure that we really know him,’ John wrote.
When a child begins to walk, his first step is reason enough, in his parents’ eyes, for enthusiastic praise. The step is not a very successful one. It is wobbly and may take the child where he didn’t mean to go faster than he wanted. But it contains the elements of walking – putting one foot in front of the other. Doing this over and over will eventually get the child somewhere.
To believe one thing – this one promise that God will guide us, for example – is a baby step.
It is a beginning of a walk with God.
The steps which follow will be like the first one in that they contain the element of faith. If God means it this time, he means it the next time. I take him at his word now, and I will hear another word tomorrow. (p. 41-42)