Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Stepping Over the Line

Do you ever feel like life is nothing but a roller coaster ride and everything within you just wants to get off? Your joy and peace can be stolen, within moments, by discouragement and despair. We find ourselves with fleeting faith, when the troubles of life come crashing in on us like relentless waves in a stormy sea.

Though we claim to trust in a Shepherd who leads us through valleys . . . we find ourselves “wanting” . . . “fearing evil” . . . wondering if He’s really with us. With each step we take, it seems unlikely that there are any “green pastures” . . . much less “still waters.” We’re not so sure we like His rod or His staff . . . they don’t seem to be so “comforting.” Instead of our “souls being restored,” we’re convinced, with each passing moment, our valley may lead us into a canyon.

It can be difficult to believe that God’s plans are for “good,” when life seems to be unraveling. Yet, without doubt, there would be no need for faith. (God uses ALL things for good . . . even our doubt and disbelief) And faith is where God draws the line. It’s the place where you must make a decision to step over the line. In the words of missionary Helen Roseveare, God’s voice shouts to us in our pain . . . “Can you thank Me for trusting you with this experience, even if I never tell you why?” God’s question cuts to the heart of our faith. He calls us out, and His question begs an answer. He asks us to trust Him, even if He never answers our questions. It’s His way of making us completely dependent upon Him. He’s taking us on a journey, and He’s asking us to make a decision to trust Him at every step.

When we find ourselves in difficult and sometimes seemingly insurmountable situations . . . God draws a line. We stand on the side of questioning His ways, giving into doubt, unsure that we can take even one more step. But, there’s Jesus. He stands on the other side of the line and His outreached hand beckons us like a child learning how to walk. There’s the strength in His eyes that assures us He’s there to help us, and He will not let us fall . . . if we will take that step.

You see, the truth is . . . God has blessed you with the very trials you’re in. Though you can’t understand it or make sense of it all, God has trusted you with the tribulations that threaten to overcome you. He is increasing and strengthening your faith by threatening to destroy it. Never forget: there’s no victory without a battle. The Apostle Paul didn’t call it a “fight of faith” for nothing. This life is an intense battle between the spirit and the flesh and God is asking us, in this life, while we are still in our flesh, to step over the line of faith and live through the Spirit that leads us into victory. He’s asking us to step out of this world, and step over the line of faith, into His.

Our difficulties, our troubles, are not the circumstances that we face, but our internal battle . . . it’s our struggle to believe . . . it’s our conflict between what we “see” and the spirit that urges us to trust God in the midst of everything that contradicts our faith. It comes down to an act of the will . . . it comes down to a decision. Everything you’re facing in life comes down to ONE question, “Do you trust God?” In times of greatest doubt, when you struggle to simply “carry on,” will you make the decision to step over the line? Every obstacle you’re facing is an opportunity, given to you by God, in order to increase your faith. By trusting Him, you’re declaring that your God is bigger than anything you face. Without the resistance to your faith . . . your faith would never grow. God knows what He’s doing. He’s always up to something. It’s always something good. And it’s always something worth cherishing hope for.

By stepping over the line, you’re looking into the face of fear, the dangers that threaten to destroy you, the giant issues you face, the encroaching walls of affliction, the principalities and powers that are out to destroy you . . . and completely casting yourself into the arms of God. By stepping over the line, you’re refusing to rely on your feelings and walk by sight . . . you’re choosing to be led by faith in God alone. By stepping over the line, you’re declaring to God, “I’m tired of being up and down, tossed about, and questioning Your ways . . . You’ve drawn a line, and I’m stepping over the line, by faith. By stepping over the line, you’re ultimately telling God, “I trust you.” And there’s a promise for those who step over the line:

Those who trust in, lean on, and confidently hope in the Lord are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be moved but abides and stands fast forever. (Psalm 125:1 AMP)


Tammi said...

Dear Cherie,
Once again God has used your blog post to inspire...to basically "hit the nail on the head," in my heart... to confirm to me what it is He is telling me--"Cross over the line." Sometimes we tell our children, "You've just crossed the line" when they step over the boundaries we set for them. But in our spiritual life, God is constantly encouraging us to "unlearn" what conventional wisdom "teaches" us. He wants us to unlearn the "walking by sight" and learn to let go...Trust Him. The enemy knows what it takes to keep us from moving forward, and that's fear and doubt. You've prompted us, by the Holy Spirit, to move forward, CROSS THAT LINE, step over the boundary line, and have our faith increased! I just jotted a note about that on my blog today..it's just amazing how the Lord is speaking to His children in a very clear voice. We just have to quiet our hearts, be still, and listen. Then step over the "Line." Thanks, Cherie!

NanaNor's said...

Dearest Cherie, Thank you so much for this post-it is so timely. I am going to copy some of the quotes and reread them when the days get tough. It amazes me that one little word uttered to me(i.e.-cancer)can rear its ugly head and evoke fear non-stop in my spirit but it is then I need to hold His hand realizing that nothing can touch me without His permission.
Again dear sister, thank you for this today-you've strengthened my spirit.

Karen said...

"there’s no victory without a battle."...

THAT one is going on the wall over my desk...

Great word, as always, Cherie...going straight into my heart and touching those parts that need reminders of these assurances from His word....

Unknown said...

Hi , My name is Karen from
I just wanted to stop by and introduce myself.
I came across your blog , and have enjoyed browsing through it.. I will be back to visit again for sure.. and hope you will stop by to visit me when you get a chance..
God Bless.. Hope to see you soon

Unknown said...

Hey Cherie.. so glad you stopped by.. and I loved your comment.. looking forward to become blogging buddies.. I will add your blog to my list so i can see when you have new post..
Bless you day,and have a great weekend.. talk to ya again soon

ML said...

"He is increasing and strengthening your faith by threatening to destroy it. Never forget: there’s no victory without a battle."

WOW! I think "it" just clicked. I wish I would have had that three years ago when I was struggling so deeply with trust in the Lord. Some how in my mind I saw God smiling at me showing me what He was up to by threatening my faith to grow it. Although I know that the Lord will NEVER leave me nor forsake me, giving the appearance that it will be destroyed is an extraordinary measure of growing my faith. Thank you Lord for what you are doing!
And thank you Cherie for this blog. You have a gift! It is helping me grow as a Christian and as a writer!


Melanie said...

While I understand where you are coming from, I find it hard to receive my 12 yr. old son's cancer and death as a blessing to me.
To live is Christ and to die is gain. My son has gained. But my "living Christ" is very hard. It hurts. Perhaps it is the carrying of the cross that gets so heavy. Yet I will choose to carry it on til the end.

Cherie Hill said...

Sisters . . . thank you as always for your comments . . . they bless me beyond words. I'l going to stop by and visit all of you! ;)
In Him,

Cherie Hill said...

Melanie, when I ran across your blog, I wondered what had caused your loss . . . I dug deeper and deeper into your other blogs to discover bits and pieces of your story. My heart plummeted into depths of sorrow as I put the puzzle together. As a mother of two boys ages 11 and 10 . . . I began to weep. I wondered if I could even make a simple comment on your blog. Wondered how it was that a mother could walk forward with any type of faith through such loss. But, as I've read your blog entries and seen your smiling face . . . your faith has strengthened mine. I walk through valleys and mine may very well include great loss and great sorrow. Only the Lord knows what lies ahead. Your post reminded me of one Scripture:

Job 2:11-13 . . . "And no one said a word, for they saw that his suffering was too great for words."

I am withouth words, except to say, "Jesus lives." And in my times of greatest sorrow and when I ponder on the things that are inevitable in my life and yet to come . . . I wonder if that is enough . . . yet it has to be. God has revealed Himself in a way that is undeniable . . . more than likely so that I might never doubt Him even in the depths of darkness. Sister, my heart pours out tears to heaven for you. I can honestly say that since I ran across your blog, I have not stopped praying for you. It took me days before I was able to crawl out of the sorrow I felt for you and your family. The Spirit moved me in a dramatic way. I pray that you continue to bring yourself to the foot of the Cross . . . there is power in His presence. His love and mercies never fail. I hope we can keep in touch . . .I would like to send you a copy of my new book, "Beginning at the End." (It should be out in the next two weeks.) Know that I will keep you near and dear to my heart . . . praying diligently for your peace and joy that can ONLY be found in Christ.
Love, hugs, and prayers,

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I am so blessed that you would take the time to share your thoughts with me! You encourage my faith and I pray that God will fill you to the full with His love, mercy,and grace! With joy, Cherie

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