Steppin’ Out!

On the 1996 “God is in the House” album by Hillsong Australia, the song “Steppin’ Out” was one of the first feature tracks we sang in church after I received Christ in 1999.  I liked the song, I liked the beat, I liked the message.  I guess I really didn’t understand what it meant until God first told me to “move,” back in 2007.  Before that time, my momentums tended to be on one level.  I might have changed projects or who I was working with, but I didn’t go beyond a certain level.  When God had me board a plane January 22, 2007 with nothing but two suitcases and a tracphone, “Steppin’ Out” suddenly had a new meaning. I didn’t know where I was going or what I was doing, but I know I had to go.

Seven months after that move – almost exactly to the day, God gave me a new word “You’re going to Raleigh!” Since I hated where I was living in Kentucky, I couldn’t have been more delighted. I wanted to leave then and there and go to Raleigh,  It was almost, once again, two years to the exact day that I received word I was going to Raleigh.  Picking up and leaving had its consequences and challenges this time, but God always made the way.  Now in the almost five years since I moved to this area, God is doing a whole new thing and inspiring a whole new level of “steppin’ out.”  In my case, it doesn’t mean leaving the area this time, but does mean some others are relocating.  And, somewhere in here, we are all getting very “shook up” and as God’s floodgates of heaven keep opening up…down comes a refreshment and momentum we’ve all needed.

2013 was a notoriously difficult and, quite honestly, awful year for me (as it was for many that I know). I had no idea what God was doing or what was going to wind up happening.  At one point, I seriously considered walking away from ministry because I couldn’t handle anymore disaster.  It seemed like everything I tried to do turned into something other than what I intended it and being left with the feeling of isolation, abandonment, and betrayal just became too much.  The last event ended as someone threatened to sue me and the other people who had caused the problem went on their merry way, as if nothing had happened.  Yes, I’ve dealt with all these things in years past (save the last one), but there was just something about some of the things that happened last year.  I understand these things happen when we are in ministry, and before someone says “expect betrayals and trials” in that flip, little way so many of us do, knowing stuff is coming doesn’t make it any easier to deal with.  It doesn’t make me feel better to see people behave as they do, as Biblically prophetic as it may be.  I reached a point where, properly assessing all the situations, I told God that I had no way to make anything more happen than was happening at that point. I could maintain, as I had done for years, but there wasn’t anything else I could do.  I was out of money, I was out of resources, I was lacking the manpower and support to move any further than I already had.  So, I did what I always tell people to do – I let go, and I waited.  

One of the major things I considered was, once again, relocation.  I thought maybe my time in this area was up and maybe it was time to move on.  I looked at a couple of options to move on, but there was only one that seemed feasible, and it didn’t feel right.  I felt like my act of “steppin’ out” was to just stay still for awhile.  I figured out enough to know I wasn’t supposed to relocate, but not enough to know what I was supposed to do in staying here.  To be honest, it was very hard.  When I feel like something has dried up, I tend to want to either do something about that or move on.  Instead, in staying still, I was able to get a few books published, work on some others, and wound up hosting my own television show.  One by one, all the things I let go of in 2013 for whatever reason – lack of money, tired of people, lack of resources – God brought back to mind.  Now, almost everything has come back and everything is moving forward.  By staying still, I could hear God so I could step out.  Now the steps seem bigger and more productive – and I am “steppin’ out” in my faith in a different way even though I didn’t have to relocate.   

Recent events have inspired me all the more to see the importance in “steppin’ out.” As of around this time tomorrow, someone will have relocated to come here and work with the ministry in the pursuits that are all coming forth.  That kind of faith just amazes me, even now, even though I’ve made that kind of move before, as well.  God said go, and he is going.  God has provided for the entire way, for the whole journey, from start to finish.  It makes me wonder about God’s true movement in a bigger sense.  So often we are waiting for God to do things.  I don’t question that sometimes that is what He is telling us to do, but a lot of the time, we just aren’t willing to take the steps He requires of us because they will ask more of us than we are comfortable to give.  The modern way of life is about “comfort” and “convenience,” and in this trend, we’ve made God our ultimate Source for comfort and convenience, thus it doesn’t make sense to many people that God might ask us to be uncomfortable.  How do we know the difference? Waiting costs something from us, just as stepping out also costs.  If you’re just “waiting on God” without that costing anything from you, you’re just standing still in disobedience, out of convenience.  I have made the ultimate sacrifice to be here, doing what God has asked of me.  At points, I haven’t even respected myself for what I have had to do and the sacrifices I have had to make to be here.  It hasn’t been easy for me, just like getting on the plane in 2007 with nothing, not knowing how God was going to move or do anything was going to be.  Now, it’s still not easy.  I have to trust God every month to make sure the television producers and airtime are paid, that this ministry will continue to run, even at times that I will have transportation or a place to live.  Some of those things have come wrought with conflict and personal sacrifices.  But watching God move, now that’s awesome.  

Today we want big, grand signs that “God is God.” People want to see diamonds appear when you preach or gold dust scattered across a church.  But to me, these don’t impress me as much as watching God move in His people as we stand in obedience to Him.  As I see needs get met when people stand on faith, it just makes me fall in love with Jesus all over again.  Whether we physically step out or we are in places where we have to wait, we are “steppin’ out” in faith.  It is one of the reasons why we must stop judging other people based on what we feel they have or do not have.  You do not know the price, sacrifice, issue, or request God has made of someone and you have no right to try and take away what God has given them, nor what God is doing within them.  If you think God has for you what they have, then you need to start “steppin’ out” in obedience yourself, and see what it’s like.  I am so inspired as I watch people around me all “steppin’ out” for the Kingdom on the grounds of radical, outrageous faith that doesn’t make sense to this natural world.  In order for us to stand, we will see more and more of that.  We live in a time where we cannot be passively waiting around for God to do for us what He already told us to do for ourselves.  We need to stop seeking comfort and start seeking to do the will of God, no matter how uncomfortable we may be in the pursuit.  Whether you are commanded now to move or stand still, remember the words of the song “steppin’ out:” WE WALK BY FAITH.

People, it’s time – the time so many of us have been waiting for.  Don’t get left out because you want to be comfortable.  Move or stay still…but step out in faith.

(c) 2014 Lee Ann B. Marino.  All rights reserved.           

(verse 1)
We’re a generation saved by grace
And set apart to change this land
We’re standing strong and pressing on
We know in Jesus we can

(chorus 1)
The church of God is growing everyday
We’re taking ground
And we are steppin’ out
(Change our generation)
We’re steppin’ out
(Reachin’ every nation)
With the favour of God on us day by day
We’re movin’ on in every way
We’re steppin’ out
We’re steppin’ out

(verse 2)
We’re the chosen few who speak His Word
And manifest it in our lives
We’re not moved by what the world says
God Jesus on our side

(chorus 2)
We’re not dismayed by
what we see with our eyes
We walk by faith
And we are steppin’ out
(Change our generation)
We’re steppin’ out
(Reachin’ every nation)
With the favour of God on us day by day
We’re movin’ on in every way
We’re steppin’ out
We’re steppin’ out

With the favour of God on us day by day
We’re movin’ on in every way
We’re steppin’ out
We’re steppin’ out

(Change our generation)
We’re steppin’ out
(Reachin’ every nation)
We’re steppin’ out!

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