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  • Writer's pictureDr. Jackie Minor

One Day at a Time

I’m a planner. I make lists and check things off as I do them. If I have completed a task that I forgot to put on my list, I will add it just so I can check it off! I guess it gives me a sense of accomplishment. In my mind, planning results in preparation. If I am charged with a task, I feel obligated to be prepared. That’s not to say I can’t go with the flow. I can, but being flexible is much easier for me IF I’m prepared.

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Your greatest strength can be your greatest weakness.” While being prepared is a valuable trait, if we are not careful, it can lead to the awful state of “paralysis by analysis.” Trust me—I know this all too well. I think many others do, too. Just Google “paralysis by analysis” and you will find definitions, cartoons, you-tube videos, and various articles that provide tips and tools on how to overcome this barrier to decision making.

I have prayed often about this; for me it has become an issue of faith. It’s easy to have faith when we are tackling tasks that fall within our capabilities. However, when God places a calling on our hearts that we can only accomplish WITH Him, our faith is tested and “paralysis by analysis” can set in. Lately, I feel the Holy Spirit has been whispering to me, “One day at a time. I will give you what you need for today. Trust Me.”

One of the best examples of God’s daily provision can be found in Exodus 16. For 40 years, God provided manna in the wilderness ONE DAY AT A TIME. The Israelites learned what it meant to trust God daily. Too bad it took 40 years! Is God patient or what?

Growing in my faith has really become a one day at a time exercise. I still plan, but I am learning to let go of needing to know the outcome.

It is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek him. Hebrews 11:6

Faith is how we grow—one day at a time.

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For His sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ and become one with Him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with Himself depends on faith. Philippians 3:8-9

Faith requires action—one day at a time.

I love Hebrews 11 coined the “faith” chapter. Check this out. What do you notice?

4 It was by faith that Abel brought

7 It was by faith that Noah built

8 It was by faith that Abraham obeyed

11 It was by faith that even Sarah was able to have a child, though she was barren and was too old. She believed

17 It was by faith that Abraham offered

20 It was by faith that Isaac promised

21 It was by faith that Jacob, when he was old and dying, blessed

23 It was by faith that Moses’ parents hid

I couldn’t help but underline the verbs. It is pretty obvious that faith requires action. All of these people were no different than you and me. They all had faults. They all had doubts. Many were probably frightened or unsure of their futures. Yet, all are listed in Hebrews 11 because they stepped out in faith—one day at a time—and let God take care of the outcome. Sometimes God will let us see the results of our action; other times He will not. Regardless of what we see, He is faithful. We all have a part to play in God’s divine plan.

And all of these, though they gained [divine] approval through their faith, did not receive [the fulfillment of] what was promised, because God had us in mind and had something better for us, so that they [these men and women of authentic faith] would not be made perfect [that is, completed in Him] apart from us. Hebrews 11:39

As a point of clarification, I want to make sure there is no confusion between faith in Jesus as our initial salvation experience and our daily faith walk. I am a strong believer in “once saved always saved.” In John 10:28-29 Jesus says, “And I give them eternal life, and they will never, ever perish; and no one will ever snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater and mightier than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.”

However, it is also obvious throughout Scripture that once we place our faith in Jesus Christ, we are a new creature, and our old spiritual life is behind us (2 Corinthians 5:17). The Christian walk occurs one day at a time. As can be seen from those in the faith chapter, our faith grows through daily acts of obedience.

Don’t be paralyzed by uncertainty or the possibility of making a mistake. Don’t over-analyze situations. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Wherever God has placed you, whatever God has called you to do, take the first step.

Trust Him, one day at a time.



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