Do You Dare to Follow?

“And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, bound in the Spirit, not knowing what shall befall me there; except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me.”—Acts 20:22-23

The amazing works of St. Paul are matched only by his amazing words. In one of his final journeys of faith, St. Paul would again be “going” but not “knowing” where this next phase of his life would take him. The only thing he knew with certainty was that dungeons and difficulties were waiting for him.

When I speak of my own conversion to Christ and his Church, I call this journey the “scenic route.” I was raised as a sixth-generation Mormon, later becoming a Baptist minister, and finally being received into the Catholic Church in 1996. Early in my journey of faith as a young Mormon missionary, I remember praying: “Heavenly Father, all I want is the truth. If the truth is in Mormonism, I will serve you until my dying day here. If the truth is somewhere else, give me the courage to face what that will mean for me.” That prayer fundamentally changed the trajectory of my life. I was ready to accept wherever truth would lead me. It wasn’t evidence of a “super faith,” but rather an “I’m at the end-of-my-rope” cry to God. It was likely where my faith began, because whether I knew it or not, what I wanted was him. I would learn ultimately that truth isn’t just correct dogma; truth is a Person—Jesus Christ.

My life isn’t even a shadow of St. Paul’s, but I can identify with his “going but not knowing” journey. I don’t consider myself a person of great faith, but the Lord gives me enough faith to take one step at a time, and I guess that’s all I really need. That “one-step-at-a-time faith” has taken me all over the world to share God’s gifts. It has rarely been easy or anxiety-free, but in every step into the unknown, God has shown himself to be faithful to me, and every step has enlarged the footprint of my faith, giving me the capacity to trust him even more.

Action Step

Ask the Lord for the faith to offer your future completely to him, and the grace to walk into it, one step at a time, with the confident assurance of his faithfulness and goodness.

About the Author

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is an international presenter and author for The Great Adventure Bible Timeline studies. He is also a popular conference, parish mission, and retreat director. You can learn more about his work at Gen215.org.

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  • A J

    Lord I know where you are leading me. I don’t know how you will get me there. But I’m coming with you anyway.

  • Fred

    I love these year of faith messages. I want to trust God but I am still holding on to the worldly things. “Lord I believe, help my unbelief”

  • Janet

    AJ

  • mariamgal

    My Lord and my God, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the gift of faith, and for giving me the grace to follow You every step of the way trusting in Your Providence and infinite Love! +

  • america111

    “I don’t know how you will get me there” The same I was asking myself. I have been doing Bible study for more than 15 years! I still do. I am listening to Catholic radio, I go to catholic conferences … and you know, I think I am finally opening to God’s word and gifts. Search Him, keep searching for Him and you will find Him.

  • A J

    good words, thanks for the encouragement…I too am a student of the faith….
    Ain’t God Good

  • A J

    Yes

  • Betsy Forsyth

    I said the same thing. Little did I know that He would uproot me from the East Coast where I had lived all my life, to the Pacific Northwest.At first I felt as though I had landed on an alien planet! Even after four years there are still times I struggle with our distance from family and friends, but I can definitely see God’s hand!