The First Step

Jon Opgenorth

Read: Exodus 4:18-20

Moses . . . went back to the land of Egypt. (v. 20)

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” says an ancient Chinese proverb. At some point, all excuses aside, we must take the first step in God’s amazing mission.

Noah must mill the first log for the ark. Abraham must start walking towards Canaan. David must sling the first stone at Goliath’s head. Esther must take her stand before the king. Mary must tell Joseph what the angel said. Paul, knowing that “imprisonment and afflictions await,” must move toward Jerusalem. He adds, “I do not account my life of any value . . . if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus” (Acts 20:23-24). Moses must take the staff in his hand and go back to Egypt (Exod. 4:20).

In 1994, a lawyer with the U.S. Department of Justice investigated genocide in Rwanda. Gary Haugen dug through mass graves. God moved his heart. He came to see the toll of violence and slavery among the vulnerable and poor. So in 1997 Gary left his attorney’s job and launched a fledgling group to end modern slavery. International Justice Mission (IJM) was born. Today, 17 field offices scattered among developing nations daily see the enslaved set free and criminals brought to justice. God’s task too big? End modern slavery. Gary Haugen took that first step and thousands are free today. And more will be tomorrow.

What mission is God giving you? It’s time to go. —Jon Opgenorth

Prayer: Grant me courage, Lord, to take the first step.