Every day I wake up to the amazing adventure of walking with God through whatever might unfold in my day. Sometimes that is full of joy and wonder; at other times, it’s an unforeseen calamity that challenges me to the core of my being. Following him, as best I see him each day, is the only way I know to navigate life. Keeping an eye out for his fingerprints in what’s happening around me, recognizing his impulse in my heart, or discovering a new thought playing with my mind, opens doors into options I’d never considered before and sets my heart at rest in events I don’t control.
So, it pains me when people talk of following God as a painful chore to keep from getting into trouble with him. That’s not how Christ lived, nor does it fit the character of the Father he described to us. He wants his joy to be in us so our joy can be full. Our God lives to his pleasure, and he wants to show us how we can live in the fullness of ours when it is untwisted from the lies of darkness. This is a journey into the life that really is life, unraveling the chaos and brokenness of this fallen world and giving us access to a life of love, rest, and play inside a growing friendship with the God who created you. It is the best way to live even through life’s worst moments.
I no longer have to sort out “the big picture” or try to “wrap my head around some strategy.” I can simply seek and follow, one step at a time, and find myself coming out in more spacious places of his grace and wisdom. That’s the revelational adventure—learning to recognize what new insight he’s giving me and believing his ways are valid.
Over the past few weeks, Kyle and I have been talking about this process on The God Journey podcast. We don’t explore this subject every week, but we are painting a picture of what it means to follow him. Even when he asks us to “lay down our lives,” it is for our joy as much as his. Selfishness is a barrier to living free, but only he can show us how our sacrifice can fit into his purpose of bringing light into the world.
Following the slightest nudge he gives us carries us into the life of his Spirit blowing all around us. Without that, we are pulled by the gravity of chaos into the weeds of frustration, hopelessness, and misery. When you feel the darkness spreading its clutches over you, remember that God has a way for you to rise out of it and catch the wind, just like a kite soaring skyward. This is the transformation that living loved offers us. Don’t miss it.
If you want a further explanation of how we can live more attuned to him, here are the first four podcasts we’ve done as part of this series.
- Transformation #1: Windblown – Recognizing how the chaos of this age is constantly trying to drag us into the darkness while his Spirit keeps inviting us to live above the chaos going on around us with the lightness of his joy and power.
- Transformation #2: Reveal – This journey does not begin with doing what we think is best for God but in his revelation to our hearts of his love, wisdom, and strength. “What is God showing me today of himself?” “What wisdom is he putting in my way to guide me today?” or “Who is he giving me to love today?” become the most critical questions to pose to him each day as we sensitize our hearts to how he might answer them.
- Transformation #3: Ponder – When we think God reveals something to us, how can we know it’s him? Pondering the growing revelations with him, Scripture, other brothers and sisters, and seeing how they sort out in our circumstances, is an important part of the process of internal transformation. Pondering anchors his revelation in our hearts and minds, helps us discern what’s real and not real, and lets us see the possibilities he holds in his heart.
- Transformation #4: Believe – As we affirm what God is revealing to us, he is winning us into his trust. Believing what he shows us and becoming convinced of his character toward us is what lifts us into the reality of his life that he wants for us. Believing is not another religious work he demands of us; it’s the fruit of recognizing him in our lives and growing to know that his ways are always best for us.
We are drawing a chart as we unpack this journey and you can see it below. Father, Son, and Spirit are in the upper left, and we are at the lower left as we’ve been twisted by the brokenness of this age. We have no hope of untwisting ourselves enough to soar in his Spirit, so God initiates that process with us by revealing himself to us in bits and pieces as we look to him throughout our days. Belief takes root in our hearts as we recognize what he is showing us and ponder it. That’s what allows us to catch the wind of the Spirit as he draws us into his reality and the promises of glory, purpose, truth, fruitfulness, fulfillment, etc.
Without that, the gravity of our brokenness will continue to hold us in the weeds, where darkness, futility, fear, anger, frustration, and scarcity define our lives. God wants to lift us out of the weeds and draws us into the unfolding revelation of his Spirit. That comes from hearing and believing what he shows us is true. It can really be that simple.
There’s so much more we will add here in the weeks ahead on the podcast. I know charts can make things appear to be too mechanical for something genuinely organic. So, please don’t get lost in the diagram or try to implement it with human effort. Let it help you imagine what’s going on in your heart and mind as God makes himself known and then invites us on an adventure with him that will allow you to live in the flow of the Spirit instead of being shipwrecked by our demands and struggles. God knows what’s best for us in every situation and wants to help us recognize what he’s revealing in our hearts, and then we’ll be free to believe him enough to watch his glory unfold in us. Learning to live in this freedom is a lifetime process that starts slowly as it finds traction in how we think. Then, look out.
We will continue to explore other facets of this revelational adventure in the weeks ahead. Since you’ve heard it over the years, I know some of you don’t regularly check in with the God Journey much anymore. But you might want to check back in for these episodes. I’m excited to see how this framework has encouraged others to a more relational approach to their faith. It also expresses well how I am learning to follow him. I hope it helps you too. This approach is also finding its way into the sequel I’m writing to So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore.