The Apprentice of Jesus Pathway
"My relationship with Jesus is the most important relationship in my life. It influences everything I do."
If you sense you are living in this stage of your journey, here are some suggestions and options you might be interested in trying as you seek to make the most of our intentional spiritual journey to Christlikeness.
Let the journey begin!
The call to follow Christ is also a call to be transformed into His image. Thus, kingdom living begins when we accept Jesus’ invitation to keep company with him…that we might become like him (Mark 3:14; Mark 1:17; John 15; John 17:3; Galatians 4:9; Colossians 3:1-17). In other words, we become like Christ by interaction with Christ himself. Taking on the character of Christ then, being spiritually formed, flows from an ongoing interaction with Christ, through the Holy Spirit’s presence in our lives, to receive from God the life we cannot birth in ourselves.
The fact is we can’t change our own hearts. We can’t control, manage, or dictate spiritual reality in our lives. The active agent in the transformation process is the Holy Spirit, who regenerates, enlightens, motivates, and empowers believers in their inner being by his presence to grow us in our likeness to Christ. On the other hand, it is unlikely that we will deepen our relationship with God in a random or unintentional way.
Although we cannot by direct effort change our heart, we are invited to participate with God in our transformation. We do this by a purposeful pattern of life…of intentionally placing ourselves in environments where we create the conditions in our lives so as to train our hearts to recognize and surrender to the already ongoing, maturing and healing presence of the Holy Spirit, who is shaping us to be like Jesus and bringing about God’s Kingdom purposes and mission.
For example, if you were asked to list people, places or events that were instrumental in your spiritual development, what are some of those things you would list? More than likely it would look something like this: a friend who took you “under wing” as a spiritual mentor, a retreat place or summer camp, a book, a missions trip, Scripture, an altar experience, cancer, fasting, a pastor, serving in a soup kitchen, etc. All of these “environments” provided the opportunity for you to open your heart to the transforming presence and work of the Holy Spirit in your life.
If you would like to know
more, you may listen to the sermon called The Intentional Journey.
The good news is there are some natural “places” of transformation already embedded in our lives and our church that become opportunities to encounter Jesus’ transforming presence. All of the people, places, and/or events you listed earlier can be organized into five environments that provide opportunities to encounter Jesus: personal, relational, intellectual, missional, and experiential. These five environments can be identified by the acrostic P.R.I.M.E. Click on the links below to read more about each environment.