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Road Trips and Next Steps

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Road trips are long.  And many times the kids in the back fall asleep.  I know I did as a kid.  And when we pulled into the garage, my dad would quietly pick me up and carry me into the house.  I would wake up the next day in my own bed and I had done very little to help.  Did you ever pretend to be asleep just so you could be carried inside?  Me too.

My parents knew I needed to be moved from the car to my bed to sleep well and be rested for the next day.  

God does the same thing, but in a supernatural way.  God knows that everyone has a next step.  He knows where we are and he knows where we need to be.

Philippians 1:6 says, And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.”

Whether we are just beginning to understand the beautiful truth that God took steps to us, or we are embracing steps that stretch our faith, God is in the midst of it all.

Corporate: Pointing Our Hearts Toward God … Together

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“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” -- The Apostle Paul

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” -- Helen Keller

The life of God that is found in Jesus is something that we experience together. The idea of a follower of Jesus who is disconnected from other followers of Jesus and the life of the community is completely antithetical to the picture painted by the early followers of Jesus who wrote the letters we have as the New Testament of the Bible.

The third category of everyday steps—corporate—has some overlap with “steps together,” which will be the focus of the message this weekend (Feb. 18-19). The main corporate everyday steps are confession, worship, guidance, and celebration.

Confession refers to the act of being vulnerable about our areas of struggle and sin with other followers of Jesus. By doing this, the community of Christ-followers becomes a living expression of the forgiveness and grace of Jesus.

Worship, in the context of everyday steps, means regularly engaging with other followers of Jesus in gatherings that are meant to re-focus our hearts around the greatness of God and His truth as revealed in Jesus. (This is what we do every weekend in our services.)

Celebration is about seeing the goodness of God in our daily lives … and voicing our gratitude and joy at experiencing that goodness.

Let’s spend a little more time talking about the corporate everyday step of guidance. Guidance has to do with learning to follow the leading of God’s Spirit and the teachings of Jesus in our daily lives.

With that description, why is guidance listed under the corporate everyday steps?

Followers of Jesus have learned that to become adept at hearing and responding to God’s voice in your life requires interaction with others … and typically with those who have been following Jesus for longer than we have.

You may have heard someone say, “God told me to do such-and-such …” and you thought, “I’m not sure God would have told you to do that.”

Hearing the voice of God’s Spirit is actually something that we learn to do together. If God is truly speaking to you, He can confirm that through the wisdom and feedback of other followers of Jesus. That is the essence of the corporate everyday step of guidance.

There is an amazing and powerful truth that is apart of this everyday step … and it’s this. God wants to speak to you. God, your Father, your Creator, wants to be intimately and completely involved with your day-to-day life and decisions.

But because God is God and we are humans … it’s sometimes difficult to hear His voice clearly, especially when you’re first getting started.

And just like anything else, as you practice listening for and responding to God’s guidance in your life, you’ll get better at it. Not only that, but when you listen for and respond to God’s voice while inviting other trusted, mature followers of Jesus into the conversation, you’ll get MUCH better at it.

This is why, at the end of just about every service we have on the weekends, we invite anyone to come forward and talk or pray with our Care Team or some of our Elders. These are members of our community who have special gifts, training, and experience in walking alongside of others and helping them to follow Jesus.

(Don’t let the title of “Elders” scare you if you’re not familiar with it. It’s a term that was used in the New Testament of the Bible, referring to the group that has responsibility for oversight and care of a specific local church.)

If you are looking for help in discerning and following the guidance of God’s Spirit and the teachings of Jesus in a specific area of your life, come up after the service and talk with someone. They would love to help you as you take steps to follow Jesus more closely.

Remember, all of these everyday steps—inward, outward, and corporate—are habits or practices that we should be engaging in on a regular basis so that we more fully and completely experience the full life that we were created for … and that can only be found through Jesus.

They’re not things that make you better than anyone else or items to put on your religious checklist. Everyday steps are simply meant to create space in your life for God to reshape your heart and bring you deeper into life with Him.

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