Archive for 'Exercise'

Lesson 1: Exercise

Exercise on praying the Scriptures:

This exercise consists of a few simple and familiar verses. Read the verse and use it as a starting point for prayer or reflection. Ask God how to apply it to your life. An open heart + the Holy Spirit’s guidance (applying it to your current circumstances) can lead to many possible applications and prayer needs.

Ephesians 4:29 (NIV) “29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen”

Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV): “4Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! 5Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Galatian 5:22-23 (NIV) “22But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Exercise Follow-up: Pathways

I desire for this blog to be an opportunity for me to write and grow as well as encourage others. So, it’s only fair that I don’t give an exercise without doing it myself. This weeks application is to walk through the various paths using flickr images, and think on some of the paths from your past and new past God may have ahead for you. I’ll use some of my favorites and walk you through some of the paths the Christian Life takes in pictures:


The start of  the adventure: This path (above) reminds me of a transition from reality into a new world as a believer in Christ. The colors suddenly seem more vibrant; it is the start of an exciting new awareness of God’s love and a hope that maybe it is true that God has a purpose and plan for me. There is a certain naive feeling that a loving God would only want good for my life, so I should now be free from trials and live happily ever after.

The darkness hits: It’s not too long after being saved that the first period of deep trial begins. This is usually a place that many people give up their journey altogether. God has allowed difficulties to help teach and grow us, but when you don’t realize this, it often makes you question God. There is not a deeper valley then when you are in the midst of defeat and are not sure if God can be relied on.  When people hold on and begin to pray out of a new place, a place of emptiness from nearing the end of self and recognizing that you cannot humanly get out of this trial without God showing up in a major way.  This is when God does show up and take you to a new path . . .

God’s Appearance: I noticed a bit of extra grace at the beginning of my journey.  I was very uncertain of what direction to take and made many mistakes (because I was needing to change in so many ways),  but God gently escorted me through the trials and took me to a new summit of His Gloriousness. It was so exciting, because I was learning so much: I can trust Him; He is real; He hears me; He loves me and He does have some plan that He is guiding me toward.  It feels like a heavenly path when we give up our direction and begin to walk in God’s ways.

Valleys / Trials: This life is hard and there is a continuous cycle between times of rest and trial. Just like this path trials can color our vision and make the way in front of us look uncertain. Ironically, trials make me tired and I feel like I’m the most unproductive during these times. The truth is God is growing me and changing me the fastest during times of trial. I often don’t notice how much God has changed me until I go through a similar struggle again and have peace and faith throughout, when I can remember similar seasons when I felt hopeless and worried. I can then smile and realize,  Wow!, God has changed me again – for the better.

Times of Renewal / Cleansing: Another season that often shows up is one of personal renewal – it is a time of overcoming sin and beginning again. It is reminiscent of the beginning days when the adventure began and an awareness of God’s hand was fresh and the freedom in forgiveness was new. There is a path of wisdom that comes from realizing good and bad all must first come through God’s hand and He can be trusted through both. Peace is provided while walking down the path of faith and leaving the guiding and leading to the Lord.

Exercise: Pathways

Let’s Apply It:
Take a walk through flickr image gallery and imagine what God is trying to teach you through the various paths and where they could take you. . .
Think about areas God may desire for you to hand over to him and allow Him to guide you down the right pathway.
Think of some of the paths you’ve been down – can you see evidence of God’s walking with you? Praise Him and Thank Him for his willingness to walk beside and guide us even when we are not wanting to follow.
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