This post concludes a series of posts discussing the reality of God always being present and at work in our lives. He’s constantly speaking and extending invitations to us to come and be with Him. The question is whether or not we are paying attention and responding to His invitation. To catch up on those posts go here, here and here. Today we are talking about bringing others into your walk with God.
One of the most exciting and terrifying times in my life was when I came to the decision to ask my wife to marry me. In all honesty, I was somewhat taken by surprise we were headed in that direction. At that time in my life, I thought for sure I was still a few years off from meeting “the one,” but lo and behold, during the summer of 2005 there we were at some noodle restaurant in Northbrook, IL talking about spending the rest of our lives together.
Our relationship went fairly quickly. Our first date was December 2004 and we were married December 2005. Even though it moved along fast, it wasn’t done in haste. And the decision to get married wasn’t done in isolation. It was made through discernment with a lot of people. That summer, both of us spoke with our parents, siblings, close friends and mentors about the decision.
It was through these conversations and specifically the questions we were asked – questions about finances, family, ambitions, calling, etc… – that my wife and I came to the conclusion that getting married was the right move. In making this decision we invited our community into the process.
The same should be true in our relationship with God. When coming to discern what God is up to in our lives, other people should be part of the process.
Over the last two years I participated in two different groups that served to help in discerning what God was doing in my life. We would gather weekly and had the responsibility of bringing a kairos moment or two to share with the group. The group leader, guided by two questions – what is God doing in your life? And, how are you responding? – would ask follow up questions to help the group members clearly articulate where and how God was working in our lives.
This group was important for two reasons.
One, the questions and guidance from the group leader continued to direct the participants back to God in prayer. In a sense, the role of the leader wasn’t to give advice, but rather to ask questions in such a way where we would have to go to God for the answer.
Two, this group was important because we can’t fully experience God by ourselves. In our individualistic culture, we can be tempted to believe it’s just me and the “big guy in the sky.” But from the beginning of creation, God said it isn’t good for humans to be alone. Even God, in himself, is a community – Father, Son and Holy Spirit. By opening up your relationship with God to others, you actually experience more of God.
While you may not have a formalized group with whom to share your kairos moments, even having one or two friends who can help you process what God is doing in your life will enhance your relationship with God.
And what all of this is called, not just this post, but the entire series together, is discipleship – being with Jesus, together with others, in order to learn from Jesus, so that we can be like Jesus.
May your heart and your ears be open to God.
May you receive His invitations to be with Him.
May you invite others along on your journey.