Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Discipleship Series – Passing and Failing Tests




Today's post is part of May's Christian Writer's Blog Chain, the topic “Nurture” I hope you will follow the links on the right side bar to the other bloggers on our chain. Be blessed.

Life is full of choices. Every action we take is based on a decision we have made through the information and experience we have stored in our memory. We are trapped in this scenario until something changes, either positive or negative to the experience modification portion of our memory. Each experience changes our process in making a choice.

This experience modification begins at birth and continues throughout our entire lives. Infants cry because they want something. They have learned that crying brings results either, food, attention or removal of an uncomfortable situation. As infants, we've learned how to get what we want, but as we grow in experience, we've also learned how to modify the results aka the sin nature.

During the course of our lives, we've learned what we can do and what we can't. What things are socially acceptable and the things that are not. We develop a process of living, either choosing a moral standard or going against moral convention. All these choices are a result of our memories and how we use them. There is one important factor that comes into play, the God factor.

Although we make choices based on our experiences, God is always present. He has spoken into each of our lives at many important junctures. He was the one that placed another option in our path. He was the one who opened doors and gave us talents, we have to choose to follow or not. God loves us so completely, He never leaves us without an option. He wants our recognition and praise, but most of all, He wants us to nurture our relationship with Him.

Jesus nurtured His disciples with love, patience, acceptance and revealing to them the invisible Father. His disciples received what He gave, yet there was reciprocation, they needed choose to accept the experience modification by choosing to use the things He had taught them.

The following is an excerpt from Footsteps of Jesus – Becoming a Disciple

Chapter 19 – Forsake Former Goals

Meeting Jesus changed everything. In His presence, my broken moral compass was exposed. I had a perverted sense of right and wrong. With the help of the Holy Spirit and God’s Word, my compass was corrected and I was set on a new path.
The conflict came not with my spirit but with my flesh. The old self and emotions still wanted control. My mind had not been renewed to the truth, which directed many of my actions of what I thought were best for me. This sinful thinking drove my moral compass off it's designed course, which made it difficult to trust anyone.
There were many years of broken relationships in my wake. Some of my doing and some that were done to me. When Jesus wanted my complete trust, my old mind said, “Well that was OK for salvation, but life choices, those were still mine— or so I thought.
When I had enrolled in college, I wasn’t completely on-board with some of the courses they told me I needed. One of the administrators explained that some life experiences or previous coursework could be transferred in toward graduation. I pursued all the credits I could get with the hopes of shortening the length of training.
Most of the previous experiences or coursework I submitted were rejected which upset me. Using the persuasive skills I had learned in the world, I tried my case.
Isn’t that the way we sometimes approach the Lord, explaining our service resume and things we’ve accomplished? We go about presenting our case to be spared from a difficult time or intensive training that may be painful. We begin praying (begging) unceasingly when we are presented with a challenge to our comfort or status.
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The Lord never leaves us where we are, but always shows a better way. We must prepare to receive, accept what His Word says and nurture the seeds of His love and truth for the change modification to occur in our hearts. Nurturing a relationship includes trust and action.


Final post in the Discipleship Series – Start Walking


This book is available through Amazon in Paperback or eBook

23 comments:

E. G. Lewis said...

i once heard a preacher quote Malachithat God refines his followers like precious gold and silver. Of course, that refinin entailed fire and then pounding. Peace and Blessings. Good post...I enjoyed the excerpt.

Christine Henderson said...

This recent move and new job has put me so out of my comfort zone that at times I don't know what to do. I am trying to remember to have faith that God will continue to direct and guide me even when at times I am physically lost - like yesterday when I relied on my GPS. It couldn't find the address where I was headed and I had to keep trying by trial and error to get where I needed to go instead of just giving up and going home.

From Carols Quill said...

Lovely post; deep thoughts, Terrie. I love your comment that "Jesus never leaves us where we are, but always shows a better way."

I've always said "Jesus meets us where we are," but I like this addition to the truth.

Tracy Krauss said...

Its so true that we grow and change as a result of or life experiences, and it takes the caring nurture of someone to make sure that these experiences - either good or bad - shape us for God's purposes.

Bill Jones said...

Thanks Terrie - a very good call to action, with the assurance that God will provide for it.

Michael Johnson said...

I like the reminder that our choices shape who we are.

by Pegg Thomas said...

God always has best options available to us. Too bad we don't have special glasses to see them with! They are so much clearer in our rear view mirror.

Deborah K. Anderson said...

So much of this rang true for me, Terrie. But because of the "God factor" I now see things differently.

God bless you, sister.

Terrie Thorpe said...

Thank you E.G. for your blessing and comment.

Terrie Thorpe said...

Christine thank you for stopping by and commenting with your crazy schedule.There are times when I too am in autopilot and grateful for God's continual guidance. Peace and blessings to you while you get settled.

SandiGrace said...

Wow. This paragraph describes me! "Isn’t that the way we sometimes approach the Lord, explaining our service resume and things we’ve accomplished? We go about presenting our case to be spared from a difficult time or intensive training that may be painful. We begin praying (begging) unceasingly when we are presented with a challenge to our comfort or status."

Excellent post with good depth. Thank you.

Terrie Thorpe said...

Thank you Carol for stopping by and commenting.It is God's amazing love that never stops guiding us. I think of the Love Chapter 1 Cor 13- Love never never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance (vs 7):)

Terrie Thorpe said...

Amen Tracy! We don't realize how much circumstances influence our choices - good or bad. It can almost be scary to learn why we feel the way we feel based on an experience. But I am thrilled that God has sometime positive to speak into our lives to refocus our attention.

Terrie Thorpe said...

Thank Mile for stopping by - I appreciate your comments. Yes, choice = behavior.

Terrie Thorpe said...

Bill thanks for commenting- Yep our call to action is to believe God's direction to avoid the traps of those who wish us harm. Blessings!

Terrie Thorpe said...

Amen Pegg, isn't that the truth - mistakes are always clearer in the rear view mirror. God's word has an answer for every question or situation we encounter- but we have to know what He says. Thanks for stopping by.

Terrie Thorpe said...

Hi Deborah, Yep, the God factor is what makes our life so amazing! How he guards us, miraculously provides in ways we stand in awe. All the days of our life is written in His book. He has already made provision for us, we just need to look for it. We are never alone. Blessings

Terrie Thorpe said...

Thanks Sandi for stopping by- I thought I would just add a moment of absolute truth about how we approach God. But I am grateful we can approach the throne and receive grace to bring us around to God's way. Blessings!

Traci B said...

Great post, Terrie. A lot of wisdom in here.

My pastor often says that God loves us so much that He's made accommodations for us whether we choose Him or not. Heaven or hell - it's our choice. He doesn't send us to either; our decisions do.

chris said...

Yep, that nurturing relationship starts with having faith! Have to make good choices and live a life of integrity!!

Adam Collings said...

I really like how that quote talks about having a moral compass that is out of alignment and needs to be re-calibrated by Jesus. So much of what this world has to say about right and wrong is way off kilter.

Cecilia Marie Pulliam said...

Very good, Terrie. Full of good points to reflect on, ponder and absorb.

Terrie Thorpe said...

Thank you all for your encouragement and blessing. Yep, Jesus is our All in All :)