Dale Saylor | Pastor, Spiritual Maturity
Many people like formulas. They like bullet points. There are those who like bright lines. They make life easier. They cut through mystery and doubt. We’d love it if such things could govern our relationships with God. They would make following him easier, too. At least, we think they would. So we try to create them. It starts innocently: Someone seeks God and finds him—through a specific prayer or practice, or through a particular way of studying Scripture or being in community or doing service. But, then, that person decides that’s “the” way to find God. Others are persuaded, of course, because they want to find God too. And a formula is born, a bullet point, a bright line, a rule about how our relationships with God must look.
The thing is, though God never changes (James 1:17; Hebrews 13:8), our relationships with Him do. They’re ever changing, ever challenging (2 Corinthians 3:18). There’s always more with God. There’s always mystery. And there’s always something new. But because we fear change and fear being challenged, we often cling to what’s worked in the past or what’s worked for someone else. We create a rule or repeat a ritual, but we may not grow and mature in our relationships with God or with others.
The disciple-making process is completely relational and reproducible, and is designed to be replicated in the lives of others. As you study and grow, remember that you are not merely learning for your own benefit, but also for the benefit of others. God expects us to live in community with other believers for spiritual growth, encouragement, and accountability. Get connected!