“Seasons of Transition” The Plan the Plot and the Promise

Introduction And Publication

If your imagination is as active as the rest of us, you probably have marginalized your future success by the way you think and have accepted the false accusations against you by your preconceived beliefs reflected in your behavior. The only thing you have control over like no one else does is your life.  You decide when, where and how your life enters your future.

Imagine yourself in the next few years being the person you’ve always hoped, working with the company you’ve always wanted, marrying the person you’ve loved and generating the annual income you deserve and know you were always capable of. But you don’t have to imagine… now is the time to decide your future.

Steps to the Father will help tailor your behavior in breaking the habits of your old self by developing the right content to influence the outline of your thinking pattern.  This effort requires more than simply human discipline and therapy. Bible stories have been used throughout the ages to help us realize the possibilities of our creativity, to change a situation at will by the help of God and the leading of the Holy Spirit.

Each chapter highlights a separate discipline with step by step instructions to benefit the reader. You’ll learn new ways to cope with old struggles gradually erasing them as you develop your faith and trust in God. He will deliver you from your situation and its depression. Steps to the Father will also help you recognize insightful behavioral patterns and their trigger mechanism leading to unwanted conduct expressions.

The reader is also expected to learn how to overcome set-backs and it’s frustration that may be a result of life’s hard-knocks and misfortune. Learn the true meaning of relationship birth in Christ and extend that privilege to another.  Learn to love like Christ loves. Discover inspiring insightful tools to help build sustainable relationships and replace and repair bad or broken ones.

Get to know for certain that you are a child of the living God not only by feelings but by knowledge, to know experientially. Grow into the ultimate awareness – your existence, ability and resources are intended completely for God’s purpose.

Create your world and endorse your future success by walking with God in Steps to the Father. Discover your hidden potential buried in treasure fossils of the soul like I did and make a difference for yourself and your God. To enter a promised enjoyment of a future life’s goal is to accept and embrace the effort requires for its present journey.

This is where you and I embrace our sonship/daughtership and walk with God (like so many have from ancient near east to around the world) for a brighter personal tomorrow.        

“I appeal to you therefore, brethren,  and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted,  consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.  2 Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in his sight for you].Romans, 12:1&2 Amp.

The Apostle Paul is encouraging us to recognize God’s commitment delivered in Christ, and to respond in a manner fitting to his sacrifice.  His good, pleasing and perfect plans are that our lives be lived as “spiritual acts of worship”. He also wants us to become transformed people with renewed minds. With a renewed mind the desire of the Believer is to obey God. To obey God is to honor him in our choices, demonstrate a repentant heart and help nurture Christians in their development. Acts of worship a large percentage of Christians are unwilling to surrender too.

Paul suggests we “do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world.” We should not behave like it. We should no longer allow the age system to dictate our behavior and the projection of our lives [that’s the Holy Spirit’s Job]. Nor should we allow the world to assess our ability to become [that’s determined by our willingness to apply the grace needed to grease the squeaky wheel in our lives.

“But be transformed” he said, “(changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude]”. As a believer and therapist, I was taught, I believe it and I practice it – to change one’s behavior, one need to change the way one thinks. And that is not necessarily changing the process of one’s thinking as much as it is improving the content that influences one’s thinking.

How does one replace the content responsible for influencing one’s choices, particularly the ones that motivate undesirable behaviors in us? The same way one changes one’s mind. We change our mind in the light of new content.  To arrive at a sound judgement, we use all relevant content available to us without prejudice.

That’s one of the many reasons Cognitive Behavioral Therapy CBT, has proven to be an effective psycho-social intervention that improves mental and physical health. However, some life issues have a spiritual harmful origin. And though we are talented and resourceful people, we cannot successfully resolve spiritual issues without the support of the authority over spiritual things.

In today’s culture, we don’t need to look too far to see the moral laxity with associated ills that seep through the family’s structural defense. This attitude promoted by special interest groups has infiltrated the religious and political arenas. The motive is to prevent the church from fulfilling its mandate (to preach an uncorrupted gospel and make disciples of all people) or better yet, mislead to believe there’s no rush to do so.  Decay in society’s morals and ethical traditions are on the rise. Membership and offerings have become the priority to some of the local churches over its mandate to preach the gospel and make disciples of people.

These leaderships are actively pursuing an agenda that does not only compromise the church’s integrity, but water down the effectiveness of the gospel to serve their personal ends. An indication of the church’ misguidedness to her purpose and evidence of her spiritual decline is savagely ravaging our family values and communities. It is not surprising 50% of the Christians in Jesus’ example of the 10 Virgins went to Hell.

The church at Corinth was in the heart of the Greek culture. Many of the believers had difficulty with the concept of a bodily resurrection. Most saw the afterlife as something that happened to the soul while the person is imprisoned in a physical body. They believe at death the soul is released and a permanent separation takes place between the soul and body.

Paul steps confidently into this confusion and warmly differs, confirming scripture and affirming the merger of the soul to a glorified body at the rapture. “Now it is God who has made us for this very purpose and has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come” 2Cor.5:5, 1Cor.15:2-23NIV. The Holy Spirit was deposited into your heart and mine after we made a decision to accept Christ. When Christ is received into someone’s heart, the individual’s spirit immediately becomes alive (save from the penalty of sin – free).

During this fellowship our spirit is nurtured by the Holy Spirit and our heart begins a legitimate pursuit of our finest imaginations. Our sinful cravings are flagged by the Holy Spirit as we are brought into a greater awareness of God’s presence. Our spiritual development should consist of daily activities that help us interact with God through discussions, prayer and the reading of his word.

The art of exercising one’s spirit in the word is paramount to a Christian’s ability to discern (sound judgement). Knowing when God is speaking and when he is not may make all the difference when selecting – to avoid choices that could negatively impact our morals. And as we get more comfortable in God’s presence, his unseen appearance remains longer with us – enabling us to shave of the distasteful and offensive desires and behaviors that we once struggled with. 

As Christians, we have two natures; an Adamic and a Christ-like nature. Our Adamic nature strives to promote the sinful desires of the heart while our Christ-like nature initiate and foster a healthy spiritual relationship with God… Gal. 5:16-17 & Rom. 8:13. To know God is to have a relationship with Christ.  He is the appointed door-way to the Father. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the God-Head. He was gifted to us as a deposit to seal our new life. Ephe. 1:13. He empowers our living as Christians to expedite our growth. Ultimately, he secures our eternal destiny in Christ for the Redeemed World.

In order for a Christian to make measurable spiritual strides, this individual must grow the core of his/her new life. The core of a Christian is the spirit of that person. The idea of a Christian receiving a “new heart” at the beginning of the new birth can be puzzling on many levels particularly, when that heart fails to reflect Christ in our day to day living. It’s an idea I believe a large percentage of Christians fail to beneficially comprehend. A consequence some of our lives are no better for.

A person’s spirit is the mind of their heart. The only way to relate with God is through one’s spirit. The heart is an informed entity of the soul. I believe it is through our spirit’s relationship with the Holy Spirit our heart grows. Rom. 8:28. The new “heart” the bible promises when we come to Christ is ours to cultivate. A young Christian who reads the bible may have comments like ‘I don’t understand when I read or what I read doesn’t resonate’ and so on. These responses are typical among immature Christians. However, there’s another type of unripe Christians who make up a large percentage of the church.

These Christians are physically older and have been Christians for a long time. Some participate in the leadership day to day operations of the local Church. Paul says this to them “You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others. Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God’s word. You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.” Heb 5:12 NLT

The Christian life is very much like the physical. We are born infants, cared for and grow well for a healthy successful plump looking development. The same is true for a born again Christian. When we become born again our spirit is in the infant stage. Young enough to be threatened by any dangers a physical baby is threatened by if not cared for properly.

When a Christian reads the bible, when he/she goes to church, attends prayer meeting and engages in bible discussions, his/her spirit grows. Their intellectual mind may be unfruitful for a time but the mind of the heart (also known as our ‘spirit’) grows – while exercising the spiritual senses in the word. These dynamics are absolute necessities to generate content that influences the heart’s preconceived beliefs that occasionally produce unfounded and undesirable behaviors in us.

 An infant should be fed with the right formula for proper development. Remember, a formula is a set of instructions to create a desired outcome. Christians should be fed with the right types of spiritual foods also, especially the young in Christ for moral maturity and sexual purity. We need to pray and read the bible daily. We are to attend a bible believing church service regularly as well.

Paul used himself as an example of someone who equips himself to be of better service to the kingdom. 1 Cor. Chapter 9. He said winning a race requires purpose and discipline. Living as a Christian takes hard work and sacrifice. Self-denial is an essential quality when working towards a goal. This race (Christian journey) leads toward our long awaited heavenly rewards.  This should be considered a full dressed (preparedness) rehearsal. There is no second chance when we stand before Jesus. The scores of our souls would have already been reported.

Paul graciously shared this event with us “For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers, that our forefathers were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. They all ate the same spiritual food and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered over the desert.”1 Cor. 10:1-5.

These amazing truths shared from the exodus recordings. Exo14. God stood with Israel during hunger and despair to being full and hopeful throughout their entire journey from Egypt to Canaan. He caused an East Wind to part the waters dividing the Red Sea under Moses’ leadership. Israel crossed over on dry land (an indication of solid footing throughout the journey) Exo.14:22. God created a fire by night for light and warmth and a cloud by day for cooler temperatures. He also provided a cloud that stood behind the Israel’s caravan but in front of the Egyptians army to protect Israel keeping distance.

Israel was united under Moses’ leadership during the exodus. They were no longer slaves treated unjustly by the Egyptians. Their food and drink came from the sky. There clothes did not wear out and their feet were not sore. In spite of their large numbers in the wilderness, and unconventional hygiene facilities, there was no concern of an epidemic that could have threatened their survival. God had thought of every aspect of the journey in Israel’s favor long before Israel realized there was going to be a trip.

Yet, the one thing God could not do for Israel but gave abundant grace to enable them to do for themselves, they elected not to do. Israel chose not to put God first or rather remove the urgency from the need to serve God like many Christians are doing. Today when we are corrected for our poor living examples, we have one excuse after the other and a bag of complaints just like the Israelites did in the Wilderness. God will take care of our every need and surpass our expectations when we learn to trust him.

The need for Steps to the Father was realized in my counseling sessions. After playing with the idea for a few months and understanding the needs of my clients, I opted to get their opinion on it. It was a huge approval success. It is also nice to share some golden nuggets in this book that were effective in resolving a number of issues and helping put things in perspective.

My hope is everyone who wants to lay the right spiritual foundation would read this book. It is applicable for personal and group study. It is great for over the phone discussions with questions at the end of each chapter. Build a godly world view while discussing bible fun facts with friends. There is no better foundation upon which to build a successful financial future and a healthy, happy married life.  Reading this book may repair your broken relationship and could avoid your divorce and separation.

How do you rate the health of your Christianity? Can God count on you to use the grace available to do the right thing? Remember, if we are not actively following Christ, we have somewhere, somehow rejected him. If we choose to be neutral in the struggle against good and evil (right and wrong), we are choosing to be separated from God who alone is good. To be separated from God is to be aligned with Satan.

“Steps to the Father” is intended for the many Christians who love God and accept his son’s finished work for humanity. Who wish to grow further into their devotion by becoming more active and vocal, reaching the lost and comforting the hurting in Christ.  It is also intended for those of us who occasionally fall from grace by our actions and lose sight of our commitment to God, stumbling unto things we have no business messing with.  May our lives be marked by the rich-overwhelming presence of the Holy Spirit during the reading of this book. May your lives also be flooded with grace, peace and unexplained favor as you are restored to your sonship/daughtership as Disciples of Christ.

In order to have effective outreach we must take the time to reach in and examine ourselves. Let’s check our plans, method of operations and motives. Have we invited Jesus on any one of these? Yet we want God to bless their outcome. Commitment to a cause requires diligence and our spiritual development and eternal agreement depends upon it. Is your Christian walk requiring any effort on your part? Or do you just go with the flow? Training our spirit-man will require sacrifice for that greater good.

The Israelites lived in the wilderness for forty years. The wilderness is not places intended to live-in but explore, learn and move forward. It was brought into play as a means to an end, to express motion in a certain direction. Israel needed to make God the object of her love but sadly, forty years later the corpses of those first generation exiles were still falling in the wilderness. Kaleb and Joshua are the only two from the generation of thousands of exiles to enter Canaan.

Are you sick and tired of your wilderness experience in your Christianity? How many times have you been around this junction? You’re familiar with the saying (Chaucer’s Tale of Melibee) “familiarity breeds contempt”. What are you planning on doing differently to grow in God and improve the appearance of your Christianity? This is an opportunity to read this book solemnly and invite Christ to help you do what’s necessary to grow.