Going Past Principle 1
If you've landed on this page from a web search, you are on the last page of the "Free Stuff" section on the nav menu. It's not mandatory, but you might want look at that menu and back up a couple pages just so everything here makes more sense. You decide...
The Keys To Understanding Life studies and training focus on helping you to develop in 4 areas that are essential to discerning God's guidance and experiencing the peace of Christ more in trials. These 4 overall areas encompass 7 of the Bible's principles for hearing God's guidance in trials.
- Discerning heart disturbances (James 1:13-15; 1 John 3:18-24). This is the 1st principle for dealing with a trial. We talked a lot about heart disturbances on the "What is Practical Application" page. The disturbances in our hearts indicate when the flesh seeks to assert itself and dictate how we respond to a trial. Heart disturbances are a warning that the flesh seeks to lure us into acting independently of God. The disturbances in our hearts indicate when Satan is launching his fiery darts at us. However, the disturbances also indicate when the Holy Spirit is seeking to provide us counsel on how to let Christ live through us during the trial! Discerning our heart disturbances opens us to discerning what the Holy Spirit wants to reveal to us about to fleshly influences, or temptations. The Holy Spirit wants to aid us in opening our hearts to being transformed by God. Application involves internal action (introspection).
Being transformed to experience the peace of Christ and His love (Romans 5:3-5, Colossians 3:15-17). This is the 1st active step of bonding with the Lord in our hearts when a trial comes up. It is the 1st active step to capitalizing on "who we are in Christ." Letting the Lord change something in us during a trial is key to discerning God's direction for us in the trial. Fleshly influences actively work against us on this - it is how Satan fights against Christ in us! Application involves internal action (introspection).
- Discerning and embracing the changes the Lord seeks to make in you during a trial (Matthew 7:3-5; Hebrews 12:4-13; 1 John 1:9). This is the 2nd active step of bonding with the Lord in our hearts when a trial arises. It is the 2nd active step to capitalizing on "who we are in Christ." Accepting or embracing the change Christ seeks to make in us is part of letting Him make us stronger in our sense of identity in Himself. Discerning and embracing His changes in you includes being willing to discern whether you've already sinned during a given trial, and if so, confessing that to the Lord and others as He directs. Application involves internal action (introspection).
- Discerning the steps of faith God would have you to take in response to the trial as a follower of Christ (John 16:12-14; 1 Peter 1:13-16; 1 John 3:18-24). While it may seem that this discernment is kind of "intangible," it isn't - at least it isn't when the 3 things above are applied to the trial. Application involves both internal and external action (introspection followed by godly external action).
The 4 items above are very simplistic expressions of how the Bible teaches us to approach our own, personal trials under the influence of God's Spirit. We've provided them so you can kind of see the direction in which Keys training moves in order to assist you in growing in your ability to hear and discern God's counsel for you in trials. Some of the studies and training Keys offers go into very specific, step-by-step instruction on what the above 4 items are all about.
Trials may be as simple as a small annoyance at the store or a disruption in your daily routine. Trials may also be as traumatic as the loss of a loved one. Every human being experiences these kinds of situations, or trials. As believers, we call them trials because it is in trials that we are to discern the spiritual dynamics behind the situation and prove, by our response, that it is God's will to which we are submitting. Part of the point of being a disciple of Christ is to grow in terms of how we let Christ the spiritual side of real-life trials through us.
Being discipled in trials you and the Lord. Desire His discipleship by interacting with Him in your heart during a trial, one trial at a time. This aspect of discipleship is beyond the basics of salvation, forgiveness of sins, etc. It is "beyond" in the sense that it is built upon those "basics" (Hebrews 5:11-6:3). It involves having a heart that is interested in being discipled during real-life trials. It involves having a heart that wants to be more Christ-like.
a summary of the pages
in the "free stuff" section of our website
If you want, you can start at the beginning of the "Free Stuff" and see how Interacting with God (1st page in "Free Stuff") involves Wanting More (2nd page). It involves Discipleship (3rd page) in real-life trials, which involves being sensitive to the counsel of the Holy Spirit (4th page). God's Spirit can enable us to see the Spiritual behind the Physical, particularly in our trials. The Lord leads us to Practically Apply God's Word to real-life trials, such that we are ready and able for Going Past Principle 1 (this page) :-)
All of those things involve prayer, study of the Bible and the support of like-minded believers. But most importantly, it involves having a heart that craves the presence of God, with love for Him. This is what the Keys To Understanding Life mission is all about!