What are Some of God's Keys (to understanding life)?
What you'll see below are 7 of God's keys to understanding life. When we talk about "understanding life," we're talking about life as God intended for it to be lived in terms of us as His children... in relationship with Him. I'm sure that folks could argue that there are more than just these 7 of God's keys (and they may very well be right). At least most of us can probably agree that the ones we've shown below are certainly among His wonderful keys to living for Him. The keys below are central to the Keys discipleship mission too. And, while our organization is Keys To Understanding Life, the Keys are the God's, not ours. All the discipleship training we offer centers around these keys.
This key represents Jesus and His sacrifice for us (John 3:16). You have the opportunity to have a relationship with God through Christ, and to be His disciple. As a disciple of Christ, we can learn to follow the counsel and guidance of the Holy Spirit, not only in God's written Word (Bible), but in response to the still small voice of the Lord within our hearts.
Living well as a disciple of Christ doesn't automatically happen just because we entered into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ. Living as a disciple of Christ involves interacting with the Lord in our hearts. Whether you interact with the Lord in a given situation depends on how you use your heart and mind. So, even when we pray, are we doing our part to really hear and listen to His voice? Can we discern His counsel, correction and specific guidance consistently?
This key represents the Holy Spirit (John 16:12-14). Due to Jesus' sacrifice the Spirit of God permanently indwells believers. "Permanently" means that even when we fall to the flesh in a given situation, the Spirit will not stop seeking to communicate His counsel, instruction, and comfort to us - when we fall, it is because we simply aren't hearing or following the counsel of the Spirit of God!
In trials, the Holy Spirit's counsel always includes guidance on how each of God's keys are relevant to the situation! Hearing the Holy Spirit's counsel is not automatic and hinges on inclining our hearts to the Lord and interacting with (responding to) Him (1 Thessalonians 5:19).
This key represents the spiritual war (Ephesians 6:10-12). Therefore, it makes sense that it also represents both God the Father, Satan (and the flesh), and the war Satan seeks to wage against God. This also includes us!
Believers often focus on the spiritual war as they see it unfolding in others. However, we must always apply the rules and concepts of the spiritual fight to our lives first and foremost, even when others are doing something bad that impacts us. This is because, when the flesh pulls at us and tempts us, it is trying to get us to fail to discern and/or follow the Father's plan for us in that particular trial.
Learning to participate in the spiritual war as strong disciples of Christ doesn't just involve "classroom" kinds of training (Bible studies, sermons, Sunday School, etc.). It also involves real-life experiences, during which your ability to interact with and discern the Holy Spirit's guidance, counsel and correction is critical!
It is possible for you to assess and evaluate, in detail, the challenges you have in letting the Lord live through you. One of the best times to do this is whenever the spiritual fight arises in your life in the form of a trial. Being able to assess yourself before the Lord hinges on discerning God's voice and guidance to you in practical, real-life ways. Keys training focuses on helping believers understand the practical, "how to" side of this kind of discernment. This is what discipleship beyond the basics is about.
This key represents God's written Word (2 Timothy 3:16-17). The Bible demonstrates how others used or failed to use God's keys to understanding life to live life as God intended it to be lived as His child. The Bible also provides instruction and teachings on how to use the other keys. The Bible is not intended to be a substitute for hearing the word God seeks to communicate to our hearts through His Holy Spirit. Remember, the Holy Spirit authored and inspired the written Word of God. Jesus ensured that as a believer, you have the Author of the Bible within you, counseling you!! Awesome!
This key represents you and your life (John 3:16; 14:12). God created you. God gave you freewill. Christ died for you. What you do with your life counts, although there isn't much you can do on your own. Whether you let Christ live through you or not matters; therefore, you count. Jesus loves you.
As a believer, you are a disciple of Christ. Being a disciple of Christ involves paying attention to and evaluating how you are living, one trial at a time. Your actions, desires, motives, attitudes, etc. each count in terms of whether you let the Lord enable you to act according to who you are in Christ during a trial, i.e., during difficult times, trying times, annoying times, etc. While our desires, motives, feelings, etc. may not be Christ-like at the start of a trial, the point is whether we do our part to allow Christ to transform all that stuff to peace, and to take the steps of faith He prescribes for us in response to the trial.
You (in terms of how well you interact with the Holy Spirit and follow Christ) are the biggest variable that influences what happens or doesn't happen spiritually in your life!
This key represents your heart (Matthew 15:18; 1 John 3:18-24). God designed our hearts to be a spiritual tool: a kind of spiritual, early warning system. It is designed to alert us when sin seeks to claim us and when we are being tempted to act in the flesh (our old selves).
God designed our hearts to confirm to us whether or not we are aligned with His will in a given situation. God's Holy Spirit speaks to us about what He hears in our hearts. He seeks to transform what is in our hearts so that we can follow Christ as His good disciple. However, it takes some awareness to discern and understand the disturbances our hearts feel. It also takes some humility to submit to the Holy Spirit as the Lord seeks to prune, strengthen and grow us through trials.
This key represents your mind (Romans 12:2). Your mind has 2 parts: the unconscious part; the conscious part. God created our minds this way for a purpose. God's design is critical to facilitating freewill for us and for us to be able to participate in the spiritual battles. During our trials (spiritual battles), these 2 parts of the mind work in relationship to the heart.
Paul describes the inner conflict between the heart and the 2 parts of the mind in Romans 7:15-21. It shows us what we actually experience in real-life. It tells us that our conscious intentions alone do not consistently change our unconscious intentions. God may see us strictly through the blood of Christ such that we are forgiven when we act in the flesh. The idea, however, is to let the Lord live through us when we are tempted to act in the flesh. God's Spirit works to renew our minds so that we DON'T fall to the flesh - that's a lot of power available to you in Christ! When we don't know how to draw on that, it is because we typically are missing some understanding about introspecting and discerning the Holy Spirit's guidance in trials before we act.
The renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2) must happen each time we are tempted in a trial. Renewing the mind isn't something we do; it is something we let God do in us. Letting Him have control of our minds requires deliberate, consistent, and repetitive conscious action to discern the Holy Spirit. For the Lord to renew our minds in a trial, our hearts must be transformed in that trial. When we do our parts to keep pace with the Spirit - Jesus uses our hearts to literally change our minds!
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