In the morning I enjoy my quiet time with God. I start out at breakfast reading my devotionals and then move into my prayer chair, which resides in the bedroom. This is where I can look out onto our beautiful backyard, see the cardinals and blue birds sprint around, and the daffodils starting to emerge from the soil. During the summer months, when it becomes oppressively warm in North Carolina, I take our dog for a walk after breakfast, and I will pray during my walk. Either way I am looking at nature and speaking to God. It connects me to nature and all that God has made. I present my requests to God, then listen for what He has for me that day.
Everyone has their own pathway to God. I was always aware each person had their own relationship with God and had a preference on how to worship Him. Pathways are new to me. God created us with different gifts and talents, why assume we all come to Him the same way?
The podcast I am reviewing today is new to me, it is called “Confessions of a Crappy Christian” by Blake. She is interviewing Gary Thomas, a bestselling author and international speaker whose ministry brings people closer to Christ and closer to others. They talk about his book “Sacred Pathways.”
Blake starts out the podcast giving an overview of pathways. “The different and unique ways we each experience God and how He created us individually to encounter Him in our own ways. Stop trying to fit into a mold and our relationship with God will thrive and flourish.”
Gary explains how he came up with the idea for this book. He grew up learning how to have quiet time with God. His teachers at church would say when you have quiet time you have to do it this specific way. “I realized that a one size fits all spirituality does not work. God did not make us as cooker cutter Christians. We relate to him in different ways. I found out through scripture and the Christian classics how people related to God in many different ways. Nine pathways or temperaments or devotional styles came out. I set people free, you can be who God created you to be. Pathways are the windows of how you see God most clearly.”
Gary goes on to explain, “It’s about at different times in life, what is best for you, given who you are and your situation; how you can best connect with God. I believe everything flows from being loved by God. 1 John 4:19: We love because He first loved us.”
Gary shares with us a time when he was growing up in the Washington DC area. He would go out to the battlefields in the Northern Virginia area and just walk in the woods for an hour or two. It was one of the best ways he could connect to God. He found that his pathway is a naturalist and this is how he best connects to God.
“When I spend time with the Lord and am convicted by Him. I am a much better husband, father, and driver. When I have that time with God, I am able to give more of myself to my family.” Gary Thomas
But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you seek him with all your heart and with all your soul. Deuteronomy 4:29
The final question Blake asks Gary; “What is the next step, after you identify and understand how you connect with God differently with other people?” Gary responds, “every chapter has some tests so you can figure out, and you can do it numerically, to say this is who I am, and hopefully you will come away with two or three strong ones. The point is you can write your own spiritual prescription. You can identify why you are so angry, anxious, needy, or what your spiritual aliment is and you can say I have really been cheating my time with God. I am not receiving from God or hearing from Him. This is where I can be filled up or this is where I can meet God. At the end of each chapter, it has the temptations, if this is your pathway, be aware of this. The last part is planting your garden and finding your path or Gethsemane.”
This last statement from Gary encapsulates the meaning of a pathway; “Imagine that your relationship with God is the most life giving, affirming, strength building, inspiring part of your day. Then it completely takes it out of an obligation, to an invitation, and that is what I want the pathways to do. To make people jazzed about the fact that I can meet with God today, I can’t wait.”
When you find your pathway to God, it will bring you into closer relationship with Him. Then He will take you by the hand and lead you on the narrow path, which leads to life in abundance.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” Matthew 7:13-14
If you listen to the entire podcast, they go into more detail about the nine pathways. It was enlightening and I would recommend it. The “Sacred Pathways” book is on my ever growing ‘to read’ book list.
Let me know about your pathway to God; I am interested to hear how you naturally connect with Him.
Some good news from the Goodnewsletter: A Texas furniture store owner stepped up to help his community after fridged temps and power outages.
Gary Thomas’ book “Sacred Pathways”
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