Six years after beginning what he assumed would be a relatively typical research process that sought to better understand how God transforms people’s lives, researcher George Barna discovered that he had tackled a deeply challenging and amazingly revealing journey. The product of his effort was the ability to identify some of the developmental processes, experiences, and obstacles that are common across the lives of Americans of all backgrounds.
He contends that while the details of people’s developmental story differ, everyone is on a spiritual journey and there is sufficient similarity in those journeys that we can describe a normative life path – a map that can help people make greater progress if their goal is to become more Christ-like.
Knowing the purpose of the journey is critical. “You’re not likely to experience full transformation if you don’t know what it is and are not devoted to its pursuit,” Barna cautioned. “Most Christians mirror cultural goals, desiring happiness, comfort, security, belonging, and popularity. Surprisingly few are focused on completely cooperating with God to experience the kind of whole-life transformation described in the Bible and made possible only through a partnership with God. The lack of understanding of the goals of a truly Christian life prevents people from making the extraordinary life transition that is possible.”
Barna continues. “An individual cannot transform himself, nor can a church transform a person. That work can only be done by God, through the empowerment and direction of the Holy Spirit. But God is eager to partner with those who will cooperate with Him. Understanding what God seeks to do in our lives is a critical step toward not becoming seduced and sidetracked by mere religious activity. The richness of the journey is found in the experience of progressing through the challenges of the process in the company of God.”
You’ll find more on the 10-Stop Journey on our website at www.embracingbrokenness.org
Getting past Stop 5 is the most challenging, working for God, avoiding the need to go deeper into our own healing journey. Be NOT Do should be our motto. Doing comes out of Being in God’s presence. Restored in Him.
And that’s the memo.