When it comes to journeying with God, have you ever felt like you’ve been running on autopilot? Oftentimes, we make the commitment to follow Christ and then expect it to be a light and easy downhill jog from there. We assume God will move mountains instead of asking us to scale them. We spend all our energy dashing off to work and daycare and the gym and get swept up in the day-to-day. We listen for God, but don’t pause long enough to hear Him.
How do you go from committing your life to making God the center of it?
The writer of Hebrews offers this advice: “Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus.” But how do we train for such a race? How do we build endurance as Christians? What does it look like to lace up and begin hitting the pavement?
God wants us to stretch our faith and strengthen our core beliefs. There’s no growth without tension. But it takes dedication and consistency. Like any race, there are muscles to train and practices to put in place.
“Despite the fact that on paper I have been a lifelong Christian, I honestly had no strong or consistent habits in alignment with my faith,” says Kara. “Praying when I needed something or thought of it or haphazard fellowship wasn’t enough.”
Looking to change that, Kara signed up for the Foundations class at Amplify, the one-day growth event offered at Hoboken Grace each fall and spring. The course focuses on how to pursue Christ on a daily basis through prayer, engaging in scripture, fellowship and tithing. It offers tips on making room to grow with God in the small, quiet moments of the day and on connecting with community. It also offers practical tools for developing these habits, such as setting aside time with God and exploring the Bible through reading plans and study guides.
The six other classes offered at Amplify on Saturday, May 7, build on Foundations. That’s why it’s recommended as an introductory course, before participants register for Story, Empower, Parenting, Luke, 1 Samuel or Ecclesiastes.
Those who have taken Foundations say the class helped them develop the habits they needed to gain solid footing in their relationship with God.
For Kara, the class provided practical advice and encouragement for day-to-day life as a Christian.
“As someone who had already accepted Christ, but wanted to delve deeper, I am so thankful I took the opportunity to really engage in what these habits have to offer,” she says.
The class, she adds, has something to offer regardless of where you are in your relationship.
For Jonathan, it was a roadmap after recently recommitting himself to God.
“Although, I knew a lot about Him and His love, in many ways I was still very green,” he says. “I wanted to grow closer to God, but years of not putting Him first in my life only made me realize it was not going to be easy and would take some work.”
One of the biggest takeaways, Jonathan says, is that it takes discipline to see results: “Just like I couldn’t expect to run five miles or lift my goal weight the first day at the gym, I needed to develop habits and discipline myself spiritually as well.”
The writer of Hebrews also recognized this, hence the emphasis on perseverance. Our journey is more of a marathon than a sprint. It might be difficult to build endurance at first, but it gets easier over time. You breathe deeper. The path gets straighter and your gait gets wider. You learn to love the sound of rubber hitting the pavement, the steady cadence of progress. And eventually, you pause, look back and realize just how far you’ve come.
Click here to register for Foundations or one of the six other classes offered at Amplify on Saturday, May 7. Lunch is included, and childcare is available.