If you want to have a relationship with God that works, you’ll need to adopt a practical plan to achieve that. Our Pathway Back to God plan is not a course but it does offer you a pathway with a sound beginning, a workable middle and an eagerly anticipated end, or destination.
What is Pathway Back to God?
The Pathway Back to God plan is not a course you take. In brief, the first stage of the plan is that you are connected with a mentor who will ensure that you make a good start. The second stage of the plan is that you will also become connected with others who are walking the same path as you.
Pathway Back to God
As mentioned above, our Pathway Back to God plan is not a written course or series of lectures. It is designed to offer you a clear pathway for the future. It has a beginning, a middle and end.
A] A Sound Beginning
We recommend that you start your pathway back to God with these three steps:
- Start with a personal, meaningful prayer. You could pray a prayer like the one suggested in the program of the musical:
Dear Jesus, I need You, and I believe, just as I heard in the musical, that “nothing is broken, that You cannot mend”, and “nothing is dead that You cannot make … come alive”.
So, I ask You to come strongly into my life now. Please make my relationship with You come alive, and become my Saviour, my Lord, and my Friend forever. Like Samuel, I want to keep saying to You, “Speak Lord, for Your servant is listening. Amen.
- Connect with a suitable mentor right from the beginning. We can easily help you with this. One of our pastors can meet you and connect you with someone who is right for you. (We think that everyone needs a friend to walk with). Your mentor is likely to:
- Arrange to meet with you from time to time, to have coffee and chat.
- Discuss your personal agreement with God (this is mentioned in step 3 below).
- Pray for you. Your mentor is likely to pray a simple initial prayer for you, probably along the lines that you will have a teachable spirit, and that God will help you to keep your agreement with Him.
- Be someone to whom you can ask any questions.
- Connect you with other suitable people who will encourage you.
- Make sure that you have a Bible written in plain language and that you know where to get other helpful resources.
- Help you form a strategy to avoid common mistakes (and any errors you may have made in the past).
- Make your own personal agreement with God. We think it is important that you make an agreement with God. In brief, God will agree to be your God, and you will agree to be one of His people. You need to understand what God says He will do for you, and you also need to understand what you are to do. God’s part in the agreement turns out to be far more extensive than yours. He agrees to:
- Protect you and guide you forever
- Forgive all your sins – past, present and future
- Adopt you as His child, and bring you into His family
- Give you eternal life
- Make you a new person inside
(And that is only a small sample of all He agrees to do)
Your part of the agreement is to:
- Let Him be God (meaning, you let Him take control)
- Trust Him to do His part of the agreement
- Help Him in whatever way you can
B] A Workable Middle
Every journey has a middle. While beginnings are often strong and enthusiastic, the middle section can tend to slow down – unless you know what you are meant to be doing. We suggest that an enjoyable way to make the middle section of the pathway work well is to do it along with others. Walking the path on your own can be hard. But, with others you learn from each other. So, your mentor will try to connect you with a small group of people who are walking exactly the same path as you.
In any event, whether you share the journey in a group or not, these are the lessons you are meant to learn in the middle section of your journey.
- You can learn how to be like Jesus. This does not mean, primarily, learning all the things that you must do, and mustn’t do. It is actually about learning how to have the same spirit as Jesus. So, this stage is not like academic education. Instead, it involves learning how to let Jesus’ spirit of generosity, prayerfulness, faithfulness, goodness, kindness, joy, determination become strong in your life.
- You can learn how to have a personal (two-way) relationship with God. (This is where you need to keep asking “but how?”) You can be taught how to know God – how to hear His voice and how to walk and talk with Him – so that He becomes a very real and precious friend to you.
- You can learn and discover what gifts and talents God has given you (and which ones He hasn’t!) and then learn how to help Him by putting those gifts at His disposal. This is not as easy as it may first seem because problems like pride tend to get in our way.
- You can learn how to win the war over a host of foes and woes that can come against you in your life – things like selfishness, meanness, prayerlessness, thanklessness and pride.
- You can learn what will nourish you and will keep your relationship with God warm.
So, you see, the main thrust of a Pathway Back to God Program is to connect you with a group of people who are walking the middle part of the journey with you. They, too, are learning, and the plan is that, together, your relationship with God will grow stronger and stronger.
C] An Eagerly Anticipated End
The middle part of the journey ends when you pass from this life into heaven.
Although your end, or destination, is heaven, it is not really the end at all, because your life in heaven is eternal. In fact, your eternal life commences when you become a Christian. It is received as a gift from God.
However, knowing where you are heading – and what will happen there – will influence many decisions you will make in this life on earth. Again, we do not offer any educational courses on heaven for you to take. What we offer is for you to learn (and do life) with a group of ordinary people who, having exactly the same destination in mind as you, shape their lives accordingly.
These are the kinds of things you can usefully learn, in anticipation of living in heaven:
- How entry to heaven is God’s free gift to you. You don’t have work for it, earn it, pay for it, pass any exam, or make yourself good enough to be there. It has already been paid for by Jesus when He died on the cross.
- How you honour God by receiving all His gifts thankfully.
- How things are done in heaven. A child of God, who is also a citizen of heaven, will act, and speak and live, accordingly.
- How you are given one particular aim while still living on earth. That aim – and it’s one of the prayers you will learn to pray – is for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
- How remaining faithful to Jesus until the end – no matter what happens – is very important. His personal “well done!” to you will be one of the joys of heaven.
So, that is the Pathway Back to God plan. We find that it works well when people are teachable and want to learn all they can. We also find it to be enjoyable when we walk the path with others who are exploring the same pathway.