REVIEWING THE VITAL BEHAVIORS
In three previous updates, we shared vital behaviors we want to engage in as we follow Jesus.
#1: Initiate Spiritual Conversations. We want to help Christians feel confident that they can initiate a spiritual conversation with anyone, anywhere.
#2: Be "Story Ready." We want to help believers to have four types of stories ready to share at any time.
#3: Engage in Obedience Training. We want to encourage each other to follow God in specific acts of obedience every week. Last week we talked about how a few cowboys in Honduras were "riding their bulls" of obedience.
Today I want to share a story of how one simple act of obedience can compound over time and cause growth that we might not think possible.
How many times have you eaten dinner with your wife?
A few months ago in a PSE discipleship group, one of my friends was considering the Bible's admonition of "Husbands, love your wives." To get to an act of obedience, he pondered what he should do. He thought about the reality that he and his wife were microwaving their own meals separately on different eating schedules. "How many times have you eaten dinner with your wife this year?" came the prompting in his mind. As he strained to remember, he could count those instances on one hand.
So to his group of PSE friends, he pledged to invite his wife to eat dinner every night that week. He went home and made his pitch. "Would you like to eat dinner with me this week?"
"Okay," she agreed. And they ate together each evening.
"How'd it go with your commitment this week?" came the question at the next group meeting.
"Pretty good," he answered. "We did it every night, but it was a little awkward and quiet. We haven't talked much lately, and I struggled to have anything to talk about."
"How about getting a fun list of conversation starter questions to help?" came a suggestion.
"Sounds good," he said. "I have some stuff on my phone I can use. I will continue to eat with my wife, and I will find a question that I can throw out to get us talking."
The following week my friend reported, "We had some really good conversations."
"Great!" encouraged the others.
"But in asking the questions," he continued, "I realized that I wasn't listening to her very well. A couple of times my mind drifted when she talked about something I wasn't interested in. So this week I am going to eat dinner, I will ask a question, and I will seek to listen to everything she says and not judge her or get sidetracked or distracted."
The next week he reported that he had a few moments of wanting to drift, but that he hung in better to the conversation. That week, the scripture challenged everyone to pray.
"I've had trouble praying with my wife," my friend chimed in. "This week, I will invite her to pray with me after we eat our meal and do the question. I will pray for whatever is concerning her, and if she is open, I will ask if she would pray for me."
"How's it going with your wife?" I asked a few weeks later.
"Great!" he said. "We feel more connected than we have been for years." Then he paused. "I don't think people realize the power of doing this process. It seemed so small to start with. But over time it grew and gave me momentum I didn't think was possible."
What small act of obedience might God be prompting you to do this week?
10:02 PRAYER (LUKE 10:2)
Pray that our groups would be full of men and women like my friend who will take small steps of obedience consistently enough to see positive momentum in their relationships and in their walks with God.
On a separate note, Marcos, a friend from Agua Blanca, Guatemala, died this past Saturday. Their family called Cesar to pass the word to us. Marcos was a part of a group that came to Nebraska for the Valentine rodeo and was instrumental in our involvement in the big Agua Blanca rodeo the past couple of years. Pray for his friends and family.
Thanks for your investment in seeing people's lives change. You are making a difference each time you give!
Are you engaged in an environment of growth like the one described in this update? If not, contact us at PSE, and let's see if we can help you and your friends get some momentum in your walk with Jesus.
Talk to you soon!