Taking steps is complex. Trying to design robots that actually walk like a human takes a lot of brain power and money. The complex pattern of gaining balance, leaning forward, taking a step and not falling is harder than it looks. Just watching a baby trying to get the hang of it, makes you appreciate what you can now do so naturally.
We have been using the concept of taking steps in our spiritual journey to help you become more aware of steps you need to take and to help you to recognize the steps you are already taking. Taking spiritual steps is not a new concept. The Apostle Peter lays out for us some specific steps we all need to be taking in the first chapter of his second letter found in the Bible. Peter names eight key qualities of spiritual development and then challenges us to add them to our lives repeatedly. The eight qualities are faith, goodness, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, mutual affection, and love. So much has been written about this passage but let me just give you a simple version.
Faith is choosing to believe that what God says is true, is in fact, reality. Then, we move toward practicing the things He tells us, and Goodness builds our relationship with God by wrestling with our sinful tendencies through the power of the Holy Spirit. This requires that we have Knowledge of God’s point of view and how He has worked with people throughout history. Becoming consistent in our obedience to God in our words, actions and thoughts is a long process of practice in Self-control. The challenges along with way require Perseverance which slowly transforms us into living a life that shows God’s power in our daily life, which is Godliness. There can be no spiritual growth without deep connection with others. Evidence of taking the right steps is a motivation to care for and respect others to develop deep relationships. This comes through Mutual Affection with those who love us, and then grows until we can Love even those who are enemies.
God takes us through this process many times and in different areas. I am not convinced that it has to follow this ordered pattern every time, but I am sure that none of these steps are optional. I know that the more I learn about God and the more I am around his people who are taking steps, the more I am challenged to intentionally move forward. I hope you are doing the same.