Welcome from the Author
This program has been a labor of love, born from a deep desire to help people move from just knowing God’s Word to becoming transformed by it. Transformation is a difficult and painful process. As a butterfly does not emerge from a cocoon without a struggle, neither do we embrace the life of freedom offered to us in Galatians 5:1 without struggling. Second Corinthians 3:18 states that we are being transformed into the image of Christ. This transformation is not only inward but must be outwardly reflected in our character. It is my hope that this program will become a laboratory for life where the participants learn to live life well. God did not intend for us to live free from pain, but in the midst of trials, to live a life of integrity, excellence, dignity and truth. I asked myself why some people in the church live so poorly and with such mediocrity. It was my search for an answer to this question that led to Walking Worthy: A Journey to Freedom. It was written to give people an avenue to resolve their pain and difficulties, and to enjoy the life of freedom that Christ promised to us.
Excellence is the quality of something durable; made to stand the test and hardship of time. The intent of Walking Worthy: A Journey to Freedom is to develop this quality in the participants by helping them to confront issues that enslave them, such as: rejection and its effects, the impact of an absent father or an overly involved mother, abuse, unforgiveness, poor communication, lack of intimacy and oneness in the marital relationship, and failing to understand the impact of the transforming power of Love. This goal is accomplished by:
- Encouraging people to identify issues and the resulting wrong beliefs they have about themselves, others, the world and God.
- Replacing these misbeliefs with the truth of God’s Word through lectures, group discussions and visual aids.
- Challenging participants to resolve what has kept them from a life of integrity, dignity and excellence.
- Ensuring the safety and privacy of those involved by emphasizing confidentiality.
- Guiding the participants to understand that the gospel is a way of life.
- Assisting the participants to realize that the gospel was and is intended for people walking on planet earth and that, despite trials, they should be active participants in God’s redemptive work.
The course consists of 25 lessons which will be presented weekly in 3-hour small group sessions and concludes with a weekend retreat.
When we as Christians say we believe one thing, but do another, we are what James called “a double-minded man, unstable in all of his ways.” We are called to live a life of integrity, not to be unstable but to be steadfast. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:58 to “…be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord…” (NASB). We may wonder why so many Christians struggle with living a steadfast and immovable life. Often participants find that they have deep-seated lies in their hearts and minds. These lies, which may have taken root through various forms of difficulties in life, are now foundational to their belief system. Therefore they are unable to experience victory and the accompanying joy of the Lord promised to us in Philippians 4:4-7. The Lord reminds us that in this world we will have tribulation. However, in the same breath He encourages us that He, the Creator of the universe, has overcome the world. This is not “denial” of our sufferings but the secret of Christianity: that in the midst of our trials, a life of contentment, based not on our circumstances but on the truth of God’s Word, is not only a possibility but a certainty.
Walking Worthy offers the participants and facilitators practical yet biblical ways to resolve rather than spiritualize their pain. When we own our difficulties, regardless of how bad they appear, it is not a lack of faith or spiritual maturity; it is a way we can achieve resolution of our problems. Denial of our difficulties, along with the accompanying pain, does not make us more spiritual, but instead it sets us up as targets for the enemy’s attack.
Christ was never defined by His suffering. Gethsemane shows us that the Lord never denied the pain of His agony; instead He embraced the shame of the cross and the crown of thorns knowing they did not diminish His dignity as King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
It was as a carpenter that He brought to us the Good News of the gospel. This is not a Sunday gospel by which we spiritualize the mundane things of our lives. The gospel is a way of life intended for people walking on planet earth, not pie-in-the-sky, not cloud-living, but daily, dirt-walking, rough living. Our dignity is not measured by our problems or successes, but by the fact that we are sons and daughters of God, as declared in 1 Peter 2:9, “A chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession” (NASB).
“…You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free…
Thy word is truth.”
One of our goals in offering this course to churches is to assist them in equipping their flocks to live according to the truth of God’s Word. As we live in God’s truth, we will have a walk that is congruent with our talk. It is not an easy solution to the difficulties of life, but a tool box to help students lighten the load of their unnecessary baggage. It seems that many believers think salvation is all there is to Christianity. While our salvation is an awesome beginning, it is only the first step of a long and often difficult journey. Each time I have taught this class, participants have offered me nuggets of wisdom which have enriched my life. It is my hope and prayer that your life will be enriched as much as mine whether you participate in the class as a student or facilitator.