Learning to Live Out of Our Identity
Basically, what we have here is a book about finding, and resting in, our identity in Christ, and you can never have enough books like that out there. And for the record: We don’t.
David M. Showers. Ten Steps to a Closer Walk With God.
It’s a bit of misnomer to call it “10 steps,” as if what Showers is suggesting here was that easy or proscripted. (But marketers do consider such titles “catchy,” so there you go.) To his credit, he acknowledges this disconnect up front, and instructs the reader to take things at the pace God sets instead. Perhaps a more accurate title would be “10 Ways to Get Closer to God That We Forget Way Too Easily… or These Days, Possibly Haven’t Even Been Told.”
In fact, the first two “steps” here—giving up control and learning to trust—are arguably the hardest, especially for a self-proclaimed “recovering control freak” such as Showers (and myself, for that matter). They’re probably also the most important and all-pervasive (although the closing “step”—reverence—is right up there). From those launching points of control and trust, however, the fruit discussed later on in the book—forgiveness, humility, faith, joy, availability to others, a deeper sense of stewardship—fall into place pretty readily.
Each chapter concludes with a personal prayer of commitment and an action point—which, more times than not, consists of waiting on God until He gives a specific direction on how to manifest what you’ve just learned in your life. Which again, is pretty sensible advice we don’t get often enough.
The strengths of this book comes from 1) Showers’ own experiences in drawing closer to God (for example, learning the importance of fellowship), and in rephrasing those experiences in ways that anybody picking up the book can immediately get and apply; and 2) constantly redirecting us back into the Word and prayer. Showers’ tone here is totally accessible—anyone should be able to pick this up and get what he’s saying.
In short, this fairly concise book is probably a good choice for that person who’s starting to realize that the Christian life isn’t just something that happens after they die. Use it to help them to see and take those first “steps” to a daily life with Jesus—in this life.
– Carl Simmons
Great book that shines a light on steps to a closer walk with God
This is a great practical book to reflect, challenge and help to guide our steps towards a closer walk with God. I love how David includes a bible verse to scriptural ground the sharing of his “God” experience on each topic and how he ends the chapter with a prayer we can say and action steps to apply the idea to our lives.
Here are some of my reflections from the book as I walked through several of the steps:
Step 1 – “Giving up Control” and
Step 2 – “Learning to Trust” Step 2 nicely continued from the Step 1 – I am getting some great encouragement and reinforcing insights into God’s love for me!
Step 3 – “Dealing with Doubt” – Some good discussion and examples of times when even John the Baptist and Thomas doubted that Jesus was the Messiah.
Step 4 – “Finding Faith” – Really good discussion on how faith, hope, trust and even doubt all can bring us closer to God and provide us the balance when we find ourselves lacking. Also great grounding in his discussion using bible scriptures and reminder to surround ourselves with other people who share our same christian beliefs and let God work through those people to help you!
Step 5 – Understanding Forgiveness”- This was a tough one for me…..the concept is straightforward – the execution can be difficult and requires humility. One of the reminders that he discusses is that forgiveness is something that can be offered and given without anyone asking for it and that by forgiving I can go on with my life without the stress of harboring bad feelings. By doing this it includes trusting in the Lord that He will deal with the person who might have hurt me – even if I never see it (which might include God’s way of helping that person grow!). David has some additional good discussion on forgiving vs forgetting and how forgiveness is not a weakness. All discussed within biblical scripture references.
Step 6 – “Understanding Humility” – I read this chapter a few days ago – and it really came alive in action for me this week. I really came to a place of surrender and humility this week with my job search and position was available with an organization I’ve always wanted to work for. Prior to applying on Monday for a job I was interested in – I spent time after church on Sunday – reflecting an surrendering my stress and anxiety for Christs’ peace. Part of this surrender was humbling myself to let God use me as a vehicle to do His work – and it was not about job titles at work or salary. Reading this Step 6 – reinforced the peace I received for humbling myself to know God was in control. It hasn’t been easy – especially around my family – but I do feel a few steps closer to God when I release the control and humble myself. David’s chapter provides several scriptural examples and personal reflections that really made this hit home about humbling myself, giving of myself and being selfless.
Step 7 – “Make Yourself Available” – This chapter was very timely for me – I’ve spend much time asking God ‘what does He want me to do with my life?” – then being frustrated when I didn’t hear back from Him. David hits the nail on the head in this chapter with saying it is more important to make myself available to God than it was to know exactly what God has planned for my life. Since I truly surrendered myself to that, God has shown me and will be using me for amazing things to expand his kingdom and use my talents. I’ll be announcing more about this in the coming days! Again, David uses really great examples backed by scriptures. I recommend getting this book – it’s an easy, yet insightful and well organized read – with great relevant example, and how we can apply these steps to our life.
Step 8 – “God Wants Us to Be Happy” – Here David tackles the question “Does God want me to be happy?” He says it is how just like a parent we give our children proper guidance and direction – and we hope they listen – and sometimes when they fail and learn themselves – they see how making good choices and us allowing them to make mistakes brings them closer to realizing we only want the best for them. David explores some really good topics (and an action plan) in this chapter – like aren’t all christian happy, finding lasting happiness in relationships and not things, and shifting to our blessings to ground our happiness.
Step 9 – Financial Freedom – One quote that I think hits the nail on the head “I now recognize that all I have belongs to God. I also know that I need to make myself more available to God’s will so He can work through me to bless others. If all I have belongs to Him, it only makes sense that I should use all He’s given me to glorify Him.”
Step 10 – Reverence for God – This Steps pulls it together on how God loves us like a parent loves their child – and how God wants us to know, worship, grow, trust, talk and thank Him. He nicely pulls together how reverence is the most important step in keeping us in that right relationship with God.
THANK YOU David for this book – it has had a significant impact in adding some new dimensions and insights in how I can apply practical steps every day to fully realize not only God’s purpose for my life by is goodness in my life.
– Josue J. Ciaramello “Sway”
(5 stars on Amazon)
Well Organized and Logical Approach to the Christian Faith
David M. Showers has a unique and straightforward approach to the challenges of getting closer to God. Using simple but clear analogies, anecdotes, and personal experience, he elucidates the Christian walk on a natural progression from giving up control (Step One) to reverence (Step Ten). Perhaps his most telling point is the importance of doubt (Step Three). While doubt might seem the polar opposite of faith, it is only because God created us with the ability to question, to deny, and to rebel that we can make a meaningful choice to believe in Him.
For a dedicated believer hoping to witness to others or a borderline Christian just trying to understand the basics, I recommend TEN STEPS as a useful guide.
– J. D. Leatherman
(5 stars on Amazon)
A Guide for Life
Mr. Showers book, Ten Steps to a Closer Walk with God, is an honest and humble account of how the author worked through his moments of doubt, in his life and with God. Struggling with faith and doubt are something I think everyone faces at some point in their life so, I myself, could relate to this book and found guidance within the steps that the author has laid out. Not only does it support reconfirming your faith and reverence for God, it is a guidebook for living a life of happiness and peace. A great first book.
– Patti Zarn
(5 stars on Amazon)
Great book for spiritual growth!
Ten steps to a closer Walk with God is a poignant journey of self-discovery and growth. David Showers does an excellent job showing us how he evolved and grew in his progression toward learning how God helps us through our lives, and by trusting and putting our faith in God we can live more positively and with less stress.
Honestly, I am not a religious person. I can’t say that this book made me a more devoutly religious or faithful individual, but the advice offered in this book was profound and can be useful to anyone hoping to improve their life and sense of well-being. While the focus of the book was to put one’s faith in God, I believe that this can be taken a step further and found useful by anyone who has a desire for personal growth.
I strongly recommend this book for anyone desiring spiritual improvement.