So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law;
but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.
What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death?
Romans 7: 21-24 (NIV)
From his message series on Romans, Pastor Curt posed the question: “Are you feeling stuck and unable to change? Are there places in your life that feel as if they're dead or dying? It's often from these dark places that we cry out to be rescued and transformed." We learned from Romans 7 that even Christians struggle with this internal pain, even the Apostle Paul!
It’s safe to say that we are all in the same boat of needing outside help. In Romans 7:25, the Apostle Paul reveals that God provides for our deliverance through the Lord Jesus Christ. Apprentice Groups at Orchard Valley are designed to help us live the life that God intended for us as followers of Jesus Christ.
Being an Apprentice of Jesus is a long term commitment. It’s more a marathon than a sprint. But, being intentional about our journey of faith is much better than continuing to feel stuck and unable to change.
Here are the main steps of the Apprentice Series in a nutshell -
- Step 1 - adopt the narratives of Jesus. Narratives are those stories that help us interpret how life is or how it ought to be.
- Step 2 - practice soul-training exercises, such as prayer, Bible reading and solitude. These activities are aimed at making the narratives of Jesus real not only to our minds, but also to our bodies and souls.
- Step 3 - participate in community, to share what we are learning and to encourage others in their journey.
- Step 4 - depend on the work of the Holy Spirit, because ultimately we cannot change or grow apart from the work of the Holy Spirit.
The Apprentice Ministry was launched at Orchard Valley in the Spring of 2012. Since that time, God has raised up 11 groups completing The Good and Beautiful God, 6 groups completing The Good and Beautiful Life, and 3 groups completing The Good and Beautiful Community. In 2015, for the first time, we rejoice that the same group of apprentices was able to complete all three books of the Apprentice Series together.