Sunday, September 18th
A.W. Tozer, in his book The Pursuit of God, wrote “God is a person, and in the deep of His mighty nature He thinks, wills, enjoys, feels, loves, desires, and suffers as any other person may. In making Himself known to us He stays by the familiar pattern of personality. He communicates with us through the avenues of our minds, our wills and our emotions.” That sounds incredible, but how do we encounter such a God and cultivate a relationship with Him?
Work through the following questions on your own, and get together with your running partner, Life Group or friends and family around the dinner table to talk through what you’re learning!
- On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being “totally connected” and 0 being “not at all connected”), how “connected” do you currently feel to God in your daily life?
- What happens to your opinion of God when life is really great? When life is hard or things don’t go your way, what then happens to your perception of God?
- Read Acts 17:25-27. What does this passage say about God’s desire to have a relationship with us? How have you seen God use circumstances in your life to draw you to seek Him more?
- Read John 15:1-5. What does this passage tell you about what Jesus is like — His personality or desires? What does this passage say about the kind of relationship God wants to have with us?
- Imagine for a moment that all the promises of God are totally true and that you always fully believed it. How might the presence of a radical, ongoing conversation with God impact your daily life?
- If you asked Jesus “if there’s one thing you’d want me to change or do differently this fall,” how you think He’d answer you? How willing are you to follow through on that?
- Would you commit for the next 60 days to stay in a continuous, honest conversation with God, willing to do His will, and see if you don’t encounter the Living God in a new way — maybe for the first time? If so, make sure to read through the DIGGING DEEPER section of the Next Steps.
Acts 17:25-27 — From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. “For in him we live and move and have our being.” As some of your own poets have said, “We are his offspring.”
John 15:1-5 — I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”
- Every 60 minutes for the next 60 days, pause and remember that God is present with you in that moment no matter what you’re doing, and invite Him to guide you step by step throughout your next 60 minutes.
- To help remind you to pause every 60 minutes, set your watch/phone to beep every hour or download the Soul Rev App that will send you helpful reminder notifications.
- Share with your friends, family, Running Partner &/or Life Group about how you see God showing up. Jesus said one thing is necessary for accomplishing anything lasting: “If you remain in me, you will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing.” — John 15:5
- Soul Revolution by John Burke
- Present Perfect by Greg Boyd
SPIRITUAL GROWTH PATH
Did you know you can now track your progress working through the outcomes we include in Next Steps right on Gateway’s website?! Go to Spiritual Growth Path and create an account. You’ll get access to Spiritual Fitness Checks and training with the spiritual outcomes.
Spiritual Outcomes — Trust God & Stay Connected to God’s Spirit
- Learn more about encountering God by working through the TRUST GOD outcome.
- Learn more about encountering God by working through the STAY CONNECTED TO GOD’S SPIRIT outcome.