I thought this was a long chapter, full of stuff, and our discussion was so encouraging and uplifting as we focused on the amazing things God gives us to hold on to--the Person of God, the Plan of God, the Power of God, the Peace of God, the Presence of God, and the Provision of God. This is what sustains, inspires, and strengthens us.
The things we found the hardest to let go of seemed to center around control--fear, hurt, and expectations. All of these things have our desire to control our lives, be independent, keep hurt and disappointment away, and find a way to maintain our plan for our lives at their heart. One aspect of the chapter which we didn't touch on as much was the need to see Christ as LORD. "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and don't do the things I say?" (Luke 6:46). Instead of allowing him to be in control of our actions, attitudes, and thoughts, we control, micromanage, avoid, push away, and seek satisfaction in things other than Him.
In looking at the lists outlined in the chapter, we also reflected on what we need to hold on to to replace what we're letting go of--the only way we will truly be able to let go of these tough things. How do you connect them, so to speak? As you learn to let go of hurt, what do you cling to? And it is a continual process to keep on letting go, putting off the old and putting on the new.
Let go of....
Hold on to...
The Person of God, Jesus Christ
Plan of God
Power of God
Presence of God
Peace of God
Provision of God
- Which is the hardest thing for you to let go of?
- What else do we tend to hold on to that we really should let go?
- (from Question 3) Why do you think it is so hard for us to open our hands and hearts and let God be our "Everything"?
- (from Question 2) What sustains, inspires, and strengthens you most in your Christian walk, besides the person of God, himself: God's plan, God's power, God's peace, God's presence, God's people, or God's provision?
- "Isaiah 65:2 is a powerful verse which gives us a promise we can hang out hats on: "I will answer them before they even call me. While they are still talking to me about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers'" (page 131). How does the "principle of prior provision" sustain you? Have you experienced God providing while you were still praying?
I also appreciated hearing the verses that sustain those in our group--life verses or just ones that have been with us lately for the season of our life--and the stories and reflections everyone shared. For those who were unable to attend, I'd love for you to share yours either here or next week. Next weeks, we'll look at Chapter 6--Lead/Follow.