THE STEP OF SURRENDER
This weekend we learned that if we want to discover God’s purpose for our lives, we need to start by learning to surrender to God’s will in our lives. We will continue to explore this powerful principle this week.
This week we will . . .
• EXPLORE: Five of Jesus’ statements about his purpose and priorities
• READ: The Purpose Driven Life: Days 1, 7, 9 (part) & 10
• REFLECT: On the role surrender plays in discovering our purpose
Last week we learned that if we want to discover and carry out God’s vision for our lives, we need to be transformed and become like Jesus. However, if we want to become like Jesus, we have to understand who Jesus is. We need to ask the question: What was the driving passion of His life?
Below are five of Jesus’ statements from the Gospel of John that give us some amazing insights into Jesus’ heart and priorities. Read each one and then briefly summarize what Jesus says in your own words in your journal.
• John 4:34
• John 5:19
• John 6:38
• John 8:29
• John 17:4
Now that you’ve summarized these five statements, what are the implications for our lives? How do we need to approach our lives if we want to become like Jesus?
Read the following days in The Purpose Driven Life. As you read, jot down your insights and notes to share with your Life Group this week.
Day 1: “It All Starts With God” (pp. 21-25)
Day 7: “The Reason For Everything” (pp. 56-62)
Day 9: “What Makes God Smile?” (pp. 71-74, Audible 0:00-7:49) (Note: This is only part of the chapter.)
Day 10: “The Heart of Worship” (pp. 79-86)
1) In everyday conversation, “to surrender” often means losing or giving up. How is this different from the type of surrender Jesus asks of us as His followers? Why is it important to understand this distinction?
2) This weekend we learned that three things—pain, fear and pride—often stand in our way of surrendering to God. Have you experienced this in your own life? Which of these three things do you struggle with the most in your surrender process?
3) In Day 1 of The Purpose Driven Life, Rick Warren points out that we can’t find our purpose by focusing on ourselves. Instead, we must focus on our Creator and the unique ways we were designed by Him. Have you ever tried to discover your identity, meaning, and purpose apart from God? If so, what did you discover?
4) In Day 9, Rick uses the life of Noah to illustrate how our actions can bring joy (or grief) to God. Have you ever considered how God is impacted emotionally by the choices you make? Does this change your attitude towards obedience and surrender?
5) On page 74, Rick writes, “Obedience unlocks understanding.” What do you think he means by this? Can you think of any specific examples of times when you experienced this principle in your own life? What are the implications for our lives when we choose to be disobedient?
6) This weekend, we studied the story of the “rich young ruler” (Mark 10:17-22). This man was willing to listen and follow God in so many areas of his life, but not in the area of his finances. Can you think of any times in your life when you’ve tried to substitute “partial obedience” for true obedience? What impact did this have on your spiritual life?
7) Look back through your notes from your reading in The Purpose Driven Life this week. Were there any additional insights, thoughts or questions that you’d like to share?
8) Now that you’ve listened to the message and finished the study, is there any area of your life where you sense the Holy Spirit is calling you to a new level of surrender? If so, how will you respond? Take a few minutes and process this with God in your journal. As you pray, remember—if you are a Christ-follower—you are not alone. The Holy Spirit will help you surrender to God if you are willing and ask Him for help.