{Rooted} “Greater” Study – Weeks 11 & 12: Open My Eyes & Strike The Water

Hello Rooted Ladies,

Welcome to our final week of the “Greater” study. I can’t believe the study has come to the end. Wow! The time flew by! Our last post is from my awesome co-leader Karina Allen.

Chapters 11 & 12: Open My Eyes & Strike The Water

These two chapters were a STRONG end to this book!!! In order to live a greater” life we need a change in our perspective and we need to prepare ourselves to walk out that life. Those are things totally in our control. We can decide on those things. I took these chapters as a charge, a charge to be intentional about surrounding myself with people who are striving to live a “greater” life and looking through eyes of faith. I am so grateful that God is patient with me. He will never leave me or give up on me. He sees my greater” future, the one that He planned for me.

When our hearts and flesh fail, may we learn to press in to God’s amazing strength. His power is available to us because He loves us and knows that we cannot live out this life on our own. He has good purposed for us.

I pray that all of us rise up as we close the cover of this book. The mantle is ours! It is up to us to heed God’s voice, walk out our own faith and discover how He wants to use our gifts.  Whatever season you are in, submit to God and let Him do a greater work there.

“Dream bigger. Start smaller. Ignite God’s vision for your life.” – Steven Furtick 

1. Which 5 people have the most access to your life? How are they encouraging or discouraging in your attempts to live a greater life?

2. Elisha prayed that God would open the eyes of a companion to see the army of heaven. Would you say that the eyes of your heart are open to seeing God’s almighty power? Why or why not?

3. What would be different in your life if you were living as if you really believed that you have infinite power and potential because of God’s being within you? How would you think differently? What would you do differently?

4. What does it mean for you to strike the water and move into the greater future God has planned for you? Identify your decisive next step.

5. How do you feel about going for “greater” in your life? Are you ready? What are you excited about?

6. How do you think your “greater” life will affect your family and close relationships? Your work, schooling or other everyday routine? Your spiritual life?

7. What do you hope to see God accomplish through you?

It has been a huge joy to walk this journey with all of you! We cannot wait to see the “greater” lives that await!

In Christ,

Karina (& Hope)

{Rooted} “Greater” Study – Week 10: Where Did It Fall?

Hello Rooted Ladies,

I hope everyone has been enjoying “Greater” by Steven Furtick and learning a lot through the study. It is always amazing how God shows up in our lives when we wrestle with biblical concepts and teachings that help us grow in God. This book is changing how many of us see our lives with God. I am finding that it doesn’t matter whether I immediately understand something written in the book, it is the thinking about the concept and meditating on God that always enriches my spiritual life.

Chapter 10: Where Did It Fall?

Furtick writes that Greater isn’t an automatic, permanent position; it’s an intentional daily decision. (p. 146) This chapter really resonated with me because I can see how life, everyday-ness, can steal your joy if you let it. I can relate to how a small mean comment can turn into a gaping hole of bitterness in your heart. And how if it is left untreated, unnoticed or not prayed about, it will grow and grow, and even overtake the heart we used to have.

This chapter was a great reminder to evaluate our relationship with God. Do we still feel on fire for God like we used to? And it was amazing that we don’t have to “fix it” on our own. We can “cry out” for God’s help by asking “Where did it fall?” And He will meet us where we are. That’s the beauty of God and divine relationship. It’s about seeing where we went wrong and working it out with God’s help. I love where Furtick writes that “[n]o matter how much I struggle day to day, I’m never farther from God than a prayer: “God, help me get back to the place where I belong in You.” (p. 156) And God always answers because He is a God of second chances!

1. Like Elisha’s student, have you ever lost your cutting edge – your spiritual momentum – and begun to backslide into the realm of the ordinary? (Maybe you’re there right now.) How did you realize what was happening?

2. How did you react when you lost your edge? Did it discourage you? How did this situation affect your life in Christ?

3. Furtick says, “No detail or circumstance in my life falls outside [God’s] concern . . . . And since most of our spiritual momentum is gained or lost in the everyday affairs of life, it’s good to know that God is actively involved in them.” How have you sensed God’s presence when you’ve struggled with losing your edge?

4. According to Furtick, if we’re feeling spiritually dull, we should just try harder; we should cry out to God. Can you share a story of a time when trying harder to recover your spiritual passion didn’t work? Or when going to God proved to be the turning point instead?

5. If you’re stuck in spiritual dullness right now, where did you get off track? How can you go back to that point and recover your passion?

We’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

Blessings,

Hope (& Karina)

{Rooted} “Greater” Study – Week 9: Saving Captain Awesomesauce

Hello Rooted Ladies,

Welcome! Welcome! We have entered Week 9 of our “Greater” study by Stephen Furtick. Wow, we only have 3 more weeks to go. {This study has flown by! Or is it just me?} This week we have a guest post from my fabulous co-leader, Karina Allen!

Chapter 9: Saving Captain Awesomesauce

I really resonate with the theme of this chapter of becoming lower, getting rid of pride, and allowing God to lift us higher. That is SO my desire!!! It is never about us! We are always to be about the Father’s business and His glory.

My prayer is that the greatness and successes of this world never distract me. They are empty and meaningless apart from Christ. They only offer a temporary satisfaction. Intimacy with Jesus and fulfilling. His call on our lives bring lasting and deep joy and satisfaction.

May we all be open and willing when God reveals areas of our lives where we need to be humble and obedient. I think that those qualities are ones that He honors and are ones that build a solid foundation for the greater life that He has for us.

  1. How has pride shown itself in your life?
  2. How has pride interfered with your attempt to serve God?
  3. Thinking back to the story of Naaman, what is the Jordan River in your life?
  4. Furtick offers two tips for becoming a humble servant of God: obeying immediately when He instructs us to do so, and keeping ourselves small in our relationships. What are some specific ways you can apply these two tips?

We’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts on these questions and how God is moving in your lives!

Love in Christ,

Karina (& Hope)

{Rooted} “Greater” Study – Week 8: Trust Fund Baby

Hello Rooted Ladies,

I hope you all had a fantastic Easter holiday. We have now entered Week 8 (wow!) of our “Greater” study. Time is flying by. I cannot believe it is now April.

Chapter 8: Trust Fund Baby

This chapter really had me pondering the idea of faith and prayers. I must admit that I’m not sure how I feel about the idea of God having a trust fund for us (and that our prayers are going in our trust fund for later use). And the idea that God is applying prayers for one thing to something else. I don’t know… It just seemed too mechanical and figured out. And maybe we don’t have the same thinking as God and know His plan.  I am not sure I can figure it out because I’m not God. I just finally resolved myself to think that God’s ways are higher than my ways and his thoughts are higher than his thoughts – remembering Isaiah 55:8-9). And I ultimately have to trust in God.

And in thinking about Easter and Jesus on the cross, Jesus had the ultimate faith in God.  He didn’t know everything that was going to happen but he trusted God completely – trust fund or no trust fund. We ultimately must have trust in God to see us through . . . what may look like unanswered prayers.

Furtick states that “in God’s economy, our greatest setbacks in life can be the greatest setups to seeing God’s glory in places we didn’t even know to look.”

1. Furtick puts forward the provocative idea that God has a trust fund for each of us in which He deposits our faith for payouts to come later in ways we do not anticipate. Thus, our faith is never really wasted. What is your reaction to this idea?

2. What effect does this concept of the trust fund have on your attitude toward the setbacks and tragedies – all the seemingly unanswered prayers – you’ve had along the way?

3. What have been some of the most memorable times you’ve experienced God’s blessing or goodness in ways you never expected?

4. Right now, what disappointing situation in your life seems dead and has you feeling defeated? How much trust do you have that Jesus can bring life out of it anyway, just as He brought the Sunammite woman’s son back to life?

5. Furtick says the key to having faith while we are waiting for God to act is to draw near to Him and focus on His faithfulness. How are you doing this? (It could be by worshiping God, memorizing Scripture, praying with a friend, praising God, or something else.)

We can’t wait to hear how God is moving in your life this week.

Many blessings,

Hope (& Karina)