FOLLOWING THE SPIRIT
God is everywhere! Even more miraculous, the Spirit of God comes to guide all who follow Jesus. We can discover what God has for us in the future and the wisdom we need now when we learn how to “keep in step with the Spirit.”
Work through the following questions and scriptures on your own, and get together with your running partner, life group, or friends and family to talk through what you are learning.
1. How would you describe your relationship with the Holy Spirit?
2. What stood out to you from the message?
3. Read Galatians 5:13-25.
a.) Make some observations about this passage (What does the text say):
- Who is talking?
- What is the circumstance?
- Any repeated phrases?
- What surprised you?
- What stood out to you?
b.) Make some interpretations (What does the passage mean)
- What questions do you have?
- Summarize the passage in 1-3 sentences – what are the main points?
- What do you learn about the nature and character of God as you read this?
- What do you learn about yourself or the world around you?
c.) Now make some applications (what’s my response)
- How do you respond to what you are reading?
- How could this apply to your life today?
- What is the central truth that you could put into practice from this?
- Who could you share this with for the sake of encouragement?
4. Read Romans 8:26-27. Our words don’t need to be eloquent or beautiful when we are talking to God in prayer. The Holy Spirit intercedes (makes petitions on our behalf) for us to God and helps us come in alignment with God’s good plans and purposes for our lives. What does your prayer life look like? Do you have confidence when you talk to God in prayer? Do you believe He is for you?
5. Re-Read Galatians 5:22-23. We can’t produce sustainable deep spiritual fruit without God. We can “pull ourselves up by our bootstraps”. We can work hard and “be good people”. But, the New Creation life that God offers (that is deeper than those other things) is only possible as we stay connected to the Spirit and let Him produce in us fruit. How do you stay connected to God’s Spirit and what difference has it made in your life? How could you take steps to stay connected to the Spirit more and more throughout your day?
6. Re-Read Galatians 5:16-17. Do you believe that God’s ways are good and for your flourishing? Why or why not?
7. Read John 15:4. Are you allowing yourself to be pruned by God, your unproductive branches to be cut down, your habits that keep you back destroyed? How are you different this year than last?
8. “We may ignore, but we can nowhere evade the presence of God. The world is crowded with Him. He walks everywhere incognito. And the incognito is not always hard to penetrate. The real labor is to remember, to attend. In fact, to come awake. Still more, to remain awake. —C. S. Lewis, Letters to Malcolm: Chiefly on Prayer. How does this quote challenge and encourage you? In what ways have you fallen asleep to the reality that God is present and wanting to talk to you?
Galatians 5:13-25 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another. But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit.
Romans 8:26-27 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
John 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.
- Strengthen your connection with God’s Spirit this week. Commit to staying connected throughout your day by setting the alarm on your phone/ watch/ calendar to remind you to pause throughout your day and talk with God.
- Set a reminder every 60 min and pause for 60 seconds to reconnect with God.
- When your reminder goes off Pause and take a deep breath.
- Let your thoughts slow down.
- Acknowledge that God is there with you (because if you have put your trust in Him then you have the Holy Spirit with you always).
- Talk to Him (use some of the prompts below if you like)
- Ask Him if there is anything He wants you to notice
- Ask Him to help you with the task you are working on
- Ask for His wisdom
- Tell Him what you are grateful for
- Thank Him for being with you
- Tell Him where you are hurting or anxious. Ask for His peace that is beyond our comprehension (Philippians 4:6)
- Tell Him you’re open for His interruption and help during the next hour and ask that he makes you more aware of his presence.