*Some call it a quiet time. We call it a Vision Quest. This is a simple Bible study to help you along your journey of discovering God’s purpose for your life.
How do I feel? is a very common question in church today, but too rarely do we ask, “how does God feel”. If you see that your Christianity has become all about how you feel, how you look, how you’re treated and what your future holds, this bible study is for you.
“And when you come before God, don’t turn that into a theatrical production either. All these people making a regular show out of their prayers, hoping for stardom! Do you think God sits in a box seat? “Here’s what I want you to do: Find a quiet, secluded place so you won’t be tempted to role-play before God. Just be there as simply and honestly as you can manage. The focus will shift from you to God, and you will begin to sense his grace.
When we spend time with God, the focus is supposed to shift from self to God.
How much of your time with God is spent on analyzing self vs worshipping God? What is your quiet and secluded place to connect with God?
God’s View of Suffering: An Opportunity for Empathy
All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer. We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7
How we choose to handle our suffering will determine our ability to connect with and give comfort to others. The only way to be comforted by God is to allow yourself to express your suffering.
God’s View of Friendship: Intimate Connections
Are we beginning to praise ourselves again? Are we like others, who need to bring you letters of recommendation, or who ask you to write such letters on their behalf? Surely not! 2 The only letter of recommendation we need is you yourselves. Your lives are a letter written in our hearts; everyone can read it and recognize our good work among you. 3 Clearly, you are a letter from Christ showing the result of our ministry among you. This “letter” is written not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God. It is carved not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts.
2 Corinthians 1:3-7
God expects us to take spiritual ownership for our friends. So much so, that Paul says he doesn’t need a letter of recommendation, just look at the relationships he’s built and that will be recommendation enough.
How do you get to the point where you’re willing to take ownership for the spiritual condition of others?
Write others on your heart – To write someone on your heart, that means you commit yourself to feeling what they feel.
Let others write on your heart – To have others write on your heart, that means you give others your heart to be influenced however they feel best.
Who has God put around you that should be written on your
God’s Hope for the Cross: Others
For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer.
2 Corinthians 5:14-16
The purpose of the cross is not to make us emotional, it’s to lead us to commit to a selfless life. The cross exists to give us internal inspiration to lay our lives down for other people.
Who does God want you to lay your life down for? Our worldly view of people gets destroyed when we look at the cross, why?
God’s View of Sorrow: Change
Even if I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it. Though I did regret it—I see that my letter hurt you, but only for a little while— yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.
2 Corinthians 7:8-11
No matter what we want, sorrow is something that we will all feel. The only difference is that one sorrow is based on self and the other is about God. List your core sins, then read verse 11.
Do you have any of those thoughts about your core sins?
The only way to lead others to Godly sorrow is to lead them to embrace what they’ve done. This does not often feel positive, but it’s essential.
God’s View of Weakness: Power
even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from becoming proud. Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
God is not fazed by our weaknesses, no matter how debilitating they are. God is so powerful, that he simply sees weaknesses as opportunities to shine and prove people wrong. If we focus more on God’s perspective on weakness, we will boast about them just like Paul did because it will give continual opportunities for God’s power to be on display.
- Prayer: How can you get help with your prayer life to make the shift from self-consumption to God-consumption?
- Embrace the Struggle – What 2-3 sins do you need to pray for everyday and embrace God’s grace?What weakness is God seeking to turn into a strength in your life?