Finding Favor with the King: Week 4February 8, 2009
Chapters 5 & 6
“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God dealt to each one a measure of faith.” (Romans 12:3 NKJV)
Give us each day the strength to accept that we are just humans and that we can’t do it all ourselves. We need Your strength and courage to submit to Your will, especially when it seems hardest to let go of the reins of control. Help us to see past our own hardheaded convictions and be guided by Your spiritual stewards as they seek to guide us on Your path for our lives. Help us to deepen our relationship with You so that we might more humbly be guided by You.
How refreshing and encouraging it was to know that I’m not the only person who is having to learn and re-learn almost every day that I can’t do it all, that I’m not the one “driving the bus.” This week was one where all the participants admitted that it’s a daily struggle to submit to God’s will when it doesn’t seem to coincide with our plans. It is very humbling but freeing to admit that at times we are all stubborn (self-driven rather than spirit-driven), and how sometimes we convince ourselves that we understand what God wants because we are filtering our spirit through our “me-centered” lenses. Our discussion centered almost entirely around this concept as we worked through the discussion questions for chapters 5 & 6. We discussed how human frailty and human pride can become partners in leading us to believe that we know best the will of the Lord; and how we constantly, day-by-day, need to be reminded of this. It’s not that we’re stupid and just don’t get it when He keeps trying to tell us that He’s driving the bus. It’s also not that God has “favorites” so much as those who know God have His favor to guide them because their hearts are open to His guidance. It is part of our search for Grace to learn how to stop trying to grab the wheel to stubbornly steer our own course. We agreed that it’s not that we should just sit there and wait for God to do it all, but to learn to listen to our God-centered spirit first before taking action. We also discussed how having a “teachable” and willing spirit and a knowledgeable and truly spiritual “chamberlain” can pave our way to a smoother and more spiritually fulfilling journey.
What follows are the study questions for Chapter 7 & 8:
Chapter 7 – Favor Has An Entourage
Purpose and Jealousy Often Accompany Favor
1. How much attention have you focused on knowing God?
2. Have you found that you are satisfied with just having God’s favor, or are you actively seeking to understand what His purpose for your life is?
3. Have you ever failed to do something or stand up and say something that you knew was important because you were afraid of other people’s opinions? If so, explain.
4. If you have ever accomplished something momentous or highly satisfying, did you stop to ask yourself if God had a purpose for helping to make this happen, or did you assume that it was through your own talents and hard work?
5. Are you eligible material for an impossible task?
Chapter 8 – Risk Versus Reward
Spending Favor to Pursue Purpose
1. Have you ever had a problem that you tried not to deal with come back to haunt you? Explain.
2. Do you think you are ready to risk everything to become the “very thing” you are supposed to be?
3. Has there ever been a time when you didn’t think you were worthy of the grace and forgiveness God was granting you?
4. Can you recall a time when you asked other people to help you by praying for you? When? Why?
5. At this point in the study has Esther’s story given you a deeper insight into your own relationship with God and His Purpose for your life? If so, explain how.
posted by Bonny.