Study Guide: The Life You Always Wanted

Sunday August 16, 2009 | Kevin Johnson

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

Kevin Johnson shared some experiences he’s had with “strategies” for personal transformation. None of these strategies by themselves are good enough if we don’t have a basic openness to God’s leading.

Extended Summary:

Kevin Johnson shared some experiences he’s had with “strategies” for personal transformation. Here the four he described:

1. Try harder. Using our will-power to support discipline and commitment to spiritual transformation.

2. Copy Cat Conformance: We find someone we admire and do our best to imitate their behavior.

3. Devotions, devotions, devotions! Unfortunately, when we fail at this, it turns out to be guilt, guilt, guilt! Devotions in themselves are good, but letting our failures condemn us is not.

4. Doing the “fruit of the Spirit”. Trying this on our own strength is futile. There’s a reason they are called fruit of the Spirit. We need the Spirit of God to be the power source for this.

These are all good things in their own way, but Kevin’s message pointed to a more important underlying issue through the story of Naaman and Elisha (Read 2 Kings 1-19).

Even though Naaman was reluctant and skeptical, he was basically receptive anyway. Receptivity and openness to what God has for us is the posture of the human soul that unlocks the power of God in our lives. Kevin encouraged us to take up this posture, even if we have doubts, concerns, issues of whatever sort, but come to God with an open heart and just offer yourself as open to God’s leading.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What stood out to you most from this message and the supporting texts?
  2. Read Ephesians 2:10. How does this passage connect with Kevin’s challenge about being open and receptive to God?
  3. Consider Romans 8:11. By what power do we live our lives? What are the limits of that power? How might living in this way disrupt our usual patterns in life?
  4. Consider John 4:34 and 8:29. We are followers of Jesus, so when we make our selves open to God, we’re really opening ourselves to following Jesus. What was it about God that Jesus was able to say the things mentioned in these passages?