Study Guide: Rooted in the Nows

Sunday March 4, 2012 | Greg Boyd

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

God is like an atmosphere around us. As much as the air we breathe is around us and in us, God surrounds and enfolds us. In this sermon, Greg talks about the importance of being aware of God in the everyday moments, and he gives some practical tips to help you walk in this awareness.

Extended Summary:

God is like an atmosphere around us. As much as the air we breathe is around us and in us, God surrounds and enfolds us. In every moment of every day, God is present. However, more often than not, we don’t feel this. It’s like clouds that block the sunlight. There are things in our life that block our feeling of this constant presence of God.

Part of growing and maturing in Christ is feeling the presence of God in our everyday lives. This passage in Colossians talks about how important it is to be rooted in Christ in the everyday moments. This is tough in our culture. We are conditioned to want new and better things, to be entertained with something different in every moment. And it’s incredibly difficult to focus on God for more than 15 seconds without our minds wandering.

The most important part of a tree are the roots. From these roots, a tree will get moisture in order to live and grow. However, when looking at a tree, you usually are unable to see most of its roots. Much like the roots of a tree, people cannot see our connection to Christ. We’re to be rooted in Christ, feeling his presence everyday, so that we can get what we need to grow.

This is the call of discipleship: to be built up, strengthened and standing firm in Christ, we must not only receive Christ but must also be disciplined about walking in a way that each step is rooted in Christ moment-by-moment. To grow in Christ is to spend every moment striving to become aware of Christ. But this is difficult in our world.

We divide up the world into spiritual and secular, and this makes this call of discipleship extremely difficult. When we are shopping, we are not thinking of much besides the shopping. And it is the same for driving, fixing the toilet, or sitting in front of a computer at work. Yet, when we see the world as secular, we are not seeing the world accurately. We’re living in the wrong story.

The correct story is that all of creation is bathed in the presence of God. There is not a moment where God is not present. At any point in time, we can reach out and feel the presence of God. This makes our walk with God very different than we may have thought. We should be asking ourselves every moment of every day if we are surrendering to God. It’s not a question of a past experience of surrendering; it’s a day to day and moment to moment surrendering. We must declare war on secularism, because it makes us forget surrendering now and makes us only surrender on holy times during the week or at some point in the past.

The call of discipleship is to feel God in every moment of every day. It is easy to understand but extremely difficult to do. There are some practical things that we can do everyday to begin the journey though.

The first practical tip is to do early rising rooting. There is something sacred about the morning and by focusing on God for a few moments before we start our day, we can start the day with the right attitude and path. For some, this may come after the morning coffee.

The second practical tip is to have rooting moments throughout the day. This is taking a short 30 seconds to a minute to simply stop what you are doing and make yourself aware that God is present. You don’t have to assume a certain position or close your eyes or anything like that. You simply need to concentrate and remind yourself of God’s presence.

The third practical tip is to have rooting reminders. These are small reminders that when you see them, you remember God. It could be post-it notes that you set up by your computer or put on the dashboard of your car. It could as simple as a note that you carry in your wallet or purse. Something to remind you of the presence of God in the moment that you see it.

Finally, the fourth practical tip is to have some rooting friends. A community is so crucial to remembering Christ and encouraging and reminding one another of his presence. This can be done by texting each other throughout the day or having coffee once in awhile. However you want to spend some time together and spend time in the presence of God.

This path of discipleship is extremely difficult, but it is extremely rewarding. When you become aware of God in every moment, you can begin to see the world as God does. You can feel the love that defies every encounter with this world, and you will be strengthened to stand firm in Christ’s love no matter what the world throws at you.

Reflection Questions:

  1. What additional questions and comments did you have about the sermon and supporting texts?
  2. What makes feeling God’s presence so difficult in this world?
  3. If you were to look at your life, how often are you aware that God is present? How deeply rooted is your tree? Are you satisfied with that amount?
  4. Greg gave four practical tips for rooting yourself in the presence of God. Of those four, which one tip could you put into practice in your life? What would it look like for you to do this practice? When and how would you put it into practice?
  5. What do you think are the benefits of doing these practical tips in your life?