Study Guide: Ghost Behind The Wheel

Sunday October 17, 2010 | Greg Boyd

Focus Scripture:

Brief Summary:

In this first sermon of our Undivided series, Greg explores why we seem to be drawn to the busy life that our culture offers. At the same time, it’s easy for us to forget or ignore the beauty that God wants to develop in our inner world.

Extended Summary:

God promises rest, peace and an end to striving. It’s the rest and peace of knowing your loved with an everlasting, unconditional, perfect love, living with an undivided soul and an integrated heart. Few live this way, but we all long for it. We know that our inner world is not meant to feel so fragmented and empty.

If we are going to understand the nature of our inner world, we must briefly review source of this mess, which is found in the story of the Garden of Eden. There we find the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The tree represents the right to be able to define and judge what is good and what is evil, which only God can do. God warns us that if we break covenant with him (who is the source of life) we’ll die. The lie of the enemy tells us that if we want fullness of life, we must get it from the tree and that we won’t die.

When we don’t trust God for life we try to fill ourselves with whatever looks “pleasing to the eye.” This explains why we spend our life chasing fame, money, possessions, right religious views, sex, drugs, etc. All of which are idols.

On some level we feel the pervasive emptiness, anxiety, sadness, meaninglessness, boredom, and also shame, that results from believing this lie. As long as we’re believing the lie, we run from pain thinking the problem is that we need more and we distract ourselves from the emptiness and shame by continuing the chase.

This pursuit of more in our culture is a characterized by a relentless pursuit of external things. It’s easy to think that the important stuff is what is visible. We can become defined by our external world and end up ignoring our inner world.

To change this, we’ve got to go inside, face the emptiness, confront the shame and get real with what is real. We have to buck our culture and make our inner world a higher priority than our outer world.

(The poem at the beginning of the sermon was written and read by Terri Churchill. The music playing during the poem was “Wedding Guest” by Allen Sylvestery)

Reflection Questions:

  1. What stood out to you most from this message and the supporting texts?
  2. Read the poem again. What comes to mind as you reflect on it?
  3. How would you characterize life as most live it today, using your own words?
  4. When life is said to be a focus on the externals, what does that mean? How does this typically play out in your own life?
  5. Can you share a time when you have focused on your inner life? When you hear this about tending to your inner world, what is your immediate response?