Read: Isaiah 60:1 says “Arise Shine, for your light has come”. God intends you to arise in life, rising higher in purpose, prayer, fruitfulness and maturity. For an aeroplane to “rise” four forces are at work, two positive, two negative: These are Lift, Thrust, Weight and drag:
Drag (Back) Thrust (forward)
For a plane to rise the lift and thrust must be stronger than the drag backwards, and weight downwards. Our lives are much the same. If we can rise in prayer and presence, thrust forward in purpose, and make these outweigh all negative weights in our lives, then we will rise and mature in God.
Let’s study how to rise in God:
1) Decrease the “Sin Weight” that pulls you down
Read Hebrews 12:1
a) What does the group think are the most common “sins, and things that hinder” us from rising in God today?
b) Is God more interested in us feeling sorry for our sins, or in us taking action to stop repeating them?
c) Take a few common sins, and discuss what action you could take to overcome them (e.g. someone caught in internet pornography/another whose friends drink too much, and so feel the peer pressure to drink too much too/ someone who is greedy/covetous/proud/got a temper)
d) How complete is God’s forgiveness when we confess and repent of our sins?
2) Decrease the Drag of looking back
Read Philippians 3:12-14
a) In what ways can looking back be negative?
b) In what ways can looking back be positive?
c) Think of some great times in God in the past and encourage each other with a few great testimonies, no matter how old they might be!
d) How does the group think we can develop a healthy attitude to change and new things?
3) Increase the Thrust of your hopes and dreams
Read Genesis 13:14-18
a) In these verses God is encouraging Abram that he is going to give him a land of his own, for his offspring. Why do you think in verse 17 he told him to “walk through the land” even before it was his?
b) Notice in verse 18, Abram immediately “moved his tents”. Why are we not so quick to “move” in the direction of our dreams?
c) Does anyone in the group have a dream they need to “walk around”? Hopes for education, family, career, ministry? Share some small hopes and dreams.
d) Do you think keeping your hopes alive for your dreams, has a positive effect on your spiritual life? How and why?
4) Increase the Lift of God’s presence in prayer & worship
Read Psalm 27:4-6
a) Verse 4 uses beautiful language. But what activities is it describing?
b) In verse 5-6 what is the result of “doing” verse 4?
c) Being very honest and real, what things, attitudes and activities keep us from the presence of God in regular worship & prayer, personal or corporate?
d) Can anyone in the group describe a time when the touch of God’s presence, in a worship, prayer or ministry time, has brought a “lift” to their lives? Tell your stories.
Why not spend some time worshipping and enjoying God’s presence, perhaps with a relaxing worship CD on in the background? Describe how you feel afterwards and what “lift” it has brought to your life.