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Updated 02/12/07

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Leader’s Guide

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© 2008 by John Eldredge All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, scanning, or other—except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles, without the prior written permission of the publisher. The publishers are grateful to Kate Etue for her collaboration and writing skills in developing the content for this book. Published in Nashville, Tennessee, by Thomas Nelson. Thomas Nelson is a trademark of Thomas Nelson, Inc. Published in association with Yates & Yates, www.yates2.com. Thomas Nelson, Inc. titles may be purchased in bulk for educational, business, fund-raising, or sales promotional use. For information, please e-mail SpecialMarkets@thomasnelson.com. ISBN: 978-1-4185-3702-9

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Printed in the United States of America 08 09 10 11 12 GI 5 4 3 2 1

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Contents Welcome

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How This Study Works

ix

Does God Still Speak?

11

On Learning to Listen

15

On Elk and Elijah

19

God?

23

The Next Day

27

Hawks

31

Accept the Grace God Is Giving

35

Things That Go Bump in the Night

39

Healing the Past

43

Unmet Longings

47

Sorting Things Out

51

Seeking Guidance

55

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Week

1

Does God Still Speak? I believe a deeper walk with God is available. I believe we can learn to hear his voice. But I’m well aware that it takes time, and we all need help interpreting the events of our lives, and what we are experiencing. —page xiii, Walking with God

What to Read This Week Walking with God, pages ix–16

Open Up One of the best ways to open up discussion is simply to ask your group, “Well, what did that stir in you?” This way, folks will talk about what is most fresh on their heart. You may find you won’t even have time for the “official” questions!

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Walking with God Insight for Discussion These questions are found at the end of this session’s DVD segment. Consider the following as you discuss each question as a group and in preparation for leading the session. Why is verbal communication so important for relationship? What would relationships with other people be like without verbal communication? In light of that, how do you think verbal communication influences your relationship with God? What does it mean to you to realize that the Bible is a book of examples, not exceptions? Explore the illustration of God giving us a map of Detroit when we’re trying to find our way in Los Angeles, or giving you an owners’ manual for a Mitsubishi when you drive a Dodge. Does this change your perspective on the Bible? Do you believe God wants to speak to you? If this is your first time to meet together as a group, be sensitive to the fact that this can be a very personal question for some. Some people may be

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Week 1: Does God Still Speak? hearing God’s voice in their life right now; others may have never “heard” God speak to them as John describes. This question may spark emotions: be open to that and let vulnerability be safe within your group. How does God speak to you in an intimate way? This opens up the conversation to the many different ways God “speaks” to us. This is important for the group to recognize, and this will help dispel any feelings of “I’m not spiritual.” Some folks may not hear his voice, but they might recognize him speaking to them in other ways—through his Word, through nature, or through the counsel of others. Do you experience “conversational intimacy” with God? You’ll explore this term and concept in much further detail in the weeks to come, but explore as a group what it means to hear God’s voice. Is this something they desire? Are they open to exploring this aspect of relationship with God?

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Walking with God Closing Spend some time in prayer. Ask God to speak to each of you this week and to give you the grace to recognize his voice. Then remind everyone to read next week’s section from the book before you meet together again.

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Week

2

On Learning to Listen Our spirit is in union with the Spirit of God, and he often makes his will known to us deep within before it forms into words. —page 32, Walking with God

What to Read This Week Walking with God, pages 16–32

Open Up You might begin simply by asking the group, “What did that stir in you?” or, “How has God been speaking to you through John’s book?”

Insight for Discussion These questions are found at the end of this session’s DVD segment. Consider the following as you discuss each question as a group and in preparation for leading the session. 15

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Walking with God What would you love to hear from God about? Each person’s answer to this question will reveal his or her personality and character. Spend some time exploring the responses here for deeper intimacy as a group. What makes it hard for you to hear from God? John mentions stress, crisis, and paranoia as factors that hinder his ability to hear God’s voice. His advice is to start with small questions and avoid questions that are tied up with emotional stress. You must distance yourself from the noise of the world to speak to God. John talked about the issue of surrender. Does surrender come easily for you? It’s only when we’re yielded that we can hear the voice of God. Without surrender, we can’t release our own control over our thoughts and desires. If someone in your group is struggling in this area, you can pray for them.

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Week 2: On Learning to Listen Do you bring even the “little things” in your life to God? John spoke in this session about how difficult it is to hear God’s voice when we’re anxious about what he’ll say. It’s important to train ourselves by bringing little things to him in prayer as well. What would you love to ask God this week? We’ve all been asked, “What will you ask God when you get to heaven?” Why wait? We have access to God today. Spend time as a group asking God the questions that are on your hearts at this moment. Pay attention to the advice John gives at the end of the lesson about listening on behalf of others—practice this as a group.

Closing Spend some time in prayer. You might want to begin with, “Lord Jesus, we ask you to give us eyes to see and ears to hear all the ways you are speaking to us. Open our hearts to hear your voice, Lord. Remove every obstacle that is in the way of us hearing you clearly.” Then remind everyone to read next week’s section from the book before you meet together again. 17

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Walking with God

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Walking with God Leader's Guide