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Stillness: to Know God

Stillness: to Know God


Stillness to Know God
Attentiveness to Hear God
Cruciformity to Surrender to God
Revelation to See God
Examine to Return to God
Doxology to Thank God


Welcome Letter from Ann

Welcome, friends!

Here we are at the beginning of a journey together. A pilgrimage if you will. Learning the habit of daily SACRED reorientation; finding ourselves in relation to God.

If I told you that life rarely lives up to the movies, I’m guessing I’d be preaching to the choir. Like you, I have a laundry list of disappointments where my plan for the life I dreamed of veered sharply and irrevocably away from my reality. I mean, who wants to admit that on their honeymoon they ended up sobbing in the shower when their just one-week-new husband wanted to leave their not-as-romantic-as-you-hoped-it-would-be getaway three days early to get back to the farm and his pigs?

And in the next two decades of marriage the waves would just keep coming. There would be plunging farm markets, and then skyrocketing debt, plummeting crop yields, and then steep, dizzying pig losses, kids who dropped out of school, out of college, out of our faith, mountain and valley, wave after wave after wave. And in seasons when the picture in my mind looked nothing like the reality staring back at me from the bathroom mirror, all I wanted to do was run away and demand answers from God.

So, let’s start there. In session 1, those of us who are the frustrated, the disappointed, the irritated and the flat-out exasperated, let’s get really honest about where we really are and what we really want. On my disappointing honeymoon, before we packed up and left, I walked down to the beach by myself and yelled at God across the lake: “Where are you?” I’ve yelled it many, many times since then.

It’s a question you might be yelling right now, or aching with, or whispering when you lie in bed at night. A question straight out of Eden, like an echo of God’s first recorded question to us: Where are you?

I want to invite you to listen to God’s question. To think about how to answer God’s question. To imagine God asking you with incredible attentiveness, winsome tenderness, and a deeply invested interest in your heart, your soul, your answer:

Where are you?

Your fellow pilgrim on The Way,

Open Up

Get to know who’s on this pilgrimage with you. Group leader or volunteer, present the following question to the group for a brief time of opening up your time together.

Where are you in your life right now? Briefly share what part of the story you’re in: beginning, middle, plot twist, climax, stuck on repeat, lost on a detour? Take this opportunity to introduce the group to your stage in the life story.

Watch the Video

Video Notes and Reflections

View the video segment for Session 1. As you watch the video, use the following outline to note anything that stands out to you, any quotes you want to capture, and any questions or responses you may have.

  • Stillness to know God. “Be Still and know God” (Psalm 46:10 paraphrase).

  • Stillness invites us to ask the question: What’s in my way and what can I do about it?

  • Exodus 14

  • Our battle is to keep still—while God does the battle.

  • We are only seen and known as much as we are still.

  • EPS (or Expectational Positioning System) can steer us into disappointment at how our story has turned out.

  • Ayekah Hebrew: Where are you?

  • When we find the courage to be still and to be transparent, we find ourselves found.

  • God asks “Where are you in relation to Me?”

  • Be still because what’s in the way is making a way. The obstacle is the miracle.

Talk About It

Discuss as many of the following questions as you have time for. Ask for volunteers to read the Bible passages out loud. Invite robust conversation, every voice matters.

  1. What in the video moved you? Is there a quote or a story or an image that stuck most with you? Why?
  2. Let’s talk about EPS—our personal GPS that drives our lives. How has your own Expectational Positioning System gotten you lost and let you down?
  3. Unpack the source of your expectations—where are all these untrustworthy directions coming from?
  4. Read Genesis 3:8-10. Is it uncomfortable to think about God coming to find you? Why?
  5. Describe how you picture the God who is asking you where you are? Is it strange to imagine Him as hurt? Why or why not?
  6. Read Exodus 14. Honestly, unpack your reaction to the idea of being still. How would the group describe what this concept looks like in real life on a regular Wednesday, for example?
  7. What kind of red sea are you facing in your own life right now? Write down what other members share so you can remember how to pray and support them in their story right now, too.
  8. Can you remember what the S in the daily habit of SACRED stands for?

Closing Prayer

Invite a group member to read the paragraphs below aloud. Then make time for everyone to share prayer requests. Close by bringing your prayers to the Father, either silently or out loud, as your group members feel most comfortable.

Genuine prayer is having a genuine conversation with our Father; pull up a chair, lay your head, your heart, in His big, ole faithful hands. Prayer isn’t giving God information to act upon, but God giving us intimacy to rest in. What undergirds every single prayer is the reality that we are held by our Father. As we go on this journey together, let’s invite the Holy Spirit into our community and make room to hear where each person is really at. Prayer is a way to be still and invite God to act.

As you pray together, confess to God where you are in your life right now. Share the red sea you are facing. And invite Him to do as He promises, to fight for you while you remain still.

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Your Turn

Come share your thoughts on WayMaker.