Awakened (part 1): Rejecting Disenchantment

TO START

We said on Sunday that pop culture is obsessed with the idea of enchantment, that authors and movie makers keep coming back to the concept that the world we know isn’t all there is. What’s your favorite story like this? Why do you like it? (Examples include Harry Potter, Transformers, The Chronicles of Narnia, Peter Pan, etc.)

TO DISCUSS

Do you feel like we live in a disenchanted world? Do you have an expectation that supernatural things will occur in your daily life? Think of some examples of disenchantment.

How does it make you feel to think that there’s a reality you can’t see or measure or directly observe? When you read verses like Ephesians 6:11-12 (“Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”), what do you imagine? Does that seem real?

Is it easy for you to forget that God is present in your everyday life? If so, why do you think that is? Why does He sometimes feel far away?

On Sunday we listed a few things that prevent us from experiencing God here and now, things that are dulling our senses to God. Consider the list and share which one is the biggest temptation for you:

  • Busyness

  • Distraction

  • A lack of expectancy

  • Fear

Justin said in the sermon, “The more connected to God’s presence and activity we are, the more we experience joy. We’re emboldened. We’re calmed. We’re made brave. We’re more fully alive.“

  • How does being connected to God’s presence enable those things?

Share a time when you felt very aware of the presence of God. How has that moment or experience shaped you over time?

As humans, we lean heavily on our senses to experience reality. Consider the following prompts. Don’t try to answer them literally. Instead, think of the things that open your eyes to God, places/people/etc where you experience God. Brainstorm answers together…

  • What does God look like?

  • What does God smell like?

  • What does God taste like?

  • What does God feel like?

  • What does God sound like?

You might keep your eyes closed as you answer these questions. Maybe even play some ambient music in the background. This exercise will remind us where we’ve experienced God before so that we can recognize Him when we see Him again.

TO READ

The Bible is full of enchanted stories, stories of men and women discovering that their human experience isn’t all there is. Over the next few weeks we’ll encourage you to read several of those stories with your group. As you read, be on the lookout for things you can learn about being alert to the presence and work of God.

Let’s start with one of the most obvious and epic of humankind’s “through the wardrobe” moments, Exodus 3:1-15.

  • What can we learn from this moment of divine revelation?

  • What can we learn about who God is?

  • What can we learn about how to approach Him?

TO PRAY

This week we encourage you to pray for eyes to see God. Sometimes the reason we can’t see Him is simple: Our eyes are closed. Fortunately, God’s good at opening eyes. Ask Him to help you train your eyes on Him.

You might pray with David in Psalm 27:

“One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.”