Awaken: Week Two Study Guide

In week two of “Awaken,” a special Church United three-week study alongside 100+ in South Florida, we’ll explore where the believer’s power to accomplish the purposes of God comes from. Watch as Pastor Doug Rasku and Kelly Henke discuss the role of the Holy Spirit in our lives as we seek to follow the call of God on our lives.

 

 

TALK IT OUT

Below, you’ll find some key discussion points to reflect on and questions to discuss in your small group, with your family, or in your circle of friends, as well as some action points for the week.

Memory Verse of the Week: Acts 1:8 (NIV) 

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Getting the Conversation Going: In Ephesians 2:10 (NIV), it says that we’re “created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do,” while Hebrews 13:21 (NIV) declares that He is the one who will “equip [us] with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” But how? How does He equip us to accomplish the purposes and work He has prepared for us? Jesus told us how!

READ John 14:25–27 and Acts 1:8 

The Holy Spirit, the third Person in the Trinity, indwells the believer, equips the believer, speaks to and teaches the believer, leads the believer into the purposes and plans of God, and empowers the believer with all they need to do His will! As believers, we must learn to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and be available to arise and go in obedience.

Discussion Question 1: Who is the Holy Spirit? What is His role in the world and in the lives of believers?

Discussion Question 2: How do you learn to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit in your life? 

How Do You Know?: As we grow in relationship with Him through the Word and prayer, as we meditate on His Word, as we hide His Word in our hearts (Psalm 119:11), He promises to “put [His] laws in [our] hearts, and [He] will write them on [our] minds” (Hebrews 10:16 NIV) so we may learn to recognize His voice more clearly. This is done through engaging in spiritual disciplines. This is done through the daily study, reflection of, and meditation on the Word, through prayer, through obedience and fleeing from sin, through worship, silence, and solitude, through service, and through fasting. It’s done through a relationship with the Lord. As we develop an intimate relationship with Him, as we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus, as He said to us, His sheep, in John 10:27 (NIV), they will learn to identify and “listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

Discussion Question 3: What steps can you take in this season to grow in your capacity to hear from the Spirit?  

Discussion Question 4: What distracts you from hearing from God’s Spirit? What can you do to eliminate or lessen these distractions?

READ Acts 8:26–40

Open Heart, Open Eyes, Open Ears: In Acts 8, we see Philip prompted by the Holy Spirit to reach out to a fellow traveler, who ended up being saved and baptized! You see, the first step in seeing God do something powerful with your life is to simply RISE and GO. Philip was available. Are you available?

In Isaiah 6:8 (NIV), it says, “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?’ And I said, ‘Here am I. Send me!’” Isaiah hears the voice of the Lord. The two questions the Lord asks Isaiah are fascinating. In the first question He uses “I,” and in the second question He uses “us.” It seems contradictory to use both singular and plural pronouns to refer to Himself, but this is the language of the Trinity. It’s the mystery that God is one being existing in three persons—the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

What’s also interesting is that God isn’t commanding Isaiah to go or to be sent. The questions seek a volunteer. And since God is all powerful, why does He need someone to be sent or someone to go for Him? He could do it Himself. We know that God is at work, and we learn here that He invites His people to partner with Him in that work. Isaiah emphatically responds to God’s invitation. “Send me!”

Prior to this verse, Isaiah had encountered God. He experienced God’s holiness and sovereignty, and he honored Him. So, when God calls Isaiah and sends him out for His purpose, Isaiah responds quickly in obedience because he knew God. As a result, Isaiah’s prophecies impacted the entire nation of Israel. His words were spoken for people in antiquity and written down for us today. And best of all, so many of those words point to Jesus.

The character, nature, and work of God have not changed. He speaks to us. He sends us. He gives us His Holy Spirit to guide us. He doesn’t force or beg us. The supreme, all-powerful God of the universe invites us to partner with Him in the redemptive work He is doing on the earth. What an invitation!

We can encounter God like Isaiah did. We can know His character and understand His nature through the Bible. We can learn to identify His voice and respond immediately when He calls. When we say, “Here I am. Send me!” we step into our purpose, and the best part is that it’s God who works in and through us to point others to the risen Jesus. And when we do, when we respond as Philip did or as Isaiah did, we will see miracles happen around us! We will see God do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:20–21 NIV).

Discussion Question 5: Who has the Holy Spirit put on your heart in this season? Where is He calling you to serve?

This Week: Spend time in prayer and meditation; in silence and stillness. Consider where He is leading you and pray for the opportunities to accomplish what He’s purposed for you!

A LOOK AHEAD

In our next study, we’ll conclude the “Awaken” series as we explore what might happen in our communities if the Church asks for boldness and then walks in boldness!

Additional Resources

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.