What’s Next?: Start the Journey

We need to look to God as our ultimate GPS, our soul’s true compass, if we want to live a life that’s purposeful, joyful, and significant for eternity ~ Chris Hodges

Getting Started

Sometimes, the most difficult part of a journey is the first step. Perhaps you can relate. Maybe there is a place in the world you have been longing to visit. You’ve thought about how great it would be when you finally made it there. But try as you might, you just can’t seem to figure out how to take the next step to make that trip a reality.

Or maybe the issue is you were hit with setbacks when you tried to make plans. You realized that to afford the trip, you wouldn’t be able to stay in all the quaint Bed & Breakfasts you envisioned. Or the weather at the time you could travel wasn’t ideal. Or a family commitment arose… and you couldn’t see how to take some time off for a vacation.

We can come up with any number of reason as to why we can’t pursue a goal. The same was true of the people in Jesus’ day. The crowds had heard about Jesus’ teachings and his miracles, and many wanted to follow him. But not all could find the time or the willingness to step away from their obligations. Luke describes some of these people in his Gospel:

On the road someone asked if he could go along. “I’ll go with you, wherever,” he said. Jesus was curt: “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.”

Jesus said to another, “Follow Me.” He said, “Certainly, but first excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have to make arrangements for my father’s funeral.” Jesus refused. “First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent: Announce God’s kingdom!”

Then another said, “I’m ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home.” Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day. — Luke 9:57-62 MSG

As you look at your life, is there something that is keeping you from seizing the day? Is there something that is holding you back? If so, it’s time to identify those obstacles in your life. In this first lesson, we will look at some common obstacles that get in the way of our journey with Christ and determine how we can move past them.

Opening Discussion

For this first session, go around the group and introduce yourselves to one another, and then answer the following questions:

  • When was the last time you got lost while on a road trip? How did you end up getting back on track?
  • What made you want to be a part of this group? What are you hoping to get out of this study?

Watch Session One: What’s Next?
Play the video segment for session 1. As you watch, use the following outline to record any thoughts, questions, or points that stand out to you.

Notes

God wants you to know Him, find freedom, discover your purpose, and make a difference

Three things you need to move on from include:

Old history

Old habits

Old hurts

Write down this phrase: “I can’t start ________________________” It’s time to repent — to change your mind and your direction in these areas:

It’s time to get closer to God

It’s time to get honest with a friend

It’s time to get in tune with your purpose and passions

It’s time to get doing something greater than yourself

If you dedicate your life to something greater than yourself, God will fill your life with passion and adventure

Group Discussion

Take a few minutes with your group members to discuss what you just watched and explore these concepts in Scripture.

  1. At a traffic light, you might have to give the car in front of you a “beep beep” to get them moving. How has God done this in your life when He wanted you to move forward?
  2. In Luke 9:57-62, many people wanted to follow Jesus, but they had all kinds of excuses why they could not. What are areas where you are prone to procrastinate in your spiritual life?
  3. Read Isaiah 43:18-19. What does it mean to “forget” the former things in your life? How can being locked in the past prevent you from moving forward?
  4. Read 2 Corinthians 5:17-18. What are some old habits and old hurts that you need put behind you in order to step into the new life that God has for you?
  5. What are some things that tend to get in the way of you getting closer to God? Of getting honest with others? Of getting in tune with your passions in life?
  6. Read Ephesians 2:10. What is the “work” that you feel God is calling you to do? What first step will you take this week to start moving toward that calling?

Individual Activity

Close out today’s session by completing this short activity on your own.

  1. Briefly review the video outline and any notes you took.
  2. In the space below, write down the most significant point you took away from this session — from the teaching, activities, or discussions.

What I want to remember from this session is . . .

Closing Prayer

Go around the room and share any prayer requests you would like the group to pray about. Conclude your session by praying for these requests together. Ask God to work in each of your hearts throughout the week as you reflect on all you have covered during this first meeting.

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Your Turn

Let us know what you thought of What’s Next?: The Journey to Know God, Find Freedom, Discover Purpose, and Make a Difference. What is God calling you to next?

 

 

 

 

Chris Hodges

Chris Hodges is the founding and senior pastor of Church of the Highlands. Under his leadership, Church of the Highlands offers fifty-four worship services each weekend at fifteen campuses with over 43,000 people attending weekly. He also co-founded the Association of Related Churches, launched a coaching network called GROW, and serves as Chancellor of The Highlands College, an accredited two-year ministry training college. Chris and his wife, Tammy, have five children and live in Birmingham, Alabama.

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