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Get Neutral Part 2, Step Four of Sacred Pace, Terry Looper

Surrender your anxiety! Be silent and stop your striving and you will see that I am God. I am the God above all the nations, and I will be exalted throughout the whole earth. (Psalm 46:10, The Passion Translation)

The Marks of a Godly Answer

[the following excerpt is from "Sacred Pace", pg. 106]

The assurance of God's answer is further marked by the clarity with which He guides me: He either delivers a distinct solution or answer, or He prompts me to a definitive idea or course of action. Further, the message will be tangible and applicable and simple, not vague or mystical, and not confusing or complicated. And the deep-seated peace that accompanies it, along with any equipping I might need to act on it, is His fingerprint. That peace will be physical - penetrating my body and soothing me right down to my soul.
Some people like to claim that I'm acting on a hyper-developed intuition most of the time rather than the movement of the Holy Spirit. I will admit, I'm probably more naturally intuitive than most men. In fact, people sometimes tell me, "I don't get feelings in my gut." But I say, "You would if you tried." It's a matter of practice and a willingness to hear beyond the noise. Even more so, if you're a Christian, it's about tuning your frequency to the Holy Spirit so God's voice registers when He does speak.

Scripture Passages

Read the following scripture passages and then discuss the questions below.

"The Lord came and stood there, calling as at the other times, “Samuel! Samuel!” Then Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10, NIV)

"Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it." (Isaiah 30:20-21, NIV)

"See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” (Hebrews 3:12-15, NIV)

Discussion Questions

  1. Terry mentions "the clarity with which He guides me". Can you share a time when you've sensed very clear, definitive guidance from God?
  2. How would you define the difference between "the movement of the Holy Spirit", and "hyper-developed intuition"?
  3. In your own words, what does Terry mean by, "it's about tuning your frequency to the Holy Spirit so God's voice registers"?

Unexplainable but True

[the following excerpt is from "Sacred Pace", pg. 107]

The only final influence should be the Lord's. That's what we're striving for: His decision, not ours. The direction you receive from the Holy Spirit may feel like anything but a joyful answer to prayer. In fact, the odds are you won't be thrilled with the answer at first. No one likes to be told no or wait. Yet when you have peace, it is the answer - and God will help you accept it. Even more, you will ultimately thank Him for it, because the Lord knows what you yearn for. What I love about God's mysterious ways is that when we finally open ourselves to His decision, He will have worked in such a way that it will, in the end, be the decision we want too!

Scripture Passages

Read the following scripture passages and then discuss the questions below.

"Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble." (Psalm 119:165, NIV)

"Great and vast is his dominion. He will bring immeasurable peace and prosperity. He will rule on David’s throne and over David’s kingdom to establish and uphold it by promoting justice and righteousness from this time forward and forevermore. The marvelous passion that the Lord Yahweh, Commander of Angel Armies, has for his people will ensure that it is finished!" (Isaiah 9:7, The Passion Translation)

"The word from heaven will come to us with dazzling light to shine upon those who live in darkness, near death’s dark shadow. And he will illuminate the path that leads to the way of peace.” (Luke 1:79, The Passion Translation)

Discussion Questions

  1. What is required to ensure that God's influence outweighs all the other influences in our lives?
  2. When Terry says, "you won't be thrilled with the answer" - how does that feel? What is the gut reaction to his comment?
  3. How can you be sure, "The Lord knows what you yearn for"?
  4. Describe in your own words the peace the Terry speaks about.

Act on the Answer

[the following excerpt is from "Sacred Pace", pg. 108]

I've found that I usually don't receive an answer until I have the heaven-sent will to obey it. It's been said that God often changes our hearts before he changes our circumstances. God honors pure motives, and when you are ready, He will make sure that gyroscope of your gut locks in on His answer. (You'll know it's His answer when you have sustained peace no matter the answer.) As soon as it does, then act! Immediately. Do what He is prompting you to do.
Why is quick obedience so important? It stops cold the things that make us second-guess God. It shuts the door on sin, the weakness of the flesh, and the fear and doubts that are always lurking in our heads, trying to sabotage the Lord's work in our lives. I try to keep perceiving myself as a two-year-old, and therefore "dangerous," because I'm still prone to stubbornly choose my own way.
To respond immediately - to trust and obey God's answer once it's confirmed - helps put off the sway of sinful emotions and gets us busy doing His will.

Scripture Passages

Read the following scripture passages and then discuss the questions below.

"For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous." (Romans 2:13, NIV)

"And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love." (2 John 1:6, NIV)

"The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god." (Psalm 24:1-4, NIV)

Discussion Questions

  1. How would you describe a "heaven-sent will (to obey)"?
  2. Why do we struggle to prioritize our motives over outcomes? How can we change that tendency?
  3. Accepting "heart-change" before we experience "circumstance-change" can be very difficult. Share a life lesson when you had to reach "heart-change" in the face of difficulty.

Not Safe, but Never Sorry

[the following excerpt is from "Sacred Pace", pg. 109-110]

This journey - which is ultimately about dying to self and embracing God's sovereignty - isn't about being safe. However, it allows you to step out into the complete unknown regardless of any legitimate fears you may have.
When you get in your soul that something works, you have courage to keep pursuing it. Let's say you've successfully skydived twenty times before. Your history of success gives you the confidence to jump out of the plane that twenty-first time. I stepped out and waited until I got neutral in that first situation so long ago - starting Texon on a forty hour workweek, minus sales goals - and when I saw not only the real-life results but experienced the inner changes that came with it, I couldn't resist; I just had to keep leaping out of that plane when faced with other decisions.
Still, though, I do feel hesitant sometimes in spite of God's flawless track record in my life. The way I overcome my trepidation about trusting His answers is by realizing there's always a blessing at the end. Keeping my eyes on that prize - the wonderful results of being able to step out in faith, sure of the Lord's leading - is worth everything.

Scripture Passages

Read the following scripture passages and then discuss the questions below.

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." (Galatians 2:20, NIV)

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." (Hebrews 12:1-3, NIV)

Discussion Questions

  1. "Embracing God's sovereignty" is a huge concept to wrestle with...but share some practical ways you've been able to apply that reality to your thinking and actions.
  2. How do you feel about "(it) isn't about being safe" and "step out into the complete unknown"? How have you seen that lived out in other's spiritual walk or in your own?
  3. Define what you think Terry means by "there's always a blessing at the end".
  4. Is living the "Sacred Pace" lifestyle really "worth everything"? How does that change your day and decisions?
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Stay on the path that the LORD your God has commanded you to follow. Then you will live long and prosperous lives in the land you are about to enter and occupy. Deut. 5:33 NLT

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Created with images by Alok Sharma - "Buckle Up" • Paul Skorupskas - "Mountain lake in camera lens" • Enoc Valenzuela - "Buscaba representar la Misión del Evangelio, en Marcos 16:15, y puse este texto dentro de los lentes. / I sought to represent the Gospel Mission in Mark 16:15, and put this text inside the glasses." • Bruno Nascimento - "untitled image" • Ashley Knedler - "Simba" • Bonnie Kittle - "untitled image"