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Reflect

What if you had a strategy to maximize your life, a way to unlock your full potential and make the most of your days? It would probably change a lot. For many of us, the dissatisfaction we encounter in life comes from the feeling that something is “missing,” and we don’t know how to fix it. But letting God unleash the gifts of His Spirit in our lives frees us to live into the full potential He made us for, and that’s when life gets crazy beautiful –– the ultimate life hack.

Realize

1. Jesus was filled with the Spirit.

Luke 4:1(a)
Leader Notes

  • When we put our faith and trust in Jesus, his Holy Spirit indwells us. That’s slightly different from being filled by the Holy Spirit. To be filled by the Spirit we must first be emptied.
  • In Philippians 2, we learn that Jesus “emptied” himself, which means he took a position of humility and chose to not take advantage of the privileges he was entitled to as God. Instead, he took on humility, became like us, and fully submitted his will to the Father’s.
    Before the Lord can fill us with his Spirit, we must empty ourselves and let God give us his own dreams for our lives.

Are there any areas of your life you have not allowed the Spirit to have full authority over? What would it look like to invite the Spirit to reign in that part of your life and to fill you?

2. Jesus was led by the Spirit.

Luke 4:1(b)
Leader Notes

  • As we submit our wills to God and allow him to fill us with his Spirit, he begins to lead us. Being led means we don’t always get to go where we would want to go otherwise. The Holy Spirit is going to ask us to do things we don’t want to do, but it’s always for the purpose of receiving a better understanding of who Jesus is. (And let’s be real –– if your God lets you do everything you want to do, you’re worshiping yourself).
  • God doesn’t always lead us into things that are more convenient. God sometimes leads us into storms where we learn that He is our anchor through it all.
  • We cannot be the drivers for our lives. We have to allow God to drive our leaves and lead us, but we reap so much blessing when God leads our lives, even when we have to endure storms.

Describe a time the Holy Spirit led you to do something you were afraid of doing or you didn’t want to do. How did you respond? What did you learn? Who is setting the destination for your life, and where are you being led right now?

3.  Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit.

Luke 4:14
Leader Notes

  • Just like Jesus relied on the power of the Spirit, we can’t rely on our own power to get us through life. Left up to our own devices, we aren’t strong enough to navigate this life in the way God wants us to.
  • As we face situations where we encounter our own weaknesses and limitations, we see God’s power more clearly (2 Corinthians 12:9). Because our culture values self-sufficiency, relying on our own strength gets glorified and can often sneak by under the radar. We can only know true freedom when we learn to depend fully on the Lord.

What is one situation you’re walking through right now (or a relationship you’re working through) that makes you feel especially weak? What power does God offer you for that situation specifically? How do you see his power displayed through your weakness?

4.  Jesus was anointed by the Spirit.

Luke 4:16-18
Leader Notes

  • Jesus was anointed by the Spirit for a specific calling: to proclaim good news and to liberate the oppressed. As Jesus’ followers, we share in his calling, and God has a specific role for each of us to play.
  • As we talk in our groups, let’s consider what our specific anointing might be –– as individuals and as a community. Although the Spirit equips and empowers us to fulfill our calling, we can choose whether or not we live into his anointing for us by preparing for and stewarding the gifts and opportunities the Lord gives us on a daily basis.

What is the specific anointing God has given you over your life? How are you preparing for and stewarding that calling and anointing for your life right now?

Optional Follow-up Questions:

  • What makes you say that?
  • How do you feel about that?
  • How would you explain your answer to a non-Christian friend or neighbor?
  • Why did God design it to work that way? Why not just do (whatever else) instead?
  • What would you say to someone who disagrees with that?
  • Why do we really have to do it like that? Why can’t we just go (some other route) instead?