To be able to reflect more deeply on our view of God and how that affects our relationship with Him
To reflect on the areas in our lives and our communities that need healing and restoration
God is relational and loving, and He desires more than just salvation but also growing deeply and intimately with Him. God heals and restores individuals and communities and it’s important that we think about what that could look like for our contexts.
Start with reviewing the grid of God’s Redemptive Mission from the previous discipleship. Redraw the grid (with just the 4 main quadrants titled with different relationships) or turn to it in your journal.
For this time, we are going to focus on our relationship with God and our relationship with ourselves.
Read this out loud
Pause between each question to think and imagine.
We are going to start with an exercise. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths to center yourself. Now, imagine God is in the room with you.
Where is God in the room with you? Is he near you or far? Is he sitting or standing?
What is He doing?
Is he looking at you? How does He look at you? What look is on His face?
How are you feeling with Him in the room? What emotions come up if you look at Him?
What are you feeling? What are you feeling in your body as you think about these questions?
(What do your answers reveal about how you experience God? Or who God is to you?)
We see two sons with severed relationships with the Father in different ways.
What do both of these relationships look like?
In what ways do they see the father? What kind of lies about the father’s character do they believe?
Whether you’ve gone to church for a long time or just recently came into a relationship with God, we all have our own view of who God is. He is a sovereign, omnipotent, and mysterious God and there is beauty in the lifelong journey of discovering who He is. Our view of him is shaped through Scripture, which is unchanging, but it is also shaped through our own experiences and others. However, there are also below the surface factors that unknowingly shape our view of God too, like our relationship with our parents, our cultural values, and our own self worth.
These are all worth exploring because how we view God affects what our relationship with Him looks like.
Looking back to the parable, we see that the older son doesn’t know who the father is and misunderstands his relationship with him. He held in some disdain for the father. Imagine the older son, working for his father everyday. He is outwardly showing obedience but what is his heart towards the father like in that? Why do you think he is working for him?
How does the parable end? Where do you see the older son and the younger son?
-John Mark Comer
In God’s original design in the Garden of Eden, there is freedom and joy. After the fall, you can see that God doesn’t change. He doesn’t banish them immediately. Rather, he calls out for them and even clothes them. It is Adam and Eve’s view of God changes.
The Christian life isn’t meant to be a burden to carry or an obligation to do. But so often it can feel like it.
There are some Asian American cultural values that can influence barriers in our relationship with God. Some examples include,
fulfillment of duty
performance / saving face
going through the motions
not knowing what it’s like to desire and love God
not knowing how to bring our whole self to God
mission feels like a burden
lack of joy
lack of freedom
no complaining or wrestling with God
Take 5 minutes to journal these questions by yourself. Deeply think about them and answer honestly without filtering. You’ll only share however much you’re comfortable sharing afterwards.
Why do you follow God? Why do you go to discipleship / bible study / church, etc.?
What kind of lies are you believing about who God is?
How do you relate to some of the listed barriers? What are some things that aren’t on the list that you would put on it?
Share with one another however much you’d like.
God’s redemptive mission is restoring our relationship with Him. This includes salvation and having a personal relationship with God, but also is about how we view God and what kind of relationship that is.
Before engaging with the following reflection questions, please keep in mind to exercise empathy and active listening in order to create a safe space for reflection and sharing.
What would healing/restoration look like in your life? What is one step you can take today that works towards that healing?
What would healing/restoration look like for the community/communities you identify with? What is one step you can take today that works towards that healing?
What would healing/restoration look like for your family? What is one step you can take today that works towards that healing?
After reflecting on the above scriptures and questions, spend some time in prayer with one another.
In Scripture we see the healing and restoration in individuals and communities. Whether or not we realize it we are inextricably connected to others, in our immediate family or our ethnic and cultural group. It is important to note that healing and restoration, as you have discussed, may take many different forms and is unique to each individual and collective.