Probably the most-asked question at graduations is, “What are you going to do with your life?” For whatever reason, we tend to focus on what we can and should do in the future, rather than what we can and should do today. This often bleeds over into our relationship with God. Most of the college students I have counseled have a common problem: “I want to follow God, but I just can’t figure out His will for my life.” This can be such a huge preoccupation that they don’t consider what God wants them to do right now, in the situations that He has placed them in at this moment.
There’s nothing wrong with pursuing what God would have you do with your life, but sometimes we get so scared about missing our calling for the future that we become paralyzed in the present. God does have a plan for each of our lives, but He has never promised to reveal that plan to us in advance.
Q1: If you were absolutely, 100 percent submitted to the will of God at this moment, what do you think He might ask you to do?
You may have no idea what God “might” call you to. But that’s not really the point. Generally speaking, the answer is not as important as the question. Daily considering and pursuing the Spirit’s leading in our lives is crucial.
Read Romans 8:1–13 out loud as a group.
In Romans 7, Paul discusses the impossibility of obedience in the flesh: “I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out” (v. 18). This is a hopeless situation. But what is impossible in Romans 7 is made possible in Romans 8. What makes the difference? The Holy Spirit. “The Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death” (8:2). According to Romans 8, the difference between trying and failing, and truly obeying God has everything to do with following the Spirit’s leading.
Q2. In verses 5–8, Paul talks about the difference between the mind set on the flesh and the mind set on the Spirit. What is this difference? Give an example of what each type of person looks like.
Q3. Look at verses 9–13. What things does Paul mention that set the Spirit-filled person apart?
There is a real difference between adding the Spirit to your life and actually following Him minute by minute. If you add the Spirit to your life, you’re not open to change; you just want to enhance what you’re already doing. This is not what the Spirit came to do. On the other hand, if you begin following the Spirit’s leading in your life, you will find yourself changing. The Spirit may prompt you to let go of things that were once important to you. He may even call you to give up some good things in your life, at least for a time, in order to accomplish His purposes in and through you.
Q4. Which is more frightening to you, giving up everything you own, or going through life on your own without the Holy Spirit? Why do you say that?
Q5. What's one change, big or small, that you can make during the next 7 days that will help you surrender to the will of the Holy Spirit?