What you naturally want is often in conflict with what you ultimately value. But your heavenly Father knows what you need. He wants for you what you really want. So, how do you put aside those natural wants and pursue what you ultimately value?

Start Talking

  • Did you have a chance to work through the eulogy exercise Andy talked about last week? If so, What did you discover?
  • During this week’s message Andy said, “The kingdom of this world is designed to distract you from what really matters, and our culture is fascinated with upgrades and experiences.” What are some ways your quest for upgrades or experiences has distracted you from what you’ve determined really matters?
  • Do you think your parents’ generation had an easier time focusing on what they valued versus what they merely wanted? How did this play out in your family of origin?

Read This

Read Romans 12:1-2

  • What does Paul (author of this passage) mean by “In view of God’s Mercy”?
    • Why is it important to view our life through the lens of God’s Mercy ?
  • Talk about the idea of “offering yourself as a living sacrifice”. What does this mean, and why would Paul use this imagery?
  • Paul urges the Romans to “not conform to the patterns of this world.” Andy rephrased this as “Don’t be distracted by upgrades and experiences”  Would you say that this is a pattern of our world? Where do you feel this most?
  • Talk about the contrast between being conformed vs. transformed. How does Paul say one is transformed? What does this mean practically? 
  • What does Paul say happens when we begin to transform our minds?
  • Does the idea that God’s will can be characterized as “good, pleasing, and perfect” strike you as odd? Why or why not?
  • Has there ever been a time when you would have characterized God’s will as threatening,unfulfilling, and insensitive to the way you are wired? If so, what changed your mind about God?

Let’s take a look at another example of focusing on what one values over what they  want in scripture. Read Hebrews 11:24-26. Moses was able to distinguish between what he wanted and what he valued.

  • What is the relationship between the “fleeting pleasure of sin,” “greater value,” and “looking ahead”?
  •  How did Moses overcome the temptation to opt for immediate over ultimate?
  • Can you think of another example in scripture of someone choosing what they ultimately value over what they currently wanted? Or maybe consider the opposite: Is there a time in scripture when we see someone value their wants over their values? What do we learn about God through these stories?

Read also 2 Corinthians 5:17

  • When you think about your life, what does the “Old” represent? What about the “new”?

What Now

  • As we wrap up this series, what would you say you really want? What is most important to you? Have you discovered something new during this series? What steps have you taken/are you planning to take to keep your attention on your values rather than your wants?

Remember This

The kingdom of this world won’t provide you with what you really want. It will distract you from what really matters. It will rob you of what you value. What you were created for is connected to who you were created by. The way to get what you really want is to surrender to your heavenly Father and renew your mind.

Additional Resources

7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey (Book)
The Life You’ve Always Wanted by Joel Ortberg (Book)