Go Deeper

Showing items filed under “Go Deeper”

Engage with Expectancy

This week we’re talking about actually plugging in our hearts to what God wants to do around us. We’re looking for where the gracious hand of God is moving, and then joining him there. We do this by paying closer attention to Christ, our community, and our calling and cultivating a deeper sense of hope. 

Here are some practical ways you can engage with God this week:

Going Deeper with Christ

To go deeper with Christ this week, we’re intentionally looking for places our hope needs a boost, and where we can enter into deeper worship.

STEP ONE: Take a few minutes to read Romans chapter 8. Take note of the bridge between groaning and glory. Then in a time of quiet reflection, ask Jesus where you’ve stopped “groaning.” In other words, you’re asking Jesus to show you where your excitement has waned, your engagement has faltered, and your hope has deflated. 

STEP TWO: Find a place to stand and cheer; actually give God an ovation with loud praise. Maybe you could find a place of solitude outdoors and celebrate the fall colors; maybe you could cheer for a situation that you’re going through. If you’re really daring you might get with a few other people and cheer together about something. Then, watch what happens to your body, and your heart. Take note of how you feel, and what you’re thinking; you may notice that your posture or perspective related to a particular issue in your life has shifted significantly. 

Going deeper with community

We know that we can grow in expectancy in our community and those around us when we find ourselves lacking in an openness to the stories of others. We must be open to both the pain and the excitement of other people’s lives if we are to partner in what God is doing. 

STEP ONE: It’s one thing to see God working in the lives of people you care about, but it’s not always apparent how to join him in it. Generally, an easy way to connect with the work God is doing in people is to be curious about other people’s stories, and ask open-ended questions. Open ended questions are inquiries that cannot be answered with a simple “yes” or “no.” Open ended questions invite a response that includes vulnerability and story telling. So, instead of “Are you okay?” You might say, “You seem upset; what’s going on?” Take 15 minutes and see if you can generate as many open-ended questions as possible; this exercise will get you in the rhythm of engaging those around you with questions that invite deeper answers.

STEP TWO:  Cultivate curiosity and expectancy in your heart this week by asking (at least) three people about their lives. Use open ended questions, and leave space for answers. See if you can suspend any assumptions — sometimes we have the least curiosity about those closest to us. Then, using the insight into the person, give them a word of encouragement. Just you taking the time to listen to them and then encourage them in a personal way will be extremely powerful.

Going deeper with calling

When we make the jump to uncap the expectation in our hearts that God will do marvelous things in our communities, among our neighbors, great things begin to happen. 

Click the link below to get started with this week’s Front Yard Mission, “Looking for the Rubble.” This track will help you see the difficulties others around you are having, and then see where God is moving in order to join him!

Front Yard Mission Track


Posted by Bret Mavrich


This week, Dan talks about the heart of repentance: changing your mind. Repentance is not just about turning from “secret sin.” Repentance is a discipline of spiritual renewal practiced by the most successful god-chasers in history.

Seen this way, repentance is actually the way we cultivate three postures: surrender (am I in control?), brokenness (what do I bring to the table?), and vulnerability (do I really need others?). 

Here are some ways we can go deeper with repentance this week.

Going deeper with Christ

Repentance in this area is about cultivating the posture of surrender with your time, your relationships, and your resources. Here’s what you can do:

STEP ONE:  Find a quiet place for ten minutes of silent reflection and contemplation. Ask God, “where am I still in control?”  What you’re really trying to identify are areas where your “obedience gap” is broad: if God asked you to use a particular resource in some way, would you joyfully obey, or would you balk? If the latter, you know you’ve found an area for greater surrender. 

Another question you could ask God is this: “what do I need to leave behind?” What you’re trying to detect here are areas where the good is getting in the way of the best, for your heart, for your family, for your relationship with God.

Whatever you sense in this time of quiet, write it down so you don’t forget it.

STEP TWO: Commit to surrender in these areas for the next 30 days. Each day, refresh your commitment to surrender with a simple prayer at the start of the day that reminds you and God of where you’re relinquishing control. If you’ve identified something good that is getting in the way of the best, consider fasting from that during this time (sweets, social media, political discussions, a hobby, etc.). Then, each evening, take just two or three minutes to look back over the day and reflect on whether or not you cultivated surrender that day. You may even keep a journal for the 30 days.

Going deeper with community

Repentance in this area is about cultivating the posture of vulnerability, about recognizing and leaning into your need for others. Vulnerability is not mostly about admitting fault and weakness; vulnerability is about being present in our relationships with authenticity, and offering ourselves in strength. Here’s how to do it:

STEP ONE: Find a quiet place for ten minutes of reflection and survey your core relationships (spouse, boss, friends, business partner, children, etc.) to identify two things: where in my relationships have I given too little out of a fear of being hurt or betrayed, and where in my relationships am I giving too much in an effort to keep someone happy?

You’re looking for a specific behavior/dynamic in a specific relationship. Maybe you over-apologize because you’re afraid the other person will be angry. Or maybe you have a bad habit of sharing too much, too deep, too fast and you need to be more judicious. Or maybe you default to a sarcastic tone so that no one ever knows how you really feel, and you don’t have to risk rejection.

When you identify these areas, writhe them down so you do not forget them. 

STEP TWO: Commit to talking to this person about this problem after a period of prayer. You might say to this person, “Hey, can we find time next week to talk about something important? I’ve come to understand ways that I’m operating around you that aren’t healthy, and I’d like to share them with you.” Then pray for your relationship every day, and even jot down some key phrases and insights that will help you communicate. 

And then commit to operate differently for 30 days. If you over apologize, consider going on hiatus from saying “I’m sorry.” Or you might commit to stop being sarcastic. Whatever you do, It will feel awful at first — you’re going against your instincts of self-preservation —  but you will learn when a heartfelt apology is truly appropriate and powerful, or how to share your opinions in a way that is direct and helpful.

Going deeper with your calling

Repentance in this area is about cultivating the posture of brokenness, or “what do I bring to the table.” 

When you think about you Front Yard Mission and loving you neighbors, are you approaching them like projects, like something broken that needs fixed, and that you’re bringing the solution? Or are you coming instead with your desperate dependence on God?

This week’s track is designed to help you retrace the prayerful posture of Nehemiah. Follow the link below for this weeks FYM track which will guide you in crafting your own Nehemiah prayer. 

Click here for FYM track

Posted by Bret Mavrich