Chapter Ten

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Discussion Questions

Loving yourself means that you desire the best for yourself in light of eternity and act in a way that has the greatest impact toward that best. Hating yourself means that you are more concerned with earthly passions and pursuits and act accordingly, focusing on things of this temporary world instead of things that will last for eternity. With those definitions in mind, are you loving yourself the way God wants you to love yourself? If yes, in what ways? If not, why not?


Paul (by the Holy Spirit) says, “Walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Have you ever attempted the reverse order, trying to conquer the lust of the flesh first so you can be spiritual enough to walk in the Spirit? What was the result?

Refer again to what walking in the Spirit involves:

1. Focus on the eternal

2. Pray without ceasing, both with the Spirit and with your understanding

3. Speak the Word of God over yourself and your situations

4. Sing the oracles of God

5. Maintain an attitude of thanksgiving

6. Walk in humility, be teachable, and honor spiritual authority

7. Yield to the Holy Spirit’s direction (obey even when your flesh does not feel like it)

Which of the above do you do or not do on a frequent basis throughout your day? Why or why not?

How often have you used the “I just don’t feel led” excuse, when in reality, you just didn’t want to do it?

When is the last time you were prompted by the Holy Spirit to do something your flesh did not want to do, and you obeyed? If you have to think about that one, you may be yielding to your flesh more than you realize.

When was the last time you fasted? What was the last book you read on the subject of fasting? When you last fasted, did you simply fast things that were not that much of a sacrifice to give up?

Read Isaiah 58. When you last fasted, did you do so with such commitment, focus and fervency that you saw bondages broken, burdens lifted, and the oppressed set free? Did your heart break so much for others that you shared your resources to a greater extent, and befriended those who needed love? Did you experience greater revelation, healing in your body, and a renewed sense of the righteousness of God that is yours in Christ Jesus? That is the fast God desires. If all you experienced was decreased weight and increased irritability, you are focused more on your performance lifted up than God’s power poured down.

Think about the illustration of the seed pod. We can choose to hang in the comfort of the seed pod and cling to our present, temporary lives, or we can choose do die to ourselves to reap eternal benefit far beyond what we can think or imagine. Which have you been doing?

The Bible is clear that the Kingdom of God comes at a great cost. How much has your Christian walk actually cost you? If the answer is “not much,” then consider the possibility that you may be pursuing your kingdom more than God’s kingdom.

Review the four characteristics of children. Do these describe you? Why or why not?

There are people who, like me when I had my ear infection, do not even realize they have become desensitized and calloused because they are living lives that give various fleshly tendencies full reign. Do you think you are in that group? How can you be sure you are not? Do you think that the extent to which you have fasted over the past few weeks or months is a good indicator? Why or why not?