Life Group Discussion Guide

Desire and Calling: Knowing God’s Will

In 2016 Dr. Tim Keller delivered a Talk at Google regarding his book Making Sense of God: An Invitation to the Skeptical. He addresses a number of objections that people commonly raise to the existence of the God of the Bible. One major area that Keller addresses throughout the talk are the ways that human desires can point people to or against their creator.

One really interesting illustration that Keller includes involves a skeptic named Langdon Gilkey who was imprisoned in a concentration camp in China during World War II. He observed that both religious and non-religious people were primarily interested in self-preservation in an environment of scarcity. The only difference between the two groups of people was that the religious couched their own desires in the language of “God wants for me to have this.”

 In the life of one missionary, named Eric Liddell (from Chariots of Fire), Gilkey saw true peace and self-sacrifice that was rooted in Gospel transformation. Even though Liddell died in the concentration camp, his witness transformed the trajectory of Gilkey’s life and many others. 

Liddell’s life was a very great example of how God’s calling uses both our gifts and our desires to allow us to glorify Him in the eyes of others. There was always an intersection of things that God had both gifted him to be good at doing and finding good pleasure in doing them. The result was an evidence of God, independent of religion, that was made plain to those who knew Liddell.

Discussion Questions

  • What are examples of things that are obvious about God’s calling on your life?
  • What things are much less obvious about God’s calling?
  • Should you simply “follow your dreams” in pursuing God’s calling?
  • Is religion helpful in defining your calling?
  • How can you distinguish a Godly desire from a fleshly desire as it relates to God?
  • Who do you have in your life who can help you to check your motives in making big life decisions?

Group Prayer

Engage in a time of prayer for one another. Make sure that every individual prayer request is prayed for by another individual in the group.

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Message: God’s Calling and the Desires of Our Heart

Jonathan Pugh
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