NextLevel Online: Between Two Trees

Session 8: The God Between Two Tress - The Power of With

This session covers the revelation in gardening. But this isn't just gardening, this is transformation. This session covers why the Lord is described as the Lord of with and how is transformation a celebration of God of with.


Classroom Instructions

Materials: Lesson Outline
  • TheRevelation in Gardening

    • Gardening is infused with patience:

      • Titling the ground, spreading compost, waiting and watering, fighting against critters, etc.
      • To garden, you must be willing to dig; you must be willing to endure pain. You must repurpose death, creatively fend off enemies, submit to the mystery of growth, and, yes, you must be patient.
    • But this isn’t just gardening. This is transformation

      • To fully engage transformation, we must embrace our pain and patiently endure daily.

      • Which is why I’m so thankful that God’s favorite word is with.

  • The God of With

    • If I had to pick just one word to describe the Lord, I would choose the word with.

    • Matthew bookends his entire Gospel with the word with (Matthew 1:23; 28:19-20)

  • My Struggle

    • The Lord’s message to me: “Shane, you are really good at doing things for me, but you are terrible at doing things with me.”

    • Presence isn’t a one-way street, for someone can be physically in our presence, and yet not really with us.

  • The Pursuit of With

    • It’s easy to forget that in this world caught between two trees, we serve the God of with.

    • He longs to be with us and us with him. Truly with him (Revelation 21:1-4)

  • Conclusion

    • Transformation is a celebration of the God of with.

    • Transformation is an invitation for union—an invitation that begins and ends with the word “Come.”

Discussion Questions for Video 8:

  • What does it look like to do everything “with” God on a daily basis?

  • What preposition would you use to characterize your relationship with God?

  • What has been your process of transformation in the Lord?

  • Who do you want God to transform you into in [insert current year or the upcoming year?

  • How much can we learn about a creator from their creation?

  • How do we communicate the urgency of experiencing painful transformation in a culture preoccupied with pleasure?

  • How do we truly show others we are with them? How does being with others communicate God’s presence?

  • How do we encourage and remind people that in the midst of life, God is still with us, especially when He feels so far away?

  • How do we practice the value of being present, both with people and with God?

  • If just “being around people doesn’t mean you are present with them, then: are you present with people? Do you ever look at people in the eyes and let them know that you care about them?

  • What is preventing you from being transformed completely into who Christ wants you to be?

  • What would be different about your life if you lived WITH God?

  • When do you feel pursued by God?

  • What is the difference between doing things “with” God and “for” God?

  • “The only way you can be WITH God is if you COME.” What did Shane mean by that and how might we do that?

  • Do you think the church does a good job of teaching that God longs to be with us? What would you change or continue to emphasize?

  • How have you been reminded of God’s presence with you? How might regular reflection on such moments (e.g., in the morning, at lunch, before we go to bed) enable you to face your present separation from God?

About NextLevel Online

The vision of Ozark Christian College is to glorify God by evangelizing the lost and edifying Christians worldwide. The mission of Ozark Christian College is to train men and women for Christian service as a degree-granting institution of biblical higher education.