Live Fully: Book Study – Chapter 2

05 February, 2015
King David dances and plays his harp before the Ark of the Covenant. Michal, embarrassed, points at him from the window.

King David dances and plays his harp before the Ark of the Covenant. Michal, embarrassed, points at him from the window.

David lived fully because he was fully free. He was in love with God and free from self-reliance and self-centeredness. This full life was not something David accomplished on his own; he was set free to experience it through his love for God and his being loved by God.  It is in that freedom that life is received and in that freedom that it grows.

Michael Reeves in his book Delighting in the Trinity explains life in this way:

“The life the Spirit gives is not an abstract package of blessing; it is his own life that he shares with us, the life of fellowship with the Father and the Son. Thus the Spirit is not like some divine milkman, leaving the gift of “life” on our doorsteps only to move on. In giving us life he comes in to be with us and remain with us. Having once given life, then, he does not move on, he stays to make that life blossom and grow. “ p.90

Study Questions

1. Rick says “I want to live fully. I don’t want my life to be stunted by fear or insecurity. I want to live the life God made me for” (32). Have you experienced, or are you currently experiencing, fear or insecurity that keeps you from living fully?

2. This chapter tells the story of three people and their responses to freedom. If you had to pick one of those three, who do you most relate to in your journey toward freedom: Uzzah, the self-reliant person; David, the self-forgetful person; or Michal, the self-centered person?

3. To live fully is to fully trust God; however, we are often afraid of trusting him because he might put our life together in a way that we would not. Are you afraid of this? Explain.

4. Give three ways that your life might change if you trusted God fully?

Previous Chapters

To engage previous chapters follow the links below.


13 Responses to “Live Fully: Book Study – Chapter 2”

  1. Chelsea Gerlach

    This is my favorite image of worship- David dancing like no one is watching. Remember the movie Footloose? How did that happen that Christians became afraid of dancing? I think we are meant to embody the joy and freedom of Christ in our movement. For me, dancing is one of the purest expressions of that.
    But I wish I could bring that joy and freedom into other aspects of my life. When I’m working, I often become Uzzah, taking the ark in my own hands rather than letting it fall where it may, trusting that God is still in the broken pieces.

    • Rick McKinley

      David’s dancing is a wonderful image of worship! St. Gregory the Great wrote in the 6th century that he was more impressed by David’s dancing before the Ark than any of the stories of David’s fighting. He said that in his dancing we see the King who was preferred by God, humbling himself to the place of the commoner. Gregory said that “in his fighting David subdued his enemies; but by dancing before the Lord he overcame himself.”

      Many of us probably feel like Uzzah at work and are guilty of becoming too self-reliant. Sometimes it seems it’s easier to grab the ‘Ark in our own hands.’ Though you may be inclined to lean toward self-reliance at work, Chelsea, it’s evident that God is more to you than some non-present historical figure.

  2. Wes

    3. What can I say about trusting God? He’s shown that He loves me many times. He rescued me from darkness twelve years ago when I was scared to death. I’ve had wonderful experiences of His peace and understanding of His Word. Faith sounds good. Doing? Oh yeah, the action part where the introvert steps out in faith is the scary part. It’s all of that unknown, giving up control stuff that I have trouble with. I love the story though, where I feel His love. But stepping out to be an actor in it? I don’t know about that.

    • Rick McKinley

      Wes, Thanks for your response. The fear part of this is so hard for us. We truly want to be an actor in God’s story, but we can’t get past our fear of what others might think, of what God might think, and of what it might do to our perfectly ordered lives.

      David’s story is encouraging because he was a man that had so much more to lose, and yet stepped out, or rather danced out, in faith. Fear paralyzes us. A loving relationship with God frees us to step out.

      David tells Michal that he didn’t step out in front of others but in front of God. His focus was on the Lord whom he loved and who loved him. It sounds like God has shown himself faithful and loving to you as well Wes, and that this goes beyond experiencing peaceful times to an understanding and faith that God loves you deeply.

  3. Erica Beller

    2. Uzzah. There was a turning point in my life where I suddenly realized, ‘Whoa.. is this what God has planned? I need to fix this mess.” My personality is different. From happy go lucky, God is going to redeem everything to a person who really struggles to trust God. I attempt to control every thing and another part of me looks back and wonders where the real me went. Extrovert to introvert. Someone who on a whim backpacked Europe alone to someone who doesn’t like to leave the house and can’t answer a phone. My life is run off fear.

    3. Yes, God put my life together in a way I wish hadn’t happened. So I still fear the same will keep happening. I wanted to be a missionary, a young wife, and have lots of children. I’m married now but having many children of our own isn’t possible. Missions is pretty much a shut door. I never had other things I was passionate besides God and family, so I am floundering as to what my life is about now. I still remember the sermon you did at Franklin where you talked about dreams and let a vase shatter on stage. I hope God can heal me and give me new dreams, but it’s been hard to let go of what I really wanted. I feel like my life missed the mark.

    I have an easy time trusting God financially, physically, etc. I wish I could trust him with my child. If I could give that up, I would live in the moment. I would enjoy the time I have with him and not grieve over what we’ve lost and what we are losing. I know that the imperfections being put into his childhood will be used by God. Everything in my life is under scrutiny. Where I live, how many times I move, every decision I make. A mistake could cost huge amounts of money I don’t have. So many times I feel trapped and a loss of freedom. I wish I could allow God to make all those decisions and would protect me from making the wrong choices. I hope that God can show me what I do have and find gratitude that I still have a good life.

    The biggest hope I have is that I would trust God, remember who I used to be, and be that woman again.

    • Rick McKinley

      Erica, living in fear is a difficult place to be. Thank you for sharing. If we’re honest, many of us deal with the same feelings. This fear keeps us focused on ourselves and tells us that we’re the only ones we can truly trust. It makes us think that we need to take control. God doesn’t want us to live in that fear, he wants to set us free from it. He wants us to be in love with Him and to trust that He is good. Your hope that you would trust God again is His hope as well! I hope the rest of the book will help you see what it means to live into being your true self in the love of God. Thank you for your response here. Your honesty shows that God is working in your life and heart.

  4. Heidi Dahlin

    #3: Well, I’ve had to learn to trust God the hard way. One of the greatest blessings in life was turning 50. At that point, I realized the futility of my efforts to direct things in my life my way (I could totally see me trying to direct exactly where that ark should go) and could stop trying to put God in a box. My life totally did not turn out the way I thought it would; it’s infinitely better. It took many years of me wrestling with God at every step to finally just stop. I felt like he took things from my life, one by one, that I was holding onto way too tightly, but once I let go, he gave them back to me in a different–and better–form: my health, my children, my marriage, my job, my church. He put my life back together in a different way than I thought possible, and it was only by letting go that I could end up fully embracing and celebrating life. BTW, I love when Michelle leads worship–that’s dancing music!

    • Rick McKinley

      Heidi thanks for telling us your story. It is encouraging to hear from people who have found God to be trustworthy and have found the freedom to embrace and celebrate life.

      Michelle will be happy to hear that! I agree, we are incredibly blessed to have her!

  5. Ruben J. Alvarado

    #3—I am afraid to fully trust God because I feel I will let God down. I feel not capable of doing and enduring what that total commitment might imply. What blessings would I have to give up? Am I strong enough? Will I be like Peter who talked the walk, but failed the walk upon concentrating upon the storm and losing focus on our Lord. Surrendering one’s life, to fully trust God, is an ideal achievement, but one I’m not sure I could accomplish. I enjoy my family, and .the blessings of his creation. To trust might mean to give up those things one loves. I also realize that God gave up his only Son to show how much he loved us. I also realize that in the long run, we will give those up. I love My Lord, for I know what he has done for us . I admire the faith Abraham had in the Lord. I want to please God. I want to fully trust Him and have the faith that Peter had after Pentecost. I know I need to come to the realization how freeing a complete trust in God would be.

    • Ruben Alvarado

      Hey Dad! Glad you were able to join us.
      I understand what you mean. A lot of people have the fear that trusting God might be equal to giving things up. I think this fear even keeps us from seeing the great gain that we have in knowing Christ. I love this verse in Philippians that shows Paul’s trust in Christ: “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ.”

    • rick mckinley

      Thanks Ruben,
      I can appreciate that fear. It is a big peace of our resistance to what it means to walk forward by faith. There are things and people that we love so much that sometimes trusting God makes us feel like we will somehow have to let go of those things. And your right, in a final way we do at our death, but also in His love we realize that he holds out the promise that the end is not the end. Ultimately we are being asked to trust that God is as good as we would hope Him to be and has good intentions for us, even when we don’t fully understand what they are. That is where I hope the rest of the book will bring us some help. Thanks for being honest, your desire to move into trust is a key window into what the Spirit is doing in your heart.

  6. Jordan

    2. I’d have to say I line up well with Uzzah. I like to think I have control over most aspects of my life. It turns out, time after time, that I’m so very wrong. I enjoy the thought of being as open and carefree as David is. I’ve definitely had a few ‘David’ moments in my life, but for the majority of my adult life I’ve lived in the fear of being without control. It seems more frightening to give up the little control I do have than to just let it go (go all in). Despite what I read, hear, learn, experience, I still fear just letting go. I know that the times when I have been ‘David’-like it was very freeing. Those are the times I remember feeling some of the most pure emotions, too (nothing fake or half-assed). I remember the feeling of pure joy and excitement. I remember it well because it is something I strive to feel again.

    • Rick McKinley

      Thanks for sharing Jordan. There are so many of us out there who find it hard to give up control. It’s difficult because the element of risk keeps us focused on ourselves. The beautiful thing about David’s story is that his focus was on God and not self. So that when Michal accused him of making a fool of himself before the people he responded by saying that he didn’t dance before the people but before God. That’s encouraging because David, as King, probably had more to risk and more pressure to exert his control than most people. Yet, he risked, he trusted, and he was set free in God’s love to fully live! Its encouraging because God has invited us into that as well!


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