Experiencing God: Week 5
Experiencing God: Week 5
- God is always at work around us.
- God pursues a continuing love relationship with us that is real and personal.
- God invites us to become involved in His work.
- God speaks to us through His Word, Prayer, the Church and our circumstances.
Exodus 3:7-10 (NIV) The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them…out…”
1. When God invites us, His invitation provokes a response.
- When God invited Moses, the call was God sized; something Moses couldn’t possibly do on His own.
Exodus 3:10-11 (NIV) So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people…out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?”
A crisis of belief is a turning point where you must make a decision.
Man says “Show me and I will trust you.” God says “Trust me and I will show you.”
2. There is often spiritual wrestling in the midst of a crisis of belief.
Galatians 5:16-17 (NIV) So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.
- Our flesh leads us to doubt, self-justification and to make excuses or look for an easier path.
- The Spirit will always point us to what is best but not necessarily easier.
Luke 9:23-24 (NIV) “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it.”
- God requires surrender and obedience.
- Following Christ confronts our comfort, pride, common sense and at times, logic.
1 Corinthians 1:27 (NIV) But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
Common wrestling points we are confronted with:
- Dying to our comfort – Lean into the uncomfortable. Experience the supernatural grace of God.
- Doubt and Fear – Eyes on our own inadequacies and not on God
- Self-sufficiency – We claim our security is in Christ, yet we rely on everything but God.
Exodus 4:1 (NIV) Moses answered, “What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, ‘The Lord did not appear to you’?”.
Exodus 4:10 (NIV) Moses said to the Lord, “I am slow of speech and tongue.”
“God doesn’t call you to get involved in His activity merely so that you can see what you can do. He calls you to an assignment that you can’t accomplish apart from His divine intervention. God’s assignments have God sized dimensions.”–Henry Blackaby
We can only hear and absorb the call of God if we are abiding. Abiding is essential to stop wrestling.
- When we abide, God restores our perspective about who He is.
3. God’s invitation brings us to a decision that requires Faith and Action.
- Faith expects confidence; an inner conviction that things will come to pass if God purposes them.
Hebrews 11:6 (NIV) And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
- Faith believes that He will provide for what He asks us to do.
- God is looking for our faith, not perfection. When we respond, we get to experience Him.
Luke 5:4-8 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” 5 Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” 6 When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. 7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink.8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”
- Peter begrudgingly responded. God wanted to change Peter’s heart through this invitation.
- When we act in faith, we get to experience a rich relationship with God and His work!
Hebrews 11:8-10 (NIV) By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. 9 By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. 10 For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
- As we step out in faith, God will reveal His next instructions to us.
- Acting in obedience reveals the substance of our faith – it’s more than talk.
- There is a cost to responding in faith and taking steps. We will be changed.
- Abraham and Moses both walked step by step with God. They probably would never have responded if
- God revealed all they would have to go through. How about you?
- A faith response is vital if we are going to truly experience God.
Call to Action:
- What is God leading you to that has created a crisis of belief? Remember God is dynamic and always at work. Therefore we are constantly called to respond in faith.
- What are you wrestling over? Be specific.
- How will you respond to God’s invitation?
- What will it take to trust God and act on His invitation? What do you need to die to or surrender to God?
For Small Group Discussion:
Scripture to Consider: Jeremiah 32:27, Mark 9:24, Romans 8:35-39, 1 Thessalonians 5:24, John 21:20-21
- Have you ever been in a situation where you thought things were going to go one way, but then things went differently? What was it?
- What decisions are you currently wrestling with? What might God be doing in the midst of it?
- Read John 21:20-21. Like Peter, has comparing your life to others ever caused a crisis of belief for you?How did you resolve that?
- Where in Scripture do you see God inviting people to do things that were humanly impossible?
- What has God called you to do that seems impossible to accomplish, unless God miraculously intervenes?
- Take a moment to review God’s faithfulness in your past – how does God’s past activity in your life give you confidence for the future?