Friday, September 26, 2008

Remaining requires faith & obedience

This week, my small group curriculum discusses what it takes to possess the land and then remain in it.

re: the art of starting over

Opening Prayer, Confession of Faith & Worship

Big Idea:
Crossing thresholds is a part of the Christian journey. It is not possible for us to move forward without crossing some thresholds into new places, new experiences, new opportunities, and new victories the Lord has waiting for us on the other side. While it takes faith and obedience to cross a threshold, it also takes faith and obedience to remain on the other side of the threshold and possess the promises of God.

Many times, crossing the threshold is the easiest part of the journey. Dealing with what we see, think we see, or maybe don’t see on the other side can often be the most challenging part. When the Israelites finally crossed the threshold and stepped into the Promised Land, they were faced with the seemingly impossible task of taking the well-fortified city of Jericho. At this point, they could have given up and turned around. However, they chose to remain in the land and possess the promises of God. The Israelites chose faith and obedience over fear. We, too, must chose faith and obedience over fear so that we remain where God has called us and don’t retreat when we encounter strongholds of stiff resistance while pursuing the will of God. Just because something is difficult doesn’t mean it is not God’s will. We cannot allow obstacles, fear, or doubt to deter us from possessing the land.

Faith is important because it is believing in what is true – God, His character, and His promises. While faith requires being convinced that what we believe in is true, just knowing the truth is only half of faith. God’s word must be hoped for, embraced, and seized. This is where faithfulness and obedience play an important role in our possession of the promises of God. We must put our faith into action and actually do what God has called us to do. Let’s always remember that with God all things are possible. But, faith and obedience apart from Him are worthless. As much as we pour our passion and efforts into something, ultimately God has to do it … and He will.

Discussion Questions: (read the scriptures & discuss)

Joshua 6:1-20
How did the Israelites display faith and obedience at Jericho? What was the result of the Israelites daily obedience? Discuss instances where you have crossed a threshold just to find strongholds of stiff resistance. Has God ever asked you to do something “unconventional”? How did it turn out?

Matthew 14:25-33
How was Peter able to get out of the boat with the confidence that he would not sink? Why did Peter eventually sink? What areas in your life require complete faith?

Deuteronomy 11:22-27
How does this passage correlate obedience and God’s blessings? Discuss how you have experienced the blessings of God as a result of your obedience.

Taking Action: Are you facing a Jericho in your life – a stronghold of stiff resistance? During this season of fasting and prayer, daily submit this “giant” to the Lord, trust Him, obey Him, do not turn back, and see His victory in your life.

Ministry Time

Printer friendly copies of curriculum: full version or text only.

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