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Costa Rica Interest Meeting
Costa Rica Interest Meeting
Series: Gospel of Luke
Sermon Title: Why should I obey when it does not make sense?
Passage: Luke 5:1-11 NIV
- BECAUSE UNDERSTANDING IS NOT REQUIRED FOR OBEDIENCE.
- BECAUSE OBEDIENCE LEADS TO BLESSING.
- BECAUSE OBEDIENCE INVITES REVELATION
Isaiah 6:1, 6:5
- BECAUSE ACTS OF SMALL OBEDIENCE OFTEN PRECEDE MASSIVE OPPORTUNITIES.
GROUP DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
- What are some areas of life where you struggle to understand the purpose of obedience? What would it look like to trust God in those areas?
- It would seem that Peter would know more about fishing than Jesus did, but Peter chooses to listen to Jesus. Discuss a time in your life when you felt like you knew better than God. What was that season like for you?
- Peter could have come up with a lot of excuses why he didn’t want to obey Jesus at that moment. When have you had a lot of excuses rather than obeying God?
- Why is God trustworthy?
- The words, ‘friend’ and ‘secret’ are closely related in the scriptures. Knowing that, and that we were called as ‘friends’, does it make sense that he would begin to reveal things to us on that basis? How does that change your understanding of obedience?
- Peter decides to obey Jesus and the result is that he caught a large number of fish. When in your life has your decision to obey Jesus resulted in lots of blessings?
- When has obedience led to fruit, opportunities, or deeper revelations of God in your life?
PERSONAL REFLECTION QUESTIONS
- Ask yourself if there are any lies you are believing about God that are hindering your trust in Him. Ask the Spirit to reveal fresh truths of who God is to you.
- How is your obedience to God born from your love for God rather than an attempt to please him?
- How does your desire to obey God come from a knowledge of His character?
- Have you seen miracles in your life that caused you to realize your own finiteness and God’s majesty and power?
- When have you experienced sins of omission (not doing something God is asking you to do) or sins of commission (doing something God does not want you to do)?
- Have you felt like you have obeyed Jesus and did not receive any blessing? How did that make you feel?
- What are some big things that God might be preparing you to do based on your faithfulness with the small things?
SCRIPTURES TO MEDITATE ON
- BOOK | MEREDITH MILLER | Woven: Nurturing a Faith Your Kid Doesn’t Have to Heal
- ARTICLE | TRISH DONOHUE | Should I Obey When I Don’t Feel Like It
- ARTICLE | JOHN PIPER | Joy Is Obedience
- QUOTE | JOHN CALVIN – “For as the surest source of destruction to men is to obey themselves, so the only haven of safety is to have no other will, no other wisdom, than to follow the Lord wherever he leads. Let this, then, be the first step, to abandon ourselves, and devote the whole energy of our minds to the service of God.”
SPIRITUAL PRACTICE TO TRY
Over the coming weeks, I want to encourage you to explore the spiritual practice of the EXAMEN. For the past millennia, our brothers and sisters of the faith have practiced this prayer discipline. The Examination of consciousness, or The Examen, provides opportunities to recognize where God shows up in our day. “The examen is a practice for discerning the voice and activity of God within the flow of the day. It is a vehicle that creates a deeper awareness of God-given desires in one’s life.” (Calhoun, Adele Ahlberg.) The desired outcome of this practice is to help you become aware of both God and your God-given desires, and respond to them.
For those of you who have a more positive outlook day to day, this practice helps discern times and places where you feel most aware of the fruit of the Spirit. For those who are more serious or melancholy, this practice helps shift your awareness to life-giving moments the Holy Spirit brings into your day.
“The examen makes us aware of moments that at first we might easily pass by as insignificant, moments that ultimately can give direction for our lives.” —Dennis Linn
As you grow in recognition and embracing of the Holy Spirit throughout your day, awareness of His prompting becomes more natural,- and surrendered obedience becomes more our heart’s desire. Our will becomes aligned with His will, self-centered living becomes more Christ centered living. Our life begins to form around God’s daily and momentary desires for us and the Kingdom of God. I look forward to hearing how this practice influences your day-to-day living out your faith relationship with our Lord.
Exam questions: (Taken from Adele Calhoun’s Spiritual Disciplines Handbook)
- When today did I have the deepest sense of connection with God, others and myself ? When today did I have the least sense of connection?
- When did I give and receive the most love today? When did I give and receive the least love today?
- Where was I aware of living out of the fruit of the Spirit? Where was there an absence of the fruit of the Spirit?
- Gather together the threads of your daily encounters and activities. Attending to them one at a time, ask yourself some of the examen questions:
- Where did I give or receive love in this activity or interaction?
- How did I withhold love in this activity or interaction?
- What activity gave me the greatest high?
- Which one made me feel low?
- Reflect on where God was in the highs and lows of the day.
- How is God inviting you to pray about these things before you nestle into his arms and fall asleep?
- Make a list of feeling words. For example: accepted, anxious, apathetic, confused, defeated, disgusted, ecstatic, enraged, paranoid, weepy, undecided. Then begin to ask yourself the examen questions. Let these words help you articulate what drains or saps you and what gives you life. Let this knowing inform your choices.
- Find a quiet moment to reflect on your day or week. Open your palms and ask the Holy Spirit to show you the moment for which you are least grateful. What made that moment difficult? Be with your feelings; don’t try to change them or make them acceptable. Offer them up to God. Talk to him about them. Where was God in this moment? You may want to thank God that he is always ready to be with you and talk to you.
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
“Trust is always the precursor to obedience. The people’s obedience is not the first course of action they take, but rather a responsive action based on their determination that yes, indeed, Yahweh God of Israel can be trusted. “ -Meredith Miller in Woven: Nurturing a Faith Your Kid Doesn’t Have to Heal From
If there is an area of your life where you’re struggling with obedience, ask yourself- “Is there a lie I am believing that’s causing me not to trust God in this area?” When Adam and Eve first disobeyed God in the garden, they believed the lie that God was holding out on them, that maybe God didn’t really love them, and that He couldn’t be trusted. And we constantly fall into those same deceptions, whether through downright disobedience or prideful self-reliance.
Ask the Spirit to reveal areas of distrust in your life and to show you deeper revelations of who God is, so that you may walk in trust and experience an overflow of obedience and peace in your life. After all, God’s heart for us is not behavior management– it’s intimacy with Him.
For parents or anyone else who is nurturing a child’s faith, I recommend reading Woven for more insights on how we can help kids develop a deep trust in God that can withstand the challenges of life. You can find the link to this book in our resource section.
– Lauren Meyer | Children’s Director Reno Campus