September 10, 2016
Danny’s message could be summed up in two words ‘Fear’ and ‘Persecution’.
Do you have fears? Do you fear change, persecution or something else?
How do you respond or do you react to either of these? Is there a difference? If so what is it?
Do you have victory or sometimes are you overcome or even paralysed by your fear(s)?
Do you sometimes hold back from speaking about God and his ways because of fear of the way you may be treated by non-Christians as a result?
Share your answers and discuss them with your group.
Let’s see what we can learn from two familiar stories from the Old Testament
1. Read 1 Samuel 17:17-58.
What stands out from this story? Share with your group.
How did the Israelite army react when Goliath came out? How did David respond?
What was the difference between the focus of David compared with the Israelite army?
What was David’s motivation for fighting Goliath?
Discuss the following….
“What a difference perspective can make. Most of the onlookers saw only a giant. David, however saw a mortal man defying Almighty God. Goliath was a target too big to miss. He knew he would not be alone when he faced Goliath. God would fight with him. He looked at his situation from God’s point of view. Who or what are the giants you are facing? Viewing impossible situations from God’s point of view helps us put giant problems in perspective. Once we see clearly, we can fight more effectively.” *
2. Read Exodus 4:1-17.
What was Moses’ focus?
What did God ask Moses to do when he was overwhelmed with fear and inadequacies and thinking about the task God was asking him to do? See Exodus 4:2-4.
What did God want David to fight with? 1 Samuel 17:38-40, 47.
What was God’s promise to Moses? Exodus 4:12.
Discuss the following….
“A shepherd’s staff was commonly a three to six foot (90-180cm) wooden rod with a curved hook at the top. The shepherd used it for walking, guiding his sheep, killing snakes, and many other tasks. Still it was just a stick. But God used the simple shepherd’s staff Moses carried as a sign to teach him an important lesson. God sometimes takes joy in using ordinary things for extraordinary purposes. What are the ordinary things in your life-your voice, a pen, a hammer, a broom, a musical instrument? While it is easy to assume God can use only special skills, you must not hinder his use of the everyday contributions you can make. Little did Moses imagine the power his simple staff would wield when it became the staff of God.” *
In order for our faith in God to grow (our spiritual muscle) it needs to be exercised. What exercised David’s faith so he had opportunity to grow? 1 Samuel 17:34-37.
Read about how much Moses had grown in his faith in God since the time God first called him to just before the last plague when the Israelites were about to leave Egypt. Exodus 11:4-8.
How has God been working in your life to give you opportunities to exercise your faith in Him and to grow as a result? Has God used ordinary things in your life for His extraordinary purposes?
As you looked at some of David and Moses life were there any things which encouraged you to trust God when fear tries to control you?
Read Romans 8:35-39, Ephesians 3:18-19.
What promises can you rely on in difficult times to help you focus on God instead of your circumstances?
What does John say about fear in 1 John 4:18?
*Taken from ‘Life Application Study Bible’