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Overview

Consult the compass for the journey of your life. Life as a Christian is a journey -- a journey toward God. But how do you set your compass? How do you make sure that God is guiding your steps and that you are not being blown willy-nilly by life's shifting winds of circumstance? Turn to the book of Exodus and discover guidance and joy for your pilgrimage. You will grow to know God in a deeper, more personal way. You will learn to trust him more than ever before. You will discover who your fellow travelers are. And you will learn how to chart your course by the compass of God's will as you take the trip of your life.

Details

  • SKU: 9780310227717
  • UPC: 025986227715
  • SKU10: 0310227712
  • Title: Exodus: Journey Toward God
  • Series: New Community
  • Qty Remaining Online: 7
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Date Published: Sep 1999
  • Pages: 96
  • Weight lbs: 0.31
  • Dimensions: 9.12" L x 6.05" W x 0.31" H
  • Features: Price on Product
  • Themes: Theometrics | Evangelical;
  • Category: STUDY GUIDE
  • Subject: Biblical Studies - Old Testament

Chapter Excerpt


Chapter One

Knowing and Being Known

Read Exodus 2:11-15

2. What do you learn about the character of Moses in this passage?

How do you see willfulness in the heart and actions of Moses?

3. What are some of the common signs of willfulness you have seen in your life?

4. What were some of the consequences of Moses' willful behavior?

5. What is one negative consequence you have had to face because of a willful decision you made?

What has God done to redeem and restore this situation?

6. What is one area of your life in which you need the prayers and support of your small group members as you seek to submit to God's will rather than follow your own desires?

What is a practical, measurable, and possibly painful change you are going to have to make if you are going to live with a willing spirit in this area of your life?

Read Exodus 2:16-22

7. What are some of the changes Moses experiences as he moves from Egypt to Midian?

In what ways does Moses display willingness rather than willfulness in this new chapter of his life?

8. How can prayer be a sign of a willing and submitted heart?

What are you doing to grow as a person of prayer?

9. What is one area of ongoing temptation you face in your life?

How can group members encourage and support you in your effort to journey from willfulness to willingness in this area of your life?

10. What is one act of humble service you can offer in the coming week in one of these areas:

In your home

In your workplace

In a relationship with a seeker

In your church

In your community

Celebrating and Being Celebrated

Pray together as a group and thank God for His patience with His children. Praise Him for loving you through both your willful and willing times. Celebrate His commitment to love you even when you wander from Him.

Loving and Being Loved

Consider committing as a small group to memorize (if you have not already) the Lord's prayer. Take time on a daily basis to reflect deeply on this portion of the prayer:

Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

(Matthew 6:10)

Let this experiment in willingness lead you to a deeper love for God and commitment to seek His will and not your own.

Pair up with one member of your small group and agree to pray for each other on a daily basis. Pray for each other to grow in a yielded and willing spirit toward God. Be sure to touch base with each other at least once before your group meets again and encourage each other to show your love for God through journeying from willfulness to willingness.

Serving and Being Served

One way to develop a willing heart is through offering up acts of humble service. Talk as a group and identify a person or group in your church who serves in ways that many others tend to avoid. Agree as a group to contact this person or group and give them a week off or offer to assist them. Work together as a group to step in and do their work or assist them for a week. Seek to do it with joy, excellence, and secrecy (if possible). The secrecy part is very important. Be sure you don't tell others about what you are doing. Let a willing heart lead you, not a desire to seem superspiritual.

A Battle We Will Never Win

The Lord created us to be dependent on him, and when we strive for independence and self-sufficiency, we are fighting a battle that is contrary to our nature and that we can never win.

Because we are mere creatures, we can never be strong enough in ourselves to accomplish all that God desires in our lives. And when those who have great physical and emotional strength rely on themselves rather than God, they miss the opportunity to experience a power beyond their comprehension. Even after the Lord returns and we have resurrection bodies that are immortal and imperishable, our power will still be puny in comparison to God's. So is it any wonder that the Lord chooses to display his power rather than ours or to glorify himself rather than us?

God's strength in our weakness-it sounds so simple. Yet there are forces at work in the world and in our hearts that make this simple concept incredibly difficult to learn. -Jack Kuhatschek, The Superman Syndrome (Zondervan, 1995)

From Willfulness to Willingness

Human willfulness shows itself in so many ways, but here are three clear signs that you are moving from willfulness to willingness:

1.You are spending more and more time in moments of dependent prayer. Rather than looking to the left and the right to be sure the coast is clear, you find yourself looking upward, for the leading of God. You find yourself seeking the guidance and direction of God because you know your own wisdom is not sufficient for the task of life. More and more you call on God for strength, because you are profoundly aware that your strength will never be enough.

2.You are seeking God's strength in your moments of temptation. Rather than trying to resist temptation on your own, or in your own power, you find yourself calling out for God's delivering power. Trust in your own overcoming strength is being replaced with reliance on the victory God has won over temptation, sin, and the enemy.

3.You are growing in your willingness to humbly submit to the desires and wishes of others. Rather than demanding your way all the time, you are starting to think of the needs and desires of others. Rather than feeling certain tasks of service are below your station in life, you find yourself offering secret service with a heart that is glad to help others.

Chapter Two

Saying Yes to God

EXODUS 3:1-4:17

Popeye knew who he was: a simple, seafaring, pipe-smoking, Olive Oyl-loving sailor man, and he never pretended to be anything else. When he felt called to do something of which he felt he was not capable, he always said the same thing: "I yam what I yam." And if he was really convinced of his inadequacy, he would say, "I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam."

Popeye was not a sophisticated guy. He had never been in therapy. He was not in touch with his shadow self or inner child. He was not an educated man. He was a simple, tattoo-wearing, spinach-eating sailor man. A don't-get-your-hopes-up kind of a guy.

"I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam." This is the cry of a heart that does not want to expect too much and end up disappointed. It is a cry that most of us lift up, in our own words, and in our own way. "I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam." This is the sad lament of the human race.

I must admit that this is the cry of my heart, at times. I am called to speak words of truth and life. Yet I can use my words to deceive people or manipulate them. I am called to be a wonderful father, but sometimes I neglect, yell at, or ignore my kids. I am called to do justice, but I can turn a blind eye to oppression because I am preoccupied with my own agenda. I am called to serve the body of Christ, but I plead my inadequacies or my busyness. "I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam."

Making the Connection

1. Describe a time in your life when you said no to something because in your heart you were saying, "I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam."

Meeting God

True Christian experience must always include a genuine encounter with God. Without this, religion is but a shadow, a reflection, a cheap copy of the original once enjoyed by someone else of whom we have heard.

It cannot but be a major tragedy in the life of any person to live in a church from childhood to old age and know nothing more real than some synthetic god compounded of theology and logic, but having no eyes to see, nor ears to hear, and no heart to love.

The spiritual giants of old were people who at some time became acutely conscious of the real Presence of God and maintained that consciousness for the rest of their lives. The first encounter may have been one of terror, as when a "thick and dreadful darkness" came over Abram, or as when Moses at the bush hid his face because he was afraid to look upon God. Usually this fear soon lost its content of terror and changed after a while to delightsome awe, to level off finally into a reverent sense of complete nearness to God. -A.W. Tozer, Renewed Day by Day (Christian Publications, 1980)

(Continues.)

Excerpt


Chapter One

Knowing and Being Known

Read Exodus 2:11-15

2. What do you learn about the character of Moses in this passage?

How do you see willfulness in the heart and actions of Moses?

3. What are some of the common signs of willfulness you have seen in your life?

4. What were some of the consequences of Moses' willful behavior?

5. What is one negative consequence you have had to face because of a willful decision you made?

What has God done to redeem and restore this situation?

6. What is one area of your life in which you need the prayers and support of your small group members as you seek to submit to God's will rather than follow your own desires?

What is a practical, measurable, and possibly painful change you are going to have to make if you are going to live with a willing spirit in this area of your life?

Read Exodus 2:16-22

7. What are some of the changes Moses experiences as he moves from Egypt to Midian?

In what ways does Moses display willingness rather than willfulness in this new chapter of his life?

8. How can prayer be a sign of a willing and submitted heart?

What are you doing to grow as a person of prayer?

9. What is one area of ongoing temptation you face in your life?

How can group members encourage and support you in your effort to journey from willfulness to willingness in this area of your life?

10. What is one act of humble service you can offer in the coming week in oneof these areas:

In your home

In your workplace

In a relationship with a seeker

In your church

In your community

Celebrating and Being Celebrated

Pray together as a group and thank God for His patience with His children. Praise Him for loving you through both your willful and willing times. Celebrate His commitment to love you even when you wander from Him.

Loving and Being Loved

Consider committing as a small group to memorize (if you have not already) the Lord's prayer. Take time on a daily basis to reflect deeply on this portion of the prayer:

Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

(Matthew 6:10)

Let this experiment in willingness lead you to a deeper love for God and commitment to seek His will and not your own.

Pair up with one member of your small group and agree to pray for each other on a daily basis. Pray for each other to grow in a yielded and willing spirit toward God. Be sure to touch base with each other at least once before your group meets again and encourage each other to show your love for God through journeying from willfulness to willingness.

Serving and Being Served

One way to develop a willing heart is through offering up acts of humble service. Talk as a group and identify a person or group in your church who serves in ways that many others tend to avoid. Agree as a group to contact this person or group and give them a week off or offer to assist them. Work together as a group to step in and do their work or assist them for a week. Seek to do it with joy, excellence, and secrecy (if possible). The secrecy part is very important. Be sure you don't tell others about what you are doing. Let a willing heart lead you, not a desire to seem superspiritual.

A Battle We Will Never Win

The Lord created us to be dependent on him, and when we strive for independence and self-sufficiency, we are fighting a battle that is contrary to our nature and that we can never win.

Because we are mere creatures, we can neverbe strong enough in ourselves to accomplish all that God desires in our lives. And when those who have great physical and emotional strength rely on themselves rather than God, they miss the opportunity to experience a power beyond their comprehension. Even after the Lord returns and we have resurrection bodies that are immortal and imperishable, our power will still be puny in comparison to God's. So is it any wonder that the Lord chooses to display his power rather than ours or to glorify himself rather than us?

God's strength in our weakness-it sounds so simple. Yet there are forces at work in the world and in our hearts that make this simple concept incredibly difficult to learn. -Jack Kuhatschek, The Superman Syndrome(Zondervan, 1995)

From Willfulness to Willingness

Human willfulness shows itself in so many ways, but here are three clear signs that you are moving from willfulness to willingness:

1.You are spending more and more time in moments of dependent prayer.Rather than looking to the left and the right to be sure the coast is clear, you find yourself looking upward, for the leading of God. You find yourself seeking the guidance and direction of God because you know your own wisdom is not sufficient for the task of life. More and more you call on God for strength, because you are profoundly aware that your strength will never be enough.

2.You are seeking God's strength in your moments of temptation.Rather than trying to resist temptation on your own, or in your own power, you find yourself calling out for God's delivering power. Trust in your own overcoming strength is being replaced with reliance on the victory God has won over temptation, sin, and the enemy.

3.You are growing in your willingness to humbly submit to the desires and wishes of others.Rather than demanding your way all the time, you are starting to think of the needs and desires of others. Rather than feeling certain tasks of service are below your station in life, you find yourself offering secret service with a heart that is glad to help others.

Chapter Two

Saying Yes to God

EXODUS 3:1-4:17

Popeye knew who he was: a simple, seafaring, pipe-smoking, Olive Oyl-loving sailor man, and he never pretended to be anything else. When he felt called to do something of which he felt he was not capable, he always said the same thing: "I yam what I yam." And if he was really convinced of his inadequacy, he would say, "I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam."

Popeye was not a sophisticated guy. He had never been in therapy. He was not in touch with his shadow self or inner child. He was not an educated man. He was a simple, tattoo-wearing, spinach-eating sailor man. A don't-get-your-hopes-up kind of a guy.

"I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam." This is the cry of a heart that does not want to expect too much and end up disappointed. It is a cry that most of us lift up, in our own words, and in our own way. "I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam." This is the sad lament of the human race.

I must admit that this is the cry of my heart, at times. I am called to speak words of truth and life. Yet I can use my words to deceive people or manipulate them. I am called to be a wonderful father, but sometimes I neglect, yell at, or ignore my kids. I am called to do justice, but I can turn a blind eye to oppression because I am preoccupied with my own agenda. I am called to serve the body of Christ, but I plead my inadequacies or my busyness. "I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam."

Making the Connection

1. Describe a time in your life when you said no to something because in your heart you were saying, "I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam."

Meeting God

True Christian experience must always include a genuine encounter with God. Without this, religion is but a shadow, a reflection, a cheap copy of the original once enjoyed by someone else of whom we have heard.

It cannot but be a major tragedy in the life of any person to live in a church from childhood to old age and know nothing more real than some synthetic god compounded of theology and logic, but having no eyes to see, nor ears to hear, and no heart to love.

The spiritual giants of old were people who at some time became acutely conscious of the real Presence of God and maintained that consciousness for the rest of their lives. The first encounter may have been one of terror, as when a "thick and dreadful darkness" came over Abram, or as when Moses at the bush hid his face because he was afraid to look upon God. Usually this fear soon lost its content of terror and changed after a while to delightsome awe, to level off finally into a reverent sense of complete nearness to God. -A.W. Tozer, Renewed Day by Day(Christian Publications, 1980)

(Continues.)

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