Community Group Questions 3/11/12

Tip of the Week:
Maybe take some time at the beginning to follow up and see who worked through the DTR worksheets from the Together Series and share their Hi/Lo from that exercise.
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    • Find out about opportunities to get involved.
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Sermon Title: Dependency: Arise, Go... Dwell

Main Text:  1 Kings 17:1-16, Psalm 66:10, 16:11

Topics:

  • Elijah went from one set of circumstances, to the next and all of them were totally dependent on God.
  • When our circumstances change we get panicked because we are out of control. The reality is that we were never in control, God was.  So it is not that we are suddenly out of control, but now aware of what we were dependent of all along. God wants us to live in that state of dependency on Him.
  • Elijah watched the river slowly get lower and lower until it was all dried up.  THEN God told Him, His next steps.
  • God often doesn’t tell us the next step until right when we need to take it.
  • At the end of Elijah’s season at the river, He went to another state of dependency.  God had commanded the ravens to feed him, now He has commanded a widow to feed him.  The circumstances were different, but it is the same capable God in control.
  • Elijah was told to ARISE, GO... and DWELL with a widow in a city in Sidon.  Why did God choose this widow in this city.  The city of Zarephath is modern day Sarafand. Its name means: “crucible,” as in what a goldsmith refines metal in. Perhaps one reason God chose this city, is because He was teaching Elijah that He needed to dwell in a state of being refined.
  • We so often want to figure out how to get through our “out-of-control” season as fast as possible.  We want to ARISE, GO, and DWELL again in a place of success and control.  That is where we are comfortable.  But what God wants us to do is ARISE, GO and DWELL in dependency.  He wants us to get so comfortable in depending on Him that it doesn’t matter the circumstances - good or bad, success or failure - we are still dwelling in the same place: Him.
  • So what do we do when God is teaching us to be dependent on Him?  Look what Elijah did:
    • He submitted to the season He was in.
      • Don’t take matters into our own hands.
      • Wait on him.
    • He focused on how God was providing.
      • Don’t try to escape by distracting yourself.
      • Don’t dwell on what we don’t have.
      • Spend time thinking through what you have now.
      • Spend time remembering how he has taken care of you in the past.
    • He clung to the what God had promised.
      • Don’t create promises He hasn’t made (name it and claim it).
      • Be careful of friends who are trying to tell you what you want to hear.  Promising things that can’t know for sure.
      • Don’t focus on what you can’t know (what’s going to happen? why is this happening?), focus on what you do know.
      • Focus on what He has told us in the scripture.  To do that we have to get saturated in the scriptures.
      • We have to get around godly friends and draw strength from their experiences.

Key Questions:

  1. Think through what it would have been like to be in Elijah’s shoes at the Brook Cherith. What would have been the hardest part for you?
  2. God tells Elijah to arise, go and dwell in Zarephath, which means a refiners “crucible.” How is the Christian life like a refinement process?
  3. Describe a time you saw God use a hard season of your life to refine you?
  4. In one circumstance God commanded ravens to feed him, and in another it was a poor widow. Whether we realize it or not, in all of our circumstances we are not in control, God is. So, where does our false sense of control come from?
  5. When things are going good, what are some practical things we can do to still focus on God’s control?
  6. What is an area of your life that is out of control?
  7. What are some unhelpful things that friends sometimes do when we are in an out-of-control season?
  8. What are some helpful things?
  9. What is something practical you can do to focus on God’s provision in the out-of-control times?
  10. What are some practical ways, someone can saturate themselves in God’s word?

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