Wake Up Week 4 – Discussion Guide
The culture says it’s not possible to be holy and happy at the same time. At Faith Promise, one of our values is We Put God First. If we all put God first in all of the choices we make, then our choices will make us holy AND happy.
We all make choices every day, some big, some small. When we forget that we have the power to choose (I choose something vs. I have to do something), then we give our power away to others. No matter how rough things are, we always have a choice. When is a time where you chose JOY over circumstances? Or God’s call over easy and convenient?
More than ever before, culture wants you to choose the world over closeness with God. But Jesus says we can’t serve two masters. We can either walk the Highway of Holiness or the Streets of Sin. What we don’t realize is that holiness and happiness are not polar opposites, as the world will tell you. We can engage in culture and not be engulfed by it, as long as we understand that seeking happiness apart from God is the problem. Lasting happiness is only possible through holiness, seeking God’s desires for us and not our own desires.
Primary Scriptures: Ephesians 6:11, Ephesians 5:11-14, Romans 6:18-23. Romans 7:14-20. Romans 8:5
- Ephesians 6:11 warns us to avoid the detours of the Devil. In order to do this, you first must know how Satan is attacking you. You must also know the Armor of God and how it can protect you. Discuss the struggles that you KNOW Satan is using to divide and destroy. Then discuss the components of the Armor of God. How can your choices to use those components help keep Satan at bay?
- The reason culture has so much power is because we’ve let our choices be made by the news, Hollywood, and social media. These areas have become the source of today’s values in our culture. If you allow culture’s lens to be the source of your values, then they will become skewed—the loudest voice usually wins our attention. Who is the loudest voice in your life? What lens do you use to see the world? Do your values come from God’s vision? Does your reaction to life’s circumstances tend to start with “What does the Bible say?” or does it start with “I know what the Bible says, but…”
- Children are the perfect example of people not understanding consequences. Little children push boundaries and rules to see how their parents will react, or to see if they will get in trouble. Read Romans 7:14-20 and discuss that war inside of each of us. We might choose our sin, but not our consequence. The enemy of God is brilliant at telling us that the consequences are worth it. (Or sometimes, like in Eden, that the consequences will be good.) Discuss a time where you thought true joy came from something specific, but it ended only in temporary happiness. Now discuss a time where you chose God’s freedom, lasting happiness, and life.
Discovery Bible Method:
For deeper study, as an alternative to the questions above, read Romans 6:18-23 and use the Discovery Bible Method to explore the passage.
Suggestion: Consider breaking the group into twos or threes for this section.
Look at the values you use to make choices in everyday life. Now look at the desires of your life. Do they align with what God wants for you? Having a Spiritual Growth Plan can help you find God’s desires for you. Do you have a plan in your life to grow spiritually, to grow closer to God?
Engage the World Around Us
Engaging at Faith Promise:
It’s Groups Launch Weekend. Are you in a group? If so, who can you invite into your group? No matter what season or circumstance we’re in, we all need a community of believers to grow in our faith and grow closer to God. If you are looking for a group, check out our group finder here. Group leaders, make sure the information about your group is correct!
Engaging in Community and the World:
As your group meets to support, love, and challenge one another, think about those in need in your community. Who can you bless today? A small note of encouragement to a quarantined neighbor, a note of prayer to our God Behind Bars Promisors (who have had no visitation or service since March), or even a kind word to a worker in a grocery store can make a difference. These things can go a long way in this difficult time to show the Real Love of Jesus to others.
Expand God’s Kingdom
While we go back to school this month, many families are still living in fear and worry of the unknown. Pray for families sending their kids back to school, pray for families who chose virtual school, pray for the teachers teaching both, pray for the administration making the tough decisions, and pray for a specific Faith Promise partner school (contact [email protected] for that list).
- Don’t forget that the “shield of faith” that Paul refers to is a tower shield, which is so large that it actually blocks the view of the user, as long as they are using it defensively. You can’t see anything, and have to rely on your commanding officer, if you’re using such a shield. We don’t need to know every single detail about Satan’s attacks on us; we mostly need to know that he uses distance attacks (like a nonstop volley of bad news, mean tweets, and glorification of evil things through TV and movies).
- Don’t forget to mention that God typically doesn’t do the “loud voice” thing for believers until it’s time for confrontation or judgment (Job 38:1, Isaiah 6, Revelation 1). Until that time, it’s usually a still & small voice (1st Kings 19:12).
- Because this week deals so heavily with “happiness,” it’s important to understand that we are usually talking about lasting happiness in this lesson. Many people will suffer—sometimes to death—for choosing God’s path for them. Suffering for the sake of Christ brings us closer together with Christ (1st Peter 4:14), and that is the source of the happiness. It’s important that we don’t act as though we can have both the temporary pleasure of sin alongside the eternal glories of Christ. It is a different happiness, but it’s one that we will never regret.
ALL groups at Faith Promise should follow Jesus Christ and lead others to do the same. Below are the marks of a growing follower and disciple of Jesus.
– A follower of Jesus desires to encounter God through the deeper study and application of God’s Word.
– A follower of Jesus embraces people and values relationships on a deeper level so everyone can grow together.
– A follower of Jesus engages and serves the world around them and in their community, through local partners or God-directed opportunities.
– A follower of Jesus expands God’s Kingdom through development and multiplication of disciple-makers, possibly to lead more groups at Faith Promise.