Week of 4/9/2017

Getting Started

As we move into a deeper understanding of how to live life WITH God, we discover that there are certain rhythms or disciplines that can help keep us connected with Him. Over the last two weeks, we discussed prayer and then resting, specifically a Sabbath rest with God. But Life With God is almost impossible if we don’t understand who He is, or learn to hear His voice. While God does not speak audibly to us, He has given us a guide, a whole book that reveals who He is. Scripture is God’s voice to us.

  • Ask the group members if any of them have a favorite Bible verse or passage.
  • Why is it their favorite? How has that verse helped them or given them direction?

If no one has a verse they would like to share, ask if anyone can recall a time when they KNEW God was speaking to them and directing them, how did they know it was His voice?

Ask everyone to look up Genesis 1:1-3 and read it silently. Then ask a few of them to say God’s words from verse 3 in their best “God voice.”

• How do you think God’s voice sounds?

Read - Exodus 20:1-17
  • How do you imagine God’s voice sounds in this passage?

How we think God sounds depends on how our parents and authority figures treated us when we were younger. If our parents were kind and loving and spoke softly, we might imagine God speaking in a similar tone, but if they were harsh or demanding, we might imagine God’s voice to be harsh or critical. We might not even realize that we have incorporated these very human traits into our perceptions of God.

  • So how can we discern what God’s voice really sounds like – in other words how can any of us really know what tone He intends when we read His words in the Bible?

The first step is to pray: “God help me to unlearn anything I’ve learned that is not from You.”- Ketric Newell. Basically ask God to renew your mind and your thought regarding Himself. And then, ask Him to reveal Himself to you.

  • Why is it important to recognize that we might have preconceptions about how God sounds or the tone of voice He is using when we read the Bible? (Answer: It can taint how we interpret God’s scripture, and not be what God intends for us to learn from it.)

Now let’s look into how God does speak to us:

Psalm 119:1-2 -The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky proclaims the work of His hands. 2 Day after day they pour out speech; night after night they communicate knowledge.
Hebrews 1: 1-2 - In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe.
2 Timothy 3:16-17  -All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.
2 Peter 1:20-21 - First of all, you should know this: No prophecy of Scripture comes from one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
  • According to these passages, how does God speak to us now?

God speaks through the Bible, through the stories and examples of people who lived long ago and faced challenges. He speaks to us through Jesus, through His recorded words and examples of love and service as He lived. He speaks to us through the Holy Spirit – either directly in our hearts, or through others – like pastors, authors, speakers, musicians. He also speaks through nature and sometimes through our circumstances. God is speaking all the time and in multiple ways.

  • How can we be certain that what we are learning or hearing is really from God?

God usually confirms His words in conversations with friends, and a song on the radio... but God has also given us a standard to use to evaluate advice or direction.

James 3:17 - But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.” God’s directions to you will stand up to this test.
  • How can we trust that ALL scripture is valid, that it is really God’s true words to us?
2 Tim 3:16 - … ALL of scripture is inspired by God and in
Hebrews 4:12 - we learn that God’s word is “living and active”; in short the or directions to us.

You might hear a certain theme repeated in church, in your Bible Study, Bible is God’s true and holy word because He says it is, but also, so many scholars have studied and answered this question, that it would be helpful for those that are curious to look at other resources. (This internet article

is a great starting point: How do I know the Bible is REALLY from God?)

  • So how does or can the Bible help me, help us, live life WITH God?

We can go to Bible Studies, we can read a verse every day on our bible apps, we can decorate our home with word art scriptures, but that doesn’t always mean we are growing any closer to God, to living life with Him, does it?

Psalm 119:17-19 Be good to your servant, that I may live and obey your word. 18 Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your instructions. 19 I am only a foreigner in the land. Don’t hideyour commands from me!
Romans 12:2 - Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
  • What is the desire of the psalmist’s heart in these verses? What does He ask of God? How does God change the way you think? Why is this important?

The only way to really allow God’s word to change you, to help you grow closer to Him is to humbly ask Him for His help. Being vulnerable with God is where real transformation starts.

  • What are your thoughts on this series? How do you plan to incorporate the rhythm of prayer, rest and listening to God’s voice into your life? How can we help each other live Life With God.

Pray

  

Dear God, Thank you for the truth, the knowledge that you speak to us, today still. Forgive the times we have misinterpreted your voice, and give us a greater desire to really know you, not just study you or read about you, but live life with you. Show us how to live moment by moment with you. In Jesus Name Amen.