Starting this week we begin a series of messages entitled “Letters To The Next Generation.” The series is based on the book of Deuteronomy, where Moses is reminding the next generation of the laws of God and challenging them to “write a better story” than the first generation.
While God did many great things through that first generation (namely the big exodus from Egypt), they were predominantly remembered for wandering in the wilderness (The Plains of Moab) for four decades. Imagine that, for forty years, they wandered and (probably many) wondered about all that went wrong. God called them to possess the promised land but instead they ended up falling short and wandering in the wilderness, the Plains of Moab, for forty years. I want to encourage you to use this Touching Base in your small groups, and in your mentoring relationships to discuss what we talked about on Sunday. The following is a guide to help you go deeper based on Sunday’s (Oct 18th) message.
Big Idea: Ruts in your walk with God, can become what defines you if your heart is not right with God.
Text: Deut 1:19-46
All of us have a generation that is following us, a “next generation”. If you could boil down a list of two to three most important things you would want to pass on to the next generation, what would those most important things be? What does your list indicate about your own journey, and lessons learned? What did the generation ahead of you pass down to you (the good, the bad and the ugly)?
In Deuteronomy 1, Moses is telling the story of the first generation so that the next generation will benefit from their own failures. So the next generation is being challenged to write a better story by avoiding some of the pitfalls of the first generation. Moses identifies three pitfalls in Deuteronomy 1:26-29 (rebellion - v.26, false beliefs - v.27, and fear - v.28,29).
Make as many observations about rebellion that you can by reading the text. If you were present on Sunday, recall the grumbling, low tones and “in your tents” comments.
• False Beliefs
What is the lie they are believing? How is this the “perfect” lie to believe? How does it justify their rebellion and shift the focus? What “perfect” lies do people choose to believe to justify and shift the focus?
How common do you believe fear is when it comes to identifying a root of rebellion? Is fear an emotion we would often associate with rebellion? How have you seen fear trigger rebellion in your own life? How have you seen false beliefs about God trigger fear?
Comment on these quotes:
“I think these three factors - rebellion, false beliefs and fear are feeding off of each other. Rebellion is feeding false beliefs. False beliefs are creating a platform for fear. Their fear feeds back into false beliefs and incites further rebellion. They have a parasitic, blood sucking relationship.”
“Fear doesn't want you to make the journey to the mountain. If he can rattle you enough, fear will persuade you to take your eyes off the peaks and settle for a dull existence in the flatlands.” Max Lucado, Christian Author
What are other powerful emotions identified with rebellion?
On Sunday I defined the Plains of Moab (geography of the wandering Israelites) as a place we need to advance from, a place we have been too long.
Are you stuck in a rut in your walk with God because of rebellion, false beliefs or fear?
Know anybody close to your heart that is stuck?
Take time to pray about these issues. We can write a better story!