Overcoming our Dead Duck Story!
On Oct 18th, we started a series 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 (in 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 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 (Nov.22) message.
Big Idea: God can do deeper things in you and through you because of your DDS (Dead Duck Story)
Text: Deut1:34-40, Deut 3:21-29, Deut 4:21, Deut 34, Numbers 20:1-13
On Week Six of our series, we talked about our Dead Duck Stories. If you were present, do you remember the dead duck joke I told at the beginning? We defined a DDS as a story that surfaces feelings of dissatisfaction because your expectations were not realized. As we begin this week think of the following question.
Do you have a humorous DDS to tell?
The question we asked on Sunday was, “What was Moses’ Dead Duck Story?” Read the above texts and piece together Moses’ story.
On Sunday, I made four observations about DDS’ coming from the experience of Moses. Work through these as a group or on your own. What additional observations would you make?
1. Our Dead Duck Story may represent where we have had the biggest battles with God.
Text: Deut 3:23-29
Have you ever had such raw, unedited emotion with God over a DDS? Would you describe it as pleading/groaning, anger or ....?
Comment on the following quote.
“Sometimes it is in our most trusted or intimate relationships, that the deepest sense of disappointment is planted into our souls.”
If you have time work through the following texts and attempt to develop the emotional component of these references. 2 Samuel 12:16, Psalm 77:2-11, 2 Corinthians 12:8
2. Our Dead Duck Stories can be what makes us or breaks us.
Text: Deut 34:5-12
On Sunday, I talked about how this DDS of Moses could have derailed him. Work through the text and discuss what arguments Moses could have used to make his case for being the man to lead the Israelites.
“Wouldn’t it make sense for the man who had paid such a heavy price leading the children of God through the wilderness to be able to end his ministry with a reward? Yes, a thousand times yes—in man’s eyes. But “ ‘My thoughts are not your thoughts, / Nor are your ways My ways,’ says the LORD. / ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth, / So are My ways higher than your ways, / And My thoughts than your thoughts’ ” (Is. 55:8–9).”
It is very evident that Moses’ response was the right one. Instead of growing bitter he seemed to grow stronger through the ordeal. Think of the various roles represented in your group (parents, leader, teacher, student etc). What are the consequences in a person’s life and those he or she leads if they allow their DDS to make their heart toxic? Have you seen this before?
3. Our Dead Duck Story will test us on how we respond to God’s authority.
Text: Deut 3:10 “That is enough!”
There are many issues that we need to consistently come to God on. You can probably think of a few that you daily lift up to God. BUT there are others where we need to let it go. Paul said I pleaded three times.... then he let it go.
Is there any one in your life where you need to say or have said “Let it go!” “Move on!” “Get over it!” “That is enough!”?
As a believer, how do you discern between issues you need to keep interceding on and issues you need to let go of? Have you ever sensed God saying to you, “That is enough!”? Why is it hard to let go?
On Sunday I said, “I think based on what we have said in points above - he relinquished this issue into the hands of Yahweh who he knew loved Him, looked out for His best, and was sovereign. In other words I think his theology helped him here. “That is enough Moses- now you let me take this issue for you and you walk in freedom not in the bondage of bitterness.”
What theological truths are important for a person to understand so that they can let go?
4. Our Dead Duck Story can become our clarion call to those we love and care for.
Text: Deut 4:2, 5:23
Some of the most important things, the most profound insightful things we may say to the next generation or those we love and are building into will come from our DDS.
As a group make a list of insights gained, wisdom learned, from your DDS.
To sum up the dialogue from your meeting/or personal reflection, how would you sum up the nugget that you would want to pass on to the next generation?