Christlife Posture: Trusting God's Wisdom

Topic: Discerning His plans for Me (Career, Family)

 

Suggested Approach: Choose 1 thing from each of the three boxes

OR Choose 1 from media or Reflection + 1 from Scripture 

Media Excursions (Watch/read/listen and be ready to discuss Q's)

Still Image/Painting

  • Contemporary Painting (Ellie Clemens) What do you think this painting is about? What parallels are there between this painting and how you feel about discerning God's plans for you? How much of your future feels clear? How much feels blurry? Now view Vetheuil In The Fog (Claude Monet) Why does "blurry" succeed at times in works of art? What reasons might God have for not making everything crystal clear in your future? 

Video Clip

  • What is God's Will?  (Skit Guys) What did you find helpful in this video? What did you wish they would have addressed that they didn’t?  

Song

  • To the Dreamers (For King and Country)  What part does taking steps forward have in discerning your future? How often do you find yourself wanting to know “the plan” before you are ready to move from where you are?

Articles 

  • How to know God’s will (Leigh McLeroy) What stands out to you?

  • 8 Keys to Knowing God’s Will for your Life (C. Russell) Which step do you neglect most when you make decisions about your future? Which step was most surprising or helpful to you?

  • God’s Purpose for Your Family (Erika Dawson) How does this article challenge your understanding of God's will for your family? What do you agree/disagree with? Do you think this generation has turned the family into an idol? 

  • Writing a Family Mission Statement (Sheila Seifert and Jeanne Gowen Dennis) Do you have a family mission statement? How might writing a mission statement in this way help you search out God's will for your family? 

  • Finding God's Will for Your Career (Scot McKnight) Which insights from this article stand out to you? How are happiness and finding God's will connected for you? How well have you "discerned the intersection of what God is doing...and what you are asked to do"?

  • What is God’s Will Concerning My Career? (Xenos Christian Fellowship) What do you think of the idea that we "have a lot of freedom to follow our own judgment" in career decisions? Which ideas in this article do you find helpful in considering career decisions or transitions?

Video Teaching

  • Q and A: How can I hear God’s Voice? (Charles Stanley) Dr. Stanley seems to indicate there are some “prerequisites” to hearing God’s voice.  What are they?

  • Sermon: (48 minutes)  Hearing the Voice of God pt.1 (Rick Warren) Which of the four profiles did you relate to? Which of the four steps were you already practicing?  Which do you need to work on?  What specific insight was most helpful to you?

  • Wisdom in Choosing a Career (Ryan Rufus) How does fear affect your career decisions? What do you think he means by "flowing with God" in your decisions? What does it mean to follow Jesus in your career? 

Reflection Options  

Journal  (Reflect on one or more of these questions)

  • Read the article “8 Keys to Knowing God’s Will for your Life” and keep a record of how you see God working in each of the eight areas. Update it every few months.

  • Journal about a time you felt God was clear with you about the next steps to take.  Now think of a time it was not clear--and you had to take a step forward.  What happened in each of those situations?  In hindsight, how well did you do in discerning God's plans?  Do you think you always need to have a clear word from Him in order to move forward? What are some ways He has “delivered” that word to you?

  • Write out a “wish list” of what you hope God’s plans for your future are (relationally, career wise and spiritual impact).  Then spend some time praying about that list.  Ask for feedback on your list from trusted others as well.

  • Do you think Jesus ever struggled to know God’s will? If so, what did that look like? If not, why not?

Quote Interaction (Interact by agreeing, disagreeing or otherwise engaging with the quote/quotes)

  • ​God’s primary will for you is the person you become. (John Ortberg)

  • We do have a responsibility to make wise decisions or to discover the will of God, whichever term we may prefer to use. But God’s plan for us is not contingent upon our decisions. God’s plan is not contingent at all. God’s plan is sovereign. It includes our foolish decisions as well as our wise ones.  (Jerry Bridges)

  • It is impossible to describe the abundance of peace and heavenly joy that often flows into my soul because of the answers I obtain from God after waiting on Him for help and blessing. The longer I have had to wait on Him or the greater my need is, the greater the enjoyment when at last the answer came. (George Muller)

  • Working and waiting belong together. In combination they will deliver us both from the presumption which thinks we can do everything and from the pessimism which thinks we can do nothing. (John Stott)

  • We are trying not so much to make God listen to us as to make ourselves listen to Him; we are trying not to persuade God to do what we want, but to find out what he wants us to do. It so often happens that in prayer we are really saying, “Thy will be changed,” when we ought to be saying, “Thy will be done.” The first object of prayer is not so much to speak to God as to listen to Him. (William Barclay)

  • Seeking God’s guidance is not like practicing divination or consulting oracles, astrologers, and clairvoyants for information about the future, but rather is comparable with everyday thinking through of alternative options in given situations to determine the best course open to us. The inward experience of being divinely guided is not ordinarily one of seeing signs or hearing voices, but rather one of being enabled to work out the best thing to do. (J.I. Packer)

Reading & Reflection from the book, Shaping The Journey of Emerging Adults

  • Look at the idea “Use a Journal to keep track of how God is working” (pp. 203, 204).  Write your own prayers regarding the future and review them with your mentor every few months to see how God is working.  

  • Read the “Indisputable Mandate” (pp. 62, 63). This section reflects on “the plan” God had for building His kingdom. How would you have felt if you were one of the disciples? How might you feel if God’s potential plan for your life is different than you think it should be?

  • Read “Who am I? Ideology.” (pp. 113-114).  Have you wondered similar things as Janine? What questions have you had as you have tried to determine God’s plans for you?

  • Read “Seek God through fasting” (pp. 141).  What might you fast from as you wait on the Lord for insight or direction?

 Explore Scripture

Meditate on one or more of the following passages. Always look them up in context.  Take some time to really explore the verse in relation to this topic.  What does scripture tell us about God's plan for us or about how to seek out His will?  Make a note of what you discover to share later.  See "Learn More About Ways to Study Scripture" below for help in getting the most out of the verse.

  • Psalm 23:4

  • Psalm 25:4-5

  • Psalm 37:23-24

  • Psalm 56:3, 4

  • Psalm 119:105

  • Proverbs 3:5-6

  • Proverbs 19:20, 21

  • Isaiah 30:18-21

  • Isaiah 58:11

  • Micah 6:8

  • Matthew 6:31-34

  • Galatians 6:9

  • Ephesians 5:15-17

  • James 1:5

  • Family: Joshua 24:15