26 Feb Discussion Guide: Unshakable Week 4
Vision for the Upcoming Weeks
Over the next few weeks we will be going on a journey together as a church community. It will be a journey where we encourage one another, challenge one another, and grow together in our leadership and pursuit of Christ as we focus in on what the Bible calls discipleship. What we are asking you to do is commit to 6 weeks of gatherings. Three large group gatherings every other week, and 3 discipleship gatherings in between. Within these smaller gatherings we will be looking at leadership qualities and character traits necessary to impact the lives of others. Over the next week we want you to partner up with 2 other people and for the next month-and-a-half commit to one another to meet together, grow together, and pursue one another in relationship. We need (1/3 of your group size) people who would like to facilitate a group of 3, and then everyone else can decide which of those facilitators you want to join. If you need help figuring out who you should connect with then ask your group leader to give you a hand. The goal is that at the end of these 6 weeks we will all have a better understanding of what Gospel Community is all about.
Take the first few minutes of your time together to listen to what God is doing in one another’s lives and pray for any specific needs people in your group may have.
This week we continue a series walking through the book of Nehemiah. The series is called Unshakeable, and we will be looking at what it takes to stand firm when life, circumstances or relationships try to shake you to the core. In a world of instability, this is how we can remain stable and be a people who are unshakeable.
Can you think of someone who has been faced with what seemed like an impossible task who was able to get the job done? If so, what did they do to accomplish this task?
Examples: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who was faced with the nearly impossible task of the Civil Rights Movement and racial equality. He was faced with what seemed like insurmountable odds in racial tensions in the South, generational mindsets, unjust laws, a political system that was set up to keep power in the hands of a certain group of people. But, Dr. King succeeded in many ways, simply by doing the ordinary things day in and day out. Giving speeches, marching down the street, sit in protests, preaching sermons, meeting with local leaders. He didn’t do anything that no one else could have done. But, he did those ordinary things with extraordinary faith, and he did them over and over and over again, slowly moving the ball down the field until people’s minds and perceptions began to change and laws began to change.
So in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in open places, I stationed the people by their clans, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”
Who was it that rebuilt the wall around Jerusalem during Nehemiah’s day?
Was there anything extraordinary about these people, or about the way they rebuilt the wall?
It was the “rest of the people”, who were for the most part, just ordinary towns folk. There was nothing extraordinary about them. They were just people who knew how to work, how to labor, and how to carry a sword. They weren’t architects or engineers or world’s strong men, they were just the, “rest of the people.”.
What are some of the ordinary tasks you perform a regular basis that affect the lives of the people around you?
What would happen if you stopped doing those ordinary tasks?
How might God wind up using those ordinary tasks to affect the future of other people’s lives?
Why do you thing we struggle with being ordinary, or just performing ordinary tasks, as opposed to being or doing something extraordinary?
We struggle because we long to feel significant. Part of what it means to be God’s image bearers is knowing you were made for something great. But sin, and the brokenness of our world, has perverted that part of our design and twisted it in such a way that we think being significant means having the spotlight placed on us, it means getting a certain number of Likes on our Facebook post, or a certain number of views on our YouTube channel. So, when we find ourselves doing ordinary things like educating our children, serving our neighbors, or giving sacrificially to a ministry or local church, and no one is celebrating us for that, and no one is even acknowledging that we have done it, we struggle because we feel like we’re failing at being significant. But, if we could see what those ordinary actions are accomplishing in the heavenly realm, or how God is using those things to impact the lives and even future lives of others I think our perspective would change.
’Fear is a self imposed prison that will keep you from becoming what God intends for you to be. You must move against it with the weapons of faith and love.”
Where do fear and insecurity come from?
Fear and insecurity come from accusation, and from the lack of understanding God’s unconditional love. Scripture tells us that perfect love, or unconditional love, casts out all fear. When you know you are loved simply for who you are and not because of what you have done then you have a confidence and security in that love. The pressure to perform and to have to prove yourself isn’t there. But, when you feel like your loveliness stems from what you do, or how well you do it, then that pressure creates fear and insecurity in you because you know you do not have what it takes to perform at that level on a consistent basis.
If we let the fear of insignificance, the fear or other people’s perceptions, or the fear of failure keep us from doing the extraordinarily ordinary things God calls us to do, how might that affect our lives?
How might it affect the lives of the people closest to us? and the lives of future generations to come?
How might it affect the lives of future generations?
Sanballat and Geshem sent to me, saying, “Come and let us meet together at Hakkephirim in the plain of Ono.” But they intended to do me harm. 3And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?
What was Nehemiah’s motivation for staying and working on the wall rather than coming down to meet with these men?
Nehemiah understood that this ordinary work of repairing a wall that God had given him to do was a great work. The wall wasn’t necessarily a great wall. The repairs weren’t necessarily great repairs. But, Nehemiah knew that the God that had called him to do this was a great God, and the people he was doing it with were a great people, and together they were going to accomplish a great purpose, and so he looked his enemies in the eye and said, “Dont’ but me with your insignificant threats, my Great God has given me a great people so together we can accomplish a great work.
What enables us to overcome the threats and fears of the enemy in our own lives and stay focused on the tasks God has placed in front of us?
Knowing that no matter how ordinary our work might seem to us, or to others, if it is a work God has called us to then it is a great work. And when we look to the cross of Christ, and we see the Great Work He accomplished for the purpose of redeeming us and reconciling us back to God, then we can know beyond a doubt that nothing we do for the glory of God will ever be truly ordinary. In that knowledge we can stand up against the enemy’s accusations and threats because the King has given us the order and therefore the King will be our defender.
What extraordinarily ordinary tasks has God called us to accomplish as a church and/or community group?
What fears and obstacles will we have to stand against to accomplish those tasks?