Pray: to open your time.
Read: Joshua 1:1-9
Consider: Some thoughts for your group
Change is hard. All of us handle changes in life differently. Some find it exciting and energizing. Others dread change. Regardless of how we feel about it, change is inevitable. The choice we do have control over is how we manage change in our life.
In Joshua 1, we read God’s direction and encouragement toward the national of Israel, and specifically, its newly appointed leader, Joshua. At this point in time, Israel had been wandering the desert for a generation and had just lost Moses the leader that brought them out of slavery. If Israel was afraid and discouraged, that would certainly be understandable. It would be natural for them to through their hands in the air and say, “We give up!” We can all probably relate to that feeling.
However, God has different plans. Not only is He not done with Israel, He gives them a pep-talk for what is about to come. “Be courageous”, He says to them over and over.
As Pastor Steve talked about on Sunday, the Church is also in a tremendous time of change. Often it can feel like the Church is swimming upstream against culture, politics and so many other challenges. It is understandable that many in the Church want to throw their hands up and say “We give up!” But like His encouragement to Israel, God is calling us to “Be Courageous” is these challenging times.
- Pastor Steve mentioned that we are living in a “turning the page” moment in the church where some of the old ways of doing things are just not going to carry us forward into this next season of life and ministry. What areas have you noticed that might need consideration for change in the church? What are some ways of doing things that carry forward into this new season? If you don’t attend church, how have you experienced the church from afar? Does the church seem engaged in this current moment?
- What changes could God be challenging you to make in your own life? Are there areas of your life, work, or relationships that you know need change, but are frightening to consider changing? Share one or two things that you sense might need change and that you need encouragement to follow through on.
- One of the natural reactions we might have to change is grief for losing the way things used to be. Are there changes in life that you are grieving? There is no shame in this grief, but it is important that we process grief before it can be resolved. Take some time to share any grief you might have for the changes in our current culture, relationships, church-life, or other areas.
- God’s encouragement to Israel is that while this new season of change is inevitable, He promises to be with them. “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Remember this hope as you enter your time of prayer together.
Spend some time praying for one another. Ask if anyone has prayer request for the week ahead and pray for those who feel prompted to invite others into their life and/or community.