Meaningful Distractions - Joshua 9"With God - there are no distractions or mistakes that He can’t do something with.” Carlyle Naylor1. What types of things distract you? What types of opportunities entice you? Do you have a “Life Code”? You most likely do - a grid that things have to pass through before you give yourself to them or before you make a decision or commitment. If you don’t think you have one, ask your friends or spouse what your values are or what your life mission is. Be ready for their answer - it may surprise you.2. When you make a decision, what is your go-to grid? When you switch jobs, what makes you decide to do that? When you change houses, what makes you decide to do that? Do you think God cares about those things in your life? Why or why not? On a 1 (low) to 10 (high) scale, is the Bible one of your go-to grids? 3. Would you say you have regular conversations with God? What are they like? What is the content? How many of your day-to-day decisions include some conversations with God? Where and how do you draw the line (i.e., what flavor of coffee should I have today)?4. The Gibeonites elaborately deceived the Israelites before they made a commitment/oath to them. They could have justifiably backed out, but they didn’t. How reliable is your word? How often do you back out of commitments? 5. Israel and Gibea ended up having an alliance for hundreds of years. God, since He is providential and sovereign, used deceit and hastiness for a long term good result. When has God been sovereign and providential in how He brought something meaningful out of something that seemed incidental or even bad?
Joshua 2 - Let God use who you are1. If you could take something from your past and delete it, what would it be? If you could do that, how would it change your present? How did that thing actually shape you into who you are?2. What incidental things in your life ended up being important? Can you think of a time when something you thought was super important ended up being incidental? When did God take something you thought was unimportant, or even bad, and turned it something cool and big? Read Romans 8:28. What does this say about your past?3. Rahab took a really simple step of faith toward God, and God used it to rescue her. How would you define simple faith? What things in your life right now are testing your faith? What things would you like God to rescue you from? What simple steps of faith can you take toward God?4. With great risk comes great reward. Right? What is a risky faith step you have taken recently? What made it risky? How did it turn out?5. Rahab had a checkered past. But her future changed a lot. Read Mathew 1:5-6. Who was she related to? Read James 2:25-26. How is she commended? Read Hebrews 11:31. She is listed along with a bunch of heavy hitters of the faith. Instead of Rahab the prostitute, she became Rahab the saint! Are there things from your past that you let define you too much, when God sees you as a saint (because of your relationship with Jesus)? How hard is it to see yourself the way God sees you - as a saint?
Dealing with Change – Joshua 1:1-111 After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, the Lord said to Joshua son of Nun, Moses’ aide: 2 “Moses my servant is dead. Now then, you and all these people, get ready to cross the Jordan River into the land I am about to give to them—to the Israelites. 3 I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5 No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6 Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.7 “Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”10 So Joshua ordered the officers of the people: 11 “Go through the camp and tell the people, ‘Get your provisions ready. Three days from now you will cross the Jordan here to go in and take possession of the land the Lord your God is giving you for your own.’”1. How do you usually respond to change? Do you resist it, rebel against it, complain about it, embrace it, or what?2. All of your comfort zones were discomfort zones at one point. Do you agree? What were some significant discomfort zones in your life that later became comfort zones? Did you prosper when they became comfort zones, or did you just survive? What determines whether you will prosper or survive?3. New territory springs from old territory. When you think of new things in your life, what old things were still with you? What old things did you have to toss out in order to get on with the new things?4. Change works best with good resources. What things or people do you resource yourself with when change knocks on your door? Is the Bible one of them? How far up or down is the Bible on your resource list when you are confronted with change?5. Change works best when you actually change. What change do you keep putting off? Why?