Community Guide for October 9th
Let your group know what to expect during prayer time, something like: “As we start our group time, I will open with a word of prayer, there will be a minute or so of silent reflection, and then I will read the scripture from Sunday and then close in prayer, and we will enter into our discussion time.”
- Open with a brief word of prayer: “God, we thank you for this time together. We open our hearts to how you might want to meet with us. Allow us to hear your voice and experience your spirit at work. Come Holy Spirit.”
- Sit before the Lord in silent prayerful reflection for 1-2 minutes
- Read the scripture listed below aloud for the group to reflect on.
- Close in a word of prayer: “God, thank you for your word, come holy spirit and allow us to understand what it means for our lives, lead us in our time of discussion together. In Christ’s name, amen.”
Scripture from Sunday
Read this Overview Together
1. God-Inspired Imagination: Dismayed and terrified, the Israelites froze in fear before the Philistines. Why didn’t they move? They were afraid, terrified of Goliath and the Philistine army, and with good reason because Goliath was a beast of a man.
- Pastor Tim suggested that a Goliath Inspired Imagination is: “Fear-based imagination, where our thoughts run wild with “What if” scenarios that paralyze us from acts of faith, courage, love, and selflessness. It is what inspires “all about my life and living” and self-preservation. It is contagious, and it spreads from one person to another.” Can you think of a time in your life when this has been your reality? What seemed to be the effects of that in your life or situation?
- Pastor Tim posed another way, a God-inspired Imagination- “Seeing things through the eyes, thoughts, perspective, and imagination of God. Seeing beyond rationalistic thinking and what-if scenarios and into possibility thinking filled with hope and a better tomorrow for himself and his tribe. A God-inspired imagination is one that is developed in being with God, knowing his heart, his purposes, his attributes, his values, and priorities. It comes from tracing the history of God and understanding how he interacts with humanity.” Can you think of a time in your life when you stepped into some God-inspired imagination? What seemed to be the effects of that in your life or situation?
- A question to consider about this season of life: Which imagination are you operating under right now? Is it fear-based or faith-based? Goliath-focused or God-focused? Inspired by selfless service for the benefit of others or simple self-preservation? Consider writing this down to pray and reflect on later OR discuss with the group.
2. Remember Your Story: Your life story has unique experiences, significant milestones, and important obstacles that you have walked through and overcome. For David, it was his time in the wilderness in obscurity, alone and forgotten, that God used to develop specific skills, abilities, and imagination.
- What unique stories, abilities, and perspectives has/is God developed(ing) within you?
- Reread vs. 32-40 // David spends a moment reminding himself and Saul who he is. His story. He is not a part of the royal army; he is not a hand-to-hand combatant. He was a slinger. This is how he disarmed the bear and lion in the wilderness, and this would be how he disarms and kills Goliath. Why is it important to know who we are and the story of faith we have lived?
- Pastor Tim shared this: “The keys to your current predicament may lie in the path of preparation in your past. God is preparing you, he is making you new, and he is equipping you for the journey today and tomorrow.” What do you think of this statement? Have you seen this play out in your life?
3. Consider A New Approach: In reading this story, sometimes it can be read as a miracle that David defeated
Goliath. While it is, there is also something more happening. David used wisdom and strategy in how he approached Goliath.
- Consider & Discuss: Saul’s armor placed on David, though well intended, was the wrong approach for David’s ability to defeat Goliath.
“You can really love God and fail in life because of your approach.
You can really love God and have bad relationships because of your approach.
You can really love God and be a bad worker because of your approach.
You can really love God and be a bad friend because of your approach.” You may be fighting the right battle but fighting it in the wrong way. Maybe you need to change your approach.
- “It is in Jesus that we find the wisdom, strategy, and overcoming spirit that can bring light into the darkest of circumstances. It is in Jesus that we can find hope, even amidst the great odds stacked against us. In Jesus, we can find faith that replaces our fear. In Jesus, we find love that inspires courage and strength to move forward for the sake of something greater than ourselves.” What might be a strategy you are sensing from God right now as a new approach to face your present reality? Is there an “old way” that needs to be shaken up with faith-inspired imagination to embrace a “new approach” against a seemingly improbable victory?
Practice in Prayer
- Is there an improbable victory you need faith to be revived for the battle as a new approach?
- Maybe you need to be reminded of God’s faithfulness and beautiful work in your life, embracing and affirming that God is with you and is weaving your story together for your good.
- Maybe you need a God-inspired imagination, bringing all your puzzles to God, who is able to do immeasurably more than all we can ask or even imagine.
Weekly Prayer Practice:
Carve out time to remember your group’s prayer needs and intercede on their behalf.