• Matt Beaney

#695. CHOOSE LIFE PT. 2 - CHOOSE DISOBEDIENCE OR OBEDIENCE? (22/11/22)

This week’s devotionals are based upon Sunday’s message from Simon Guillbaud. Simon Guillebaud MBE is GLO’s International Director. He had a very clear call to Burundi in 1999, when it was regarded as the most dangerous country on earth. He set up GLO with the vision to transform Burundi and beyond through holistic mission, working with gifted local leaders of integrity. For the full message please go to:

https://www.communitychurchputney.com/teaching

For more on Simon and to find out about His blog, podcast and teaching, please go to:

https://www.simonguillebaud.com/inspired-podcast/



‘This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’ (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)

Summary: Disobedience is a temptation for all of us. To ‘choose life’ is to choose obedience God; if we want life we must ‘listen to his voice, and hold fast to Him’


God had promised Israel that He would be with them and enable them to enter The Promised Land. After they sent spies into the Land, Israel chose to listen to those who stirred up fear rather than those who stirred up faith. Disobedience to God is always the result of a failure to, ‘listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.’ as we choose to believe lies about God. The devil wants to give us a false faith and so disobey. In their disobedience they said:

‘And they said to each other, “We should choose a leader and go back to Egypt.’ (Numbers 14:4)

They want to go back to slavery! A disobedient spirit will want what’s contrary to God’s will. A rebellious heart will want things that we often know are bad for us! The devil lies to us about God’s good, pleasing and perfect will and we can be deceived into putting our faith in the devil’s bad, displeasing and imperfect will!


In our reading, we are commanded to ‘listen to His voice and hold fast to Him’. To obey we must know His will through His word. To obey Him, we need to know Him and hold fast to His greatness, love and trustworthiness.


Tim keller, writing of Jonah’s disobedience to God, says:

‘We distrust God because we assume he is not truly for us, that if we give him complete control, we will be miserable. Adam and Eve did not say, “Let’s be evil. Let’s ruin our own lives and everyone else’s too!” Rather they thought, “We just want to be happy. But his commands don’t look like they will give us the things that we need to thrive. We will have to take things into our own hands—we can’t trust him.” Jonah is doing the same thing. He is recapitulating the history of the human race and showing us how our own hearts operate every single day.’ (Keller, Timothy. The Prodigal Prophet)

RESPONSE

We all struggle to obey God. Fundamentally, obedience to God is born of our failure ‘listen to his voice, and hold fast to him.’ We need the Spirit to help us to trust the promises and character of God over the allures of the world, the flesh and the devil. Simon Guillebaud spoke of praying:

‘God, I believe you’re real. I will do anything you say’

This led to him going to Burundi as a missionary. Let’s pray that prayer today and take the next step in obedience.


YOU MIGHT FIND THIS INTERVIEW WITH J. JOHN HELPFUL:


 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

 

2. Icebreaker

What has God been speaking to you about from His word recently? How would you like prayer?

 

3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


CHOOSE LIFE

This week’s study is based on Sunday’s message from Simon Guillbaud.


Simon based his message on 30:11-20.

‘This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.’ (Deuteronomy 30:19-20)

God was calling the people to live by faith. They have just come out of 40-years of wandering in the desert due to unbelief. God reminded them of there previous unfaithful attitude at the beginning of this book:

‘But you were unwilling to go up; you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. You grumbled in your tents and said, ‘The Lord hates us; so he brought us out of Egypt to deliver us into the hands of the Amorites to destroy us.’’ (Deuteronomy 1:26-27)

God had promised to give them the land of Canaan. He had shown His power and love by bringing them out of Egypt, but they refused to believe and obey. In response, God had caused them to wander in the desert for 40 years because of unbelief. Now, He’s calling them again to listen to Him and walk by faith. This account is reminding us that God doesn’t want us wandering in circles. He wants to lead us into greater fruitfulness.


In his message on Sunday, Simon gave us six challenges to consider:


1. ARE WE GOING TO CHOOSE CLARITY OR TRUST

To ‘choose life’ requires that we choose trust over clarity. Many have a faith but don’t live by faith. We too often want clarity. We want to control things. We want God to show us all the steps before we’ll take the first. God wants us to take that first step.


2. DISOBEDIENCE OR OBEDIENCE?

Only Joshua and Caleb entered The Promised Land. Only they were willing to obey God. Are you and I willing to offer our lives entirely to Him?


3. CYNICISM OR ACTION

To choose life is to reject cynicism and take godly action. It’s easy to become cynical and back out of living actively for God. Have we allowed cynicism to rob us of joy and action? The antidote to cynicism is to take good action rather than wait for our feelings to change.


4. FAITH OR FEAR?

We have had a huge dose of fear during Covid. The church is often crippled by fear.

In our finances, particularly during our gift days at the moment, are will giving in fear or faith? Choosing life if to choose to do things by faith.


5. URGENCY OR APATHY?

In a war-torn and poor nation like Burundi, it’s easier to see and be provoked by great needs. In London, are we aware of the ‘falling bombs of unbelief, cynicism, materialism, fear…’? These should provoke up to urgent prayer and action.


6. GRATITUDE OR MOANING

To choose life is to choose thankfulness over grumbling. It’s easy to become critical and entitled. Simon encourage us to do what we are taught in Romans 12:1-3 and count our blessings.


7. RULES OR RELATIONSHIPS?

God always wanted a relationship with us. To ‘choose life’ is to seek a relationship with God and seek to avoid empty legalism and formality. Choosing life is, at its core, having a relationship with God.


8. DEATH OR LIFE?

Will we choose life? Will we choose to remember the gospel and share the gospel? Will we allow Jesus’ blood-scared hands to cause our hands to be active in compassion?


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

i. Did you feel that God spoke to you from any particular aspect of Sunday's message?

ii. Of these 8 challenges, which do you feel that you need to take action on and why?


SIV - Let's keep praying and planning for how we can invite people to our carol service on 11th December (4 pm).

SIV - Do you have any encouraging stories of sharing your faith with your friends?

SIV - How do you plan to 'serve, invest and invite' into your friendships?

SIV - Let's pray for the Spirit to lead us in reaching our community.





27 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All