We continue to think about the process of discipleship and the conversations that arise from the discipleship questions, “What is God saying to me?” and, “What am I going to do about it?”
Today Dave tackles a common misconception we sometimes have that God is in a hurry and things should happen all at once. We think about how transformation is a journey and what Eugene Peterson calls, “a long obedience in the same direction”.
Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Galatians 5:25
- Have there been times when you have been desperate for a circumstance or situation or personal battle to be sorted? What happened? Did it happen very suddenly did it happen over time? If it took time, did God do other things with you during that process?
- If change most often happens gradually – both for good and bad – we often don’t notice it, we just drift into it – like the proverbial frog in the pot of water.
- Think about yourself 5 years ago. What changes are good? How did the change happen? Were there choices you made or differences to your life?
- Paul talks about our transformation in Romans 5:1-6. Are there similarities with what he describes and your experience?
We’re going to compare the very different ways in which two famous Kings of Israel were transformed by God. Very different experiences and very different outcomes. This is an opportunity to reframe our understanding of how God transforms us and what outcome he really wants.
We’ll start with King Saul, Israel’s first king. You can read his story of transformation in 1 Samuel 8:19 – 10:16 .
- Think about Saul’s experiences. How are these similar to stories we sometimes hear in church and conferences or read in books?
- Are there times when you would love an experience that was indisputable and clear? Why might God sometimes do this and why might he sometimes not?
- Think about what other people thought of Saul in 1 Samuel 10:23-24.
You may know the rest of Saul’s story, but it gets summed up pretty succinctly in 1 Samuel 15:22-23
- Consider Saul’s transformation and the sort of person he ends up.
The second king is David, who came after Saul and couldn’t have had a more different story. It happens over a much longer period, but you can roughly follow it in the following passages.
- For each passage consider whether it would feel like a good, faith-building experience or a discouraging and depressing experience. David has been told he would be king – so think about the following events and whether he would have felt it was a step forward or a step backwards.
- 1 Samuel 16:4-13
- 1 Samuel 16:15–23
- 1 Samuel 17:41-51
- 1 Samuel 18:9-11
- 1 Samuel 18:24-29
- 1 Samuel 19:9-10
- 1 Samuel 21:10-22:2
- 1 Samuel 24:1-22
- 1 Samuel 30:1-6
- 2 Samuel 2:4
This is only a select edit! You may know about the rest of David’s life but it’s summed up in Acts 13:22.
- These two kings have a really stark difference in their stories and outcomes.
- What relevance does it have to us, how we expect God to work, what we think is important and what stories about God we celebrate?
- If you look at your life, can you see a elements that have the same rollercoaster ride as David? Does this encourage you that God might be working in you even with the ups and downs?
- How might you be more aware of the process God has us on, so you can see him at work and cooperate?