God, Why? “God, why do you feel distant?” – Week 6

Speaker: Daniel Erasmus

Worship and check-in: Listen to “Jireh by Maverick City & Elevation Worship” during group worship and your personal devotional time. These lyrics remind us of how nothing can separate us from the love of God. That He is enough for us no matter what we’re going through., He is always by our side. Take time to thank Him for His presence and for being all that you need. He is our Jehovah Jireh.

As you check in, reflect on last week’s study of “Why God, would you want to use me?” and share how this has impacted you during the past week in how and where God can use you. What action steps, if any, have you taken or will you be taking in the next few weeks (put a goal/deadline to it)?

Bible Readings: Psalm 16: 8-9, 11; Psalm 88:13-14; John 6:30; Matthew 13:14-15; Acts 17: 26-27; Matthew 5:3; Jeremiah 29:13-14.

Preparation and Discussion for Group Time:
Have you ever felt as if the Lord is not with you? Do you sometimes feel, like David did, that the Lord is hiding His face from you? (Psalm 88:13-14) or that He’s forgotten about you? Ps Daniel showed us through God’s word, three reasons why we sometimes feel distant from God.

  1. Did you experience the presence of the Lord at some point in your life? If so, share with the group what this experience was like and how you knew it was the Lord. Please note: If you’ve never experienced the presence of the Lord, you’re not alone.
  2. One of the reasons for us not feeling the presence of God could be that we’re “over-sensationalizing” it. What does this mean? Do you expect the Lord to show you a sign like the disciples in John 6:30? Feelings are not always evidence of God’s presence, if it was then we wouldn’t need faith. In which area of your life do you need the strengthening of faith so you can experience the Lord’s presence? Share with the group.
  3. Another reason for us perhaps not experiencing God’s presence could be that we’ve hardened our hearts. We see this in Matthew 13:14-15. Ps Daniel explained that sometimes we become so accustomed to our sin that it rules our hearts instead of God. Take time to ask the Lord to search your heart and reveal any hidden or unconfessed sin that could possibly be preventing you from fully experiencing the presence of God. Write these down on paper, confess them to one another (pair up), then surrender them to Him. Take a moment to burn the paper or shred it as an act of repentance and turning away. Pray for one another.
  4. The third reason for not feeling the Lord’s presence could be that He wants you to draw closer to Him. The Lord could be using the feeling of deprivation to shift something in you. When we experience the lack of something, like thirst, then we quench it with water. The Lord may want you to seek Him more. (Jeremiah 29:13-14) He’s a jealous God and wants your devotion and your heart. What steps do you need to take to draw nearer to Him? Perhaps it’s a more meaningful quiet time and prayer life. How do you need to change your posture? Share with your group members what you’ll be changing so that you can hold each other accountable going forward. Then go around and pray for each other and their need.

Check out and Prayer:
Read John 14:16-17 “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit who leads into all truth.” As you go into the rest of the week, hold onto the fact that the Lord is always with you even when you don’t feel it.

As a check-out: split into pairs and follow up with each other during the week, holding one another accountable for the change you’ve decided to make in no.4. (above)

Love God:

Love People:

  • For upcoming next steps in your discipleship journey; like Baptism or serving. Sign up online at Church Center/ the website.
  • We’ve also been encouraged to sign up to serve in the upcoming Holiday Club 2023. Sign-ups are now open on the website too.
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