God is always calling us beyond our boundaries and to more than we can imagine.
When is the last time you had a goal and it seemed that everything that occurred that day was preventing you from achieving the goal? It could be as simple as getting to work on time or meeting a sales goal at work.
God has designed a purpose and plan for each of us. He promises in Philippians 1:6 that He will not stop perfecting the good work He began in us until the day of Christ Jesus. There is an unseen battle between God and Satan. The enemy wishes to pull us away from God and away from His mission for us. Sometimes he distracts us directly. We may have a personal idol such as money, success, or love. Other times Satan may use the guidelines of culture or laws of our government to shift our direction off course. In the movie Hidden Figures, the main characters had to overcome the difficulties our society placed on them personally simply because they were black.
Read Jeremiah 29:11, Proverbs 16:3, 9, and 20, and John 16:33.
1. It can be exciting, uplifting and intimidating all at the same time to know that God has a plan for us, that we must commit our plans to Him, and to know we will encounter trials and failures. In what ways does this knowledge make you excited? Intimidated?
2. Can you think of a time when someone who you admired in sports, business, a family member or friend failed at what they were doing?
3. What is your favorite story of a Bible hero failing?
4. When was the last time you failed at doing something? How did God redeem that failure?
Read Isaiah 54:2-5, and Romans 8:1-2, 36-39.
5. In Isaiah 54 God commands Israel to expand their borders. Where is God calling you to expand or try something new as part of your mission?
6. Expanding our borders can be intimidating. In Hidden Figures, when Katherine Johnson entered the Task Group, she was the only non-secretarial female as well as the only black person in the room. When has God walked you through a similar daunting situation?
7. What reassurance do you find in the verses from Romans?
Pray over the members of your group. Pray for them to expand their borders and fulfill the mission God has given them.
There is a book called Chasing Failure. The author, Ryan Leak, poses, “What if we, as Christians, said you know what failure ain’t so bad after all? What if we could teach people to live their lives without lids?” He goes on to state that he wants, “people to know that life with God is one that is full of limitless possibilities. That our failures don’t have to define our lives.” We know that God actually uses these failures to strengthen us, prepare us for His plan in our life. How can we bring this message to our family, our friends, and our co-workers?
We encourage groups to try the Discovery Bible Method as an alternative to these discussion questions. You will find details for this Bible study method here. For this week, please study Isaiah 54:2-10.