Monday, July 18, 2011

Urban Legends 03: More Than You Can Handle

The gift of too much teaches you to: 
1. Put something down 
2. Hand something off 
3. Give something to God.


Contrary to popular opinion, God wants us weak not strong. How does the world’s perspective of strength and weakness differ from God’s?

1. Why is this spiritual myth so dangerous? Believing the myth, “God won’t give you more than you can handle” can lead us to what wrong conclusions? Share a personal example of how believing this myth has affected your life. How does this belief lead us to attempt to handle things by ourselves, rather than depend on Christ or share the load with others?

2. In what area of your life do you feel God is giving you more than you can handle? Where in your life do you need to say “or” instead of “and”? To what request and to whom do you have the most difficulty saying “no”? What boundaries do you need to set in these relationships?

3. Is God asking you to: 1) put something down 2) hand something off 3) give something to Him or 4) do something else? If you need to hand something off, who could share this burden with you? (see Numbers 11:17)

4. When have you felt overwhelmed by life? Did this feeling lead you to 1) try harder 2) give up or 3) depend on God and/or others? Why is it beneficial to share our burdens with other believers? Why do you find it difficult to ask for help? Share a time when you handed something off to others. What was the result? What are you holding onto that needs to be given to God?

5. In what ways were you taught that you need to be strong (in yourself)?
Why are we afraid to disclose our weaknesses to others? What perceived weakness in yourself do you find difficult to accept? How is God using this to bring about brokenness and dependence on Him? How can you allow the Lord’s power to be perfected (accomplish it’s goal) through your weakness?

1. Ask God to show you the specific things He wants you to put down. Practice
thinking “ I can do ______ or _____” instead of “I can do _____ and ______.”

2. Ask God to show you the areas in your life where you are relying on your own strength instead of His. Acknowledge this to God and surrender control of these areas to Him.

3. Make a list of the weaknesses that make your life difficult. Each time you are reminded of one of these weaknesses, thank God for His grace and trust Christ to empower you in this area. Memorize Philippians 4:13.

4. Spend some time this week giving your burdens to God. Ask Him to reveal His purpose for them in your life. Apply Psalm 55:22 and 1 Thess. 5:18.

1. Read 1 Corinthians 10:1-14.
Why did Paul refer to Israel’s history and what can we learn from it? (10:6,11) 

Name some examples from Israel’s history when God allowed them to experience more than they could handle. 

How did they respond and how does their response serve as an example for us today?

What warning did Paul give the Corinthians? Why? (10:12) 

What causes us to fall into sin? 

What should we recall when we are tempted to yield to sin? How does God make a way of escape when we are tempted?

How does the context for God’s promise in 10:13 shed light on it’s meaning? 

How is this different the myth, “God won’t give you more than you can handle.” Put verse 13 into your own words and commit it to memory.

2. Read 2 Corinthians 12:7-10.
Who was responsible for giving Paul a “thorn in the flesh”? 

If Paul had not had this “thorn” how might his spiritual life have been affected? (12:7) 

What did Paul ask God to do? 

What did God reveal to Paul? 

What is your “thorn in the flesh”? 

What purpose does it serve? 

How can trusting in God’s grace and power make a difference in this area?

Why does God choose to heal some people of their weakness or disability and not others? 

How should you respond if God chooses not to remove your “thorn in the flesh”? 

How can you be content with your weaknesses?

How does God remind us to rely on Him and not ourselves? 

Why should we boast about our weaknesses? 

How can you “boast in” the Lord when you feel overwhelmed or inadequate? 

When confessing your weaknesses, be sure to boast in the Lord at the same time. Example: “I feel inadequate and overwhelmed when ________ but Christ is the strength of my life.”

VERSES FOR FURTHER STUDY: Numbers 11:13-17; Exodus 18:17-23; 2 Cor.1:8-11, 3:4-6, 4:7-11; Psalm 55:22


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