- Which is usually your first response when you’re trying to figure out how to do something: ask a trusted friend, look it up on the internet, or just try it and see what happens?
- You’re in a valley with mountains on each side — you have to climb one of them to escape. Do you climb the mountain with dangerous wild animals or the mountain with snow and strong winds?
- How would you rather spend your day on a mountain: climbing, hiking, biking, camping, or bird-watching?
What To Do In A Valley
Ask eGroup members to share their favorite points from the sermon, what spoke to them, a phrase or moment from the sermon they related to the most, or questions they have. If members have a hard time recalling the sermon, talk through your notes and share your favorite points.
Make It Personal
- What comes to mind when you think of “being in a valley”? Give some examples of common valleys people experience.
- Read 1 Samuel 17:8-11. Saul and the Israelites were in a valley, and their first response was dismay (apprehension, anxiety, dread). What’s usually your first response to a valley? Why is it important to recognize patterns of how we usually respond?
- Share about a valley you faced in the past. How did you respond to it? What would you do differently now?
- Talk about a place in your life right now where you feel like you’re in a valley. How have you been responding to it?
There are five things you can do to respond to your valley with faith.
- 1: God is with you in the valley. What are some things that discourage you in your valley? Why is it important to focus on the fact that God is with you?
- 2: Look for the possibility. Read Ezekiel 37:1-5. Ezekiel saw only dry bones, but then God brought them to life. Where do you see dry bones right now? How does focusing on the bones instead of the possibilities affect your perspective? (Do you see any possibilities in your valley? Encourage the group to give their perspectives.)
- 3: Take a step into the unknown. What’s the unknown in your valley? What things are keeping you from stepping into it? (How are you waiting for things to be perfect before you move?) Talk about some little steps you could take to show faith.
- 4: Prophesy to your situation. God told Ezekiel to speak TO the bones. How are you talking ABOUT your valley? What would it look like for you to talk TO it?
- 5: Invite the wind. Read John 14:15-17. (“Advocate” means someone who pleads the cause of another. Some other Bible translations have used the words “comforter,” “teacher,” “counsellor,” “helper,” and “guide.” The Holy Spirit’s presence assures us of our relationship with Christ. He guides believers into truth, convicts people of their sin, comforts us, gives us spiritual gifts, and makes us more like Christ.) Is there a difference between believing God for something and inviting His Spirit into the situation? What are some ways we can invite Him?
- Think about the valley you’re in. Which of the five responses do you need the most? Why?
Act On It
This week, focus on how you’re responding to your valley. Come up with a plan for how you’re going to: remember God is with you, look for the possibility, take a step into the unknown, prophesy to your situation, and invite the wind. Make a decision to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Share with your group how you’re responding throughout the week.
PRAYER REQUESTS AND PRAYER
Ask eGroup members to share any prayer requests they have. Record any notes or prayer requests to pray for members during the week.
Father, thank You for using the valleys in our lives to show us Your goodness and grace and to grow our faith. We ask You to change the way we see our valleys. Help us look at them with expectant faith for how You’ll use them to work in us and through us. Strengthen us to use what we learned in this message to respond in a way that brings You glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.