What’s your favorite way to eat bread?
Someone throws you a surprise birthday party for you and 40 of your closest friends and family. You open the door, walk in, and BOOM — 40 people start singing “Happy Birthday” to you. How do you respond?
July 12 is National Simplicity Day. If you could get rid of one thing to have a simpler week, what would it be?
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
On a scale of 1-10, how much do you like to have control? (1 is hardly any, 10 is a lot) Why did you score yourself that way?
Sometimes, control is a trust issue. Do you only trust God with your past (redeeming it), or do you also trust Him with your future? (Do your actions and thoughts agree with that?) Share times in your life when you’ve had or struggled with trust in those areas.
Read Exodus 13:17-18. This passage is God keeping a promise, but He did it in an unexpected way, and the Israelites didn’t see it coming. What are some ways you relate the Israelites’ experience? (What’s something you’re experiencing that you didn’t see coming? How have you been trying to control it?)
The Israelites weren’t expecting to go through the wilderness. Wilderness seasons are seasons of preparation. How has that been true in your life?
Wherever there’s preparation, there’s pruning. Read John 15:1-2. Forward movement isn’t just attached to what we start doing, but what we stop doing — sometimes we need to prune issues, individuals, or attitudes. What’s a lesson you learned in the past 6-12 months? Looking back, what are some things that were pruned during that time?
Pruning is one way we can manage a surprise season. The way the Israelites responded to manna can help us see other ways. Read Exodus 16:31-32. The Israelites weren’t expecting manna when they asked for bread. Manna represents three things: God’s performance not matching our expectation, God supernaturally suffocating our supply, and a seasonal supply. Answer one of the questions below (your group can answer all the questions if you have time):
God’s performance not matching our expectation. Has this ever happened to you? Share about a time when God’s provision came in the form of a project, and you had to grind to turn it into what you needed.
God supernaturally suffocating our supply. Was there a time in your life when you HAD to depend on God to survive? Talk about how that impacted you.
Seasonal supply — it’s temporary provision to hold you over until God provides a more permanent way. Think about how much you trust God with your future — how does your level of trust affect your ability or willingness to give praise for the temporary manna you have right now?
Israel mismanaged their surprise season, so what should have been temporary turned into 40 years. How have you been mismanaging your surprises?
Act On It
Think about where you’re dealing with unexpected situations you didn’t see coming. What are two steps you can take this week to manage them better? (e.g., give praise for the manna you have right now, recognize and give thanks for how past events have prepared you for this, prune something in your life that needs to be cut away, grind to turn God’s provision into what you need it to be, etc.) Share with the group what you’re going to do.
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 that we can always trust Your character and the way Your goodness never changes. Help us develop the faith to also trust what You do and how You do it. Open our eyes this week to what we can do to manage the surprises in our lives so we can experience all You have in mind for us. In Jesus’ name, amen.