On Sunday we explored the idea of God’s call as an important element for thriving churches and individuals. In Acts 16, Paul and his companions are travelling throughout the Roman empire sharing the good news of Jesus, but the Holy Spirit twice says “no” to their plans, and finally directs them toward Macedonia through a vision of a man pleading for help. They head that direction, concluding that God had “called” them there. How do we know what God is calling us to do in our lives?
Have you ever had an experience in which you believed God was nudging you in a particular direction or “calling” you to do something? How did it turn out?
Looking at Scripture:
Read Acts 26:4-23, where Paul (as a prisoner) tells the story of his conversion to King Agrippa and his courtiers.
On Sunday, Jeremy suggested that the specifics of whatGod calls us to do often begin with a more general sense of who he calls us to be. What can we learn from this passage about who God was calling Paul to be? How was his new calling in keeping with what we know about his personality even before his conversion?
After Paul had a clear idea of whoGod was calling him to be, it seems that his decisions about what to docame naturally. Read the passage we looked at Sunday, Acts 16:6-10.
What evidence do you see of:
· Paul making his own plans and decisions based on his best judgment?
· The Holy Spirit specifically directing his plans and decisions (saying no or yes)?
When it comes to finding God’s will for our lives, how much do you think is flexible (as in, God lets us make our own decisions) and how much do you think is directed (as in, God has a clear path and purpose that he reveals to us)?
Do you think we can mess up God’s calling by our lack of attention or our disobedience?
What do you think we can do to be more aware of what the Holy Spirit is calling us to do?
Write down the name of each person in your group. Beside each name, write one word that you think might capture who God has called them to be (e.g. encourager, teacher, artist, truth-teller, etc.)
Is there anything you think God might be calling you to do in your life right now? Share it with your group and have them pray with you about it.