Signs & Wonders: Week 3

Signs & Wonders
Week 3
Discerning a Sign

Over the course of this series we have been reminded that signs from God rarely lay out clear step-by-step instructions. More often we are left wondering if the song we heard on the radio, the comment made by a friend, or the bird we saw in the backyard was a coincidence or a message from God. This is where discernment comes into play. This week we will talk about the process of hearing from God, figuring out what that might mean, and taking action. 

Opening Prayer:
God, we give you thanks today for your constant presence in our lives. We thank you for being near to us even when we don’t realize it. We pray that our time together will be marked by your presence, and that each of us will leave this place more aware of your Spirit than we were when we came in. Amen.

Circle back:  Review the action suggestions from last week (below). Were you able to see the Holy Spirt in action? Share, as you are comfortable, how you week was different with the implementation of these ideas!

  • Track the signs: Use a journal or memo in your phone and begin collecting the signs your feel, see, and hear. 
  • Use this Quote this week to meditate on how the Spirit shows up in and around you:  To eyes that see, every bush is a burning bush. -Eugene Peterson

Read I John 4:1-3 (CEB)

“Dear friends, don’t believe every spirit. Test the spirits to see if they are from God because many false prophets have gone into the world. This is how you know if a spirit comes from God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come as a human is from God, and every spirit that doesn’t confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and is now already in the world.”

  • The book of 1 John was written during a time when there were still people alive who had firsthand experience with Jesus. What value can we find in eyewitness accounts when we are looking for clarity? 
  • The “false prophets” in this scripture were literally denying claims made about Jesus. What are some modern day “false prophets” that can distract us from the guidance God is offering us?

The Heart:
Discernment is both a personal and a communal process.
  • What internal indicators do you rely on when you are discerning a sign?
  • Who (if anyone) do you trust to help you discern a sign? What about their perspective is helpful to you?

Most of us have a certain level of clarity we look for before we take action on something we have heard from God. Our personalities and life experiences have a lot to say about whether we need to raise or lower those levels. 
  • What do you think growth looks like for you – raising or lowering the level of clarity you look for in hearing from God? 

The Hands:
  • Have you ever taken significant action based on something you thought was a sign from God? What did you learn from that experience? 
  • A helpful way to recognize God’s guidance in our lives is to know God’s word. What is one way you can invest in learning scripture that might help you with discernment this week? 
  • Signs from God don’t necessarily come with expiration dates. Is there a nudge or sign you previously ignored that you need to reconsider? Identify someone in your life who can help you discern this sign.

Closing Prayer:
God of truth, we close our time together asking for your help as we seek to avoid deception. You have given us your word, your spirit, and your people to help us as we make our way through life. We pray for an openness to all of the ways you want to communicate with us. We give you thanks for your hand of guidance in our lives up to this point, and we place our hope in your continued direction going forward. We pray all of this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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