Date: April 30, 2023
Session Title: The Temptation to Test God
The Point: We can trust God without putting Him to the test.
Get Into the Study
Use the following information to introduce Question #1.
Two months ago, a series of deadly earthquakes hit along the border of Turkey and Syria, snuffing out tens of thousands of lives. Southern Baptists jumped into action, collecting blankets, water, and heating supplies to take to survivors. Many of those efforts are still ongoing.
Just last week, tornadoes swept across central Arkansas, creating chaos and difficulty as it knocked down buildings, trees, and homes. President Biden declared it a major disaster area. Immanuel Baptist Church immediately opened its downtown Little Rock building, offering shelter and emergency supplies to all in need. The church partnered with community services and government leaders, offering practical care like hotel vouchers alongside prayer meetings and sharing the gospel.
Say: When tragedies strike, the human heart may naturally be fearful or apt to look for signs and coincidences, or even see the entire situation as a “test” of who God is. During difficulties, in addition to offering practical help, we should increasingly seek to trust God and take opportunities to point people to His dependability and care. As Christians, we have real gospel hope to offer, so that people around us are not left interacting with God as if He’s unpredictable and capricious
Information for this post was gleaned from:
Study the Bible
Use the following information before asking question #4.
In Spring of 2023, Asbury University’s regularly scheduled chapel service ended, but many of the students decided not to leave. They stayed and prayed. As word spread of their devotion to prayer, students from nearby campuses, and eventually people from all over the nation, flocked to the tiny Kentucky school. Over the course of two weeks, 50,000 people reportedly came to worship Jesus, humble themselves in prayer, confess sin, and seek reconciliation with people around them. This event became called the Asbury Revival.
One observer noted that perhaps one reason for the revival was that, after a season of global pandemic, “people are looking for signs of hope.” Many Christian leaders cautioned against emotionalism or seeking sensational experiences. Those at the revival themselves seemed to anticipate these risks and sought to limit the ability for individuals and groups to grab the microphone or co-opt the movement for their own purposes. For security purposes, the campus ended the event, the “revival” dwindled, and any lasting results are still being noted and discussed.
Say: As Christians living in a broken world, there are dangers of people seeking an “emotional high” from God. People may indeed seek to test God in order to get an answer or have some sense of His presence. As we discuss Christian ideas with unbelievers around us, we can use biblical language, anticipate the potential for misunderstanding, and guard against the idea of testing God for our own gain or desires.
Information for this post was gleaned from:
Jessica Connell wrote these Leader Extras. Jess is a homeschooling mom of 9 who has served around the world in ministry with her husband. She loves hiking, exploring, and being active in her local church in North Texas.
Study the Bible [Option from the Advanced Bible Study Teacher Guide, p. 46]
To help with discussing how we experience God’s goodness and faithfulness as we obey His Word, you will cover the points of remembering God’s work in your past and having a healthy sense of fear.
After you have time to talk about what the fear of the Lord means, ask students: “Why is it important to pass down experiences of God’s faithfulness to the next generation?”
Then, take time to remember God’s work from the past and how He has helped you trust Him in the present. Play the song “Evidence” by Josh Baldwin and discuss the lyrics of the song from the video.
Ask: How do the lyrics of this song echo the words of Deuteronomy 6:20-25? What evidence of God’s goodness have you seen this week in your life?
- When have you “looked for a sign” when you were making a decision?
- What is the hardest test you have taken?
- What is the hardest test you have experienced?
- When are we most tempted to test God?
- What practices have helped you grow in your knowledge of Scripture?
- How can we identify when people have distorted Scripture to fit their own purposes?
- How is testing God a faith issue?
- How does remembering God’s past grace help us in being faithful today?
- What are some things that help us live a life of obedience?
- What can you tell the next generation about what God has done for you?
- What can you model your faith and share with the next generation what God has done for you?
- What methods are you using to hand down the faith to others?
- When has obedience led to a deeper understanding of God’s goodness in your life?
- How might this passage spur us towards obedience in our own lives?
- When have you seen God’s “mighty hand” at work?
For Those in Your Group
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Click here for a 20-minute podcast for both the group member and the leader.